Running windsprints: Matty I from SB Nation's Miami Dolphins blog, The Phinsider.
tommasse: How much of an advantage is Dolphin Stadium and how does Miami's 2007 schedule increase or decrease that advantage?
Matty I: Well I think that Dolphin Stadium is an advantage for the Dolphins at times. What do I mean by that? Well, first and foremost, you need to consider the heat. Other teams just tend to struggle in September in Dolphin Stadium when it's in the upper 80s or 90s while the Dolphins, who go through an entire training camp in this kind of heat, are used to it and are better prepared for it.
Then you also have to consider the "baseball field." The infield dirt gets involved in the game all too often in September (damn Marlins). Generally, I like to think it gives the Dolphins an advantage because Dolphin players are used to the poor footing that the infield provides. Of course, it also affects the kicking game. But I'm not so sure it was an advantage for the Dolphins. I still see images of Olindo Mare missing field goals off the infield dirt in my dreams (good riddance, Olindo).
But I think the thing that gets overlooked is just how loud the stadium can get when the Dolphins are actually playing well and are in contention past September. It's as noisy as any stadium in the NFL when the Dolphins actually give their fans something to cheer about. Don't believe me, then ask Peyton Manning how it was when he played against the Dolphins in Miami back in 2001. That stadium was as loud as ever.
So let's look at the 2007 schedule. The Dolphins play 2 home games in September, but none are against a cold-weather team, therefore alleviating much of the advantage with respect to the temperature. However, there is one thing that could benefit the Dolphins in terms of a home-field advantage. Like I said above, when the Dolphins remain in contention past September, that stadium can get rocking. And this year, their first 6 games are winnable games (at Wash, vs Dal, at NYJ, vs Oak, at Hou, at Cle). This means the Dolphins could be 4-2 heading into the October 21 battle with your Patriots. And if that is the case, then you will get the chance to really see how loud Dolphin Stadium can get when the team gives them something to cheer about.
For my response, click "Read More"
tommasse's retort: I don't think Patriots fans ever liked watching the team travel to Miami. Even during the 2004 Super Bowl run, one of the two losses the entire regular season was 29-28 to Miami, who was terrible at the time. It's a 50-50 prospect at best even in the best of times. But it's always interesting to watch how well Miami performs home and away and how the weather affects them and their opponents.
OK, it's your turn. Step up to the Pulpit and say your piece. And if you have a question you want me to ask next week, email me, and I'll pose the best queries to our friends at Buffalo Rumblings, The Phinsider and NY Landing Strip.