It's January, so you know what that means, Miami Dolphins fans: Introductory news conferences! Ah, yes, a tradition like none other. Backdrops and promises. It's like our own little holiday.
If you've been a Dolphins fan long enough, you're beginning to look at news conferences in a different way. Normally, news conferences like the one the Dolphins held Saturday to introduce head coach Adam Gase are an oddity. Fans gobble them up, hang on every word, and believe them to be the beginning of a new era. They pump their fists in anticipation of great things to come. They know this day is a day of change. Out with the old, in with the new.
But not Dolphins fans. They're tired of being told about the labor pains. Just show them the baby already!
Sorry, Mr. Gase, but don't be offended if this time around we're skeptical that you can fix an organization that has had face after face go on TV and promise to be the one who will fix this franchise.
Gase comes highly regarded by just about everyone who has ever come in contact with him. Everyone, from Peyton Manning to Nick Saban, glows when talking about the kind of work Gase did as an assistant coach. All signs point to the Dolphins having scored a hard-working young mind who will instantly bring — at the very least — some much-needed energy and direction to an offense that has had zero swagger or innovation in what feels like forever.
But still, Dolphins fans will believe it when they see it. They are still waiting for Philbin and his promised fast-paced offense to show up. They are still waiting for Tony Sparano to fix the offensive line and transform the Dolphins into a physical team. They are still waiting for Cam Cameron to bring some of his San Diego Chargers magic this way.
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SHOW ME HOW
Dolphins fans have been down this road. They've been sold coaches based on resumés, quotes, and things they've done in the past with Hall of Fame-like talent. Chicago hated to lose Gase, other teams badly wanted him, and Miami got him — yet the introductory news conference that took place on a lazy Saturday afternoon brought little energy.
That's because Dolphins fans are sick of hearing Stephen Ross speak. It's because Adam Gase doesn't play cornerback. It's because this new five-year deal is the fifth five-year project some of us have been through.
Gase seems good enough, but don't expect Dolphins fans to get excited about another January news conference. None of the many before it have led to any January games.