Showing 1 - 10 of 124 posts found matching keyword: nfl

After only three weeks of play, the Miami Dolphins are the last undefeated team in the American Football Conference of the NFL. I wouldn't crow about that except that A) I don't expect that to last much longer, and B) the last time the Dolphins were the last undefeated team in their conference was 1995!

Only one team in the Super Bowl era has run the entire table and ended the season undefeated. That was, as you no doubt know, the Miami Dolphins in 1972, exactly 50 years ago. So think of the current streak as an anniversary celebration.

For the record, there have been exactly three other teams in the history of the NFL to win every game in the season; all of them lost their championship game, including the 2007 Patriots who fell victim to David Tyree's "Helmet Catch." Interestingly, before the NFL introduced a championship game in 1934, there were also four teams that went undefeated for their entire season. While none of them had a championship game to lose in, none of them were undefeated, either. All four of those had at least one tie. (Yes, there will be a quiz later.)

Will the Dolphins make the Super Bowl? The odds at this point aren't great. The last time the last undefeated team in the League even made the Championship game was the aforementioned 2007 Patriots. But the Dolphins haven't made the postseason since 2016, and they haven't won a postseason game since 2000, so I'll be happy just to get that far this year.

It's kind of nice to have something to cheer about on Sundays.

UPDATE 2022-09-30: Yeah, so, Tua's head. Oh, well. That's what I get.

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After years of lackluster commentating on Monday Night Football, ESPN has giddily hired an all new 2022 crew, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (stolen from Fox Sports for something in the neighborhood of $100 million), thereby ensuring another year of lackluster commentating.

The labor of calling a football broadcast is divided into two roles: the play-by-play announcer who tells the fans who weren't looking what just happened on the field, and the color commentator who explains why what just happened was a good/bad thing. Good crews inform you about what you might not have noticed and teach you about football. Really good crews get you excited to see more. Then there's the Buck-Aikman combo.

Competent play-by-play announcing is an art, and each sport is a different discipline. I'll give Joe Buck credit for being far above average at calling baseball games, but after years and years of trying, he comes across as disinterested and generally ignorant of the football games he calls. If the announcer doesn't care about the game, why should anyone listen?

As for the other side of the booth, I might have been the only person in the world who didn't enjoy John Madden's broadcasts because he reduced his commentary to idiot-level "BAM"s and "YAK"s to reach the average television-watching moron, but Aikman appears to have the actual vocabulary of the average television-watching moron. As a teacher, he's more a substitute than tenured professor; he's proven completely unable to elevate the game. At least he's really grumpy.

So did ESPN buy themselves a good crew or a great crew? The Buck-Aikman combo certainly has me excited... to see what's on a different channel.

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As someone who has long observed the Miami Dolphins NFL franchise from the outside, let me say that I have no idea how accurate former head coach Brian Flores' game-fixing allegations against team owner Stephen Ross are. And while it is obvious to even the casual observer that the racial composition of the player base is not reflected in management, I don't know if Flores was actively discriminated against by the league owners.

But between Flores, Ross, and the NFL, I'm inclined to believe Flores.

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I vowed that if the 1-4 Dolphins lost to the 0-5 Jaguars today in London, I wasn't going to watch another Dolphins game all season.

Final score: Dolphins 20, Jaguars 23.

So long NFL. And thanks for all the fish.

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I have neglected to mention the Miami Dolphins so far this Football Month, and it was an intentional oversight.

They're not very good.

The offensive line is living down to their name, and as a result, second-year starting quarterback Tua "If He's Not Injury Prone, He's At Least Injury Familiar" Tagovailoa has hurt his ribs and is on Injured Reserve until at least week 6. After a feel-good win against the Patriots, a weak offense has resulted in a shutout defeat by the rising Buffalo Bills and an overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders (which despite being nationally televised, I barely saw because, you know, hospital stuff).

If the Bills keep winning to claim the NFL AFC East division, and there's plenty of reason to think they might, the Dolphins are already all-but-eliminated from the playoffs after just three games. Only 7 AFC teams will make the playoffs: 4 division winners and the next best three. Will the Dolphins fare better than the Chargers, Ravens, or Browns, all of whom are off to better starts? If so, they'll also have to be better than the Patriots, Chiefs, Steelers, and Texans, all of whom also have 1 win in 3 games.

I'd say the Fins look less Top Seven and more Deep Six. But that's Dolphins football for you.

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Good news for the NFL draft tomorrow night. From NFL.com:

Rich white man defeats hug police!

But more importantly, do they want to hug him? No means no, Roger.

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The 2020 NFL playoffs: a perfect confluence of football, Covid personal protective equipment, and Star Wars.

My converter's running wild!

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Welcome to the 15th Annual Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month, now with 80% less football! Past Septembers have included travelogues of my adventures attending UGA football games in Athens, GA, (and occasionally elsewhere around the South), but there will be none of that this year. (Thanks COVID-19!)

I find I'm not excited about football this year. I mean, I haven't been excited about anything the Miami Dolphins have offered in decades, but college football is usually another story. My ennui is probably COVID's fault, too. What is there to get excited about when everything we've seen in the past six months points to a significant disruption in schedule? Do I really need entertainment so badly that I'm willing to watch football players get sick and die needlessly for the sake of a game?

The Big Ten, Pac-12, Mid-American, and Mountain West conferences have all decided that the risk to fans and players alike is too great to play football in 2020, but the SEC is pushing ahead despite already having the highest percentage of cases per population (31 per 100k) of any football region in the country. As I've already said, I won't be attending. "It Just Means Moreā„ " makes a fine motto, but let's not get carried away.

Maybe I'm just a snowflake. Maybe everything will turn out fine. It might happen. Sh'yeah. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.

In the meantime, I'll be following the advice of a billionaire philanthropist who doesn't have a financial interest in selling me football tickets.

I live in a basement. That's like a Batcave. Kinda.
It's easier for him. His parents are dead.

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Tua Tagovailoa officially signed with the Dolphins on Monday, and now his number 1 jersey is the league's best selling. It's also the second best. For some reason, fans prefer the aqua away jersey over the white home jersey. I'm guessing that's because very, very few people actually watch the Dolphins when they play at home.

Dol-fans are understandably excited about the new prospect. Why shouldn't they be? He hasn't played a snap yet and he already has to be better than a dozen of the players who have actually lined up under center for the Fins since that aforementioned Marino guy, hallowed by thy name.

Amusing side note: Tua selected the number 1 because his college number, 13, has been retired by the Dolphins for Dan Marino, saints be praised. For the record, I happen to have two Marino jerseys in my closet, one home and one away.

A word of caution: this time last year, the best selling jersey belonged to Baker Mayfield. The year before that, it was Carson Wentz and before that, James Conner. Two of those three have injury issues, and the other is stuck on the perennially worst team in the NFL. In other words, Tua is joining a very questionable group whose performance has never lived up to the hype.

Which is not to say that I'm off the Tua bandwagon. I'm just advising we pump the brakes a little. The Dolphins didn't get to the bottom of the heap by being a great team. So there's still a ways to climb before they get the top of the heap. Win a Super Bowl, guys, and maybe then I'll think about buying some of your merchandise again. In all likelihood, it will be a third Dan Marino jersey, blessed be the fruit of thy loom.

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As a self-proclaimed Dolphins' fan (is there any other kind?), I feel compelled to note the passing of Don Shula, the greatest coach in franchise (and NFL) history.

Shula was still coaching the team when I first became a fan, and I think at the time, I sort of expected him to always be the coach, at least until he no longer could. He was only the second coach in franchise history, and he did go on to coach for 26 years. There have been 11 coaches in the 25 years since he retired, which sort of tells you everything you need to know about the state of the franchise.

Not only was he a great coach, he was a damn fine actor, too.


Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994)

COVID-19, murder hornets, and now Don Shula? Man, 2020 continues to find new ways to suck.

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To be continued...

 

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