The other day when I was hanging up some shirts in my closet, something strange suddenly dawned on me. For the first time in my life, I don’t have a jersey for any player who is currently on this 2012 Miami Dolphins team. Since we are just six weeks out from the start of preseason, it’s time for me to start thinking about my next big investment. Which current Dolphin is most worthy of a jersey purchase?
Up until now, it was always an easy decision for me to pick a jersey and wear on Sundays. Just like most fans, during the late 80’s and most of the 90’s I rocked a Dan Marino Jersey. When Marino retired, I started sporting Zach Thomas and would occasionally sprinkle in a little Ricky Williams when he was a monster during the 02’ and 03’ seasons.
I would later purchase a Ronnie Brown jersey soon after he was selected with the second overall pick of the 2005 NFL draft. During that NFL Combine, I got caught up in the potential, athleticism, and hype for Brown. Like most fans, I certainly had high hopes and originally envisioned him as a long time Dolphin. I definitely wore his jersey with pride on September 21, 2008 when he unveiled the “Wild Cat” with five total touchdowns, stomping New England 38 to 13. Boy was that a great day for the Dolphins and to have Brown on your Fantasy Football team!
For the past four seasons I have been alternating between two of my favorite all time Dolphins: Jason Taylor and Yeremiah Bell. As expected following the 2011 season, Taylor rode off into the sunset and retired as a Dolphin after 15 seasons in the league. And much to my chagrin, Bell recently joined the hated New York Jets when he was released by Miami after nine seasons.
For jerseys, Bell and Taylor were the Last of the Mohicans for me. Now that they are both gone it’s time to move on and get ready for a whole new season. With new coaches, players, offensive/defensive schemes, and the fact that Nike is the new official uniform provider for the NFL, I’m now looking to invest in a jersey that will last me for years to come. Considering how expensive even a replica jersey costs these days, it’s important to choose wisely.
Who exactly is the face of the Franchise right now? Who will most likely still be a Dolphin in five years? Who is currently in a contract year with no guarantees to come back next season? Which young player is about to break out of his shell? These are just a few questions I ask myself before pulling the trigger on any jersey purchase.
Personally, my four favorite players who I feel currently make up the core of this team are Cam Wake, Jake Long, Davone Bess, and Karlos Dansby. I would be happy to wear their names on my back on any given Sunday. But what about Ryan Tannehill? Isn’t he supposed to be our franchise quarterback? After all, he is the first quarterback selected by the Dolphins in the first round since Marino. However, I think I will wait until he plays at least one regular season game before going out and splurging on any Tannehill gear. There’s no need to get overzealous just yet.
I do realize that talking about jerseys may seem nominal and unexciting, but hey, we are currently entering the most boring portion of the offseason. And to me, it’s interesting to get feedback from the fans to see which players are most popular and liked. If you sport jerseys, who are you going to wear and support this season? Which current Dolphin is most worthy of a jersey purchase?