Please Fix Our Miami Dolphins: An Open Letter To Stephen M. Ross
The Miami Dolphins are Broken, and we need to break them down to build them up
Dear Mr. Ross,
You don’t know me, we have never met but we are very much connected. My name is Mitch Wilson and I am one of the remaining original Miami Dolphin season ticket holders and it saddens me to see where this organization has sunk.
I have seen it all over the years as a Dolphin fan: The perfect season, the Marino Corps, Wood-Strock. The Killer B’s, and it goes on from there. While we have certainly shared some highs and some lows, I have never felt the organization has sunk as low as it is now.
As far as the team itself, for every Dan Marino or Larry Csonka draft pick there is an Eric Kumerow, Jamar Fletcher, John Avery, J.J. Johnson, etc., we know that, there are never guarantees as far as talent goes, but the behavior of the team, it’s players, and the management is something there is control over but it is something that is spiraling out of control.
I am a Miami native, something I am so proud of. I grew up in Kendall, which is about as average and as middle class as you can get as anywhere in the United States but of course Kendall isn’t like the rest of the United States and neither is Miami in general. Being from Miami means you are from a real international melting pot where every religion, nationality, and culture all come together. Growing up in South Florida I got to experience more culture and more diversity than most people are ever exposed to. I think you could take any 10 of my friends I grew up with and find that not only is someone in their household a first generation American, that between the 10, we might have seven different native languages and several different regions of the world represented.
No matter where we were from, what religion we practiced, or what our family life was like at home, we all loved our Miami Dolphins; Sundays were reserved for the Dolphins. In fact when we get together today one of the first things we always talk about is where we were for the hook and lateral play against the Chargers or Garo’s ill fated pass in the Super Bowl or other famous Dolphin moments. The Dolphins are part of our life.
Recently the Dolphins haven’t given us much to be proud of. We had a lot of great seasons of winning and have had faith that the winning would return on the field and while there has been more disappointment than anything, there is always hope. What has gone on off the field makes me want to no longer support this team or organization as there appears to be no control and no accountability.
For me that worst of it began when Mike Pouncey was photographed wearing a “Free Hernandez” hat in support of convicted serial killer and his ex-Florida teammate Aaron Hernandez. While Hernandez hasn’t been convicted of anything, even at that time, there stood a strong possibility that he had a hand in the murder of at least one person, if not several. This disgusted me.
Of course there was the whole bullying thing. While I am from the camp that initiations and such are part of a football locker room, I was really willing to give the team a pass on the whole thing as there is always more than one side to a story and the truth is more than likely in the middle, somewhere.
The comments this past weekend over the NFL draft are what have pushed me over the limit here. I am not talking about players being arrested several years ago with trunks full of marijuana, I am talking about insensitive and just unacceptable comments coming for players, who are part of the organization.
The first was from Pouncey. If the Hernandez hat thing, being part of the bullying, etc. weren’t enough, he sends out a tweet basically implying they were ready to bully the Dolphins draft pick. Personally what goes on in the locker room is part of the game but this is a guy who clearly doesn’t get it. Once again Pouncey puts himself in the spotlight in a negative light bringing the team and the team supporters with him.
Pouncey needs to go now. Not to set an example, but because he isn’t worthy of the support of the great people of Miami and the Dolphin fans. It isn’t like the team has the excuse that we can’t win without him or something because as far as I can see, we aren’t winning with him. If it is about money being owed, well maybe it is time to get someone to draw up the contracts that say the players can’t embarrass an entire community. This guy is just a jerk and a black eye on the organization. Having him delete his Twitter account is hardly enough.
On that same note, Don Jones needs to be dismissed from the team immediately. Coming from a city of diversity, to send any kind of message against diversity is just hurtful and not what our community is about, and it shouldn’t be what our team is about either. It was a lot of people’s hope that the Dolphins would draft Michael Sam. Sam is an outstanding football player and will help any team, but he was also a chance for the organization to turn things around and openly say we are all about diversity and doing things right. That didn’t work out and that is football decision but to allow players to criticize Sam for his personal choices, that isn’t acceptable. The reality of it is, Sam is a far more decorated college football player than Jones ever dreamed of being.
Mr. Ross, we aren’t talking about the old Oakland Raider teams rubbing a little sitckem in someone’s face or even a late hit. We aren’t even talking about players getting into off the field trouble partying, which isn’t great either. We are talking about behavior that isn’t acceptable in any form of society and it all starts from the top.
If Coach Philbin can’t control it, he needs to go to. If it means more losing, it isn’t like it is something that hasn’t been happening anyways. I think I speak for many, I would rather lose with pride than be represented by not just morons, but real pariahs.
Thanks for listening and hoping for a brighter future.