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The Dolphins are in the middle of a ping-pong controversy. It’s nothing serious, but it’s a classic case of he said, she said— or in this instance, coach said, player said.
On Wednesday, Miami head coach Mike McDaniel said that the team’s ping-pong table had been removed from the team facility. He claimed that it was removed at the request of his captains, most notably Tyreek Hill, because they believed that the table had become a distraction amidst a two-game losing streak.
“Tyreek and the captains decided that they wanted to take a step forward with all of their opponent prep with regard to the team and their preparations with our game plans in general,” McDaniel said. “They, collectively, as a group of players, wanted more time investment during the week on their jobs for Sunday.”
Hill said otherwise on Thursday, directly contradicting McDaniel.
During his media availability, the star wide receiver (perhaps speaking tongue-in-cheek?) said that the table was removed for a different reason. He is paying for a new one.
“I got a brand-new ping pong table coming in for the guys,” Hill said. “I decided to get an all decked-out Miami Dolphins ping-pong table for the guys. Because the ping pong table we had in here was just too basic. Feel like the guys, man, they really deserve something brand new. That’s what we’re going to roll with.”
But McDaniel said that the reason for the removal stemmed from distraction. Is that true?
Tyreek Hill said that the Dolphins’ ping-pong table was not removed because it has become a distraction.
“These are professional athletes, dog,” Hill said. “This is our job. This is our livelihood. I can look every guy in his eye and stand in front of this whole team and just look at the faces on this team and tell you that every guy on this team is focused. Every guy on this team has the same goal. And that’s to win games.
“We don’t drive all the way up here and say, ‘Oh, we’re going to play ping-pong today,'” he continued. “No, that’s not what we do. Our job is to go out and play football. Having ping pong is nice, but I just felt like the guys needed a better table.”
If a new table is on the way, why was the old table removed? Hill said that the old one was kind of bent, and that there is a serious tournament going on amongst the Dolphins players.
Miami had a tournament bracket posted on the wall near the old ping pong table. It has been removed and is likely being stored away until the new table comes. But when will that be?
“It takes a minute,” he said. “Instead of ‘Pimp My Ride,’ it’s ‘Pimp My Ping-Pong Table.'”
First off, I’d watch that show. But more importantly, who is telling the truth? Who is lying? Did McDaniel make up his reason on Wednesday? Did Hill tell McDaniel a fib to get the table removed? Was there a miscommunication? Could both reasons be true? Will a new ping pong table actually arrive? Is Hill throwing the media off of his scent?
There are a lot of questions left unanswered. Ping-Pong-Gate continues.