Some people are fans of the Miami Dolphins. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Miami Dolphins. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Miami Dolphins.
Your 2017 record: 6-10. Obviously, this team was doomed from the start when they lost Ryan Tannehill in training camp and then gave Jay Cutler a $10 million retirement gift. Cutler presided over this team with the EXACT level of enthusiasm as a Miami sports fan. As for the rest of the team, they put more effort into slapping each other on the ass than playing actual football. One of the linebackers went MIA. They lost to the Ravens 40-0. I have no idea how they won six games, much less one against the Patriots. Football is completely arbitrary and pointless.
Your coach: This guy…
No wait. Not that guy. I can’t believe they made the cocaine coach resign. I thought I knew you, Miami. You should have promoted Chris Foerster. You should have given him a Cigarette boat and a 10,000 square-foot house with a Jacuzzi shaped like a stiletto heel and let him be COCAINE KING OF FOOTBALL. Instead, your head coach is the man who designed this play…
That play was the brainchild of Adam Gase, who was once a promising young assistant but came to Miami and instantly became the second coming of Cam Cameron. Under Gase, the Dolphins have become one of the most frequently penalized teams in the league. Their red zone offense stalls harder than old man Shula trying to maintain an erection. Gase shipped Jay Ajayi to Philly midseason because he was displeased with him and Ajayi immediately won a Super Bowl. This team isn’t a mess because of bad luck.
Your quarterback: Cutler has finally been banished to the realm of has-been reality TV, where he is destined to serve out the remainder of his existence contracting rubella and having very small toy poodles piss on his shoes. Apparently he can also eat pussy good now:
Support GQ magazine, gentlemen. The good news for you Dolphins fans is that Ryan Tannehill is healthy again … for eight more days. Savor the potential!
I can’t believe they’re still trying to make Ryan Tannehill happen. This man is due nearly $40 million in 2019 and 2020, and there’s no way in hell the Dolphins are gonna keep him around. They’re gonna cut him loose after he somehow impales himself on an upright, and then they’re gonna reach for a shitty, anodyne project QB in the NEXT draft. You guys could have had Lamar Jackson, man. He would have been a GOD in that town. Instead you’re gonna get four games of Tannehill and a dozen games of Brock Osweiler. I’m sure opposing defenses will be quaking in their boots.
What’s new that sucks: The Dolphins finally rid themselves of Ndamukong Suh, who is now free to have 57 separate road rage incidents in Los Angeles. They also cut Mike Pouncey loose and traded Jarvis Landry in an attempt to de-turdify the locker room by at least 35 percent. But these are the Dolphins, man. They don’t import malcontents, they CREATE them. Their most notable feat of this decade was having one of their lineman bully another lineman to the point of insanity, and then turn insane himself. This is not a healthy place.
On the field, they’ve replaced Ajayi with the leftover fat and gristle of Frank Gore. Pouncey has been replaced by former 49er Daniel Kilgore, who better go by the nickname “Colonel” or else he’s dead to me. They also signed Danny Amendola, which is hilarious because you know damn well they’re getting the Rams Amendola and not the Patriots Amendola. It’s like the world’s worst revenge for the Wes Welker trade. Amendola will have 68 concussions and a wooden leg by October.
They also brought in a continental breakfast of assorted free agents (Robert Quinn, Josh Sitton, Albert Wilson), but who the fuck cares? This roster SCREAMS 7-9. Even if they have one of those seasons where they goof their way into second place in the East (which is always shared on a rotating schedule) and get a wild card spot, these Dolphins will still have the stench of 7-9 all over them. The cocaine coach is the biggest celebrity this franchise has produced in two decades. Gase will have Jeff Fisher’s mustache by midseason.
What has always sucked: Have you met our parent company, Univision? Well, let me tell you about Univision: it’s a shoddily run TV outfit owned by a deranged media baron who makes awful TV shows for hyperactive children. It is terminally incapable of making money and is located in the absolute shittiest part of Miami. You might say the Univision is the Miami Dolphins of TV networks. Or perhaps that analogy is even better if you turn it around.
As for the Dolphins, they’re owned by a clueless social climber whose idea of generating fan excitement is sneaking protest restrictions into the team rulebook and offering free nosebleed seats to A-Rod. Stephen Ross is eternally lucky that the Marlins exist, because it means he will never be the most evil owner in town. He’s merely a hapless buffoon, cooking up one dopey scheme after another to make the Dolphins hot in a city that doesn’t give a shit. He can’t even get people to build his stadium a fucking ROOF.
Miami proper is too busy dissolving into the sea to care about the Dolphins at the moment. It is perhaps the greatest encapsulation of American irrationality: a place where real estate prices are insane even though the pay is shit and city is about to be swallowed by the tides. Like the Dolphins, Miami is utterly unsustainable. It’s also hot as balls and probably has higher rates of people dying from bootleg butt implants than anywhere else in the U.S.. The “hip” part of town is literally one street that’s a few blocks long and features restaurants with bad Bushwick trends from 2012. Collins Ave. is the world capital of Russian guys with cocaine dust on their upper lips being rude to the wait staff.
There’s more. All the golf carts are on fire. The whole state is being eaten by algae. Every dipshit retired pro athlete trying to maintain a brand comes to Miami to bilk it for stadium money. Art Basel is Margaritaville for rich people with gaudy taste. The state made Rick Scott governor! Rick Scott looks like a viral photo of something dredged up from the fucking sea floor. The state re-elected idiotboy Marco Rubio, and handily! Miami Beach long ago ceased to be a real city and instead exists mostly for South American investors, bank fraudsters from New York who “just want a place to get away for awhile,” and sunburned tourists. It’s Manhattan, only on the beach and with better plastic surgery. The beaches are getting swept away and the town has to buy pirated sand just to make Miami resemble Miami. Florida got its crazy all over the rest of this country and I will NEVER forgive it. Mercury Morris should just die already. I’ll pop the champers when he does.
Laremy Tunsil blows. Fuck Derek Jeter with a laptop.
What might not suck: Isaiah Crowell is no longer my DFS huckleberry. That honor goes to Kenyan Drake, who will definitely average eight yards a carry while Gase gives Frank Gore 20 touches a game. I’m bitter already.
Let’s remember a guy who sucked: John Avery! Remember him? No? Good, because he was fucking useless. If you ever want a perfect encapsulation of the Miami Dolphins, you can do worse than the years when they hired Jimmy Johnson, gave him all the power he wanted, let him draft a bunch of insanely bad, undersized skill position players, and then watched as he quickly lost interest and then went to go live on a boat. That’s what happens to everyone who passes through here.
HEAR IT FROM DOLPHINS FANS!
Tanny is gonna blow his knee out walking his wife’s little foo-foo dog and we’re gonna be stuck with some pud from St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind.
Deep down I know Ryan Tannehill is not the answer, but fuck you if you actually say that out loud.
David Fales (our 2nd string QB) followed me on Instagram last year for some reason and that’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to me NFL-wise since the 2008 Wildcat season.
As TAMU quarterbacks go, I’d rather have drafted Manziel, because at least it would be over.
The last time the Dolphins won a playoff game they had a Jewish QB and Bill Clinton was president.
Not gonna lie, it’s almost nice when your QB goes down in late July, early August. That’s 16 three-hour games you don’t have to watch. 48 hours you get back, and that’s if you don’t count the hours of being pouty and annoyed for the rest of Sunday. Since the vast majority of Dolphins games start at 1:00 PM, I made off like a bandit. Jay Cutler may have made $10 million, but at least I got a little something too.
Deep down every Dolphins fan knows we will never be good until Tom Bradybot 5000 finally retires and even then I feel like we will still be mediocre for all time.
Jay Cutler is the best QB we’ve had since Marino. Close second? Jay Fiedler.
Ronnie Brown is the most successful Dolphins quarterback among the 347 signal-callers that have lined up behind center for Miami since Marino retired.
Going to Hard Rock Stadium (10th name change!) for a Dolphins game is now officially the least entertaining thing to do there, placing firmly behind the day AutoNation rent the lots out for a huge used car sale.
God bless Mark Richt for making my weekends tolerable again.
My five-year-old son asked for a Dolphins shirt. Instead of being a proud father, I asked, “Are you sure you want this?”
Mr. Ross, go fuck yourself.
Why on Earth would I want NFL Ticket so I could watch my team lose every week?
I feel bad for Fitzpatrick who, by all accounts, is a hard working, humble, family oriented guy, and I just know he’ll be fucking up on social media by week 6.
Technically we were in the playoffs two years ago but that was so forgettable that I had to Google it to make sure it actually happened. Patriot schadenfreude is the only source of joy I get out of this goddamn league anymore. Also fuck Stephen Ross.
Their fate, now and forever, is to be the team on the bottom of the “Playoff Scenarios” slides the broadcasters start running mid-season. They are the team eternally “In the Hunt” or “Needs Some Help” that inevitably misses, gets a mid-teens draft pick, reaches for a project quarterback, and repeats until the end of time.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is going to blow out both of his knees by the third preseason game.
Fuck Bill Parcells with his coaching tree and fuck Nick Saban with Bill Parcells’ coaching tree.
Because the only reason to watch this year will be to see if that gust of wind comes in and gives Tannehill’s knee that final haduken!! to put us all out of our misery. It’s like his 9th make or break year.
“37-year-old Ryan Tannehill: ready for a breakout season? Join us for a panel discussion after the close of their latest 8-8 effort.”
Excited to see Ryan Tannehill (our best WR) go down with a season ending MCL explosion from wiggling his toes too vigorously.
As I write this the official team roster lists one Guard and four Centers, seriously.
My jersey history for the Dolphins perfectly aligns with what it’s like to be a fan:
Dark Blue Ricky Williams: Dolphins jerseys were hard to come by north of the wall (Canada). I had to settle for what looked like a Broncos practice jersey. Was kinda cool looking at the time, but the Dolphins never wore dark blue.
White Pro Bowl Ricky Williams: Became a huge fan of Ricky. My dad was in to the hip new craze known as “Ebay”.
A Ladanian Tomlinson Pro Bowl Jersey arrived, and I never had the heart to tell my Dad they shipped the wrong jersey. Maybe for the better.
Orange Ricky Williams: He retired exactly two weeks after I got that jersey.
Aqua Ryan Tannehill: I hated the new jerseys less than the old ones, despite the dumb Nike flywire collars. Decided to buy it after Tannehill’s rookie year. Many sacks, a torn ACL, and Jay Cutler followed.
Aqua Jarvis Landry: My sister ordered it online for Christmas 2016, but because of a delay I didn’t receive it until the end of February. A year later he was traded to the Browns.
Fuck Nick Saban.
The Dolphins have a fight song we all sing when they score a touchdown. We stole it from the Houston Oilers back in the 70s, but admitting that in public has just put me at risk of being excommunicated from my own family. It’s sounds like it was recorded inside of an old garbage can, but it’s still better than having to sit through the Jimmy Buffet song “Fins” which they play every time we settle for a Field Goal (also known as any time the Dolphin get into the red zone). “Dolfans” (this is what the team really calls its fan base) love this song because we equate it with the Shula years and the Undefeated Season. Did you know the Dolphins are the only team to ever go undefeated? Don’t worry they’ll tell you about it quicker than a vegan who does CrossFit, even though it happened well over a decade before I was born and I’m 32.
Our front office thought they could do more with a 4th-round draft pick than they could with Jay Ajayi. Exactly one Miami 4th-round selection from the past decade is still with the team (he is not starting), but to be fair, that’s barely a worse batting average than we have in the 1st round.
Stephen Ross is probably not the worst NFL owner, or the most racist NFL owner, or the most evil NFL owner, but he is absolutely the most hapless NFL owner (and no, I am not forgetting Mark Davis). Stephen Ross is one of the three wealthiest NFL owners, but he has less league influence than Vince McMahon. At no point during his tenure has the team been relevant. He was the unwitting, cowardly face of the NFL’s anthem policy, and I assume when he realized this, the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme was playing.
I don’t even remember what our record was last season, but I know intuitively it was between 4-12 and 7-9. We’re the less dynamic Cleveland Browns, complete with pining for LeBron, except their fans are better and we have Jarvis Landry. Oh wait.
Two stories, one from my first year of being a Dolphins fan, and one from now.
One summer in preschool, I was so excited by the sheer miracle that both my dad and the quarterback of the Miami Dolphins were named Dan, I wore my Dan Marino jersey every single day. We went on a field trip to the Miami Herald and when they asked what my name was I yelled, “My name is Brice Marino! And this is my dad Dan.”
This summer I received a push notification for an article entitled “Five Reasons why the Dolphins will make the 2018 NFL Playoffs.” I mimed throwing my phone in the trash so dramatically it slipped out of my hand and flew down two flights of stairs.
A game winning overtime touchdown pass from Cleo Lemon to Greg Camarillo is still my happiest memory of getting to watch the Dolphins in person. I have witnessed Geno Smith post a perfect QB rating in Miami.
This team has routinely found new and impressive ways to be embarrassing to be a fan of, from Bullygate, to our OL coach sending videos doing blow at work to a hooker, to seeing Tyler Thigpen start multiple games. If there is anyone on the roster wearing #34 come time the season starts there will be at least a dozen drunken Floridamen screaming “Run Ricky Run!” despite Ricky Williams having been out of the league for almost ten years. I hate this team, I hate our fans, but most of all I hate myself for never learning. “I think with some good luck and a healthy team there’s no reason we can’t go 9-7 and maybe even snag a wildcard bid” is a real sentence I said out loud the other day, fuck everything.
What’s amazing is how the Dolphins have managed to make nearly every realistic option utterly unpalatable. What’s left to root for at this point? A trash record, where you’re hoping the GM who gave Mark Sanchez five years and $58 million gets to make a top-three draft pick? Continued mediocrity in the NFL’s root cellar, picking just high enough to draft a really good center? Surprise the world, win 9 games and a tiebreaker, then get dropped by 30 in Pittsburgh?
Our offensive line coach resigned last year because he’s the fucking embodiment of a T-Pain song. We traded Jay Ajayi for all 5 seasons of Miami Vice on VHS. Tannehill has been one year away from his big breakout for four years and now he’s coming off major knee surgery. Our best receiver now plays for the Browns and considers that an upgrade. I can’t name our tight ends. Our defense is Cam Wake running on fumes coupled with a marginally exciting duo of Reshad Jones and Minkah Fitzpatrick. The team owner called our draft this year “underwhelming.” My optimism has never been higher.
-In the 23 complete seasons the Jacksonville Jaguars have existed, they have been to the AFC Championship game 3 times. In that same time frame, the Dolphins have been to exactly zero.
-It is 2018 and the team still isn’t quite sure what they have in Tannehill.
-They traded their best receiver to the fucking Browns for a 4th rd pick.
-They hired Jay Cutler away from a desk job last year for a guaranteed $10 million to......do whatever the hell that was.
-The Dolphins are forever trapped in the Lost Woods of Mediocrity. They are never really talented enough to contend and, when they do have a truly epic, pants-shittingly bad season, they win juuuuuust enough games at the end of the season to take them out of range from drafting a, you know, GOOD player (or the front office stocked with career failures botches the draft altogether) while they unfailingly hire the wrong guy to replace the previously over-matched dunderhead they hired before. Time is a flat circle.
The daily, endless, unyielding, brain-frying news cycles of the Trump presidency swallowed up a number of ridiculous Dolphins moments that I had completely forgotten about. It already feels like the Jay Cutler Experience was an early ‘10s flameout a la Google Glass, but no, he was still starting last December! Among other things my weary brain blocked out:
-We were apparently 4-2 at one point, only to somehow lose to the Ravens 40-0 in a game where Joe Flacco finished with 101 passing yards.
-We “punished” Jay Ajayi for insubordination by getting him a Super Bowl ring.
-Our offensive line coach resigned after being videotaped by a mistress snorting cocaine in his office and it’s not even our biggest offensive line scandal this decade.
-We stood pat in a draft with five first-round quarterbacks to take Nick Saban’s favorite player.
-I assumed we quietly parted ways with Ryan Tannehill in March. Nope! He’s back, and starting!
-The best free agent also-rans we could cobble together to pad the depth chart were Danny Amendola, Robert Quinn, Josh Sitton, Albert Wilson, Frank Gore, Hakeem Nicks, Jerod Mayo, and Fred Jackson. (I only made up three of those.)
-Our previous owner died. I somehow remembered that period as a lost golden age; turns out we won four playoff games and never made a conference championship during his 15-year tenure.
-Our old coach died. He won the AFC East once, going 11-5. Post-Shula, only Dave Wannstedt in 2000 matched that feat.
-The capper was our owner admitting on record that he supported player protests until Trump changed the narrative and said they were protesting the flag and troops so we should just go along with his gaslighting. (Of fucking course we would later be the team to get dragged on Twitter for a proposed draconian protest suspension.) 100 last-place finishes would not match the indignity of getting out-woked in PR by Christopher Johnson and Jed York because our owner folded to Trump faster than a red-state Democrat.
Holy shit fuck this team.
I don’t think this team does any analytics. I don’t think they have any scouts. I don’t think they strategize what type of team they want to build. I think they have ESPN on mute playing in their office and when free agency starts they just start giving sacks of money to guys they kinda remember seeing on the TV once or twice in the past few years.
And now on top of that they want to be the flagfucker team this year. Because what’s more American than going 3-13 all while being meticulous about making sure you got your jingoism right? I hate it. I wish they were the team that started each game with Cameron Wake strip sacking the flag out of the hands of a veteran. At least then this team would have some goddamn personality.
And still, I stick with this team because of the amount of joy that one win against New England gives me every year. ONE WIN. It should not make me that happy. The only people who derive that much happiness out of a single win have a brain disease.
The year the Dolphins get a franchise QB will be the same year football becomes illegal.
I’m 26 (almost 27) years old and the Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game since I was 10. I’ve wasted half of my life rooting for a team that has literally given me zero reward.
This team makes me sick. Literally. Physical symptoms of illness and pain. One time Gus Frerotte through an INT against the Jets so bad I kicked a weight bench in my living room and the weights came crashing down missing my bare foot by inches.....I wish it hit me honestly.
Remember when Bill Parcells drafted Pat White in the second round and he completed ZERO passes in his NFL career. Or the Ted Ginn debacle? Wow, like every time I take a breath I remember one more moment of misery. The Miami Dolphins have ruined my life.
Because of bullshit like this. Amendola is GOING TO SUCK, just like he did in New England. “Oh but he makes everyone work so hard, we need better culture!”
You know you’re in year 3 of Miami’s shitty coaching cycle because you’ve heard reporters say “He needs a locker room full of his guys!”
The Dolphins exist to represent Miami in the NFL perfectly. It’s the retirement home, where old, decrepit players go to die or enjoy a bit of relaxation in the sun before the CTE finally consumes the last of their firing brain cells. It is a constant exercise in misery, as anyone of talent gets shipped off (I was honestly *happy* in a self-loathing way when Jay Ajayi got his ring the SECOND he was cast off to Philadelphia. Good on you for finally breaking free.) so we can make idiotic moves like paying Jay Cutler $10 million to chain smoke Marlboro Reds on the sideline. The personnel situation in Miami is such a merry-go-round, I can’t bring myself to buy a jersey, for fear that said player will be traded immediately. I, like many other assholes, resort to wearing a Marino jersey instead.
Every season, usually around the Week 4 mark, where the Dolphins will win one fluke game over someone of substance, like over the Pats in cruising mode, then immediately crash from 2-2 to 3-5, I send my Dad a text, along the lines of: “I hate you for making me a Dolphins fan. Why couldn’t we be Patriots fans, at least Grandpa was from Rhode Island!” And every year, he responds the same way:
“There are 31 other teams in the league. Feel free to pick one.”
I wish I was smart enough to do just that.
They are still trying to convince us that the man who traded away Jay Ajayi and Jarvis Landry for peanuts and gave $10 million to worlds-most-obvious-bust Jay Cutler is some kind of secret coaching genius.
Also a few years ago, you wrote this, “Ten years from now, Tannehill will still be playing for the Dolphins and everyone will still be like, “Is he good? He may not be good” It was funny then. Now it’s starting to look like a sad reality.
Growing up a native Oklahoman, I didn’t have any good choices for a favorite football team. My mother taught me to hate the Cowboys (can’t thank her enough for this), my lame dad liked the Broncos, and my brother already claimed the Chiefs. With all of the regional teams out of the picture, I needed some other way to find a team to call my own.
Still young and impressionable, while watching Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, I decided that the Miami Dolphins would be my new favorite team (guess I was a really big fan of Snowflake the dolphin?). Once I got old enough to stop caring about Jim Carrey movies, I stuck with the Dolphins mostly out of convenience.
I just looked up a plot summary for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective on Wikipedia, and, what the fuck. I can’t believe I’ve put up with twenty years of following this mediocre fucking team because a deeply transphobic 90s animal comedy starring the ‘Funky Cold Medina’ guy once endeared me to star quarterback and adept bulge-spotter Dan Marino.
Fuck the Dolphins, fuck Snowflake, fuck me for being an idiot with an idiot child’s methodology for joining sports fandoms, and fuck their awful, racist fucking anthem policy. I’d rather be a Browns fan.
Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: Cincinnati Bengals.