You know what your grandma used to tell you: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Any Miami Dolphins fan will tell you trying to abide by that rule over the last two decades has been harder than convincing a dieter to only pick up vegetables at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
It's not easy being a Dolphins fan. Just ask one. You'll hear about years of pain.
The past is past, though. A new season is here, and with new beginnings comes a fresh opportunity to turn the page and look to the future.
Training camp is the perfect time to remember what's great about being a Miami Dolphins fan. It feels good to be positive! Because once the real games start, that may become a lot harder.
1. Dolphins fans have the best sense of humor. There is a twisted byproduct of watching the Dolphins find new and exciting ways to disappoint every season: It's taught Fins fans the art of self-deprecating humor, and dammit if they aren't the best in the league at it. Honestly, if Dolphins fans didn't deal with the team's failures in the entertaining fashion they do, there's no way they could still watch this team. Half the fun of being a Miami fan these days is tweeting "FML" after the latest missed 31-yard field goal that would have won the game.
Dolphins fans have gone so far past anger and frustration that they've come back around the other side to a happy place of comedic apathy. It may sound odd, but everyone deals with disappointment in different ways. Let them grieve with humor.
2. Our children have no idea how good things used to be. For fans who lived through the Dan Marino era — or even the golden years of the '70s — it's
The bright side of the Dolphins sucking for so long is that an entire younger generation of Dolphins fans think they know pain, but haven't really experienced how it feels to have the Dolphins wreck your whole month.
3. Miami is the best place in America for fall tailgating. Dolphins fans take for granted that other NFL fans who want to see their team in person have to brave the elements and risk possible frostbite and/or death. In Miami, we don't have that problem. Every Sunday is a treat, and the worst thing that can happen to your tailgate is it might rain a little.
For a fall-winter sport, Dolphins fans are incredibly lucky to have almost zero concern for the weather every Sunday. Ask Buffalo Bills fans or Green Bay Packers fans if they'd like to say the same.
4. Dolphins fans are generally a pleasure to be around. Dolphins fans don't bother anybody, man — they're just there to see the game. There are a few bad apples in every fan base, but the overwhelming majority of Dolphins fans are so chill that the national media knocks them for it. While some teams' fans jump off cars onto tables in the parking lot or line the streets to scream at the other team's buses, Dolphins fans outside Hard Rock Stadium are grilling up steaks and kicking back, as they should be.
Some haters in the national media use that attitude to claim Dolphins fans are "not passionate enough" or "apathetic" — but that's just not the case. Dolphins fans simply know how to behave in public and are used to having a good time without being babysat. Sorry if Bills fans need to always be on the verge of getting arrested to enjoy an NFL game, but that's not us.
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5. No matter what happens now, the Dolphins will always have the good old days. A lot of teams suck, but not many can look back on one of the most dominant stretches in the history of football. Sure, the Dolphins might be 6-10 this year, but at least they aren't the Bengals: The Dolphins have a legacy.
From the undefeated team to Dan Marino, the Dolphins franchise is etched in the NFL history books. Being a Dolphins fan comes with all that. You get to be a part of the history. It may not seem like it today, but in the grand scheme of things, being a Dolphins fan is a prestigious honor.
Few franchises have ruled a massive part of an entire decade like the Dolphins did in the '70s, and fewer still have seen a talent like Marino play for their team for a decade and a half. That alone makes being a Miami Dolphins fan worth the pain.