As fans of the NFL, we know what it is to feel a burning ire for another person simply because their team of choice does not match our own.
When a dyed-in-the-wool fan of one team encounters an opposing team's supporters, love for their own overcomes common sense and produces emotions of extreme intensity. It's part of what makes this game so amazing, and keeps us coming back year after year.
I am the kind of fan that would literally rather die than wave the flag of another team. I love the Dolphins more than a person should love anything—to the point where I must admit my own personal happiness is inescapably fused to, and wholly dependent upon, the team's success.
I do, however, realize that without the teams that threaten to take away my happiness by defeating the Fins on the field of battle, there would be no Miami Dolphins; there would be no love.
That is precisely why I have decided to write this series, "It's Not All Hate." To remind everyone that it is football that we truly love, to thank the fans of other teams for the competitive spirit that drives all of our passions for the game, and acknowledge the fact that the symbiosis between us is what really fuels the sport.
I am going to attempt to say something nice about every single NFL team.
While the Patriots have fallen to number two on the Dolphins' hated list (how could they not with Rex Ryan's non-stop mouth?), there is still a healthy rivalry between the two division foes. It seems like the Dolphins and the Pats split the series more often than not, though with passions running high for every game, the outcome of every game is as random as the opening coin-toss.
I tried to figure out how to say something nice about the Pats without mentioning Tom Brady first. No dice. The guy is a lock to end up in Canton, and has been the backbone of your team for what seems like forever. It must feel great knowing you have the security of maybe the best clutch player in football. Is he better than Peyton Manning on the day to day? No. But is he better when the game is on the line? Without a doubt. It's hard to like Tom when he is the main cause for every loss the Fins have suffered to the Pats in recent memory, but it's equally as difficult to deny his status as one of the best.
Randy Moss is another legend. I hope for your sake you can retain him after the 2010 season. He is complimented by the best number-two receiver in football, and the subject of one of the worst trades the Dolphins have ever made, Wes Welker. How do you not love Wes? He is a YAC machine, rarely drops a pass, and has shown up consistently for you for years now.
Your defense has recently exited a golden age, but I know that BB & Co. are hard at work building a new dynasty with younger players. Such is the nature of the game; out with the old, in with the new.
Which brings me to Bill Belichick. Every fiber in my being tells me to verbally trash this man, but I acknowledge that it is because of how many times his wily play-calling has bested my Fins. He is arguably the best coach in football; there I said it—great, now I have to go take a shower.
In summation, I have a lot of respect for the Patriots, even if it is trumped by my desire to see Miami strike them down, preferably in New England. They have a legitimate shot at the title every year, and this one is no different.
You heard it from a Miami Dolphins die-hard: The Pats are a really good football team. There—We may recommence hatred for one another at this time.
If you enjoyed this installment of the "It's Not All Hate" Series, Go To My Archive to find the others, and more.