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Comments from Dolphins LB Jerome Baker spark firestorm

The 2019 season isn’t easy for Dolphins fans to sit through. Every week, they go to the stadium or turn on the television and expect a loss. In fact, many are actively rooting for losses. The mindset for fans on social media is that losing every game in 2019 will ensure the number one overall pick in the 2020 draft. In other words, exclusive rights to their would-be new franchise quarterback, who many are hoping will be Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. It might also be Oregon’s Justin Herbert.

But controversy erupted on social media when the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson asked some players about the fans’ desire for the Dolphins to lose out. Naturally, no football player who actually cares about the game would purposely try to fail. The very thought has them shaking their heads. However, Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker questioned the fandom of those individuals rooting for losses, even in light of the greater good it would presumably bring.

“You’re not a real fan if you’re rooting for us to lose, no matter what [the reason] is,” Baker said. “We try to win every chance we get. If we come up short, it’s not because we come up short for the future. I’ve seen the tanking and all that. From outside looking in, you essentially think we’re just tanking. But we go out there and try to perform. If you are not performing, they get you out of here. Every guy wants to play well and ultimately stay as long as we can.”

Baker obviously tried to bring it back to the locker room with the second half of his statement. But it was too late, the damage was done. Twitter erupted with fans and analysts arguing both for and against Baker, as evidenced in this thread from Five Reasons’ own Josh Houtz.

What does it mean to be a true fan? For some, it means supporting the team no matter what. Come on Sunday and sport your team colors, rooting for a win. Support the players there now because they’re giving it their all. For many others, it means demanding excellence. Do what’s best for the team, even if it hurts. Losing now could open the door to a decade’s worth of victory. That’s worth the humiliation of 0-16, right?

Ultimately, it depends on who you ask.

Whose side are you on?

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

Tua Tagovailoa

Simon Clancy’s exclusive with Tua Tagovailoa

Everyone wants a piece of Alabama elite quarterback Tua Tagovailoa right now.

Simon Clancy, who is a host of our Three Yards Per Carry while also working in England for Gridiron magazine and other outlets, did something that Alabama opponents haven’t done at all this season:

He corralled the slippery, skilled signalcaller.

Clancy conducted an exclusive interview for Gridiron — and we will run excerpts here when we have them.

But what follows are some highlights he tweeted:

 

If you want more, make sure to listen to tonight’s new episode of Three Yards Per Carry.

They will be playing clips.

Simon’s co-hosts Alfredo Arteaga and Chris Kouffman will also appear on #305Live tonight (Wednesday) at 10:30pm with me (Ethan J. Skolnick) to discuss what the league could do to punish the Dolphins for so blatantly Tanking for Tua.

And here’s the shirt…

We’ve sold more than 500 of these already, and sent one to Josh Gad.

You know, Olaf! (and a huge Dolphins fan who needs a warm hug).

What are you waiting to get your Tank for Tua Tagovailoa t-shirt?

Get yours now!

Can the NFL Competition Committee stop #Tankovailoa?

The Miami Dolphins are in every outlet of the country because of their obvious tanking. Can the NFL do anything about it?

Everyone that has watched the last several weeks in Davie, Florida, can see the long-term plan starting to unfold.

And whether that be the $130M+ they will have to spend in free agency, or the obscene amount of draft picks – it all starts with securing the NFL’s top QB prospect, Tua Tagovailoa.

That is, unless the NFL competition committee has something to say about it.

According to the Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan, the competition committee could take a look at the Dolphins plan to #TankForTua–much like they did with Cleveland several years ago.

“Five years ago, the league source said, the competition committee did debate the Cleveland Browns, which is best described as having pursued a mini version of the Dolphins’ strategy. The committee, the league source added, was responding to media questions and decided the NFL Draft structure served the league well.”

Kaplan then goes on to mention why the NFL competition committee could have a problem with teams trying to deliberately tank, such as the 2019 Dolphins.

“The committee will probably have the questions posed to it again, if not by the media, maybe by teams,” a league source said.

“It’s likely the competition committee will have to address this issue.” It’s not hard to see why the committee might be concerned. The fabric of the NFL is built on the “Any Given Sunday” ethos that infuses fans with the belief that any NFL team can beat another NFL team. It’s not baseball where each team has 162 sometimes meaningless games spread across regional sports channels or the NBA with 82 regular season games. NFL teams have only 16 games and they are all national, with an inordinate amount of pressure and hype for each contest.”

For the league to determine the Dolphins are deliberately trying to tank, they would need to bring in some of the top investigators in the country. Some names to consider include Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc., the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and of course, Inspector Gadget.  This is not a job for the faint of heart. 

In all seriousness, there’s probably very little that will come of this.  The Dolphins are on pace to be the worst team in NFL history.  Period.

Sure, maybe the ‘tank’ was never meant to be this bad.  But everything is going according to plan.  #Tankovailoa