On Sunday at 4:25 p.m. in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the Dolphins return to their fans' lives when they face the New England Patriots in their 2021 season opener. Consider your Sundays accounted for until New Year's Day.
Of course, real Dolphins fans know that this is one of those good-news/bad-news arrangements: Every September there are mixed emotions about having a weekly appointment with a team that hasn't won a championship since 1973.
On one hand, football in South Florida is king. Miami is, always has been, and always will be a football town. On the other hand? Pain. Miami Dolphins football seasons usually translate into disappointment. As the younger generation of Dolphins fans would say, IYKYK.
True Dolphins fans have developed an intuitive sense of what to expect when a new season kicks off. The characters may change, but the show is normally the same. They know the vibes.
Here are ten telltale signs you're a Dolphins fan who has experienced every twist and turn that comes with each NFL season and has somehow signed up for it all over again.
You Love the 1972 Team but Enough AlreadyAny true Dolphins fan under 45 years old will tell you that the Dan Marino years were underappreciated in retrospect. We'll take a bad year of Dan Marino over a good year since Dan Marino — any time. These days, it's all about chasing memories. We want new memories that are better than the old memories! That said, we'd settle for more old memories, too.
A Super Bowl title is the ultimate goal, but at the very least, Dolphins fans would love to feel as alive as they did from 1983 to 1999, during the Marino years.
Being a Dolphins fan is tough pic.twitter.com/iHXQx4IrAy— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 18, 2019
Your Closet Is Full of Dolphins Jerseys You Can No Longer WearNo matter how many times Dolphins fans learn their lesson, they keep repeating the same mistake of buying a jersey. It's proven to be a bad idea. If you're a longtime Dolphins fan, your closet tells a story — of heartbreak.
There is not a single Dolphins jersey you can feel comfortable buying right now, so you shouldn't buy one. Not with DeShaun Watson rumors swirling. Though that still won't stop us from repeating the same mistake of buying that Tua Tagovailoa jersey.
You’re a Little OffLet's face it: The Miami Dolphins have done a number on its fans over the years. From heartache to last-second miracle wins, Dolphins fans have used just above every square inch of their heart and mind to grapple with this team. It's unlikely Dolphins fans have made it through this rollercoaster ride, year after year, psychologically unscathed.
Like a marriage, it's been for better or for worse. If the Dolphins don't realize we're loyal partners by the 2021 season, well, then they haven't been paying attention to us. Sigh. 'Til death do us part.
#TBT to this image of Joe Robbie Stadium under construction. It would open in 1987 but wouldn’t become worth going to until April 5, 1993, when the Florida #Marlins hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers.#JuntosMiami #MLB pic.twitter.com/c7W8nkJadL— Marlins Historian (@MarlinsHistory) September 2, 2021
Hard Rock Stadium Will Always Be Joe Robbie to YouNo matter how many times the name of the stadium where the Dolphins play changes, you'll always think of it as Joe Robbie Stadium. Hard Rock rolls off the tongue, but it's like trying to rename a three-year-old dog because you thought of a better name. That just doesn't happen.
True longtime Dolphins fans know it's forever Joe Robbie. Everything else is about branding and money.
Action photo from the Patriots Dolphins game in 1972 pic.twitter.com/Cn3SiEH2AY— Bob Hyldburg (@BobtheStatMan) September 4, 2021
You’ve Heard Enough About the 1972 Undefeated Miami DolphinsFor a long time, it was nice. Honoring the greatest team in NFL history — the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins — made sense. They're great! Exceptional even!
Then fans honored them every year. Every. Single. Year. For the past 49 years.
The Dolphins haven't won a title since the above picture was taken. Honoring the 1972 team is an annual reminder of that fact.
T-Pain’s Dolphins Fight Song Has Secretly Grown on YouIt's time to have a talk about this. It's gone unsaid long enough. Is it possible T-Pain was just ahead of his time when he remixed the Dolphins fight song all those years ago?
It's been a good decade since the Dolphins tried to remake their classic, and it went over with fans about as well as soda on cereal. Now, though, it kinda slaps? It actually might slap. We need to talk about whether T-Pain's version of the fight song slaps.
Tannehills ONLY good year in Miami was when we changed up our scheme and just ran TF outta Jay Ajayi..Gase literally took the ball outta his hands and gave it to Ajayi.. we'd complete throws off playaction after that..that's how he succeeded..same in Tennessee— Action Jackson (@domojackson7) September 5, 2021
You’re Still Talking About Ryan TannehillThe year is 2021, and Miami Dolphins fans are still talking about Ryan Tannehill. The ex-Dolphins QB spent seven pretty uneventful and definitely unsuccessful seasons in Miami, yet owing to some success he's had in Tennessee, Dolphins fans feel the need to continue debating whether he should have been replaced all those years ago.
He should have. He had seven seasons and three coaches to get it right. It's over. Let it go.
For some reason, we can't. And that's one way to tell a casual fan from a diehard. We romanticize the what-if.
We've signed 13 players to our practice squad.— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 1, 2021
You Hate the Jets the Most No Matter WhatThe New England Patriots or Buffalo Bills could win a combined 80 straight championships from now until flying cars hover above I-95, and the New York Jets will still be the most hated team by true longtime Miami Dolphins fans. That's just how it is, and how it always will be. It's in our blood.
For years, the only thing keeping Dolphins fans somewhat sane was the fact that the Jets are just as awful, if not worse, than Miami. It helps us sleep at night. The hate for the Jets is real, and forever.
You Just Want to Live to See the Dolphins Win the Super BowlLife's clock is ticking on all of us, and one day we too shall die. The Dolphins winning a title in our lifetime is not guaranteed. Ask anyone born in 1974 and nearing their 50th birthday about having never witnessed the Dolphins end the season on the podium accepting the Lombardi trophy.
The only thing Dolphins fans want is that moment. We'll trade 20 more bad years for a title. Miami has seen its baseball and basketball teams win multiple championships since the Dolphins last won.
All Dolphins fans want is one Super Bowl. Just one. We've waited long enough.