They are both selling patience. Are you buying? It doesnt matter. You dont have a choice. The two football teams America thinks of first when it thinks of Miami the Dolphins and Hurricanes are peddling patience because they dont have any more choice but to offer it than fans do to accept it.
Patience is increasingly an unpopular, tough sell in sports, a lot to ask. Fans see patience not as a virtue but as an excuse to soften losing or buy time. If instant reward is the sexy red Maserati that will thrill you, patience is the steady gray sedan that will get you there eventually maybe.
Patience is especially hard for these two teams to peddle in this market because Canes folk and Dolfans are inclined to look back at a lot of lean years and think theyve already done their penance thats it past time for a new run of good ol days.
UMs most recent national title came in 2001 and its last finish in the national top 10 in 03. Thats two or three player-generations ago on the college timeline. Any remaining vestiges of The Us claim to swagger now have cobwebs.
The Dolphins have left their fans even more forlorn, last winning a playoff game in 2000, and now counting their most recent taste of NFL relevance as decades ago (plural), not years.
And yet here we go again, right? Thats what youre thinking.
UM and the Dolphins Lost Weekend just past was about more than the scoreboard. It was about fans hope, too. Right?
After all, the Canes 52-13 loss at Kansas State was their worst margin of defeat in five years and most points given up since 1998.
The Dolphins 30-10 loss at Houston a day later was Miamis most lopsided season-opening defeat since 1988.
Patience, though. Please?
Heck, even President Barack Obama is asking for patience in terms of the nations economic recovery, saying, America, I never said this journey would be easy. The thing is, voters can decide in 55 days if they buy Obamas call for patience.
UM and Dolphins fans can only trust their teams leaders or not, but in either case can only wait and hope.
Were in it for the long haul. Well get this fixed, UM coach Al Golden said this week, mostly of a defense that has allowed 84 points in two games.
Said Dolphins coach Joe Philbin in his postmortem: We were looking to have a reference point to find out exactly where we are. We have a lot of work to do.
Each teams call for patience is justified.
The Canes are very young all over the field, babies needing time to grow. But UM can look you in the eye when asking for patience because it has the talent to suggest there will be a reward waiting. Stephen Morris, in his first full season as starting quarterback, already is better than predecessor Jacory Harris ever was. Running back Duke Johnson and cornerback Tracy Howard, both true freshmen, embody a new wave of Canes with the potential to suggest (much) better days are coming. And Golden has a history of recruiting and turnarounds to present a track record on which to hang your faith.
The Dolphins are very young at the one position that matters disproportionately in the modern NFL: quarterback. Sunday accurately reflected that there will be growing pains as Ryan Tannehill develops. Growing pains because his being a receiver-turned-quarterback makes him inexperienced even by rookie-passer standards. And growing pains because Miamis lack of a premier No.1 receiver hampers Tannehills growth, fixing more of the burden on him. Youd be amazed how much better Tannehill would instantly be if he had, say, Andre Johnson at the end of those passes like Houston did Sunday.