Dump This Dolphin!

The Miami Dolphins logo has remained more or less unchanged for the past 40 years -- an adorable, smiling sea mammal arching over unseen waves while sporting a bulbous football helmet atop its head. As battle flags go, it doesn't exactly strike fear in the heart. In fact it is downright silly, and has been for decades. It is the most idiotic insignia in the entire National Football League.

Worse, while the cute little dolphin has been frozen in time, Miami has not. Few places have changed so dramatically. Since the Dolphins debuted in 1966, Miami has lurched from sleepy Southern town to roiling ethnic cauldron to hedonistic hot spot to luxury-condo capital of the world. Along the way we've gained fame for our sun, sand, and sin; our riots and carjackings; our reputation as Latin America's capital and Cuba's northernmost city.

We are long overdue for a new symbol on the helmets of our gridiron warriors, one that reflects our sophistication, complexity, and grit.

It's bad enough that our team sashays onto the field wearing orange and aqua uniforms against opponents clad in bold, aggressive colors -- the Raiders' menacing black, the yellow and black of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the blue and red of the Buffalo Bills. It's like sending your kid to his first day of junior high school in knickers.

We may not be able to do a thing about Ricky Williams's weirdness, but we sure as hell can control what we look like. Last season's miserable 4-12 record is evidence enough that something drastic must be done.

Other teams have already wised up. Look at the New England Patriots. Their original logo was a goofy-looking colonial soldier squatting in a rumpled uniform. Talk about embarrassing. In 1993 they redesigned and -- BAM! -- instantly became a Super Bowl powerhouse. Same thing with the Broncos. The most Miami ever did was tweak the image in 1997. Did you even notice?

So enough is enough. As a public service, New Times is stepping forward to put it in Wayne Huizenga's face: Your team must redo the dolphin -- and if you won't do it, we will.

To that end we've invited some of South Florida's top graphic-design firms, advertising agencies, and artists to come up with new designs for the Dolphins. But we think all Dolfans should have a say in this, so we're soliciting everyone to reimagine the team's logo. We'll print the most interesting entries in our issue of September 8, just days before Miami hosts Denver in the season opener. Yours might even make the cover.

Because we're doing Huizenga such a big favor, it's only right that he should provide a big incentive. So we're asking him directly -- via certified mail -- to kick in a pair of season tickets to the top three designs.

There are no rules. The only boundary is your imagination. Send your submissions to:

Dolphins Redesign

New Times

2800 Biscayne Blvd., #100

Miami, FL 33137

Deadline for receipt of entries is

Wednesday, August 31, 2005.


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