It was a failure from the start. In 2009 Mike Dee stepped into the Miami Dolphins front office. A baseball man who was supposed to make Sundays at the stadium a packed house. I sat in a room full of other Miami Dolphins website managers and asked him point blank one question. “How can you do for Miami in eight home games what it took you 80 to do in Boston?” He didn’t have an answer then and after four year in Miami it is clear he never found one.
Mike Dee is leaving the Miami Dolphins and returning to the West coast and the San Diego Padres and baseball. A familiar business after a failed attempt at football. Dee is a very nice man. He took the time to talk to us “web-heads” each of the four years he was in Miami and he did so candidly guarded. He had big aspirations but failed to realize how to achieve them. He was lost in the fact that with the NFL there were broader restrictions, shared revenue that doesn’t exist in the MLB, stadium issues that he couldn’t control, and as referenced, eight home games instead 80.
There were few “home-stands” and there were never more than three consecutive home games in a row. Normally the team was lucky to have one game a week at the stadium they called home. Dee tried but he simply failed. His biggest attempt to bring fans into the stadium became a national blunder. A hosted game for a Florida National Championship that surrounded the Dolphins home game against the visiting Denver Broncos led by Florida’s anointed savior Tim Tebow. He could only defend his actions.
This past off-season along side owner Stephen Ross, Dee led a local charge that cost the team millions to seek local funding for stadium upgrades and while Ross fought the war in Tallahassee it was Dee who became the local voice attacking local businessman Norman Braman. The back and forth won the Dolphins and especially Dee no favors. When the entire thing fell apart in the State legislature, it was Stephen Ross who took the brunt of the criticism but it was Dee who had made outlandish promises in the weeks leading up to the drop.
In the four years that Dee served as the Dolphins CEO nothing has really changed all that much. His fingerprint really doesn’t show much on the team or the facility. Although perhaps the one final thumbprint will be the new logo re-design that he was a central part in. That has been met with both applause and wild criticism. Dee’s short four years with the Dolphins has produced more in terms of community outreach than anything else. The Dolphins Special Teams branch, the teams charity branch, has grown in the past four years and the Dolphins Cycling Challenge has become one of the largest events in South Florida raising millions of dollars in cancer research. It’s the one charity event that this site participates in annually.
Mike Dee will move back to what he knows best and the Dolphins have already begun their search for his replacement. Hopefully, someone who understands a little more about football.