Somewhere lost in all the labor watch was a photo posted by Armando Salguero from the Miami Dolphins team shop at Sun-Life Stadium. The picture, not posted here, was of a New York Jets t-shirt with the words, “New York – Home of the Jets” on it. Apparently Salguero’s publishing of the image managed to meet with not only major disdain from the Miami Dolphins fan base, but the outrage VIA Twitter was so deafening that it prompted a response from Dolphins CEO Mike Dee.
“I saw your blog this morning. You should know that, at our fan’s request, we are about to announce a new policy that we will no longer sell visiting team merchandise at the stadium on game-days. This was a product of offseason focus groups that we did and among the topics that we covered was how we work with fans to create a better home field advantage.
“Our fans felt strongly that this policy should be implemented and we are doing it. As part of this arrangement with the operator of the team store, we gave them a limited window to sell everything that they had in stock on a discounted basis prior to the start of the NFL season. With the Mets coming to town this weekend to play the Marlins, they are attempting to move all of their old Jets merchandise this week. We were unaware of this particular shirt which I am told is a number of years old. We have requested that this particular shirt be removed immediately.”
O.k. so the Dolphins had old merchandise left over from an outdated system that sold visiting team merchandise in their team store. They wanted to dump said merchandise while a visiting baseball team from NY was in town. So what’s the problem?
If the Dolphins were selling Jets merchandise to Jets fans on Sunday gameday, I might be a little put off by that. The fact the team was dumping merchandise rather than throw it away or donating it to needy children isn’t a big deal. I mean what’s better, some fan from New York buying a cheap t-shirt while visiting the stadium to see the Mets play the Marlins or handing out the T-shirts to local area Miami kids to wear around town?
This is simply a non-issue to me and I see no issue with the team trying dump other NFL merchandise, even that of the NY Jets. No one seems to complain that you can still find stuff with Jason Taylor on it. Didn’t he leave Miami for the Jets? I suppose in an off-season with no season, you have to something to get irritated about. For me, I simply don’t see the issue here. Again, if this were a home game against the Jets…different story.
Oh, and I can tell you that last year I was in Miami for the Cleveland game and had to endure listening to a Jets fan criticize employees of that same Dolphins team store for not carrying anything of the Jets or for that matter any other NFL team. So this isn’t an in-season policy…but it’s nice to see Miami fans so passionate again.