Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Dolphin Duds Could Be Epically Bad

These days, the sports pages are a forum for debating the greatness of the New England Patriots: Is Tom Brady a better quarterback than Joe Montana and John Elway combined?

Is he better looking than Cary Grant and Brad Pitt? Does Bill Belichick have the most brilliant football mind since Knute Rockne? Is he more ruthless than Josef Stalin?

Can the Patriots be the first team in 35 years to go undefeated?

I am tired of arguing whether or not the Pats rightly belong on the right side of the Father. Instead of pondering whether New England is capable of running the table, I think we should be asking if the Miami Dolphins can go defeated.

The Dolphins, at 0-7, are the polar opposite of the Patriots. They are floundering, hurt, and hopeless. They are worse than CSI: iami. They haven’t been this bad since Ace Ventura searched for Snowflake. No team has gone winless since the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976, but the `07 Fins may drop the bar of futility to a new level.

Things were bad when Miami dropped their first four games in a row. They got worse when quarterback Trent Green was declared out for the season after suffering his 2,987th career concussion in a loss to Houston earlier this month. And they took a turn for the surreal last Sunday when Brady bombed six touchdowns on Head Coach Cam Cameron’s defense and tailback Ronnie Brown ended his season with a torn ACL.

“I could be in Iraq,” Miami defensive end Jason Taylor said after the team’s beat-down Sunday. “I try to find somehow to make myself feel better.”

We should have known that this was coming when Miami’s former star quarterback, Daunte Culpepper, jumped ship during training camp – for the Oakland Raiders. The three-time Pro Bowl passer could see a shipwreck on the horizon and decided playing for a team that had finished 2-14 in 2006 with a 32-year-old head coach was a better gig. Turns out he was right (Oakland drubbed the Fins 35-17 on Sept. 30).

You have to wonder just what the Miami front office was thinking when they passed on Brady Quinn when taking their ninth pick in last April’s draft. Miami would still be struggling with a rookie under center, but at least they would have someone to lead the reconstruction of their wrecked franchise.

Instead, they are left with wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., an electrifying playmaker who has been bottled up all season and will probably leave town as soon as his contract allows it, and a hapless vagabond of a quarterback, Cleo Lemon. Ginn, who made a habit of running back kicks for touchdowns as an Ohio State Buckeye, has reached the end zone only once – on a 96-yard runback, which was promptly called back for holding.

This week, Miami heads to Great Britain for a game with the New York Giants at Wembley Stadium, a trip that allowed the sunny-minded Taylor to continue to look on the bright side.

“Well, we can’t win in America,” said Taylor, the defending NFC Defensive player of the year. “Maybe we can win overseas.”

Maybe. But something tells me that after last Sunday’s 49-28 mop-up by the Pats, a week of jet-lag and Marmite sandwiches are not what the doctor ordered.

After they watch Giants defensive end Usi Umenyiora eat Lemon alive on Sunday, the English will probably be just as dissatisfied with the Dolphins and football as we are with David Beckham and “football.”

The schedule doesn’t get any easier after the Fins float back to shore. They still have to go on the road to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New England, as well as face the ominous Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens at home.

Maybe something crazy will save the Dolphins from the nets of terminal mediocrity. Maybe Ricky Williams will emerge from a Funyun-scented fog finally looking like the guy that won the 1998 Heisman.

Maybe Coach Cameron will find a way to take Lemon and make lemonade. Maybe, in a cruel twist of irony, Bob Greise, Larry Csonka, and the rest of the 16-0 1972 Dolphins will somehow orchestrate an upset of the Pats when the Fins play them again two nights before Christmas. Seems unlikely.

In “Only Wanna Be With You,” Hootie and the Blowfish sang the immortal line, “I’m such a baby the dolphins make me cry.”

This football season, there are a lot of grown men weeping on South Beach.

Harlan Goode is a senior in the College and features editor for THE HOYA. He can be reached at goodethehoya.com.

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