Miami is a famously fickle sports town. The Dolphins used to be the exception to that rule, but that's no longer the case.
At a time when owner Stephen Ross reportedly is meddling in the team's draft plans, the Dolphins risk being forgotten in a South Florida sports scene where the Heat, Marlins and even NHL's Panthers are attracting positive buzz.
"Once upon a time, the Dolphins could be arrogant and private, and they were," Dan Le Batard of The Miami Herald writes. "That's tolerated when you are winning. Or relevant. Or interesting. But these Dolphins aren't any of those things. So arrogant and private don't work when what you are doing is begging people for their money."
The Dolphins have tried to be more transparent in response, using general manager Jeff Ireland more with the media. Usually a new head coach brings a honeymoon period. But the continued presence of Ireland and the continued lack of a quarterback have dulled any "fresh start" feeling.
Miami's season-ticket numbers have plunged, cut almost in half from their peak. The team reportedly is selling worse than they were coming off Cam Cameron's 1-15 season. That's despite the team having the cheapest season ticket package in the league. Those empty seats that dotted Dolphins games last year only figure to increase, with the risk of blackouts increasing as well. The team's weak draft record isn't helping.
"The Dolphins aren't just behind teams, plural, in their division; they are behind teams, plural, in this town. And that has never before been the case," Le Batard writes.
No wonder why Ross is pressuring Ireland to bring some excitement and hope back to the team.