I wanted to write this ahead of time if Buccaneers-Bills happens. As Dolphins fans, how do we mentally prepare for it?

This would be the Miami Dolphins fans’ worst-case scenario for a Super Bowl Matchup this season. A year after the New England Patriots dynasty was deemed to be over, there is a new first-place team in the AFC East. That team does not happen to be the Miami Dolphins. It happens to be the Buffalo Bills, who finished this season at 13-3, the number 2 seed in the AFC, and are a win away from reaching the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1993 season.

Then there is the former rival Quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. Tom Brady spent the past 2 decades with the New England Patriots, reaching 9 Super Bowls, reaching 13 AFC Conference Championships, and winning 6 Super Bowls. Oh, and Miami faced Tom Brady twice a year over the last two decades. The Miami Dolphins franchise is 12-23 against a Tom Brady-led New England Patriots team.

There were only 3 times when Miami faced New England, and Brady was not under center. Those were the two matchups in the 2008 season in which Tom Brady missed the final 15 games of the season with a knee injury sustained in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and Matt Cassell led the way for the New England Patriots. The first game was Week 3 in New England, also known as “The Wildcat Game.” Miami lost the second matchup at home in mid-December. They both finished 11-5, but Miami owned the tiebreaker to win the division, and New England missed the 2008 postseason. This was a year after the Patriots finished completed a perfect regular season at 16-0, eventually losing in Super Bowl 42 against the New York Giants. The second time was when Tom Brady had a 4-game suspension for his involvement in deflate-gate and inserted Jimmy Garoppolo. He was lighting up the Dolphins before he sustained a shoulder injury after a QB hit by LB Kiko Alonso. Here comes Jacoby Brissett, and the Miami Dolphins gained momentum and started coming back after trailing 21-0, only to fall short and lose the game 31-24.

Here are the current Patriots, a team in transition with Tom Brady’s departure to Tampa Bay, finishing 7-9. Here are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a franchise that has not made the playoffs since the 2007 season; they finished 11-5 this season, finished with the number 5 seed, and have had to go through 2 road games at Washington and New Orleans(a team that beat them twice in the 2020 regular season). They’re one win away from heading to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 2002 season, where they defeated the Oakland Raiders to win their only Championship.

So if you are a Dolphins fan, who do you root for? I can also rephrase the question this way, who do you root against?

For me, I put more stock in not wanting a division rival to win the Super Bowl over an individual player(Brady) who used to play in the AFC East. So, I’m rooting against the Buffalo Bills.

We can put our Brady hate to the side for one day if he happens to play the Bills. The Buffalo Bills as a franchise are 3-32 against a team with Tom Brady under center, but that is in the past. For most of those years, Buffalo was dead in the water and was nearly at the bottom of the AFC standing and went through an 18-year drought of not making the postseason. Their last appearance before the 2017 season was 1999. This was where they lost in the game, known as “The Music City Miracle” against the Tennessee Titans, where Tennessee ran a kickoff back via laterals(which is still debated today on whether those were legal backward passes). But the last 2 years of the Buffalo Bills are a different breed. Yes, they got swept by New England in 2019, but in 2020 along with Brady leaving and the opt-outs on New England’s roster, Buffalo was able to sweep the Patriots for the first time since…1999. That’s been a long time coming for them.

I want first to give a shoutout to Bills Mafia, we might be rivals on the field, but off the field, what they were able to do with raising money to donate to Lamar Jackson’s favorite charity after getting a concussion in their divisional matchup last Saturday, they show a sense of class. If the Bills happen to win the Super Bowl, although I won’t like it, I will be happy for those fans, especially those who give back to charity.

However, on the field. I cannot root for a division rival to win a championship in any sport. Even if Tom Brady wins ring number 7, I will swallow my pride knowing that it was not the Buffalo Bills winning the Super Bowl. More importantly, if Tom Brady wins ring number 7, at least this one is not in a New England Patriots uniform.