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News » So much achievement overshadowed by this


So much achievement overshadowed by this


So much achievement overshadowed by this
MIAMI -- They sat at their lockers with faces of stone, their emotions in cement, their egos under repair.


"Disappointment," was the word many kept coming back to, coaches and players, rookies and veterans.

"There's not another word for what happened," safety Yeremiah Bell said.

He put his head down.

"Maybe 'sickening,' " he said after the Dolphins' 27-9 playoff loss to Baltimore.

Across the way, quarterback Chad Pennington still sat at his locker in his sweat-soaked T-shirt, staring straight ahead. Offensive coordinator Dan Henning was making rounds to players 30 minutes after the final play, as he does after every game, giving a pat on the back or a word of encouragement.

"It ends quick in this league," Bell said. "That's what hurts the most."

It shouldn't feel like this by today. Not with this team forgetting what it did across 16 Sundays this season. Not with it falling so hard. This final game, well, that's one thing how it played out, starting with Pennington throwing as many interceptions (four) in one game as in his previous nine games combined.

But this season? Seasons like this don't get obituaries. They get parades. They're reminders of why we all fell in love with sports, once upon a time, cheering a team worth cheering.

The surprise is always the best story in sports, and this team rates with the '83 Hurricanes, '96 Panthers or '03 Marlins among the biggest of South Florida surprises. From 1-15 to 11-6? From the layoffs to playoffs?

"Who picked us to get here?" defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday said. "Anyone except the guys in this locker room?"

He tried a smile that didn't quite make it. "What hurts is we expected to get further, be a big surprise, not a little one," he said.

Sunday said this team had run out of surprises. There's no shame in that. Baltimore had some magic of its own, with a rookie coach and rookie quarterback. But what they mostly had was a bullet-proof defense, starting with safety Ed Reed, who had two of Pennington's four interceptions.

So much of this season the script was about how far they've come. Sunday it was about how far they still have to go. And it's quite a ways. Everyone understood they were a better story than a Football team.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 6, 2009

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Chris Crocker Name: Chris Crocker
#25
Position: S
Age: 28
Experience: 6 years
College: Marshall
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