Dolphins as a punchline is getting very old
You know the instance, when Ireland said he wants the first overall selection to be "a pillar of the defense," for years to come when he really meant to say "a pillar of the team."
Saying a pillar of the defense suggests Ireland and the Dolphins are going to pick a defensive player even though they are only negotiating with offensive tackle Jake Long as of this writing. Ireland was unaware he said defense and, when told, corrected himself even as his face was turning red.
He then admitted saying defense was a "Freudian slip," and tried to move on. But the error is made. And it was an error. I was there, and believe me, he didn't say "defense" to throw the rest of the NFL off a scent. He simply misspoke and the gaff is already on youtube.com.
"I'm going to watch the next Jeff Ireland press conference," ESPN analyst and former Tennessee Titans GM Floyd Reese said on national TV. "I want to see if there are any Bill Parcells finger prints around his throat."
Ha ha. Very funny, Floyd.
But here's the problem with that humor: I personally am tired of the jokes.
I really wish the Dolphins could get to a place where they no longer are a joke. Their fans, rabid and mostly knowledgeable, deserve to root for a team that isn't a punchline. But, sadly, it's been a looong time since the Dolphins weren't Dave Letterman or Jay Leno fodder.
Last year they were not only bad, but they had Dr. Strangelove as the head coach saying things like, "Today we drafted the Ted Ginn family," or proclaiming he wanted the team to "fail forward fast," or "I want to see that thumb go this direction." The Dolphins were a joke and being 1-15 was only part of the reason.
Before that, Nick Saban was a cartoon character in headsets. Before that Dave Wannstedt and Rick Spielman were dumb and dumber. Before that Jimmy Johnson and Dan Marino played out a weekly soap opera -- as the Dolphins turn -- and the game pushed both out of the NFL was a 62-7 debacle.
And now, all of three press conferences into his career as Miami's GM, Ireland has already made his youtube debut and pundits are making fun of him and the team. Again.
Sure, it's great if you aren't a Dolphins fan and can use the Dolphins as an example of how bad things can get. It is moments like this and the others I've mentioned that cause fans in New York and Buffalo and New England to laugh at Miami.
But I, for one, am kind of sick of the pratfalls and pitfalls.
So here's a novel idea for the Dolphins: Be entertaining, sure. Have fun. But do it on the field. That is the proper stage for fun times.
Unfortunately, it's been a long time since that happened.