Thank you Scott Stone for connecting fans sites to the Miami Dolphins

As the Miami Dolphins home opener is around the corner, we’re all thinking about the team’s young players and bright future. But, I’m thinking about a person who is part of their glorious past. A person who was with the Dolphins for five decades (he was hired full-time back in 1989) and worked under all four ownership groups and every coach in the team’s history except George Wilson.

The NFL is a business and behind the scenes of what happens off the field is often never truly recognized or appreciated. For the Dolphins, that was losing one of their best who quietly left the organization – because that’s the way Scott Stone wanted it.

In many ways, you as a fan, were impacted by Scott and you never knew it. This offseason Scott quietly took a sabbatical from the Dolphins. He was happiest being behind the scenes and never wanted to be the story. So, I’ll tell his story.

It was 14 years ago that I first met Scott. Scott was, at the time, in charge of the Miami Dolphins official website. It ran smoothly. Nothing was missed and nothing was skipped over. That’s not a knock on those running it today, but more a testament to the attention to details that never escaped Scott.

I reached out to him because I became an editor on a Miami Dolphins fan site and I wanted to get in with the team. We chatted and he invited me to an annual event that catered to those fan sites.

His Web Weekend events brought fan sites from across the globe to Miami for a weekend of Dolphins football. It was unlike anything I had ever seen or heard of. These events brought all of the websites together and we became friends bound by more than football all these years later.

It’s amazing how much Scott cared about us. He welcomed us into the Dolphins family. He named the “Webbie” award for best fan web site after one of our original members, Tom Eddie, after he passed way too early. If one of us had a death in the family, there were flowers at the funeral and a touching note from Scott and the team. He helped take us from a bunch of individuals to a network of sites that joined together to raise money and participate in charity events throughout South Florida. His efforts got our sites recognized and that led to increases in our traffic numbers as well as our professional growth.

Scott was, and is, one of the most unselfish men I have ever known. Even now I question myself over writing something so personal about a guy that 99% of you have never heard of. Here is the thing though, Scott is like family to me. He is more than a friend, Scott is my brother. I love him. Not because he got me into games on Sunday or a press box seat, but because we clicked. It just was a perfect situation.

I was surprised by his taking time away, but in these trying times of COVID I understood. Web Weekends ended a couple years ago when Scott decided to take it another step forward and got all of us web geeks an opportunity to sit in the press box and be treated like media.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – NOVEMBER 24: H. Wayne Huizenga, minority owner of the Miami Dolphins watches the players warm up prior to their game against the Carolina Panthers on November 24, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Through Scott,  I have met Wayne Huizenga, Dwight Stephenson, and can call Tom Garfinkel and Jason Jenkins acquaintances. I can thank Scott for my relationship with Jason Taylor Foundation President Seth Levit, who invited my brother and I to JT’s HOF after party. It is because of Scott that I sat next to the late and great Jim Kiick during a screening of a 1972 Miami Dolphins documentary.

Scott’s time with the Dolphins ended way too soon. I can pretty much guarantee that the organization will miss him. He is the reason that the annual media guides were accurate and the Dolphins  yearbook was spot on. His handprints are all over the team – from originally launching their award-winning social networks to leading the design effort of the statue of Coach Shula which adorns the stadium entrance.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – MAY 22: A general view of the “A Perfect Moment in Time” statue featuring the likeness of Don Shula being hoisted by Nick Buoniconti and Al Jenkins in celebration of their perfect season outside of Hard Rock Stadium on May 22, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Shula, who died May 4, 2020, is being remembered by the Miami Dolphins with a socially distanced viewing of the statue due to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a series of events. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

I will miss the Miami Dolphins’ version of Scott Stone, but I won’t have to miss my friend, Scott, or his wife, Michelle. I don’t have to wish him luck in the future because I talk to him each week.

For those of you who have followed me all these years, you will know that our site, Phinphanatic.com, won more than 20 “Webbie” awards, an award handed out at Web Weekend in various areas and voted on by other fan sites. It was always surreal to be honored and it is because of Scott that anyone knew who I was to begin with.

So raise a toast to the guy behind the scenes you didn’t know was there and thank him for an incredible journey that spanned decades with the Miami Dolphins.

For me, it is a simple thank you. A tip of the hat you damn Yankees fan! A nod of appreciation. I’m very fortunate to call Scott my friend, my family. And I can’t thank him enough for guiding me all those years ago when I didn’t know which way to turn or what I should do.

Enjoy your  time my friend. Talk to you again next week!