Friday, January 08, 2010

Seeded playoffs

I had some email about my proposed seeded tournament to decide the playoff teams, thus eliminating the "classic" AFC-NFC matchup.
Lets look at a scenario.  Supposing the top 12 - regardless of their division spot - made the playoffs:
Indy 14-2
NO 13-3
San Diego 13-3
Minnesota 12-4
Dallas 11-5
Green Bay 11-5
Philly 11-5
Arizona 10-6
Cinicinatti 10-6
New England 10-6
Atlanta 9-7
Baltimore 9-7
The top 4 teams get the byes, as they do today.  But the tournament is setup so there's a clear advantage to finishing higher up, something like the graphic above.
Who would rest their starters when this is at stake?
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

[editor's note: we skipped a round. Oops! There would be one additional game before the superbowl. Sorry...]

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Its halftime of the National Champeenship.
Its hard to believe that this asshole is on his way to winning the game.
Jim Mandich summed it up best when he said "if this guy wins, there is no god."

stadium improvements

The Dolphins unveiled their plans for the stadium (landshark? dolphin? sunlife?) today.
Its supposed to be more advanced....but the question remains: who will pay for it?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Cheerleader of the Year

The conclave has convened, and a puff of white smoke emerged from the stack atop the rectory.

A new cheerleader of the year has been selected by the staff at Dave's. Well, by Dave, anyway.

Missy is this year's winner, based on her impressive body....of work. She's been cheering for the squad for 4 years, and is quite the leader of the cheers.

We hope you'll agree.

You can visit her page on the Dolphins cheerleader site here

Well that explains a lot

I had been blaming Sparano for some of the in-game decisions.

Then, I went back and looked at this picture a little more closely.
It would seem that a certain pair of party-crashers were visiting the
Dolphins sideline.

No doubt they got ahold of the radios and were confusing the signals
as they looked for Bill Parcells.

Things that bug me, a deux

Another thing the commissioner said was that talks are "ongoing" to settle the labor (dis) agreement.  To paraphrase 'the good news is that the owners and players are talking.'
Which is probably iinaccurate.  Sure, they've exchanged voicemails.  But the owners haven't really discussed the major issues and come to consensus, so it would be hard for them to negotiate with the players.  There are many issues with the salaray cap, revenue sharing, the draft, payouts to players, stadium funds, etc, etc, etc.
And these all need to get ironed out by the owers first...
IMHO, this will not resolve itself by the end of the 2010 campaign.  So, in all likelihood, there will be a lockout in 2011.
...and for the Dolphins that leaves me uneasy.  They're "building for the future" and maybe next year they make a good showing and get back to the playoffs with a run toward a title likely in.....a year when there's a lockout.
How the landscape of the NFL will change is anyone's guess.  All this building may lead to naught...

Something that bugs me

Roger Goodell was here last week for the game, and gave interviews to CBS and to the Dolphins broadcast crew.  Then, he met privately with Stephen Ross.
In each of those sessions, he repeated the point that Miami *has* to spend money to upgreade the stadium or the SuperBowl will never make it back to Miami.
I know Ross is looking at ways to possibly fund the stadium, and we've discussed them here before. 
But this threat of not coming back seems silly, and besides its not up to him alone.  He's the commissioner, not the omnipotent one.  He doesn't hold all the power....the host committee makes a bid to the NFL and owners for the SuperBowl and they vote on the various choices for that year.  The commish is a voting member.
Part of the pitch is around the stadium, but the lions share of it is around the community, the amenities and facilities around the town.  And...the weather.  Which generally is good in Miami that time of year (2007 was an odd exception, where there was torrential rain)
So, sheesh, what's this idle threat all about anyway?

End of year report card

At mid-season they were 3-5.  They did better in the second half going 4-4, for a 7-9 final record.
I think a C- is warranted. There were certainly so good moments in the season.  But there were definitely some god-awful-cover-your-eyes moments as well.
Receiver is a glaring need.  Safety, and linebackers also stand out.
Offense: When Ronnie went down, the run game suffered.  The Wildcat became somewhat extinct.  But Ricky filled in well.  I think the running game is still strong, its just too bad the coaches got away from it (likely because they were often playing from behind).  The passing game got emphasized more later in the season, which was good because we got a long look at Chad Henne.  But was bad because of the lack of talent; and because we got to see a lot of Chad Henne.  Having him throw 50 times in a game when you have a good ground attack is silly.
Defense: I like what I saw from the rookies. The linebackers were up and down. The line generally was average, and Soliai was overmatched most times.   JT and J-Peasy looked old. And the pass defense had to account for inadequecies on the ILB and safety positions.
Special teams: The kicking and punting were strong. The return game had some really great moments (Ted Ginn's two returns), but Bess' fair catches and Ginn's 26 yard return average made them just average.
Coaching: I wasn't impressed with Sparano's motivation techniques late in the season.  As Jim Mandich said recently "he needed to make the point that the game starts at 1pm, not at 3pm," since many weeks, the team had to stage a comeback after falling behind.  He made some odd decisions on going for 2m field goals, and punting; and also had a couple of timeout decisions that made me raise my eyebrow. That quirky timeout before the half of the Saints game also stands out.
Best game: There were a couple of worthy contenders, but you can't beat the Monday Night Football game against the Jets. Nicely done.
Worst game: There were a couple to pick from, but that first half against the Texans was the single worst first half any Dolphins team has ever played - so there's your winner.
MVP: Ronnie Brown led the way through midseason.  Ricky did well.  Randy Starks looked like he might take the award at some point, but dropped off.  Nate Garner deserved a nomination because he came on strong and played 4 of the 5 positions on the line.  But in the end, it was the 5th guy on that o-line, the only player to make the pro bowl, who quietly stole the show.  Our MVP is Jake Long.
Rookie of the year: Sean Smith. Vontae was the guy that was picked on more, but was that because of scheme or because Smith was playing so well?  We don't know.  But I give it up to Mr. Smith, though Vontae also played well.

Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

The Dolphins players were all in the team facility on Monday. Not for
a team meeting or anything, but to clear out their lockers.

Most offseasons, they can leave stuff in their lockers and come back
and use the facility as they want.

But this is a superbowl season, and that means that the AFC winner has
use of the Dolphins training facility for the week or so before the
big game.

And clearing out the locker room now means the cleaning crew can come
in and remove the stench of futility from the building.

Here's to hoping that for a couple of players its the last time they
see the facility!

That's odd

So you've got the Jets-Bengals in a "home and home series" last
weekend and this.

And meanwhile you have a rematch of Eagles-Cowboys and
Packers-Cardinals in the same stadiums they squared off in the
previous week.

Its not uncommon to have a rematch. But 3 of them? 2 in the same
stadium? That's weird.

The Jets & my comment about the playoffs

It was interesting how things turned out for the Jets.  They made the playoffs after Rex Ryan said there was no way they'd make it.
And how did they make it?  Because Indy pulled its starters last week in a game they were leading - at home - and essentially gave the game to the Jets.
And then - at home - the Jets squared off against the Bengals.  If the Bengals were to win, they would secure the 3rd seed, and be home to face the Ravens.  If they lost, they would be the 4th seed, and be home to face the Jets.
Hmmmm.  Face a team that is reall tough and in the division, or face a team that has had an up-and-down year and is not in the division?  And the latter is on the field now....
The game starts, and it is clear the Jets have "come to play" and get a few early plays going, so Cincy pulls its starters.  The Jets win, and "luck into" a playoff slot.  They didn't win anything, they were gifted this position.
And meanwhile, they're busy trying to score and score again.  They were still passing late in the game, and there was the coach yukking it up on the sidelines with a smug smile.
If I were Cincinnatti, that would be all the motivation I need.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Isn't that interesting?

Headline in the sentinel
Sparano won't name Chad Henne the Miami Dolphins starter for 2010

Happy birthday

A couple of faces in this picture are funny.

Shouldn't this have been called a facemask???

Terrible Towel

There sure were a lot of Steelers fans in attendance yesterday.

I was amused by the "Terrible Towels" they were whooping...

You see, the idea originated in Miami as the "Horrible Hankie"
was a concept that radio announcer started as a way to get the fans
involved in the game. He had them take out white handkerchiefs and
wave them around. It was en vogue as the Fins ran through the perfect
season, but died out just after.

And was later adopted by Pittsburgh, and naturally renamed and the
color changed to yellow.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

typical BS

Pat White is running to the sideline and gets hit by the db in helmet-to-helmet contact.  In the many replays, it seemed obvious the player was leading with his head, which is illegal and (a) a penalty should have been called and (b) the player should have been ejected.
But there's Dierdorf saying that "that's football" and sluffs it off.
Later, when the Dolphins had a bead on Ben Rothlisberger, one of the Dolphins defenders got a hand up to swat the ball away, and hit Ben's helmet.  The play resulted in a fumble that Miami recovered.  On the replay, Dierdorf was going on about how that should be a pnealty because you can't touch the QBs head.
So, if you lead with your head, its okay, but if you inadvertedly get a hand on a helmet, it should be penalized?  Hunh?


The Dolphins blew yet another game this week.  Funny how 3 weeks ago, we were wondering which of these last three games would be the toughest.  They all were, I suppose.
I guess it really didn't matter in the scheme of things, other than for pride.  But this team hasn't sown much pride of late.
0-3, followed by 7-3, followed by 0-3.  That's not good enough.
They overcame injuries to both Henne and White and were in prime position to at leat tie the game with 6 or so minutes left, 1st and 10 on the 12; but squandered the opportunity when Thigpen threw a pick....
Ah well....2010 starts now for Miami.