To be fair, I am not the huge fan I once was, and I haven't watched many games, but I have lightly followed the team. I have a sense of what's going on, and I do still care to a point - they're still my favorite team...
And this weekend, Richard (the writer you see posting here often) and I got invited to come out and socialize with other web sites. I didn't partake of all activities that were going on due to some other activities I had personally, but I tried to get in on some things. And I wanted to share with fellow Dolphins fans a few hilights.
- Joe Philben gave a brief talk and answered some questions. I like his approach, and I can see why players respond to him. But as a fan, I wasn't too impressed. He didn't wow me, and didn't "command the room" the way other coaches have. He did make a comment about the team being disciplined and playing well - except for a 5 minute stretch in Houston. Well, that, and the entire game today.
- We had a chance to preview the 1972 video that is now available. Its pretty good, and I enjoyed it.
- Jeff Ireland made fun of himself. He talked about all the negative stuff that has gone on around him and how he *was* the most maligned man and today people like him. For now.
- Mike Dee expressed the Dolphins desire to improve the fan experience, and to make the team more accessible and interesting. (there's still a little matter of just who might pay for stadium improvements, but I'll leave that alone)
- I had a chance to catch up with some of the other Dolphins site owners. These guys are great, and kind of like an extended family. And it occurred to us that there are three of us who have been to all 9 web weekends (hard to believe its 9!). Me, Igor (Dolfans NYC), and Dave (The Dolphins Make Me Cry) are the stalwarts. Its kind of like the reporters who have made it to every superbowl. :)
- The game SUCKED. The Dolphins were terrible. But, I can tell you that they are at least making an effort to make the fan experience more compelling. The sideline club is cool. Some of the fan things they do are interesting, and make for what appears to be a better experience - at least the Dolphins are trying!
- I had a chance to talk with a ticketing guy. We exchanged a few thoughts about why ticket sales are down - certainly mediocrity over the last decade (except for one year there they made the playoffs), the tight-lipped nature of the team for the last little while, the unfortunate scheduling of not-quite-marquee opponents, and the overall cost are factors. My thought was that the relative cost of taking a family to a game is several hundred dollars, and in a down economy people don't want to spend that - and when the team is playing poorly that's an even tougher sell.
So it was a nice time. And my thanks to the Fins for getting us involved. You may see some additional posts about it, or some ways to get other fans engaged and involved. So stay tuned.