The Dolphins have become the football Grinch who stole Christmas — or at least some of the joy of it — from their fans. I don’t have to tell you that. You’ve lived it. This time of year is when fans of good teams are sated, their holidays filled with playoffs, while fans of bad teams are out in the cold again.
Me telling Dolfans they have every right to feel disappointed is about as necessary as a political analyst telling residents of Syria their anxiety is well-founded.
I’d like to quantify it, though, with an update of what I like to call my NFL Fans’ Misery Index.
I add up the number of seasons since every team’s most recent Super Bowl victory and appearance, playoff victory and appearance, and winning season, starting with the 1970 merger and including this season. Those five categories are totaled to produce a Misery Index, the higher the number, the more fans of that team have a right to complain. The average of the 32 teams is 54.2.
The Most Miserable 10: Browns 125, Lions 118, Bills 105, Dolphins 102, Chiefs 102, Jets 98, Bengals 95, Vikings 88, Raiders 84 and Chargers 72.
(The Least Miserable 5 are Patriots 0, Seahawks 1, Packers 8, Ravens 9 and Steelers 10.)
How the Dolphins compare with the worst by category:
Super Bowl victory drought: The maximum is 46 years, meaning no championships in the SB era including this season. Bills, Chargers and Lions are the only teams at 46. Surprisingly, 10 teams in all exceed Miami’s 42-year drought.
Super Bowl appearance drought: Lions are the only team at 46. Miami’s 31-year drought is sixth longest.
Playoff victory drought: Bengals and Lions are tied for the worst at 24 seasons. Miami’s 15-year drought is fifth longest.
Playoff appearance drought: Bills are worst at 16 years. Miami’s seven-year drought is tied for seventh worst.
Winning season drought: Raiders are worst at 13 seasons. Miami’s seven-year drought is fifth worst.
The Dolphins’ drought of at least seven seasons in all five categories is something only the Browns, Jaguars, Raiders and Rams can also claim. So those are the guests at your holiday pity party, Dolfans. Merry Christmas!
▪ There are Pro Bowl snubs and dubious selections every season, but for me two stood out this year in the snubs category: the omissions of Bengals QB Andy Dalton and Dolphins safety Reshad Jones.
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▪ Las Vegas sees a five-team race for the Super Bowl right now via Bovada, with Patriots at 13-4 odds, Panthers 4-1, Seahawks 19-4 and Cardinals/Steelers both 13-2. Then it’s a big drop to Packers at 12-1.
▪ Panthers are now a betting favorite to end the regular season a perfect 16-0, at 5-8 odds, but still an underdog at 5-1 to finish 19-0.
▪ The Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin, main beneficiary of Russell Wilson’s hot streak, is only third WR with two or more TD catches in four games in a row, after Cris Carter (1995) and Calvin Johnson (2011).
▪ Rams RB Todd Gurley has five games of more than 125 yards. No rookie has had more since Eric Dickerson (seven) in 1983.