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Save the Phins: An Open Letter to Stephen Ross

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Dear Mr. Ross,

I have been a diehard Miami Dolphins fan since 1990. I say, 1990 because that is when I actually started to understand football and watch it religiously. Before that, I was still a Phins fan, but too young to probably digest what football truly was (I was born in 1982) so I officially state I have been a Dolphins fan for over 20 years.

I’ve been a fan long enough to remember the greatness of Dan Marino, the moment his Achilles Tendon ruptured, Bernie Kosar taking over, Steve DeBerg, Scott Mitchell, Terry Kirby, Richmond Webb and John Offerdahl. I remember my cousin having a pretty badass poster of Louis Oliver and Jarvis Williams. I remember Bryan Cox flipping off the Buffalo crowd. Don Shula’s record setting victory. I remember drawing a picture in my Spanish class of Bernee Parmalee. I remember the Phins hinging hopes on Yatil Green and Karim Abdul-Jabbar.

I remember the fake-spike, the snow game against Dallas (or the Leon Lett Show) and the construction of one of nastiest defenses in the NFL with Sam Madison, Patrick Surtain, Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. I actually can recall seeing Madison, Taylor and Thomas drafted. I remember seeing the ticker at the bottom of my 13 inch tube television announcing the picks.

Today there is no mystique, no pride and no hope for the Miami Dolphins. We have become the laughing stock of the entire NFL and probably the sports world. We define the phrase “egg on face” we are officially the butt of the joke.

In the past we have endured tough seasons, but we had faith in our organization and front office. Wayne Huizenga made some goofy missteps but overall did good for the Phins.

Coaching decisions as well as player personnel decisions is always a 20/20 hindsite matter. The Cam Camerons, the Dave Wannstedts, the Rick Speilman’s will always be measured by their full body of work. I always cringe at hearing Jay Fieldler’s name or John Beck’s or Nick Saban’s but truthfully it’s only after witnessing their work.

I’ve had the absolute displeasure of watching your body of work the past few years. Many Phins fans loathe the fact Jeff Ireland is still the GM of this team, but I am on the fence and more likely to side with those who believe Ireland has done a good job. You on the other hand have provided a bigger disservice to this once proud franchise.

While there are other franchises that can complain of bigger embarrassments, but it’s hard for this franchise’s fanbase to see a once respected, honored and storied franchise fall from grace so ungracefully.

The latest pursuit of Peyton Manning is the last straw. The Phins were a frontrunner just as they were for Jeff Fisher before he took less money to go to St.Louis. We were a heavy favorite in the Jim Harbaugh sweepstakes, right before he saw how you treated Tony Sparano and decided to use you as leverage instead of an option. Bill Cowher wants nothing to do with us either.

In the case of Manning there was stiff competition for his services. But as I watched the past few weeks unfold I compared our pursuit to the other interested teams. I watched as John Elway led the charge for the Broncos yet again. I watch as Kurt Warner who spent only a few short seasons in Arizona, join in on the meetings with the Cardinals. I watched Tennessee who is less talented than any of the teams, get an extensive visit from Manning.

What I didn’t see was our full-court press. No Dan Marino bringing Peyton personally to the Dolphins. No Don Shula organizing a meeting at one of his restaurants. No Jason Taylor rallying the current roster at the Dolphins facility waiting to welcome Peyton with open arms. Nope. We had to fly to Peyton to get a minute of his time.

Marino and Shula keep a safe distance from this defunct embarrassment. This team that once focused on football and winning has no turned into a circus side show that is more interested in landing celebrity owners than fielding a winning team.

You have disgusted and angered a fan base so much that it has become one of the worst in the league. Too bitter to put any faith in your decisions and too disgusted to shell out money for your games.
Mr.Ross you have spit in every fans face. The Dolphins fans’ who pay for season tickets, the fans who spend on NFL Sunday Ticket just to keep up with your team, the fans who have spent decades of their lives living and dying with this team. You have made this team an ultimate embarrassment. The league laughs at you, analysts laugh at you, players laugh at you and your own fans laugh at you.

You spit in the face of talented players like Jake Long, Vontae Davis, Cameron Wake, Karlos Dansby, Davone Bess and others who deserve to play in playoff games in January rather than meaningless games in Week 6. You spit in the face of Joe Philbin who probably won’t have much say in player personnel. He deserves better. You also spit in the face of Jeff Ireland who probably has to temper your dumb ideas and proclamations and pull the trigger on things he isn’t sold on.

You spit in our face last year at our own stadium when you catered to Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators by making a halftime show all about them. You probably didn’t even noticed Tebow was on the same team playing the Dolphins that day, the team that would beat Miami.

Truth is Mr.Ross you have your real estate operation, you’ve had it before buying the Dolphins and you’ll have it after you sell the team. But this is ours, this has been ours and this will always be ours. This is our Miami Dolphins. This is the team we live with and die with. This isn’t a lofty business we operate, this courses through our veins. And you’re ruining it.

This offseason should make it crystal clear that while players can be sold on South Beach, the current roster and even Coach Philbin they cannot be sold on you. At this point you are the biggest disservice to the Miami Dolphins than any player or coach is or has been.

We don’t want red carpet celebrities trotting around in their faux jerseys acting like they have ever given a crap about the Dolphins. We don’t want elaborate halftime shows, we don’t want glitz and fame. We want to be proud of our team again. We want our stadium to be packed because we are a great team. Most of all, we want to be able to say we are a diehard Dolphins fan with a straight face. We want to be able to say it without having to be laughed at because of our idiot owner.

We want our team back Mr.Ross and the way to do so is to take it out of your hands, for good.

So I personally started SaveThePhins.com (hosted by SportsRantz.com) to provide a place for Dolphins fans to petition to get you to sell the team. Fans who are as disgruntled as I am to share their opinions.

In conclusion I just want you gone, long gone and far away from the Dolphins.

Dolphin fans lets stand up together, Join the movement here – SaveThePhins.com

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

NEWS

Raiders’ Antonio Brown Settles Lawsuit

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New Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was acquired via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this offseason, has struck a settlement with a man, Ophir Sternberg, that claimed that he nearly killed a toddle by throwing furniture off of a Miami apartment building balcony, according to TMZ.

In the lawsuit, Sternberg claims his 22-month-old son was walking around the pool at the high-end apartment complex back in April 2018 when suddenly “large objects started to fall from the building many floors above them.”

Sternberg claimed that Brown tossed everything from vases, an ottoman, and other pieces of furniture from the balcony and they landed within feet of the toddler.

Brown had denied throwing the items, claiming that it was another person who had access to his apartment on that day.

Police responded to the scene and reported that Brown was “very agitated” and yelling when they arrived, noting that people have been trying to calm Brown down.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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NBA

Eagles’ Jalen Mills Arrested

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Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills was arrested in Washington D.C following an altercation with Washington Wizards player Devin Robinson, according to the Associated Press’ Howard Fendrich (via the Washington Post).

Both men were charged with disorderly affray, which is described as fighting in a public place.

According to the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, a verbal altercation broke out between the two that escalated into a physical fight that took place on the sidewalk.

Robinson was transported to a hospital following the fight with Mills and upon his release he was taken to to department’s 2nd District station where Mills was detained.

Mills and Robinson were “involved in a verbal altercation which escalated into a physical altercation on the sidewalk adjacent to the Opera Night Club” in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to the police report.

Both teams have since responded, with the Wizards essentially parting ways with Robinson due to the incident.

“We are aware of the incident this morning involving Devin and are disappointed in his actions. We will not extend him a qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season,” the Wizards said in a statement.

The Eagles issued a statement saying that they are “aware of the situation” and “continuing to gather more information.”

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NEWS

Mike Tannenbaum Joins ESPN

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Following his run as Executive Vice President of Football Operations with the Miami Dolphins, and long-overdue dismissal following a disaster 2018 season, Mike Tannenbaum is joining ESPN, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

Tannenbaum will end up being ESPN’s replacement for Bill Polian, who retired from broadcasting to become a co-founder of the Alliance of American Football, which officially ended all operations last week.

Tannenbaum will make appearances on SportsCenter, NFL Live, and other ESPN productions in the build up to the NFL Draft and will also be a part of ESPN’s draft coverage during the 2019 NFL Draft.

At the end of the 2018 season, Tannenbaum was “reassigned” within the Dolphins organization, although no details were provided at the time and no information regarding his re-assignment have been made public since.

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