Saturday, May 04, 2013

30 for 30: Elway to Marino

I got a chance to watch this program yesterday.  And it was fascinating.  Like pretty much all of the episodes, this one was extremely well done and interesting.

The story focuses on the first round of the 1983 draft, and mainly revolves around Marvin Demoff - he was the agent for both Elway and Marino.  As it happens, he kept a journal of his conversations with the players, as well as the people he talked with at various teams.

There are some great segments with many of those people, interspersed with archival footage from the time period.  Demoff does the whole thing while sitting in a re-created draft room, which adds a nice element to the story.

One thing you come to realize is just how lucky the Dolphins were, and how it could have gone very differently along the way.  And perhaps more incredibly, how pretty much every team in the league would have given *anything* to get John Elway - and several almost did!

And when you look at the other 26 players in that first round, you also realize how few of them actually were "great" - some were very good, and some were just okay, and a few never did much in the NFL.  And it reminds you again that the NFL draft is nothing more than the allocation of players from college to the NFL.  There are no guarantees.

Its worth watching - so set your Tivos for the next showing!

Wa wa Waaaaa

Stevie Ross (or as I once called him "Cap't Izzy Firepants") did release a statement last night about the stadium.  Predictably, he blamed someone.  Yeah, he threw Sparano under the bus again for not getting him a stadium.  Oh wait, he blamed Tony *last* week for something.  This week, it was speaker of the Florida house Will Weatherford.

Essentially he said Weatherford promised him his legislation would come to a vote, and it didn' now he sets about calling out the speaker and saying Tallahassee is dysfunctional.  Look, I'm not saying its not.  Politics are a strange beast, and a handshake is nothing more than that.  But IMHO, he came off as a spoiled rich kid.

He goes on to talk about how that means jobs won't be coming to South Florida (and Weatherford is  job killer) and how he'll keep working to bring big events to South Florida anyway (and Weatherford doesn't like the revenue it brings). He may have even said Weatherford doesn't like oranges - Ross' statement read like he was really mad at the guy....

It was long, and mentioned something about San Diego's Qualcomm stadium being taken out of the SuperBowl rotation because it won't be renovated with public funds.  There's an enormous difference here: Qualcomm is a public stadium, owned San Diego, and thus public funds would be required to renovate it.  Joe Robbie Stadium is privately owned, and public funds should never be used unless there's an equity stake in the stadium given - or it is truly a loan to be repaid.

Anyway, Ross made a vague statement about continuing to pursue future SuperBowls and large events, and having a commitment to South Florida.  But his next steps remain vague.  Will he look to move? Will he look for a new source of funds? Will he pay for it himself?

Time will tell.

Friday, May 03, 2013

And thus endeth this quest for funds

Politics are a funny thing.  The Dolphins wanted two bills to be passed by the Florida legislature: (1) a tax rebate of $3 million a year, and (2) to raise the cap on the tourist bed tax in order for Dade county to "loan" them somewhere around $300 million.

Both went through various committees and were vetted and generally progressed for a period of time.  But the legislators said that ultimately if #2 went through it would have to be approved by the Dade county voters.  Common sense would dictate that the Fins would wait until after the bills made their way through before setting an election.  But because they wanted to show the NFL they were serious, the Fins took a gamble and paid out $5 million for a ballot initiative without knowing what might happen.

And here's where politics take center stage.  The legislative session ended today, so they had to have the bills passed by today.  The clock was ticking, and while they both made their way through the senate, the house was another story.  Obstructions abounded  Absurdly, Mike Dee, Steven Ross, Dan Marino, and even Roger Goodell made appearances in the capitol, and posed for pictures and lobbied for the bills.

What I find odd about good old Rog visiting was that he said Florida might not get more SuperBowls if they didn't approve this deal.  Now I know Miami is the stadium that we're talking about - but why wouldn't Tampa be considered?  Seemed weird to me....

A couple of days ago, the Dolphins said they would forgo the $3 million a year (ie #1), due to a perceived lack of appetite for such a deal.  There was another bill that would divvy up a pool of money because there are other stadia that are also asking for money (the Bucs, an Orlando facility for soccer, among others); and the Dolphins would vie for some of that pot.  They could live without it.....except that the very next day bill 1 was added to bill 2, such that they would be worked in together!  No loss there for the Fins, there, in spite of public statements otherwise.

Interestingly, I heard some reports about early voting and mail ballots for the Dade county referendum that said it was vague and unclear.  And that an investigation into the language of what Dade might actually give the Dolphins was also decried as vague - and probably favored the Dolphins more than we had been led to believe.  Also there was some language that exempted some hotels from the tax - and some groups would be exempt as well (remember, the NFL asked not to pay tax if they stayed at area hotels; not sure if they were the ones exempted but could be)

Yesterday, the legislature saw the bill was going nowhere, so they did something totally ridiculous (and political): they added the entirety of bills 1 & 2 as amendments onto a bill that was just an adminstrative tax bill that otherwise might have passed by an overwhelming majority.

It went nowhere, so earlier today, they did it again and added other amendments onto this bill - things that people who might otherwise vote against the Dolphins bills actually wanted - in the hopes that in order to get what they wanted, they might vote for the stadium deal.

No deal.  The vote never happened, and so the Fins get nada from the state, tourists, the county, or any other public source.

And the referendum is now off.  But the money has been spent.  And of course there were a slew of lobbyists who were paid, the Dolphins held job fairs, printed ads, and ran a campaign....In other words, the Dolphins contributed $5 million to Dade county, and hundreds of thousands to the community. For which we're all pretty happy.  Thanks for giving back!

And the stadium?  It goes nowhere.

What does Steve Ross do next?  Who knows?

What does it mean for premiere events?  Again, who knows?

I suppose Steve will make a public statement at some point - either going ahead on his own, or getting some other sort of funding.

But there ya go...

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

I can dream....

I got this in the mail today, and I just wanted to say thanks!

Seriously, Dade county shared the picture of the check the Dolphins made out to pay for the special election (you know, the one that may - or may not - matter).

But it would be nice to get a check like that wouldn't it?!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bet On Gillislee In The 5th To Place!

By the end of this coming season, we will be thankful that Mike Gillislee fell into the 5th round.  A projected 4th round prospect, he didn't tumble too far.  Luckily for us, Gillislee was still available at 164.

At Florida, he paid his dues.  Not becoming the starting running back until his senior season.  To this, I say perfect.  He has a low odometer.

In big games, which there are plenty of in the SEC, Gillislee played well.

At Texas A&M, trailing in the 4th quarter, he tight-roped his way down the sideline for the winning touchdown.  Gillislee had a 1st quarter TD as well to go with 83 yards on 14 carries for an average of 5.9 yards per carry.

The following week, during a blowout at then ranked #23 Tennessee, he shared the glory and rushed 18 times for 115 yards at a 6.4 avg.

Two weeks later, in a war with then ranked #4 LSU, Gillislee was the bell cow and carried the Gators to victory against a very tough defense featuring 2 first round draft picks, #6 DE Barkevious Mingo and #18 FS Eric Reid plus second round pick #45 ILB Kevin Minter. 

Throw in 3rd rounders #67 DT Bennie Logan, #69 CB Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu and #95 DE Sam Montgomery, LSU had a very, very good defense.  Gillislee finished with 146 yards on 34 attempts, scoring 2 second half touchdowns.  They put the ball in his hands with their season's hopes on the line and he didn't disappoint.

Two weeks after that, against then ranked #7 South Carolina, Gillislee had his worst performance against a ranked team.  He rushed for only 37 yards on 19 carries during a 44-11 blow out win.

The following week, in a hard hitting 17-9 loss against then ranked #10 Georgia, Gillislee was held to only 77 yards on 22 carries.  Believe me, in these big rivalry games, players love to pop eachother and Gillislee didn't fumble it away. 

He finished the regular season at rival Florida State, then ranked #10, with 140 yards on 24 carries.  Gillislee had 2 rushing touchdowns including one for 37 yards during the win.

In their Sugar Bowl loss to #21 Louisville, Gillislee rushed for only 48 yards on 9 carries as they fell behind early 24-3 and midway through the 4th the score was 33-9.   Florida had to throw the ball so he had limited carries.

Gillislee finished the season with a respectable 1152 yards on 244 carries for a 4.7 avg.  He rushed for 10 touchdowns.  He also caught 16 passes for 159 yards and 1 touchdown.  Not Heisman worthy numbers, but enough for him to be voted First Team All SEC.

What I like about Gillislee, at 5' 11", 208 lbs, he ran the ball hard inside, has great hands and he is more than willing to pass block.

Gillislee doesn't possess blinding, breakaway speed as he runs the 40 around 4.5 seconds but I can see him having a big impact on obvious passing downs.  Gillislee will need some coaching in picking up blitzes, but he is more than capable of running patterns out of the backfield and catching some screen passes. 

If, during training camp, Gillislee can demonstrate the ability to run hard and hang unto the ball he will supplant Danial Thomas as the backup to Lamar Miller.  Thomas' butter fingers are making him expendible.

Gillislee does not posses any one great attribute that distinquishes himself above all other running backs.  No, but he is a very good football player.  And when all is said and done, that's exactly what you want to build your team with. Alot of very good football players.

So I am betting that Mike Gillislee winds up being our #2 running back and making us all very happy that he does.

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971    

Sunday, April 28, 2013

How Well Did Ireland Perform Trading Picks?

Jeff Ireland made four trades involving draft picks, starting with the 1st Round trade with the Raiders to move up from #12 to #3 in order to draft Oregon DE Dion Jordan.

Before the 3rd Round, we traded WR Devon Bess to the Browns and swapped two picks with them.  We got the Browns' 4th Round #104 and their 5th Round #164.  We gave them our 4th Round #111 and our 7th Round #217.

During the 3rd Round, we traded our 3rd Round #82 to the Saints in exchange for two 4th Rounders #106 and #109.

Finally, to get back into the 3rd Round to pick Utah State CB Will Davis, we traded our 4th Round #109 and our 7th Round #224 to the Packers for their #93.

How well well did we do with all this maneuvering?  As with any draft, we probably won't know for a couple of years.  We will have to wait and see how all our selections pan out.

But today, at very least, we can do the math and figure out the winner and loser of each trade by utilizing the NFL Draft Pick Value Chart.

We get #3 = 2200 points
We give #12 = 1200 and #42 = 480 = 1680
2200 - 1680 = 520 points
Gain of 30.9%
Winner: Dolphins

We get #104 = 86 and #164 = 25.8 = 118.8
We give #111 = 72 and #217 = 4.6 = 76.6
(Bess was UFA so no previous value factored in)
111.8 - 76.6 = 35.2 points
Gain of 45.9%
Winner: Dolphins

We get #106 = 82 and #109 = 76 = 158
We give #82 = 180
180 - 158 = 22 points
Loss of 13.9%
Winner: Saints

We get #93  = 128
We give #109 = 76 and #224 = 2 = 78
128 - 78 = 50 points
Gain of 64.1%
Winner: Dolphins

We get 2597.8 points
We give 2014.6 points
Total: 2597.8 - 2014.6 = 583.2 points
Gain of 28.9%


From a pick value standpoint, we did very well so congrats to Jeff Ireland!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971