Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dave's thoughts on: Miami Dolphins fans catching games on their couches

The Sentinel had a pretty good writeup about the Dolphins - and the rest of the NFL - have an uphill battle for selling tickets, at least in part because of the evolution of HD.

And I'd say I have to agree.  As many of you know, I was a season ticket holder for many years.  I love the Phins, and there was nothing better than being there on gameday.  There was a certain intimacy to the game back when the team played at the Orange Bowl, and the whole experienced changed when they moved to JRS - but it was still amazing to see Marino tossing footballs in the stadium.

But over time, the product on the field wasn't as good.  And meanwhile ticket prices went up.  At some point, my friends and I all had a realization that the tailgate was better than the game itself - in terms of the fun factor and the "value"...

And there was this little twist: a friend of ours loved to tailgate, and so he would come out and just do that.  He was an Eagles fan, and didn't care for the Dolphins, but he loved being out at the game.  So, he brought a generator, a few TVs, and his DirecTv hookup.  And he'd watch all the games from the parking lot.  And some of my other friends would sometimes skip the game and hang with him.

It was the ultimate experience.  The tailgate AND watching all the games on TV.

As I've gotten older, I've had more going on in my life.  It gets harder and harder to give up an entire Sunday 8 times a year to see a football game - nevermind the cost.

It is a heck of a lot better to sit at home and enjoy the game for a couple of hours, at literally no cost.

So that brings me around to the CBA and where the NFL goes from here.  If they are having trouble selling out games, how can the owners justify the stance they're taking and continue to want more money? 

The NFL really can't just decide to make their product pay-per-view only, either, for many reasons, not the least of which is because of the protections they enjoy in congress because of their national TV contracts.  If that were to change, that would bring other problems.

So the only choice is to try and bring other fans to the stadium.  Who says they all have to be "football fans"?

Miami Dolphins fans catching games on their couches

Season ticket sales up, but luring fans to games still tough

By Sarah Talalay, Sun Sentinel

September 24 2010, 7:25 PM EDT

The Miami Dolphins' ad campaign this season is encouraging fans to "Join the Party" at Sun Life Stadium, where the team hosts its 2010 home opener Sunday night against the rival New York Jets.

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,2992688.story

Visit South Florida at

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another JT comment

JT appeared on Dan LeBetard's show this afternoon.  At the end, Dan was doing his "douche or no douche" with Taylor (he asks about something and asks the interviewee to say whether the person is a douche or not; so 'the guy wearing a speedo at the beach').  He asked about Bill Parcells and JT said "douche!"  Now, to be fair, he called Dan a douche, too, but it was amusing.

Shortly after someone called in and said that she thought JT would always be a Dolphin and she doesn't begrudge him going to the Jets because he "needs to feed his family."

I hate that comment.  I hear people talking about players that way, and I've even heard players saying it about themselves.  I know, many players throw away their money and having nothing left after their playing days, but the reality is that many players make in one year what it would take most of us MANY years to make.

And in JTs case, in 12 years of play, he's made many times what most Americans make in a lifetime.

So, the feeding his family argument falls on deaf ears.

Sure he wanted to keep playing, but....what a douche.

Want to be a part of my podcast?

This is the big game!  Dolphins-Jets, part 1.

Where will you be?  Want to share the experience with others?

If you are at the game, or at a bar or party, and want to record a message to be included in my podcast, simply call
917-512-7398 x 32203 and leave a message.

If the audio quality is good, and you have something interesting to say, I'll add it in.

Have fun!

Rumor has it...

That we will have a dirt infield for NEXT Monday night's game against the Patriots, since they plan to put down the full field as soon as that game is completed.

One followup comment

The team has been telling us for years that they "explored every possibility" to make the field football-only and that it "just wasn't possible" to do...

Bring in a new owner, and suddenly its possible and they can do it one night?

I think we've been lied to!!!

I suspect it was a matter of cost more than anything, and maybe what they meant was its "not cost effective to do"...

That's how the field got changed..

The internet is an amazing place.

Here's the process..

Still a little work to be done...

A sod story

Just how do they change the field from baseball to football?

When both sports are still going on, they can convert the field over the course of 8-10 hours, depending on several factors (the weather being chief among them). Of course, they have to pull the seats back out and take down the scoreboard.

But they also have to replace the pitchers mound, which they do by digging out all of the clay, filling in with sand, and then putting a 4'x4' (or so) piece of sod over it, and then tamp it down so the footing is good around it - you don't want a seam.

Then, sometimes they take the piece that's by 3rd base (on the left home plate), and cover it over with astroturf, or another synthetic turf. (Its near the inflatable dolphin thing in this picture). The idea is to give an endzone the appearance of being one piece of grass, so there's not a little clay in one corner. [but they apparently didn't do it for this game]

I believe they actually dig out the clay in that portion.

But the rest they simply level off.

In the meantime, the team uses a "grass farm" somewhere around Naples to grow the grass that's designed for football only. This picture - though its from somewhere around Kentucky - gives an example of what a farm looks like.
Photo from Penn State University

When it comes time to do the big change, they cut the turf with a big machine and roll it up.
Photo from

These rolls are loaded onto a flatbed and driven to Miami.
photo found through Google

Meanwhile, work starts on the stadium itself. This is Auburn's, but its the same thing. They actually clear out all the other grass (by cutting it, and carting it to the farm). They clear it pretty far down, then proceed with putting a base mix of soil and other materials to give it the right feel, and to help with the water removal.
photo from Auburn University

Once the sod arrives, they install it. Its an enormous undertaking. The field is levelled, and they take each roll and lay it down, then using a machine to help it stay level and "hide the edges"...
Photo from Dallas News

photo from
Then its watered. Here's the Sentinel's Sarah Tallay watering the grass at JRS. They do some hand watering to keep everything moist, but as soon as its all in, the sprinklers come on.

The thing is that it takes a week to 10 days to become a playable surface, that's not coming up and doesn't have seams. As you can see in the picture, the sod can be all different colors for those first few days as well.

So, if that's the case, how are they going to make the change this week - in time for the Jets game? And yet still make it available for the last 4 games of the Marlins?

I hear that they want to simply roll sod onto the baseball infield part, much as they do with the pitcher's mound - essentially digging out all the clay and what's under, and then rolling pieces into the slot.

But that may be incorrect and they may lay all new sod. I'm checking on that...

I imagine this will be time consuming, and they likely started Wednesday night, after the Marlins finished their game. Its also probably an expensive proposition to have the field changed for one game.

My other question is what they will do after the Marlins complete their season on 10/3, since the Dolphins are home Monday night 10/4, and the Hurricanes have a home game on the following Saturday?

Perhaps they will make a change to the Marlins field for those couple of games; maybe make it a grass infield except for the bases?

I guess we'll see...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I am not one to forgive and forget in cases like JT. He made a conscious decision to go to "the enemy" and play for them.

Sure he didn't have another offer on the table at that time. But sometimes you have to be patient.

And yes you can spin it to make it mostly Parcells' fault.

But it's my right to discount what Taylor did in Miami and think he never belongs in the ring of honor here. Heck to some extent he discounted what he did here as well.

And if I want to boo him, I will. Go ahead. Call me am idiot. I know I am not the only person who feels this way.

I was wrong

Apparently Stephen Ross gave a directive to the groundscrew: make the infield go away for Sunday's game and next Monday's game in the national spotlight.

Apparently the crew will clear the clay and put sod on top of the infield.

My question: isn't this something the team should have been doing for the last several years???

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cheerleader voting

Alas, 8 girls were eliminated in the recently-completed round.

But there are still 24 in the running.  This week, we're looking at the winners bracket.

Rock the vote:

SI cover

In this weeks podcast, I refer to an issue of SI from 1984. You can check out the cover here:

Dirt Infield

For those of you wondering about the dirt infield....

The last Marlins game is on Sunday October 3rd. 

So it WILL still be there for this Sunday's game, and almost certainly for the Patriots game on Monday, the 4th, because they can't turn the field around that quickly.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Attention everyone attending Dolphins home opener: Wear orange and "howl"

the Phinsider suggests everyone howl while we're playing the Jets:

holey shmagahee!

I clicked the link on the previous post to "find tickets" and was surprised at what I saw:

10 Person Couch (200 Level) US $500.00
Experience Individual US $325.00
15 person Cabana (300 Level) US $1000.00
5 person Front Row Table (300 Level) US $650.00
4 person Lounge Table (300 Level) US $450.00

So, it would be $325 for me to experience the LIV club and I might (or might not) be able to see the game??

South Florida's Biggest Pary Starts Sunday

SEE THE DOLPHINS TAKE ON THE JETS | Trouble reading this? Click here.
South Florida's Biggest Party




Guarantee your spot to this Sunday's Dolphins vs. Jets game and the biggest Hispanic celebration in the NFL. Among the festivities include:
  • A spectacular halftime show featuring a live performance by international superstar Enrique Iglesias. Dolphins' limited partner and seven-time Grammy-award winner Gloria Estefan will introduce Iglesias. GET YOUR SEASON TICKETS TODAY AND YOU CAN ENJOY THE HALFTIME SHOW FROM THE FIELD!
  • Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer and Dolphins' limited partner, Marc Anthony, and Dolphins' limited partner Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, will sing the national anthem
  • Getting things started at the tailgate stage will be the highly esteemed Texas rocker Alejandro Escovedo.
  • Hispanic celebrities will be on hand walking down the Celebrity Orange Carpet
And, South Florida's Party just got hotter with LIV Sun Life Stadium. Reserve your Cabana, Voyeur Seating or VIP Table for the Jets game today or get an annual membership. Just Click HERE.
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Power rankings

The fins have moved up to #8 on fox sports power ranking


[link fixed]

Random thought: Reggie Bush

Usually commentators will refer to a player as "heismann trophy winner so-and-so"...

How will they refer to Bush? "heismann giver backer Reggie Bush"???

Jets updates

Calvin Pace is expected to miss his 3rd straight game with a knee injury.

Darelle Revis is day-to-day with a hamstring.

Naturally the big man is cagey about both of them.

Meanwhile Braylon Edwards was caught driving drunk (dumb ass!) at 5:15 in the morning. The jets say the right things but you know they won't do anything...

How did the replacements fare?

On offense:
Greg Camarillo had a pretty quiet day. As did Marlon Moore. Even

On special teams:
Ted Ginn didn't play Monday night. But Clifton Smith was pretty quiet. Call it even

On defense:
Cameron Wake had a sack and a forced fumble. And Koa Misi came up with the fumble recovery. J-peasy had no plays of note. But JT did come with a sack and a forced fumble. On the whole, I would give the edge to Miami.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The play of the day

ESPN called it the play of the day and we agree: it was outstanding.

It was basically an inside run to AP with a lead blocker. It appears as though the vikes were trying to create a little confusion with the guards moving.

But it was essentially straight-on blocking which often won't get it done in the NFL.

I loved this moment

It was great to see Misi pounce on the ball in the endzone.

But watching Mike Carrey's reaction was classic. He initially ruled safety then realized his mistake and signaled td. And had a giant smirk on his face as he did so.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Two and oh!!

This is - of course - the first time Miami has gone 2-0 under Sparano.

But did you know the last time the fins went 2-0 was in 2002? That was Wannstache's third year. Or 4 coaches ago.

Live update: the second half

In the second half miami started with ball and - in a word - dominated. They pushed Minnesota around for nearly 5 minutes...but they only made it midfield. Still I liked what I saw from the offense once again.

But no matter as Cameron Wake dashed around the lineman and swatted the ball away from Favre. Saaaaweeet as Misi recovered it in the endzone for a safety/td (so called because Mike Carey laughed as he corrected himself). 14-0 in Minnesota. Can that be right?

The Vikings then got a drive going. On one key play, Soliai was grabbed and I'm thinking - what does it take to get a holding call?

Jason Allen came with a huge pick at the 1 ... But Ricky fumbled it. He's the leading candidate to be wanker of the week.

In spite of a nice play by Dansby on 1st down, AP scored on the next play.

So Miami does nada and the Vikings, well Petersen, drives it down Miami's throat. And very oddly they were aided by two 12 men on the field penalties ... and of course a very homer friendly spot on 4th down.

If there's a silver lining it's that the Vikings only got a fieldgoal.

Sheesh. Miami could do nothing. Favre underthrew a ball and Jason Allen came up with his 2nd pick. But then on the next play a new candidate for wanker emerged in the form of Ronnie Brown. And the net result was the Vikings were now 30 yards closer.

But again Miami's defense came up big with a goal line stand that left the Vikings a yard short.

The fins tried to run out the clock but couldn't. You had to wonder about the decision to pass on third down stopping the clock.

And so you had Favre on the field with a minute and a half left and 60 yards to go. Did he have a comeback left in the tank? No.

And that was that. 14-10 Miami.

And Miami is two and oh!!!

Live update: first half

The Vikings looked almost unstoppable, with some nice passes by Brett Favre, and a some nifty running by AP. But. They faced 4th and 2 at the Dolphins 27, and Brad Childish decided to go for it. Its a little inexplicable, because its only a 44-yard figgie, but Favre had the hot hand.

Knockdown by Starkes, and the Dolphins take over. There was a beaut of a pass to Marshall down the field, then a series of wildcat plays to get it in close. There was nearly calamity as Henne threw it wide of Marshall, and it might have been a pick 6 most times...But finally, Henne hit Hartline for a score in the corner of the endzone, and voila, its 7-0. That was the Dolphins offense I had been hoping to see!

A bit later, the Vikings had a sweet looking drive that took the ball inside the 10. The Favre threw a pass to Percy Harvin. It was truly a hilight reel moment. Harvin tipped it, Vontae tipped it. It was up in the air for a bit, then each of them hit it again, and Davis cradled it, and got up and ran. After review, he was ruled down at the 1. A fantastic play took the ball up to near midfield - some great blocking sprung Ronnie...but alas, the drive bogged down, and the Dolphins did little more than push the Vikings back - way back - from where they were.

And that was the first half

My podcast

While my site is the humorous bent on the Dolphins, my podcast is another animal.  I do take a more serious approach to the team, and often have guests - former players, analysts, and others - who come in and talk about the team or the league.   

Ricky Williams the Dolphins player rep

Greg Camarillo was the player's rep with the NFLPA.

When Camarillo was traded, Ricky Williams assumed the role.  He's optimistic and believes that the two sides will come to an agreement before there's a lockout.  

And he also discussed this week how the players would like the fans in holding up a finger (not the middle one) to show solidarity with the players - and he's right a lockout would be bad for us, too.

Interestingly, several teams voted to decertify the league on Friday, and more are expected to do so this week.  For those of you who don't know, decertification would mean there is no longer a union representing the players, but they still would have an association that would be able to negotiate on their behalf.  It would also mean that the players could directly sue the owners - the belief is that this will help force the issue with the owners, because they don't want to fend out many individual suits. [editor's note: Dave is not a labor attorney, but we believe these facts are accurate, please comment if you know otherwise]

We'll see how this works out.

Who will hit Favre first?

According to Ben Volin of the PBP:

The defensive line has a pool going on who will hit Favre first.

That's fine, and we like it.  Except that this against the NFL rules, and I'm sure more will be made of this next week - assuming its true.