Thursday, September 10, 2015

6-0 ?

Taking a look at the Dolphins schedule, it's easy to think they can go 6-0 heading into their matchup with the Patriots.  The first 6 games the best QB they face is probably a toss up between Blake Bortles, and Marcus Mariota  and that is not saying too much.  I downloaded their schedule and took a good look and those games popped out at me, maybe, possibly, 6-0 going into New England and drilling the Patriots into the ground ? For the first time in a long while I'm optimistic about a Dolphins season.

538 football analysis


Ouch. 


"When you think of an awful team in the AFC East, you probably think of the Buffalo Bills or the New York Jets. But don't forget about the Dolphins. "

A funny thing happened on the way to the season

As many of you know, I was a pretty big fan of the Dolphins and started this site to pay homage to them. albeit in an amusing way.  

Then, I started to see things differently.  New ownership, poor play and bad coaching was enough to turn me off to the team.  And then between the big business, concussions, and other off the field antics, I lost interest in the product that is professional football.

And what I realized is that its about entertainment, and not about wins and losses.  Its not about a team, or a game, rather its about seeing some action. And watching certain players that are on my fantasy team. Enter RedZone, and I couldn't be more delighted. Its pure adrenaline for 6 hours on a Sunday. 

It spoiled me in a way. Watching a game, with its time outs and commercials, is painful, and I can't do it.  Night games where there is one game on is unwatchable IMHO.  Sure, at times, I'll flip by and watch a series.  Or some of the "extras" the networks offer (like NBCs online extras) make it more entertaining.  

But honestly, I'd rather catch the hilights on SportsCenter the next Morning than stay up and watch what often is a game that goes on too long, and typically isn't a great matchup - there are a surprising number of blowouts and snoozers.

And then there was a moment yesterday that reinforced that.  The Patriots story came out, and you had the camp that said "they're cheaters," the camp that said "we're the best, we won championships" and the camp that said "lets move on already, who cares."

I've said in the past that its impossible, illogical, and improbable - and there's no historical basis - for a team to be this good for this long.  Sure, coach and QB can make up for some deficiencies.  But between salary cap and player turnover, the patriots success has to be a result of some form of "bending the rules."  You can call it cheating or not; its unclear if they broke any real rules, though they did gain competitive advantages along the way.  

But I have to be honest with myself and say every team tries to do it.  But most try to stay within certain ethical boundaries.  The patriots did it better, and took it farther than everyone else.  And in a weird way, you have to tip your hat to them. 

It tainted the game, and made the playing field uneven.  Other teams couldn't (and surely won't be able to) overcome the orchestrated method of "cheating"...they will continue to do these things in perpetuity  And if other teams don't do the same (and more) the Patriots will continue to excel.  

The thing is, though, there will be no asterisks, no loss of wins or trophies, no changing things to actually stop them,  They will certainly be considered one of the best all-time, and the NFL will continue to grow because people love it.  

So, its not a fair competition, and wins and losses don't actually matter.  Unless your team is doing the same kinds of things, they will always be behind the patriots in the standings, and in Lombardi trophies.

It makes me a little sad that the integrity of the game is gone. The fun of simply playing, of watching athletes compete on the field where the rules are designed to keep things equal, is gone. 

And that's why I call it entertainment and not sport.  Its more like professional wrestling, where everything is scripted.

I'll watch some RedZone, because that's designed specifically to be entertainment.  You see scoring plays, and get some football, and can watch your fantasy team.  And that's what the NFL is really all about.

But I won't watch a game, nor spend any money on their product. Its the only way I can express my feeling about the way all of this has been handled.

The NFL made over $10 billion last year, and has a plan to make over $25 billion in 10 years.  Think about that.  They don't care if a team cheats or not.  This is about money, and nothing else. So what if guys beat their brains out?

And that, IMHO, just isn't right.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

From Spygate to Deflategate: Inside what split the NFL and New England Patriots apart

Interesting read. And "if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying..."

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/13533995/split-nfl-new-england-patriots-apart


Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Now That Its For Real, Here Is The 2015 Season Prediction

Before we begin to look at wins and losses, lets take a look at the most glaring aspect of the schedule which is that we play only 2 home games in Miami the first 10 weeks of the season: Week 3 against Buffalo and then Week 7 against Tennessee.  Week 4 is a "Home" game against the Jets but it will be played in London.

We are actually a pretty good road team as we went 4-4 on the road last year and that includes 2 tough losses, at Detroit and at Denver.  Since Defense travels well and our unit will be much better than last year's unit, I am optimistic.
 
We open with two very winnable road games at Washington and then at Jacksonville so we should be 2-0 heading home against the Bills. As most predictions have us splitting all the AFC East games, I see us winning a very low scoring game that our new Rookie Kicker, Andrew Franks, will have to win for us and we go to 3-0 here.
 
Next we fly to London to host the Jets.  I know from personal experience that playing the Jets at home late in the season turns into a Jets Fan Fest in Miami. There are enough New York transplants down there to begin with and then adding in the "get out of the cold" weekend warriors who fly down for a few days only multiplies the obnoxiousness by 20.  So playing our home game against them in London is actually a benefit in my eyes and we have the better team to boot. So 4-0 start before the early bye seems realistic.
 
After the Bye, we go to Tennessee. 5-0.
 
Now the season really starts.  We host the Texans, who, believe it or not we have never beaten and that goes back to their very first game in their franchise history at Miami no less. Ouch. I see us winning here too and getting off to a 6-0 start in a hard fought game.
 
Week 8 we fly up to NE to face the Pats on a Thursday night.  Brady is batting .500 against us and with them at home at night and probably wanting to make a National Statement about "Who the hell do these Miami Dolphins think the are?", I can see them kicking our asses.  6-1.
 
Oh boy, off to Buffalo in another dogfight. This will not be an easy win for either of us but lets give Buffalo the slight home field advantage even though I think we can win this game. 6-2.
 
Gee wizards, we are still on the road and tired too after two emotional road division games and Philly just runs us off the track. 6-3.
 
Hello Miami. A home game couldn't come fast enough. 5 out of the last 7 games will be in SunLife Stadium. And we spank the Cowboys as Romo doesn't get comfortable in his new found surroundings. 7-3.
 
J-E-T-S....Suck, Suck, Suck!!! Even in the Meadowlands that cheer will fill the air as the DolfansNYC buys up 3 connecting sections in the upper deck and helps turn the tide as Miami ends the Jets season and goes to 8-3.
 
Pay back is a bitch. Ask the Ravens as they leave Miami and we go to 9-3 and fighting the Pats for the AFC East as well as a Bye in the playoffs.
 
Now, we have to play Manning on a Monday Night. At least its at home. Oh wait, not Peyton but Eli. Oh that's different. Monday Night in Miami for Alumni Weekend during our 50th Anniversary Season!!! I would not want to be a Giants fan that night. 10-3.
 
Long flight across the country after a very emotional night game.  Going to the Chargers after we annihilated them last year at our place. Did I mention pay back is a bitch? All Philbin can say after this one is "The plane leaves in an hour, be on it." 10-4.
 
OK the final stretch against two very, very good QBs. Andrew Luck and Tom "Where is my ball pin?" Brady.  This is so easy to just say 10-6. Great season but wait. Andrew Luck is 0-2 against the Phins and both were in Indy. How about that? Didn't see that coming, did you? Now most teams enjoy coming to Miami in December. Bring the wives, the kids, the sunscreen. But Indy plays in a dome, so if anything, they lose a great weather advantage and actually have to play outside on grass. 11-4.          
 
Now whether this final game will determine the AFC East Championship or not, I do not know. Will NE already have clinched regardless of this game's outcome may not matter as they will probably need it for a BYE anyway.  I gotta ask you: Hasn't the world turned enough in the past 14 years? Hasn't the sun come up on NE long enough?  I believe the worm is turning and the Dolphins have finally taken advantage and taken back the AFC East.
 
Let me be the first to say, we go 12-4!
 
And here is why: Tannehill has grown leaps and bounds and we have a running game too. Miami was one of only three teams last year, joining the Steelers and Packers, as teams with not only a 1000 yard rusher but also a 4000 yard passer. You didn't know that did you?
 
Our defense was tough enough last year, but after watching the first team unit in preseason, they are ridiculously good now having given up only 3 points in 3 games.  Our D Line is so deep and talented. They have made a fiasco out other team offenses.  I kid you not.
 
The only concern I have is keeping the O Line and LB units healthy.  If they avoid major injury we can go 12-4 and win the AFC East.
 
I actually expect it.
 
Phins Up!!!
 
Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971          
 
 
 
 

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Bitchin' Dave's Fantasy League!


So I'm thinking of making a fantasy league on ESPN and finding the players from this blog! not to sure how to go about it with prizes and everything being that we would most likely have players from around the world. Anyone have any ideas?