Two years ago, New Times dropped an investigative bombshell: The Miami Dolphins are cursed because their stadium is built on an Indian burial ground. Probably. Maybe. We're as sure as one can be that a thing is cursed without coming face-to-face with a poltergeist.
For those who missed the story, here's the gist: Hard Rock Stadium is legit built on dirt that used to be a burial ground of the Tequesta, the first people to inhabit what we now know as Miami. Seeing as how the Dolphins haven't won a damn thing since moving to Miami Gardens from the Orange Bowl, we're putting two and two together here.
So how do the Fins break the curse of the Tequesta? They probably can't. They're likely screwed. Let's be honest: Would you forgive them? Doing these five things wouldn't hurt, though:
1. Erect a statue of a Tequesta warrior ASAP. The Tequesta Indians lived in present-day Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties but set up the main shop overlooking Biscayne Bay. You might be thinking, A Tequesta statue is a very random and unrealistic thing to erect, and we would agree except for the fact that ONE ALREADY EXISTS near the Brickell Avenue Bridge.
Do it, like, yesterday. Do not ask questions, Stephen Ross. You spent $500 million on renovating Hard Rock Stadium. You might as well spend a couple thousand more ridding it of a perpetual curse that may or may not exist.
2. Honor the Tequesta people by doing as they did. According to Wikipedia, which is never wrong, "the Tequesta worshipped a stuffed deer as the representative of the sun" and "worshipped a picture of a badly deformed barracuda crossed by a harpoon and surrounded by small, tongue-like figures painted on a small board." Great. Good. Done. The Dolphins should set up all of this in an end zone and encourage players who score touchdowns to head over to the worship corner to pay their respects.
Some of this might seem like a joke. We are not joking. That would be disrespectful — but not as disrespectful as, you know, sifting through dirt to find bones to move so you can build a stadium.
3. Free SweetWater Brewery beer in the "Tequesta seats." The word "Miami" is actually a Tequesta term meaning "sweet water," so it only makes sense that the Dolphins thank the tribe by dedicating a section of seats at games to the Tequesta and give those who sit there free beer from SweetWater Brewery. In honor of the Tequesta, the Dolphins could even make this seating arrangement a circle, similar to the Miami Circle, which native people built on the water's edge near the mouth of the Miami River.
Does free beer have anything to do with breaking a curse? No. We threw that in there for us. Educating people makes us thirsty.
4. Add Tequesta patches on the Dolphins uniforms. In the NFL, the uniform patch is king in terms of honoring something or someone. It's pretty much the only thing players are permitted to do outside of writing stuff on their cleats. The Dolphins should dedicate a couple of inches on their uniforms to breaking the curse.
If the NFL won't approve such a patch, players should put something on the bottom of their cleats. They would be like construction workers who bury good-luck charms in new stadiums. Nobody knows they're there, but what matters is they're there.
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5. Bury a Dan Marino jersey every 50 yards around the stadium. Does this make any sense? No. Do we want to see if the Dolphins would actually do it? Hell, yes. What better way to break a curse than to give an offering to the spirits that represents the greatest thing you've ever had? It's worth a shot.
Presenting 50 Marino jerseys to the curse gods would be not only a tremendous idea but also a great story to tell. The Dolphins could mark the ground where each jersey is buried with a plaque that has a Tequesta factoid on it. It's a Hail Mary, but hey, Marino was good at that.
If the Fins do these five things, the Curse of the Tequesta may be broken. If they don't, they should at least try. Otherwise, they're likely doomed to an eternity of 6-9 seasons. The choice is yours, Dolphins.