When the Dolphins conclude their season with a January 1 game against the Jets, a message other than “Happy New Year” will be circling above Sun Life Stadium for two hours before kickoff.
According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post, the proprietors of Finsnation.com have purchased a flying billboard, which will read: “Mr. Ross, save our Dolphins. Fire Jeff Ireland.”
The effort costs a whopping $1,500, but Chris Joseph and Roger Paul have solicited donations to finance the message.
“We just put it out there on Twitter, and the next thing you know it snowballed like crazy,” Joseph told Volin on Thursday. “This afternoon we put up a Paypal link, and within four hours we met our goal, just purely on donations. We’re just overwhelmed by people’s anger.”
So why should Ireland go? “There’s a feeling that he’s going to screw up the draft again or not get the quarterback that everyone wants,” Joseph said. “Firing Sparano was one thing, but if you’re going to do that, you’ve got to clean house.”
In this case, it’s hard not to agree. Somehow, owner Stephen Ross has determined that the struggles trace not to a lack of talent, but to bad coaching. The better approach would be to treat the General Manager and head coach as a package deal — either both stay, or both go.
The fact that Ireland was able to save his job surely did nothing to foster the kind of relationship that needs to exist between G.M. and coach. If/when the two men have equal accountability, they’ll get along a hell of a lot better, and when things get rough they won’t worry about trying to save their own butts, focusing their energy and time instead on finding a way to work together in the hopes of saving both their jobs.