Monday, September 18, 2017

Gase's Decision on Timmons will Shape Season (and Possibly his Tenure)

    The Dolphins win games like the one yesterday due to chemistry.  Make no mistake, that game  was won by the more optimistic, joyful, and confident group of men.  As I sat and watched our players sprint the field after the kick went wide (from my seat it had initially looked good) I felt a wave of genuine emotion, pride, and mutual respect among our players.
     Coach Gase is to be commended for building a winning culture, one that is giving Dolphins fans back our pride.  I had written that the game in LA would be at neutral site, and I may have been slightly wrong: that was quite nearly a home game. Our fans were in voice, optimistic, and present.
      Gase has given us our team back through making great decisions about the culture of our team. His model has been fairly clear:  give everyone a chance to earn their keep, run off dead weight, and emphasize high character guys.  Doing so has built a reliable locker room, one that believes in itself and has the professionalism to do what it takes to win.
    Lawrence Timmons therefore seems to have disrespected our core values as a team.  We will all wait for some explanation, but I don't think there is any doubt that our team's leadership was blind-sided by a player's personal decisions.  And now there will be the necessity of drawing a conclusion about how best to protect the culture and team Gase is building.
    The knee-jerk response is "you broke the rules we value, please pack your bags." But this situation may offer a better alternative.  There are times when any great leader must step above the model he has built.  Everyone knows by now what Gase values in his team; might this be an opportunity to wisely invest some of that cultural capital in a second chance?
    Timmons seems the right man to bet on.  Younger players see themselves at career's end in this linebacker warrior.  He seems to do everything right (see consecutive starts and think about the maintenance and discipline such a streak requires).  Here, in his moment of weakness, will the team pick him up, a younger man might wonder?
    Gase may have to move beyond his coaching philosophy here in order to make a decision that benefits all.  And his doing so may make his team see that they are following a flesh and blood man, who understands the importance of rules, but also understands bonds of brotherhood, perhaps enough to forgive another man who seems to have forgotten- or at least de-prioritized- those bonds on a single afternoon.
     Every player in that locker room has made mistakes; every coach has too.  Perhaps this is a moment to show that we can be there, with open arms, for a brother who let us down, but who is still our brother?

Jay Lopez

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dolphins Open Season at Neutral Site

    Four months ago the Chargers unveiled their new logo at Staples Center in LA during an NBA game.  It seemed to make sense: connect with a new fan base that is excited to adopt its new favorite sons.  The logo flashed.  The fans responded.
    With boos- so many boos.  I laughed out loud- it was pretty hilarious.
    I am attending tomorrow's game in Carson.  It will be played in the home of the LA Galaxy, where twenty thousand vaguely committed hipsters pretend to know something of the world's most popular sport.  In between derivative songs, the fan base mills about in a pretty, airy, lazy stadium that is about as intense as a coffee bean at three in the afternoon.
     I bought my ticket to the game last night.  I scrolled around for about an hour browsing options.  I am not making this up.  I will Lyft to the game and possibly Lyft home, since cars can pretty much pull up in front of the stadium. My buddy (also a Dolphins fan) is planning on "parking in the neighborhood."
     So the good news about the Dolphins opener is that it is also the Chargers "home" opener- and LA's second team may feel very much like a jv team playing before the varsity game.  The Dolphins need a break after all the storm related scurrying, and the Home Depot Center/ Stub Hub Center may be that needed break.
     If any of you out there are Dolphins fans attending this game, give a shout.  You will hear me tomorrow.  I'll be the guy actually excited to see my team.  And chances are, I'll stand out.  Phins up.

Jay Lopez

   

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

London calling

Stephen Ross apparently listened and wants to have a home game back, so he asked the NFL. But predictably, they said no.  Gotta build that brand. They're keeping the game in London.

Read more here http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article172562961.html

For what it's worth, this all boils down to money. The NFL gets more exposure, and a larger cut of the ticket sales in a game overseas.  The dolphins get a cut as the home team, but it's not as much as Ross could make from ticket sales, concessions and parking.

BTW, we are told that there is some damage to the roof of the stadium, but none of it is structural and it should be repaired before the delayed home opener in a few weeks.


Friday, September 08, 2017

The dolphins have left the building...

as I sit here and wait for Irma, I'm just catching up on various news, and reading random stories. Here's one about the fins heading west to prep for their game next week.  There's a picture of the bubble deflated in there, too.

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/hurricane-irma-dolphins-will-practice-in-los-angeles-jaguars-to-stay-in-houston/

If you are in Irmas path, please stay safe.  Preparation is key.

And on an unrelated note, I should apologize for stirring the proverbial pot with the Bennett statement.  I found it interesting and wanted to pass it along, but it took on a life of its own.  We now return to your regularly scheduled programming. 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Michael Bennett's statement

As an NFL player who had an encounter with the police, I thought his words were worth sharing.


Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Flashback

Heres an article from 1992, when the Dolphins postponed their home opener against the patriots. 

And keep in mind that for a period of time in the mid to late 90s (before the Browns rejoined the league), there were only 31 teams. So the NFL had to have either 1 or 3 teams with a bye each week. So one team had the unfortunate problem of having a bye in week 1, and having to play 16 straight. 

There have also been a few instances in recent years where stadium construction dragged into the season, meaning teams couldn't play a home game until several weeks into the season. 

So while the bigger concern about Irma is safety for everyone, the decision to make the bye week 1, to not be at home for a while, and postpone a game does have a precedent. 

New date for Bucs-Dolphins

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS-MIAMI DOLPHINS GAME TO BE PLAYED IN WEEK ​11 ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19
Due to the potential impact of Hurricane Irma on South Florida, the Miami Dolphins home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, originally scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Hard Rock Stadium, will instead be played there in Week 11 on Sunday, November 19, the NFL announced today.
Week 11 was previously an open date for both clubs. 
The NFL announced yesterday that in the interest of public safety in light of the continuing state of emergency, the league, in consultation with state and local officials as well as both clubs, would not play an NFL game in South Florida this week. 
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the impacted area.
For more from NFL Communication​s, visit NFLCommunications.com and follow @NFL345.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Update on Bucs-Dolphins game

UPDATE RE: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS-MIAMI DOLPHINS GAME
Due to the potential impact of Hurricane Irma on South Florida, the Miami Dolphins home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, originally scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Hard Rock Stadium, will not be played in Miami on Sunday, the NFL announced today. 
In the interest of public safety in light of the current state of emergency, the NFL, in consultation with state and local officials as well as both clubs, has decided that playing an NFL game in South Florida this week is not appropriate. 
The league will continue to examine other options, including playing the game this Sunday at a neutral site or in Miami later this season, and will provide an update on that decision as soon as possible.
For more from NFL Communication​s, visit NFLCommunications.com and follow @NFL345.