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Report says Tua Tagovailoa played golf on a gameday last season. What's the problem here, officer?

May 05, 2022

BIG news out of Miami-Dade County this morning, where Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is set to stand trial for Crimes Against Football. He is accused of golf on a gameday and a felony count of being a bad leader. We now go live to the courthouse of public opinion for more:

OK, so we’re a golf publication and are naturally more sympathetic to Tagovailoa’s case, but this nothingwhopper of a controversy has us wondering if it’s just not in the cards for the kid. The former Alabama star and fifth-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft—an all-time nice guy, by most accounts—has had one of the strangest, bumpiest entries in professional football life in recent memory. It started with a freak hip injury during his final year in Tuscaloosa and then continued into his rookie campaign, an unprecedented ghost-town season in which he replaced (and was then replaced by) Ryan Fitzpatrick in a head-scratching flip-flop by coach Brian Flores. 2021 was supposed to be his breakout campaign, but after a Week 1 victory in Foxborough, Tagovailoa went down with fractured ribs on the second series of Week 2 after being crushed three times in seven snaps from scrimmage.

With Tagovailoa out, the Dolphins lost seven straight. When he returned, they won seven straight. That alone should have silenced the critics, but critics and silence are not easy bedfellows. When Flores was fired in January, filing a discrimination lawsuit against the NFL shortly thereafter, the Tua levee broke. Flores lost his job, reports suggested, in part because he didn’t get along with Tagovailoa, getting into a screaming match with his mild-mannered quarterback during an ugly late-season loss to the Titans.

According to sources, Flores was also the driving force behind the months-long Deshaun Watson trade rumors, a report that dovetailed with details in Flores' own lawsuit alleging that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had courted Tom Brady (also a big golf guy, if you haven’t heard) during the 2020 offseason weeks before drafting Tagovailoa. Between Tagovailoa’s 2021 performances and the Dolphins’ recent free-agent frenzy, things were finally looking up for the Samoan Southpaw, but that Brady smoke continued to billow until a few weeks ago, when Dolphins’ now-botched plan to install TB12 as a front-office patsy only for him to come out of retirement and play next season became the NFL’s new Worst-Kept Secret.

And then, after all of that [panting, wheezing, hands on knees, trying to catch breath], the golf thing. Is it a good look? Around these parts, actually yes. Elsewhere not so much. Does it matter? Well, Tagovailoa won nine of 10 starts in 2021, and the one he lost was 42 degrees and pissing down sleet, i.e. not exactly golf weather. So you do the math or, better yet, just let Tua keep track of his own scorecard. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have a tee time … yes, on a workday.