Pro sports franchises tend to go through cycles. A dynasty may seem unstoppable but, before long, Father Time will bump that team back to the bottom of the heap. For an example of that, look at the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
While the Dolphins have a rich history full of iconic players, the franchise has struggled since the start of the 21st century. One new stat, however, truly reveals how far the team has fallen from grace.
The Miami Dolphins’ Super Bowl success
The Miami Dolphins were founded in 1965 but didn’t hit the ground running. The club endured four poor years in the AFL, before turning things around after the NFL merger.
The Dolphins made the playoffs in their first NFL season, but greater things were on the horizon. Head coach Don Shula led the team to their first Super Bowl title in 1971; the next year, they defended their title without losing a single game. While the club couldn’t maintain that level of success, the Dolphins continued to consistently make the postseason.
With Dan Marino under center, the Dolphins remained competitive through the 1990s. While they were never world-beaters, the club tended to finish a few games over .500, before losing in the playoffs. Once Marino retired, however, things started to fall about.
Years of quarterback inconsistency
Ever since Dan Marino’s departure, the Miami Dolphins have lacked a true star under center. They’ve cycled through quarterbacks like Jay Fielder, Chad Henne, and Ryan Tannehill, with none of them finding success.
Despite trading for Josh Rosen during the offseason, the Dolphin’s offense hasn’t improved. ESPN rated the unit as the worst in the league and, through the first four games of the season, that prediction looks accurate. Rosen has struggled, the rushing game hasn’t clicked, and the marquee wide receivers on the depth chart.
Head coach Brian Flores recently named Rosen the team’s starter for the rest of the season, which confirms that the Miami Dolphins are playing the long game. Since this season is already a lost cause, playing Rosen gives him a chance to learn the offense and bed into his new surroundings. Even if he turns out to be a flop, his struggles would give the Dolphins a better shot at the first overall pick.
Just how undesirable are Miami Dolphins tickets?
While there are plenty of stats that confirm the Miami Dolphins general ineptitude, an especially damning metric emerged this week. Tickets to this weekend’s game against the Washington Redskins cost $16, which is less than expensive than a ticket to the Miami Zoo.
Admittedly, there are a few mitigating factors. It’s infamously hard to sell tickets in southern Florida and the fact that the Redskins are also in terrible shape won’t help things. It’s also worth noting that the Miami Zoo’s ticket pricing generally remains consistent; as you might imagine, there aren’t scalpers trying to flip zoo admission on the secondary market.
With all of that being said, though, the Miami Dolphins are clearly in a bad spot. Even if they land the first overall draft pick, Hard Rock Stadium probably won’t sell out any time soon.