The only thing we know for certain about this year’s season opener is that it will either be postponed or relocated. Well that, and that historically, that’s bad news for the Dolphins.
Obviously, safety trumps any concerns over when and where the Miami Dolphins will face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. Fans of both franchises know the State of Florida could be dealing with a catastrophe not seen since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
That’s back when Dan Marino had two good Achilles tendons, and Tampa Bay had two former Miami Hurricanes quarterback legends on the bench.
Not surprisingly, that 1992 season saw a Miami Dolphins game rescheduled as South Florida dealt with Andrew’s aftermath. The season opener against New England was pushed back to October, and much like the case will be this season, the Dolphins were forced to play sixteen straight games to close out the season.
Marino shredded the Patriots for 4 TD’s as Miami rolled to 6-0, and would win the AFC East that year with an 11-5 record. Your call on taking that as proof teams can play a whole season without a break, or dwelling on that fatigue induced 5-5 slide.
However, that is far from the only time the Miami Dolphins have had a game rescheduled. And more often than not, things don’t work out so hot for the Fins when they’re told kickoff won’t be happening as planned. So as we brace for an NFL Kickoff Weekend without the Dolphins, that much is rare, let’s look back at some of the other notable rescheduling in franchise history.
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Couple caveats before diving in though. First off, let’s just agree that the lead in Andrew story here would be the true No. 1 on the list if this was a straight ranking. We will also be ignoring league-wide delays, meaning that a rehashing of the 9/11 attacks is not forthcoming either. Keeping this to Dolphins-centric cases only. What follows is the run down of five other less memorable, but still notable, schedule shifts.
Tale of Two Cities: Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins 9/26/2004
A lackluster game from a lost season comes in at No. 5 on the list, as the Miami Dolphins franchise officially kicked off their decline at the same time their opponent started climbing back up the NFL mountaintop.
The Dolphins had a 1pm kickoff turned into a Sunday Night Football start in order to allow more time for Hurricane Jeanne to clear the area. Part of that marathon 2004 hurricane season that seemed to keep Florida on alert all summer, Jeanne was the second storm to impact Miami that season (spoiler alert).
The Steelers would win that game 13-3 in a sleeper of a game. Well except for one curious point. It would mark the first NFL start, victory, and TD pass of Ben Roethlisberger.