Monday, December 12, 2011

Wanker of the week

Given the mood I'm in, and the comments I posted earlier, here he is:
 
Back in 2007, H Wayne flirted with the idea of selling the team.  In 2008, he sold 45% of the team to real estate developer Stephen Ross.  Then, in 2009, he sold another 50% to Ross, leaving Ross as the majority owner.

Ross was a local guy, having attended Miami Beach High, and says he always like the Dolphins and always wanted to own an NFL team. But the story is that he went to school at Michigan, and has been a big supporter and donor to the university (we always wondered if he was an athletic supporter...), and his company HQ is in Manhattan.

So his ties to Miami are not that strong.  Still, he seems like he wants to be an owner, and his style is somewhat hands-off.

He decides to bring the "glitz and glamor of south beach" to the Dolphins.  He brings in a bunch of celebrities as minority owners.  He has this orange carpet arrival at games.  He puts a night club in one endzone.  Its all about hype off the field.  And that's fine as long as you're winning on it.

He tells fans he wants to have more night games early in the season because its hot.  Looking back on that comment, we came to realize that the facts say you're more likely to sell out a night game, plus you get more national exposure.  Hmmmm.  Maybe it isn't about the fans, then?

In 2010, he also instructs the grounds crew to fill in the dirt infield for games played while baseball season is still ongoing.  This was something we had been told previously could not be done.  And yet here was Ross doing it.  But was it for the team or the visual on these night games?

He re-did Parcells' contract to guarantee him $12mil in total to run the team - or not.  And on his watch, we had Parcells dance with JT, consult with the Jets, and look for other offers to make more money.  There is something kinda wrong with the owner letting his key football person do whatever he wants without any ramifications, isn't there?

Then, Ross turns around and asks the state to fund upgrades to his stadium - otherwise its unlikely the SuperBowl may not return to South Florida.  He asks the same of Dade County.  And of Broward County.  The guy wants someone else to pay for upgrades to his private property, while throwing money away on Parcells.  He's a real estate mogul; you would think he'd understand how to do this cost-effectively and get a good return on his investment.  But, I suppose not.  Or maybe he understands it better than I do - it costs a whole lot less of your money if you get someone else to foot the bill.

The team underperforms for two years, going 7-9 twice, and losing 3 straight to end both seasons.  With no football leadership since Parcells has checked out.  Ross decides he needs to evaluate his staff, and does so, then flirts with hiring another coach, while leaving his current coach dangling.

Okay, we can't fault him for wanting to improve the team.  But it was handled poorly as he himself said.  And then he says that he didn't realize that the fans and media cared so much.  You're one of 32 owners in a league that represents the most popular sport.  In Miami, there is no other sport, is there?  And you didn't think anyone would care?

Ultimately, you decide to keep the guy you almost fired.  
The behavior that we've seen so far is not especially great for football.  It seems to be all about dollars and cents, rather than wins and losses.  

At the outset of the season, he told us that he wants to regain the "heat advantage" and play 1pm games early in the season.  Riiiight.
 
I just don't get it, and for all of these reasons, he's our wanker of the week.

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