Showing 1 - 6 of 6 posts found matching keyword: miami

Two weeks into the 2019 season, and the Dolphins are already historically bad. How bad?

Duck!

Final Score: Patriots 43, Dolphins 0

For future reference, that's QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on his way to a 23.8 passer rating throwing to RB Kevin Ballage who had exactly as many receiving yards on the day as running yards: 6.

#FinsUp!

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Last week, the Miami Dolphins held a star-studded public unveiling of the renovations to Joe Robbie Stadium Pro Player Park Pro Player Stadium Dolphins Stadium Dolphin Stadium Landshark Stadium Sun Life Stadium New Miami Stadium Hard Rock Cafe Stadium. (That seems like a lot of names for a building built in 1987, but if it was in Atlanta, we'd have torn it down twice by now.) The newest name change came along with a new canopy roof and HD screens and, presumably, some over-cooked hamburgers.

The Dolphins got $250 million in exchange for 18 years of naming rights. That's an improvement over the $35 million the team made on the Sun Life name. That sounds like a lot of money until you realize that Ndamukong Suh's contract takes up half of it, and Ryan Tannehill's contract takes up most of what's left. Money well spent all around.

If the name sticks for the 18 year duration, it will be a record. Even "Joe Robbie" only lasted 12 years. Given that the stadium has a tendency to outlast most of its sponsors, I'd be worried if I was a Seminole Indian. (The tribe currently owns the Hard Rock brand. That's one of the tidbits you pick up when one of your friends drags you to the wasteland of downtown Cleveland, OH just to pick up collectible Hard Rock Cafe pins for his girlfriend. Which is, honestly, about as good a reason anyone has ever had for going to Cleveland. Blech.)

Weirdly, the latest stadium name change was announced by Pitbull (the rapper, not the dog). I have no idea what a hip hop star has to do with either football or hard rock, but Dolphins' management isn't the sort to get hung up on details. (Or winning, for that matter.) Back when the stadium took on the Landshark name, Jimmy Buffet was present for the announcement because he owned the brand. Since when did Pitbull become a Seminole Indian?

The first Dolphins' game to be played in the renovated venue will be on Sunday, September 25, 2016. Their opponent will be the Cleveland Browns. I have to give them credit there: when you're the Miami Dolphins looking for a doormat team you can walk over for a symbolic victory in your new home, it's hard to schedule a team worse than you. The Browns fit that bill. (Blech.) Go Fins!

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In general, I've never been a big music fan. In specific, I've never really cared for Prince, who died yesterday at 57. However, I do want to go on record as saying that I think Prince might have been one of the best performers in the history of pop music.

I saw him in concert only once. That once was nine years ago, at the halftime performance of Superbowl XLI on February 5, 2007. In addition to being Peyton Manning's first championship, it was also the first Super Bowl played in the rain.

Conditions were miserable. There was no warmth in Miami that evening. The rain was cold and steady, penetrating the ponchos that most of the crowd were wearing. The wind cut straight to the bone. Honestly, it was the least comfortable I'd ever been in a football stadium. I suspect that most of the nearly 75,000 people in attendance shared my opinion.

Of course, it didn't help that there wasn't much entertainment to take our attention away from the foul weather. Cirque Du Soleil was a terrible pregame act, bringing out some acrobats to do whatever acrobats do. Two note to future programmers: 1) it's impossible to see what a single acrobat is doing on the 20 yard line, and 2) football fans don't care about acrobats.

The game, when we got to it, wasn't much better. The Chicago Bears — and especially their hapless quarterback, Rex Grossman — were terribly outclassed by Manning's Indianapolis Colts. The Bears took an early lead, but then ran out of gas. Though it took a while for the score board to catch up, the game was a rout.

Honestly, by halftime, I was considering walking out of the stadium and calling it a night. When the public address announcer asked the fans to reach under their seats and light the small LED flashlights we were given, I said no. Enough was enough. Then Prince came to my rescue.

They assembled the stage at midfield and poof! Prince appeared in a cloud of smoke with his electric guitar — in the rain! He proceeded to put on one hell of an invigorating performance. He demanded that we clap, and we clapped. He told us to sing along, and we sang along. He closed, fittingly, with Purple Rain, and it rained. It was exactly what we needed to hear. It turned a disasterous outing into a night to remember.

So, while I've never owned a Prince album or seen Graffiti Bridge, I do recognize that the world lost someone special yesterday. Thanks, Prince.

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The Miami Dolphins are replacing every seat in whatever the hell it is they call their stadium these days. Gone are the orange seats that looked so empty on television (and real life). They are set to be replaced by aqua colored seats the same color as found on Dolphins uniforms. I'm sure a sea of empty aqua seats will look much better as Joe Philbin leads the 'Fins to another not-quite-winning season in 2015.

These seats very much represent the state of the franchise

I find this particularly amusing because the Georgia Dome used to have aqua seats. They were replaced in 2008 with red seats that made the Dome feel much smaller. The red seats sure have been visible in recent years as the Falcons reverted to form. (The Dome got new seats in 2008 and a new field in 2011, and now it's too old to use. That sure seems like money well spent. Glad the taxpayers aren't on the hook for any of it.)

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I finally returned to Miami on Sunday, and despite my previous declaration to the contrary, I forgot to bring a snorkel. Miami, however, remembered to bring the rain, at least through the first quarter. The rain stopped just in time for the Eagles to score 21 points in the second quarter, allowing the sun to come out and bake those of us stupid enough to sit through the rest of the game.

This was my second visit to Sun Life Stadium (formerly Landshark Stadium, formerly Dolphin Stadium, formerly Dolphins Stadium, formerly Pro Player Stadium, formerly Pro Player Park, formerly Joe Robbie Stadium), home of the Miami Dolphins. I can now say for certain, that it is far more disappointing to watch the Dolphins lose in their home stadium than it is to watch them lose on television. The Dolphins played as poorly as they have all year, and their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles ensured another losing season and the dismissal of Head Coach Tony Sparano. Good riddance.

Just like the real stadium, this picture is gets emptier the longer you look at it

It didn't help the experience that I was surrounded by idiots and assholes. Behind me sat some pre-teen children who cheered for the Eagles despite no awareness of when it was appropriate to start screaming. (I know they were true Philadelphia fans when they began discussing how they would kill the Dolphin's mascot given the chance.) The group in front of me spent all game screaming trash-talk, mainly at women. (Between taunts, they discussed the best strip clubs in the various NFL cities they had visited.) The douche to my right, an *ahem* Atlanta Falcons fan, tried to convince everyone around him that he was a true Falcons fan because he owned an officially branded pair of Falcons socks. (However, he spent more time discussing the NBA and the necessity of "respect" than the game.) And the fellow to Trey's left spent the entire game texting, never looking at the field. (Although he did frequently ask Trey to update him about what had just happened.)

As we began the 9-hour drive back home immediately after the game, Trey made me promise that the next time we take one of these cross-country trips to a game, we have to spend at least as much time in the city as it takes us to get there. That means that I have about 4 years to come up with something to do for 2 days in Philadelphia. At the very least, I know that I'll need to buy some Eagles' gear; after 12 hours in Philly, I suspect anyone wearing any other teams' colors might get shot.

It wasn't until Trey and I stopped at a rest station just south of Jacksonville that I actually interacted with someone who didn't irritate me. There I met a season ticket holder who has been traveling the 5 hours between Jacksonville and Miami since 1971. He dryly mentioned that he's seen a lot of bad football lately, a reference to the fact the day's loss ensured a third consecutive losing season for the franchise for the first time since 1969. Despite that, he said that he looks forward to future wins, and I guess that's what being a fan really means. I couldn't tell if he was wearing Dolphins' socks.

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I had the good fortune to obtain Super Bowl tickets this year. This time yesterday, I was sitting in the rain and gusting wind of the coldest, wettest Super Bowl in history. I tell you, there wasn't a dry eye in the house when the contest was over, and it wasn't because the Bears were trampled by the Colts, giving Peyton Manning his first NFL Championship. No, it rained and rained and rained. And then it rained some more. Trey and I briefly lamented not wearing raincoats to the game, but then we realized that those people who were wearing raincoats were just as soaked-to-the-bone as we were. Yet I still saw dozens of people in the fourth quarter who were still wearing torn, useless plastic bags as though they were life preservers and holding seat cushions over their heads like umbrellas. Fortunately for us, there was a stadium employee kindly warning us of a large puddle on the way to our cars. Most of the crowd walked through it anyway, as our shoes and socks had been completely saturated hours earlier.

Thanks for the lift to the game, Trey!

Trey and I arrived early in anticipation of the day's events. While that meant that we were parked close to the stadium, it also meant that we would have to wait for nearly an hour to leave once the game was over. There is much truth in the cliche, "First In, Last Out." To my disappointment, the $20.00 I spent on a corndog, pretzel, bottle of water, and a Pepsi didn't go towards paying for a quality parking staff. At least they were a very large corndog and bottle of water. Though I hate Pepsi, as the "Official Soft Drink of the NFL," it was the only caffeine that I could get before the game. I'd forgotten how awful it tastes! Thankfully, the rain quenched my remaining, unsatisfied thirst.

Ahhh, Vice City!

As my first visit to Dolphin Stadium (formerly Dolphins Stadium, formerly Pro Player Stadium, formerly Pro Player Park, formerly Joe Robbie Stadium), home of the Miami Dolphins, it was practically a trip to Mecca. We spotted fans wearing gear from 26 of the 32 NFL teams (Bills, Jaguars, Lions, Panthers, Texans, and my hometown Falcons were not seen), but after the Bears and Colts, the team far-and-away best represented was the Dolphins themselves. I even had the opportunity to watch Dan Marino, whom the locals all apparently simply call "Danny," working on the CBS pre-game show with James Brown and Shannon Sharpe. (It was kind of comforting to see how the town still fully embraces him: the stadium is on Dan Marino Boulevard, and the city is peppered with billboards on which he pitches everything from weight-loss systems to used cars.)

Over here, Danny!

I cheered for the Bears, and Trey rooted for the Colts. I'm not much of a Colts fan for the very sound reasons that they have long been over-hyped, they used to be in the AFC East with the Dolphins, and they are quarterbacked by an ex-Tennessee Volunteer. (Sure, Grossman is an ex-Florida Gator, but at least he's incompetent.) By the second quarter, it became apparent that the Bears were horribly outclassed (as expected) and wouldn't be much of a challenge for the Colts. Trey and I had predicted at the start of the playoffs that any AFC team could take any NFC team in the playoffs this year, and after seeing the Bears' miserable performance in the Super Bowl, I still think that's true.

We came. We saw. We got very, very wet.

Watching the game with Trey proved insightful, if irritating. He made several excellent points about both teams' strategies and execution. After Devon Hester returned the opening kickoff for a Bears' touchdown, Trey pointed out that an opening return always boded bad things for the scoring team. He reminded me that the same thing happened in last month's NCAA BCS Championship game for Ohio State, who, like the Bears, tanked the rest of the game. Most amusingly, early in the 4th quarter, after Grossman completed 2 passes and was moving the Bears down field, Trey proclaimed, "if [the Bears' coaches] call another pass play here, they are complete idiots." When on the next play, Colt's cornerback Kevin Hayden returned a Grossman interception for a touchdown, icing the game, Trey got the meanest looks from some nearby soggy Bears fans, as though Trey himself had stuck the dagger in the Bears' heart. I laughed and laughed.

Final Score: Colts 29, Bears 17

I'm resentful of the fact that Peyton Manning secured his Championship ring (and cemented his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history) in Marino's hometown, but at least it rained on that punk's parade. Now I'm home, and I'm almost dry. It's certainly something that I'll have to do again. Next time, I'll be prepared: I'll take a snorkel.

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To be continued...

 

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