Starting off the season 0-7, the termination of Miami Dolphins Head Coach, Tony Sparano, seemed like a reasonable outcome. However, the past few games have proven that the Dolphins are finally coming together as a team, making plays, and at times, look like they could have been playoff bound.
Unfortunately, the 26-10 loss to the "Dream Team" Sunday soon turned into a nightmare for Sparano. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, reported that the team will fire Sparano at the end of the season, but the end of the season turned into Monday afternoon.
Sunday's frustrating loss against the Philadelphia Eagles means that the Miami Dolphins will now suffer a losing record for the third season in a row within only four years of Tony Sparano being named head coach. While these statistics alone should justify Sparano being fired, finding a new head coach may not be the answer for franchise success.
When Tony Sparano was named head coach in 2008, the Dolphins went 11-5, a major upgrade from the previous season's 1-15 record and arguably the greatest single-season comeback in NFL history. Winning the AFC East, to some fans, was as worthy of a celebration as wining the Superbowl (I threw a party and invited all my depressed Jets fan friends, it was amazing). I think we all expected that this was just the beginning of a long, successful career for Tony Sparano, but instead, he was just a tease.
Granted, Bill Parcells was still Executive VP of Football Operations during the 2008 season, but he did hire Jeff Ireland in 2008 as General Manager, who I would go as far as saying did not make any player-related decisions under Parcells but instead acted as his puppet. So now that Sparano is gone, why is Ireland's job not being threatened?
Better question: can anyone truly pin point the teams main problem? They need a new coach. They need a new Quarterback. They need a new GM... I've even heard from fans that they need new uniforms because they're cursed (apparently, the mental stress of your team losing results in the rare side effect of delusional rationality and fashion concerns). Regardless of what WE think the reason is, it is clear that the team loves Coach Sparano and for that reason alone, I am partial to the guy. I love his energy and enthusiasm about his team and you can tell from watching a press conference that he genuinely cares for his players. Does a positive attitude and compassion win football games? Of course not. But if a team isn't motivated by their coach, they're not going to win anyway.
But who cares what I think, my opinion is one of thousands.
I assumed that I was part of the minority in thinking Sparano should stay (although Ireland I think should go), but after seeing what fans had to say on twitter, I was surprised that the overwhelming majority of the small sample size of DolFans say they disagree with the decision to fire Sparano.
Here's what you had to say:
mikedaniels48 Mike Daniels
The_McDizzle John Torrey
TheMindofScott Scott Stewart
MattArmstrong1 Matt Armstrong
Phins93 MIami Dolphins Baby
Wojo12 Chris Baker
As for Steve Ross, during Monday afternoon's press conference he went as far as saying that Tony Sparano was "relieved" to be fired, not to be mistaken with he was relieved of his duties. I highly doubt that any Coach (unless your Urban Meyer and can't handle the stress of football unless offered a ridiculous amount of money) WANTS to be fired, especially Sparano. He clearly loved his team so the image of him having a sigh of relief after Ross and Ireland kicked him while he was down seems unlikely.
With three division games left, it should be interesting to see how the team reacts these next two weeks on the road against the Bills and Patriots, but even more so back home at Sun Life on Jan. 1st against the Jets. The Phins record may be shot, but not all dignity is lost.
It's times like this when you got to remember to keep your Phins Up and support the team, they need it.