Dear Stephen Ross,
I don’t really expect you to read this. It’s mostly a therapeutic exercise in fandom and something for me to get off of my chest. This is a message from a born and raised Miamian and die-hard Dolphins fan who was a season ticket holder before you bought the team — I relinquished my seats after last year’s abominable 1-8 showing at home. I just couldn’t stand to pump a good percentage of my net worth into something so debilitating. I know that sounds like an exaggeration. I’m that kind of football fan.
By the power of the transitive property, that’s money out of your pocket …
By the power of the transitive property, that’s money out of your pocket. You’ve got a fortune, a gigantic and prosperous empire, one that the lowly masses down here can only dream of. But, as a man of business, you should heed when a previously loyal customer takes a scuba roll out of your economic sphere of influence. Consider this free consulting.
There’s an identity problem with the Dolphins. There’s this “Orange Carpet” and countless celebrity owners. Honestly, we, the fans, don’t like this. Other teams’ fans think it’s laughable, and, Sweet Obese American Mother, there are too many of the other teams’ fans at our games. This wouldn’t be a problem if the Dolphins were winning. Fans like football. We like the team winning. Not sideshow antics. Of course, the sideshow is meant to distract from the depressing main show — the Miami Dolphins football team — which has languished since Danny Boy hung ‘em up.
Football is the most important thing in the United States of America. Think about this statement. Football is the most important thing in America. I have made that declaration to football fans and football haters alike and it has never met with disagreement because it’s undeniable. More than 100 million people watched the last Super Bowl while countless others invest significant portions of their day-to-day lives in the minutiae of pro football. There is no cultural phenomenon with a stronger draw on the American public, week in, week out, than football. I imagine you know this. I imagine that’s why you bought the Miami Dolphins, to benefit financially from something people pour their hearts, and cash, into like frenzied celebrants. People like me.
I’m not going to call for anyone to be fired. I am asking you to consider your culpability as the owner of the franchise. You control the ebb and the tide of every Dolphins fan’s heart. And our hearts are black these days. We are slowly spiraling in the whirlpool of football mediocrity. It has been like this for decades now.
You are not helping. You’ve made some horrendously unaware moves, undermining your coach and clamoring for things you can’t have, e.g., Jim Harbaugh. People recognize this and are beginning to use the Dolphins as leverage (see Ryan Clark and potentially, right at this moment, Jeff Fisher).
The Orange carpet is the boldest and most egregiously unaware move. Club LIV in the stadium is designed for people who don’t watch football. Football is designed for people who WATCH FOOTBALL. This is a crucial concept. I hope that your leaving the reins in the hands of Jeff Ireland (whom I don’t hate as much as many diehard fans do) is a calculated FOOTBALL move. From a distance, I think that guy is a huge asshole. But if you leave a billion-dollar business in the hands of an asshole you must be sure that he is the right asshole. Not just an asshole.
Right now we need a coach and a quarterback. The coach is important, but a coach can only go as far as it’s quarterback (see the head coaching career of Jim Caldwell). You seem to have the right eye on the coaching world given your chase for Jim Harbaugh. So I have trust here, but please, please, give us a quarterback. Make Ireland pick one in the first round. We haven’t drafted a quarterback in the first round since Dan Marino. We haven’t had a consistently successful team since then either.
Everyone is nervous about taking a quarterback “too high”, but every single pick of the NFL draft is a risk. Give us someone to put our hearts behind. Move up in the draft for Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Or stay put and take a quarterback that’s available, but put faith in him by drafting him early and giving him some confidence. Aaron Rodgers went 17th. We passed on him with the number-two pick because it would have been “too high”. With hindsight, we can now all agree that was stupid.
You can’t win the Super Bowl without a quarterback. The quarterback is the most important player in the most important thing in America (football). Just get us one. If you think Matt Moore is the future then get him someone to compete with. Chad Henne never had reasonable competition and he watched the end of the season on the couch trying to decide which team he wouldn’t mind going to next to backup their star quarterback. In any event, Matt Moore is not the answer, although when he started a full season for Carolina they ended up with Cam Newton, so maybe he’s a certain kind of answer.
Admittedly, this letter is not comprehensive, but it is meaningful if you care at all about the fans (big “if”). I find the rhetoric about the fans to be somewhat laughable in the NFL. The lockout sort of proved that the fans don’t really matter, but if more and more season ticket holders started to take steps back from their obsession like I did then maybe the power brokers such as yourself might actually take notice. Please understand we want no more sideshow. We want to be proud of our football team. The greatest football team in America. To us.
Begrudging Life-long Dolphins Fan