Saturday, September 03, 2011

The unkindest of cuts

I was reading up on the cuts that took place yesterday and today. I guess I wasn't too surprised by most of them.

But a couple were at least a little surprising. Will Allen was surely a goner, based on his salary, in spite of some decent play. And when Larry Johnson essentially showed nothing in his two weeks, it seemed clear he wouldn't make it. Lousaka Polite not playing pretty much at all in the preseason was a good indicator of his future. Because, you know, you don't need a guy who can consistently get you 1-2 yards when you need it.

Lyndon Murtha landed on IR. Frankly, I never heard he was injured. Sparano called him the most versatile lineman, and planned to have him backup both tackles.

And then there was this subtlety: if there was competition between two players and one was a draft pick during this regime's tenure, and one was another guy, the draft pick made it. Even if the other guy played better. So guys like Spitler, Odrick, and even Gates made the team when they showed little and were 3rd team or lower for some part of the preseason.

I'm still concerned about the o-line, and maybe more so now that they lost some depth. And running back is still a problem for me. I don't like going in with a rookie who has been called out, a flashy guy who hasn't played a full season (but is very good), and a reserve at running back.

But I guess we'll see how it actually shapes up in a little over a week.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Oops I came on the wrong night

Football was last night!!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Looming blackouts

I see one other thing the Dolphins are doing: issuing a statement that blackouts loom, and using that a means to "scare" people into buying tickets.

Since H Wayne figured out a few years ago that ensuring every game was a sellout helped get his product on TV, and boosted revenue streams other than ticket sales, you've seen sellouts year after year.

Clearly not every ticket was sold, with TV stations purchasing the extra tickets to help the cause (they get ad revenue when the games are on), but the games were on TV. And you heard people saying that they would prefer to stay home and watch it on TV.

Now, it appears the Fins are going to change gears, and that they might let some games not appear on TV. The first one they plan to try is Thursday's preseason game. I'm sure they're curious what fans will do if its not shown live. As am I.

But what if they're not on TV? What will fans do? My guess - and it really is a guess - is that they will head to a sports bar that *is* showing the game, or they will simply watch another game. I know that's what I'll do.

Its not all about the U

The fan consensus, as reported by the media, is that it feels like a slap in the face to UM fans to have "1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5, them Gators don't take no jive"* honored in the stadium they share with the Fins.

And I would agree, generally, that this was a ridiculous "causal oversight" by the Fins, and them saying that they invited the Canes to have one of their own, but that they declined, seems almost like they're trying to dig themselves out...

But what really gets me was this comment:

We have to do everything we can to sell out Dolphins games.

If that means recognizing one of the state’s premier universities and that allows us to market tickets to that institution, that’s our right to do.

That's from Mike Dee's mouth. And. yes, of course, you are a private business. And its your job to sell tickets to maximize your profit.

Naturally, the lockout hurt. But you know what hurts more? The way you treat actual fans of this team. You make the players inacessable, by essentially barring them from saying anything to the media other than the company line. You have an owner who undermines his coach and then laments "I didn't know that there would be such a fan uproar." And when the organization is bad, and fans are upset with the recent direction and have chants at practices, you bemoan *them* as being the bad guys.

And to top it all off, you charge "$99 for two tickets" to a preseason game. A freakin' preseason game! Unemployment remains above 10%, and there are many people well extended beyond their means - and tickets are "as low as $34", plus a $25 parking charge, plus outrageous concessions. To see a team that underperforms, and only won one game at home last year. Its no wonder you can't sell out a game.

If I'm not working, and my money can go to putting food on the table and seeing the game on TV, or seeing a game in person, which am I going to choose?

The comment is insulting to those in that predicament. And adding that he sent a mailing to "supporters" of the Gators tells me he went after the booster-types, because they have money, which is subtly insulting.

I know you can't (or won't) lower ticket prices. But how about finding a way to build excitement in YOUR OWN fan base? There are scores (heck, legions!) of fans out there. The fact that there are more than 20 recognized fan sites out there, each with their own following (check the message boards for any of them to get a sense of how passionate they remain!) tells me that the fans still care. Dee was brought here to bring in the fans and sell out every game. And since it appears that he failed to ignite the fan base (without really trying), now it appears he is trying new avenues to create a new fan base - though not necessarily of the Dolphins.

They'll show these prospect fans around, and try to sell them on becoming fans of the experience, whether or not they care about the Dolphins. And that's fine. Just like bringing in B-list celebrity owners to say "Fins Up" is a way to bring in some new fans. Don't mean nothin'.

Reality is that H Wayne couldn't figure it out, either.

And I certainly don't have the answer. But I do know that winning on the field puts fannies in seats. How about starting there?

* actual comment by a Florida legislator after they won the national championship

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm tired of this excuse

"It takes a long time to get a line prepared to play,"

So sayeth Tony Sparano about the o-line woes.

Funny, when it comes together it's "coaching" and when it doesn't it's a work in progress.

How about this? You're very large, highly paid professional athletes who have been at this for years. And your coaches are experts. There are no acceptable excuses for poor play.

Gator appreciation day??!!

Nay Moore suggested to the dolphins management that they celebrate the second anniversary of the gators national championship that was won in the orange bowl (aka Joe Robbie stadium).

And they agreed. So october 23rd is the date, as the fins take on Tim Tebow and the broncos. The fins will be flying in a bunch of players and Urban Meyer.

Among incredibly dumb ideas, this ranks up there. The hurricanes play in the stadium, and pay rent there. The dolphins don't have any gators on their team (or at least that come to mind). And 2nd anniversary?

Oh man, they'll do anything to draw a crowd regardless of whether they are dolphins fans.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

A couple of notes

I loved the back and forth between Vontae Davis, saying he and Sean Smith are the best corner tandem in the NFL, and Revis with the jets saying something like "no you're not!"  It was funny, and while I laud Davis for being confident, they do have to show it.  Too many players made too many big plays over them last year, and they didn't have many turnovers to be considered the "best" - so show it this year!

Anyway, the other thing was a question that was asked of Auburn's football program a couple of years ago when their two big running backs were coming into the NFL - who was better and who would have the most success?  They were asking about Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams, who went to the Dolphins and Bucs, respectively as first round picks.

And now they each have moved on in their careers, and I would argue that neither one was "great" though Brown was certainly the better of the two overall.

Bucs game

There are those who are saying "my doubts about Chad Henne are going away" this morning.  And yes, he had a decent statistical night.  And yes, he did have a nice completion to Marshall that Brandon turned into a nice TD (much like we had seen in Denver the year before).  But, it was a singular nice play with no major mistakes in the rest of his play, and a total of 10 points for Henne.  To me, its not quite enough to say my doubts are going away.  But it was a decent showing against a good team.  So, there's at least hope.

As for the rest of the offense?  Yuck.  Donald Thomas did next-to-nothing, and Reggie Bush did nothing (he had 1 yard!). While you could say the o-line might get better when Jake Long returns, what I saw from the center on to the right (ie, not Long's side) concerned me a lot.  They were manhandled, and that needs to get better - especially considering the time, effort, and energy the Phins put into the line this (and every) offseason.  Opponents will find ways to overstack that side if they remain at this level.

There were still too many penalties too.  There needs to be more discipline.  Yeah, its preseason, and there were no OTAs or anything like that to find a rhythm.  So, that will probably come with time.  

On defense, they played a good game early on.  But, I would argue (as would Freeman) that Josh Freeman's play had as much to do with the defense's success.  Still, there were a couple of nice plays, and some oh-so-close-to-being turnovers in the game.  I still think this is the strength of Miami's team.

Ultimately, the Phins lost, of course, because the one good play does not a game make.  But whatever, the score doesn't matter.  At least they have something to build on, and it doesn't look "hopeless"....