Greetings and Fins up! I have grown tired of the endless river of print on how very loathed Stephen Ross is in South Florida. People have called him ignorant, because he was a NFL owner learning on the fly. They called him arrogant because he made no apologies about playing hard ball with the local political parasites. They called him a whining billionaire when he complained of a lack of local support and public funding. I don’t loathe Stephen Ross. I loathe the negative Fin fans that still make such statements.
What Mike Dee said of Ross is true; the billionaire real-estate tycoon bought the Dolphins and learned to run the franchise under fire. He made his mistakes and the purpose here is not to relive them. We all remember his flirtatious pursuit of Jim Harbaugh, and mishandling of Tony Sparano. If he had inked Harbaugh, people would want him to be mayor with no mention of the field goal fist pumping fat boy Sparano. We recall that he failed to lure Jeff Fisher to Miami. He also lost the Peyton Manning chase, and refused to appease the public as they called for the demise of Jeff Ireland. Both Ross and Ireland have laid it all on the line in 2013. Ross is working to provide a winner and build a legacy; Ireland is fighting for his job. I think they both are winning.
I cannot help but wonder how many Ross loathers loved Wayne Huizenga. I am not encouraging anyone to dislike Wayne Huizenga. However, his popularity is every bit as misplaced as the loathing of Steven Ross. After all he never appeared in a super bowl, and he sat at the head of the table as Don Shula, and Dan Marino went by the way side. His loyalty to a washed up Jimmie Johnson is quite comparable to the commitment Ross has made to Ireland. Finally, he failed with Nick Saban and a last gasp effort with Bill Parcells. The man did all he could to bring Miami a championship. Nonetheless, I fail to see where he applied himself or his resources in any greater manner than Stephen Ross.
Now, let’s move onto the problem. According to Pro football talk 60,678 ballots were cast prior to the Sun Life Stadium renovation bill hitting the waist basket. 57 % of Miami-Dade residents voted “NO”. (Here it comes again) Get some therapy! If I read one more statement from a resident stating “I don’t believe in giving money to anyone who doesn’t need it”, I might lose it. It cost 1 Billion dollars to build a quality NFL stadium at this point. Do you realize the Dolphins franchise is only worth 1 Billion? Could you show me a venue built for professional sports that did not include public funding? The sports industry moves billions through the economy and has a political presence, like all industry. The Miami Dolphins invested nearly 10 million in their campaign to renovate Sun Life Stadium. 4.8 Million non refundable dollars went to the cost of an election that never fully occurred. If the bill had succeeded there would’ve been a 1 cent increase in the “Bed Tax” on hotel accommodations in Miami-Dade County. Furthermore, The Dolphins asked for a sales tax rebate on items sold at Sun Life Stadium. That’s it? Yes, that’s it. Who is truly paying for this? The people who make it cost you an hour to step out and grab a gallon of milk. Neither Stephen Ross nor Jeff Ireland is the problem; the negativity surrounding efforts of progress is the problem. So here we are, Miami now mirrors Los Angeles. Lots of Fun, Sun, endless options, and a fair weather fan base. If you voted “NO”, you’re not the reason the franchise has become stagnant, but you are the reason South Florida no longer deserves an NFL franchise.
“Put out the fire boys, don’t stop, don’t stop! Put out the fire on us”- The Cold War Kids