One of the biggest complaints I hear from Dolphins fans is that the team gets no “love” from the national media.
Regularly, I tell them not to worry about it. Who cares what’s being written in that paper or on that website or said on that TV or radio show?
Win some games, I tell them, and the national media will jump on board the bandwagon faster than you can say “Alright, Miami.”
And that’s what has made this past week so interesting. The Dolphins didn’t win on Sunday. They lost in overtime. And yet despite the loss, you can feel some things starting to happen.
There’s the front page of NFL.com from Friday. A giant picture of Brian Hartline and not one, not two, but three stories about him PLUS video highlights of his record-setting game last week.
There’s NFL blogger Gregg Rosenthal putting Ryan Tannehill at the top of his rookie QB rankings.
There’s the official NFL Twitter account (and its 3.9 million followers) propping Hartline up in most-interesting-man-alive style:
I don’t always start Brian Hartline, but when I do he gets 253 yards and a TD. #NFLFantasy
— NFL (@nfl) October 3, 2012
There’s ESPN analyst and former NFL QB Ron Jaworski calling Tannehill the second-best QB in the AFC East and saying that
“It is incredible the way Tannehill not only has adapted to becoming an NFL quarterback, but simply just a quarterback overall. After all of his time playing wide receiver in college, I wondered if Tannehill could make the rapid transition. Through four games, it seems like he can and has.”
The praise, of course, wasn’t limited to the quarterback and wide receiver. DE Cam Wake had a monster 4.5 sack game against Arizona and was praised as a defensive player of the week by Peter King of SI.com (who also listed Tannehill as an offensive player of the week).
Heck, even the local media is getting more and more excited about this team. The Sun-Sentinel’s Dave Hyde this week called Tannehill “the real deal.”
Now, is any of this as good as a win? Of course not. I’m still of the mindset that I could care less what some talking head is saying about this team on “First Take” and that when the wins start piling up, so will the praise.
But again, that’s what made this week so bizarre. Even after the gut-wrenching loss that dropped the Fins to 1-3 on the season, the bandwagon got a little bit heavier.
Just imagine what it’ll be like when the wins start piling up…
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