Why Your Team Sucks 2017: Miami Dolphins

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Some people are fans of the Miami Dolphins. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Miami Dolphins. This 2017 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.



Your 2016 record: 10-6. You guys made the playoffs! Can you believe that? Man, I had completely forgotten about that. Real shock to scroll through the top of the draft order and NOT see this team there. Let’s see what went down once they reached the postseason…

JESUS H. CHRIST! Dat’s gotta hoit! Anyway, that’s placebo QB Matt Moore, who was subbing for nominal starter Ryan Tannehill after Tannehill tore his ACL. As you know already, Tannehill tore that same ligament in a new place during the preseason and is already gone for the rest of 2017. Between Tannehill’s injuries and Moore having his brain atomized, the Dolphins are arguably much crueler to their own quarterbacks than they are to those of the opposition.

Your coach: Oh look, it’s offensive guru and “Guy who got a job in the SNL writer’s room because Dad is a billionaire” Adam Gase! Honeymoon’s over, Gasey! You may have coasted into second place last year thanks to second helpings of the Jets and Bills, but now your QB is gone and you had to go begging and pleading for this…

Your quarterback: HE’S BACK!


“But I’m using my whole ass!” Yes, Miami, time for you to drink in the full Jay Cutler experience. Watch in wonder as he takes five minutes to get from the sideline to the huddle! Gaze in awe as he throws the ball at the turf the second he senses his pass protection has broken down! Marvel at his furious need to be intercepted! It’s all yours for six weeks before he goes down with a vague injury to his pointing finger and stays home to collect checks. Make sure your children are vaccinated for mumps and rubella!

Here’s a man who has publicly admitted he’s in lousy shape and only took the job because his wife made him do it. This is why it’s breathtakingly naïve to assume that Gase can magically conjure the Cutler of 2015, a year when he cut down on his interceptions (AND his TDs, by the way) and had the best passer rating of his career. If you’re a Dolphins fan who is currently in denial—and really, denial tends to be your resting state—you can look at Cutler’s career numbers and Tannehill’s numbers and note that there’s very little dropoff, if any, between the two. Cutler is Tannehill! Tannehill is Cutler! THAT’S NOT ENCOURAGING. It’s not encouraging when the dude who’s supposed to be your franchise QB can’t post better numbers than the fat naked guy this team had to pull off the street to replace him. It’s not encouraging when Tannehill has all the pocket awareness of a man stricken blind 10 minutes ago. Look at the Dolphins before they were in supposed crisis mode:


Cutler isn’t the only reason you are fucked, people. He’s merely a symptom of a greater disease, a disease to which he has not been immunized.

What’s new that sucks: Uhhhh, Jarvis Landry is being investigated for battery, so that’s fun. Then he tweeted about the preseason being bullshit, and then there was this:


I feel like Dolphins PR purposely leaked that Dolphins PR didn’t force Landry to shut up about his tweet because Dolphins PR DID force Landry to shut up about his tweet. Jordon Cameron retired before he could suffer his 90th concussion. The team also brought in aging linebacker Lawrence Timmons and tight end Julius Thomas, whose career trajectory after leaving Peyton Manning is a steeper drop than El Capitan. Laremy Tunsil apparently doesn’t know how to exit a shower correctly. Here’s a dead Dolphin:

Illustration for article titled Why Your Team Sucks 2017: Miami Dolphins

What has always sucked: Ndamukong Suh cannot stop kicking people. It really is amazing. He has all the self-control of the President, and he’s gonna get another $10 million for Burfict-ing everyone this season. There’s no way that Miami pays to keep Suh around after this season, so I look forward to him not only burning every last bridge in Miami this season, but also stomping on the ashes when he thinks no one is looking. Also, Jay Ajayi is gonna suck this year. I know it. I can feel it in my loins. No good Dolphins back stays good. After one good year, all of them transform into late-career Bernie Parmalee.

As for this team’s fans… is anyone intimidated by a Dolphins fan, ever? Look at this group of tubby boat captains get into a fight in the stands. Every NFL Sunday, every sports bar on Earth has exactly one Dolphins fan sitting in it, wearing a Marino jersey, looking around for other Miami fans like he’s been frozen out at the school cafeteria. They are the two-dollar bill of the sports bar crowd. Lemme tell you something, sad Dolphins fan at the bar: No one else is coming. It’s just you. You get to watch Cutler wing it to the Gatorade cooler on third-and-16 all by yourself.


Stephen Ross is America’s most pathetic social climber. That one Hootie song is god awful.

Did you know? The Dolphins’ most famous thing in the last 25 years is still their appearance in Ace Ventura. For everyone around my age, that is basically the only remotely positive connotation the Dolphins have.


By the way, this team DID have a live Dolphin mascot in a stadium fish tank back in the 1960s, then got rid of it to save money. What a bunch of cheap shitbags. I DEMAND REAL DOLPHINS AND I DEMAND THEY KICK FIELD GOALS WITH THEIR LITTLE DOLPHIN FLIPPERS. Tell me attendance doesn’t triple if that happens. WHO SAYS NO?

What might not suck: Honestly? Cutler’s got a quality butt. I’d be proud to have that butt.




Jay Cutler.


I’ve been begging for the release/disappearance of Tannehill for years and boy did that become the biggest monkey paw wish in history.



“Jay Cutler had his best season under offensive co-ordinator Adam Gase”

**Looks up 2015 Chicago Bears.

6-10, last in the NFC North.

**Looks up how the Dolphins did following last playoff appearance (2011).

6-10, third in the AFC East.

Looking forward to it.


A month ago I would have said it’s because Ryan Tannehill was somehow approaching his fourth straight “make or break” season, which made no sense. Maybe would have added a joke about how Tannehill couldn’t even fully tear his ACL. Ha ha ha! Except.... oh shit! Now I would seriously give anything to go back to that situation.



The Dolphins suck because somehow I consider beating the Jets and going 1-1 against the Bills a successful season.



One time I called Randy McMichael “Chris Chambers” to his face by accident, so I’m probably a racist.



We took John Beck, Chad Henne, and Pat White in consecutive drafts.


Can’t wait for Brady and Belichick to retire so we can get pummeled in the first round of the playoffs every two years instead of every eight years.



Somehow, last year was the first year in as long as I can remember that the Dolphins didn’t do something inherently embarrassing to draw my ire, even going as far as making the playoffs

Fast forward to now and I feel like Jay Cutler’s face looks.


Me (to Dad): So did you see that the Dolphins signed Jay Cutler?

Dad: Yeah I saw that.

Mom (Who has never watched an NFL game but has overheard my Dolphins lamentations for years): Doesn’t he suck?

Me: You’re thinking of Jay Fiedler...but yeah.


The Dolphins are like watching an old lady try to save her lap dog from running into traffic and subsequently getting creamed by a semi. This team is a graveyard.



I grew up relatively close to New Orleans (rural Mississippi) and lived eight of the past 10 years in San Diego County. I was given two opportunities to acclimate into a fan base for two other teams by residence proximity, but because of Ace Ventura and Dan Marino, I’ve made a conscious decision to remain a Dolphins fan since childhood. This has led to some unsettling behavior over the years, which includes but is not limited to:

- Uttering the sentence, “I believe in Chad Henne.”

- Blasting that T-Pain “fight song” at work

- Calling that one coach “Tony Soprano” during his years there, as if painting him as some sort of mob badass would yield a better won-loss record

- Singing that T-Pain “fight song” at work

- Steadfastly supporting Jarvis Landry’s bold prediction this year regardless of how many laughs it has elicited since it was made



I owned a Channing Crowder jersey once.


The Dolphins are the most milquetoast, cowardly, irrelevant, mind-numbly boring franchise in the NFL. At least the Browns have committed to sucking. The Dolphins instead choose to be self-dick-punchingly average—never bad enough to draft someone good (not that they would anyway), never good enough to be anything more than first-round fodder for a competent franchise (if fans should be so lucky for the team to make the playoffs.)

Mike Tannenbaum, who runs Miami’s football operations, is most famous for helping the Jets reach new lows by believing in Mark Sanchez and leaving the team in salary cap hell. Stephen Ross, the owner, once said “From every aspect except the playing field, we’re probably the first-class organization in the National Football League,” which explains why fans get to watch the team go 7–9 every year while sitting under a canopy. The Dolphins’ last successful coach was Dave Wannstedt, who drove the team’s best player to a worldwide search for the most powerful kush.

Miami clearly botched Ryan Tannehill’s knee injury, letting him treat a torn ACL with stem cells instead of surgery, basically making the Dolphins the first team who should have listened to every fake doctor on Twitter. It was no surprise when Tannehill folded up like a piece of cheese on a simple run to the sidelines early in training camp—while he was being chased by Ndamukong Suh, the highly paid defensive tackle who can’t do shit for Miami’s piss-poor run defense.

Of course, the Dolphins could have covered up the old fish stench hovering over the franchise by doing something cool for the first time and signing Colin Kaepernick. Instead, Miami signed Jay Cutler, the Donald Trump-loving, cigarette-touting, ass-baring quarterback who will almost assuredly throw six interceptions in a game against the Patriots this season. Fuck Jay Cutler. Cutty would have been mildly enjoyable shitting on people from a broadcast booth with bloodshot eyes while wearing cargo shorts below his Fox-issue blazer. Instead, he gets to be treated like a savior until he inevitably blows a game against the Jets because the offensive line will be fully healthy for less time than Anthony Scaramucci worked for the White House. Aaron Hernandez will be let out of jail and return to the Patriots before Mike Pouncey plays another full season in the NFL.

I’m still going to watch every game, though.




They signed a defensive tackle, who has a penchant for stomping on people, to a contract that has ruined cap flexibility for the better part of a decade. Their coach looks like they just picked him out of the guys having lunch at Tooties. Many of their fans are Florida Man.

Illustration for article titled Why Your Team Sucks 2017: Miami Dolphins


After a typical 1-4 start I had had enough. I called DirecTV and proudly told the customer service rep to cancel my Sunday Ticket package. He couldn’t believe my request and asked why I wanted to cancel. It was as if I was suddenly disconnected from the Matrix. I was doing it, I was actually becoming the man of conviction I was pretending to be. I replied, “I’m a Dolphins fan!” in a way that sounded like I just admitted I was a crack addict. Then I said in a sad sincere tone “Have you seen this team? I can’t take it anymore.”

I was politely told that you can’t cancel after Week 1. So with the kind of resignation you feel when you miss your flight, I watched and paid for yet another inevitable disappointing season. The team went into its playbook and pulled out the old “let’s make the playoffs and get bounced in the first round” kind of season from 2008. Whatever.

I was always looking for someone in the Miami Dolphins organization to blame for my frustration. It turns out I’ve been the asshole all along.



A friend (and fellow Dolphins fan) sent me this shortly after the Cutler signing “So they aren’t getting any worse, and they definitely aren’t getting any better”. No single sentence in history has more accurately summed up an entire organization.



Our fans are exclusively geriatric, dementia-struck New York ex-pats with melanoma.

We overachieved hard last year with multiple OT victories and an easy schedule. Look at our schedule this upcoming season. The weakest opponent is the Los Diego Chargers. This team is about to fall to Earth faster than Trump’s approval rating, and 95% of our terrible fans are going to be shocked, just shocked.

Our best positional draft pick in the 21st Century is Randy McMichael. Randy McMichael was arrested for battering his pregnant wife (and then bloodying his now-not-pregnant wife at a Waffle House) before the NFL pretended to care about that sort of thing. Did I mention Nick Saban was the coach at the time? Fuck Nick Saban. I bet he hasn’t slept since the National Championship game.



Patrick Willis

Marshawn Lynch

Darelle Revis

Lawrence Timmons

Reggie Nelson

Joe Staley

Jon Beason

Greg Olsen

Just a few of the Pro-Bowlers drafted in the first round after Cam Cameron took Ted Ginn Jr. 9th overall.

Eat shit, Ted Ginn.

Fuck you, Cam Cameron.


Last year, the Patriots won the Super Bowl. This offseason, they let guys from that team LeGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett and Logan Ryan walk and imported their replacements from other teams. Last year, the Dolphins barely made the playoffs, played the Steelers in the first round, allowed approximately 750 yards on the first two drives of the game and had their quarterback obscenely concussed.

This offseason, the Dolphins re-signed Kenny Stills and Andre Branch to over-market deals and gave big contract extensions to Reshad Jones and Kiko Alonso. The Patriots were as disloyal and bloodless as ever; meanwhile, the Dolphins’ stated initiative was to “reward” their own players. Hmm, I wonder which team will be better this year? This is as good a time as any to remember that the Dolphins are currently run by the guy who signed Mark Sanchez to a $50 million contract and haven’t won a playoff game in 17 years.



I was so tired of screaming at the TV as I watch Tannehill hold onto the ball in the pocket, just fucking standing there locked in on the deep route as the pocket collapses. Get rid of the fucking ball! Scramble! What the fuck! Oh great, another sack on third down.



They have a shitty theme song that TPain tried to replace with a shittier version and which I try every now and again to replace with an even shittier version of a shittier version.


Steve Ross got his head out of his ass and actually made some real strides as an owner in the last year or so, mainly by getting out of the way in football ops and starting RISE, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. He did this in 2016, so his reward was to be called (((STEVE ROSS))) on the internet and get crucified by “real fans” for siding with Kenny Stills and his “pro-ISIS” kneeldown. It’s OK because later in the season Kiko Alonso laid out Colin Kaepernick with the game on the line, turning Cuba into a democracy.

Other teams actually hired away Dolphins coaches and front office executives this offseason, a move that was allowed in part because Mike Tannenbaum wanted to create a culture of upward mobility. All this did for me was serve as another painful reminder that Mike Tannenbaum’s still in a position of power in my team’s front office in 2017.

Adam Gase had a great first season, including such coaching highlights such as:

- Cutting O-Linemen who have sucked for YEARS

- Not being a completely emotionless robot when dealing with the press

- Not forcing players out of scheme because he feels it’s best

- Legitimately talking to players

- Not going 8-8

As you can tell, the bar is set very high down here. In fact, after a single season of winning close games against shit teams and getting swept by the Patriots, the team is now naturally talking about sweeping the Patriots. No amount of froth and/or dirty blocks from Jarvis Landry is gonna stop New England from dropping 28 by halftime.



December 16, 2007. A suburban Atlanta sports bar that serves as home to a couple hundred Dolphins fans every Sunday. Deafening cheering and high-fives all around, with maybe even a few tears of joy sprinkled in. We were actually celebrating a Cleo Lemon-to-Greg Camarillo touchdown (name a better QB/WR tandem, I dare you) in overtime against the Ravens to propel us to a 1-13 record and avoid a winless season. I’m still embarrassed just thinking about how happy I was and that was a decade ago.

We’ve made three playoff appearances in the last 16 seasons—all wild card losses. Our most recent playoff appearance was last season when we got stomped by the Steelers and backup QB Matt Moore got decapitated by a guy named Bud. It was so forgettable that when I mention in passing how we made the playoffs last season, many people react with genuine surprise and can’t seem to recall that happening. I’m guessing Matt Moore would react the same way.

Fuck Ryan Tannehill’s lack of pocket presence and his surprising lack of athleticism, given that, as we all know from the play-by-play man roughly every 20 seconds of a Dolphins game, “he played wide receiver in college.” My dad was just entering his teens when the Dolphins last won a Super Bowl, while the closest they’ve gotten in my lifetime was at the end of Ace Ventura.



I own an OJ McDuffie jersey. I live in Seahawks country (which is exactly as bad as one would think) and the only time I’ve seen the Dolphins play in person AJ Feeley had five turnovers. My three year old daughter loves dolphins but refuses to wear the Phins shirt I bought her because “its helmet is too ugly”.



In the last 20 years, here are the scores of playoff games in which the Dolphins were eliminated:

1997: Patriots 17 - Dolphins 3

1998: Broncos 38 - Dolphins 3

1999: Jaguars 62 - Dolphins 7

(These are real scores from real playoff games. I’m not making these up.)

2000: Raiders 27 - Dolphins 0

2001: Ravens 20 - Dolphins 3

(Holy fucking shit, seriously, LOOK AT THESE SCORES.)

2008: Ravens 27 - Dolphins 9

2016: Steelers 30 - Dolphins 12

(Twelve points! Double digits! Fuck yeah, Adam Gase! 2018 AFC East watch the fuck out!)

Anyway, the greatest sin for the Dolphins in the last 20 years (aside from their piece of shit new uniforms) is that they win boring and they lose boring. There are barely any memorable games in almost two decades. In fact, I’d say the two most memorable Dolphin games in the last 20 years were:

1. The Monday Night Miracle, a game they lost.


2. The 2007 regular season game against the Ravens in which Cleo Lemon threw an overtime touchdown pass to Greg Camarillo to give the Dolphins their only win that season. If you think I’m kidding, go find that play on YouTube. Kevin Harlan’s call is amazing. He loses his fucking mind, and I will forever love him for it. It’s like he forgot he was calling a shitty 1 p.m. game between 0-13 and 4-9 teams and instead thought he was calling a walk-off grand slam in Game 7 of a World Series while Mike Tyson was biting Evander Holyfield’s ear and Vince Carter was jumping over Frédéric Weis on the 50-yard line.

Also, since I have this forum, I have a 30-year-old mystery I’d love to have solved by any readers that may have the answer. In the 1985 AFC Championship game, the Dolphins were home against the Patriots, and one of the Orange Bowl’s end zones was actually painted red and blue and said PATRIOTS. I didn’t dream this. It happened. Go watch it. It’s fucking insane. And it’s not like that was the tradition back then. That same day the ’85 Bears hosted the NFC Championship game against the Rams and one of the end zones at Soldier Field sure as fuck wasn’t painted blue and yellow and said L.A. RAMS in it. Can you even imagine? Who made that decision? Who was running the Orange Bowl that day, one of my friend’s moms? “Well, the Patriots are our guests and we should make them feel at home.” You’re painting one of your end zones in the opposing team’s colors in the AFC Championship game?! Fuck I fucking hate the Miami Dolphins. Also I fucking love them.



Because for 17 years, every pre-season, every game, and the three playoff games where we’ve been outscored a combined 24-77, everyone asks the question:

“Is this the time that:

Jay Fielder

Ray Lucas

Brian Griese

AJ Feeley

Jay Fiedler (again)

Sage Rosenfels

Gus Ferrotte

Sage Rosenfels (again)

Joey Harrington

Daunte Culpepper

Cleo Lemon

Trent Green

John Beck

Chad Pennington

Chad Henne

Chad Pennington (again)

Chad Henne

Chad Pennington (again)

Tyler Thigpen

Chad Henne (again!)

Matt Moore

Ryan Tannehill

Matt Moore (again)

Ryan Tannehill (again)

Jay Cutler


finally ‘puts it all together’”?

Spoiler Alert: It isn’t.


Fuck Richie Incognito with a MAGA hat.

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Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.