David Drucker/ Staff Writer
In Miami, the road to the Super Bowl is congested and full of traffic. Each time around, somebody’s transmission gives out halfway there and the entire commute crawls home.
The Miami Dolphins of 2016, however, might be riding another highway entirely.
On Monday, April 25, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals defended the integrity of inflated footballs and deflated Dolphins fans everywhere.
The federal court overruled a decision made last September by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was innocent of involvement in a deflated football scandal dating back to the AFC Championship game in January of that same year.
Brady was initially challenging a four-game suspension NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sanctioned on the 16-year professional Dolphin-killer.
That means that when the Dolphins play in Foxborough on Sept. 18, the only paper-thin defense Brady will possibly be shredding in the second half is the waxed lining of a Gatorade cup.
The timing and decision of the ruling could not have been more convenient. The decision takes a ton of pressure off of the Dolphins (regretful, but intentional pun), as they will enter New England coming off of a road trip to Seattle in their 2016 opener.
Given that they also play the Browns at home, Bengals on the road and Titans at home in the following three weeks, a dream of a decent start to the season can return to Miami.
Some fans may think that this appeal decision is only a coincidence or too good to be true. I simply treat this news, however, like the turning point in an enigmatic battle for justice in our universe.
A team simply cannot go 7-9, 7-9, 6-10, 7-9, 8-8, 8-8 and 6-10 since 2009 without a higher power intervening at some point, right?
I believe that the Dolphins will be reimbursed for all of their bad fortune in one miraculous 2016-2017 season. Everything will go right. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill will connect on at least three game-winning deep passes.
Oft-troubled defensive end Dion Jordan will fulfill his potential as a number three overall pick. The Dolphins will take the AFC East title, making it all the way to the conference title game.
And before you dismiss me as a Dolphins homer, you have to admit that it feels right.
The narrative fits.
Downtrodden by the league for years, the Dolphins surge back to national prominence behind what I think might become one of the league’s more perfect player-coach combinations in Tannehill and Adam Gase.
It also makes sense on the defensive end. Why shouldn’t a pass rush that features Mario Williams and Cameron Wake be among the most feared in the NFL? Although the team has holes, the talent for a run is there.
Consider this too: this kind of miracle turnaround happened in 2008.
The Dolphins were 1-15 in 2007 and produced the most improved record in the league with an 11-5 record the very next season. Aren’t we due for another turnaround?
As the Brady decision lands in April days before the NFL draft, it looks like Miami is finally going to get its due. You might doubt it, but it’s going to happen, because even our cruel world is too kind to give Miami another six-win season.