On the face of it, Tony Sparano is not a popular coach.
According to a Sporting News survey of 111 players on 31 teams, the Dolphins coach finished second to Tom Coughlin among coaches players would least like to play for. Coughlin, of the New York Giants, got 22 votes while Sparano got 21 votes.
Dang it, lost again!
You'll read about this survey elsewhere in the media today and I wouldn't be surprised if Sparano is asked about it at his Friday press conference. But before folks start pounding on coach in the comments section, I must tell you why this survey is flawed and it doesn't really speak to Sparano's popularity among his players.
First, I know that I know that I know Sparano is very well liked among many of his players. Yes, there are a couple that cannot stand him. But mostly, the players in the Miami locker room like their coach and practically all have respect for their coach. That is what I know of the Miami locker room.
Secondly, the survey did not tally votes of players who could vote for their own coach. Players, in fact, were told not to vote for their own coach. So unless Shawn Murphy or Matt Roth -- two avowed Sparano haters -- are back on the roster, no one in the Miami locker room voted Sparano least liked.
Thirdly, the survey is obviously tilted in that the Dolphins were winless when the survey was done. Who on the outside looking in would want to play for an 0-7 coach? The results were bound to be negative for Miami's coach.
I'm telling you this so you see how what looks like damning and feels like an indictment is kinda sorta skewed toward getting a bad result. Now, I cannot account for Coughlin's victory. Nor can I account for Bill Belichick finishing third with 15 votes. But I don't have to. I don't get paid to cover the Giants or Patriots.
I do get paid, and handsomely I might add, to write columns in The Miami Herald. And today I wrote about, what else, Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley and Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden. My column is here and gives you perspective on where the Dolphins are likely to pick and what history says about the result they're likely to get.
[VIDEO ANNOUNCEMENT: I will be discussing my column, Sparano's popularity and a little conversation I had with a very interesting Dolphins player on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, today. You can watch the show streaming live right here. We'll also be discussing the Penn State scandal, the University of Miami game versus Florida State, the Marlins and other topics.]