A Bridge To The Past Is Being Built

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Since the day the Miami Dolphins parted ways with Don Shula, their history, has been, well, history.  Jimmy Johnson said he didn’t “care” about the past prior to his arrival and his refusal to speak or recognize it put the historical efforts of all of those players into nothing more than a side note to the teams on the field in the last 10 years or so.

Sure the Dolphins have had their honors…the anniversary of the ’72 team.  Ring of Honor inductees, but there has always been a gap between the era of Don Shula, the birth of this franchise, and the product that has been on the field since Jimmy Johnson took over and subsequently left in the hands of Dave Wannstedt.  Now, it appears that a bridge between Don Shula and these Miami Dolphins is being built.  The blueprints appear to be a bridge that goes directly to the Shula years with only a couple of off ramps in between.

The Phins have decided against the “kick-off” banquet that introduces this years team and high-lights last years.  There is no talk of last years 1-15 season.  There will be no 2007 MVP…perhaps because the only MVP would have been Greg Camarillo for not dropping the ball or tripping.  But that is not a bridge.  That is something that shouldn’t be honored, mentioned, or anything else.  While teams like the Lions, Jets, and Cardinals are used to those type of seasons, the Miami Dolphins expect more and this is all new territory for the franchise.

But there is good news.  Tony Sparano is embracing the past and in doing so he wants the Miami Dolphins players to embrace it and know it as well.  He wants them to know that they play for the Miami Dolphins, a rich in tradition franchise that wins.  Not a team that over the last 5 years have been losing and regressing further toward rock bottom.

Yesterday, Sparano showed the team a film about the Dolphins history, he has reached out to Don Shula.

"”The new coach did call me, but I haven’t been able to talk to him yet,” Shula confirms. “He sounds like a good man, and I wish him the best.”"

This is a far cry from the last 11 years.  JJ wanted nothing to do with Don, Dave lost respect and was his handling of Dan Marino in his first year as HC left a lot of bad taste as well.  By the time that Saban came along, the team was already on a destructive path.  Shula probably did well to distance himself and his history from the team.

Shula also says that he has not spoken at all with Bill Parcells, however, Bill apparently realizes that is a mistake. 

"”I’ve got to call him,” Parcells said Sunday as he watched the team practice. “I need to get his number and call him.”"

Now, as a new face and new name take over the team, a new attitude and beginning is setting up stakes.  While it is unlikely that Bill Parcells will finish his 4 year contract, his hand chosen successors should be around long enough to see it through.  Whether the team returns to winning or whether the team continues this path, the past will not be so far gone in the history books.

It’s time that the players of the Miami Dolphins realize that the teams history is why they should be proud.  That the teams history dates back to before the “dark ages” of the last 11 years.  I wonder how many of these youngsters really remember those days at all?