Lost at some point this offseason, whether it was the signing of Karlos Dansby, the trade for Brandon Marshall, or the combination of the two, was the media's perception of the Dolphins as a pretender. Most analyst and writers were busy hyping the upcoming two team race in the AFC East, between the aging, but still Tom Brady led Patriots, and the sure to be Super Bowl champion Jets.
Maybe it was Peter King listing the Dolphins at sixth in his annual preseason power rankings, a spot ahead of the Jets for the best rank in the division, that finally started to re-direct how people feel about Miami. Because ever since, it seems like everyone, ESPN included, are buying into a three-team race for the crown of possibly the best division in football.
However, while the Jets seem like every one's pick to win the Super Bowl this season, and nobody would be surprised if Tom Brady was able to capture his fourth ring, the Dolphins' chances to do the same have been merely scoffed at by many.
Does anyone else notice the media and public backlash Stephen Ross has got over the past couple days. By now, you probably already know Ross made public his high expectations for the 2010 Dolphins by saying, "I think in February we'll be playing in the Super Bowl," and adding that he hopes Chad Henne "goes down as the greatest quarterback in Miami Dolphins history."
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Okay, maybe I exaggerate a bit by saying there has been backlash, as some have supported/justified Ross' comments, but when you see articles like "The possible method to Stephen Ross' apparent temporary madness", that instead of believing Ross actually thinks the Dolphins are that good, author Mike Florio makes up a ridiculous conspiracy theory, and "Henne hyperbole out of hand?", in which author Tim Graham accuses the Dolphins' fan base, who have nothing to do with Ross' comments, of being "too gaga over Henne."
Maybe if there wasn't such a double standard none of this would really matter. But does anyone remember any of Rex Ryan's bold predictions being scrutinized. Me either, as Ryan is continually praised for his cockiness and unchanging belief that the Jets are the best thing since sliced bread.
And that doesn't even factor into the equation that Ross is likely just trying to stir up some hype and sell tickets, while Ryan is actually convinced he coaches the best team in the league.
Do you really think people would throw a fit if Ryan said he is hoping Mark Sanchez goes down as the greatest quarterback in Jets' history? I don't think so. Writers would likely focus on Sanchez's potential, and set up scenarios where he could pass up the overrated, but still Super Bowl champion, Joe Namath.
I'm not saying I believe Chad Henne will indeed be the best quarterback to wear a Dolphins' uniform, as Dan Marino has that title locked down for years into the foreseeable future. I'm just trying to figure out why an owner trying to boost ticket sales is a huge deal, while Rex Ryan gets endorsed for saying whatever he wants.
Are the Jets really that much better than the Dolphins? Is Chad Henne really that bad of a quarterback? Or is the media simply too "gaga" over Ryan?
Whatever it is, it's clear that the Dolphins are still somewhat of a underdog in terms of Super Bowl aspirations. And that's exactly how they should want it.