The scope of something that is larger-than-life...the essence of that which is legendary...the singular taste of monumental achievement.
The Dolphins have played many epic games throughout the franchise's storied past; we've played the longest game in history in the Playoffs, and we've played against the best defense in history (IMHO) on a Monday night. We've played in the perfect Superbowl. Even some of our defeats have been in epic contests, such as the 'Sea of Hands' game, or the Charger-Dolphin playoff in '81.
This game filled the ticket. It was an away game against the team's arch-rival. The final game of the season, and for all the marbles. It was against a living icon at QB, and the subplots for our own QB were dizzying.
The Dolphins responded with another Fourth Quarter of cramming the ball down the opponents' throat and putting points on the board. The adjectives are 'Clutch'. 'Big-Time'.
The reward for this type of big-time, clutch team play was immediate, in the form of a small grey hat (and the tremendous accomplishment it represents). It says: AFC EAST Division Champions, and that's what we are. It will soon be a small white pennant with red piping, a banner and badge of honor on display in Dolphin Stadium, joining it's 12 siblings.
Think of the great tales of lore, like Beowulf or the Odyssey, for example. They themselves are called 'epics', because they tell of heroic deeds and the vanquishing of fearsome foes. They are filled with tales of striving for seemingly-unattainable goals, and of the legends that strive to reach them anyway.
We came into a hostile lair of a formidable dragon-bugaboo of the Dolphins franchise on Sunday. The Jets are the team most Miami fans cannot stand to lose to, and savor a win over them more than one over any other foe.The Jets have delivered some of my most personal sports-memory agonies, and have provided me with many of my fondest recollections. Pregame I was filled with a sense of wonderment and dread, a weird pumped/edgy kind of a static vibration. To not recognize the significance of the impending struggle would mean one wasn't a fan of football OR reality TV, since this was the unltimate live stage entertainment.
Not one Miami fan was to be disappointed, nor were impartial fans of football either. Only those in Foxboro and New York were disappointed. It was because the Jets have owned us and the Patriots have owned the East, and by 7:30pm neither was true.
We entered the lair of the beast, looked it in the eyes, took it's best shot and then slew it. The force of our blow was such that it caused a cave-in and slew the other, mightier dragon waiting in the next cavern.
The Pats will recover, and quickly. They'll lose Matt Cassell to FA, and get the 'consolation prize' of getting back Brady. They'll get another good couple of draft picks to work out, and be ready to go in four months. The evil sorcerer that drives that empire will not sit quietly in Mordor: he will rally his Orcs around him and prepare for battle. His all-seeing eye may be blinded since it's snooping was discovered by Goodell and the NFL, but the Dark Lord still has power. We will have to pursue that beast until we drive a stake into it's Undead heart. We will never be truly free until we do.
The Jets probably won't recover, at least not quickly. In order to cover their own dubious personnel decisions, Woody and the Man gave Mangweenie the boot. Now, with the wishy-washy remnants of Favre about to announce retirement #2 (at least until training camp is almost over), they will be faced with replacing the HC AND the QB. Meanwhile, their old acquisitions (like Faneca) are gobbling up huge chunks of cash and doing nothing but age.
They did not get what they paid for.
They spent huge dollars and shelled out significant bonuses. They spent for Superbowl players.
They got a decent but not sensational player in Pace, a decent but wears-down player in Jenkins, a decent but past-his-prime player in Faneca and a washed-up former great player in Favre. Brett is still a below average QB (you'd take him over Losman), but for him that is very substandard. He's done.
They needed a fall guy; Mangini, exit stage left.
I could not be happier, as the cursed 'shoes of disarray' now rest snugly on someone else's feet for a change.
This tale of Dolphin lore has closed the chapter of 1-15, moved the dash and started a new one at 11-5. It's one hell of a read. It's to be continued...
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