Showing 1 - 10 of 127 posts found matching keyword: nfl
Thursday 27 April 2023
Tonight is the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. I usually watch, but not this year. There's no point. The Miami Dolphins have no first round pick, all because their owner got caught cheating.
The jury is still out (by which I mean that an actual lawsuit is still pending) on whether owner Stephen Ross is a racist who tried to fix games, but the NFL decided that he definitely tampered with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021 by trying to steal their quarterback (just has he tried to steal the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers back in 2014). As punishment, the League took away the Dolphins' first pick this year (and their third next year).
This is actually the second year in a row that the Dolphins have no pick in the first round. Last year, the Dolphins gave away a boatload of picks to get Tyreek Hill. And while Hill made a big impression, he's hardly going to be a Fin for a long time. He's already announced that he plans to retire after the 2024 season, so it's a "win now" situation.
And they'd better win now. The Dolphins had a total of 4 picks last year, and they currently have 4 picks this year. It's awfully hard to build for the future when you only get to add 4 young players a year. Or, for that matter, when the quarterback you're building the team around is more fragile than a bag of potato chips.
The Dolphins still haven't won a postseason game since the year 2000, and if they can't do so soon, it might be 2040 before they have enough talent to try again. That of course assumes that Stephen Ross doesn't get in his own way again, which is no guarantee.
Sunday 8 January 2023
On September 26, someone on this blog *cough, cough* wrote
"[T]he 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."
Well, despite losing 5 of their last 6 games and playing a 7th-round rookie at quarterback in replacement of Tua "Should Really Start Thinking About Retirement While He Can Still Think At All" Tagovailoa, the Dolphins have backed into the playoffs on the strength of their early success (and weak competition) after an 11-6 win over the hapless Jets (also playing their 3rd string QB, former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco — how the mighty have fallen!).
And I find I am not happy about it.
The team has demonstrated that it cannot win without Tua, so there will undoubtedly be a push by those who care more about wins (read: $) than player safety to bring him back, ready or not, for next week's playoff game against the Bills. The same Bills who gave him his first concussion (of 3) on the season back in Week 3. The same Bills who beat him soundly in the fourth quarter during the Week 14 rematch.
Hey, Tua, it's not worth coming back for this. ESPN's only giving the Fins a 1.4% chance of winning the Super Bowl, and I think those odds are kind of generous given what I've seen from the team this year. Save yourself, man. Try again next season. So what if the team can only score field goals without you? That's their problem, not yours.
If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything.
Monday 26 December 2022
Did everyone have a Merry Christmas? I guess I did, all things considered. I mean, so long as I ignore the fact that the Miami Dolphins collapsed in the second half and lost their 4th straight game, going 0-4 in December and demonstrating that despite some earlier success they are definitively not ready to be a playoff team for the 22nd year in a row. (Annual reminder: their last playoff win was in 2000.)
Yeah, ignoring that and the fact that I badly cut my thumb on the large carving knife while doing the dishes, the rest of the day went pretty well. It was in the wee hours of this morning that I ran into trouble. Or maybe I should say that it was Louis who ran into trouble for us all.
After watching Sunday Night Football go to overtime and spending an hour trying and failing to play online games with Friend James (the trouble seemed to be with his ISP), I noticed at about 1:30 in the morning that something smelled wrong in my room: the faint smell of burning plastic. That's never good.
I began sniffing my way around the darkened house for the cause, starting with the basement. It wasn't coming from my room. It wasn't the furnace which has been running all out for days to combat the 30-year historic cold. It wasn't in my studio where I had been painting finishing veneers earlier in the day. So I moved upstairs where the smell was indeed stronger. I thought maybe it was the Christmas tree lights, but no, they seemed fine. And It wasn't any appliance in the kitchen or anything electronic in Mom's office. I even grabbed a flashlight and checked outside to no avail. What *was* the source of that smell?
When I came back inside, I noticed that the flashlight wasn't a spotlight like it was outside but an illuminated beam, a fuzzy lightsaber. As a former Boy Scout, I quickly recognized this as a Very Bad Sign. The good news is that I could follow the flashlight beam to find the areas of thickening smoke.
The source, as it turns out, was behind the curtains separating the den from the sunroom that Mom uses for crafting. As is usual in the winter, the "sun" room was the coldest in the house, and she has been running an older model portable oil space heater day and night to keep the chill out. At this point, you've probably figured out where this is headed.
Context clues indicate that sometime while I was preoccupied with football or video games, my mischievous puppy, Louis, had taken a break from chewing up my new shoelaces and pajama bottoms to sneak behind the curtain — where he knew he wasn't allowed alone — and knocked over the heater. The sideways heater did not have an automatic shutoff, and worse, on its side it started leaking oil, oil that fortunately smoked before it flamed.
I uncovered the problem in time to prevent any further damage to life, limb, or property. (Sure, the house *smells* like burnt plastic and oil, but at least there's a house to smell.) I think from now on I'm going to have to keep Louis tied to me. And I'm going to recommend that Mom mounts her new space heater (with automatic shutoff!) to the floor!
Post-Christmas crisis averted!
Monday 26 September 2022
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.
Monday 14 March 2022
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.
Friday 4 February 2022
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.
Sunday 17 October 2021
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.
Monday 27 September 2021
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.
Wednesday 28 April 2021
Good news for the NFL draft tomorrow night. From NFL.com:
But more importantly, do they want to hug him? No means no, Roger.
Tuesday 26 January 2021
The 2020 NFL playoffs: a perfect confluence of football, Covid personal protective equipment, and Star Wars.