It’s another season

'Phins, 2006

From Black Marks on Wood Pulp:

September 14th, 2005:

“New coach Nick Saban has already shown that he’s a big deal, former Vikings backup Gus Frerotte looked decent (he was a hell of a lot more effective than former Vikings backup Jay Fiedler), and the defense has regained its “top-five in the league” ways.

So why am I still bracing for the crush? Why is Kerrie still wondering why I even watch football when I’m expecting the Dolphins to lose their next 15 games and end up with the worst record in the league? Why do I have such little faith in the Dolphins’ ability to beat the Jets this coming Sunday?”

January 2nd, 2006:

“But now I realize that Nick Saban and the Miami Dolphins turned themselves around to end the season on a high note. After suffering the first losing season in 20 years in 2004 (and on the verge of another one in 2005) the team stepped up, brandished their sports clichés, and reeled off six wins to finish 9-7. Not the greatest record, but then again this isn’t the greatest team. Not now, anyway.”

It’s another season.

It’s another agonizing season. It’s another season full of unanswered questions. It’s another season of mislaid hopes, unfulfilled potential, and inaccurate predictions.

It’s the first day of the NFL football season. And it’s another season of the Miami Dolphins giving their all. Well, most of the time.

The defense, once one of the best, is now aging. The team is on its fifth straight year of post-Marino, Viking-castoff quarterbacks. The defensive backfield – once a constant threat for interceptions – is gone, strewn across the league like an opened bag of trash on the highway. But this year should be different, right?

Yeah, it should be. Daunte Culpepper may be fragile, but he is no Gus Frerotte. Ronnie Brown may be green, but he is no Travis Minor. Chris Chambers and Randy McMichael are ready to break out – ready to make the jump to All-Pro level stars. The offensive line looks stronger. The team looks more complete than it has in years. Oh, and have I mentioned Nick Saban? He’s good.

Injuries and meltdowns aside, the Dolphins are poised to make the playoffs again. For the first time in years, actually. They’ve got a ridiculously easy schedule. They’re coming off of their first ever undefeated December since their last Super Bowl season (that was December 1984, thanks.)

Regardless, I’m skeptical. I always will be. When the Dolphins are supposed to be good, they aren’t. And when they’re supposed to be bad, they come through with a good enough season to instill a false sense of hope.

It’s another season of the teal and orange. Tonight is another opening game against another Super Bowl contender. Another game they could win. Or more specifically, another game they could lose.

It’s another hopeful season. But I know it won’t last long. They’ll cruise toward the basement. If not, they’ll cruise toward a heartbreaking playoff loss.

Really, we’d probably be better off using another quote from last season.

September 14th, 2005:

“I’m a self-loathing Dolphins fan. I can’t help it.”

This was lovingly handwritten on September 7th, 2006