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Stephen Ross is more blunt instrument than tactician

As an NFL owner, Stephen Ross lacks nuance. He lacks tact. He is a blunt instrument.

Recently, he was advised by the Dolphins and agreed that the best way to address the protestations of fans, including a rally outside of Dolphins camp, was to rush headlong into a one-on-one phone call to a fan to explain his team's rationale for this offseason.

It is an interesting public relations move but there are myriad reasons other embattled owners don't do it -- for one it has the potential to make as many problems as it solves.

I assume Ross got this one fan to agree with his rationale about how and why the club has approached this offseason. Great. I also assume some other fans feel good that the owner is willing to reach out to at least one of their number. Great again. Call all 40,000 season ticket holders if you want. Now, that would be truly awesome! That is the advantage of being blunt.

But there is missed nuance. There is failed tactic. Ross opens himself up for questions that I've already read via email from other disgruntled fans: When is Ross going to call me? I'm upset, too, I want a phone call! Is Ross going to call every fan or just the ones so upset that they protest? Isn't that rewarding the protest and penalizing patience?

By calling this fan, Ross has made his season ticket more valuable than others. So why does this person get a call and the guy who's had a season ticket since the 1960s doesn't?

Calling fans is cool, but I suppose Ross realizes that makes the fan he speaks with his unofficial team spokesman and the conduit to everyone else. If he understood nuance he would realize the move undercuts the worth of his actual team spokesmen. And that also makes the media (specifically me) more wary of you because you've been avoiding us since the Joe Philbin hiring and you clearly have stuff to say -- but obviously don't want to say it in a forum where you also have to answer questions.

It makes me convinced Ross has stuff to hide.

Ross by the way is now under fire in Chicago. It seems during this talk with the fan, Ross said the Dolphins were going to simply cut Brandon Marshall if no trade partner appeared soon. The Bears stepped forward. Except the account of the conversation between Ross and the fan makes it seem like the Bears got duped into taking a wide receiver that was going to soon be a free agent.

Ross thus makes Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery look like he got taken. The Dolphins found a trade partner in Emery and perhaps a friend going forward. But Ross effectively threw him under the bus according to accounts in Chicago and elsewhere. That's bad business.

Blunt instrument. Not tactically sound.

Ross supposedly said other things during his talk with the fan -- notably that if his coach wanted Matt Flynn, the Dolphins would have Matt Flynn. Well, Philbin called Flynn a handful of times before the player's visit to Miami. Did he call him to say he didn't want him? Did the Dolphins bring Flynn to Miami because they didn't want him?

The nuanced version of that and what Ross should have said is the Dolphins wanted Flynn but only at their price. So Ross either missed this or said this to the fan but it didn't get relayed correctly. Either way, it's Ross's problem because that is the way things are when a fan becomes your spokesman.

I like Steve Ross. I love his passion and I believe he has the Dolphins' best interest at heart. But he needs refining. He also could stand to listen to the right people more.

He told this fan that Peyton Manning sent him a letter explaining why he wasn't joining the Dolphins. OK, what has he done with that letter? Has he begun to address the issues that made the Dolphins unattractive to a Pro Bowl quarterback?

Doubtful.

I also wrote Ross and the Miami Dolphins an open letter that published in today's newspaper. It lets Ross and the Dolphins understand how fans feel -- from my perspective, of course.

I hope they read it. I trust they will. But more importantly, I hope they take it to heart and don't just answer with a loud bull(bleep) -- which has been how the blunt instrument has reacted in the past.

Comments

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Might be so, fin4, might be so. I hope not.

I read all these comments and the bottom line is it dont matter. Until this management is dismiss, we dont have a present or future winning team. Again u get mr ross attention/pocket by not attending games, not buying merchandise. This creates more blackouts, of course this hurts the fans. But he will not make any money and that is very important to him. It really hurts that we have nothing to cheer about and this will be another wasted season. I would love to see Don shula and some of the great past playes come out and protest this pathetic dolphin management. Dolphin fan for life

You're actually using Dan Snyder an an example of an owner you "admire??"

Dan Snyder has owned the Washington Redskins for 15 years. Care to relate to everyone all the great accomplishments of that franchise during that time?

Oh, that's right. There aren't any. But I guess that's ok so long as he spends money wildly and behave just the way a FAN would running a team. Like an IDIOT in other words.

Yo Irescum!! Is your momma a hooka?

Dan Snyder is a dream owner compared to Cheapo Ross.

Dan Marino refusing to help recruit Manning speaks volumes about this garbage franchise.

You Are Nuts | March 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Read carefully I NEVER said I admired him, I said IF Ross were that type of owner that would be one thing, I can live with that more than I can with ineptitude. In Snyder you have a guy who will try anything to win like J.Jones and a host of other Al Davis wanna be's and yes they've failed miserably because Football isn't Basketball or Baseball, you NEED strong structure and I believe most eventually get it and get over the hump or at least are entertaining in their efforts. I'll bet half of N.Y. wanted Steinbrener strung up back in the mid 80's till mid 90's and were then lining up to kiss his posterior between 96-2001. I don't applaud or admire these types but they are driven and at some point learn and get over the hump. In Ross were stuck with a far different type of animal all together, I'm making the comparison in one way of doing it as opposed to the other, nothing more nothing less!!

Must be careful what you read in the Media. Example: Marino didn't want to help recruit Manning. Marino was instrumental in getting Manning to interview with the Dolphins. I read both. Then?

I will give snyder credit. He wants to win and do what ever it takes to win. I guess i do admire him a little. He is not like our owner trying to play it safe. Owners like jerry jones, snyder, and even kraft of new england patriots, whom i dont like that being im a dolphin fan. They are what i would like to have in a owner. Dolphin fan for life

Ross said Henne was the next Marino. And every year the franchise QB was THE priority. And how we have a winner going into last season. He was going to CUT Marshall? Really? Really? He certainly gets the talkin part done. Just cant come remotely close to delivering on anything. Maybe if he made better hires he'd have a slight chance.

ARMANDO,

you sound like a crying girl, I get it, your mad because they never let you, "the media" get any insight into what the team is doing but when he calls a season ticket holder who was one of only 30 protesting He's a dumb owner. Had he called you first, Armando and explained it to you, I'm sure you would say great things about him.
Im not a fan of Ross but what he did was CLASS ACT.
Your recent Blog post is just stupid journalism, Armando.
Stop taking it personal and ask the important questions.

The Average Reader, who's Shaking his Head.

Who is to say that Ross is not capable of learning, fin4? All he has to do to improve is stay away from the Media.

Yes, I like the Media. No, I don't like the Media.

I will give snyder credit. He wants to win and do what ever it takes to win. I guess i do admire him a little. He is not like our owner trying to play it safe. Owners like jerry jones, snyder, and even kraft of new england patriots, whom i dont like that being im a dolphin fan. They are what i would like to have in a owner. Dolphin fan for life

andre | March 25, 2012 at 10:40 PM

This is exactly the point I was trying to make and yes count me in that camp as well!!!

You're actually using Dan Snyder an an example of an owner you "admire??"

Dan Snyder has owned the Washington Redskins for 15 years. Care to relate to everyone all the great accomplishments of that franchise during that time?

Oh, that's right. There aren't any. But I guess that's ok so long as he spends money wildly and behave just the way a FAN would running a team. Like an IDIOT in other words.

Posted by: You Are Nuts | March 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM


Win.

Fin4life
Since 1999 redskins have had 3 winning record seasons. Cowboys 6. Dolphins? 7.

The draft is in a month's time.

Is it too soon to whine about our picks?

Heck, the Redskins got RG3. At least Snyder tries.

I don't know, we would have to ask the Fans in Washington and Dallas how they feel about Snyder and Jones respectively.

Miami Dolphin fan logic
Trying to win > winning.

I think Ross did the right thing to reach out to the fan and the fan base as a whole given the level of anxiety. Everyone need to relax and let everything play out. We had a good draft last year and if we duplicate it and have the right coaching in place (which I believe we do) we are going to have a good year.

Who is to say that Ross is not capable of learning, fin4? All he has to do to improve is stay away from the Media.

oscar canosa | March 25, 2012 at 10:47 PM

oscar,

After 4 Yrs. he seems even more lost than he did on day one!! He's applying a business model based on the bottom line and that isn't how you win in Pro Sports. Unfortunately for us the NFL has TV contracts and a profit sharing system which will always make it profitable for him one way or the other. I don't see in him someone looking to take any risk at a crown but a guy who wants organizational structure based on profit, you can't tell me at this point your don't see the don't rock the boat structure he's set.

Everybody BLASTS Huzienga and his ownership, well I miss Wayne my friend!! When we screamed Jimmy in 95 he delivered, then the same with Satan who we all wanted in 05!! If Wayne decided to get someone he always got his man and took risk, this guy is the exact opposite!!He sees the NFL for the CASH COW it is, he doesn't see the need to deliver because while empty seats might not be popular NFL Profit sharing is and by the way if you don't believe me then what do you call selling T-Shirts that say home of the Jets at our stadium tell you?? How about celebrating opposing players on game day, please!!!!

Amen, Khalid. GN

Win.

Fin4life
Since 1999 redskins have had 3 winning record seasons. Cowboys 6. Dolphins? 7.
thavafin | March 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Win.

Fin4life
Since 1999 redskins have had 3 winning record seasons. Cowboys 6. Dolphins? 7.
thavafin | March 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM

You don't get the point and by the way those winning seasons you talk about were under free spending Wayne not Ross.

Fin4life logic
Owner who gets who fans want > winning.

Khalid,

I hope your right, I really do, my point is in the less is more approach were force fed!!

You can't point to even ONE accomplishment the Redskins have had as a franchise since Snyder took over that team.

Nothing.

Yet, I'm supposed to "admire" the job he's done. Beyond laughable.

You want the kind of owner I admire? The ones like Rooney and Kraft who do NOT go crazy in free agency. The ones who do NOT make rash trades trying for the quick fix. The ones who do NOT behave the way an irrational fan would.

The POLAR OPPOSITE of what Dan Snyder has been as an owner, in other words.

What an astoundingly awful example of a great owner he is. And ye, I'll stand by my assertion that anyone claiming he is has to be utterly clueless.

Fin4life logic
Owner who gets who fans want > winning.
thavafin | March 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Between CBS, NBC, FOX and ESPN the NFL collects 12 Billion dollars a Yr. which is divided up equally regardless of your TV market share. Case in point Green Bay, Wisconsin is a 7 share market and Miami is a 2 behind N.Y. and L.A. but the money is divided equally. This is the reason owners like Jones in Dallas whose also in a good market wants equal profit sharing done away with. He doesn't need a FULL stadium to pull a profit, do you understand that when there is a 125 Million Dollar CAP put in place it's done because it's the TV Money which pays this making everybody equal and ensuring competitive balance. This is the reason there putting in a rule you have to use at least 90% of that money on players, you should read the CBA that the owners have with the League.

When Ross arrived we had;

Parcells
Sparano
Henning
Pasqualoni

I think Ross is moving in the right direction!

If you can't get them with the fast ball, throw em a curve.

What an astoundingly awful example of a great owner he is. And ye, I'll stand by my assertion that anyone claiming he is has to be utterly clueless.

You Are Nuts | March 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Man, how many ways do I have to tell you I don't admire him but applaud the effort. I put up the example if you go back to what I originally wrote and said, "I could live with the losses if they were at least based on this model of failure (effort) no matter how misguided, please don't take it out of context because it wasn't the point.

I totally understand the level of anxiety but I am optimistic about the season ahead. I believe Philbin was the right hire and with a good draft we will be in good shape.

Yo Irescum!! Is your momma a hooka?
Posted by: FIRE IRELAND | March 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Fire Ireland, Why would he ask someone if they were a smoking Pipe?, Fin4 life great post at 9:43.BTW, Your thoughts on the up-coming season?

These fans that have gone off the reservation, there is just no talking to them. There are no rational thoughts. Its okay if we are losing as long as they are trying the way I think they should.??? What a supremely horrible thought process.

I totally understand the level of anxiety but I am optimistic about the season ahead. I believe Philbin was the right hire and with a good draft we will be in good shape.

Posted by: Khalid | March 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM


I agree. But whining like hysterical lesbians seems to be a lot more fun!

BREAKING NEWS:
It has been discovered that the 2 dozen or so fans protesting the other day were the same fans starting "we want Orton! We want Orton! We want Orton!" chants during open practices at the beginning of last season.

Khalid, Like the Post but knowing the owner and GM they'll screw this up.

These fans that have gone off the reservation, there is just no talking to them. There are no rational thoughts. Its okay if we are losing as long as they are trying the way I think they should.??? What a supremely horrible thought process.
Posted by: thavafin | March 25, 2012 at 11:26 PM

What a supremely horrible franchise.

FP4FGs. | March 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM

I'm a Fin Nazi 4life my friend and it's only late March, so like everybody else I'm hoping all the ?'s surrounding the team work in our favor and alot rests as you know on the draft. I just ask myself if the pick is Tannehill at #8 were we go from there??

We have a HC that I think at least has a better grip on today's game but again ? He NEVER called a play at GB that was all McCarthey, so we don't really know anything yet, also can he crack the wipe and gain the respect which alluded Cameron??

Who is our feature WR and if we go with this bunch will Bush hold up an entire season??

Will the D translate??

Alot of ???? around the team, after the draft I guess we will see the plan or lack of it. I've just NEVER felt so even tempered or apathetic about an upcoming season.

This is the most insipit blog that I have the miscarriage of reading. So Ross call a fan and not you, you that wrote a personal letter to the Dolphins, you that work for a newspaper, you a Dolphins beat writer, you one of the boys in the locker room. Who the hell is this fan? This fan is one of us

Ross doesnt have to listen to his customers. He owns the team. He can choose an empty stadium.

These fans that have gone off the reservation, there is just no talking to them. There are no rational thoughts. Its okay if we are losing as long as they are trying the way I think they should.??? What a supremely horrible thought process.

thavafin | March 25, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Again, I NEVER said trying like I think but now that you mention it simply trying and showing a plan or some ground work would be nice. The team feels like it's going in circles.

The team feels like it's going in circles.
Posted by: fin4life | March 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM

6-10 is gone backward.

Not everything is written in response to you and you should not read it that way. OTHERS said they did, indeed "admire" Snyder and I am simply calling them out on it.

Frustration over the Dolphins is not a valid defense for making absolutely baseless and ludicrous assertions such as Dan Snyder being a "good owner" when such a moronic position is so easily refuted by the FACTS.

FRKNN clowns.......Be A GM ......FOR A DAY......PISSIN IN YOUR PANTS U WOULD.GO GI

OOHHHHHHHHHH it's ji

I personally hope they don't show a plan to the fans. That pretty much means everyone in the league knows what you are doing. And in the NFL if people know what you are going to do, then you are usually screwed.
I do not need an explanation.

The team feels like it's going in circles.
Posted by: fin4life | March 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM

6-10 is gone backward.

Ron Son | March 25, 2012 at 11:48 PM

LOL!!

nice thava

BREAKING NEWS:
It has been discovered that the 2 dozen or so fans protesting the other day were the same fans starting "we want Orton! We want Orton! We want Orton!" chants during open practices at the beginning of last season.
Posted by: thavafin

. Yeah, Orton wouldn't have started 0-7. But Ross was way cheap. Too cheap for Flynn too...not to mention Manning.

Really Reality? If he doesn't have to listen to his fans, then why did one of the fans recv a personel call from Ross? U have Ireland calling reporters and Ross calling fans. The protest was a great idea by the fans.

OK,gotta deal with it and we have to have faith cause we have nothing else to hang on to.PLEASE DRAFT A WR.Go and tell me I'M wrong.

fotboll sucks...lol

"Yeah, Orton wouldn't have started 0-7. But Ross was way cheap."

WOW
You're right...better to be locked up in a big long term deal with fewer draft picks with Kyle Orton at QB.

Come on !!!!!!!! Gotta belive in JEFF...i do

6-10 is gone backward. I'm tired of people spinning we're mediocre. I'd embrace mediocrity at this point.

If you remove Irelands entire draft from last year, we would still have gone 6 nd 10. Our team could have had Dez Bryant, Demarco Murray and Leonard Hankerson. Oh I forgot, we have game breakers like Hartline and Roberto Wallace. Lol

There's nothing to say or do, nothing justifies their stupid moves in FA and draft the past few years. Until they replace the rudder on that ship, no season tickets for me. The rudder is named Ireland!

If you think about it, neither Jake Long, nor Chad Henne, nor Pat White, nor Brian Hartline, nor John Jerry,nor Patrick Turner have helped our record. Neither did 3 picks for D Thomas. All high draft picks on offense.

I think Ireland will prove his worth in the end. He needs a good draft and all this whining will be over. He and Philbin and Sherman can not all be fools.

DIMWIT!!!!!!!!! LMAO Hahahahahahahaha I agree. By the way, saying those things about what was probably the best player on the team won't make other players want to sign here. I see this organization continuing on a downward spiral as long as Ross owns this team, and Ireland manages.

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