The Daily Take will be posted every weekday at 3 p.m. and will offer our opinion on a pertinent topic involving the Dolphins. Today we discuss the Dolphins' 2003 schedule.

Is it just me or does it seem like the league office has something against the Dolphins.

I mean, really. It seems like every year the Dolphins get the shaft when it comes to the NFL schedule.

Sounds like sour grapes? Sorry, we have facts to back this up.

Did you know that before the 2001 season, only five times in league history had a team had to play back-to-back games on short weeks? Did you know the Dolphins had to do that EACH of the last two seasons? That's nothing short of ridiculous.

Now this year, the Dolphins have to play a Sunday night game right before playing at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.

You know how many times that has happened since ESPN started showing games on Sunday night in 1987? Twice. Dallas in 1987 and Kansas City in 1995.

Now here's the bad omen. Both Dallas in 1987 and Kansas City in 1995 lost on Thanksiving Day.

But that's not all. The Dolphins have been sent to New England in December for the fourth consecutive year, while New England gets a break in not having to come down to Miami until Oct. 19.

The Dolphins also have to travel to Buffalo late in the season, also for the fourth straight year.

Finally, the Dolphins' big home-field advantage early in the year has been pretty much negated this year by the fact the Dolphins play only one home game during the day before Oct. 19. And that's the opener against Houston, a team the Dolphins would beat at any time, anywhere.

Cleary, if the Dolphins accomplish big things in 2003, it won't be because the NFL made it easy on them.

Look, we're not saying the NFL schedule has kept the Dolphins from reaching the Super Bowl. But it sure hasn't helped, and this year unfortunately is no different.

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