Dolphins vs. Giants: Going 0-16 Could Forever Change Miami Franchise

Scott AltmanCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 13:  Jason Taylor #99 of the Miami Dolphins wipes his face during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Every NFL team has its dark days. 

The Dallas Cowboys, famously christened America's Team, have notched only one playoff victory since 1996; the San Francisco 49ers hoisted the Lombardi Trophy four times in the 1980s but haven't finished a season above .500 since 2002; even the Green Bay Packers, a franchise personified by excellence, made only two playoff appearances between 1968 and 1992.

So, it's only fair that the Miami Dolphins, a team whose history includes a perfect season, two Super Bowl titles and 14 AFC East championships, temporarily fade into irrelevancy.

But the Dolphins currently stand on the brink of more than mere irrelevancy—they stand on the brink of imperfection.

Miami stood in similar ground four short years ago, but that team was bailed out of infamy by Cleo Lemon, Greg Camarillo and an injury-riddled Baltimore Ravens squad. 

The 'Fins evaded imperfection once, but can they elude her grasp—and the everlasting devastation that followers in her wake—once again?


But, what if they don't?

Going 0-16 would forever change the Miami Dolphins franchise as a whole. 

Miami has drifted between marginality and absolute futility over the past decade. Images of Ted Ginn, Jr. and his family, Daunte Culpepper and his fiberglass knee and, of course, 1-15 haunt the organization to this very day. 

But even this horrid string of misfortune has not erased the triumphant memories stemming from three decades of unbridled success between 1970 and 2001. 

However, going 0-16 would do just that. 

The Dolphins can only withstand so much more losing before the public perception of the franchise shifts forever. 

No longer would the 'Fins be connected to 16-0, Dan Marino's prolific passing attack, the Killer B's, or the No-Name Defense. Instead, the 'Fins would be marred by 0-16. 

A stench similar to the one that has drowned losing organizations like the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders would cultivate. 

Finishing this season 0-16 is a horror story with dire consequences. 

Perhaps landing Andrew Luck would serve as a silver lining, but a winless season would serve as the definitive collapse of a once great and dominant franchise. 

So, before you start supporting the Suck for Luck movement, realize the consequences at stake.