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Ray Finkle may have been a fictional character, but he sure seems to haunt the Miami Dolphins.
Twenty-three years after he biffed the kick that would have won the Dolphins their second Super Bowl (clarification: in the real Super Bowl, the Niners beat the Dolphins 38-16), Miami still can't field a competitive team.
More importantly, Finkle's curse on Dan Marino, who failed to keep the laces out while holding for the notorious kick, has carried over to the post-Marino era.
Marino never made it back to the big game after Finkle's flub...but even with Marino long-since retired, Miami is still flailing to replace him at quarterback.
Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Cleo Lemon, Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington—what do they have in common?
They were all mediocre quarterbacks for the Miami Dolphins. And now you can add one more name to the list: Trent Green.
Trent's arrival in Miami has been rumored for so long that Tuesday's trade was more anticlimactic than Lindsay Lohan getting busted for cocaine. But now that the deal is finally done, what do the Dolphins actually have?
Yet another middling quarterback who won't bring them to the promised land.
Let's face it: Trent Green is 36 years old. He's coming off a year in which he missed half the season after suffering what Kansas City Chiefs GM Carl Petersen described as a "very, very severe concussion." And now he's the savior in Miami?
For those of you still paying attention, the underlying truth of this screed is that the Dolphins did themselves and their entire fanbase a disservice by passing on one Brayden Tyler "Brady" Quinn in the first round of the NFL Draft—instead opting for overrated Ohio State speedster Teddy Ginn Jr.
I've seen young Mr. Quinn come up short in a number of big-time games, being a USC Trojan booster and all (tip: see my profile). But make no mistake: The kid's got potential...enough potential to give hope to those South Florida football fans still waiting to break the dreaded Curse of Ray Finkle.
Unfortunately, Wayne Huizenga, Randy Mueller, and Cam Cameron, their brains perhaps cooked by the Floridian heat, allowed their desire to buck the conventional wisdom to get the best of them.
They were too preoccupied to see the forest for the trees. And now, well, they got their man.
For that, Ray Finkle will live to vex another day.
Laces out, Marino. Laces out, indeed.
For more Dolphins news and analysis, check out Phinaticism, an excellent Miami Dolphins blog.