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Unorthodox? Let me count the ways

What defines the Miami Dolphins?

Seriously. Is it Wildcat? Is it the celebrity limited partners? Is it Bill Parcells giving the team instant credibility? What is it?

Whatever it is, the mix of all the things I just mentioned, along with other things, make the Dolphins one unorthodox band as I write in my Sunday column in The Herald.

Please read the column because it includes some interesting thoughts from Justin Smiley and Ronnie Brown about the team. The column also tells you what the big misnomer about Wildcat is about. (And by the way, I should tell you in advance, I made a mistake in calling the Wildcat the updated Wing T offense. It is an updated Single Wing. My bad. Anyway, watch the video and see Miami QB coach David Lee explain the single wing, er, Wildcat.)

In the column I talk to new Dolphins CEO Mike Dee, who is new owner Stephen Ross's right-hand man. If you have not been to a Dolphins game this year and you get a chance, I encourage you to do so. The feel, the vibe is truly different than even a year ago.

I told Dee I was something of a skeptic about how all their fanciful changes to the game day experience would translate. Guess what? They work, although Dee is careful to point out the experience is still evolving and improving.

"We're not sure everything we've tried has worked," Dee says cautiously. "We don't think we have the perfect formula nor by any means do we think we've arrived at our destination. But we continue to work toward making the game a great experience for our fans and trying to attract the fans that stopped coming to the stadium after Dan Marino retired. Those fans continued to follow the team and watch what direction the team was going in before they decided to return. We call those passive fans and for the last decade they've been waiting to see what happens. We need to cultivate those fans."

Dee tells me the Dolphins have sold 49,250 season tickets and sales will continue through the New Orleans game. The eventual goal is to climb back to the 60,000 mark the team enjoyed years ago.

Dee also says the Dolphins are going to be very sensitive to feedback from fans as they work to make the game day experience better. Dee admits that feedback pretty much killed the T-Pain version of the fight song.

Fans said they love the old fight song and that will play every game starting in the third quarter.

Anyway, please check out the column and if you have any suggestions on how the Dolphins can make your experience at the stadium better, leave them here.


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Cheap beer, and food!! That will DEF get the fans back, oh yeah low ticket prices. That is DEFF A GAME CHANGING EXPERIANCE!!! MAKE IT AFFORDIBLE TO THE LOWER INCOME FAMILIES!!!!!!

I don't think Ross or Dee really has that much to do with the game atmosphere. Fans are excited about the team winning and being good again. Dolphins players were amazed at how many fans were showing up for practices in the offseason. The rowdy crowds this year are because they won the division last year. Period.

If anything, Ross and Dee are hurting the atmosphere. Parcells, Ireland, Sparano, and the players built the team identity last year. The tough, hard-nosed, physical domination is something the Dolphins haven't had since the 70s. I guarantee you Parcells doesn't like what Ross is doing, though he would never say so publically.

Fans come to see a good football team, not for stupid frills.

that's all good and fine, but the job the trifecta has done is why we're all finally excited about our dolphins. this team and the resolve they showed during the jets game are the dolphins i've been waiting to see for a looong time.



Good article, Armando, but one question:

I am having difficulty reconciling this statement by Dee - "It starts with the fundamental belief that football is more important than anything" with the story you shared with us weeks ago that the Dolphins are the only teams making their assistant coaches take public elevators down after games to keep the other elevator from the pressbox free for VIPs. I worry that Ross is more concerned with trying to get 'in' with South Florida fashionsistas and takes for granted what Parcells and his football staff are doing.

Nice comparison, BTW, of the Dolphins' innovations to Southwest vs Delta and Fedex vs the post office (from a Southwest pilot).

play the old song when we score a touchdown. i doesnt feel right doing anything else during that period

My G_d are you aweful

Fins to left fins to the right crap is a joke. Please kill it.

I was watching the Jets game again today and when we won with 7 seconds left the Jimmy Buffett song was playing. I am actually a big Buffett fan but a hastily put together remake of a song about hitting on drunk girls is not what I want to hear when I am nearly crying tears of joy.

I'll take the cut-rate seats just to see my phins, win or lose......and fly down from newark.lol

Women cheer louder than men. if you make stadium atmosphere to attract women - who care for whole experience - you get more croud noise which help home team.

oh ya sorry A-MAN ...GO DODGERS

Old fight song? looks to my like a happy birthday song....crap song,b s..t song, in other words, I hate that song

Make the price of the experience more affordable. The party atmosphere was great, but it set us back a bit in the pocket book with the tickets and the high priced food an beverage. The songs are fine. Nothing wrong with trying to be more current.

I will tell you, I am as die hard as it gets and am one of those "passive" fans as I haven't had season tickets since Cams wonderful season! Before that my whole family had season tickets for nine years and we drove from Naples for all the home games.

I thought that the "New Atmosphere" idea was going to be a joke..... which many of you think, UNTIL I went to a game! It really is an electric atmosphere! and I like it. I think that you are seeing a lot more of the woman and kids get really into the whole mood of the game!

It is really great and it's a fun experiance it. Don't dis it until you go and see for yourself!

And Fin's to the left & right is a huge hit at the stadium...you can dis it but I think it's here to stay becasue after a few quarters of watching the kids having FUN doing it, it kind of breakes even the most macho of us guys down!

Go Phins......

at first i was like what the f is this dude doing but i have to give him credit i love it ochosinco , dwuane wade lopez and anthony our games our the place to b keep up the good work mr. ross

2 years ago I went to a game there in Miami, I did not know we had a fight song and when it came on it sounded like as if the Wiggles were singing it. It is horrible!

I was also skeptic of Ross and Dee's plans, but Mando is right, the atmosphere is more fun and electric and exciting at games than even to last year. I don't really care about celebrities and minority owner, but the crowd is way more into games and cheering, so I guess it works.

I really don't like Jimmy Buffet song. This sound like he wrote it in 5 mins on the way to the stadium in the car. Fin to the left fins to the right over and over????? Come on! Every time Dolphins score touchdown I'm very excite and cheer and yell and then this song come on and everybody sit down except people who are obviously paid to do fins to the left dance because they all sit together in one section with company shirts on.

the new atmosphere is very good for the Carlitos of this world .

Tell Mr.Ross to Patch up the Feud with Jake Scott and have his name up on the Stadium where it Belongs.....ASAP!

cheaper beer. kill T-pain. skimpier cheerleader uniforms (if thats possible). super bowl lottery ticket give aways.

by super bowl lottery ticket give aways , obviouslly i mean have a lottery of superbowl tickets.



we need meatball subs in games


What you try to say huh? I fin fan for more to 20 years and season ticket holder!


first time i see one guy living in the housing project as you told us before and a season ticket holder .i believe

The Fins to the left/right is not a huge hit at the stadium contrary to what Brian posted above. Kill the "fins up" theme unless we change the name of the team to Sharks and get Pacino to be a celebrity owner.

Some of what Ross is doing is ok, but without a good winning team it means nothing.

Play a little Prodigy sometime during the game.
I am a season ticket holder from Ft Myers.


I don't live in housing project, that was joke with cuban because everybody like to make fun. Like by call cuban Mall Cop and thing like this... and say cuban, justin, and NJ ride to super bowl together...Why you remember thing people you never speak to say and they not even talk to you?

Mind you own business

Dave Wave,

I also agree that the things Ross doing would rub salt in wounds if team is really bad. Who cares what celebrity at the game and glitz and glamour when team is 3-13?

Forgot my biggest complaint. THE SIDELINE CLUB SUCKS.

It moves the players and cheeleaders even farther back from the stadium seats (and I thought that was impossible).

If you need to have it to make more money put it on the vistor side. Most of the longtime season ticket holders are on the home side lower level. Way to alienate core team supporters.


it's ok ,house project would be up grade from golfito.

Haha, show how much you know Golfito and area around some of most beautiful and bio-diverse place on the planet.

based on the way you speak carlito i know how golfito looks like

You want me to tell you how to make fans come to the stadium? WIN!!!! That's how you do it. All of this new experience stuff isn't going to get your tickets sales back up to 60,000 a year. WINNING WILL!!! Enough said. Micah

The atmosphere was great against the Colts monday night. Maybe some plastic noise makers to help the crowd noise a little when we are on defense.

I personally don't care for the circus atmosphere Miami's new ownership is putting togeher but I can see why he is doing it. The NFL likes it's big-named, glamour teams and demonstrates it every week by giving them calls and breaks on the field. The new owner wants us to be one of those teams.

Golfito is paradise my friend, thats why so many tourist come fore sportfishing, surfing, and rainforrest. I think it funny when people talk about things they know nothing about. I am done speaking with you until you become more informed on what you talking about.

Go Dolphins!

Henne the Hero!

Rabid Beats!

Beat the Aints!

I like the Buffett song after we score .... I hated that gay Houston oiler/ dolphin song we had.... Also, I was At the game vs the jets, and exiting that stadium is atrocious!!! I took about 1 hour to move 5 ft.... What is this gridlock in NYC?

Better food and customer service at the concession stands.
Make it safer and more conducive to bringing the family.
Change the name back to Joe Robbie Stadium.
And lastly, this may be a little nit-picky but I don't like the "Miami" in the endzone. They should change it back to Dolphins.
Go Phins!


that was me ALOCO playing w/you.
for the record, Golfito is heaven on earth.


I knew it was someone fool around with me, but I don't know who... I figured I play along because it sunday morning and boring wait for football to start.

Even though no Dolphins today:

Go Dolphins!

Henne the Hero!

Ronnie the Rabid Beast!

Hook N Lateral, I did not share that story with you. That was in another paper and from what I've been told (didn't read it, actually) it did not represent a complete picture of the truth.

The Dolphins have spoken to that reporter to correct his error, but it's up to him to do that.

mrmrjohnson, I would agree with you except last year the team won -- a lot -- and the atmosphere was nowhere near what it feels like now, even as season ticket sales were HIGHER.

And I remind you, it's not like the Dolphins are 5-0 this year.

Atmosphere has improved dramatically at games..major change needed is KILLING the Phins to right song...everyone in the stands think it sucks. Play the dolphin song when we score instead.

Miami vs Jets was awsome exceot for that stupid song!

Just Play some hit songs after they score. Hiphop or rock.

One thing I noticed about last Monday's game, there were less Jet fans there than in past match-ups. The past 5 years there seemed to be about 20% of the crowd were stinkin Jet fans. Last week there seemed liked less than 1%.
Nobody in my section or the sections around me sing the Fins to left.. song or puts there hands on their heads either. The song that gets a great response though is the one they play when they line up for the kick-off after scores. It's called Zombie Nation. I even see some of the Team dancing with that song too.
I second the previous posters motion for painting "Dolphins" in the end zone. The MIAMI block letters look too college.

If Golfito is "heaven on earth", why did you leave? And please no excuses, intelligent people know a lie when they hear one.

I'll tell you how you can make the experience better at the stadium. RE-SIGN RONNIE BROWN!!! That's all I have to say about that...lol

Ronnie isn't going anywhere.

mrmrjohnson, I would agree with you except last year the team won -- a lot -- and the atmosphere was nowhere near what it feels like now, even as season ticket sales were HIGHER.

And I remind you, it's not like the Dolphins are 5-0 this year.

Posted by: Armando Salguero | October 18, 2009 at 11:45 AM

I do believe that is a result of gametime. Monday night games do that. Every home game last year started a 1PM Sunday.

watching the Saints Giants game it has become clear that the Fins don't ahve a chance in hell of beating this juggernaut. Pity.

ahve = have

Your column following the Colts game about the coaching staff being told they do not ride the private elevator off the field concerned me. You’re right on with your critique there. Let the football heads be free of ‘garbage’ as the Tuna might put it. I hope that you brought that up while you interviewed this Dolphins rep.
As far as Ross and his entertainment bent, so be it. Bring in the celebs and the attention. It might bring back some season ticket sales and butts in the seats. Just don’t let any of that get in the way of producing winning football.
Becouse get confused here, putting a good team on the field, a team that can contend is the main thing that will bring attendance up.
Thanks for your work Armando.

Lie Detector,

I never say Golfito is "Heaven on Earth", that was someones else, but it is one of the most beautiful place on earth. This is reason why so many American and European come to visit. Lots of eco tourism and rainforrest type thing.

The reason I leave is for better opportunity with Job.

Aloco, please stop this, you not fooling anyone...

I hope for Bills to win today against these stinking Jets.

Hey Mando, love your stuff, I probably check your blog 3 or 4 times a day for anything new. I do have one complaint about the game day exerience. I live in Louisiana and am a die hard Fin-fan. I finally made it to a home game on Monday night against the stinkin jets after seeing Miami play New Orleans 5 or 6 times in the dome, most of them pre-season. Anyway, I was disappointed with the fans smoking around me and the fights that almost broke out around me. Granted it is our biggest rival, maybe Ross should put some money into security so there can be more around in each section. I did send a text to the number but it took about 30 min to respond. I don't want to complain too much because I loves my first experience and hopefully it will become a yearly thing for us to make one home game a year. Thanks, Ryan Bean, Louisiana. Geaux Dolphins!!!!!!!!


The old fight song needs to be played after every score; not the current Jimmy Buffet song. It's really disheartning. All you have to do is look around the stadium whenever the old fight song plays. We love it. Please please PLEASE bring it back.

Henry your right. We want the old fight song back. When they played it at the end of the 3rd quarter Monday night everyone was standing and singing along. Even when the sound cut in and out you could hear the crowd singing the song. Drop the silly phins to the left & right song. Play the original fight song after every Dolphins score!

Go Phins!

Just went for the first time this year..... Much better game day experience, granted it was MNF. However, the old fight song must come back that Jimmy buffet song is just plain cheesy they might as well start the macarena after every score. Even my wife who has only been to 2 games ( the second being last week) complained to me about the song.

Old fight should play after every score like it always have
Love Jimmy Buffett but they can play that during timeouts, etc...
Bring back the banjos !!

I created a group about a week ago on Facebook with fans who want the Miami Dolphins fight song back. I already have well over 200 people that joined. I am a huge Dol-Fan and have been a season ticket holder for 20 years now. I feel it’s horrible that the dolphin organization took away our fight song. I don't understand after all these years that the Dolphin organization would do such a thing. I know Jimmy Buffet has put in a lot of money to make Dolphin Stadium Landshark Stadium but he didn’t have to take away our fight song.

Below is a link to the Facebook page I created.

Me like others, are really upset about the change. All we ask is that we get our fight song back or play it at least more then one time, not just after the third quarter. The stadium goes WILD when the fight song is played. When the Dolphins score, we need this song, to get up, go WILD and enjoy the Dolphins TD.

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