Dolphins Head Coach Search Could Spark Fan Revolt

“In every revolution, there’s one man with a vision,” — Captain Kirk to alternate-universe Spock-with-beard

Dolphins Owner Faces Potential Fan Revolt

It appears as though Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wants to test the loyalty of his team’s fans. His apparent — and predictable — decision to retain his convoluted front office and charge it with hiring a new head coach will draw much ire from a fan base sick and tired of watching the team repeatedly make the same mistakes.

How do we know this?

Some odd events played out on Tuesday.

The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero issued the below Tweet to his blog indicating that the cabal of Mike Tannenbaum, Dawn Aponte and Dennis Hickey would be charged with finding the next head coach of the Dolphins. For some reason — and maybe we’re missing something here — the link no longer works and the story seems to have disappeared from Salguero’s Typepad blog. We dispatched a Tweet to ‘Mando to determine the fate of the link and will update if he responds.

PhinManiacs.com penned some analysis based on Salguero’s post:

Furthermore, there will be no front office reset, as GM Dennis Hickey, Vice Chairman Matt Higgins, Executive VP of Football Administration Dawn Aponte, President/CEO Tom Garfinkel and of course Owner Stephen Ross will also be sitting on meetings to decide who will be the next head coach.

This will no doubt come as a huge disappointment for Dolphins fans, as they were looking forward to seeing everyone in the building lose their jobs and turn the facility in Davie into a ghost town…I for one have come to see the more human side of these people and I would feel bad for them if they were fired, but I know it’s business and things need to be done. — PhinManiacs.com

The lack of a “front office reset” presents a problem, not just for the fan base, but for the NFL coaching community in general. No NFL coach worth his salt — short of getting paid wheelbarrows of cash in a Washington Redskins-style move — will touch the Dolphins organization under its current construction.

Once again, Ross will make adjustments by “halves.” Instead of admitting that his formula completely and reliably delivers bad football, he refuses to wipe the chalkboard clean and start fresh. So the Dolphins will again make the mistake of retaining incumbents while layering in a new coach — ala the decision to retain Jeff Ireland while adding Joe Philbin as head coach. Ireland lasted one more season before being replaced by Dennis Hickey.

Reports about an Aponte/Philbin alliance undermining Ireland’s relationship with Ross have unfairly painted Aponte as some sort of internal villainess. Aponte appears to be an extremely competent football operations employee and will most likely play a part in negotiating the number of dollars it’ll require to lure some sucker onto the Dolphins sideline.

None of this will be accepted by Dolphins fans — all of whom hold Tannenbaum, the Executive VP of Football Operations — in suspicion based on his failed history with the hated New York Jets.

And in case Ross failed to pay attention to national politics, the reason Donald Trump continues to lead in polls for the GOP presidential candidacy is based on a frustrated voter base tired of having zero voice for change in Washington. Thankfully Ross isn’t a sleazy, corrupt, evil politician, but when it comes to running the Dolphins, the team’s record under his ownership tenure speaks for itself. Fan frustration resembles the period shortly after the 1-15 season under former head coach Cam Cameron.

It’s difficult enough to keep a Miami audience engaged when a team isn’t winning, so a fan-driven boycott of 2016 tickets shouldn’t really be all that difficult.

Fans must realize they can vote with their feet and if they really and truly love their team, staging a season-long boycott might require short-term sacrifice in order to deliver a long-term message. Getting sucked into big free-agent signings and PR spin might not work this time around as the Dolphins “won” the 2015 off-season and delivered one of the Top 10 worst seasons in team history.