Friday, December 27, 2013

Jet Week! Now It Gets Personal.

You would think that with a playoff spot on the line the stakes are high enough.

Not this week. Not when its combined with another "Jet Week".

Now the stakes got steep and piled high.

Then let's factor in that I live in Central Jersey, surrounded by Jet fans.

Every last one of them pushing the limits of obnoxious antics. Seeing how far they can go or need to go just to piss you off.

I had a funny, no uneasy is more like it, feeling that this last game of the year was going to come down to us having to beat those dreaded members of "Gang Green" to get into the playoffs.

And sure enough here we are.

The last game setting up a must win at all costs situation.

Most fans live for these weeks. Some even thrive in them.

I could, that is, as long as it wasn't you know who.

You see, up here in Jersey dealing with idiot Jet fans is one thing. Having intelligient conversations with knowledgeable Jet fans is another.

But having to deal with my best friend that I have had for my entire life is a completely different animal all together.

Chooch, that's his nickname, is a Rams fan, mainly.

I say mainly because he also roots for whomever we are playing and especially the Jets.

Oh boy, we have quite a history together.

Starting in the late 70's, when his college roommate's uncle worked the turn styles at Shea and let us in for $5 to coming down to visit me when I lived in West Palm during the 80's.

In that span we have been to 13 Miami Dolphin games together.

Guess what our record is when he attends?

Its not good. Its actually atrocious.

With Chooch in the seats we are 1-12. I kid you not.

That includes games at Shea, the Meadowlands, Foxboro, the Orange Bowl and Joe Robbie. 1-12.

Luckily, Chooch is not  going to the game on Sunday. But unfortunately for me, he isn't headed for the moon either.

No, Chooch will be waiting. No, not waiting, more like lurking.

Like a cheetah waiting to pounce on his prey.

If we lose this game, I will get the call:

"What happened? I didn't see the game. So tell me, what happened?" Then a pregnant pause followed by a very loud venimous "J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!! That's what happened!"

This game is not only important for getting into the playoffs, this game can make my entire off season a living hell!!!

God, if you are listening, please I beg you, for my own sanity, let us win this game.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The dissenting view

I am one of those people. You know, the ones who (gasp!) would rather the dolphins don't make the playoffs. Sound like sacrilege?  Read on.

First off, the whole tie breaking process is utter nonsense!  WTF is all of this silliness about teams winning and losing that don't directly impact them?

This is a fairly flawed team in a mediocre AFC. My fear is that the team is more like the so-so team that struggled to win some of the games this year, and possibly last weeks game showed their true mettle. Making the playoffs may simply validate Jeff Ireland's confidence in himself, and that his decisions were all good.  And that could very well mean the team mostly stands pat and does nothing of consequence this offseason. And that, in turn, means that the same flawed team returns next season...

As for Ireland, the fact that the team's o-line has played better without Long and Martin (two fellows who were highly drafted), and without Incognito (a free agent he signed) and seemed not to have a huge drop off when Pouncey (another top pick) missed a couple of games. I could go on. But I'll stop there. He has no idea what he's doing. And should be held accountable for the teams flaws rather than getting another chance to build on *this*...

Then on to the flaws. They struggled against almost everyone this season. I'd like to call out a couple of what you call quality wins:

  • Cincinnati had Baltimore the following week, and looked lackluster for most of the game. Yes Miami won. But the situation leading up to the safety was pure luck
  • Miami was fortunate to face Indianapolis in the 2nd week; Luck hadn't quite come in to form and he had 4 bad passes at the end
  • Against the pats a few weeks ago, the story goes that the who dat that made the pick didn't have a clue what the defensive call was. So he just stood there, looking lost. Brady threw the ball likely not expecting someone in the nfl to be that lost.  And the ball comes more or less to him. Talk about a lucky break. 
And then there was Pittsburgh. The steelers had an unlucky break, as Brown stepped out after he got past the last defender. 

Yes luck plays a part in the nfl. But you can't count on it as a strategy. Take away Pittsburgh and any of the games above and Miami has to win this week, just to get back to 7-9. You simply can't expect the same kind of luck to happen again next year....

I'm just sayin'.  So as much as it hurts - for the greater good I say go jets!!!!



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It Was Exactly 42 Years Ago To Date That I Became A Dolfan

Merry Christmas Dolfans of the world,

  My name is Carl Leone, I am 55 years old, I live in central New Jersey and have been a Miami Dolfan since Christmas Day 1971. I was 13 years old and hadn't picked out a team yet. Growing up in New Jersey prior to the NFL Ticket on DIRECTV, I could watch the Giants and/or Jets regularly and then the playoffs. That was about it and in those days the Giants stunk and the Jets were fairly decent with Namath.

   So in 1971, my Mother's family came down for Christmas dinner from Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. Coal mining country. They were all Eagles fans, my brother was and still is a die hard Raider fan, and my Dad hailed the Redskins.

   After opening gifts, we put on the divisional playoff game, Dolphins at Chiefs. The plan was to watch the game and eat dinner afterwards. Best laid plans of mice and men. Everyone else hopped on the Chiefs bandwagon. Having won the Super Bowl 2 years earlier, they were loaded with talent: Len Dawson, Ed Podolak (who had a monster game), Otis Taylor, Jan Stenerud (only kicker in HOF), Curley Culp, Buck Buchanon, Willie Lanier and Emmit Thomas. We had made the playoffs for the first time the previous year, losing to Oakland, but we were road underdogs as you can imagine.  A total of 12 Hall of Famers suited up in this game.

   So just to be antagonistic, I cheered for the Dolphins. That's exactly how and when I became a Dolfan. Christmas Day 1971!!! Just to be argumentative!

   Well the game went into double overtime. Everyone keep saying "We will eat when they score. They are gonna kick a field goal. They have good field position. They are gonna make this one."  For over one extra hour that's all that was shouted back to the kitchen when my Mom would announce "The turkey is ready. Lets eat."  Finally, Garo Yepremian split the uprights! But the damage was done. All across America, over cooked turkey was served.  I, however, sat down with the biggest dried out turkey eating grin on my face and the love affair began.

   The following week we shut out the Colts at home and went to our first Super Bowl. Wow, 2 weeks and I am in the Super Bowl. Not bad for a rookie fan.

   The next year was magical. I would invade my high school library to read the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, anything that would cover the Dolphins in any way shape or form. Week after week, we won. Gym class was exciting, walking the halls was exhilarating, everyone was becoming aware of my devotion to the Miami Dolphins. I was elected class wit upon graduation, so I was pretty popular and funny. Everyone enjoyed my company. And now they all knew alright, Leone is a Dolfan! Except we weren't called that back then.

   We go undefeated and win the Super Bowl, 17-0! The next year we go 15-2 and win the Super Bowl again! In two years and three weeks, we won 2 Super Bowl Championships out of three Super Bowl appearances! Talk about timing is everything. In my first 107 weeks as a Dolfan, our record was 40-3!

   The next year, 1974, with Czonka, Kiick and Warfield announcing they were leaving for the greener pastures of the defunct World Football League, we fell into the Sea of Hands at Oakland and the streak of 3 consecutive Super Bowls ended. For the next 30 years we have only 2 losing seasons. That's absolutely incredible to think about but we went 34 years with only 2 losing seasons. And I was along for this glorious ride.

   I feel blessed to be a Dolfan. I did live in West Palm Beach during the 1980's and attended 90% of our home games including the 1984 AFC Championship. From the Orange Bowl to Joe Robbie to Pro Players to Sun Life, been there, won that.

   We used to be the winningest franchise in all 4 major pro sports. We did have the highest regular season record amoungst them all. The last 9 years have been difficult to say the least. Only 2 winning seasons. But I have the pride of knowing what we were and what we will be again. I have the faith that the glory will be regained, the luster returned and the respect that came with wearing the Aqua and Orange rejuvinated. We aren't that far away.

  To all my fellow Dolfans, keep the faith. Don't forget the day you became a Dolfan and lets make 2013-2014-2015 a time to remember and savor for a lifetime!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971 
carldleone@aol.com            

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

To all Dolfans,

May the peace that the Lord's birth brought to the world over two thousand years ago be present in your homes tonight and for another two thousand years!

May your hearts be filled with abundant joy!

May the Love of God and His Holy Spirit descend upon you and your family and friends!

May you travel safely and find your way to those you love!

Thank you to Dave Kennedy for allowing me the opportunity to share my thoughts on our beloved Miami Dolphins! This has been one of the great blessings of my life!

Finally, thank you for being a loyal reader and for allowing me into your lives!

Merry Christmas!

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com

Monday, December 23, 2013

Andy Reid has a tendency of resting starters

In a comment gofins4sb asked if Andy Reid usually sat out his players in meaningless games, I thought it was a good point and decided to make a post about it so more people can see. When he was in Philly he sat his starters out for the 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2010 season (He went 3-1 in the playoff games those seasons after resting starters). When asked if he will sit out his starters this year Reid said this: 
"I haven't made up my mind on how we're going to play it, I've done it a couple different ways, so we'll see how we do that. I'll evaluate all the different situations. I have sat people before, quite a few times actually and benefited from that so we'll look at everything and make sure I have that part evaluated. The obvious benefit is that you rest your guys, you get back feeling fresher than what you were in the end of the season." 
This of course benefits the Dolphins if the Ravens and Dolphins both win and they need the Chargers to beat the Chiefs to get in. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dolphins Have 5 Ways To Make The Playoffs

The first rule of thumb is that if we lose to the Jets at 1 PM then we are out of the playoffs.

Beyond that happening, let's start with Baltimore since they have the tie breaker over us.

If Baltimore beats home standing Cincinnati at 1 PM which will be tough because Cincinnati can still improve their seeding with NE who doesn't play until 4:25 PM..

1) Both Miami and San Diego must win to create three way tie and we win 6 seed due to better conference record. San Diego hosts KC at  4:25 and KC is locked into the 5 seed.

If Baltimore loses to Cincinnati:

2) Win and we are in

3) Tie with Jets coupled with a San Diego loss or tie to KC

If Baltimore ties Cincinnati:

4) Win and we are in

5) And Dolphins Tie Jets then San Diego must tie KC

We do win any 3 way tie breaker with Baltimore and San Diego only, which would be due to better conference record.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com


Dolphins do not get flexed

This makes for an interesting story line, the Dolphins and Ravens play at 1 while the Chargers play at 4. This means that if the Dolphins and Ravens win then the Chargers would be eliminated and have nothing to play for and depending on the result impacts the who gets in. In this scenario a Chargers win means the Dolphins get in and a loss means the Ravens are in. However I believe the Chargers will still play hard do to the fact that they have practiced hard all week and want to end on a good note.

I for one will be doing a lot of scoreboard watching, looking at the Ravens and Bengals game. And if the Dolphins and Ravens both win I will be a big Chargers fan. Even though we lost I still like our chances because the Ravens could easily lose to the Bengals and the Chargers have already beaten the Chiefs and the Chiefs could be resting their starters. Plus we blew out the Jets in New York 3 weeks ago so why not again next week. This is one crazy ride.

That hurt! Go NE and Go SD!

ouch... playoff hunt could be over for us in 3 hours...

I am sick to my stomach.  

Mike Sherman should be fired today.   That was pathetic play calling.