Note: This post has been updated periodically since November 6, 2011, the day the Dolphins secured their first win of the season, as more and more information has become available to prove out my point. It has been a source of great frustration for me since that time.
The Miami Dolphins were 0-7. Despair had long since set in.
No team in NFL history had ever rallied from such a dreadful start to the regular season to make the playoffs. It simply wasn’t going to happen.
It was a familiar story. The Dolphins didn’t make the playoffs the prior season either. Or the season before that. In fact, they had only made the playoffs once in the previous ten years. After a decade of failure from which to rebuild, the Dolphins were still among the worst teams in football.
Andrew Luck, then finishing out a record-shattering college career at Stanford, was widely considered the ultimate prize in the next NFL draft. He was the most highly rated quarterback to come out of college since Peyton Manning. A can’t miss prospect. A sure thing.
A small group of frustrated Dolphins fans connected the dots and began endorsing a radical concept: Why not tank the rest of the 2011 season to ensure they get him?
The “Suck for Luck” campaign quickly took off by word of mouth. The “Miami Dolphins Suck For Luck” movement took off on Facebook. The #suck4luck movement exploded on Twitter. Signs were made. T-shirts were printed.
Eventually, just about all of South Florida embraced the concept.
Fans started actively rooting against the team so that it could land their prized quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper said it best, saying that if he were a Dolfan, he would be “celebrating losses as a victory.”
Even Dolphins owner Stephen Ross embraced the concept. Ross told his friends he would be willing to deal with short-term losses if the end result would be the franchise quarterback he so desperately wanted. Read more…