NFL Nation: Colts-Patriots 092109
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
MIAMI -- The stars and the humidity will be out at Land Shark Stadium.
Temperatures will be in the sticky mid-80s for the Miami Dolphins' home opener against the Indianapolis Colts on "Monday Night Football."
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross doesn't dare infringe on Bill Parcells' work in football operations, so Ross has concentrated on trying to gussy up the Dolphins' image with celebrity partnerships.
He has sold pieces of the team to singer Marc Anthony and wife Jennifer Lopez, singer Gloria Estefan and tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams (I wonder if Serena will give the pregame locker room speech?). They struck a deal with Jimmy Buffett's company for stadium naming rights.
The stars will arrive at the game and walk down an orange carpet along with famous Dolphins alums such as Dan Marino and Bob Griese.
We'll see if it helps energize the atmosphere for the Dolphins, who would be thrilled to knock off the Colts.
The Dolphins are coming off an uninspired season-opening loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. They committed four turnovers, gave up sacks and scored a late, meaningless touchdown.
The significance of a Dolphins victory would be greater than the disappointment of a loss. True, Tony Sparano's boys would begin their season an unappealing 0-2, but they did the same last year. That can be coped with.
But a victory over Peyton Manning and Dwight Freeney would do wonders for the Dolphins and kick start their season much more than any half-baked ideas to glitz up the front office.
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