Friday, October 12, 2007

Dream a Little Dream

       By Pat Catello

 

 

 

 

There’s that dream; the one were you have to go somewhere, but no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem get there. Mickey Mantle once said he had one, a Yankee version of it, were he must get inside the stadium for a big game, but instead, he is outside the gates of the ballpark, and although he tirelessly tries, he just can’t seem to open them. Then there is the one just like in the movie “Groundhog Day,” when you seem to be reliving the same day over and over again, and despite efforts to change things along the way; you are left with reliving the chain of events right back from the beginning.

 

 I had one of these dreams the other day, the Miami Dolphin version I guess. They started the season off in Washington against the Redskins, and throughout a hard fought game, I found myself reliving the horrid image of John Riggins and the offensive line of the hogs running all over the exhausted, undersized Dolphin defense. An overtime field goal and a bitter loss rang through my head, but refreshingly, the day would start over. However this time the opponent had changed, it was now the Dallas Cowboys, and this time they would come to South Florida; where the sun plays havoc on opposing teams, and the heat melts the tourists, leaving a wake of perspiration and a trail that leads to home team dominance. Only something went wrong – it was the Dolphins themselves that seemed out of breath, exhausted, and struggling to grasp what little air was left to consume. And just in case I missed it, there was Terrell Owens in the west endzone with an imaginary video camera in hand, rolling film and capturing the one sided debacle for me to re- live, over and over again. But why fret? I am beginning to get the hang of how this really works, and sure enough, it starts over again, only this time we are at the Meadowlands, taking on the division rival Jets. I was just starting to feel confident, like this time the dream was going to have different results, when out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of Leon Washington finishing off a 98 yard kickoff return and 70,000 plus Jets fans echoing J.E.T.S …. Jets Jets Jets! Forget this, get me out of here, let’s roll a new scenario. How about the Raiders, yes the Oakland Raiders, that team with such a terrible season last year, they were given the 1st pick of the draft for this season. Bring them in; this will surely get things turned around. Who is that guy? He looks familiar, like when you have something from your past and then incorporate it into your new dream. I think I just put Daunte Culpepper in my dream. He is playing for the Raiders now, and through the courtesy of what was tagged as the most porous offensive line in Pro football, is doing that dance in the endzone, the one he does on that video game, where he keeps turning his forearms around and around and around…. Oh brother, this can’t be happening. Let me get up, clear my head and get a glass of water. I think I have figured out the problem, I have too many past events in my head, and I am bringing them into my current dreams. So let me pick a team and a place where the history is relatively new. Oh yes, this is much better, it seems as though we are in Houston, and the Texans are today’s nemesis. I can already tell things are going to be better because there is Zack Thomas, and although he was not in my last two dreams, he is back today. There’s Jason Taylor, back in form, a sack and now a forced fumble. I guess it was just a matter of perseverance, making changes until the day works out the way it was meant to be. Here comes our kicker Jay Feeley on the field. He has been perfect and now he will try a 56-yard field goal to put us in the lead and on our way to a brand new day, one with “Victory” stamped on it. Wait, there is a time out flashed by the official - that’s O.K., no worries, I have been seeing more and more of this in the league lately. The defensive team calls a timeout right before the kick, to “Ice” the kicker and in some cases even make the offense re-attempt the kick. This is odd, it seems as though the Dolphins have called the timeout? Now the Dolphin punter is coming on the field and the Texan offense is getting ready to start a last minute drive. I close my eyes tightly as they are now bringing in their kicker to attempt a 57 yard kick, it is long enough, straight enough, “Oh no, not again!” 

 

I quickly look for my list of teams and pick a new one. Cleveland, yes, this seems right. Not an easy team to beat by any stretch, but a team we should be able to beat if we perform like we are capable of. Here is a chance to put the “Dog Pound” in their place, and get things back on track. The whistle blows, opening kickoff is in the air, and the game is about to begin. I can hear the alarm clock buzzing in the background, I toss and I turn. This must be the end of the nightmare, time is at hand, and I can feel it. I HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON ONE MORE TIME, READY TO END THIS DREAM AND FACE REALITY!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Radio show press release

Big Papa Pump and The Phinatic are joining a new network of online dolfan radio programs and their first show airs LIVE night at 7:30pm Eastern time!!!! The show is called Dolfan Talk with Big Papa Pump .

The network will be known as Phinfever Radio and some of you may have already heard the PhinFever Live show that has been airing on Sunday nights. The plan is to change that to a pre-game and post-game show so look for news on that soon.

The network will also feature the witty Bitchin Dave on Friday nights.  On Wednesday nights there will be a phins.com show with Risa, a female host that knows her football better than most men, and will be co-hosted by phins.com founder Curt Fennell.

More additions will be announced soon!

The show tomorrow night will feature Dolphin discussion between BPP and myself followed by callers. Anyone can call in and get in on the action!!! We may have some special guests too, but that is more likely to happen after a show or two. In fact, the plan is to have lots of special guests like current players, former players, and other people in the Dolphin World!

www.PhinFeverRadio.com

Spread the word to your dolfan friends!

I suck

The only consolation I can take is that I'm doing better than the Dave over at Finatics. But, I'mm still getting stomped by the mascot!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dolphins-Bills game

The Dolphins are offering a special promotion for the Bills game... Take a look!

Flyer

More on the radio show

Dave's Bitchin' will be teaming up with the folks at Phinatics.com and Phinfever.com to produce radio content.  Big Papa Pump will be doing a show, the Phinatic will have a show, I'll be doing a show, and hopefully, we'll get a few others involved as well.
 
The first show will be tomorrow, featuring Big Papa.  Check back to get all the details on how to get in on the action...

Season tickets

I hear more and more people are giving up on the phins, whether they have season tickets or not.  I saw a published report a week or so ago that suggested Miami's season ticket sales fell off 11%, as compared with last year.
 
And I noticed at the Cowboys and Raiders games seemed to have a lot of the opposing team's fans in the stands.  I would guesstimate at least 1/3 were from the other team.  I'll be curious when the Patriots come to town if it appears more like 50%!
 
So, while the tickets are all being sold, lots of fans are coming to see *their* team play, and beat the Dolphins.

Say what?

Okay, so the knucklehead who knocked out Trent Green was not fined or suspended by the league.  I'm guessing that while Trent's hit was legal, they didn't want to engage in any sort of discussion about how to define what's a fineable offense, because Trent "led with his head"....
 
So, be that as it may, I wanted to go back to the comments by this guy, and find the humor in it:
 
(1) he talked about Green being the "Scarecrow."  Seems that he was referring to the <i>Wizard of Oz</i>, which would indicate that he meant the "Cowardly Lion."
 
(2) He talked about how "god don't like ugly."  Trent's a decent looking guy, I suppose.  I wouldn't think he was considered "ugly"....so we have no idea what he meant by that!

Looking back

THe Phins and Texans had only met twice, prior to this Sunday's game. So, for our look back, we're going reach way back to their first meeting in 2003.

You may remember that after warmups some Dolphins player said to some Texans player "see you after practice." And thus the Texans were motivated to beat what probably was a superior Dolphins team.

Yeah, and that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Football 119


Buffalo had a 4th and short that was interesting from a playcall standpoint.

They called a power rush, where the 2 of the offensive linemen, and the tight end simply blocked the guy in the front of them. But, the center and left guard went very low on their respective men to create a means for the running back to get through.

Then, they had the right guard come into the spot, followed by the fullback. That cleared out anyone else in the way.

Finally, the tailback got the ball and was able to dive into the opening for an easy first down.

It was well executed, and demonstrated what power rushing is really all about.

Football 118

Next up is Buffalo's fake punt. Essentially, the players lined up in a punt formation, but the punter intentionally took the ball and ran for a first down. The only clue that it was a fake comes from the formation on the left of the screen. The formation is a little unusual for a punt. But, otherwise, there's no tipping.

I've illustrated how the play should be run. But, as the play started, one of the defenders got a rush up the field, and that forced the punter to change directions a little. The blocks were all good, and he only needed 4 yards, so it worked out.


Football 117


I was so pissed after the Dolphins game that I deleted the recording. Then, about an hour later, I was thinking about a couple of plays...but it was too late.

So, this week, I'm going to talk about the Bills and Cowboys game (why not? Its football isn't it?).

My thanks go to ESPN, the NFL, and the Bills on these.

The first play I want to look at is the 1st interception return for a TD. I thought Ron Jaworski did a nice job of breaking down the play, so the annotations are his. The idea on offense for the Cowboys was to create an area for the TE to run into, and have Romo throw him the ball for what might be a bog gain.

The safeties had deep responisbility, and moved to cover the wideouts on either side. That left the middle open, and the TE ran the route indicated. But Romo threw a bit of an errant pass, and the LB standing on the near hashmark at the 7 picked off the ball, and dashed into the endzone.

That's the kind of night Dallas was having early on...

Monday Night Football

I stayed up and watched the game between the Bills and the Cowboys, and while I found it entertaining, I felt like I was watching the Dolphins against almost anyone....The Dolphins, errr, Bills, took the lead, and you could almost sense that they would find a way to lose.
 
They threw a pick with just over two minutes left when they were in the redzone.  Yes, they did geta 5th pick off Romo a few plays later, but had they simply run on the play with the pick, there might not have been any clock left for the miracle finish.  This is where coaching *does* matter.
 
I liked what I saw in Trent Edwards.  He was the QB taken after Beck.  He's starting, and making good decisions.  And we're not seeing Beck because.....why, exactly?
 
The officials in this game did a better job than the ones did in the Miami game.  Take the Cowboy's plays after the failed two point attempt:
* They line up for the onside kick.  A Dallas player intentionally bats the ball down the field, to get away from the rush. It was recovered by Dallas.  When I saw it, I was thinking (a) that the player who touched it may not have gone 10 yards, and (b) he illegally batted the ball forward. 
* The officials conferred and it was reviewed.  They found that he was at the 10 yard mark, and they brought the ball back to the point at which it was batted.  So, they got the call right.
* On the first play, Romo threw downfield to Owens.  They rushed to the line and snapped the ball and spiked it.  In this case, I noticed the players had not set when the ball was snapped.  So, I'm wondering why there's no flag.  The result should have been a runoff of the one second, and the game would end.
* But, the officals ruled that they got a signal to review the Owens catch *before* the snap.  So, they were going to review it.
* I personally believe they blew this call, because they allowed the next play to get off.  In fact, the game should have ended because once the next play is blown dead, you can't review the previous play and "put time back on the clock"
* Turns out that TO did drop the ball, and they brought it back, and put time on the clock.  Weird.
* There was a pass out of bounds
* There was a second pass out of bounds.
* The kicker knocks it through, but the old timeout routine is used.
* The kicker knocks it through a second time.
* And there was a flag on the play for defensive offsides, which was declined.
 
All of this happened in 20 or so football seconds, which was more like 20 minutes of real time.  And the officials mostly got it right, which impressed me.
 
One of my points here, though, is that the Bills had to have a dozen things go wrong for them to lose. and all of them conspired to do so.  How Dolphin-like.  I guess when things are bad, they're bad all around.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Weekly radio show

Everyone - I'm considering doing a weekly call-in radio show. I'm curious: what do my regulars think? And is there anything you'd like to hear on a show?

Email me at Dave@bitchindave.com and tell me what you think.

A couple of game notes

* I believe Miami blew it when they decided to punt with 2 minutes left. They need a win, and punting it away is not the way to get it. Yes, its a long field goal, but come on!

* I thought on the series leading up to that didn't give Cleo his best chance to win the game. Yes, he had trouble completing passes because the Texans were throwing odd looks at him. But, its up to the coaches to help Cleo, and they didn't. I might extend that to most of the second half.

* After the field goal, the Houston players were celebrating. The announcers were right: the officials should have thrown a flag for excessive celebration, and maybe more. The entire team was on the field, which was patently against the rules. The Browns lost a game a few years ago when a player took his helmet off after a sack, thinking the game was over. Here, the players were all celebrating, and the game was not over.

* I was secretly hoping that Cam might use the "strategy" of calling a timeout just as the kicker was getting ready to kick. But, I wasn't surprised that he didn't.

* Miami still has never, ever beaten the Texans.

Web Weekend part 2

Enjoy part 2 of web weekend's video log:
Dave's video log #2

Why is this team so bad

It starts with drafting. Here's how the team is doing since 2000:

2000
Todd Wade - no longer with team
Ben Kelly - no longer with team
Deon Dyer - no longer with team
Arturo Freeman - no longer with team
Ernest Grant - no longer with team
Jim Drunkonmiller (trade for a draft pick) - no longer with team
Jeff Harris - no longer with team
Note: no 1st round pick due to a JJ trade up the year before (to get Surtain, who is no longer with the team)

2001
Jamar Fletcher - no longer with team
Chris Chambers - solid starter
Travis Minor - no longer with team
Morlon Greenwood - no longer with team
Shawn Draper - no longer with team
Brandon Whiney - no longer with team
Josh Heupel - no longer with team
Otis Levrette - no longer with team
Rick Crowell - no longer with team
Alonzo Mayes (trade for a draft pick) - no longer with team
Matt Turk (trade for a draft pick) - no longer with team

2002
Seth McKinney - no longer with team
Randy McMichael - no longer with team
Omare Lowe - no longer with team
Sam Simmons - no longer with team
Cade McNown (trade for a draft pick) - no longer with team
Jeff Ogden (trade for a draft pick) - no longer with team
Leonard Henry - no longer with team
Note: no 1st round pick due to the Ricky Williams trade
Note: no 2nd round pick due to a trade up in 2001

2003
Eddie Moore - no longer with team
Wade Smith - no longer with team
Taylor Whitley - no longer with team
Donald Lee - no longer with team
JR Tolver - no longer with team
Corey Jenkins - no longer with team
Tim Provost - no longer with team
Yeremiah Bell - on injured reserve
Sage Rosenfels (trade for draft pick) no longer with team
Davern Williams - no longer with team
Note: no 1st round pick due to the Ricky Williams trade

2004
vernon Carey - starting left tackle
Will Poole - no longer with team
Tony Bua - no longer with team
Rex Hadnot - starting guard
Tony Pape - no longer with team
Derrick Pope - decent reserve

2005
Ronnie Brown - solid starter
AJ Feeley (trade) - no longer with team
Matt Roth - solid starter
Lamar Gordon (trade) - no longer with team
Channing Crowder - solid starter
Travis Daniels - decent reserve
Anthony Alabi - decent reserve
David Boston (trade)- no longer with team
Kevin Vickerson - no longer with team

2006
Jason Allen - might just as well not be here for as invisible as he is
Daunte Culpepper (trade) - no longer with team
Derek Hagan - decent reserve
Joe Toledo - on injured reserve
Manny Wright - no longer with team
Fred Evans - no longer with team
Rodrique Wright - solid reserve
Devin Aromoshodu - no longer with team
** they also gave away a draft pick to get rid of AJ Feeley


All of the 2007 draft picks made the team, and a few are getting significant playing time; a few others are being groomed. So, we won't consider them in this group.


Summary: between 2000-2003, you have one player who is currently on the active roster (Chambers) and one on IR. That is 2 out of 28 players, and it shows that there was no *real* effort to build the team through the draft. One would expect that years 3-5 are the years you have players drafted being paying the most dividends.

From 2004-2006, you have 5 starters and 5 reserves (plus Jason Allen). That's 10 out of 23 picks in that time frame.

If we think about it, that means 12 of 51 players are contributing to Miami's success. Or about 23% of all players drafted in that time. I don't know what the league average is year over year, but I'm fairly certain its higher than that.

Trent Green

I'm not sure what the injury to Green was. I had heard he wasn't moving at all after he was hit. And later I heard he was knocked out, and it was a severe concussion, not unlike the one he had last year. Our thoughts go out to him and his family. While I wanted to bench the guy, I certainly didn't wish him ill.

But, the reality is that his season is almost certainly over, and his career is probably over, too. The Dolphins knew he was "one hit away" from being knocked out of a game, and that appears to have come true after 5 games.

And that will go down, ultimately, as one more draft pick given up for a QB that just didn't work out. This time, its due to injury, but the fact is that Miami can't catch a break when it comes to the QB position, can they?

2008 draft

I promised that if Miami dropped to 0-5, I would start looking at the possibilities for 2008 draft picks, since Miami will undoubtedly finish with one of the first 5 picks.

Here are what we believe to be the top 15 right now, in no particular order:
* Darren McFaddenm RB (Arkansas)
* Brian Brohm QB (Louisville)
* Steve Staton RB (West VA)
* Jake Long OT (Michigan)
* Calais Campbell DT (Miami)
* Sam Baker OT (USC)
* Glenn Dorsey DT (LSU)
* Frank Okam DT (Texas)
* DeSean Jackson WR (Cal)
* Derrick Harvey DE (Florida)
* Kenny Phillips S (Miami)
* Matt Ryan QB (Boston College)
* Chad Henne QB (Michigan)
* Dan Connor LB (Penn State)
* Lawrence Jackson DE (USC)

We *might* have a QB, and it looks like our RB is doing well now. So, what do you think? Defensive line? Maybe safety? Not glamor positions, to be sure. But, Amoebi Okoye - drafted at #10 behind jr - looked pretty good today, didn't he?

Okay, enough is enough!!

I'm tired of the sucking and the losing. Miami is now 0-5, and has dropped 8 straight dating back to last year. And along the way, they've found all kinds of new ways to lose. Like today. 3 50+ yard field goals made - including the game winner - is just another way the fates have stacked up against the Phins.

And here I got suckered into watching a game, and getting emotionally involved yet again. Oh hey, they have a lead...maybe they can actually win one...or not.

I guess I should have known better...

Bench Trent!

Should the Dolphins lose again today, I am going to be on this topic like, errr, white on rice. And even before it kicks off, I'm throwing it out there again.

The team is 0-4, and we need to see what we have in Beck. He needs to play NOW.

Trent Edwards - who Miami had as its 2nd best QB on the board during the draft - is starting for Buffalo, and he's playing moderately well. Its time for Miami to unwrap Beck, and let him play.

There's no hope for the playoffs, and all you're doing is playing for next year anyway. So, don't hand me crap about Trent giving you the bext chance to win. He doesn't. Beck does.