Now What? Lack Of Faith Evident In Fans

Stephen Ross stepped up to the plate in his first off-season as the full owner of the Miami Dolphins.  He missed on his first swing when he took a short stab at a pitch to Bill Cowher.  He then dusted off his cleats and swung and missed at a pitch to Jon Gruden.  Then taking a couple of foul bowls as he flirted with a home run from a pitch to Jim Harbaugh, he finally swung and missed.  Walking back to the dugout to explain to his head coach why he had finally chosen him to stay afterall.

Is the above a joke?  Absolutely.  The reference is tongue in cheek, the events of the last week are not.

Stephen Ross left Sparano hanging for four days while he courted “better options” to lead the team.  He tossed more money at a college coach than any other owner in the history of the NFL…supposedly, and he turned them down.  With a 2010 season still fresh in the minds of fans, Ross can expect an exodus of fans from his stadium this fall.  IF there is a a league at all.

Fans don’t know what or how to feel.  There is a complete lack of faith in this team and it’s management group.  And that…will not…sell seats.

About 2 months ago, Stephen Ross proclaimed that Carl Peterson would not be a member of the Miami Dolphins.  Yet there he was, saddled up against Ross and Ireland on a private jet wooing Harbaugh.  He has become the little voice in Ross’ ear and yet the team has made no official announcement of his staffing.

Ross wants to fill the stadium.  He wants it to be like New York, Buffalo, and New England where the crowd is as much a part of the team as the team on the field.  Yet it’s his indecision and not his decision that has stirred up a hornets nest.  Let’s make one thing very certain here.

This is not about Tony Sparano.

This is about how Ross handled this situation.

Go back to Monday when Ross sat down with Sparano for his meeting with the embattled HC.  Ross walks out and says Tony is my guy, fans would gripe but it would have been handled and the focus would have been on improving the offense.  Ross walks out and fires Sparano and his misses at landing top NFL coaches would have been met with cheers of trying to improve the team.  He would have been admired for his tenacity.

Instead, we got this.

Fans have wanted the national media to stop ignoring their team.  They did that this week.  The negative press all but kicked the life out of the fan base that was already reeling from yet another poor season.  They wanted answers, action, but most of all they wanted to see something in their owner that they could trust and believe in.  They instead got the appearance of dazed and confused.

Ross may still turn out to be a great owner that will be endeared by fans.  It’s his first step into this territory, ever, and he failed in his approach more than the outcome.  Tony Sparano may become a fantastic 20 year HC that takes the team to mulitple Super Bowls, but he officially becomes a lame duck coach regardless of whether Ross gives him an extension which is likely.

Another poor season, which should be expected, will cost Sparano his job.  Doesn’t matter if he has one, two, or three years left on it.  Ross will have to pay regardless.  He messed up.

Today, fans come to the realization that their team, our team, doesn’t have a lot pegs to hang a hat on.   In the next few months, they may come to the realization that paying $4,000 for season tickets can be better spent elsewhere, or the 300 for NFL Sunday Ticket can go to the wife on a shopping spree.  That’s the kind of week this has been.  Ross isn’t the only one making decisions now.

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Tags: Carl Peterson Jim Harbaugh Miami Dolphins Tony Sparano

  • kcphins4life

    My biggest fear when Ross took over was the involvement of Carl Peterson. I’ve been saying it on the Forum ever since that Carl Peterson will ruin this organization as he did the Chiefs and I saw first hand the first 7 years I lived here in KC.
    Peterson is a shrewd business man, he is not an fan friendly nor player friendly person. He’s about business and I’m starting to think he is the very reason Harbaugh did not want to come to Miami – I can’t blame him.
    If he’s truly a shrewd business man, he should have had the guts to cut ties with Ireland and let Cowher have control if that was who he really wanted first.

    Now even if Sparano is given an extension, everyone knows it’s really only one year. What respectable Offensive Coordinator is going to come to Miami for maybe one year? Unless he really believes this team will make a leap like the Defense did last year?

    It’s just not a good situation for the team or the fans.

    Another thing – Ross better start explaining this to the minority owners of this team how their investment is going to pay off after this debacle. Celebrities are used to being catered too and this surely won’t help that.

  • john knudson

    NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOYCOT this is what it feels like when a billianair takes a dump on you. avoid anything that will put money in that persons pocket no games no direct tv sunday ticket yea he gets money from that to hell fire the owner for lack of intellagance or sincerity or commitment to winning lets just keep sending out the same crap year after year and take the money. Hey Ross without the fans why play the game in less than one year you have positioned yourself as the wurst owner in team history hell atleast H.Wane pretended to care about winning shame on you hell you could have put irland conseeded ass on your payroll in some other area of your vast fortune but instead you crapped on the fans BOYCOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dodgeguy

    the worst part is just like the wannstadt era,a graet D will suffer while they try to figure everything else out.this ain’t the ravens!we can’t win a superbowl that nolan and the D before it’s too late!!!

  • fins4ever1

    Brian, did I understand your statement correctly that you believe a contract extension for TS is LIKELY?

  • Canadian Lady

    I get that everyone is PO’d with the past weeks developments, I even understand everyone’s frustration with the way the season went… I am too. What I don’t get is that every website I check these days have the fans threatening to not renew season tickets and to boycot the games next season! Let me tell you, If I lived in Florida, you wouldn’t be able to keep my husband and I out of that stadium!! We are fans of the dolphins, regardless of the current administration and coaching staff!!And regardless of the past weeks developments, and the poor season AGAIN this year, September will be filled of the hopes of a new season, and we will still pay for the NFL Sunday ticket (and still dream about going to a game at Sunlife)to cheer for our Dolphins, regardless of who the coach is, and which QB will be leading the team.
    P.S. Here’s hoping that the Colts cream the Jets on Sat night!!!

  • davessi

    These are the conditions that lead teams to move to other cities. L.A. has a huge market, but because the city and state are broke that may not happen. Ross hasn’t got a clue about team sports and evidently doesn’t care about the morale or his players, coaches, staff or the fans. This a colossal debacle that has no end in sight…

  • southbeach

    The only only one coming out of this abortion with my respect is Sparano. He took a huge hit for the team, and I do admire him for it.

    Ross,the celebs, and his lap dog Peterson can all KMA!!!

    What the hell was Peterson doing there to recruit a new HC? Ross had his GM, in Ireland, and decided to bring a buddy in Peterson? Spare me!!!

    Ross is looking as senile as Al Davis. At least Davis did something for his team and the NFL before senility set in.

  • stoodioratt

    Everybody who is crying about how disrespectful Ross is and how he handled the coaching search are a bunch of little girls who think that the NFL is a popularity contest. Who cares what the league or the media thinks of the Dolphins. Players will still come here to play, coaches will still come to coach because its the NFL and opportunities to succeed in a market like Miami are few. The media will still love to cover us if we win. You think anyone cheered less for the Saints or Cardinals when they were joke teams turning their programs around? If the Panthers miraculously go undefeated next year you think anyone will hold back praise cause they sucked this year?

    So what if Ross let Sparano twist in the wind. He deserved it by being a shitty coach down the stretch and in fact Ross showed Tony some respect by not firing him immediately. Where would we be then? All proud of our owner cause he had tenacity. Great, we would be without a head coach looking at at least 3 more years of rebuilding. Now we have a guy who has been rightfully humbled ready to go and prove himself with a lot already in place. People say he would feel better and the team would be behind more if they had backed him on Sunday. If the team starts 1-3 next year backed or not he will be fired by the bye week. The players will listen to their coaches and I think with a new OC they will have nothing to complain about at the start of the season.