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Will stadium vote cause the Dolphins to have more urgency this offseason to impress fans, voters?

This morning the Dolphins will make official what the Miami Herald confirmed on Saturday, namely that the team's attempt to secure hotel bed tax dollars and other tax breaks to help finance half of a $400 million upgrade to Sun Life Stadium would be put before the voters of Miami-Dade County in the next few months.

It's a gutsy move by the team. It's also something of a Hail Mary because even though local taxpayers are not generally having to fork over the money themselves, asking voters to  approve any tax increase of any kind (even when it's on tourists) is often not a winning proposition.

And it doesn't help that the county's elected officials did such a horrible job vetting the Marlins and dealing with that rogue organization as they negotiated a deal for the new Marlins Park. Public monies beyond bed taxes were used in that deal because the Marlins were losing money and promised to field a great lineup in exchange for their deal.

Except it was eventually learned the Marlins were making money. And the politicians never got the team to open its books before or after that fact came to light. And after one season of upgrading the roster, the club conducted a fire sale and will field a glorified Triple A team lineup this coming season to save money.

So the Marlins and the politicians that voted on their behalf screwed Miami-Dade.

And the fallout from that bomb threatens the Dolphins in this upcoming vote.

But ...

This vote also offers the Dolphins a grand, awesome opportunity. And, if embraced by the club, it can mend the recent narrow but apparent fissure between the team and its fans.

As you know, Dolphins' fans have not been thrilled with the recent direction of the team. The last four years of 7-9, 7-9, 6-10 and 7-9 were not great, but this break was coming well before that with Nick Saban lying and Bill Parcells splitting and Cam Cameron stinking.

So the love affair has been a little rocky and the historically low attendance last season was proof.

But, as I mentioned, this offseason, this vote, this time in team history is a grand and golden opportunity. Think of it, if the team reaches for greatness and that lights a fire under the fan base to turn out to the polls, we could go to August with:

1. A better team filled with promise and some actual proven stars.

2. A team whose house will be modernized.

3. A team that actually seems exciting to its fans.

4. A team that will remain in South Florida for a long, long time.

5. A team whose fans backed it at the polls.

And all this without winning a game. Indeed, all this without even playing a game.

So how does this happen?

Remember right after the season when I suggested the Dolphins handle this offseason in the fashion the Miami Heat handled the offseason in which they got Dwyane Wade re-signed, and added Chris Bosh, and LeBron James and Mike Miller?

Remember the offseason the Heat went big?

That's what the Dolphins have a chance to do this offseason with $46 million or so in salary cap space and five draft picks in the first three rounds.

And so that is the opportunity. The Dolphins can tilt the offseason, the roster, the fan base and the vote in their direction if they simply have the, um, fortitude to go big this offseason as the Heat did three years ago.

Get a bigtime playmaker or two in free agency. In other words, win in free agency. Then add talent in the draft that doesn't suggest you're going to be the same team you've been for a decade. Get that seam-threatening tight end. Get a promising safety to team with Reshad Jones. Get us some corners that knows how to do this thing recently foreign in Miami, what's it called? Oh yes, intercept the football.

Add a running back if you have to.

Hey, how about checking out the trade market, too. Percy Harvin might be out there. Explore, it! (I'm not ready to push for that move per se. But at least explore. Don't sit in a dark film room studying tape of the right guard from New Mexico, when freaking Percy Harvin is dangling out there.)

Dare to be great. And let your fans know as much.

Now, all this sounds like fanciful sportswriter mumbo jumbo, right? It's just a columnist with a vivid imagination sitting at his computer, eating twinkies and filling space.

Well, it would be that if I was lazy.

I'm not lazy.

I texted several of my Dolphins sources about this very subject Sunday. I asked if the team welcoming a vote would cause greater urgency to do something exciting?

The resulting answers were mixed.

First, the topic has not been discussed internally. Remember, the announcement is today. So there has been no grand strategy session within the organization to see if football operations can be helpful to the business side.

This, by the way, has to fall at the feet of owner Stephen Ross. He knows the business side has agreed to take the issue to the voting booth. He had to approve such a move. So once he got done with that conversation, why didn't he pick up another phone (my understanding is billionaires often have multiple phones) and call the football side and say, "Hey, general manager Jeff Ireland, we're doing this presser on Monday. We've got $200 million on the line here. The vote will likely be in May. I want to hear what you're going to do to help. And, you better help!"

That's the owner's job. He has business interests that represent $200 million dangling on a vote, it should automatically dawn on him to rally every asset within the organization to make sure the team does what most professional sports teams are in business to do: Win.

Win the offseason.

Win the fans over.

Win the vote.

(Peanut gallery speaking: "But, Mando, we want a team that wins during the season, not the offseason.")

Shaddup, ya foofs.

There are no games available to be played now, okay? And to win in the regular season, you have to build a team successfully in the offseason.

Anyway, I call on Ross, the head of the Dolphins organization, to get his business side hand and football side hand to speak to each other -- one hand working with the other -- and come up with a strategy that willl make the entire organization emerge from this victorious.

Is the business side into the idea?

Heck yes. In talking to a couple of people on that side, they completely agree that if football operations makes some significant advances or moves that convince fans the team is clearly going to be better, they are more likely to win the election.

"This would seem to be the time to make a statement," one source texted me.

That same source asked if signing a particular player would get fans fired up. I cannot divulge the name of the player used because my job is not to get sources in trouble for tampering. But suffice to say the player is a looming unrestricted free agent who makes plays.

I told the source it would help. But I believe it will take more than one player to light the excitement flames for Miami fans. Also, and more importantly, it's going to take adding more than one player to make the Dolphins much, much better. That's the beauty of all this. The business side would love signing several talented players because it helps them. The football side should love the idea of adding gobs of talent because it helps them.

Synergy!

So the business side would be pleased if this was the approach.

But, and here comes the newsy part of this post, the football side doesn't seem too excited with the idea at this point. I texted a couple of folks on that side, too.

I asked if the vote would bring greater urgency to get bigger name players.

"Nope," was one response I got.

"Doubtful," was another response. "We make football moves for the longterm well-being of the franchise, not to please fans."

Alrightie, then.

So, the football side is not on board at this time. It is going about things like this is another offseason that brings opportunities to improve. But it is not approaching this like it's make-or-break and $200 million and the long-term viability of the team in South Florida are at stake.

Do I agree with this?

Yes. And no.

I agree that winning rather than pleasing fans should be the goal. Always. But some people act like winning and adding bigtime players are mutually exclusive. BREAKING NEWS: Adding great players is what brings winning.

Also, if you're telling me that despite the need to please fans with a big name addition you would, as a hypothetical example here, refuse to pay Mike Wallace $15 million per year, I agree with you.

But, on the other hand, if you're saying you'd refuse to go to $10 million per year because you want to also add the $4 million per year guard, I'd think you're a certifiable dunce.

Deep threat. Imperative.

Guard. A grunt that isn't going to win you games.

(Peanut gallery speaking: "But Mando, you need good interior players too to win big in the NFL.")

Shaddup, ya twits.

You can't name the four guards that started in the Super Bowl and even if you could, you can't name one occassion when a guard scored in the NFL this season. And teams must score points to win. Also, the Dolphins have guards on the team already.

So where does this all leave us?

We have one side of the organization hoping the other side gets on board while the owner is in the middle having not yet broached the topic with either.

Let's hope this changes. There is still time before free agency. There is still time before the draft. There is still time before the NFL trade period opens. There is still time before the Miami-Dade County vote.

Most importantly, there is still time for the Dolphins to become a synchronized organization with all sides harmonizing toward a common goal. 

 

Comments

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bush in my opinion will be a jet

and i would trade for harvin

Whenever you feel it might be time to let bush go, let go. More often than not, you regret trying to make it work when your gut initially told you otherwise ...

Bush has a tremendous work ethic, stays after practice and works out. If Fins can keep him at reasonable price, I try to re sign him. I like Miller and think he will be big time but not sold on Thomas. Gonna be interesting

The Packers would love to have Bush. And the Pats if they let Welker go.

packers want jackson. jets want bush or bradshaw. wlker is def gone from pats, they basically already said so. pats will sign hartline

Did you guys know that Bo Jackson had the fastest handtimed 40 time ever at the combine? 4.12!!!!

At almost 240 lbs!!!!

bo was best athlete ever

dusty, beware of what teams say....especially the Pats

Agreed on Bo. Too bad injuries cut him down. Stupid Bills ... I think that's who he got injured against. Such power too. Ask the Boz...

oh i agree mike, a lot of smoke. but one thing is certain, welker is long gone from pats

he got injured vs bengals in playoffs

dusty, donrt bet on Welker not being a Pat next season.....just saying

If the Patriots sign Hartline we will be watching another former Dolphin WR make our secondary look like jackasses.

id bet on it if it was possible

Talk to LV, dusty. They accept bets on anything.

not on that oscar, no props as of yet

We can't afford to let Hartline walk. He is more versatile than Bess. Better blocker, faster, adjust better to the ball. We should try to use him in the slot IMO and see about trading Bess.

agree on keeping hartline, but u keep bess also. hes already signed and cheap

Well, Boswortrh was a fool at trying to tackle Bo by himself at the 5 yd line. He reached his end zone faster than Bo did.

Problem with Bush, Craig M, is that he wants to be a 3 down back and Miami has decided to go with Miller in that capacity. Otherwise, I would love to have him back. Great Player.


Problem with Bush, Craig M, is that he wants to be a 3 down back and Miami has decided to go with Miller in that capacity. Otherwise, I would love to have him back. Great Player.

Posted by: oscar canosa | February 12, 2013 at 06:43 PM

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
OSCAR--I HAVE CHANGED YOUR POST TO BE ABOUT POPULAR DESSERTS AND BIRDS! YOU ARE WELCOME!!

Problem with Flamingos, Craig M, is that Coconut Cream Pie wants to be a Toucan and Peach Cobbler has decided to go with Egrets in that capacity. Otherwise, Creme Brulee would love to have Parakeets back. Great Flan.

Posted by: robin cheesecake | February 12, 2013 at 06:43 PM

Funny fukk.

Kris doesn't realize business is business. The respect comes in million dollar salaries. Only the fans are wrapped up in media soap operas.

It's bullsht to say players won't come here. They play for the money. Didn't Marshall come? Dansby? Cogs? Just because the Pittsburgh safety made a comment does that mean it goes for all? He only used us for leverage anyway. Do you choose Sparano and Henne or Tomlin and Rothlis?? Garrard said it was a great vibe when he came. Reggie isn't crying to be traded, nobody I know of is. Sounds to me like they all want to stay.

nope , they haven t made any moves yet , Ireland doesn t know how to pick or negotiate for good players this team will be mired in losing till that inept over paid piece of trash is thrown out

Jets can want all they want, they are 20 million over the cap. They won't be signing anybody but their draft picks. They can't even get rid of Sanchez.

Brian L

How many names have you used now? By my count it is a very large number.

When I bust people the blog gets quiet.

Carry on.......

Yes Wizer (since this is the name you're using for this post @ 7:02).....I am easily the DUMBEST person on the planet....and I am the ONLY person in the civilized world that doesn't UNDERSTAND that the NFL is a business.....thanks for setting me on the straight and narrow

Oh...

and BTW....

Bush can't be traded...he's a FA....

but PLEASE...keep explaining the INTRICACIES of the NFL to ME and the rest of the blog.....

No one will miss Bush we are all sick of his act , way to many negative runs

And fumbles oh my god his fumbles

I'll give you the LOVE you never got as a kid....

Tell PAPA Kris whats wrong....PAPA Kris will make it ALLLLL better.....

Posted by: Kris | January 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM

We will not miss any of these players but I would like to see Starks hartline and Clemons return

South Florida is gonna screw up with their bad negotiating and the dolphins will leave

Kris, well maybe you can explain what respect you were talking about. You contradict yourself. Is it a business or isn't it? Please tell us what other organizations do that this one doesn't.

The L A dolphins

The New Jersey dolphins

They build a ball park for the marlins the freakin marlins and we get nothing are you kidding me

Where are all you idiot floridians speak up be heard

Well I don't hear anything yet

idiot floridians haha - that is like saying wet water. this place is a disaster. nothing but totally dumbshytt party guys and wild brain dead loose pzzy girls...well at least that part is fun! oh yeah! but nothing to be proud of in this derelict area.

every time I go to this page, Armando has the same column up, he must write a new one once a month.

I want that job.

Man can't you guys update the Dolphin Sports page more often?

If the dolphins played up north they would sell out every single game ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I really can't wait till free agency ,,,,,then the Draft

That's the only embarrassment with the dolphins the home fans SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!! Playing an empty stadium every week it's quite sad to see

I'm so glad baseball is starting and yes I support a real team the NY YANKEES not the marlins

Marc in nj

Do us all a favor and jack off a few more times to keep you away from the blog.

I see Kris has no response. Predictable. Some yap to yap with no rhyme or reason.

Hey Wizer,

If you are not a regular here, let me clue you in...Kris is one of the biggest dumb fuh posters here! The guy is out to lunch for sure. He can't separate reality from his own silly imagination! Let it go bro...not worth debating that dunce.

Peace out.

For what its worth I think if you could get Bush to resign for 4/5 million per season you have to consider it.

I think its a little premature to assume Miller is the real deal with such a small sampling. He sure looks promising but is still unproven. How durable will he be? How many fumbles will he have with 20-25 carries a game?

If Bush won't come off the 6-8 million thing you gotta do what you gotta do, specifically when there are other holes to fill. Even if Bush isn't resigned we have to add another back. Either through free or fairly high in the draft.

Don't get me wrong I'm a Canes fan. I like Lamar Miller but he doesn't come with guarantee. We know what we had in Bush and was better than more half the teams in the league had.

These clowns cant afford to lose any players!!

Bush is a star in this league and will get 7+ mill offers from multiple teams. Lets pray the Dolphins are one of them.

The Marlins draw more then the Dullfins. LOL

D Rick

What the fkk do you know or care about salaries? You have no way to decide what the market should be. That plays out between the agents and GM's and you either pay up or bail out. For some blogger totally out of touch to assume he knows what the market should be is plain freaking stupid. yep

GM's have to handle a whole freaking team of players. It is not so simple as putting a limit price on each player. You have to let it play out. Why bloggers would think they know what value each player should have is ridiculous.

Oyster,


Just because you have no clue what the market for a player is does not mean that others dont either. Some on this blog are pretty sharp....

bush will test free agency and his market value will be 5 to 6 mill.a yr. He is on record saying he would like to stay in Miami. we should offer him 4 to 5 mill. and maybe keep a talented back who could do damage if they would use him in the passing game. and yes Monte, some of us are pretty sharp.

Monte, if you think anybody on this blog is pretty sharp than you are too dumb to be allowed here. Are you a teenager? If not you are a naive sad sack. Nobody on this blog knows jack shet, just a bunch of fart-head pretenders.

Oyster,

What a "pearl" you just delivered son. LOL...

Yeah our attendance might be a little better too if sum of u got out from behind your computers, stopped strokin the sausage and talking crap on silly blogs like this one (pretending to know it all and thinking of yourselves as the all high and mighty superdolfans) and actually, you know, ATTENDED A GAME!!!

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