Everyone has experienced this in their lifetime. Watching someone fail and being totally unable to help. Like watching a car wreck in a race. Or watching someone fall on the ice. A waitress dropping a plate in a busy restaurant.Watching someone jump into a lake and missing the water. Many people have made a franchise out of filming these failures and watching them on America's Funniest Home Videos.
But nothing was funny on Sunday, and that helpless feeling was there for the home fans as we watched our Dolphins self-destruct on every side of the ball. From Reggie Bush's opening fumble and benching to Ryan Tannnehill's pick six and more, and on the other side, many missed tackles, dumb penalties, and overall just lackluster play. Phoning it in.
You could feel it in the air from the start. As the team left the locker room, there wasn't much energy or determination in the eyes of the players. Coming back in, no visible anger or frustration after being dominated 24-3 at halftime. I was reminded of zombies, but zombies at least had a purpose to eat brains.
Could this team as a whole forgotten about the Titans? Could they have been looking ahead to the Thursday match up against the Bills, and in the back of their heads treated this game like a preseason game?
Don't get me wrong, I love this team and I love my Dolphins, but like a day old lobster, something was off. Usually you could pin it down to one or two key things, but this was a bad performance across the boards, and the score showed it.
But there is still another thing that was even more disturbing than the game itself. At Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, on a day where we honor our veterans in service, there were 22,000 empty seats. I never saw the end zone so empty.
Now CEO Mike Dee and the Dolphins have made every effort to put this team out front and sell tickets. Keeping the games on TV with many unsold seats remaining, and payment plans for people who can't afford the lump payments. A big list of fan promotions and giveaways at the gates and on the web site. But still, 22,000 empty seats.
Somehow deep in my heart I think that we were also to blame for the mediocre play of the team. In every away game this season, they have been exposed to packed stadiums and energized fans. They come home to empty end zones and upper decks and you have to wonder that if we noticed than they noticed.
I'm going to look at this game as a blip on the radar, a speed bump in the quest to make the playoffs. The team will watch the film and have little time to think as they head to Buffalo for a nationally televised game. This will be a big test to Coach Philbin and his crew. Buffalo almost came back to beat the Patriots on Sunday, will we be able to rise to the occasion and put this loss in the rear view window?
I say Yes! Go Dolphins ans Finatics, get off of the couch and get into the game! We need to fill the seats...let's go!