The Right Ending

When great players wind down on their careers, things rarely end the way they would draw it up. Unfortunately, not everyone can go out like John Elway. Often times players find themselves sent packing unceremoniously into a forced retirement or onto another team. As fans, it is never easy to see players we rooted for week in week out play somewhere else. It happened to Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor, two of the all time greatest Dolphins in the history of a very proud franchise. Tomorrow at Sun Life Stadium, they get the right ending. The ending they deserve.

Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas were the face of the Miami Dolphins after the retirement of Dan Marino. These two players carried the hopes of a franchise and fan base for many years. They were the two centerpieces of a defense that many of us Dolphins fans feel came a little too late for Marino to grasp that elusive Super Bowl title. Week after week, Zach Thomas seemed to be in on every tackle, every play. Jason Taylor would have quarterbacks on the run for the better part of 60 minutes, more often than not catching them to become the franchise all time sack leader. They were our guys, our leaders. They hated the New York Jets as much as we did (we forgive you for 2010 JT). They cherished the wins and agonized over the losses. What more can you want from two players?

Taylor had some closure to his Dolphins career in 2011 in his final season. However, Jason Taylor should have never worn another uniform, but he did for reasons well documented. Zach Thomas was told he no longer fit the Dolphins plans in February 2008. He played one season in Dallas and was released by the Kansas City Chiefs after not playing a game in the preseason in 2009. Neither ending seems to have gone the way it should have.

Tomorrow, we as a fan base, the Dolphins as a franchise, and these two future Hall of Famers re-write the ending. Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas will be enshrined in the teams Honor Roll. They will one more time hear the cheers of a fan base who truly appreciates everything they gave. They will walk off the football field not just as Dolphins, but among the truly elite in franchise history. No two players deserve it more.

Thank you Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas.