Dolphins fans are fed up.
And evidence, during this most disappointing of seasons, is everywhere.
Simply turn on sports-talk radio at any time of the day. The morning after a loss is particularly vitriolic.
This isn’t anything new. Seven years out of the playoffs would dispirit any fan base.
But what the franchise must guard against is when anger turns to apathy.
They might have reached that danger zone. Fans already have begun talking with their wallets — and their free time. The local rating for last Sunday’s loss to the Chargers of 11.8 was embarrassingly low.
Sunday’s Dolphins-Colts game was supposed to be a playoff preview. Instead, it looks more like a jockeying for draft position.
The Dolphins (5-9) have been out of the playoff hunt for weeks. The Colts (6-8) would almost certainly be eliminated with a loss.
Put simply: This game is a dud.
And Dolphins fans have noticed.
Late in the week, box-office tickets remained unsold for the lower and upper levels at Sun Life Stadium.
But that’s just the beginning.
More than 2,000 seats were available on StubHub alone — the team prefers ticket holders to resell through TicketMaster’s exchange — with the cheapest get-in price coming in under $40. Lower-bowl tickets could be had for less than $100.
Late in the week, the Miami Herald conducted a Twitter poll.
The question: If you had tickets to Sunday’s game, would you go?
More than half of the hundreds to cast a vote said no.
In fairness, the poll was far from scientific. It’s easy to say you wouldn’t go when you have nothing financially invested. And many of the comments attached were supportive of the franchise.
But plenty of the others were not.
“I wouldn’t go if they were playing in my backyard,” one wrote. “I’d pull the curtains.”
Added another: “Who cares about the season anymore? Just tank.”
(The conversation of whether the Dolphins would be better served by losing out to improve their draft position — they’re currently in the No. 7 slot — is one for another day.)
This isn’t to say Sun Life Stadium will be empty Sunday. But it might not be full — and it certainly wouldn’t be close to it had the team not shaved some 10,000 seats off capacity this year.
Even the organization is thinking of better days.
Interim coach Dan Campbell all but acknowledged that when asked what the team’s motivation is these final two weeks.
“You have to build for 2016 at this point,” Campbell said.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill said that winning a game is all the motivation he needs.
But why should fans come out for the final two games?
“We’re going to go out there and play our hearts out,” Tannehill said. “As competitors, that’s what we’re here to do — go out, play the game we love and play the game to win, and we’re going to do that.”
Said Campbell: “Who are the guys you are looking to step up next year and lead this team and that are going to be productive players for us? What does the future hold? You’re coming out to see those guys perform.”
▪ The Dolphins elevated cornerback Tyler Patmon from their practice squad. To make room, they cut defensive end Jordan Williams.