The Blame Game: Stephen Ross


Fans are tired of the losing that goes on with the Miami Dolphins.  They are tired of the lack of excitement.  You have to go back to Nick Saban’s offense that was run under Scott Linehan for the last time an offense was even remotely aggressive…and that was for one season.  Prior to that, you have to go all the way back to Don Shula and Dan Marino in their final season together.

It’s been an ugly feel in Miami after years of watching high explosive offenses on the field and it’s hard to get fans into the stadium when the offense is as exciting as watching someone donate blood.  That hasn’t stopped Dolphins owners from trying.  Wayne Huizenga tried with little success and now that task is left to Stephen Ross.

So let’s blame Stephen Ross!

It’s hard for me to place any blame on Ross.  I know that will not win over many readers but the truth is I probably have enough of you hating on me for my opinions all season regarding other areas of the team so my defense of the “flashy” owner shouldn’t come as a surprise.  To me, what’s surprising is how anyone can put the blame for this mess on him at all.

Ross has been here for one year as the full time owner and he has done in that one year more than Wayne Huizenga did in most of his seasons in Miami.

If there is one thing, universally, that Miami Dolphins fans want, it’s an owner who will stay the hell out of the football side of things.  Let the team be run by football guys, not a wannabe football guy like Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder.  Ross has not stepped over the line and put his finger on the football side of things.  Yet.

If we look at what he has done, it’s about entertainment.  The one area that he can get his fingers wet.  He brought in minority “Celebrity” owners and he changed the way fans experience gameday in Miami.  He added entertainment to the tailgating and added has made home games an event off the field.  There is not one person who would be complaining if the team was playing well on the field.

Stephen Ross did not hire Bill Parcells, he did not hire Tony Sparano or Jeff Ireland, or any other person on the football side of things.  He let the coaches, the GM, and the players run their course this year.  It would have been asinine to fire anyone after last season when he took over fully.  He is faced with his first real on-field decisions after this year.  Those changes, if they are made, will begin his legacy as the teams owner.

Will he fire the coaches and GM and bring in the flashy name like Bill Cowher, will he stay the course with the current staff, or will he find the best fit for his team?  The next couple of months will determine that.

Fans like to criticize Ross for what is off-field.  Yet, their complaints are nothing more than a result of their displeasure off the field.  It’s easy to see all the money that is poured into the stadium renovations, the entertainment aspect, and everything else that isn’t related to the team and then watch as the team fails miserably each week.  Yet the Dolphins have one of the highest payrolls in the NFL so he is spending money there as well.

Fans find it easy to point their fingers at something so trivial as the change to the Dolphins fight song, yet it was Wayne Huizenga who struck the deal with Jimmy Buffet last season, not Ross.  To be honest, I like the new song.  I like the old one too but when I’m at a game live and they both play, the “Fins” song seems to pack more energy and doesn’t sound as outdated.  Besides, it’s not like the Dolphins are scoring a ton of points these days anyways.

Others complain about the celebrity endorsements on the jumbotron during TV timeouts.  Are you serious?  So what if Fergie pops up on the screen and does a “Fins-Up” spot or some other celebrity says something about what goes on off-field.  It’s entertainment and don’t forget that sports is exactly that…unfortunately our Dolphins are not, on the field.

All in all I find it a ridiculous notion that Stephen Ross is to blame.  I don’t like him as much as I like Wayne Huizenga and there is something about him that I’m not sold on yet but it’s not his fault.  He is spending money on the players, on the team, and making the stadium a focal point as well.  The tailgating festivities should end a good 15 minutes or more before kick-off to get the fans out of the parking lot and into the stadium but a winning and exciting team will do that as well.

Ross is the owner and that means he won’t be going anywhere.  Who’s going to fire him?  However, his legacy, as stated above, hasn’t started yet.  What he brings to the team is off the field value, something that Wayne didn’t do directly.  But this off-season we will see what he brings to the field.  Regardless of whether he fires Tony Sparano or keeps him.  Whatever decision is made will be on him, and what happens after that will define him.

Next Up – Jeff Ireland

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Tags: Bill Cowher Dan Marino Jon Gruden Miami Dolphins Nick Saban Scott Linehan Stephen Ross Tony Sparano Wayne Huizenga

  • Klenton66

    A QB has to inspire his team mates, he has to have a fire and control and instill confidence. Peyton Manning lost many players this year and other QBs before, a good QB finds a way. By excepting mediocre play, the staff condones it. as a fan, I just want to see and effort, anything, why not pull a QB if he isn’t performing well? This is why I hate watching a Sparano coached team, and until he and Henne are out of here, I won’t purchase another Dolphin item or another ticket for a game. Sparano’s eyes were apparently damaged a lot worse than we initially thought, if he can’t see that Henne does not look like an NFL QB. Irelandis no different, how many times after a draft pick was called out did we as fans have to say WHO? Who is that, I never heard of him, and plenty of great prospects on the board. Please get rid of Parcells crew. If you don’t win it’s okay, just make it at least more exciting. If you are last in every statistical category except INTs and 3 and outs, something is wrong, they have regressed every year, how can you retain aANY of this staff? I like nolan, but that’s it.

  • Brian Miller

    what does that have to do with Ross? The Henne article is below this one on the main page…:)

    • Klenton66

      I don’t have anything bad to say about Mr. Ross, I agree with what you have written, he inherrited someone elses deal. I look at Henne, Henning and Sparano and Ireland as the same person, you have a group of people responsible for a bad football team, or an under achieving football team. Sometimes it’s so hard to sort out who is responsible, and takes so much time, that maybe you are better to replace them all.

  • Klenton66

    Mr. Ross, I know there are lots of things to consider in making decisions for the future. It takes a lot of money, it’s not our money so 10 million seems like just numbers to average fans. Most of us can’t even comprehend how much money that really is. This year for christmas, I didn’t purchase Dolphins jerseys for christmas like I normally would, and I stopped going to games, and stopped watching games. I would check this website for updates, hoping to see a change at QB. Thigpen, even if he is not the answer at QB, is at least a lot more exciting, and with his ability to scramble, you atleast hold out hope. Sparano decided Henne wasn’t the guy earlier in the season, why stick with him after that decision was made, someone else should have been tried. This coaching staff IS at fault for the performance of this team, they never tried to develop another QB, Thigpen never even got 1st rep snaps in practice until he was the only option. You surely can’t blame the loss to Chicago on Thigpen. Tell Sparano to start another QB, win or lose I will watch, and cheer and be happy that at least SOMETHING is being done to have a different outcome. T least entertain thefans who spend what few dollars we have to see your Dolphins.

  • Rocktosr

    None of this is Ross’s fault, yet. I do hope that he has told his GM that he does not like the direction that this team is heading. And I hope that the GM has also noticed as well. So Mr Ireland, what do you think? Is your wagon hitched to your friend (Sparano) or to the team?

  • PMC

    You missed with the sweeping “no one would be complaining comment”…call me old school but I still find it interesting when the classic fight song comes on at the end of the third Q that the entire stadium comes alive, when we are winning or this season typically losing. Outside of the concerts which have been done well, I really don’t give a flip about the orange carpet crap, or Fergie telling me to get my phin up or Gloria Estefan and her skinny husband waiving at me like the queen mum from her box.I sit corner lower level home side where this stupid on the feild fan zone is annoying. They have encroached on the cheerleaders and usually every game I have to look at some idiot from the opposing team taunt those in the stands with no opportunity to come down and pound on them. The Lions game brought on some goof ball with body paint and a stuffed dolphin on a rope he insisted on abusing in public (yes, if he were in the stands he would have gotten pounded). I don’t know what kind of revenue this area generates but for the 4K I spend on my seats for my family of 4 why do I need to have to look “past” this circus. Bring the cheerleaders closer again and keep the side lines clear and clean unless your suited up to play. Finally the sanppy Brito Art Work on the entrances does nothing for me either. It’s hard to taunt effectively the opposing team fans (esp. the Jets) when your stadium looks like the Good Ship Lolli-Pop. I Have been 14 years a season ticket holder and this is the first one that I seriously consider bagging the experience it for my DVR, swimming pool, HDTV, Heat, Cane, Panther, Hell FIU football tix as places to spend my hard earned nut.
    Out,
    PMC

    • otownfinsfan

      Totally agree with sideline circus, and I would love to help you pound that body painted Ahole if he was in the stands where all fans belong anyhow.

  • PMC

    Oh yeah, get some more W’s and I don’t care who with or how….Mr. Ross!

  • Brian Miller

    I agree with you in regards to the “art deco” facade…it looks like a joke.

  • Lino Speranza

    Mr. Ross what a spot you are put in my friend. You are a rich man and probally got rich making good decisions, so I will put it like this. You made a great decision buying this proud franchise but a franchise that has missed the playoffs 5 out of 7 seasons. I know that you seen Bill making the decisions and we finally won the East so why not sweep in and make the investement? What you didnt see was Bill taking his option to take his money and run when you bought the team. You thought if you’d stay out of the way he would stay. But again what you didnt see is that he left not because of you but because he made mistakes! He hired a coach that was an O Line coach as his Head Coach. A man in his 70′s to be the Offensive Cordinator to compete and call plays with 30, 40 and 50 year old guys that are still cutting edge. Even the D Coach got fired last year and we finally got Nolan and we are top 10. So instead of righting the ship and saying he made mistakes he packed his bags and head out of town, with you millions and millions he was guaranteed! So just for that you should fire the remaining coaching staff just cause Bill brought them in. If thats not a good enough reason here is a better one. You have one of the highest payrolls in the NFL and how do you expect to writting your checks when fans stop coming to the games? We are 1-7 at home and half the stadium has visiting fans buying the tickets. If you keep this staff and next year there 1-3, 2-2,0-4 good luck trying to sell tickets for the rest of the year. You need to get Cower in here, him alone will send excitment in the air and people in the stands. Make the right decision, you dont owe anyone anything, well you will have to pay them to leave but in the long run which is the better option?

  • rudi

    The entertainment that Ross brought in would be acceptable if it were left in the parking lot! The “hollywood” added inside the stadium is not only cheesey, it takes away from the homefield mystique. I understand everything is PC these days but this formula is not working when you can witness a wave of empty seats in the stadium after halftime! I hate to say it, the formula for success is up in Foxboro, where you won’t see the likes of marc anthony or the william sisters, any time soon!!