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Ross raises serious questions in USA Today

The NFL spring meeting adjourned in Indianapolis on Wednesday but before he left town, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross talked to USA Today and addressed Miami's cost-cutting measures.

Look, the cost-cutting measure are what they are. Big business in America is hurting and it is taking measures to protect itself. So are local and state governments for that matter. It is a sad fact of life in today's bad economy and employees, such as those working for the Dolphins or Miami Herald for that matter, are always free to go work elsewhere if they are disgruntled about cost-cutting measures.

That said, the USA Today interview with Ross is eyebrow-raising for a couple of reasons.

First: Ross shows hints of a person suffering from buyer's remorse.

"The emotions of wanting to own a team were greater than the fact that this might be coming," Ross said of his purchase despite the looming lockout that everyone knew was coming. "You always figured that something like this, you know, it's going to get resolved. It's a question of when. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later."

Ross paid $1.1 billion for the Dolphins in 2008-2009 and that investment dropped in value almost immediately as the economy tanked, particularly the real estate economy in South Florida. He's mentioned how that wasn't a great investment short-term. Wednesday, he mentioned how the work stoppage is not a great time to be an owner.

"Who the hell wants to own a team and not play?" he said. "It's about having a system that works. It's not about a bunch of greedy owners. It's a bunch of players looking to see how much they can really get."

And that leads me to troubling issue No. 2.

Ross doesn't call the NFL players greedy outright. But he implies the problem with getting a new collective bargaining agreement is, again, "a bunch of players looking to see how much they can really get."

Isn't that another way to say greedy?

Ross, who deals often with unions as a New York city businessman, is careful not to alienate them. But he's not quite as careful about alienating the players because apparently he doesn't equate their union with labor unions.

"We negotiate with unions all the time, and there are issues there," Ross said. "But they're not the same types of issues. When you're dealing with guys earning over $1 million a year — the average salary is, what, $1.87 million? — you're not talking about the same kind of labor issues. Are these really labor issues? These are not labor issues.

"There should be no sympathy in the labor movement in America for these ballplayers. It's a different deal."


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Posted by: ALoco | May 27, 2011 at 03:39 AM


I haven't flip flopped on this one at all. Right is right and in this case of the players, wrong is wrong.

I think you misunderstood last night. I FACETIOUSLY agreed with someone that the owners caused this mess.

It is a fact that the owners allowed the last "PLAYER FRIENDLY" CBA to play out, despite having an opt out clause.

My support of the owners in this won't change until the players frivilous, ridiculous and greedy demands CHANGE.

And with that, I'll defer to a trusty old and dependable: PERIOD!!!!





but on the players side i think the league should pay healthcare for life on any player who puts in say 7? years and a sliding scale as you work your way down, or a copay for less years in the league. but the union isn't making this a top 3 priority. why? because they rep the active players first. seems realsports highlights this issue every 3rd episode and they know how to sell it!! those stories highlight real tragedies of former players.

Sorry, but unless you're on the Ice with a Chopper in your hand, Hockey Sucks!

LOVE to play.

HATE to watch.

Well, I guess hate is to strong of a word. Actually it's a lot like NASCAR. The crashing and the fighting ROCKS!




Posted by: ALoco | May 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Well thank you very much!

I'll sleep much better tonight knowing a poor misguided soul such as yourself has forgiven me :)

aloco-off topic, but i totally agree!! which sport has the most ivy league graduates? hockey!! also they actually mentor their young players. i live in pittsburgh and when sid, geno and jordan staal came in they lived with mario, gonchar and recchi. they treat their players as family. they do a week long fathers trip where the team pays for the fathers of every player to travel and attend a weeks worth of games on a road trip. yes there are goons but it's all left on the ice. you do see TO types saying they are the greatest, even if they actually are. no contract issues being played out in the press.






My 4 day weekend has OFFICIALLY begun!

I have to go pick up my new deep freezer before I can start Drinking.

Tonight we doing a good old fashioned bonfire and fish fry.

Tommorow we're getting out the GeeTars for a good ole Ho-Down at the BARN in the BACK 40!

Farmer Aloco/Armando/Cuban Menace, you're INVITED!



odinseye-if by crashing you mean big hits then maybe you don't watch enough because hockey is filled with those now. no holding and no redline so hitting is pretty much the only way to stop a guy aside from stealing the puck. plus with the game being so much more wide open it's nonstop action. 30 to 40 saves a game is commonplace. plus all 60 minutes is actual game time. you get how many big plays in a football game? maybe 4? in a hockey game you may get 10 breakaways or 2 on ones. i would never put hockey in the same sentence as nascar. watching cars drive in a circle. other than crashes what's the most exciting thing? one car passing another?

i love football but lets face it less than 20 minutes of the 60 is actual play. most of the clock is spent in a huddle.



By crashing, I do mean BIG HITS!

I love Hockey, I was just trying to be funny comparing it too NASCAR(I'll try harder next time).

I guess I should have said, I love Hockey, but I love PLAYING Hockey even more!

There is no player's union. They decertified it.

The biggest sticking point is guaranteed money for rookies. The league gave the players pretty much everything else they asked for, more than they asked for when it came to health benefits for retired players.

The agents hate the idea of a cap on guaranteed money for rookies, because they won't get rich off busts any more. And the agents are the ones driving this whole situation. They are in the ear of the players every day, telling them its a bad deal when its really a good deal for current players.

aloco-compare 2 sports who used to let non-college athletes play (hockey still does) and basketball.
who's interview could you actually understand? crosby, stamkos, and all the other 18 year old pros, or young bb players, some who have graduated college. see who throws in more, like's, you know's and now what i'm sayin''s. the freakin' english as a second language hockey players are easier to understand than 50% of basketballers.

golf is more exciting than baseball most of the time.


We have Fredo for an owner...
"Pop had Genco, look what I got."

Ross is a total bum, a billionaire calling millionaires greedy. That guy needs to take a few steps east and drown, just like anyone else with more than a hundred million in this country.

Wayne Huizenga looks like a great owner compared to this doof! Please STFU Ross!!!

I'm sick of the whole thing. Just like evryone else. Frankly I thin Ross sucks as an owner. Not because of the lockout but because of his other shenanigans. He should sell the team to someone who understands how to run aprofessional sports franchise. How many fans really care about seeing J Lo walking down the orange carpet? Give me a break. The best owner we've had was Joe Robbie. He got it. WH tried really hard but couldn't pull t off. He put way too much trust in the wrong people. Now we have this schmuck. I'm a life time fan and that's not going to change because of a lockout or ownership. I'm just saying.

This is ridiculous, a billionaire calling millionaire greedy when there after the exact same thing, more money. Yeah the owners put the money up for the league and have been repaid handsomely for it with out taking risk to life or limb. Whats the most valuable commodity in the world, HEALTH. Somtehing you cant buy without any amount of money and the players want to be compensated for it, and they should be for the risks they take to make both themselves and their employers very rich. Think about it!!!!!

The Owners will outlast the players , what do you think would happen to any of us if we asked the owner of the company we worked for to show us his books, how fast would we get fired, thats what the players wanted, the only thing I agree on the players side is to keep the 16 game schedule , otherwise they are wrong!

You know what's saddest of all? We fans love the game so much, that when this all gets settled(this season or not)they know we will flock back to buy season tickets. We will burn up the phone lines buying Direct TV, we will pay as if nothing ever happened!

Now, you sit there and honestly tell me I'm wrong!

Replacement players--- WOW----What a great idea.
This would be a way to get rid of HENNE a real boat anchor and get some players who love to play the game for just that reason. Just think about it we would have an equal chance to go to the super bowl which is better than what we have now. Henne could get a job as a ground hog exterminator by throwing balls into the dirt which he does the best it's a win win.

Gas prices r up so are all business costs the owners do what they have to do its just smart business. The players make lots of money but some do'nt manage it well or live within there means. I thought college was suposed to educate football players, but with all the stinkin liberal profesors, they only learned to always act like they're ENTITLED to more then they get

HEY if your workin at Wall Mart and their payin u 12 bucks and they should give u 14, thats getting screwed. But these owners have met these crazy salary demands for years. The players should thank God at night that they even get to share the revenues. THE PLAYERS ARE EMPLOYESS NOT PARNERS!! GET IT STRAIGHT

These players all spend to much, then the ones that are younger and the ones that dont make as much as the big doggs are always trying to keep up and over spend, they all over spend, then go and point the finger at Mr Owner. Scew these players I really want to see football this year, but if missing the season will teach these brats a lesson, Im all for it.

An utterly classless owner destroying a once classy organization, trapped in a league of billionaire socialist focused on destroying their product by screwing their workers.

Wow! With an owner like Ross, who the hell would wanna work for him? This guy is intent upon making everyone, including the players hate him. Where di they find this guy, sheesh.

This team is pretty much done as long as he is the owner and Ireland continues to do what he does and we have a very unqualified and overpaid cheerleader, football fan-atic

Give me a break all of you supporting the owners. A few points:

Stephen Ross donated $100,000,000 to the University of Michigan. I would say he donated more than 99.5% of NFL players have earned in a career.

I would love to own a team - I can't nearly afford it, but if I owned a team I would be happy making 500K a year. No one I know watches football cuz they like the owner. How many Owner Jerseys do you see around or at the game?

How many of you realize how much the super rich run the country? The economy is recovering, but the big stockholders (much of which is inherited) have to get their money back first.

I don't feel sorry for the players, but I feel much less sorry for the owners. I feel 1000 times more sorry for average people working at bars, selling sports apparel, people who work for the team for not much, those that work at the concession stands, and the people who sell Jerseys, food, peanuts, etc. The average Joe loses again, and the millionaires and billionaires distract the public. Amazing how the rich can so easily dupe the middle-class and poor.

Honestly - both sides are screwing the fans. We make the sport. Best thing to do to protest is buy no gear, don't go to the game - support your local sportsbar till both sides get it!

Been watching our beloved game for years. I can honestly say that for the first time in my life...I'm over it. If this is not resolved I'll cancel my direct tv NFL ticket and NEVER renew. Those of you saying the owners are at fault..I couldnt disagree more. If you work for Gates and decide you want more money because Microsoft is making him too much money...you're fired. The owners bought and in some cases even started this league. They deserve to make what they can. If players don't like the salary structure go to another league, or here's a thought...get and education and a REAL JOB. You don't get to FORCE your employer to pay you more because you think he's making too much money. That's not how it works. These players are making more in a couple years than most make in a lifetime. Get a degree. Have a plan for after the game. And take your time in the NFL as a opportunity not a right to show some God given talent we can all appreciate. Leave your mark and move on.

Yeah ..you player supporters are crazy. Yeah the owners are billionaires. They deserve to be. They made the money to start or buy a team.

How'd you like to stroke a check for millions to Ryan Leaf? Or Talib? Or P.Burress?

So what if Ross donated to UofM. He didn't make that donation money owning the Phins. At least he gives back.

Show me ONE good example of where the players get screwed.

Before you start with the career ending injury crap ... How many have you seen? No more risk than any other highly physical labor job, but paid a lot more handsomely. A shipyard worker in VA was pinned by equipment during a storm and lost his life. Really sad. It happens. People choose their career paths...they aren't forced into them.

Players should get a degree and have a plan for after football. If they don't feel the money they'd make is worth the risk...don't play. Get a job. If they feel the toll their body takes isn't worth the money, fame, and opportunity to be a football in the NFL ... get a degree, don't play, and get a real job.

They are playing a game!!!

We love pro football because of its entertainment value to us. This huge $9.3 billion business has evolved because technology allows us to become part of the football experience. The value of this Football experience is going to double over the next ten years; $19 or $20 billion.

In all likelihood, roster size will not double and stadiums will still be taxpayer funded. Since there will be no large changes in overhead, the players see a chance to double their salaries. An increase up to around $4 million per year. The owners know that these huge salaries are not warranted for most NFL players. The great players are already at this mark. THIS FIGHT ISN'T ABOUT SPORTS! THIS FIGHT IS ABOUT $10 BILLION IN NEW PROFIT!

I suggest we all watch college football and ignore pro football! Once the advertisers are comfortable with shifting their money to college football, which will be played on Sunday and Monday, the owners and players will get the message and come to terms.

As fans, we are in control! We make pro football the cash cow that it is; not the players. Send letters to the advertisers telling them that Sunday college football is just as good as pro football and then buy their products. WE WILL WIN in the end!

I have one other comment. I want to challenge the owners to publicly announce what investments they will make with the added $10 billion they are going to pocket that will improve the sport. I keep hearing about expanding franchises. I don't think there are enough good players to fill one more team's roster when you consider the fact that every team will have to add players to the roster if they extend the season to 18 games.

I would like for the owners to buy Canadian League teams and use them like farm teams. There are lots of undrafted free agents that are developed up there right now. I don't think that college can produce any more NFL caliber athletes. Look at round seven of the draft, its not a talent laden round. Come on owners, what are you going to do with that immense profit that will make the sport better?

TO All OF YOU SO CALLED FOOTBALL FANS -- YOU ARE MEDIA BRAIN WASHED!!!!!! Wake up and smell the roses or should I say the crap that the owners will have you believe. The longevity of a players career is on an average 3.4 years, this includes injuries, and they are all not millionaires as the owners would have you believe. MOST PLAYERS (55%) ARE BELOW THE LEAGUE MINIMUM FOR THE AMOUNT OF TIME PLAYED. NOW THEY HAVE TO FIND REAL JOBS AND WORK THE REMAINDER OF THEIR LIVES AT REAL SALARIES JUST LIKE US. 52% SUSTAIN INJURIES FROM THESE CAREERS AND CAN NOT EVEN MAINTAIN A REGULAR JOB!! DO YOU HEAR THE OWNERS TELLING YOU THESE FACTS? I had the honor of meeting Gene Upshaw many years ago while in college and he helped mentor a term paper on a relevant subject - FREE AGENCY -- this was done while salary caps and league minimums where in their infant stages and I received an enormous amount of inside info from Gene. Everything he fought for and explained to me is happening again and the players had a great person and player and friend that gave his every effort to protect the players and the game. So to all of you, READ!! ASK YOUR SELVE -- WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING HERE? WHO REALLY IS TRYING TO GET OVER ON WHO? WE THE FANS PAY BOTH THE PLAYERS AND THE OWNERS, WE PAY TO SEE THE PLAYERS NOT THE OWNERS. And as for you clueless individuals who think replacemets are the answer to this issues -- I say again READ! CFL?? NOT!! SCABS! NOT!

Ross is a poster child of "what not to do as an owner". If Peterson (of Kansas City Chiefs fame) is his best friend and confident, you would think he'd teach this guy a few things about being in the public spotlight with a popular sports franchise. Flying across country and embarassing your coach, the team and the fans is not good. Goading celebrities to be minority owners: not smart. And now this. Steve, for the sake of the dolphins and miami.....keep quiet

I loved corners comment about bring on the replacement players and we will see how quick this is settled. He may be right and the owners may come around when they find out no one will pay 100 bucks for a ticket to see them. So bring in He Hate Me* and see what happens.
*Note: He Hate Me was one of the better replacement players from the lockout in the 80's.

As a Dolfan, I say bring on the replacement players. The team might improve!

I think it's all about how the player's contract reads. I haven't heard much about that.

As far as greed, look no further than Jerry Jones and his stadium. If you bought a ticket to the Super Bowl, did you seriously believe it was going to be in a folding chair dumped in the aisle somewhere? NOW THAT'S GREED!

You invest money in a business and you want to make a profit. If you don't make a profit you seek to change the business - increase revenues, decrease costs, reduce debts in order to make a profit. If you cannot make a profit you get out of the business.

The players union is riding on a business created by the investments of tens of billions of dollars over the years. They are trying to get as much as they can. But one can think about the fate of the auto industry and the steel industry and see that it is possible to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. The players union are not negotiating. You don't "dissolve" your union if you seek to negotiate. The union dissolved themselves so that they could threaten the NFL with anti-trust regulation, trying to invoke the government as a threat to destroy their business, instead of negotiating a deal in good faith. I have no sympathy with the union. If they had negotiated in good faith it would have been a different thing, but trying to use a threat of the government in order to extort an unfair agreement from the people who invested the money to support the business is bull.

Dear Mr. Ross,

Uh, yeah, they are regular labor issues. Just because players earn a lot of money doesnt mean they dont have the right to negotiate in their own best interests. Especially when it comes to safety issues, like playing 2 more games every year despite the fact their bodies are already mangled when they leave the game, and we're finding out more and more what head injuries are doing to these guys later in life (i.e. Dave Duerson, Mike Webster).

Ross seems to imply all players are rich. The average NFL player plays a handful of years and earns a million or 2 after taxes. If Ross woke up tomorrow with Brian Hartline's or Lousaka Polite's bank account, he'd slit his wrists. And they have no guaranteed contracts. The NFL is basically "at will employment". At any time a player can be terminated. Thats the same deal the bus boy has at your favorite restaurant.

Billionaire owners didnt make their fortunes by being nice, reasonable guys. They are cutthroat and greedy.

We didn't ask Ross to buy the team, If he's not happy with his investment then sell it asap. It's time for the fans to start boycotting NFL games should they start up again, No Fans No Money To Cry About.

Joe Robbie had more class in crust between his toes than Stephen Ross could ever dream of...

I have been reading most of y'alls comments and I have to say Yes the Players have worked hard since they were kids to play Pop Warner, High School,College, and then got their shot in the Pro's as a Rookie,Busted their Butts again while playing on that level and then broke loose and became stars so yes they deserve to get paid all the money,But the Owners have also busted their Butts as Students and then also became Rookies in their Own game and became Stars at that,But at the end of the day its their GoalPost and their Football and they do "Write the Check" and they can do as they wish,Yes that means even call in Replacement players so all these "Mavens"(Lawyers) who are holding up the whole process should man up and step aside and let the players who wanna play work their own Salary out with the Owners and the players who can't or won't,step aside get their replacements and let us the Fans enjoy the NFL season that we are ment to,After all we are the real Owners paying the Ultimate price as fans,We pay for the tickets,we but the hats,jerseys and everything else that has an NFL logo Right People!!! Bigwolve

These players make more per game than some make in 5 yrs. The owners pay their salaries and on top of that other salaries of the employees, Who, do the advertising, take care of the maintenance, concessions,health insurance, coaches, physical therapist and much more. Players most of these young men p#$s off their on how many women they can get in the club, clothes, cars, jewelery, and all their posse's and hangers on. I have to go with the owners on this

i'll tell you this, if i was to take a pay cut, i wouldn't be working as hard. i'd be comming in when ever i wanted and doing half the work i was supposed to do. cutting someone's salary because of someone else's stupidity is totally crossing the line.

first a foremost the coaches are doing what there paid to do and show up every day and get work done. how can you mess with there pay check when they are doing what you hired them to do. if i was the coaches and employee's id sue him and add interest to it.

I agree someshat with Ross. He is the owner of the team just like any buwiness owner and he needs to make it profitable to have a successful team. Most NFL player are broke after two years into ther retirement. How would you like to be able to retire as young as they get too. If the y would just invest nad save some of there money instead of blowing it they could live on it for the rest of there lives. I dont have sympathy when they say they hve to suppor t all there family and friends tell ther friends to go get jobs and stop sponging off them. But I do feel the playres should get estended health coverage for the injuries that there job brings on. The players are not loyal to the team like the fans and the owner are. They leave all the time for free agency.

dont know about you all but i fell in love with the miami dolfins 1 because its my home town or 2 because a player dan marino mark super duper!! played there the nfl ant !!! with out the players! who the hell was ross besides rich? before he brought a !!!! team for 1.1 billions dont feel sorry for him or the players but i know im not watching a nfl game with fake ass super stars!!! paying for the ticket the hi ass concesion for some busters pls!!! open ya minds guys!!

You can't compare professional sports to a regular business because of this simple reason, The Owners absolutely NEED these players in order for their business to be profitable. If all of the star players IE Manning Brady, Lewis, etc.. decided not to play, no one would watch and the owners lose money. These guy's aren't easily replaceable. If I own a plumbing business, there is NO one plumber that can't be replaced. I can easily find a new plumber to come in and work. Big Difference.

I think Stephen Ross makes some good points there..

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