Stephen Ross is a man of money beyond any person’s wildest dreams. He has degrees, achievements, and prosperity the masses couldn’t even begin to imagine. Yet to the world at large, especially that world comprised of Dade and Broward County Florida, he is a failure. How can a man who has gone so far and succeeded at every turn, be such a public failure. The reality is he has not failed he just has not succeeded. Seems like semantics, that may be, but there is a major difference. Jerry Jones has failed he has interjected himself into every decision macro and micro for the Dallas Cowboys since the day he took ownership. Win or lose the man responsible is the showman Jerry Jones. Well if you have followed the tenure of Jerry Jones, outside of 3 glorious years under achievement and failings have been the terms attached to the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones. Stephen Ross’s Dolphins have a similar feel; they are a once historical organization that has become unable to reach any level of success. The major difference is the roles Jones and Ross have taken. Both exclaim they want to win, yet one truly demonstrates it and the other truly does not. It is thought Jerry Jones pulls out all the stops… well the ones that can be seen to the naked eye. Jones will never make the one move most important to his team, removing himself from the equation. Ross from day one has stayed as far away from the Dolphins’ facilities as possible.
Stephen Ross got off on the wrong foot by trying to mask poor play on the field with glitz and glamour off of it. The truth is Ross has done all he could to put his team in a winning situation. The major difference between Jones and Ross; is Ross understands he is not a “football guy”. He does his best to bring in talented football minds to steer his franchise in the right direction. This has led to his team’s undoing, the fact he stays so far away has led him to pledge full loyalty to his employees. It is funny full loyalty is what any one of us would dream to have from our employer. However, it has led to the ruination of the Ross name. Instead of doing what he would do in any business he truly knew and trusted himself. In football he stayed away and let the futility linger. That was the Ireland era, fans want their owner far away, and in comparison to what Jerry Jones has done in Dallas, the Ross way is the dream. The problem is expertise of making money does mean an individual does have a great ability to spot talent. Ross wanted to make everyone else happy and leave the football world to the “football people”. Well in doing this as the ship sunk he tried to stay true, not because he is Mr. Loyal, that can’t be true. You cannot get as far as he got being loyal to a fault. He was loyal because he was being honorable and admitting he didn’t know. In that case he gave Ireland a long leash.
Ireland took that leash and eventually hung himself to a degree that Ross and his patience eventually had to act and cut off ties. Stephen Ross remains far in the background, where every NFL owner truly belongs. The one issue that should change this time around is decision making. We have seen so far in the Dennis Hickey era one unit. Hickey and Philbin work hand-in-hand. When two guys of their football experience work together, and fully understand each other that is the basis for a successful relationship. If that is the case, Ross should stay away and continue to be the anti Jerry Jones, in his role as owner. The one place Ross should learn from the past is when his upper level employees do not see eye to eye; it is incumbent upon him to act. There are many reasons he became a billionaire, knowing football is not one. However, knowing who to do what is, he knows how to be successful. It is admirable that he admitted his shortcomings in the football knowledge department, by not interjecting himself into personnel decisions. He must know how to decipher talent in the actual talent evaluators. Who can win or lose as head coach and general manager is entirely Stephen Ross’s responsibility. He is a man attacked unjustifiably, because he has done what every fan desires. They ask for an owner who will spend, spend, spend, and does not get in the way. Stephen Ross should not change that part, where he needs to be sure he transforms himself is to trust his instincts. He must’ve known Ireland was getting it all wrong, this time around hopefully he’s learned the inmates cannot run the asylum.
Hickey and Philbin are on the same page, a phrase that could never have been uttered while Jeff Ireland was in Miami! The moment that changes is it cannot fester, the onus is on Ross to make sure the channel of communication remains always open. Stephen Ross is not a failure as Dolphins’ owner, he just has yet to reach success. Failure is definitive, you can move onto another arena and succeed, but that failed action cannot be changed. Lack of success is fluid, it means you may not have reached your goals as of this moment, but you have time to turn it around. Stephen Ross has time to change his epithet as Dolphins’ owner, hopefully after all this lack of success he has finally found his true place as a Dolphin.