Who Says This Regime Needs To Honor It's Past?

If there is one thing that has the fans pitting themselves against each other and the off-season rhetoric firing like a sub-machine gun, it’s the acts or non-acts of the Bill Parcells regime.  What I want to know is this.  Who says this regime needs to honor it’s past?

So Jason Taylor is miffed at the Dolphins because two years ago they traded him to the Redskins.  So Zach Thomasis miffed because he didn’t get to stand at a podium, thank his fans, and walk out of the Dolphins complex with his swan song farewell speech.  So the Dolphins wanted to hand out his number to a rookie.  This regime has done more for the history of the Miami Dolphins than anyone since Don Shula strolled the hallowed corridors.

Memories are relatively short when it comes to things like this.  It’s nature.  We all seem to forget that Zach Thomas didn’t retire, he got cut and went and played for the Cowboys and Chiefs.  Jason Taylor played for Washington and now is with the Jets after a one year home stint.  But you need to go back further than that first year of the Parcells and company arrival in south Florida.

In fact, you need to go all the way back to Don Shula’s “retirement” and the Jimmy Johnson mistake. 

Johnson started a trend that has found a place for over a decade in Miami.  He refused to allow reference to the achievements of the Dolphins organization.  Don Shula was not welcome at the training facility that he ran for most of his career.  The 17-0 team?  Forget about it.  The rest of the players that had donned the Dolphins attire?  Nope.  If they weren’t on the roster then, they never existed.  Talk about respect.

When Jimmy quit and Dave Wannstedt took over, the first order of business for DW was to show Miami favorite and future Hall of Famer Dan Marino the exit.  In favor of Jay Fiedler I might add.  Marino stood on a podium and thanked his fans, his teammates, Wayne Huizenga, Don Shula, and a slew of others.  Even in his HOF acceptance speech, he mentioned more names than I can count.  But never did he utter Jimmy Johnson’s or Dave Wannstedt’s name.

Unlike Taylor and Thomas, Marino turned down the opportunity to continue his career elsewhere I might add.

History, was treated with indignation and over the next few seasons, all traces of Don Shula were wiped from the roster in not so much as a team mention.

And then along came Nick Saban.  Saban ruled with an iron fist and the entire complex became a house with eggshell flooring.  The past?  Nowhere to be seen.

When Saban left, the Dolphins handed over the reigns to a one year blunder in Cam Cameron.  For all his talk of family he was in no position to instill the past into the present.  When he left however, something changed.

Tony Sparanochanged the past and brought the past to the future.  It was Sparano in that first season who began inviting former players to the practices and it was Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland who reached out to the historic figures of the franchise to speak to the players.  Motivate them.  72 was back in the house and suddenly there was a sense that the Miami Dolphinswere coming home after a long absence.

Now, we see that two members of the team who are beloved by fans are being treated with the cold shoulder.  There is no press conference announcing their departure.  Yet, it was Jason Taylor who decided to leave for NY instead of waiting to see what else may come around the corner.  It was Zach Thomas who after suffering two consecutive season ending concussions decided to throw his hat into the silver starred helmet of Dallas.

Why exactly should the Dolphins celebrate that?  Hold a presser for that?  It made and still makes no sense.  Now it’s Zach who wants the ceremonial one day contract to retire a Dolphin.  Is there a real reason behind this?  Is this for the fans or for Thomas?  And if the Dolphins don’t hold press conferences for their players, why should they suddenly make an exception? 

The Dolphins conceded to public view by re-assigning AJ Edds to jersey number 49 instead of 54.  But one of these days, someone else will suit up in 54 and someone else will be in 99. 

So while fans and some media spend way too much time complaining about the antics of this regime, it really goes without saying that it was this regime who handed the olive branch bridge to members of a team that time had forgotten and past regimes had summarily cast aside with extreme prejudice.

To that end, I say this regime deserves a lot more credit for making this franchise relevant again.  In the present, for the future, and finally, again, the past.

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Tags: Bill Parcells Dan Marino Don Shula Jason Taylor Jeff Ireland Miami Dolphins Tony Sparano Zach Thomas

  • DolFan 316

    I love how this article conveniently leaves out how JT only accepted the Jets offer after weeks of twisting in the wind, or how Zach only went to Dallas *after* he was cut. Or how it insinuates that since Marino wasn’t a “traitor” who went to another team it was somehow “wrong” to let him go the same way JT and Zach were.

    I also don’t see how, in recent light of this regime’s behavior towards players, that giving Edds Zach’s old number right after Zach revealed the truth about what went down after his release can be construed as anything but a childish attempt to somehow “get back at” Zach. If it was anything else then why suddenly change the number?

    Nobody is saying they *have* to respect the past and genuflect before Shula or any member of the ’72 team on sight, but your own article points out all the previous coaches who spat on the past, and just how successful were they? Doesn’t exactly prove your point does it? Also, how many playoff games has this regime won? Last time I checked it was zero in two years. Even JJ won 2 in four years. These guys better get cracking if they want to match that, let alone exceed it.

    There’s nothing worse in sports (or life) than an arrogant jerk who doesn’t actually win anything significant to back it up.

    • Brian Miller

      Actually here is my point on JT and Zt. Both wanted to continue playing and not retire. This regime did not want them so they let them leave. Why is that wrong or disrespectful? Why hold a pressed for ZT when he wasn’t retiring? He enter to give a farewell speach and then go somewhere else. I wouldn’t have either. As for JT the phins said after the draft and he chose no. That’s on him. In fact I think it’s pretty classless on his part to agree to thAt and then change his mind and put pressure on the the team a week before the draft.

      Love them both but I see ZERO wrong with how they have treated these two. Especially compared to how others have treated our historic players. Like I said had these guys wanted to retire the it’s a different story but they didn’t.

      Sent from iPhone

  • DolFan 316

    Whoops, sorry for the double post, don’t know how that happened :-(

  • Jack Kompan

    Nice piece. Worthy of the FOX Channel, “fair and balanced”.

  • Phinion

    Let me start off by saying I love both Taylor and Thomas for all they have done for us in their time with the team. They have been probably the most consistently good players the team has ever had. But the truth is they never did enough to get this team into the superbowl!
    The numbers that have been retired by Miami are few but quite distinguished.
    Bob Griese, Dan Marino, and Larry Csonka! All Hall of Famers. All appeared in a SB for us or helped us get to one. Two were instrumental in us winning two SBs and one instrumental in us holding the record for the only perfect season in NFL History!
    What has Taylor or Thomas done to deserve that distinction? Have they made the hall yet? Well when they do they will likely be prime candidates to have their number retired by the phins then.
    Keuch should have his number retired before these two. Bouniconti as well!
    As for honoring our history. Most players on our team were not even born the last time we won a SB or were infants the last time we were in one! Our history right now is the history of a team of also rans after 84 thats 24 years of nothingness but Dan Marino breaking passing records!!! Our Recent History is of a team who has gone under .500 3 out of the last 4 years, 4 out of the last 6 years! Why should we honor that memory?
    this team is no longer about the past it is about the future. and if they succeed in the future just remember that this has probably been the longest franchise rebuild in recorded history.
    Not exactly something we should be proud of or celebrate. JT and Zach may be two of the most popular players of current Phin Fans (most of whom were born after 84!) but JT and Zach were as popular as they were because lets face it who else was there to love?

  • http://none richard

    Football changes,it evolves.The Dolphins were 1-15 and getting worse.If Jimmy Johnson were able to he would have traded Dan Marino,for whatever he could get,and maybe Marino would have got another shot at the Superbowl.Football is a young mans game,you can’t live in the past,you have to compete,you have to keep reinventing yourself,and scouting yourself.The second you start thinking I like this guy because of what he has done in the past instead of what he’s going to bring to the table this year,this day,rite now.Your going in the wrong dirrection.Any player that wants to address his fans are free to rent out there own hall,invite the press,and talk till they are blue in the face.Let the trifecta pay out,they will.Just let them do there jobs.

  • Jetro

    The Trifecta are all about loyalty in the game of football. Everyone knows there’s a business side of things in football and that’s where Taylor and Thomas tend to forget about. The Dolphins wisely didn’t want to deal with Thomas anymore as he had already two concussions and wasn’t getting any younger. Taylor on the other hand, around the same age of Thomas, so pushing the years and didn’t want to commit to off-season training camp with a new regime but rather do the whole dancing thing. Normally I would support the player and say, hey, the guy busts his butt off for 9 months a year, let him have some fun but common, you just got a new coaching staff, all the extra time you can get is a must. So while it is childish that both players and management are involved in these politics, I do see where they’re coming from.

    And Marino, btw, was pushed out the door. He picked retirement over going to the Vikings as he didn’t want to be remembered as someone who in their final years jumped ship for one last hoorah and having that backfire.

  • Jerr1233

    There is a saying, those who forget their past are bound to repeat it. This organization is forgeting its past. Yes we should be looking towards the future and where this franchise is going…but have you ever tried driving a car with no mirrors? Not the smartest thing to do. Football is a business…but this business contrary to popular belief isn’t about winning games (its nice when we do), its a business about winning fans. If the fans are not behind you then you might as well pick up shop and move. So as much as this organization needs to win football games it also needs to continue to win fans. JT and ZT are two players that fans connect with on a level as high as any legend. If you ask the average person to name 5 of the dolphins greatest players I guarentee that most people will put either JT or ZT or both in that list. To disrespect those players as the regiem has is to disrespect the fans and the current backlash is proof. Phinion you say that these two players never did enough to get us to the superbowl…well what about the other 49 players on the roster. JT and ZT carried their weight and did their part…DO you want them to go out and play WR, RB and QB too? Yea you forget about that…since Marino left we haven’t had a QB last more than 2 years. You know the bottom line is that this current organization is nothing but a good ol’ boys club. If you don’t fit Parcells mold then you are out. And thats fine he’s the boss. But there is a right way and wrong way to let people go…and they have constantly chose the wrong way. To not even talk to JT for 3 months…is disrespectful. Its obvious that Parcells has let his personal dislike of JT (and lets face it, they don’t like each other) get in the way of sound football. Not letting ZT sign a simple contract for a day so that he can retire a Dolphin is good for public relations how? Like I said…this is a business about winning fans not games…and if you don’t believe me, look at detroit.

    • phinion

      Well Jerr,
      If we are going to lose fans because Taylor and Thomas are not here then might as well lose them now instead of a year from now.
      Funny how some feel a team must show loyalty to players but players are free to sign with anyone they want and go unscathed by those same fans. JT could have waiting until the draft. He didn’t want to!

      Talking goes both ways. His Agent could have made an offer to the team. Why does the team have to make an offer (and they did make one that was refused!) just to have JT refuse and ask for more?
      JT had no issues leaving for another team before. Why did he come back here if he was so disrespected the FIRST time he left us for Washington? The team has never cut JT they have honored their contract each and every one of them. In the end the Players are about MONEY! The Front Office decisions are about MONEY! The only way JT was going to feel respected was if he got the money he thought he deserves. He didn’t get it from Washington and he didn’t get it from the Jets either! He was in a rush to sign because he knew that after the draft full of Defensive Ends and Linebackers he was going to get even less than he got!
      And that is why he is gone, not disrespect but money!
      As for Zach if he had retired instead of moving to Dallas I would bet he would have gotten his press conference!
      I think the Dolphins did more to honor Zach by their moves as he was not the same player everyone remembered and I certainly wouldn’t want to go to the game where he was carried out on a stretcher with brain damage from another concussion.

  • phinion

    Oh and to reply to who we had to help them get to the SB we had Jay Fiedler who both of them fought to keep when it was clear the only thing he was good for was getting Wwannastead fired!