Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, earlier this week: “I have a good team.”
A chorus of everybody else on Earth, right now: “No. No, you really don’t.”
Dolphins pregame hype video Sunday on the Jumbotron screens: “WE READY.”
Result of game to follow: NOPE. YOU NOT READY.
Miami just lost its season opener, at home, to the Baltimore Ravens by 59-10, in the single worst, most inept home performance in franchise history.
And the Dolphins today deserve to be:
A) Eviscerated for that thoroughly embarrassing, humiliating performance; or
Maybe some of both?
Welcome to the weirdest season ever. This is the team some Dolfans -- the Tank for Tua crowd -- were hoping for. Well, be careful what you wish for.
The Miami Hurricanes are 0-2 for the first time since 1978.
Maybe the Dolphins were put on Earth to make Canes fans feel better?
We have just set sail on what could be the longest season in the Fins’ 54-year history. I am already imagining some fans might gladly wish away the next four months of their lives to make this the end of the season instead of just the beginning. Or maybe hope to wake up the morning of the 2020 draft, when a franchise quarterback will be the presumed grand prize.
You wanted to be bad to get that No. 1 overall pick, Tankers. But did you think it would be this bad?
At least all of your worst fears can be dismissed now. You thought Miami might accidentally be too good to get their franchise QB next spring? Rest easy. Sunday left little doubt.
“It’s never good to be embarrassed like that,” noted quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. “We just need to play better -- which is an understatement.”
At one point during a timeout they had one of those patriotic tributes to a military person.
I think it was to temporarily stop Dolfans from booing.
Miami trailed so quickly the national anthem and military flyover had barely ended.
The Dolphins gave up plays of 49, 47, 83, 33 and 60 yards. And that was just In the first half.
By this time NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should have signed an emergency executive order instituting a mercy rule to end this game early.
Activists from PETA should have deployed outside the stadium to picket the cruel and inhumane treatment of Dolphins.
Especially after Ravens coach John Harbaugh called a fake punt that succeeded (of course) and led to a 42-3 lead. On the bright side, in an epiphany of sportsmanship Harbaugh did not call for either a 2-point conversion or an onside kick.
Flores, to his credit, did not rail against Harbaugh, instead saying, “It’s our job to stop them. It’s not their job to let up.”
(Quick aside: Little in sports is funnier, or sadder, than watching Dolphins cheerleaders continuing to do the whole smiling, leg-kicking pom-pon routine while down 42-3).
Would-be QB savior Josh Rosen got into the game late in the third quarter. And quickly threw an interception. About all that went right for Miami Sunday was that the cursed game eventually ended.
(To be fully transparent, I am ashamed to admit I actually predicted the Dolphins would win in a big upset. That Kool-Aid I drank had a weird flavor, come to think of it. I’m starting to feel a little nauseous).
Everything about this franchise continues seeped in nostalgia, in wistfulness for what was.
The team is wearing helmet decals this season for Nick Buoniconti and Jim Langer, the recently fallen pillars of the glory days. A pregame video commemorating the NFL’s 100th season depicted the 1972 Dolphins’ annual champagne toast when the last unbeaten team loses. Sunday’s honorary captains were oldies A.J. Duhe and Dick Anderson.
Few franchises in all of sports are more beholden to their past for the utter lack of anything recent worth cheering.
This season is to be the start of the hard change. The ground-up reboot.
These Dolphins are babies. The roster includes 11 rookies, 15 guys who had never appeared in a regular season NFL game, and 27 players (of 53) in their third pro year or less. Soon enough, Flores will come to his senses and start 22-year-old Rosen at quarterback instead of Fitzpatrick, 36 -- the only move that runs wholly opposite the franchise’s youth movement.
A stockpile of 2020 draft picks and free agency spending money give Miami hope for fast improvement.
Tomorrow will get here. Someday will. Better days will.
Meantime, Sunday looked like this could be the single worst team in Dolphins history. Worse than the 2007 squad that went 1-15. Worse than any of the 1966-69 expansion Dolphins.
A loss like this one can make seasons unravel. Linebacker Jerome Baker spoke of the concern over a snowball effect.
“You can’t be mad at anybody but yourself,” he said. “It’s a wakeup call. We’re all we’ve got.”
It can’t possibly get any worse for the Dolphins than it was Sunday, but even if it does, for this team, in this season, in this situation, there is that silver lining in abject awfulness.
So, on the bright side, Miami catches a schedule break next week with the arrival of the NFL champion Patriots, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the debut of Antonio Brown.
The Dolphins look like the worst team around but that only means they are leading the league in the 2020 draft, and all of its magic panacea that teases us so.