Dolphins Stephen Ross Relentless Pursuit for A SB Ring. 

Love him or hate him, he is the Miami Dolphins Owner, and he truly has a passion (more like an obsession) to win an NFL championship for Miami and its fans. But as we all know he has stumbled and fumbled his way throughout this process ever since he taking over as the Dolphins owner starting in 2008 where he bought 50% of the team from former Dolphins Owner the late Wayne Huizenga for $550 million.

History of Mistakes 

  • The Jim Harbaugh / Tony Sparano Fiasco 

Before the 2011 season began a report came out that New Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was pursuing Jim Harbaugh to replace then Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano and when Sparano got wind of the report, he was none too happy, and it caused a rift between the two that could not be repaired. 

Jim Harbaugh decided to take a Job with the San Fransisco 49ers over Miami and then Mr. Ross tried to patch things up with Tony Sparano by giving him a 2-year extension and stocking the team with talented free agents. But Tony Sparano a very prideful Italian could not get over the slight and as the team plummeted that season Sparano was fired. 

Mr. Ross was not wrong in wanting to upgrade his head coach, but he should have fired Sparano first before pursuing a new HC no matter the outcome. 

The Joe Philbin fiasco  

After a failed pursuit to Hire Jeff Fisher as the next Dolphin head coach because reports came out that Fisher wanted full control of the team, but Mr. Ross did not want to fire then GM Jeff Ireland, so the Dolphins hired Green Bay Packers assistant head coach Joe Philbin instead. 

Bad move! That same year Miami was on the popular new show Hard Knocks (season 2) and what I recall the most was Joe Philbin letting WR Chad Johnson know that he was moving in a different direction after Johnson was accused of assaulting his wife. 

Philbin is a very conservative guy and the flashy Chad Johnson got under his skin from cussing during press conferences to the accused assault Philbin was happy to move on from Johnson. Unfortunately, that was the beginning of problems under Joe Philbin as a bigger scandal propped up called Bully Gate  

One rookie offensive lineman Jonathan Martin accused 3 of his fellow linemen (Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncy and John Jerry) of Bullying him. An investigation was held and was found that there was some merit to his claims which resulted in suspensions of players and eventually time told that Martin was mentally unstable as well as Incognito who was also known to be mentally ill. 

If that was not enough the Front office during Philbin’s tenure was in disarray as Joe Philbin, GM Jeff Ireland and Executive Vice President Dawn Aponte were not getting along and was not even speaking to each other. Ross then added Mike Tannenbaum to the mix, and it was a mess!  

The Brian Flores Fiasco 

After moving on from Adam “Crazy Eyes Gates” another fiasco, Miami hired New England assist coach (really their DC) Brian Flores to take over the job as HC. From the outside Flores seemed like an excellent choice but after his third season having a winning record back-to-back, Stephen Ross proceeded to Fire Brian Flores, a move that shocked and upset quite a few people. 

Brian Flores then proceeded to file a federal civil lawsuit, alleging racial discrimination in the hiring practices for head coaching jobs. 

Flores alleged in the suit that Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross offered to pay him to purposely lose games to secure a higher pick in the NFL draft and encouraged him to violate league tampering rules.  

That opened an investigation of tampering that led to the NFL fining Miami Dolphins 1.5 million dollars and suspending Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross also stripping Miami of two draft picks our first round picks this year and a third-round selection in the 2024 draft. 

The investigation found that Stephen Ross did not offer to pay Flores to tank but found sufficient evidence that Miami tampered with both Tom Brady and Sean Payton. As you can see Mr. Ross has made his fair share of mistakes over the years as team owner but what has he done right? 

What has Mr. Ross got right? 

Despite all the documented mishaps of Stephen Ross he has done quite a few things very well. 

  • Minority & Women Hiring 

The one thing that goes unnoticed by many because they see this issue through a different lense is the hiring practices of Stephen Ross who has been one of most inclusive owners in the NFL and his front office is filled with diversity. 

GM, Chris Grier, Marvin Allen Assistant General Manager, Reggie McKenzie Senior Personnel Executive. all are black men and if you recall he did hire Dawn Aponte (Woman) as an executive VP and if you look at the Dolphins top management it is full of diversity. 

  • Open Check Book 

Nobody can argue the fact that Stephen Ross will pay whatever to improve this team he has shelled hundreds of millions of dollars over the years from a 6 year $114 million with $60 million in guaranteed money contract for Ndamukong Suh in 2015 to these last two seasons of paying top dollar for Tyreek Hill 4 year, $120,000,000 Miami has always been aggressive and willing to spend top dollar in free agency we Dolphins fans are truly spoiled even though many of these deals have not worked out. 

  • Stadium Improvements 

Mr. Ross has used his own Money to renovate hard rock stadium over $755 million dollars he also spent $135 million on a state-of-the-art training complex and sports performance clinic next to Hard Rock Stadium. The new complex, which has 125,000 square feet (about the area of a Manhattan city block), was completed in 2021. 

  • Mostly hands off owner 

Some of the complaints legitimate or not has been the hands-off approach Stephen Ross has shown since his ownership of the team, some feel he should be at the facility more instead of running his business up in New York, those foolish arguments are from non-business owners! 

Mr. Ross is not a Major Mettler like Jerry Jones, but he has had his finger in many of the deals that have been good and bad, but he is not an overbearing owner and does allow his team management to run the operations. 

  • Desire to produce a championship team 

One of his best Qualities is has relentless pursuit for a Miami Dolphins Super bowl championship and in fact that is the reason for all his mistakes. It is not like he is not trying; in fact, he might be trying too hard! 

This year’s Dolphins team is really stacked and if they can remain healthy (Tua you listening?) they have a legitimate chance to compete for a SB ring in the next 2-3 years. 

I for one hope he gets his ring before he passes one because he truly deserves it! 

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