Dear Mr. Ross,
As I watched Tom Brady and Bill Belichick hoist another Lombardi trophy up in the air in Atlanta Sunday night, I came to the realization that the sports world is witnessing pure greatness. It has taken me the last 18 years to admit that. I have despised the Patriot Way. Hearing the phrase “The Patriot Way” has been a very sore subject for this fan. And while the confetti was dropping in red, white & blue colors while Coach Belichick held his granddaughter and Tom Brady held his little girl, I couldn’t help but think what a buffoon you truly are. I am convinced that you and Jimmy Haslam have been drinking buddies for quite some time.
As I play this season back in my mind over and over again the more crystal clear it becomes that you have not even given your fans a shred of hope that things will get better. I admire that you took blame publicly. That’s never easy to do with the ego of a billionaire. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s a good start to the rebuild that awaits. However, it doesn’t solve the fact that the Miami Dolphins organization is used as a punchline in NFL circles.
Through the 1990’s, Jim Kelly and his high-powered Buffalo Bills shredded us roughly twice a year. And from the very beginning of the 2000’s, Bill Belichick has proven time and time again that he is far superior to any coach in the league and that having a GM is a waste of money when he could just do it himself. To be dominated for 30 years by two different teams in the same division has been painful. To invest so much money and time into a franchise that proves to be a slot machine that never gives a return on the investment is agonizing. It’s like buying powerball tickets and having absolutely no chance at winning.
Since your tenure began, we watched Bill Parcells walk out on a “neophyte owner” who had no respect for what the Tuna had done over the course of his career. Next was chasing Jim Harbaugh while you extended a coach’s contract only to be turned down. For this fan, it was even more embarrassing in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes that he would only have a conversation because of the fact that Dan Marino called him personally to arrange it. Good people have been running away from you like you have the plague. And then you bring in Mike Tannen-bum as the football czar who was responsible for putting the Jets in salary cap hell and paying a DT like Suh $19 million per year, more than your QB was making. I have been wondering for a long time if you have any common sense. You’re obviously successful in real estate but you have made every mistake a first-time owner tends to make…except for the fact that you keep making the same mistakes over and over without learning anything. I hope this time is different.
Here we are in 2019 and the AFC East Patriots have just tied the Steelers for the most championships in history. All won by Patriot teams that had decent talent besides Brady & Gronk. The mindset of Bill Belichick and his approach to running a team is historic and hall of fame worthy. Sure, as a fan, I have been jealous of their success. Why can’t this be us? Why can’t we be consistent? How hard is it to provide stability within an enterprise? Obviously, you’ve done that in your business career. Why is this so different? I live in New England and I listen to Boston talk radio every morning, WEEI. Playoffs and Super Bowls are expected here. And while I understand that it isn’t going to last forever, I also don’t see an end in sight for at least a few years.
As a lifelong fan, I am not even asking for a dynasty. What New England has done will never be accomplished again while I am still alive. I am simply asking to put a consistent, mentally tough playoff team in the hunt year in and year out. I am asking for the revolving door of coaches, GM’s, staff and players to have some stability and pride. A winning culture is started by the owner and front his office. You have dug yourself such a large hole that it could take many more years just to become average. And if this front office misses on another QB, it puts the franchise back another decade.
In 2013, I cancelled the season tickets that I had because my family deserves better. I spent $10k per year on tickets, travel, hotels and concessions and received nothing back in return except for mocking and being the butt of a joke. And as much as I hate to admit it, after a 3-0 start before the wheels came off against New England early in the season, I couldn’t bring myself to watch crazy eyes and his girl scout troop embarrass themselves any further. The minute a game started going south, I shut it off to preserve my peace of mind and maintain a healthy blood pressure. You assembled a group of ass clowns to run your organization into the ground. At least Jimmy Haslam (based on 2018) may have finally gotten it right. You simply cannot win in this league consistently without a marquee QB and most importantly, a mentally strong leader of men who can inspire and motivate the 53 guys to play together on Sundays.
Many younger Dolphins fans ask me why I am so negative. Like a bad marriage, you have to realize when to end the cycle of dysfunction. I have never seen the Dolphins hoist a Lombardi trophy. I was born right after the last one and watched Joe Montana take rookie Dan Marino to school back in early 1985. It has been letdown after letdown and I just have trouble drinking the stale Kool Aid that is presented to us year after year.
In 2019, I will be cautiously optimistic that maybe, you have learned a valuable lesson and are committed to the right staff and front office. I am rooting for Brian Flores to build a winner from the ground up. When I think of winning franchises, I think of the 49ers with Eddie DeBartolo Jr, John McVay, Bill Walsh and Joe Montana. I think of the Bills with Ralph Wilson, Bill Polian, Marv Levy and Jim Kelly. I think of the Steelers with Art Rooney, Dick Haley, Chuck Knoll and Terry Bradshaw. I think of the Patriots with Robert Kraft, Jonathan Kraft, Bill Belichick the GM, Bill Belichick the Head Coach and Tom Brady. I would love to have a Miami owner, GM, coach and QB to be proud of. I would love to see a competitive product on the field weekly. Is that too much to ask for?
This story was written by James Barbaro. Follow him on Twitter: @thebigbear1977
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