This past week, I had plenty on my mind. The Dolphins had to be pushed from the top of my list of priorities.
They had become an afterthought even to me.
I knew we had a big game to play at Pittsburgh. I knew it was basically a playoff game.
How can any die hard Dolfan not be fired up about that? How could the level of anticipation be so low?
There must have had to have been distractions. There absolutely had to be something, though who could imagine what, that would be more important than focusing on your favorite team about to play a huge game on Survivor Sunday.
Team? That really doesn't define my relationship with the Dolphins.
Try Lover. Now that's closer to the truth!
Admittedly, there was a very pleasant distraction occupying my mind and plans for the week.
For the second year in a row, my crew of high school football officials, for which I am the crew chief, had been assigned to officiate a New Jersey State Championship football game on December 7th at MetLife Stadium.
So if I had a few more items on my check list this week and didn't have the necessary time to write about our big game at Pittsburgh, I am sure you can understand.
Every day this past week I was monitoring the weather. How cold was it gonna be at MetLife on Saturday?
This concern was real for me. One who has the burden of living in New Jersey with Florida blood running through his veins.
Here and there, I would peak at Pittsburgh's weather forecast as well.
When the temperatures for both locations were being projected to be in the 25-30° range, I began to suffer from premeditated chills.
How was I and my lover going to possibly survive these frigid conditions?
Luckily for me, I could and did layer up with all the high tech warming attire available in my closet.
But since this game was a State Championship, I knew well in advance that no matter how cold it got, my beloved headgater, the one I adorn whenever we drop below 45°, wasn't gonna make the trip to MetLife Stadium.
I don't have to worry as much about flexibility and physical performance as do my beloved Dolphins.
As professional football players, they hardly change their wardrobe needs no matter what the weather.
Helmut? Check. Pants and jersey? Check. Gloves and spikes? Check.
Whether it be 90° or 25°. Same old song and dance.
So as a team stationed in the palmy south for the winter, most of the TV analysts and sports writers predicted that the Dolphins were gonna have their season's playoff dreams end in a snowstorm in 25° Pittsburgh.
How wrong they were. How surprised they became.
The Dolphins went into horrible conditions on the COLD road, (might I say VERY COLD road?) ( Damn right I can! ) VERY COLD road as 3 point underdogs and gutted out a huge win by, can you believe this, SCORING 34 POINTS!!!
Who saw that coming? 34 legit points on a horrible field in frigid temperatures from a team who hasn't even scored more than 24 points in a game this year.
Saturday, I was on the field at MetLife Stadium. Still frigid conditions but their turf field is absolutely gorgeous. The same MetLife Stadium that will be hosting this years Super Bowl.
So what's the point Carl?
Our beloved Dolphins have just proven to themselves, their fans and the rest of the universe that they can go into frigid, horrible conditions on the road and not have to hope that their defense carries them to victory.
Their offense can go into Buffalo in late December and win. And if God willing, go into Denver, New England, Cincinnati or Kansas City in January and win.
And if all the stars align, the improbable could become reality.
A very very cold reality.
One I personally didn't think possible until after I officiated on MetLife's perfect turf field on Saturday and then watched our Dolphins win in frigid conditions in Pittsburgh today.
Come February 2nd, New Jersey will offer the same 25°.
And if the Dolphins can find their way to the big show, today they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will be MetLife Ready!
Dolfan since 12/25/1971