Sunday, January 09, 2011

An open letter?

To Our Loyal Season Ticket Members,


The first of the three commitments that I made to all of our fans when I purchased the Miami Dolphins was that I would do everything possible to bring a Super Bowl championship back to South Florida. That, above all else, is what I want for this franchise, for this community and what you, as a season ticket member, deserve.

So there is no confusion about our recent actions, and because you are entitled to our trust and confidence, I want you to hear directly from me about the evaluation process of the past week.


Going into the 2010 season, my expectation was that we had a team and an organization that was capable of reaching the Super Bowl. We fell short of that goal and, furthermore, the season was disappointing for a few reasons. We were very aggressive during the offseason and added players and coaches that we believed were the missing pieces to put us over the top. While many of those new faces were outstanding contributors this season, we still fell short in other areas. Additionally, our performance at home was bitterly disappointing. The reasons as to why we played so much better on the road than at home are hard to figure. As a fan myself, I know how frustrating this season was on all of you.


The results were unacceptable. We hold ourselves to higher standards and have loftier goals for this franchise. We fell short of our mission of returning to the postseason and did not measure up to the high standards we set for ourselves. As a result, I felt it was incumbent upon me to explore options to improve this team.


I met with Tony Sparano on Monday to discuss the season and understand his plan of what needed to change as we headed into the offseason. I told him that I needed time to digest what I had heard and that I would get back to him with my thoughts later in the week. Meanwhile, I received word that Jim Harbaugh made it clear that his intention was to pursue a career in the NFL. As news reports began to surface on Tuesday that Jim was interviewing with other teams, I made the decision to reach out to Jim to see whether or not he would be a beneficial fit for the organization.


General Manager Jeff Ireland and I met with Jim on Thursday. At the end of the meeting, I thanked Jim for his time, wished him well and soon let him know that we would not pursue the discussion any further. To be clear, I made no offer to Jim Harbaugh. Reports to the contrary and the associated outrageous financial terms that were rumored with those reports were completely inaccurate. We never spoke to any other coaching candidates, including Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden or any other names that have been rumored to be a candidate.


Tony Sparano is the best person to lead this team. Tony's contract has been extended through the 2013 season, and I wholeheartedly believe that the combination of Jeff and Tony represents one of the strongest organizations in all of football. I remain committed to supporting them in any way possible and will always provide the financial resources to make us a winner.


I am obsessed with winning and will do whatever it takes to make us a perennial Super Bowl contender. Many of the model franchises over the course of NFL history have been built on a commitment from ownership to chart a course for the organization, select the right people to execute that strategy and allow them the time to finish what they started. Stability and consistency are two of the most important virtues of ownership.

I realize your faith in us has been put to the test this week, but I assure you we are well positioned to return to the winning ways that have defined this franchise.


Let me end by thanking you for hanging in there and supporting us throughout the year despite our struggles at home. For that, we are sincerely grateful. You have my personal and unwavering commitment that we will do our part to create a true home field advantage with your help in the future. Rest assured, there are better days ahead for the Miami Dolphins.


With sincere thanks and appreciation,


Steve Ross



What I find interesting is how this was an open letter to fans, and yet it never made its way to me.  I - like all the Dolphins sites - have a connection to the team.  But he (or they) chose not to use that connection.  How's that for thumbing his nose at us?  Whatever, it really makes no difference to me, and I'm not trying to say I'm deserving or anything.  Just interesting in the way it was handled.

This is clearly an attempt to ensure that he doesn't lose season ticket holders, and/or that he does lose his (tenuous) grip on fans.  He could have done this in two sentences: "I messed up big-time.  Please continue to support the dolphins on the field, and with your wallets."

 
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