With the 2013 Miami Dolphins football season nearing, fans of all shapes, sizes, and attitudes are readying themselves for the return of the NFL. Some of us are 75 years old and lived through a time when this franchise was second to none. Others are in our mid-30s and for the vast majority of those years have been repeatedly kicked in the junk by this team. A bunch of Dolphins fans preparing for high school never once saw Dan Marino play.
No two Dolphins fans are the same -- like a snowflake! (No, not the Dolphin mascot "Snowflake" from Ace Ventura, an actual snowflake.) While none of us may be exactly the same, there is a kind of grouping or species identification system we can use as a reference to find our own in the wild. Below are just a few of the varieties of Dolphins fan.
Indifferent Dolphins Fan
Indifferent Dolphins fan is indifferent. This fan is just as close to painting his face as he is to putting a paper bag over it, which is to say he is not very close at all to doing either of these things because that would require giving a shit. Indifferent Dolphins fan watches the games at this point only out of pure habit and still wears a Daunte Culpepper jersey as a sign of the last time he even remotely cared. There is zero chance indifferent Dolphins fan ever attends a game in person, because indifferent Dolphins fan spends as little money as possible on his Dolphins fan indifference, which is why he is normally seen holding a Bud Light can. Indifferent Dolphins fan is the goth of the Dolphins fan community. Screw the conformists!
1972. Larry Csonka. Mercury Morris. THE KILLER B'S! Over and over and over! Hey, Al Bundy, we have heard about your four-touchdown game at Polk High every year at this time since Woodstock -- we get it. There are Dolphins fans who were wearing diapers the last time this team won a championship who are now just a few more rebuilding years away from wearing diapers once again. On the positive side, no one has more pride in the team than the Historian. On the negative side, the Historian has grandchildren who are sick of losing. The worst part about the Historian is how freaking jelly we are of him. That, and the fact that he has gray noise hair and smells like Drakkar Noir, but mostly because we are jealous he actually saw this team win -- even if it was in black-and-white. The Historian once got wasted with Kim Bokamper and remembers when Don Shula was the Erik Spoelstra of the NFL.
This is normally a disaster. The Dolphins girlfriend either doesn't understand "why A GAME is so important to YOU," or she is way too motivated to learn the intricacies of the entire sport at the exact moment of the week that is the least convenient for you seeing as YOU'RE TRYING TO WATCH THE DAMN GAME. If she really cared, she would ask you on Tuesday what the yellow poles the guy kicks the ball between mean, or if the guys on special teams are so special why don't they play more? Depending on the chillness of this woman, she either reluctantly agrees to work around your three- to 12-hour Sunday block of football, or she disregards it. Either way, every Sunday you are one shitty comment away from being single. The NFL has done you no favors in dealing with this woman because there is now a game on nearly every day of the week, and we haven't even factored in college football yet. This season, the Dolphins play on Halloween. Good luck with that one, buddy.
Nine times out of ten, this guy sucks. You invite him over to watch the game with the rest of your boys, but he can't make it because he's taking his girl to the movies inexcusably at exactly 1 o'clock. When you ask him how in the world he can miss the game, he says he is recording it, as if that makes everything better. When he does make it to a gathering, he brings the Girlfriend and they proceed to sit together just far away enough from the guys so that his secret bro life is not exposed. Sometimes there is even a sliding glass window involved between the couple and the TV, and because of his shenanigans, suddenly you're his personal Scott Hanson from the Red-Zone Channel, constantly required to get him up to speed on the action. Boyfriend Dolphins fan eventually grows into Married Dolphins fan, and his balls are released of the Sunday camel clutch slightly due to the fact that his children now distract his wife enough so he can sneak away for a few hours. Seriously, the only escape for the Boyfriend is to make tiny people come out of the Girlfriend's vagina that cause her to care less about him and what the hell he does. Bold move, Cotton.
Zombie Dolphins fan
Zombie fan is unfazed by the fact that the team has not won a Super Bowl since the Jackson Five released new music, and he will remind you of his loyalty at every turn. Regardless of the transaction or draft pick, he supports management to the point of ridiculousness while spewing false facts like "Jeff Ireland helped build the 85 Bears!" even though in reality he was a 12-year-old ball boy. Anything to help you realize he is a better fan than you and you should just turn in your Dolphins paraphernalia at the nearest Goodwill. Zombie Dolphins fan is one of few species that can be any age, making him extremely dangerous in the wild. Faced with a decision of whether to lose a game and get a higher draft pick or beat the Bills, Zombie Dolphins fan picks the Bills win like a perspectiveless asshole. Unlike a true zombie, this fan isn't turned by a bite; he's just this way because he is incapable of negative emotion, like some kind of fast-food clown drive-thru speaker or something. Zombie fan once thought he was wrong. That was the only time he has ever been wrong.
The Coach believes if it worked in Madden a couple thousand times, it must work in real life. Things like "This would be a good time for a flea flicker!" or "Challenge!" are commonly heard when watching a game with the Coach. In reality, every form of Dolphins fan has a little couch Coach in him, but some are flagrantly douchier about it than others. The Coach thinks a commercial break is enough time to get the entire 53-man squad together to give an Al Pacino Any Given Sunday speech and is never in favor of punting, until the Dolphins are stopped on fourth down -- then the real coach is an idiot. Rumor has it that some of these fans take challenge flags to other people's homes and throw them at the TV set. If you see this form of the Coach, kill it with fire.
Jaded Dolphins Fan
Jaded Dolphins fan does nothing but complain about everything the team does, and in the event the team does something positive, he chalks it up to blind luck or the other team handing to us. Every week, jaded Dolphins fan swears off the team only to call his friends Saturday night asking where they want to watch this week's game. Jaded Dolphins fan nine times out of ten has something else going on in his life, like a drinking problem that makes them this way, but would never admit it because that has nothing to do with the stupid Dolphins making them dead inside since the Reagan administration and Crystal Clear Pepsi. Jaded Dolphins fan needs a Super Bowl, but even if he gets a Super Bowl, he will complain the minute any player isn't brought back to defend the title. We are all a form of jaded Dolphins fan, but some of us compartmentalize our emotions better. Jaded Dolphins fan is headed down a slippery friendship slope and needs your support even if you are hurting just as much inside. Abuse victims need to share stories to heal the wounds and achieve closure. I'm sure there is an 800 number for this kind of Dolphins fan to call, probably one with a recording of Fergie on the other line saying things like, "Push 1 for 'I can't take this shit anymore.'"
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The Noob doesn't understand what the hell your problem is and thinks you should just root for the Patriots if you can't hang, bro. Noobs are born around age 12 and are this way until the day they graduate from high school. Normally when they reach college, they realize not only their blind Dolphins loyalty was a lie but also the world in general is much suckier when you have actual responsibilities. With a decade or less of real Dolphins memories, the Noob thinks it's just a phase the team is going through and thinks Dan Marino was no Joe Flacco because Joe Flacco is a CHAMPION! The Noob follows 2,497 people on Twitter, has 1,491 followers, and has a blog so his opinions are pretty much as valuable as Peter King's. His "sources" are his dad and Omar Kelly's Twitter feed, and he has a picture of Jay Fielder holding him as a baby that makes you uncomfortable, because it's less of a picture and more of a fathead. The male Noob treats Dolphins autographs like they are titties before he actually sees and holds a real-life boob in his hand.
So those are eight types of Dolphins fan, and whether you know it or not, you more times than not fall into one of those categories. Sometimes it just depends upon what else is going on in your life. Sometimes the difference between a Zombie and a Jaded Dolphins fan could be just one Mike Wallace signing. Truly, there is no rhyme or reason to this thing -- it's an emotions-based mess. Whatever kind of Dolphins fan you are, deep down inside, the majority of the time you root for the same result: the Jets to embarrass themselves so we can all get in a hearty laugh or two.
Let's go, Dolphins.