Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Infamy Avoided

I have a feeling that most Miami Dolphins fans felt a little bit like Johnny Drama this past Sunday...VICTORY!!!

While this day will most likely be forgotten quickly by anyone who doesn't root for the Fins, December 16, 2007 will forever be remembered in the minds of the aqua-and-orange faithful as the day that infamy was avoided.

Most people think that there isn't much of a difference between going winless and going 1-15. I'd ask those same people whether they think there's much of a difference between going 16-0 and 15-1.

The distinction of making history means everything.

Long after the individual players leave the gridiron, the achievements they were a part of remain to tell their story. Proud players do not want the spectre of such a negative debacle to taint their legacy forever. Poor individual performances can be erased the next week on the field. There's no erasing the ink on the pages of history.

With a mere three opportunities remaining for the 2007 Dolphins to secure a win, I had severe doubts in their ability to avoid infamy.

Hell, I'm still shocked that they did win. How in the world did Baltimore lose that game? I don't know and I don't really care, but I'm hoping an EMT was on hand in Miami to perform the Heimlich on the Ravens.

With the Miami defense utterly collapsing in on itself with less than two minutes to go in the game, Baltimore moved with ease to within 18 inches of the goal line. One half of a yard stood between the Ravens and a victory over a winless team. Sure, the chip-shot field goal would tie the game and send it to overtime, but when you have Willis McGahee running behind one of the better offensive lines in the league against the absolute worst run defense in the league and you only need 18 inches...

They went with the field goal. Infamy avoided.

Then after winning the coin toss in OT, the Ravens predictably ran the ball right down the throats of the Miami defense, getting to within FG distance. Mind you, Matt Stover was a perfect 5 for 5 on overtime field goals in his career coming into this game. He's one of the most accurate kickers in league history, and then...

He pushed it. Wide left. Infamy avoided.

It took Cleo Lemon throwing the first TD pass by a Miami QB since October to win this game, and he threw it to a guy (Greg Camarillo) who had one career reception going into the game.

Like I said, I don't know how exactly all that happened, but Dolphins fans everywhere should rejoice.

And screw those people like Deion Sanders who have criticized the Dolphins players for how jubiliantly they celebrated over one single victory.

This win meant more to those guys than any of New England's 14 wins this season have meant to the Patriots players.

Few fans know what it is like to go through what Miami fans went through this season. We faithful went more than an entire calendar year without seeing our team win a single regular season game.

Think about that.

Living in New England, I see first hand that constant winning dulls the enjoyment received from each victory. At this point, they are just going through the motions. For a team like that, the ultimate measure isn't a regular season game; it is the Super Bowl.

Well, there are teams for whom that isn't the case - Miami being the poster child. For this team, jubilation can rightly be attained from a single victory.

I'm not asking for you to root along with the Dolphins, but I am asking for you to not begrudge us faithful fans this opportunity to revel in victory. This was our Super Bowl.

And it felt damn good to finally win.

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