The Miami Dolphins played admirably against the New England Patriots on Sunday, which is to say, played well enough to lose. We played from behind starting with the opening drive when usually reliable punter Brandon Fields mishandled a botched snap and handed fancy-pants browbeater Tom Brady and his Patriots a touchdown on a platter. They flogged themselves, those Dolphins, and lost 23-16 in a close game that never really seemed all that competitive.
The most memorable moment of the Dolphins game plan was when cornerback Jimmy Wilson injured himself running into punter Zoltan Mesko’s grundle, which resulted in a 15-yard roughing penalty. This revived the Patriots’ drive, led to a score, and left me wondering why the Dolphins don’t work more grundle-related trickery into the playbook. At least it would be hilarious. Just imagine the coach-speak: “HALFBACK SWING RIGHT GRUNDLE, COVER 2 GRUNDLE, GRUNDLE TOSS LEFT, QUICK GRUNDLE ALL GO!”
Some life was infused into the team in the team when safety Reshad Jones made an amazing interception and ran it back for a touchdown, but that life oozed away after a penalty negated the TD. The interception stood, but, of course, the Dolphins had to settle for a field goal on the ensuing drive.
The Dolphins run game looked ok, until Intern Daniel Thomas fumbled. Ryan Tannehill fumbled, and then looked ok. Even on Tannehill’s two-yard touchdown dive, on the play fake to Intern Daniel Thomas, he actually acted like he fumbled the ball.
Jake Long got injured and didn’t return. Armando Salguero of the Herald tweeted that the locker room talk suggests that he’s done for the year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is on another team next year, which is sad because I like Jake Long. But this is the way the season is going. The Dolphins are rebuilding again. It sucks to be constantly rebuilding. You know who is constantly rebuilding? Beavers. I don’t want to be the Miami Beavers.
There’s that thing people like to say, that when a situation is indescribable and there are no words for it, they wish they had sent a poet. I didn’t really send O, Miami poetry festival founder and poet P. Scott Cunningham, but he was at the game on Sunday. I asked him for a textured literary description of his experience. To which he said: “The Patriots fan next to me at the urinal pissed himself. He told me, ‘You know how when you’re in the second grade, your father teaches you how to use one of these? My father never taught me that.’”
So there you have it. Patriots fandom is a cesspool of pants pissers. And we are the Miami Beavers.
The San Francisco 49ers! Traveling across the country against a Super Bowl contender! Pretty sure this is going to be bad. Dolphins players will most likely get hurt and figure out how to lose in a new humiliating fashion. In the meantime, Art Basel is in Miami this week. Make sure you cynically regard everything with detached irony and drink too much. It’s the same MO I use as a Dolphins fan.
Nathaniel Sandler is a freelance writer and editor who also contributes to Red Flag Magazine, The Miami Rail, and Allography. He is the co-founder of the Bookleggers Library. Follow him on twitter.