Dave Barry

Dave Barry: Dolphins can’t win for losing in Sunday’s matchup with the Redskins

It’s crunch time, Miami sports fans.

The Washington Redskins play the Dolphins on Sunday, and there is a very real danger that the Dolphins could win. That would be a disastrous blow to the Dolphins’ goal of losing all their games this season so that next year they can draft a top-tier quarterback, ideally Tua Tagovailoa. (“Tua” is short for Tuanigamanuolepolahonoluluguacamole,” which is the Samoan word for “stud.”)

So far the Dolphins have managed to lose all their games, using a strategy of always scoring fewer total points than the opposing team. How have they been able to accomplish this? They have followed a two-step procedure:

Step One: Acquire a substantial number of high-quality, even Pro-Bowl-caliber players.

Step Two: Trade these players to other teams, thereby guaranteeing that they cannot possibly help the Dolphins score points.

As a result the Dolphins have developed a roster consisting of players who do not have a ton of NFL experience. Sometimes they face the wrong direction in the huddle, forcing the quarterback to waste valuable seconds manually turning them around.

So on paper, this is a Dolphins team that appears to be fully capable of running the table and putting together a perfect 0-16 season. But Sunday’s game will not be played on paper. It will be played in Formerly Joe Robbie Stadium in front of you, the estimated 38 fans still going to Dolphins games for some reason.

And I am warning you: Do not be overconfident. This is not a game the Dolphins can just waltz out there and lose without trying. These Redskins are not the New England Patriots, or even necessarily the New England Patriots cheerleaders. This is a Washington team that, even by Redskins standards, is bad. They’ve had a LOT of injuries, which has especially hurt their offense, because the players are having trouble holding onto the ball and their crutches at the same time.

In fact you could make the case that this Redskins team is actually worse than the Dolphins, because the Redskins have already managed to lose five games, while the Dolphins have lost only four. That means that if the NFL season were to end today, we would all be grateful. But it also means that the Dolphins would have failed in their effort to out-fail the rest of the league.

So Sunday’s game is shaping up to be a die-or-die clash between two underpowerhouses. Only one team can come away with the loss, unless the NFL referees screw things up even more than usual. It promises to be a tight, low-scoring or possibly no-scoring game, with each team giving 10 percent or less.

I wish I could be there in Formerly Stadium to watch the game personally, but unfortunately I can’t, because I am going to be on my sofa. But I’ll definitely be watching, along with many other interested people — including, I bet, Tua Tagovailoa, who could wind up on one of these teams. And who is probably seriously thinking about taking up golf.

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