Yes, I really do think they'll be good this year
In just a few hours, the Dolphins will begin their 39th regular season
and I will begin my 11th as webmaster of a Dolphins' fan website.
It's a little bit stunning to me that I've been maintaining my website
for 10 years now. When I started, I had no idea that this would
become a permanent fixture in my life. I started the website for two
reasons - as a personal tutorial in technology and to help out other
Dolphins' fans like me who were much too far away from Miami to get
In the beginning, I had no idea how important the Internet would
become to folks who were not computer professionals. At first, I
thought that my website would only be of interest to a few computer
geeks like me who couldn't get Dolphins news locally.
Later, as the Internet began to take on more prominence, I figured I'd
only have the website long enough to allow the big news sites to come
on line. Once the Miami Herald began their online edition, I figured
my days reporting the Dolphins' news were almost over.
You see, I decided somewhere in the mid-90s that if the day came when
I couldn't provide something unique to the Dolphins' fans who visited
my website, I would quit and go back to just being a regular fan.
And when the Miami Herald came online, I figured that day must be
But here it is, 10 years after I started and while there is a lot of
information that is no longer unique to Phins.com, there are still a
few things that I don't see anywhere else on the web.
And as long as I continue to believe that something on Phins.com is
unique to the Information Superhighway, I'll probably keep right on
working on it and keep trying to make it better - in my copious free
time, of course.
But I'm getting away from the porpoise of this issue. What I really
wanted to talk about in the last few hours before the 2004 season
starts is this year.
In all the time that I've been a fan (since 1970) and in all the time
I've been maintaining my website, I've never seen an off-season with
more turmoil, confusion and just plain weird goings-on than this one.
I will spare you the litany of bizarre events that have happened since
January, because I don't have a month to jot them all down, but you
probably know them as well as I do.
The bottom line is that pretty much every football pundit from Key
West to Nome is writing the Dolphins off this year and predicting
Well, if you want my honest opinion, I think they're wrong. I believe
that the Dolphins are going to be much better than the 6-10 team
everyone is predicting. Well, nearly everyone. One of my least
favorite sports reporters in Miami agrees with me in saying the
Dolphins won't be as bad as everyone thinks.
I won't tell you who, but I'm sure you can figure it out.
When I look at this team, I'm thinking 10-6 is much more likely than
Granted, some of that is just plain 'ol fan optimism speaking. While
I'm pretty pessimistic about most things, I reserve a small spring of
optimism for the Dolphins.
But looking at it realistically, this team is just as talented - in
some cases, more so - than the 2000 team that went 11-5 and won the
If you don't believe me, check out the
2000 Depth Chart on Pins.com.
The 2004 Dolphins are better at wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback
and have more depth at almost every position than the 2000 team. And
the quarterback will be better - whether it's Jay Fiedler or AJ
Now, obviously the final record is not determined solely on talent.
But it is a good place to start and with the exception of the running
back position, this team is every bit as talented as any Dolphins'
team since Dave Wannstedt took over.
Naturally, my 10-6 prediction comes with caveats. It will probably
take a while for the offensive line to fully come together. But I do
think all the pieces are in place.
And injuries are going to be a factor, of course.
Nevertheless, with the pundits giving them little or no chance, the
Dolphins will be underrated and overlooked - a situation I'd rather
find them in than having too many expectations on their heads.
So do not lose heart, Dolphins fans. I believe that this team is
going to surprise a lot of people and prove themselves to be much
better than most of the "experts" expect.
Of course, I may be singing a completely different tune in about 5
hours, but right now, I see no reason that this team can't have a
But whether they have a great year or a terrible year, you can bet
that they will have done it....
... On Porpoise.