Dolphins 2-0 Start Enough For Fans?
By Brian Miller
Jul 29, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins fans cheer on prior to a scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Dolphins are 2-0 for the first time since 2010. They have yet to face an opponent at home. Will the perfect start to the season be enough to bring fans back into
Sun-Life Joe Robbie Sun-Life Stadium? According to Ticketmaster the answer is no. In fact there are quite a few seats available for this weekends game despite the fact that owner Stephen Ross has promised to buy remaining tickets so the game be seen locally.
Apparently the 2-0 start isn’t enough yet to drive fans back into the parking lot and stadium. A win on Sunday, and maybe that will change.
The Dolphins face a very formidable opponent in the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons could be missing as high as four defensive impact players and have already listed RB Steven Jackson as out with an injury. The following week the Dolphins will travel to New Orleans before coming home for two games and their bye week. Could a 4-0 start drive fans back into the lifeless stadium?
It’s too early to talk of perfection and that is not what we are doing here. The Dolphins will not go undefeated this season and if I were a betting man I would say the chances of the team making it to the bye week or even back home for their 2nd home game of the year perfect would be a stretch of the imagination. It’s not a knock on the team but the reality of the NFL where it is so hard to win week to week, and let’s face facts, Miami is a young team and will still have a few growing pains.
What the Dolphins do need is support. Support they are not getting from home. Not yet. Wins change the mentality of a fan base. Especially a disgruntled one. For Miami the stakes are little higher. The losing ways of the team has spanned into another generation of fans who have opted to root elsewhere. It’s the harsh reality that kids want to root for winners, not losers. Changing that thinking will only be done by putting a product on the field that can and will sustain wins and a competitive balance within the division.
On Sunday it would be great to see a flood of aqua and orange surrounding the field in the stands. It is likely a little too early to ask that of our local fan base. It’s not a knock on them. South Florida has to be one of the hardest places to rile fan support on Sundays. Making matters worse is the “SnowBird” arrival in the next two months. The southern migration of middle to elderly aged northerners bring northern alliances to the city and thus fans of other franchises. Even the thousands if not millions of permanently relocated northerners in Miami hold allegiance to our division rivals.
There is also a strong influence of latin American culture in South Florida. American football is secondary to world soccer and many of the southern Floridian’s would likely support a pro-soccer team than the Dolphins. At this point. For the Dolphins it’s a tough game but one that they can win. Gaining back fans is a must and to do so they have to become exciting.
Frankly two weeks into the season the Dolphins are perfect but not quite exciting yet. They are inching closer. The additions of Mike Wallace and the several defensive playmakers are making a difference on the field and that has fan support rising quick. Victories will put fans back in the stadium and ramp up the energy of that fan base.
I suspect that the 2-0 start will be enough for many edge fans to return to the stadium on Sunday to see if this is for real with their own eyes. I suspect the lower bowls to be quite full and the upper bowl to still be empty in spots. I would be shocked if the stadium was a blanket of orange and teal on all levels. Maybe for Buffalo or Baltimore. Of course if the Dolphins make a hard run at the playoffs, it’s safe to say that the home games late in the season should see Miami with a capacity crowd.
Now wouldn’t that be a nice site?