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Our history has been intertwined so tightly, the rivalry so intense, that over the years misery in Miami has become a source of satisfaction in Buffalo. Take goofball Ricky Williams, who left the Dolphins before training camp because his desire to smoke pot superseded his desire to score touchdowns.

Sure, Ricky had them crying in Miami, but he had us laughing in Buffalo.

Maybe it's unbecoming for one city to wish ill on another, and nobody up here is asking for a hurricane down there, but it's simply unfathomable for this football town to generate any sympathy for that one. And while I understand what goes around comes around, Western New Yorkers no doubt have taken great comfort in the Dolphins' latest little go-around.

Coach Dave Wannstedt's resignation was merely the most recent indication that the Dolphins have fallen farther than anybody imagined. He wasn't fired. He wasn't pushed. He wasn't reassigned. He simply joined a growing legion of people who decided they were better off surrendering a paycheck than accepting one from the Dolphins.

And you thought the Bills had problems?

Wannstedt had barely cleaned out his office Tuesday before Dolphins President Eddie Jones announced he's quitting in April. Dan Marino made a big splash in the offseason when he accepted a front-office job, and he was gone in three weeks. Offensive coordinator Joel Collier left in May. Williams took, um, the high road before training camp. Lovable, laughable old pal Chidi Ahanotu was gone by mid-October.

Sounds like a trend to me, folks.

What we've learned since Buffalo beat Miami is that the Bills are on the right track while the Dolphins are on the fast track to nowhere. Buffalo is hardly a Super Bowl contender, but this is the worst Miami team in history, one so bad that its coach couldn't take any more losing even though, with a 1-8 record, he had plenty of practice.

Then again, nobody, not even Hank Bullough, should be forced to endure the torture the Dolphins are about to experience over the next few years.

Wannstedt knew what was coming, which is why he began searching for an exit when the Dolphins rolled into town dragging an 0-5 record against the winless Bills. He sounded strangely indifferent after Buffalo's win, almost like a coach who was burned out from watching an offense produce 36 yards in the second half. The Dolphins were clearly a defeated team, their coach a beaten man.

Wannstedt failed more in his personnel position for three years than he did as the head coach for four. He made too many poor decisions before his team finally collapsed. Miami now aspires to improve to Buffalo's level rather than the other way around, a fact that would have sounded ludicrous in July.

The Bills are promising, the Dolphins putrid.

If the Dolphins were impressed with the Bills' running game last month -- and they were -- wait until they see Willis McGahee revved up in his hometown when the teams meet next month. Buffalo took its beatings with a weak offensive line, but it has become a strong, cohesive unit in recent weeks.

Drew Bledsoe has had better years, but Wannstedt would have given anything to stop flip-flopping with quarterback Jay Fiedler and stunting the development of backup A.J. Feeley. Make me pick between overpaid, injured headache David Boston or the young, promising receiver Lee Evans, and I'm going with Evans.

The Bills have suffered through four years without making the playoffs, and chances are this will be five, but at least there's hope. Miami can have the Dolphins and the sunshine. For now, we'll take the Bills and the snow.


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