It's tough being a Dolphins fan these days.
The team is winless.
The team's home field no longer offers advantage.
Players say they are monsters but play like pussy cats. Others challenge reporters to strap on pads during interviews but cannot make tackles when they count. Others are upset they are being asked to "Suck for Luck," when, in fact, no one is asking them to do anything other be themselves -- which should take care of things just fine.
And, of course, a coaching staff about to be replaced inside of two months so far has no answers for turning the thing around.
But there is hope. No, we're not back talking about Suck for Luck. If you listen to coach Tony Sparano there is a bright side to these dark days. Sparano was asked Thursday what fans -- you folks -- can dig your fingernails into and hold on to as hope.
"Well, the only thing I can say in that situation is the team is playing hard. These guys are playing hard and they practice hard. If you want hope, I mean, they’re playing hard, they’re practicing hard, there’s improvement in different areas, there really is.
"I can point to three phases in the special teams game right now that has improved tremendously. Now the phase that we’re not quite where we want to be right now, we’re not anywhere where we want to be right now, is in the kickoff return phase. We have to be better in that because that’s going to help us finish drives better offensively. Just field position, we’re not very good in that phase right at this particular time. We got to do a better job there. But that, the defense from a run standpoint right now has gotten themselves a little bit better. We’re starting to play better there.
"Offensively we’re running the ball better and doing some different things. You’re getting bigger plays, you’re getting chunk plays. That’s all I’ve heard from three years here is trying to get the ball down field. We’re one of the top teams in the league in getting the ball down the field right now. I’d be encouraged about those things. I’d be encouraged about the players that are out there playing right now, the (Charles) Clays, the (Daniel) Thomas’, the (Mike) Pounceys, the Jimmy Wilsons. You know, the list is long, talking about a lot of young, Reshad Jones. I mean these guys are all young players right now. For me, I think those things are all really positive.
"And I think the more those guys play, the better this football teams going to get. This team is just going to continue to get better and that’s what I really believe in my heart that this thing is going to turn. I know the attitude of the people in that locker room. I’ve coached four teams here now and I love this team. I just, for whatever reason, I don’t know what it is, they just come to work every day and they go to work. I don’t know if that gives them optimism. When you’re 0-5 I understand that there’s not a lot of it but in that locker room these guys come in here and they are trying to win every single game that we play."
Did that work? Feeling more hopeful, Dolphins fans?