Thursday, June 14, 2007

The practice fields

As I've said many times in the past, Shula used to have practices near the fans.  back at St. Thomas, you could approach the players while they were practicing.  When they moved to Davie, they created a spectacular new facility, and the rules were more or less the same.  There was a fence, but it was more to keep people off the field.
Then came JJ.  He put up covering on the fence to keep prying eyes out.  He put up additional barriers to keep fans and players separate (for example, an area to get autographs became a fence with a slot, so they could keep the fans "away"...
He also did something important: he had the team usually practice on field 2, which is the farther field from the fans (the orange and grey section are the fan seats):
Dave continued the tradition, and Nick went even farther by limiting access to the practices themselves, and then building the practice bubble (which is now located behind the stands, under the Google navigation tool).
But, Cam has made a change to all that.  He repainted the fields, so that both of them have ends that face the stands.  He has at least some of the practices happening in front of people who came out.
Its the small things, baby, the small things...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The soap opera

This whole thing with Daunte is sooooo silly.  Its almost not worth commenting on, but how could I resist?
The Sentinel made a comment that the fans sympathy with Culpepper was puzzling.  I'll tell you why there's sympathy: its a way to show frustration about everything that's been wrong with the club over the last 5 years.  It has nothing to do with Daunte.  It has everything to do with wanting to hate the organization.
Anyway, on the situation itself, there has to be more than meets the eye here.  Why wasn't Daunte down here last year when he was first signed?  The team kept introducing him, but he was never actually there.  I think there may be something else happening there.
And the Phins are so, well, smug about the situation.  Why would the origanization not take the high road and release him, or even talk about him rather than letting it get it to this point.  I have to figure the Dolphins know something we don't.  Maybe Daunte is in some kind of trouble with the league?  Or maybe he (as the agent) didn't catch some nuance of the contract that gives the Phins some kind of an advantage, and Daunte is just a guy with a "bad attitude" ?
I just don't get it, and I have to figure there is something else happening here....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A little more about Daunte

We've heard a lot of stories about Daunte along the way.  But, we've also learned some things that seem to have some truth to them.
(1) Daunte wanted to come here to play for the team he watched growing up
(2) Nick wanted Daunte here because he better fit whatever it was Nick wanted
(3) There was some dicussion about whether Daunte should start.  Nick would have preferred to wait until Daunte was healthy, while Daunte was adamant he was ready to start
(4) To focus on playing, Daunte let up on his rehab
(5) During the season, Nick wanted to have Daunte take some time to focus on rehab, and benched him.
(6) Daunte 'blew up' and said he was fine and couldn't understand why he was being benched (that is, he didn't *get* just how poorly he was playing)
(7) Daunte has since thrown Nick under the bus and said everything was Nick's fault.   We applaud the sentiment of course, but that's not entirely true.  Its a two-way street and Daunte had a hand in this, too.
We can't blame management for wanting to rid themselves of a guy who behaves this way

Daunte's inferno

How many mistakes can you spot in Daunte's press release (written by the "agent" but distributed by the "player")
In 2004 when I broke Dan Marino's record for total yards in a season I remember wishing that I could have done it in Miami where people would have appreciated the feat. When the opportunity came to actually come here I worked tirelessly with Randy Mueller to make sure that I would be traded to Miami and no other team.
I adjusted my deal so that it would be best for the Dolphins because I wanted to be here that bad. Part of my frustration is that I now have to let go of a dream that has become a nightmare. Up until Wednesday I had every belief that I would have at least one more season to give the Dolphins organization and fans, so that they could see me do what they all expected from me. Unfortunately that is not going to happen in a Dolphins uniform.
I want to thank the Dolphins organization for providing me a job while I have been in the difficult process of regaining my health from the two knee injuries. I also want to thank my former teammates for their encouragement during the long process of rehabilitation. I was looking forward to showing them my progress on the field during this minicamp. I am especially thankful that I have had an opportunity to spend the last year with my mother here in Florida before she passed away. If that was the only reason I was traded to Miami then it was well worth the time I got to spend with her.
I am now waiting for the Dolphins management to do what is right and fair by granting my release so that I can find a team that will appreciate my talent and love for the game of football. I do not want to cause any disruption while I wait, so I will only be at the facility in order to run and lift. What happened yesterday in the team meeting and on the field was unfair to both me and my teammates. The NFLPA legal department is reviewing the situation and Gene Upshaw has encouraged me to continue to be patient and professional.
There are several in here, but the biggest - by far - is the opening comment about him breaking Marino's record.   Uhhhh, Dan threw for 5084 in 1984, while Daunte's total was 4717 yards in 2004.
What does that tell us? He was "living the dream" while playing here, but didn't know what the dream was?  He can't count?  Whatever, dude. 

Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.
Stuff like this will ensure that if you are not traded, you will also not be released until its Miami's best interest, not yours.

This is kind of annoying

I'm tired of hearing about the feud between the NFL and Comcast about the NFL Network.  The NFL charges a premium price for the NFL Network, and Comcast wants to put it on a premium tier.   Both sides show some obnoxious behavior.  But, the NFL is more annoying in their complaint that you might not be able to see it, and *you* should fight on the NFL's behalf, so you can get the channel.
Why am I annoyed by this?  I do not live in a city that is served by Comcast.  But, I do have a cable company that only offers NFL Network on another tier, which I'm not going to pay for.  And, in my case, the company is so small that the NFL doesn't care.