For Dolphins greats Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas, think of Sundays Honor Roll induction as a reward for what at times must have seemed like careers of unending misery.
My mental snapshot of the two defensive stalwarts, friends and brothers in law is taken from yet another losing postgame lockerroom, with Taylor seated over there, slumped, a white towel draped over his shaved head, and Thomas about 10 paces away, eye-black still on, half angry and half fighting tears.
Sunday, theyll both be grinning like Joe Biden in a vice-presidential debate.
Thats the thing about retirement. The losses stop. But I did the math, and these two endured a lot of them. Imagine how many more if not for their own heroics?
Taylors career record as a Dolphin was 105-111 including what few playoffs there were. Thomas was 100-99. The last eight years of their era were bereft of any playoffs. Since 2004 the record was 33-63 for Taylor, and 20-44 for Thomas.
Yet they excelled in the mediocrity or worse that surrounded them.
And Sunday they become the first Honor Roll inductees from what I would call the franchises current (post-Dan Marino) era, considering both arrived as the Marino years were ebbing.
Through no fault of their own fate gave neither man even a sniff of a Super Bowl.
Sunday theyll have the consolation of franchise immortality, and appreciation.
Those smiles will have been earned, indeed.
• Stephen Weiss overtime goal lifted the Panthers over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday night in Floridas regular-season opener. (Sorry. Just imagining how it might have been if the NHL lockout wasnt dragging on and on).
• American mens soccer team trained in Miami this week for its critical World Cup qualifying matches Friday in the Caribbean against Antigua and Barbuda, a 2-1 victory. Im not sure who either Antigua or Barbuda were, but there was no way those two guys were going to beat the U.S.
• Yankees advanced to ALCS after benching slumping Alex Rodriguez. Team won behind strong pitching from C.C. Sabathia, who dominated the Os despite it later being determined a family of four had been living inside his baggy uniform pants.
• The more time passes the more it seems Jeffrey Loria will stick with manager Ozzie Guillen. Marlins fans still trying to decide dif thats good news or not.
• Penn State pedophile Jerry Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to at least 30 years for sexually abusing 10 boys. Dear Jerry: When you finally are released at age 98 in 2042, therell be an angry mob waiting outside the prison to beat the crap out of you.
• College footballs first Bowl Championship Series standings will be released Sunday. The teams ranked Nos. 1-2 and their fans love the BCS. Everybody else, not so much.
• Heat star Dwyane Wade is featured in a new NBA video explaining what flopping is. Cant say Im surprised. Even in interviews, Wade is known to theatrically fall down if he doesnt like a question.
• It was Midnight Madness (or down here closer to Midnight Mildness) as UM mens basketball team opened practice. Beforehand coach Jim Larranaga conducted a fantasy camp for men ages 35 and older where, for $2,500, Larranaga would tell the wealthy campers how impressed he was by their mad skills.