A Thanksgiving Ode to Chad Pennington, Our Meh-rino

It's official: The Dolphins are at least mediocre. In this, the season of giving thanks, fans owe much to Chad Pennington. He's the reason that in one year, a very bad team has become, well, a team that beats very bad teams. And in a conference where Peyton Manning wears a knee brace and Tom Brady is in a doctor's office, the Pennington-led Dolphins are actually a playoff contender.

Behold his middling arm strength! Gape at his so-so mobility! When it comes to his ability to read opposing defenses, Pennington is better than roughly half the quarterbacks in the NFL! Combine all of that with his ordinary leadership skills, and you have the Meh-rino. Meh as in mediocre, meh as in blah, but whatever, the way the Fins have been playing the past couple of years, that counts as a veritable Meh-siah!

Think about it. Over the past several seasons, a Dolphins' defense led by stalwarts such as Jason Taylor and Zack Thomas has played at least well enough to make this team competitive. But they never had a quarterback. Think of the list of previous Meh-siahs: a has-been (Trent Green), a washed-up gimp (Daunte Culpepper), and a never-will-be (Joey Harrington), along with a bunch of noodle-arms who should spend their careers attached to clipboards.

Finally with Pennington in the huddle, the Dolphins have a QB who can look his sweaty teammates in the eyes and say, "Yeah, we sorta can win this, probably."

Years ago, a younger Pennington seemed to be the mediocre return of Joe "Broadway" Namath, what with his Southern accent and frat-boy grin. But alas, his average-ness wasn't good enough for New Yorkers, not when Green Bay offered the services of future Hall of Famer Brett Favre, and like that, the Jets no longer needed Broadway Chad.

One man's mediocre trash is another's mediocre treasure. New vice president Bill Parcells, who coached Pennington two jobs ago in New York, picked him up off waivers, and operation Shame-Be-Gone was up and rolling.

Even his harshest critics can't deny Meh-rino excels in one statistical category: He has the highest career completion percentage in the history of the NFL. That's right; his claim to fame is his ... average.

So take heart, Dolphins nation. With your average quarterback, you can finally expect average results! Let us give thanks, for there is no doubt Pennington has the talent to lead this team to a string of first-round playoff defeats.

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Michael J. Mooney