Miami Dolphins Melvin Ingram picks up Josh Allen's fumble

Fresh Perspective: Miami Dolphins veteran leadership paying early dividends

Looking back on the past few seasons for the Miami Dolphins, one of the main things that was missing was true veteran leadership. In 2021, the oldest player on the roster was 34-year-old defensive back Jason McCourty, and he was placed on season-ending IR at the end of October.

After McCourty, the only player left over the age of 29 was utility offensive lineman Jesse Davis. Needless to say, there was a distinct lack of veteran leadership on that roster. It showed in how the team played. In spite of going 9-8 in 2021, the team often seemed unprepared for who they were facing. Simple things baffled the young players, they were taken advantage of by wily veterans.

Raw athleticism can only get a team so far.

Now, three games in to the Mike McDaniel era, and the Miami Dolphins are already seeing major improvement across the board. The added veteran leadership has a lot to do with that.

For example, take veteran pass rusher Melvin Ingram. He was signed to a 1-year, $4 million dollar contract, presumably to be a situational pass rusher. Ingram has been anything but situational so far. In three games, Ingram has two sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. More than that, however, is how he’s making that happen.

Ingram has been in the NFL for 11 seasons. He knows what it’s like to face adversity, and he knows the taste of success. He’s learned how to use all sorts of tricks to accomplish his goals. And he’s earned the respect that a veteran should have.

“You can’t tell me nothing bad about Melvin Ingram ever in life.” Dolphins DT Christian Wilkins said after the win against the Buffalo Bills. “After seeing what he did on the last play, he has the ultimate respect. An 11-year pro beating a rusher, missing a sack, then making a play 10, 15, 20 yards down the field, that’s just a dawg mentality. That’s leadership. That’s ‘want-to.’ That’s will.”

It’s those kinds of plays that inspire a young team to greatness, and a fanbase to reach new levels of excitement.

“The atmosphere was amazing!” Ingram said. “We thank every fan that was out there screaming and everything that had us feeling the matchup. It was electrifying, and it is something that you love to play in. We feed off of them – without them, there is no us.”

But it isn’t just Ingram. Offensive tackle Terron Armstead is also proving he’s worth every penny of the 5-year, $75 million deal he signed with Miami. On top of being a top level player, he’s also showing that he can be invaluable in a mentorship role. During the remarkable comeback against the Baltimore Ravens, Miami was driving down the field after the two minute warning. And as the Dolphins rushed back to the line, it was Armstead who signaled Tagovailoa to stay settled and not let the rush throw him off his groove.

It seemed as if Tagovailoa visibly responded to the signal, as he made sure everyone was set and the drive continued until the eventually go-ahead touchdown was scored.

Armstead took on that role a second time during the Bills game, as he noticed the playclock ticking down and took it upon himself to call timeout. What was most telling is that no one questioned his decision. Tagovailoa did not argue with Armstead, nor did head coach Mike McDaniel. They trusted that Armstead made the right decision, and ultimately it was.

That sort of trust is not afforded to just anyone. Terron Armstead has earned the right to have that type of power in the huddle, and it’s making a massive difference for the younger players around him. His maturity is rubbing off, and the team looks much more prepared than in past seasons.

“It’s an emotional game.” Armstead told Five Reasons Sports’ Ethan Skolnick after the game. “Lot of energy going around. Lot of momentum, ebbs and flows. So it’s up to guys like myself, Tyreek (Hill), Melvin Ingram, the guys that have been around a while, been in high level games, playoff games, NFC Championship, to keep the emotions in check, keep the focus where it needs to be. It’s important just to have that, that calmness. You never want to get too up or down.”

Having that kind of anchor does wonders for a young team with so much developing talent. Instead of being forced to figure it out all on their own, they can look to their veteran mentors for guidance in real time. The previous Miami Dolphins coach withheld that luxury from his players.

Even little things like playing through injuries sets an example for others to follow. Armstead has been struggling with a toe injury for two weeks straight, and yet he keeps fighting on. Young players take notice of that, and figure if an older player like Armstead can do it, then so can they.

“There’s a lot of inspiring – our guys are really taking leadership and following leadership appropriately. Our captains, specifically, had done an unbelievable job setting the tone.” Coach Mike McDaniel said on Monday. “When you have two captains like that do everything they possibly can to contribute as much as they can to the team, there’s a trickle-down effect that I think really it’s hard to just say their own play. Not only did they play very well – both of them – but I think you’re also setting a tone for your teammates to follow. And I think there’s a lot of straining, a lot of grit, a lot of battling in that game that is a function of a lot of captains really scratching and clawing.”

That scratching and clawing has paid off. The Miami Dolphins are currently 3-0 and are on top of the AFC East. They’ve beaten two Super Bowl winning coaches in Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh. And with Sunday’s victory over their AFC East rivals, the Dolphins have beaten the early Super Bowl favorites.

Last year’s Miami Dolphins don’t manage this feat. Last year’s Miami Dolphins would not have perfected the techniques and the little tricks that can make or break a football game. Those things are learned over time. Several years worth, in fact. But it can be helped along when there’s someone who can help you learn those tricks.

Coaching is crucial, make no mistake. But there’s no substitute for having someone in the huddle who can be looked up to and offer guidance in crucial moments. That is the unmeasurable factor that the likes of Terron Armstead, Melvin Ingram and Tyreek Hill bring to the Miami Dolphins.

And clearly, it’s making a drastic impact.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for eight years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung


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Tua Tagovailoa consoles rival QB Josh Allen after the Dolphins' win against the Bills.

Pressure Point: 3-0 Dolphins may be building something special

There are so many enduring images from the Miami Dolphins’ most unconventional of victories against their AFC East nemesis, the Buffalo Bills.

The final one, of Tua Tagovailoa consoling Bills all-everything quarterback Josh Allen, was due to the one that finally brought the Allen tsunami to a halt.

That was the one of the never-quit Dolphins defense exemplified by veteran linebacker Melvin Ingram on the final play Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. Ingram, after just missing a sack on Allen on the blitz, turned and dashed 17 yards to tackle Isaiah McKenzie before the Bills receiver could get out of bounds, effectively killing the clock.

After time expired, Allen slammed his helmet on the turf and McKenzie dropped down onto his side. A few seconds later Ingram also flopped down on his back. All of them literally run down to empty, totally, utterly spent.

Dolphins win rope-a-dope

That told the story of a brutally searing September Sunday in South Florida. Rarely, if ever, have we seen so many players leave everything they have literally on the field, exhausted.

The Bills offense was like a revolving door of players leaving the field to be treated for cramping because the Dolphins defense couldn’t get them off the field all day.

Somehow the Dolphins ended a seven-game losing streak to the Bills 21-19 to improve to 3-0 despite Buffalo possessing the ball for nearly 41 minutes and piling up 497 yards to 212 for Miami.

This should be remembered as the Dolphins’ rope-a-dope win. Muhammad Ali would have been proud. They withstood all the punches Allen threw at them, and they seemed endless.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Dolphins defenders have visions of Allen in their sleep for a week. He accounted for 447 yards passing and rushing. He threw 63 passes and rushed eight times.

Dolphins overcome unlikely obstacles

The Dolphins came out of the epic struggle as the lone unbeaten team in the AFC (including 2-0 in the AFC East).

There was no way anyone could have scripted it, but for the second week in a row the Dolphins pulled off a win against a quality opponent that defied explanation.

More of those head-scratching images:

Tagovailoa wobbled off late in the first half after getting thrown down like a ragdoll. He returned after halftime and made one of the best throws of his career on third-and-22 for 45 yards to Jaylen Waddle to set up the go-ahead touchdown.

Then the ridiculous “butt punt” by Thomas Morstead off the backside of Trent Sherfield for a safety that gave the Bills one more chance to drive for a potential winning score. Credit Morstead with a quality punt after the safety to pin the Bills back at their own 23 to start that final possession.

Two weeks in a row the Dolphins have prevailed in games they really had no business winning — the 21-point comeback in the fourth quarter against the Ravens and then over a Bills team that kept on coming like a gang of zombies. It tells you there is something very different and potentially very special about this Dolphins team.

There is talent on offense that they haven’t had since the Marino years, a creative and unconventional young coach and a never-quit spirit shown by Ingram on the final play, and by the collective all day.

Which left the Bills exasperated, especially offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, who had an epic meltdown in the coaches’ booth after Ingram’s final tackle:

Tua’s back a concern

But it is just a building block. As Tyreek Hill said, “A lot of people are gonna look at this like the Miami Dolphins are here. This is just another win.”

There are also concerns, notably Tagovailoa’s back, which he hurt on a quarterback sneak and was given as the reason he stumbled and fell after the bump on his head.

That will be evaluated further on Monday. The next game is Thursday night at Cincinnati. So no rest for these weary Dolphins. But being 3-0 helps.

Craig Davis has covered South Florida sports and teams, including the Dolphins, for four decades. Follow him on Twitter @CraigDavisRuns


More from Five Reasons: Tua, defense help Dolphins slip past Bills, lead AFC East

Panthers' forward Matthew Tkachuk speaking in front of microphone

Matthew Tkachuk is enjoying life under the sun

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – It’s been two months since the Florida Panthers pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade that sent 24-year-old Matthew Tkachuk to Sunrise.


This past week, Tkachuk finally hit the ice for formal skates, alongside 55 other players at Panthers training camp.


While only being in South Florida for a short time, the new star in Broward County is already loving life under the sun.


“(It’s) 10 times better than what I expected, 100, it’s been unbelievable down here. The guys have been awesome, living here is incredible,” said Tkachuk. “I couldn’t have imagined being here on the first day of camp and feeling like I’ve lived here for 20 years, but I have and it’s been awesome.”


Tkachuk has been in South Florida putting in the work over the last few weeks, alongside many other Panthers players, for informal skates without the coaching staff.


When he hit the ice on Thursday for day 1 of camp, it seemed like the first-year Panther had been with the squad for years.


Whether it was his enthusiastic on-ice reactions or taking an extra friendly swing after a drill, he isn’t afraid to let his character show when the uniform is on.


“We’re all very intense, but everybody’s having a blast so far. The past few weeks have been awesome, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” said Tkachuk. “When you’re having fun and also bringing that intensity, I think that’s the recipe for success.”


Off the ice, Tkachuk is the same way, he’s himself. The Panthers’ forward expressed his excitement about being in Florida with this group of guys.


“I knew how great of a team they were, which is the main reason why I came down here,” Tkachuk said Wednesday. “Everybody is better than I expected them to be, it’s a very talented team. We’ve had lots of fun so far getting to know each other.”


As Tkachuk spoke highly of the team, likewise, his new teammates weren’t shy to talk about his character.


The usually soft spoken captain of the Panthers, Aleksander Barkov, recalled his first text message exchange with Tkachuk.


“We welcomed him here and right away the first message was F–– right,” said Barkov during media day. “He wants to win, he wants to bring that character he has to this organization and I think he’s done some damage already.”


Around the league, Tkachuk has received a reputation for being a pain in the backside for oppositions to play against.


“I think he pisses you off because he’s good, he backs it up,” said Panthers forward Sam Reinhart. 


While Tkachuk moving to Florida was the big story of the off-season, he isn’t the only Panther in unfamiliar territory.


During the summer, Florida brought in long-time NHL head coach Paul Maurice to assume the position behind the bench. 


With a new coaching staff, all the players had to learn new systems on day 1.


With the whole team entering training camp under a new regime, Tkachuk didn’t find his first skate with Maurice too nerve-racking. 


“There’s a lot of new pieces here,” said Tkachuk. “Coming in as a new guy, I actually feel more comfortable with the new coaching staff because everybody’s in the same boat and we’re trying to get caught up to speed on what they want and what the expectations are.”


Tkachuk applauded the professionalism put forth by Maurice and his staff on the first day of camp.


“I think they’re pretty clear that they were going to be very intense practices, it’s just a very professional attitude around here, it’s very scheduled,” said Tkachuk.  “(It’s) something that I’m very excited about.”


There is still a few weeks before Panthers fans will be able to see Tkachuk live in Sunrise for a regular season game, but the new fan favorite is ready for the 2022-2023 campaign to get underway. 


“Let’s get these games going. I’m sick and tired of just practicing and working out, I want to start playing some games,” Tkachuk said on Wednesday.


The Panthers put a lot of chips on the table for the opportunity to get Matthew Tkachuk and so far he is enjoying every moment with the cat on his chest.


One thing is clear after seeing him around the team this week, he wanted to be a Florida Panther.

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: Robert Sarver Heading for the Exit

In a strange turn of events, Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver saved the last scrap of decency to his name and began the process of looking for buyers for his clubs.


This time, it didn’t take the NBA communicating with a special ally through back channels to ease the removal process. The league didn’t have to get their hands dirty.

The news was announced in a statement, and in his admission, Sarver said that as a “man of faith,” he believes in forgiveness after atonement. I doubt that day will ever come.

The lasting impression people take with them about another individual is how that person makes them feel. I can’t imagine the men who heard his racial remarks or those who were unnecessarily exposed to Sarver’s dingus have walked away from their experience in a pardoning mood. Or the women who were subjected to his lewd comments and intimidating behavior being equally as excusing either.

One detail among the innumerable unseemly findings of the Wachtell Lipton report is that Sarver was comfortable making lascivious utterances about the wife of one of his players. According to him, the spouse of his employee likely gave “good blow jobs.”

Perhaps the rebuking comments of minority owner Jahm Najafi helped Sarver discover how unlikeable he is. Maybe it was PayPal dropping sponsorship of his team. It doesn’t matter. Eventually, the Suns and Mercury will be signed off to someone else, but it’s the league’s responsibility that the next person or group in charge aces the qualifications of integrity as much as the financial obligations.

This was unexpected and the best possible outcome that could result from the shenanigans in Phoenix. Silver had the authority to suspend Sarver indefinitely, but the power was mildly used with a one-year ban plus the $10 million fine. Eventually, he had to come back, which left the possibility of him being a disturbance to others once more.

Silver didn’t do enough, but decades from now, when the details of how it all transpired have faded from most people’s memories, history will remember his tenure as commissioner fondly. When the sales are complete, under Silver’s watch, the NBA will have rid itself of two animals who were unworthy of ownership.

In his statement, Sarver also said that “in our unforgiving climate,” it is impossible for him to make amends. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t. Forgiveness is awarded to those deserving of it. A couple of quotes expressing remorse don’t absolve him of his sins.

Maybe the door will smack some sense into Sarver on the way out.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led a comeback win from a three-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens.

Pressure Point: Tua, Dolphins merit raves for shocker over Ravens

Just savor it, Dolphins fans.

We’ve never seen the likes of the Miami Dolphins’ 42-38 comeback thriller Sunday at Baltimore.

But after Tua Tagovailoa threw for 469 yards and a Dolphins-record-tying six touchdowns, including two each to Tyreek Hill (190 yards) and Jaylen Waddle (171 yards), there is reason to look ahead with hope.

Like to next week when Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills come to South Florida.

Tua and his speedy band of playmakers showed the tangible promise of Mike McDaniel’s offense. And you’ve gotta love this unconventional young coach, who doesn’t bat an eye in going for it on fourth-and-short in his own territory in the first half — and makes it.

Still not quite sure I believe what we just witnessed.

Dolphins’ comeback a rarity

Down by three touchdowns to what for three quarters looked like a thoroughly superior Ravens team, much-maligned Tagovailoa fired four touchdown passes in the fourth quarter for the most outrageous of comebacks. On the road.

It was the first time in 12 years any NFL team has overcome a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The only similar in Dolphins memory was that wild comeback against the Chargers in the 1981 playoffs. Yes, ancient history. Except instead of losing at the end, the Dolphins won this time on Tagovailoa’s sixth touchdown pass of the day with 14 seconds left.

For a regular-season victory, only the 1985 upset of the Bears comes to mind as more impactful than this baffler in Baltimore.

Consider, they won despite allowing Lamar Jackson to throw a 75-yard touchdown pass and run 79 yards for another. They also spotted the Ravens seven points on a 103-yard return of the opening kickoff.

Fins looked beaten in Baltimore

It would have been easy to throw in the towel, down 28-7 at the half. Admit it, at that point you’re thinking, “Same-old Dolphins. Still can’t match up with the better teams. Just not good enough.”

That’s what I was thinking.

Tagovailoa had thrown two interceptions. The defense had offered little resistance except for the valiant goal-line stop at the beginning of the second quarter — that sure loomed large at the end.

Still, nobody could have foreseen the fireworks that would come in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins haven’t had a cast pile up points like this since Dan Marino was letting it fly to the Marks Brothers, Clayton and Duper.

Per @ESPNstatsinfo: “This is the first time the Dolphins have had two 150-plus yard receivers in the same game since Clayton and Duper in 1986.”

On Sunday, Tua was slinging a heaping portion of shut-the-F-up to his detractors. While Hill and Waddle each had 11 catches, Tagovailoa had completions to 10 different receivers.

Concerns? Yes, these Dolphins have plenty of flaws. The big deficit was a combination of porous pass defense, a nonexistent pass rush, a special teams disaster and shaky decision making by Tua in the first half.

Leading a 28-point fourth-quarter rally changes everything for Tua. Rest assured, the quarterback has the complete confidence of his locker room now.

Can Tua’s offense match Allen’s Bills?

That won’t make next week’s challenge any easier. The Bills are rightfully regarded as a Super Bowl contender.

But if this Dolphins offense can win a high-scoring affair against Jackson and the Ravens, no reason they can’t give Allen and the Bills a run for the AFC East.

As for Dolfans, you’ve seen your team pull off the nearly impossible. Maybe they can do it again — or something like it.

For the moment, just enjoy it.

Craig Davis has covered South Florida sports and teams, including the Dolphins, for four decades. Follow him on Twitter @CraigDavisRuns

In sports, for the rich, the rules don’t always apply

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform sat confused. Not even an hour into the June 22 deposition that lauded Roger Goodell, the questions of morality took shape. Goodell sat firm as NFL commissioner, defending his judgment and sentencing of Dan Snyder, an NFL owner, arguing the actions were unacceptable and that the league would “not permit” any further violations of its policies.


When pressed on if he would remove Mr. Synder from his position, Mr. Goodell’s response was, “I don’t have the authority to remove him”. 




Authority is what Daniel Snyder was excessing when he suggested he would fire any player that fraternized with a cheerleader. Authority was telling a supervisor to make sure to keep all his cheerleaders “skinny with big tits.” On the threat of death. Authority again leveraged against a female employee whom he touched insistently and attempted to push into a limo after a team dinner.


Authority is exactly the tool that Snyder weaponized to create victims over decades. He held it with an iron fist, and grew ever more confident with time, and why shouldn’t he? It kept him safe in 2009 when the Washington Post ousted him for settling with an employee. $1.6M, the going sum for the acquisition of sexual assault. It protected him for a month while the Commanders were allowed to dictate the investigation into their own owner, instigated by findings in the Wilkinson Report, and it was protecting him now. 


The rules of the land dictate that 24 of 32 team owners would have to publicly confirm to remove an owner to expunge them from their position. The vote is purposely created as a super majority ruling to ensure no owner would unnecessarily be removed from property that they by law, purchased and secured – a system intentionally designed to dissuade the action itself. An owner voting to demote one of their own might force questions, questions based on the nature of precedent, questions based on the nature of business. Removing an owner is a momentous task and undertaking not just for the league but the team, all the employees, and families fed from the machine.


Unfortunately that’s just the kind of thoughts that empower men like Snyder. This kind of undertaking is the context that enables the horrendous actions of a man who knows he’s more protected by a system than dissuaded. This kind of context justifies the authority he presumes to wield, when he engages women in advances, and misleads league officials about monetary reporting. 


Adam Silver stood in front of a room on NBA Media to dissect the same kind of justification Goodell used only a few months prior, but is now relevant in the discussion of Robert Sarver. “There are particular rights here to someone who owns an NBA team as opposed to someone who is an employee,” Silver stated in a response to a question about the type of actions Robert reportedly engaged in with employees and if he held any other job, would he be let go of.


Certain rights once again are the “context” we use to apply authority over others. In Sarver’s case, he expressed his authority by using the N-Word on multiple occasions, selective mistreatment of pregnant employees, and inappropriate contact or sexually-related comments directed at and with employees.


If Sarver held any other job in America, with these types of substantiated claims, there is little doubt he would be fired. “It’s different than holding a job.” Adam Silver stated, and he was right. This is a playground for the rich and powerful, and it’s protected by rules, rules that need to be broken so publicly and so harshly that a supermajority of like-minded individuals would be willing to say, “I no longer want you to be at the table.”


A supermajority of millionaires and social elites living a life disconnected from our own, a life disconnected from consideration and level playing grounds. A life where authority is welded and justifications are shaped in the name of limiting Public Relations hits and maintaining the status quo. 


Goodell and Silver will be judged by the Court of Public Opinion, as they should be in the face of standing adjacent to men who flaunt power in such disgusting ways, but they stand as walls, layers between. Just as supermajority votes add layers between owners and removal, Silver and Goodell stand as layers between owners and accountability. Opinions will be foisted onto Silver as he answers questions, when the ones with the power to create change, stand away from the lights and behind the curtains. The ones who continue to stand and work with men who create trauma, and victims. The ones who would only vote to remove an owner, if their own jobs would be affected.


The nuance of the situation is crafted as noise to stifle the only real question that matters. That’s a question Sarver didn’t concern himself with when telling a pregnant employee she no longer would be coordinating an event because she needed to “breastfeed”, but it was for the woman who broke down publicly and wept in front of him and possibly still is, when her mind floats back to that moment. The questions for morality, and for NBA owners the buck should stop there. 



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Miami Hurricanes

Play Like a Hurricane

Big game weeks are different.

The pulse quickens, tension mounts.

We all know the feeling.

Usually, for Miami fans, that is Florida State week. And, on the off chance that Florida agrees to play Miami, that week is special too.

This week? It has those vibes.


There are several reasons for excitement this week.

The first is this is a road game at a highly regarded SEC opponent. Even after losing to Appalachian State, Texas A&M is favored to win this game. The second is that it is winnable. No one is afraid of the Aggies. Even before the Appalachian State debacle, they are primarily living off an Alabama upset last year.

It’s not to say the Canes will win, but they surely can win.

Who Cares If Miami is “Back”?

A recurring theme over the last 20 years has been a continuous judgment on whether Miami is “back.” I can’t be the only that is not only tired of this question, but also doesn’t care about the answer.

Surely, there are those, in particular nationally, that will view this weekend’s game as a referendum on Miami. Win, and the praise rolls in, lose, and the Canes are out of sight and out of mind.

But in terms of season and program trajectory, this game is actually not that important. Whatever your seasonal aspirations are, whether they are ACC Coastal, ACC Championship, or College Football Playoff, this game will not eliminate the Canes from consideration nor guarantee their participation in any of those games. And in terms of the program, well, even being undefeated in November and blowing out Notre Dame on National TV was not enough to actually fundamentally change the program trajectory.

Everyone keeps waiting for that one moment, that one proof point, that shining light that shows the U is “back” without considering what that would even look like or how you’d ever really know.

Real growth takes time, it takes failures in addition to successes. We learn more about people from how they respond to failure than how they deal with success.

This will not be a program defining win, or a program crippling loss. This program is on the start of a long journey that I do believe will ultimately lead to the Promised Land. You could easily argue that while high profile, the 3rd game of the 1st year of the Mario Cristobal Era is surely going to be a mere footnote long-term.

I could easily advise the community to just enjoy the game, enjoy the spotlight, don’t worry about the result. Enjoy a rare out-of-conference matchup.

There Is An Issue With That

And then I see Jimbo Fisher’s smirking face and all that goes out the window.

We need to win this game.

There is an opportunity here to make a statement, how fleeting it might end up being. There is an opportunity to stomp our old nemesis’s face in. There is an opportunity to rise to the occasion.

There is an opportunity to be Miami Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes aren’t a team, they’re an attitude, a way of life, a swagger. And on this stage in Texas, the Hurricanes can blow into town and leave victorious, with Jimbo in tatters.

Life is full of moments and opportunities. But there are very few “big” games college players will be able to play in. This is one. This is the moment to step up, put the chips in the center of the table, stand up, and be counted.

It might “just mean more” in the SEC, but it means most for our community, for long suffering Canes fans, longing for that beacon of hope to reemerge, that symbol of “U”nity that binds us all. There is nothing quite like that orange and green in all its glory.

Under the lights on Saturday, a tradition built in South Florida heat, forged in National Championships, can deliver euphoria to a community that has suffered a scarcity of joy since Terry Porter threw his flag 20 years ago.

Vanquishing Jimbo is merely icing on the cake.

The time is now, the team is ready, the opponent is there for the taking. On Saturday, the Hurricanes will rise, and with them, they take all our aspirations.  

U Gotta Believe.

Vishnu Parasuraman is a journalist for @FiveReasonsSports. He covers the Miami Hurricanes for Sixth Ring Canes and Formula 1 for Hitting the Apex. You can follow him on twitter @vrp2003

Mateo’s Hoop Diary: Commissioner Adam Silver Didn’t Do Enough

The NBA has temporarily rid itself of Robert Sarver, but the commissioner went soft on his ruling.  Having the majority Suns owner step away and fined the maximum penalty of $10 million under the collective bargaining agreement was an unsatisfying course of action when factoring in the findings of the Wacthell Lipton report.  


This situation is dissimilar to the Donald Sterling calamity that resulted in the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014. Still, given how the NBA handled that situation, it was unanticipated to see Silver not go balls to the wall.


The investigation focused on Sarver’s behavior and the workplace environment within the organization as a result of the Baxter Holmes report from Nov. 2021. This story detailed the insufferably hostile culture employees were subjected to by the team governor and other executives.


Silver addressed reporters on Wednesday and said he “was in disbelief” at the probe’s findings while feeling “saddened” and “disheartened.” According to him, the NBA handled it fairly, but Silver came up shorter than LeBron James at the free throw line in the closing moments of a game.  A one-year exile is an equivalent of sending a man of Sarver’s means into timeout and telling him he can come back after he’s thought about what he has done.  That frat boy has hurt people.  He deserves to be a league outcast indefinitely.  


No one should have to put up with a person who is comfortable exposing their dingaling in front of the workforce. Neither should they have to deal with some old white guy who cavalierly says the N-word even after being told not to. When people are on the job, they expect to be free of seeing or hearing about salacious behavior or *racial remarks*, but for 18 years, that was too much to ask for while working for the Phoenix Suns.


Yet, somehow the investigation found zero evidence of racial or gender-based animus regarding Sarver’s conduct.  This is the same man who hovered over one of his black coaches and aggressively threw a stat sheet down at the table where his instructor sat when displeased about a player’s performance.


Sarver is more toxic waste than asbestos.  I don’t care how involved and impactful his charities have been. Only  a man stranger to empathy has an attorney present when apologizing to a pregnant employee he insulted before chastising a witness. 


When Silver took questions from the media, he was hit with a curveball from Sports Illustrated Howard Beck.  He was asked why there should be a different standard for an owner than for every other employee.  Silver said, “There are particular rights here to someone who owns an NBA team as opposed to someone who is an employee.”


Translation of what Silver said:  Unless you’re paying my check, it’s unacceptable.  


It’s a shame the NBA doesn’t have an ally in this scenario as it did with Shelly Sterling in 2014.  As Ramona Shelburne explained on The Sterling Affairs, Donald was openly dating V. Stiviano. When  the tapes of his racist comments surfaced, the league had their opening to boot him because Shelly owned half of the Clippers.  She got her husband’s doctor to declare him unfit, which facilitated the sale.


The NBA doesn’t have an ace up its sleeve like Shelly.  For that reason, Silver said, “I don’t have the right to take his team away…” 


The Town That I Know So Well

The concept of home is a tenuous one at best. It has a textbook definition, no doubt, often centered around the physical dwelling in which one resides.

But what does it really mean?

Is it the place you were born? The place you currently live? The place you identify with?

As the Miami Hurricanes travel to College Station, TX to play Texas A&M, I’m confronted with this question, although for me it is easy to answer. Because while I was born in Bryan, TX (College Station’s sister city. When I was born that is where the only hospital was located, but we lived in College Station), home always has and will forever be Miami. Even before I laid eyes on Biscayne’s Wondrous shore, Miami was for me.

The Texas Side

This is not a situation where I was technically born in Texas but moved to Miami as a baby. I lived in College Station for 13 years.

I do have fond memories of College Station. Some of my best friends which are more like family are from there. I’ll be seeing some of them this weekend.

And the people are incredibly friendly, something Hurricanes’ fans are sure to encounter. It was the place I went to elementary school.

From March 2022, myself, my sister, and my brother (L to R) in front of our elementary school in College Station, TX. 

College Station is an interesting place. Everything centers around Texas A&M University. The name “Aggie” is affixed to buildings, store fronts, and businesses. Pretty much everything in town is directly or indirectly tied to the school. They almost speak a different language, with “howdy”, “y’all”, and “Gig ’em” in the vernacular.

When we were growing up, Texas A&M was still in the Southwestern Conference (SWC), a conference compromised almost entirely (until Arkansas left, then entirely) of Texas schools. It was a Texas thing, and where my love of college football first gestated. We’d watch the Aggie game every Saturday, nothing else mattered in the world.

And on rare occasions, generally when Rice was in town, the local Dairy Queen would give out cheap tickets, and we could actually go to Kyle Field and watch the Aggies play.

Without College Station, without Texas A&M, my love of college football might not exist. And while I’m enchanted by the idea of an alternate reality where I don’t know who Al Golden is, I do owe TAMU a debt of gratitude for one of the great joys of my life.

Head East

So how did I end up in Miami? Well, actually, the same way I ended up in College Station. My father is a (retired-ish) professor, and Texas A&M hired him. And then, 15 years later (I was born 2 years after my parents and older brother moved to Texas), the University of Miami came calling.

And that changed my life forever.

If you’re wondering how I didn’t end up an Aggie fan, and how I don’t identify more closely with College Station, it’s because I didn’t belong there. You won’t see me trash the place, because that isn’t warranted. And I won’t dismiss it as just another place for me, because it is important in my life, and I do have ties to the area.

But going back to that word, it was never “home.”

Miami is.

The second I set foot in the insanity of the 305, it fit me like a glove. Well, full disclosure, the first time I was in Miami was actually in the Miami Airport when we still lived in Texas. My family was traveling back from India on Pan-Am and had a layover in Miami. I got off the plane, air sick, and promptly threw up all over the Miami Airport. Home-sweet-home. I guess I was marking my territory.

Miami is Home

The thing with college football is that it is about so much more than the game on the field. It’s about the community, the ties between the team, the rest of the school, and everyone surrounding it.

And I never felt that bond in College Station.

Miami, on the other hand… I didn’t fall in love with the sun, the palm trees, the beaches…it was the people. The glorious melting pot of every culture and background you can think of, co-existing. Not harmoniously. Let’s be real, we’re nuts. But still, co-existing nonetheless.

Coming from Texas, Miami truly was the Magic City. And the University of Miami was the fulcrum that changed me from a college football fan into a University of Miami fan, fostering a deeper understanding of my community, of my home. You cannot understand Miami without understanding the University of Miami football program. 

Some families have a family business. For our family, it’s the University of Miami. My dad taught there, my brother went there, I went there, my sister went there and now works there.

And it represents the entire community. And it was the place where I found home.

That is why I’m so defensive of this team, this program, this school. It’s more than those things for me. It’s my extended family, mi gente. We can make fun of and criticize it, but no one outside la familia is afforded that opportunity.

I was recently in College Station for a wedding. The Rehearsal Dinner featured a cultural night, where you wore clothing representing your culture. I wore a guayabera and a Cuban hat, and found myself hunting for a cigar shop before the night was over.


To say there will be a culture clash in College Station this weekend is an understatement.

Two-step meets booty dance.

Boot meets chancleta.

10 gallon hat meets canotier.

Howdy meets buenas.

Y’all meets bro.

And I’ll meet the what could have been which fortunately isn’t. The pride that will fill my chest as our boys take the field, the U on their helmets, in their glorious orange and green will be immeasurable, representing us all. The family will be on stage, the country watching. Regardless of result, el orgulloso de Miami never falters.

We will be a sight to see.

Vishnu Parasuraman is a journalist for @FiveReasonsSports. He covers the Miami Hurricanes for Sixth Ring Canes and Formula 1 for Hitting the Apex. You can follow him on twitter @vrp2003

Coach Mike McDaniel gets the game ball after winning his first game as Dolphins coach.

Pressure Point: Feel-good win, but Dolphins need more from Tua, offense

The Dolphins’ 20-7 thumping of the Patriots in the season opener was about as satisfying as a Dolfan could hope for, given the years of abuse by Bill Belichick’s teams.

At the same time it left a lot of room for improvement if Miami is going to contend with the latest beast of the AFC East from Buffalo.

First, celebrate all the good cheer in new coach Mike McDaniel’s debut victory — jitterbugs Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle dancing around and through the New England defense and showing how much fun this offense can be; the big-play Dolphins defense, which produced three turnovers.

Most assuredly, too, for the numbers Tua Tagovailoa put up: 23 of 33 for 270 yards, a touchdown, no interceptions and a 104.4 passer rating. And for that in-stride dime he threaded between three defenders to Waddle for a 42-yard game-changer TD on McDaniel’s gutsy fourth-down call just before the half.

They say you are what your record says you are, and as the CBS graphic showed, Tagovailoa joined John Elway as the only quarterbacks with a 4-0 mark against Belichick.

More from Five Reasons Sports: Five takeaways from the Dolphins’ win

Tougher challenge ahead for Dolphins

Hate to toss the big but into the fifth win in the past six meetings with the Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium, but Tua’s performance didn’t leave me feeling all that comfortable about next week at Baltimore and certainly not for the Bills’ visit to South Florida the following week.

For all of the retooling of the offensive line and addition of skilled veteran backs and receivers, the running game was still nonexistent and the offense managed only one touchdown and 13 points. More will be needed against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens and Josh Allen and the Bills.

I’ve been supportive of Tagovailoa for the most part and hopeful he blossoms into a top-tier quarterback as expected of one picked No. 5 overall in the draft. He was operating under difficult circumstances his first two years.

Given the backing he now has from McDaniel and the front office and the assortment of playmakers to work with, I expected to see more growth from Tua than he showed Sunday.

Plenty of room for improvement

Too many of Tua’s passes lacked the needed zip to get to his receivers. He has trouble throwing to his right. Overall he wasn’t as accurate as we’ve seen in the past.

And some of his decision-making, particularly in the fourth quarter, was flat-out frightening.

On one series when the Dolphins were trying to maintain a clock-killing drive, he threw a near-interception — the defender dropped it — and had a near-fumble. Earlier, Hill took another potential interception away from Devin McCourty for a 26-yard gain.

But Tua threw a nice ball to Waddle on a comeback route for a first down and then hooked up with Waddle for the touchdown that was the defining image from the game.

Fourth-down TD made Dolphins’ day

That it came on fourth down to give Miami a 17-0 halftime lead made the day for Tua, Waddle and McDaniel.

Hill put it in perspective, saying, “McDaniel’s gonna need a wheel barrow for his nuts, to carry them around. He’s got a lot of cajones, you know what I’m saying? So, gutsy call by him.”

There was certainly a lot to feel good about, especially on defense. Brandon Jones clobbered Mac Jones on a blind-side blitz to force a fumble and veteran newcomer Melvin Ingram scooped it off the hop for the touchdown.

Undrafted rookie cornerback Kader Kohou had an impressive debut, creating another fumble and breaking up a fourth-down pass.

On offense, Hill was as much fun as anticipated, scampering for 94 yards on eight receptions.

So there was a lot to feel good about Sunday, as is the case any time the Dolphins thrash the Patriots.

They will need to be much better in the weeks ahead.

Craig Davis has covered South Florida sports and teams, including the Dolphins, for four decades. Follow him on Twitter @CraigDavisRuns