On New Year’s Eve, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross asked vice president Mike Tannenbaum to move his desk to the nearest Panera cafe. He also relieved Adam Gase of his head coaching duties after three unimpressive seasons that resulted in a 23-25 record, some of the worst offenses in football, a lost locker room full of disgruntled players, and an assistant coach who videotaped himself doing cocaine at his desk.
Most Dolphins fans rejoiced. Ex-players reacted to their ex-coach getting the ax by tweeting crying-laughing emojis. And a grand total of one current player — receiver Albert Wilson — seemed to even care Gase was gone.
Ten days later the New York Jets inexplicably hired Gase to be their new head coach, thus striking a match and igniting the entire Dolphins-Jets rivalry on fire. The rivalry is confirmed lit.
Thank you, football gods. We needed this storyline. Jets-Dolphins has been a bland meal for too long. The spice is welcome.
On the surface, Gase turning on his heel and heading up the coast to run the Jets feels icky and downright wrong. When you think about it, though, Gase is the perfect villain to reenergize a competition that has seen more dramatic and entertaining days. He’s the enemy the Miami Dolphins never knew they needed. As if there weren’t enough reasons to want to wax the Jets’ asses twice a year, now we have this.
Overall, the Jets lead the series by a narrow two games. They’ve won 54, the Fins 52. Both teams started in the 1960s. Big names like Csonka and Shula and Namath and Maynard once made it really interesting.
Regardless of the teams’ records next season, Jets-Dolphins is appointment television. Not just for fans in these two markets but the entire NFL. It’ll be dramatic. When is the last time that could be said? It’s been quite awhile.
Maybe some of you remember when ex-Jets coach Rex Ryan and ex-Dolphins linebacker and current 560 WQAM afternoon-drive radio host Channing Crowder went back and forth in the media, threatening to kick each other’s butts. At the time, it was equal parts hilarious and dramatic. It made Dolphins fans want their team to nail the Jets on Sunday even more than usual.
That was fun. That was entertaining. This is so much better.
Miami’s fans might not have a reputation as the best sports, but nobody roots for people to fail better than we do. The pettiness is strong in the 305. Ask LeBron James.
Rooting against Adam Gase is going to be so much fun. Jets-Dolphins is going to be so much spicier. We needed that.