Despite 3-0, Miami Dolphins still can’t get national respect or coverage

You would have thought the Miami Dolphins have earned it.

After starting the season 3-0 with wins on the road against Cleveland and Indianapolis and the topper a home victory over a top-flight Atlanta team (in which the ‘Fins also overcame injuries to several key players), that one word would have finally been earned by the team from South Florida.

You know that seven-letter ward that Arethra Franklin first belted out so long ago.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Yes, we’re talking about respect.  Guess what?  With the exception of a few media personalities and in a very mild way, the national media has largely ignored arguably the hottest team in the NFL.

Here is the evidence for that statement.  Minutes after Miami had completed their amazing comeback against Atlanta, I went on espn.com to get the headline from the game.  I fully expected to see it as the cover story.

Nope.  Instead the image and lead story on the homepage was about the quarterback battle between a bad Buffalo team and a slighlty better New York Jets team. Now, I understand that rookie quarterbacks who have even a little success bring views and attention to a website. Let’s not be naive. So, I scrolled through the rest of the headlines on the right hand side of the page to read about Miami.

Not one was about the Dolphins’ game. Not one. Yet, ESPN found it necessary to highlight Carolina’s destruction of the woeful New York Giants, not to mention several other highly suspect stories that shouldn’t have been considered headlines.

Let’s be clear.  The Dolphins’ 27-23 victory over Atlanta was headline worthy for so many reasons.  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had perhaps his first signature moment as a star player with his fourth quarter drive to win the game.  The Falcons are an extremely talented team that is now 1-2. The Dolphins were never supposed to survive their almost cruel opening schedule, yet they are thriving.  The game was won on an almost unbelievably easy one-handed haul by a rookie tight-end catching his first ball.  You can go on and on about why the game was so special for the league, not just Miami and its fans.

The ignorance unfortunately didn’t end with espn.com.  Later that night, I tuned in and out of the Chicago-Pittsburgh game, which quite honestly was a snooze fest. With ample opportunity to talk about the day’s stories, I remember some extensive comments about the day’s games but nary more than a word or two about the Dolphins 3-0 record. I do apologize if something substantial was said when I turned away from the game due to sheer boredom.

Finally, there was the always “entertaining” and “detailed” analysis of the Mike and Mike show on ESPN radio on Monday Morning.

They did mention that the Dolphins were 3-0, but only in the context of whether they could compete with New England for the division crown.  Dolphins fans had to choke on their morning coffees and breakfasts as noted New York Jets supporter Mike Greenberg mumbled something about Miami being impressive. That must have really hurt him.

Greenberg quickly moved on to his beloved Jets and his new favorite man-crush, New York quarterback Geno Smith.

The silver lining in all of this is actually pretty bright.  You might even say it glimmers.  First of all, while the national media is still largely ignoring Miami, several fans of other teams have taken notice.  I just spent time responding to an e-mail from a Steelers fan expressing envy over the Dolphins start.  Ask yourself, when was the last time that happened?  Even my father-in-law, a diehard Eagles fan had to acknowledge the Dolphins stellar performance.

The second advantage is that the team itself really doesn’t need the added attention.  This is a squad that would be well served to fly under the radar as long it can because the danger of reading your own press clippings is well documented. Teams lose focus and start playing sloppily.

You also don’t need other teams to be broad-sided by Miami’s success.  Put another way, the Dolphins don’t need Tom Brady being pestered about the new beast in the AFC before the Patriots and Dolphins play this season.  It’s called bulletin board material folks.

Regardless, it would be nice for the Dolphins to start getting a little more respect if for no other reason than the brand that was so popular in the 1970′s and 1980′s needs a renaissance that brings more fans, especially the really vocal ones) to their stadium and even more to living rooms across the nation.  The on-field future looks bright   Now, a return to national prominence would undeniably improve the luminosity of the off-field product and business side of the organization as well.

 

Topics: Miami Dolphins

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  • Phins

    I had the same reaction on sunday when I checked ESPN. I couldn’t believe they were ignoring our game. Seriously BS.

  • Tone Williams

    I agree with this post. It is ashame that the media is overlooking the dolphins. But this is a good thing. It keeps us humble and at the same time hungry to prove the haters wrong. If we winning these games banged up just wait till we get healthy. We will be healthy about time we play those division games and if we beat the Saints I am guaranteeing a playoff birth. Dolphin Fan 4 Life baby.

    • mnelson52

      I agree. The Chiefs get the same disrespect. We are also 3-0 and they said we were pretenders after game two. They said there was no way the Chiefs could beat the Eagles high powered offense. When our D held them to 16 points, then it was Eagles were having problems. They were, but it was caused by KC. Our D is giving up 11.3 points per game. We lead the NFL in sacks with 15 but I bet you haven’t heard that. We’ve given up 2 TDs in 3 games. Probably didn’t know that either. Although our offense sputtered some last week (still won by 10) our red zone efficiency was 100% in the first two games. I’m not saying after 3 games we are SB bound, but I believe both of our teams at this point should get some respect for work done thus far. We are not the same teams we were last year.

      • randall mccown

        i agree we beat the saints and we will be recognized

      • CHRIS

        The Chiefs are getting a whole lot more RESPECT because of Andy Reid and a couple of marginally quality wins. If you want to suggest a disrespect meter, the Chiefs miserable organization and it’s horrible fans have not been treated nearly as disrespectful as the Phins. Funny thing is, I’m fine with the Phins not getting blown out of proportion. Im smart enough after an extended period of less than mediocrity, just like your Chiefs, Id just like to see them in mid-January playing, not firing coaches and GMs.

  • Anthony Montgomery

    I also agree. I was so sick of hearing about the colts and Cleveland all day. We just beat both those teams!!! I think people love to hate us because of our history and the perfect 72 season that no one can ever take from us!!! Fins Up!!!

  • Scott Hodges

    You should have checked CNNSI. For over 24 hours, the headline for the Miami-Atlanta game read “Henne Leads Miami Past Atlanta”.

    • Bob Hoffman

      Scott, I saw that. So did several others. The temptation would be to pass it off as a simple mistake, but why do I get the feeling that never would happen with a Patriots’ headline?

      • Scott Hodges

        “Grogan Leads Pats past Bills”?

    • nlb

      Really??????

    • Robert Berry

      I saw that too, that asshole probably said henne on purpose.

  • Frank DiFabio

    Well if we win Monday, it will all change. Consider though that they wont talk until Tuesday…..and then everyone will still be talking about…. “calling for Coughlins head at 0-4 and the almost win for the 2-2 Jets”. Sounds like you are in NY radio land my friend. I’ve been here for 38 years as a Dol-fan……just used to it I guess

  • Gregory Ratcliff

    Don’t forget about the NFL Network…. I got up early to catch the highlights on NFL AM and out of 4 hour show they barely mention the Dolphins and when they did, the only highlights was the completion to Sims… if you look on the left side of the show it will show you what is coming up next…. as the Dolphins vs Falcons highlights move closer to bottom and just when they are about to be next they will go to a commercial and then when they returned to the show the Dolphins highlights are not next and then spend the next 30 minutes talking about the Steelers…. I wish they stop hating. Dol-Phan 4-ever

  • patsfan

    Every NFL head coach will tell you the same thing….it takes 6 games for a team to show it’s true colors. If the Dolphins go 6-0 or 5-1 then you can expect national media attention. Hey, the Chiefs are 3-0 and nobody is talking about them either.

    • Scott Hodges

      That is a totally fair response. The Cardinals were 4-0 to start last year, with a win over the Patriots. Ended up 5-11. We have a promising start, but I’ve seen too many promising starts (1995, 2002 just off the top of my head) turn into devastating Decembers to start hoping playoffs yet.