As the stadium situation in Miami suddenly becomes complicated, to say the least, Commissioner Roger Goodell has weighed in with a predictable yet ominous observation on the situation.
“We do want to see the Dolphins stay in Miami,” Goodell told Steve Wyche of NFL Network. “We want to see them stay in a facility that will allow them to compete, and to bring in other big events, including Super Bowls. That takes work, it takes investment, and [owner] Steve Ross was doing the investing and was really the guy who was putting his heart and soul into this and his passion into this. What’s frustrating is that it didn’t get a chance to get to the voters.”
The difference between “want” and “will” is subtle yet significant. Yes, we “want” the Dolphins to stay, in a facility better than the one they now have. So if they can’t get that, then anything is possible.
The situation has yet to approach the not-so-subtle-threat phase. Last year, Goodell and Steelers president Art Rooney II (chair of the stadium committee) traveled to Minnesota to explain to legislators that another year of governmental foot dragging would potentially result in moving truck loading.
The Dolphins tried in 2013 to finagle a partial public contribution to stadium upgrades without having to twist arms. The next phase surely will involve arm twisting. And if politicians like Will Weatherford refuse to say “uncle,” what the league wants could become what it had wanted.