There seems to be a common theme behind the hate that this NFL team is the recipient of.
Most fans dislike teams, other than the ones they cheer for, that are dominant in a sport over an extended period. The Patriots were hated upon by almost every other NFL fan base due to the dominating Bill Belichick and Tom Brady dynasty. That type of hate is normal. What’s not normal is hatred for a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in over 20 years. The 14-second clip of a practice throw by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in a bucket hat received almost seven million views.
Dolphins Get Hate
It was highly criticized for being under thrown and ridiculed to a point that his own teammates had to publicly defend him. What drives this much animosity against a person and a team that has had so many struggles over an extended period of time? Is it something against Tagovailoa or is it much deeper than just a single player? In my opinion this has been an ongoing issue for decades and it’s not just the Dolphins.
In the 1980s the only sport in south Florida was football. Nothing else existed on a professional level. The only teams with a real foothold were the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes. The Dolphins, in the 1970s, were the team of the decade, which included a perfect season. The Miami Hurricanes wanted to make a statement that they were here to represent Miami as well and they certainly did. Through the 1980s they became what was proclaimed as the most hated team in college sports history, becoming the creators of swag. They were determined to not just win but beat you down.
Racist terminology was constantly thrown around about the team from rival fans. But the Miami Hurricanes became the best team in college football and seemed to use the hatred they received to fuel the team. They won five national championships in three different decades while building what is still considered one of the greatest NCAA rosters ever put together on a football field. As the dynasty of the Hurricanes disappeared it was clear the rest of the nation still had hatred for this city. It was time the mantle was taken by another sports team.
Lebron James was the clear-cut number one basketball player in the world, and he was far ahead of the number two player. In 2010 he made it clear that he wanted to leave Cleveland and the entire country was clamoring for him to come to their city. He decided to make an announcement on ESPN, and everyone labeled it as “The Decision”.
James chose to take his talents to Miami and instantly the Miami Heat took the mantle of the most hated team in America. Much like the Hurricanes, they decided to amplify the hatred from the rest of the nation and used it to drive them. They won two of the next four NBA championships driving the narrative of hating Miami into the present.
Presently, the mantle of hate appears to have been transferred to the Dolphins. The public narrative of any NFL team that you dislike is to go after the most important player of that team. With the hype around his dominance of college football, Tagovailoa is that guy, which is evident if you turn on any sports opinionated podcast or station.
The desire to either hate or love Tua is so palpable that whether it’s in one direction or another you will be attacked for having that opinion immediately. The Miami Dolphins can’t post a video on Twitter without having the very first comment talking about his “noodle arm” or how he can’t throw the deep ball, one of many false narratives if you watch any of his highlight reels.
The bottom line is no one did more with less in the NFL last year than Tagovailoa did. but if you listen to many sports’ talking heads, you’d think he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. The narrative isn’t so much that Tagovailoa is terrible but more that the hatred of a Miami sports team is back. Much like the other teams that had a vast amount of hatred, the only thing that’s left is for the Dolphins to win multiple championships. Let’s see if they can deliver. I’m not betting against them.