If you live in Jacksonville and are hoping to see the Dolphins play the Jaguars you have two choices, you can either go to a sports bar or buy one of the thousands of tickets still remaining for the game. If those two options don’t appeal to you then unfortunately you’re out of luck. The Jaguars game will be blacked out Sunday, the ninth time this has happened in 2009.
I will be making the trip over from Tallahassee to see the Dolphins play, myself. Unfortunately the 8-9 hour drive to Miami is just a little too far to do on a regular basis but I don’t mind driving two and a half to Jacksonville any day. I hope to see a number of Dolphins fans there too. Miami is the oldest team in Florida (with perhaps the biggest fan-base) and I know that I, like most Dolphins fans, bear the Jaguars absolutely no love. My hatred of them stems back to a certain 62-7 affair that ended Dan Marino’s career. So in honor of Dan, if you have the means to make it there Sunday, lets fill the Gator Bowl (or Alltel, whatever it’s called these days) with a sea of Aqua and Orange and root the Dolphins on to a victory and a tie for the 6th wildcard spot.
In other news:
Davone Bess is finally beginning to get some of the credit he deserves. There are also good articles about him here. And then one more here. I guess this is a double-edged sword as we so often see a player get a little bit of press and then start to level off, but I truly hope this is just the start of good things to come for this Dolphin. Bess is like a microcosm for what this entire team represents. He’s an unheralded, under-appreciated (at least league-wide) player that gets every last ounce out of his physical ability, works harder than other guys and is beginning to enjoy the success that comes with it. He’s also just in his second season and if the conventional wisdom, that wide receivers truly blossom in their third year, is true then Miami may be looking at a very special player for a while to come.
Randy Starks has caught the eye of Ethan Skolnick, who points out that Starks has been the Dolphins defensive MVP to this point. He also points out that Randy Starks is just 26 and under the employ of the Dolphins for at least three more years. It was mentioned on our forums the other day that Miami has been one of the top teams in the NFL when it comes to acquiring players over the last two years (we’ll call it the Parcells era) and I have to admit it’s not hard to agree. Nobody thought much of the acquisition of Starks a couple of years ago, and even last year he didn’t factor as heavily into our defensive front seven. But this year Starks has really come into his own and is playing some great football.
“I’m starting to know what I’m getting out of Randy every game,” Tony Sparano said.
On Sunday Starks hit Brady three times and offered good pressure all day. In the past two seasons Miami has focused heavily on both sides of its lines, drafting Donald Thomas and Jake Long while acquiring Justin Smiley and Jake Grove on offense (and resigning Vernon Carey) not to mention bring in a host of capable backups who have played admirably when called on this season. On defense Miami has added Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford in the draft and brought in Randy Starks, Tony McDaniel and Jason Ferguson through free agency and trades. In pretty much two years Miami has built solid lines on both sides of the ball. What a marked improvement from the days of old when Miami seemed to approach the draft like a game of craps.
I’ll have a game preview for this weekend’s match up on Saturday afternoon. In the meantime, tickets for Sunday’s game are still available, just click right here. Go ‘Fins!