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A Long Off-season

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. After Sundayís crazy games, wildcard weekend in the NFL is now complete. Wildcard weekend has become an annual event for Dolphin fans because our beloved Fins play that weekend every year. Our wish this year was to get a bye, so the Dolphins could get that coveted week of rest and be ready for the divisional round. For once, Dolphin fans wanted to enjoy wildcard weekend in anticipation on who would be visiting the Dolphins in Pro Player Stadium the following week. Our wish? Simply not to be playing on wildcard weekend. Well the wish came true. Of course we all assumed the Dolphins would actually make the playoffs. But no, the Dolphins squandered what seemed to be their 138th chance to win the AFC East against the Patriots. Just like that, the season is over and the Dolphins are looking at potential free agents and the draft. The shock has yet to wear off.

So what do I do now? My sports world came crashing to the ground, the Hurricanes even lost for crying out loud. Basketball is now going full throttle and even though my Rockets are improved they have no chance for a title. But hey, they nabbed me two in the mid 90ís so I can take another year or so of rebuilding and letting a young team jell. With them Iíll be happy with a playoff appearance. Even my Missouri Tigers are playing well and I hope they can build off last yearís tournament success, but Iím just not ready for basketball yet. I wasnít suppose to be for at least another month or so because the Dolphins were suppose to make some noise in the playoffs, but instead they are sitting at home like me. I always look forward to the new baseball season, even though my team suffers through small market Hell and has no chance of winning. A push for .500 would be like a World Series run for the Royals. You think you have it bad as a Dolphin fan try being a Royals fan for the past ten plus years, I think they are already 10 games out of first. But in the end, even though I love my Royals, the passion for them is no where near the level of my passion for the Dolphins. Besides, Iíll still have my annual hopes that if the Royals canít do it, maybe the Red Sox or Giants will. Ok, a lot of my problem is that most of my other teams suck right now. I was spoiled as a young kid when they were all good at once, but at least the Rockets kept me occupied and thrilled until June for a few years. Even Mizzou game me a short run last year, but unless they do it again I will have to wait for my Dolphins.

But do I really care about any of that? Yes I do and I always will. But Iíd trade championships for all my other teams for a Dolphins championship. Iíve never cried when any of my other teams lost like I did when I was 10 years old and the Dolphins lost the Super Bowl, then again 2 years later when they lost the 49ers. Iíll even admit to everyone that I shed a tear when the Dolphins lost to the Chargers in the playoffs a few years ago, just like Hootie said in his song. So how long is it before the season starts? Itís about 9 months away, not counting preseason of course and the draft is only 3 months away. But the draft is only an appetizer anyway and I hate preseason, every year I just know one of our key players will go down for the year in one of those meaningless games. At least I have plenty of game tapes to keep my fix going during the summer, even though Iím sure theyíll remind me of the opportunity lost, the underachieving at the end, and the empty feeling that only comes from a wasted season. Wasted because a team this good and with this talent completely missed the playoffs. Then thereís the boredom of having to patiently wait ¾ of a year to start it all over again. At least a strong playoff performance would have given me more hope for next year instead of yet another collapse. A Super Bowl victory and the off season will go way too fast. But I get neither; instead I get a kick in the gut and a million questions that start with ďwhat if.Ē Iím a Dolphin fan and wouldnít trade that for almost anything. Theyíll be back in 2003 and so will I, so will most Dolphin fans. But next year, we want wildcard weekend off BUT want to be playing the following week, do the football Gods understand that? I sure hope so.

--Killah Sith

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