Monday, January 9, 2023

Happy To Be Here

On behalf of the Miami Dolphins, I would like to announce that we are (just) happy to be here, in the NFL22 playoffs. It would be nice to beat the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, and we, of course, hope for the best. But, truthfully, this season has been a huge success for us; we are totally satisfied with the results, and everything from here on is just a gravy situation. 

I saw somebody on a message board last night mocking our success with an announcement of a "Qualified-for-the-Postseason" Parade starting from the Dolphins' stadium parking lot this afternoon. I thought that was a pretty clever troll, but I actually do think this would be an excellent idea, and, in fact, I will be conducting a celebratory parade in my imagination all week long and all the way to Buffalo until noon Central Sunday. 

Go, Dolphins!


  1. Next up in the Dolphins' Qualified-for-the-Postseason Parade is the Marching Maroons of Madisonville-North Hopkins High School in Madisonville, Kentucky. Would you just listen to those flutes!?!

  2. Now here's the Fulton Walker Float. I was 14 years old when Super Bowl XVII took place in Pasadena, California, on Jan. 30, 1983, and Fulton Walker was instrumental in my last moments of complete and utter confidence in the Dolphins. Super Wikipedia:

    (Alvin) Garrett's touchdown tied the game 10–10 with less than 2 minutes left in the half, but the tie did not last long; Fulton Walker returned the ensuing kickoff a Super Bowl-record 98 yards for a touchdown to give the Dolphins a 17–10 lead. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown in Super Bowl history, and the longest kickoff return in postseason history, breaking the prior record of 97 yards by Vic Washington in 1972.

    A penalty on the ensuing kickoff forced Washington to start their next drive at their own 7-yard line, but they managed to get to the 28 after their first four plays. Then a pass interference penalty on defensive back Lyle Blackwood on the next play moved the ball to the Miami 42-yard line. Immediately after Blackwood's penalty, wide receiver Charlie Brown's 26-yard reception advanced the Redskins to the Dolphins 16-yard line. After calling their final timeout with 14 seconds left, Washington made one last attempt to score a touchdown before trying a field goal. Theismann's subsequent pass was caught by Garrett, but he was tackled at the 9-yard line by defensive back Glenn Blackwood, preventing any possible field goal attempt as the Redskins were unable to stop the clock before time expired in the half.

    Rest in peace, Fulton Luther Walker Jr. (1958-2016), originally of Martinsburg, West Virginia.

  3. And now we have the Sam Madison Float. Madison broke up Peyton Manning's third-and-2 pass on the opening possession of Miami's last postseason victory, 23-17 in overtime against the visiting Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 30, 2000. Plus, he serves as the current Miami cornerbacks coach. And, with the New York Giants at the end of his playing career, he had a couple of tackles and one pass defensed in the 17-14 upset of the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

    Way to go, Coach Samuel Adolphus Madison, Jr., originally of Thomasville, Georgia!

  4. And that brings us to the 1972 Float. Did you know that the 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team to complete an NFL season unbeaten and untied? That's right! Other teams have come close, such as the 18-1 NFL07 Patriots, but they all ultimately failed. Not the NFL72 Dolphins, however, which won 14 regular-season and three postseason games for a perfect, 17-0 record. It is an unprecedented and unmatched accomplishment, in the sense that no other NFL team has ever finished a season unbeaten and untied as the 1972 Dolphins did.

    Congratulations to the 1972 Miami Dolphins, which notably won all 17 of their games!

  5. Here's the Coach McDaniel Float! Mike McDaniel on Feb. 6, 2022, became the 14th head coach in Miami Dolphins history. He is 39 years old, born about six weeks after the Dolphins' Super Bowl XVII in 1983. Says Wikipedia: "On September 11, 2022, McDaniel made his regular season head coaching debut against the New England Patriots and led the Dolphins to a 20-7 victory, marking McDaniel's first victory as a head coach. McDaniel became the first Dolphins head coach since Nick Saban in 2005 to win their first game as Miami's head coach, and the first in franchise history to win a season opener as a rookie head coach."

    I sure like him. He seems smart, talented and nice.

    Have a great week, Coach Michael Lee McDaniel of Aurora, Colorado, and good luck on Sunday!

  6. The 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship Float is manned by Norm Bulaich, Norm Evans, Jake Scott and Bill Stanfill, who all played together on the 10-4 1975 Miami Dolphins. Running back Bulaich (originally of Galveston, Texas) and offensive tackle Evans (Santa Fe, New Mexico) hail from Texas Christian, and safety Scott (Greenwood, South Carolina) and defensive end Stanfill (Cairo, Georgia) played at Georgia.

    Congratulations, Bulldogs, on their 65-7 victory Monday night, and, to learn more about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), click here.

  7. I feel guilty that I thought about the fact that the Dolphins could have gone 9-8 with Flores as their coach.

    1. You shouldn't feel guilty. I love Brian Flores.

      Next up in the Miami Dolphins' Qualified-for-the-Postseason Parade is the Brian Flores Float. The Dolphins’ records in the three seasons he was head coach were 5-11 in 2019, 10-6 in 2020 and 9-8 in 2021. I appreciate that he oversaw the turnaround that preceded Miami’s three-season run of winning records—the team's first three-season run of winning records since 2001/2002/2003.

      Well done, Brian Franciso Flores of Brooklyn, New York!

    2. I'm not sure he would attend the parade.

    3. Oh, I can confirm that he waved from the float and that it was wonderful.

  8. Here's the Tua Tagovailoa Float.

    Coach McDaniel announced today that Miami's starting quarterback won't play in Sunday's game. This is Tua’s third season with the Dolphins. His regular-season quarterback rating improved from 87.1 as a rookie in 2020, to 90.1 last season and to 105.5 this. That led NFL22. He also led the league in the following statistical categories, most of which I had never heard of before discovering them a few minutes ago at fantastic Pro Football Reference:

    — Percentage of touchdowns thrown when attempting to pass
    — Yards gained per pass attempt
    — Adjusted yards gained per pass attempt
    — Yards gained per pass completion
    — Net yards gained per pass attempt
    — Adjusted net yards gained per pass attempt
    — Passer rating index

    The Dolphins are 21-13 in Tua’s 34 starts at quarterback. That’s a winning percentage of 61.8, eighth-best in Dolphins history, between No. 7 Bob Griese (61.9 percent) and No. 9 Dan Marino (61.3 percent).

    Congratulations on a fine season and get well soon, Tuanigamanuolepola Tagovailoa of Ewa Beach, Hawai’i!

  9. That takes us to the John Stofa Float.

    Stofa started at quarterback in the last game of the Dolphins’ 1966 expansion season, and then he started one game with the 1967 Dolphins. Miami won both! That puts Stofa at No. 1 all-time among Dolphins quarterbacks in winning percentage. George Mira also is at 100 percent but with only one start; Earl Morrall (91.7 percent), Damon Huard (83.3 percent), Don Strock (70 percent) and David Woodley (68.8 percent) are next in line, in front of Griese/Tua/Marino.

    Rest in peace, John Carl Stofa (1942-2022) of Johnston, Pennsylvania.

  10. It’s the Thanksgiving 1977 Float!

    As previously reported, I made $5 bets each with about three boys in my third-grade class at Concord that my Dolphins would beat their St. Louis Cardinals on Nov. 24, 1977. And my Dolphins did! It was glorious. Bob Griese, in his new glasses, threw for six touchdowns.

    This was my favorite game by my favorite player, and it fueled my hopes that the happy days would be here again. Even when the 1977 Dolphins failed to qualify for the playoffs, it felt like Miami was on the verge of championships again—mostly because of this high-profile clobbering of the new-money Cardinals. After the 6-8 collapse in 1976, the Dolphins went 10-4. Bill Arnsparger and Howard Schnellenberger were back on the coaching staff; Griese was playing better than ever (he was the Maxwell Club's player of the year, and I d├ęcoupaged his 1978 Topps All-Pro card to a mug), and the top two draft choices—A.J. Duhe and Bob Baumhower—were both very promising new defensive studs. Here’s how Edwin Pope opened his column in the Friday, Nov. 25, Miami Herald:

    Mark the date. Thanksgiving 1977, as you marked Christmas 1971.

    For the incredible 55-14 afternoon in bloody St. Louis could mean the maturation of the new Dolphins as surely as The Longest Game was for the old Dolphins in Kansas City.

    Yes, baby. Yes!

    Rest in peace, John Edwin Pope (1928-2017), “The Sportswriter’s Sportswriter,” originally of Athens, Georgia (which is so hot right now).

    1. Oopsydaisy. Here's the "Sportswriter's Sportswriter" link. He was certainly this former sportswriter's favorite sportswriter. That's mostly because he wrote about the Dolphins, of course, but I also just plain really loved his writing. In fact, my favorite thing that I've read that he wrote was a phrase not about the Dolphins from a Christmas column. Among all sorts of snippety things where he listed what he was thankful for, there was this:

      For libraries, civilization's affirmation.

      That's so freaking pretty. And he was always so nice to email me back a kind note whenever I emailed to him about something he wrote. Newspapers, the Internet and libraries ... I love all of that stuff.

  11. Next up is the 1979 Topps Delvin Williams Card 370 Float.

    It was just unbelievably thrilling to find a Dolphins running back identified by Topps as an AFC All Pro. Eleven-year-old me strutted. Just a beautiful card! Here’s the back:

    A sensational glider with game-breaking speed, Delvin injected explosiveness to the Dolphins’ offensive-attack last season. He led the club in rushing and was ranked 2nd in AFC among rushers.


    Next to that last, capitalized sentence is a little drawing of a football player holding a sign that reads, “BANK ON US!”

  12. I was going to make the Bob Griese Float next to last in this parade, but things might get busy tomorrow and I don't want to mess up and leave him out. The Bob Griese Float is spectacular.

    I did not know that he appeared in 2006 (and excelled) on Wheel of Fortune. I did know that he and his wife have a home in western North Carolina now, in addition to their home in the Miami suburbs, and that makes me happy. I would be thrilled to live in North Carolina again some day, and I hope the Grieses are having a ball together.

    "From the Wabash to South Beach, Griese has made an impact everywhere he's gone," Treasure Washington wrote in a nice retrospective of Griese's career in today's Evansville, Indiana, Courier & Press.

    Have a great weekend, Robert Allen Griese, originally an Evansville West Sider (like me).

  13. Me, Don Shula, Dan Marino, Matthew, David Woodley, Ricky Williams, Mom, Nat Moore and the rest of us got into Buffalo in my head late last night, and now things are busy on Sunday morning, so I don't have much time to wrap this up. But let me just say it was great to see the Lamar Smith Float closing out the Dolphins' Qualified-for-the-Postseason Parade. Hooray for Lamar Hunter Smith, originally of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for his amazing performance in the 2000 playoffs, and hooray for the Dolphins. I hope we win today.