ORLANDO -- What is more important, to make Dolphins fans more comfortable in early season home games?
Or to make visiting teams more uncomfortable in early season home games.
You cannot have both.
The Dolphins have decided it's more important to keep their fans comfortable. And that is why owner Stephen Ross has officially requested that the NFL schedule as few as possible 1 p.m. home games for the Dolphins early in the coming season.
This despite the obvious weather advantage the Dolphins enjoyed for years when visiting teams often wilted in the heat and humidity of early season 1 p.m. games at Sun Life Stadium.
"Our goal is to have as few games at 1 p.m. in the early part of the season as possible," Ross said Monday during a chat with South Florida media at the NFL owner's meetings. "We've let the league know that. Last year was a great schedule. If I can duplicate that schedule we've done a great job. I like night games, four o'clock games, that kind of stuff earlier in the year."
Frankly, this is akin to the Buffalo Bills asking the league not to schedule too many December home games because it might snow. Sure that snow can make the fans miserable and, trust me, I've walked through that crowd, they're not happy.
But the football side of the Bills' organization believes the snow and cold and wind is part of their home field advantage. And they love it!
The Dolphins have enjoyed an equally inarguable advantage early in the season on their home field when temps can soar to the high 90s and the humidity threatens to drain every ounce of energy and desire from one's body.
Playing primarily 1 p.m. games in September, the Dolphins posted a 24-6 home record from 1990 through 2006. The team, after all, practiced in the heat and was prepared to play in the heat when opponents were not.
The most obvious example of the home field heatvantage came in the 2005 opener when the Dolphins beat the Broncos 34-10 not because they were better more likely because that team had three players go out of the game suffering from heat exhaustion and cramps. Denver, accustomed to the thin mountain air, melted down in the second half.
But Ross thinks having those early season games at 1 p.m. can be a home field disadvantage if fans aren't in their seats.
"The fact is when you see you’re winning but still see empty orange seats, and they [the fans] really want to be there, which would you choose?” Ross asked.
The Dolphins have chosen. Which do you think is the right choice?
[BLOG NOTE: Coach Tony Sparano will have a breakfast round-table at 7 a.m. Come back during the day for updates on what he said.]