By: Chad Robbins
Due to the 2011 Lockout and the uncertainty of anything that was the NFL, HBO decided to cancel its Hard Knocks TV series last year. Adding to that factor was that no NFL team wanted to commit to doing the show.
Who better to follow a show that never was than the 2012 Miami Dolphins? Full of promise and young talent, the Dolphins will ultimately rise through the ranks of the AFC East and dethrone Tom Brady and the Pats. The only truth in those sentences was that it is the year 2012. The world may end with Tom Brady on top. My life cannot get any worse.
Luckily, the 2012 Dolphins only have a few issues to deal with: offense, defense, special teams, coaching, and the South Florida culture. Let’s see what HBO wants to look at for each.
Rewind back to the 2012 NFL Draft. With the 8th pick, the Miami Dolphins select Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback, Texas A&M. Fans only expect him to beat out Matt Moore and David Garrard to start in the opener. Oh, and to possibly be the spawn of Dan Marino himself. Take a quick look back at starting QBs for Miami since Marino left: Jay Fiedler, Damon Huard, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, A.J. Feeley, Sage Rosenfels, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, CHAD PENNINGTON, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen, and Matt Moore. Let’s just throw Pat White in there even though he never started. Pennington deserved capital letters because he was the only QB that went to the playoffs and fans could stand behind.
But everything will be ok. Garrard went down in a random “playing in pool with children” injury and is out a month or so. Matt Moore cracks jokes while he can’t keep his starting job. Best of all, the #1 searched person from the 2012 NFL Draft is not even a player. We only got a quick glimpse of a blonde bombshell kissing Tannehill after he was selected. All Miami fans quickly turned into club bouncers, thinking “well, if she comes with him, I won’t mind watching.” HBO has no problem showing Lauren Tannehill and Jake Long’s wife, Jackie, whenever the opportunity presents itself. No one minds.
Looking at the Miami backfield is another story. Reggie Bush was a strong player in his sixth NFL season by breaking 1,000 yards rushing. He enjoys joking and doing whatever it takes to stay healthy. No word really on any of the other RBs (Daniel Thomas, Steve Slaton, & Lamar Miller).
With the departure of Brandon Marshall, it will be a shit-show to see who will be catching balls in Miami. The unproven talents of Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, and Anthony Fasano, face off against the young kids; Marlon Moore, Roberto Wallace, Legedu Naanee, and few that will earn a name or be cut soon.
But the Dolphins are too tame for TV. We need someone with a Spanish last name that means a number. There is only one man that can fit that description. Mr. Ochocinco. For years, this league joker has been clowning around and answering press conference questions with sarcasm and sincerity. He looks like he may have cleaned up his act, stayed in great shape, changed his last name, and married a true love, but we all know better.
His world was turned upside-down in the amount of time it takes for him to run the 40-yard dash. An innocent little act like his new wife finding a receipt for condoms not used with her in his trunk, a verbal argument, and an alleged headbutt, gave HBO viewers one of the most memorable sports disaster scenes to date. After his short stint in jail from the incident, Chad was set up for national TV failure during a meeting with head coach Joe Philbin in his office.
An awkward Johnson strolls into Philbin’s office and sat on the couch like a dead man. Viewers knew his time was up. Fans were already aware of the situation and realized it was another Dolphins catastrophe. I would’ve preferred for Philbin to handle the situation how Johnson might’ve if they were in different places. Maybe, a knock-knock joke ending with “you’re fired,” could’ve sealed the deal, but Philbin is a respectful man. He closed the deal with a few simple words and it was over. The Chad Johnson experiment will have to wait for another time and another team. Not only did he lose his job and respect, he lost his new wife and their reality show scheduled for VH1 this year.
As of now, Hard Knocks has mainly focused on the QB battle and Chad Johnson’s quick rise and fall. Hopeful CB, Vontae Davis, can barely keep up with third string WRs and pretends to “act” like he’s actually keeping up. Such a joke.
The Dolphins have a great punter with Brandon Fields. Fans are very proud of the punting game. He signed a 4-year contract extension for $12 million. We haven’t seen him yet. That’s about it.
The Tony Sparano era has ended, ironically, by sending him to the New York Jets as an offensive coordinator, to coach Florida’s greatest college football player ever, Tim Tebow. WTF. Whatever, back to Hard Knocks. New head coach Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator behind the explosive Green Bay attack from 2007-2011 before taking the Miami gig. He looks like he means business but we will have to see where takes things from here. His troubled past from the loss of his son was apparent when his friend Andy Reid also lost his son. Everyone is giving him a chance.
Possibly one of the best moments so far on Hard Knocks this year; a players meeting paused for the viewing of the cheerleaders’ video debut of “Call Me Maybe.” You have to check out the video.
All in all, I would say that Hard Knocks is representing the Miami Dolphins very well. It seems like no one really knows what’s going on, players don’t really care, there are no leaders, it’s hot as balls at all time of practice, and gorgeous women are plentiful. Keep on keeping on HBO. Oh, and Mr. Philbin, help them win, maybe?