It’s been a hard season for Miami Dolphins fans. The team has started 2019 with four straight losses. Fins players who beat the New England Patriots on December 9, 2018, with the “Miami Miracle” haven’t won a game since Adam Gase was head coach, Mike Tannenbaum was Vice President of Football Operations, and Kenny Stills, Laremy Tunsil, Cameron Wake, Frank Gore, and Ryan Tannehill were on the roster.
This 0-4 Dolphins have been outscored 163-26. As of this past Sunday, when they lost to the Los Angeles Chargers, the team has been outscored 81-0 in the second half alone. Fans and media have already begun looking to next year in hope of drafting a franchise quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa, pronounced TUNG-oh-VAI-loa, the star quarterback of the Alabama Crimson tide.
Click below for an audio story and fan reaction to the Dolphins and Stephen Ross’s tenure:
In 2017 Tua was subbed in during the second half for then-Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts. He led the Tide to a national championship. Last season he took Alabama to the championship game as a full-time starter but lost to Clemson and freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He is the most hyped quarterback since Andrew Luck in 2012 (Remember Suck for Luck?) and Peyton Manning in 1998.
How did the team get here? Owner and chairman Stephen Ross completed his purchase of the Dolphins in 2009. The season before that, in 2008, he bought 50 percent of the team as well as Dolphins Stadium (now known as Hard Rock Stadium) from Wayne Huizenga. The deal was completed for a reported $1.1 billion. Since then, the Dolphins have gone 72-92. He has let go Tony Sparano (29-32), interim coach Todd Bowles (2-1), Joe Philbin (24-28), interim coach Dan Campbell (5-7), and Adam Gase (23-25).
Sparano led the Fins to an AFC East championship in 2008 when Ross wasn’t majority owner, and Gase took them to a 2016 wild-card berth. Now Ross has turned to Chris Grier to take full control of football operations and Brian Flores to become the head coach.
Ross has at times been innovative. He brought in Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, and Serena Williams as minority owners of the team in 2013. And he led a significant rebuild of the stadium, which helped the NFL to deliver a Super Bowl to Miami. He also helped keep the Miami Open in South Florida and opened Hard Rock Stadium to WrestleMania in 2012, La Liga’s “El Classico” in 2017, the Orange Bowl, and more. He hired President and CEO of the Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Tom Garfinkle, who has turned around the Dolphins business side of its operation.
Despite the losses, Ross has spent his money and kept the team in town and afloat. Things might not be pretty right now, but Ross has a vision and is determined to make sure he leaves his mark as the Dolphins owner.