CARSON, Calif.—The Dolphins can’t possibly be happy about how their schedule is working out this season—some of those challenges were planned, some a result of Hurricane Irma—but they’re adamant about not getting bogged down in excuses.
Before Sunday’s 19-17 win against the Chargers, the team issued players freshly printed t-shirts in army green with a big Dolphins logo and underneath it in all caps, “Anywhere. Anytime.”
“The reality is, to be very blunt, nobody cares,” Cameron Wake said when asked about putting aside potential frustrations. “I’d assume that the Chargers didn’t care too much about what we had to deal with last week. They were prepared to beat us and they gave it their best shot. I’m sure that Week 15, whoever we’re playing doesn’t care that we don’t have a bye week and everybody else in the league does. They’re not going to care.
“We’re going to take our 30 seconds to cry and then shut up and man up. Do whatever you have to to do your job. Your jobs don’t care. I don’t care. Guys watching the game don’t care. The team trying to beat you doesn’t care. The whining and complaining ended a long time ago. No matter when, no matter where, when the ball goes down you have to play.”
That’s a more eloquent version of what coach Adam Gase said all last week, a repeat of what he preached throughout the injury-riddled 2016 season.
The shirts, which many players wore before and after the game, also have their new schedule on the back. They’re listed like a rock band’s tour, including the dates of their stay in Oxnard, Calif., and “one night only” to mark their move to downtown Los Angeles the night before the game.
That schedule, of course, continues this weekend with visit to New York and a game in London the week after. The Dolphins also, as Wake noted, lost their bye week now that their Week 1 Tampa Bay game is rescheduled for November. The team is playing nine road games this year and will set a franchise record for miles traveled.
A secondary motto appears underneath the anywhere, anytime slogan. It says N.C.T. 2017 with F.E. spray painted below it in neon orange. One player said that first abbreviation stands for No-(high-grade expletive) Tour, and it’ll take about two seconds to guess what F.E. stands for.
“You can sulk about it and let it get the best of you, or you can fight and claw your way out of it,” right guard Jermon Bushrod said. “That’s just what we’re trying to do.”
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