Rosenhaus insisted it was a macho model, but Thomas wasn't buying it. "What's this look like to you?" Thomas asked Seth Levit, a Dolphins assistant publicist.
"Lady's phone," Levit said.
"Can't have it," Thomas said, handing it back to Rosenhaus.
For much of the week the defenders were in a similarly contrary mood. Blame it on Flutie, who had said early in the week that he hoped the officials wouldn't let corners Buckley and Sam Madison hold Buffalo's receivers. "What's he, five foot five?" Madison shot back. "I can't wait to get him on the ground, so I can shove Flutie Flakes down his throat."
That never happened, but the game had a belligerent tone nonetheless. Thurman Thomas pointed his finger in the faces of Miami players throughout, telling them to cut out what he considered cheap shots. Johnson almost went hoarse screaming at the officials. Even after the game, Madison wouldn't tip his hat to Flutie. Asked whether he felt respect or disdain for Flutie, Madison replied, "He's an NFL quarterback. That's it."
In the middle of the Miami locker room, Johnson went into a tizzy. He placed a box of Flutie Flakes on a table and smashed it with his fist until it split. Flakes flew everywhere. Some players danced on the cereal. Others ate it. One Miami veteran said he has never seen such a joyfully chaotic postgame scene. Flutie was insulted, saying the Dolphins might as well have been dancing on his seven-year-old autistic son; the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism has raised $1 million through the sale of the cereal.
Johnson, who sent Flutie a letter of apology on Monday, has never been much for political correctness, but he has been a builder of great defenses. He just might have one that will keep Broncos coach Mike Shanahan up late this week.