The Dolphins and the NFL

I’ve been around now and again and less than I’d like, so forgive me if I go over some older stuff.

After the latest season in the National Football League, the Miami Dolphins, the team I root for (though, given their record for the past twenty some years I wonder why) fired head coach Brian Flores despite having a pretty good run during his three years run.

To be clear: It wasn’t a spectacular run, but given the fact that the first year the Dolphins essentially unloaded every player of any worth they had, he has managed to overachieve with regard to the teams he’s had to work with.

This last year began pretty badly. While they won their first game against New England, they then went on to lose 7 games in a row, including losses to such “lesser” teams as Jacksonville.

But then, starting on November 7th and against the Houston Texans, they had a stunning turn around and wound up winning 7 games in a row, a tough feat to begin with, and achieved a record no team had to date: To lose 7 games in a row and win 7 games in a row in a single season!

Alas, those early loses would figure into their playoff chances and truthfully they had no margin for error in their last two games. They had a chance, certainly, but they needed to beat the Buffalo Bills in week 17 and simply could not. The Bills, much as I don’t like to admit it, are a powerhouse and they look to have a very bright future, even if they didn’t make it to the Superbowl this year.

Anyway, by the time the next, and last game of the season rolled around, it didn’t matter if they won or lost. They beat The New England Patriots once again and finished the season with a decent 9 and 8 record, slightly above average but clearly not enough.

What was surprising was that Brian Flores, whose ultimate record after three years as Head Coach was 24-25, was subsequently fired.

Then, things got ugly.

Brian Flores, after a few interviews with other teams, came out and stated the owner of the Dolphins, Stephen M. Ross, offered him $100,000 each game lost. He also presented some damning tweets between he and New England Patriots head coach Brian Belichick.

In those tweets, Mr. Belichick mistook Mr. Brian Flores for Brian Daboll and congratulated him on getting the New York Giants head coaching job… when Mr. Flores was scheduled to -but had not yet had- an interview with them!

In other words, Mr. Flores claimed this proved that the Daboll hiring was a done deal and the interview to come with him was a sham, a way of getting around the Rooney Rule (which forces NFL teams to interview minority coaches) when they had absolutely no intention of hiring Flores for the job.

Anyway, Jomills H. Braddock II and Alex R. Piquero have a good article regarding this whole affair here:

What the case of fired Dolphins coach Brian Flores says about the NFL today

Now, some of the accused, including Stephen Ross, have denied any wrongdoing and deny Mr. Flores’ accusations.

Other than being a fan of the team, I have no knowledge of the ins and outs of the organization other than watching them play their games during the season.

Yet I will say this: The Dolphins have, unfortunately, been a team that has all too consistently in the past few years been a disappointment, a huge turnaround considering that during the 1970’s they were a powerhouse, winning two SuperBowls and having their “Perfect” season, and during the 1980’s they were a consistently upper tier team under Dan Marino and Don Shula.

It seems like things went downhill pretty quickly when Don Shula was replaced with Jimmy Johnson -who came off a terrific run with the Dallas Cowboys but who seemed overwhelmed and uninterested in running another team- and when Dan Marino retired.

Watching Marino during his golden years was like watching magic. I loved those years, even if in the end they only reached the SuperBowl once… and lost to the San Francisco 49ers.

That match up, way back in 1985, was the last time my beloved team went to the SuperBowl. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s 37 years ago.


Anyway, now we have Mike McDaniel being hired to coach the team. He previously worked with the San Francisco 49ers and there may be something, I don’t know, weirdly interesting in that particular hiring, given the 49ers were the team that defeated us the last time we were in the SuperBowl.

Will he do well? Will controversy continue to follow the team and/or will Brian Flores’ lawsuit gain traction?

I don’t know.

Regardless, its a tough situation for me, a fan of the team.

I do wonder if, within what’s left of my lifetime, I’ll ever see my beloved team once again in the SuperBowl.