It happened again. That thing where you're scraping together the last unidentifiable remnants of your Thanksgiving turkey for one last sandwich, go to untangle some Christmas lights, and — wellllllppppp — the Miami Dolphins are already out of the playoff picture.
You're dead inside, and you have so many questions. How can this be happening again? How do they always need offensive linemen when all they do is draft them? Is Dion Jordan even alive? How can the new offensive coordinator be younger than Ryan Gosling? Why do I keep getting excited at 1 p.m. every Sunday? Is this like what they do to those cocaine-addicted mice?
It's a cruel, cruel ritual Dolphins fans have grown accustomed to, and it creates an all-too-familiar fork in the road that presents a lot of questions when trying to figure out what to root for down the stretch of another lost season. Sadly, the answer that makes the most sense is the hardest one for Dolphins fans to accept.
For future's sake, it might be better if the Dolphins just lose, baby.
It's better that they continue to lose. Lose with the fury of 1,000 suns. Lose in such a convincing fashion that the Philadelphia 76ers shake their heads in amazement. Convincing, laughable losses — Dolphins fan should be rooting for their team to bottom out, once and for all. Yes, even you, superawesome Dolphins bro with your authentic Ryan Tannehill jersey. Even you. Sorry.
When it comes to reasoning with a die-hard Dolphins fans about why they should see the silver lining in their team losing, the most obvious place to start is with the draft. As you can see above, one win separates the Dolphins from the sixth pick and the 17th pick. In the reverse standings, the Dolphins cling to sixth place due to incredibly crappy performances in all tie-breaker-related areas. Let's hope it stays that way.
The Dolphins are a team void of young talent and depth, and the draft is the only way to fix both when you are paying big cash to a defensive lineman (Ndamukong Suh) and a quarterback. They are worse off than a rebuilding project, because this is a team with two practically untradeable, high-priced players clogging up a salary cap.
Chances are the Dolphins will look to cut ties with older, more expensive players such as Brent Grimes and Cameron Wake next season or at the very least try to restructure their deals. They will need to fill in the gaps that departing talent leaves with younger, cheaper talent they find in the draft. And the best way to do that is to have more valuable picks, not a December win against Matt Schaub and the Baltimore Ravens' JV team.
We are officially back to the #SuckForLuck debate. Should the team work for better future players or meaningless current wins? You decide.
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Beyond the draft, Dolphins fans also need to understand their owner. Remember when you were being bad as a kid and your mom was trying to get you to stop being such an ass, but you wouldn't listen until she said, "I'm going to get your dad!" Losing more is basically your dad. Until the stink gets so bad — say 4-12 — Ross might be under the wacky assumption that his organization is not a dumpster fire floating on a trash tsunami.
We have all seen what happens when the Dolphins go 7-9: People keep their jobs for another year. Sometimes they even get extensions and raises. The coaching staff is already a goner, but Ross needs a reason to get rid of Mike Tannenbaum as well. Chances are Ross swings for the fences with his next coaching hire — that's what he always tries first before he settles on the next ex-Miami Dolphins coach — and that coach will want control of personnel. If Ross is loyal to Tannenbaum like he was with Ireland in this same situation a few years ago, he will be left interviewing subpar, non-slam-dunk candidates.
You may not be comfortable with seeing the positive in a Dolphins loss, but the team has once again put you in this position.
In the words of the great ex-Dolphins coach Cam Cameron, fans should be OK with the team "failing forward fast."