… it’s how you whine after the game

Normally, I’m not a huge sports guy. I mean, I enjoy following and watching the Steelers and Pens … and that’s about it. I just can’t get into following every team, or even specific players. And even in the blogging word, there are far better sources to read for sports opinions … I’m just a fan, not a guy who sits and analyzes games. Hell, I don’t even have a fantasy football team.

But sometimes I do have a vested interest in watching other teams lose. For example, hearing of a Flyers losing streak would obviously brighten my day. If the Ravens would have lost to the Bills, I would still be giggling like a school girl when I’d think about it. Pats destroyed by a meteor hit? Break out the champagne!

I just don't know what to make of this.

And you can safely add the Dolphins to my list of hated teams.

Now, to be fair, I kinda grew up a little bit of a Dolphins fan. I was a kid, the Dolphins were really good (that whole 16-0 season pride thing), and I lived in South Florida. I remember going to a local field and getting autographs from players. But then the Steelers hit their 70s Super Bowl magic, and the parents reinforced the Pittsburgh heritage, and that was over. Been a Steelers fan ever since.

So, when I returned there after college, I was kind of ambivalent to the Dolphins. I didn’t really care. But after the first year, I would kinda chuckle when they lost. By the second, they annoyed me. By the third year, active hate. The reason why was aptly taken from a glorious saying I heard from a Cowboys fan … “Nothing cries like a wounded Dolphin.”

And he was right. In my 6.5 years there, I turned into an active hater solely because of their fan base. I call them the “Mahi Mahi” — the Hawaiian word for the fish called dolphin — because people down south had a habit of confusing the fish with the mammal. And in that vein, I didn’t want the cool dolphin mammals to be confused with that football team.

I remember going to my first NFL game there. Monday night game. Steelers vs. Dolphins in Pro Player Stadium. Tommy Maddox (giggle) vs. Dan Marino. We won, but the abuse I took was laughable. I went in wearing a Kevin Greene jersey … even though he had been traded that year to Carolina. As I was walking in, some guy behind me yelled, “I bet Greene doesn’t score any touchdowns tonight!” I turned and yelled back, “You’re right, he won’t. This is 91, Kevin Greene, defense, who now plays for Carolina. They played yesterday, so he’s not scoring tonight. You’re thinking of (former Steeler) Eric Green, 86, who is a tight end that plays for you guys, and you’re right — he’s not scoring tonight, either.”

Dude was stunned. You could see the wheels in his brain turning as he struggled for a comeback.

“You suck!”

Bravo, sir, bravo.

And I would have written it off as 1 stupid fan, except the exact same exchange happened 3 more times as I went to my seat. With 3 different fans. Really, if you’re going to trash talk, at least know who plays for your team, ya know?

It was also a close game. There were like 2 minutes left, and the Mahi-Mahi had the ball. A bunch of their fans started leaving. I sat there befuddled. I mean, they had Dan-fucking-Marino as a QB. He was more than capable of pulling off a winning drive in the final 2 minutes. But no, the majority of Mahi-Mahi fans filed out. Could. Not. Believe. It.

Meow meow meow meow meow.

So flash to yesterday’s game. The Mahi-Mahi lose. There’s a controversial call. And I can only imagine the shrill, squeaky crying and clicking coming from South Florida today. I’m sure “conspiracy,” “game is rigged” and “ref favoritism” are all reasons being flung about for the outcome of that game.

When it comes to these situations, I have a saying that is apt in any sport: “Don’t let the game hinge on a bad call.” I’ve watched enough games to know that referees are human. They will make bad calls or miss obvious calls. We all know that to be true.

But here’s the deal, Mahi-Mahi fans — you had 2 golden opportunities to take control of your destiny and win the game. You had 2 recovered fumbles around the Steelers’ 20 yard line, and you settled for field goals. That’s not how you win games. Scoring 1 touchdown out of either of those 2 possessions would have given you the win.

You didn’t take control of the game when you had the chance. Stop blaming the refs or throwing out lame conspiracy excuses.

Or to quote from this ESPN article: “If you lose, you lose,” Dolphins inside linebacker Channing Crowder said. “You can make all the excuses, but our record’s 3-3. There’s not going to be an asterisk next to the third loss. Who cares? Good call, bad call, I don’t know the rules. But we should’ve won. We never should have been in that situation. To put it in the ref’s hands was our fault.”


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