The move was inevitable. Tony Sparano had to be fired.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had spelled it out in the offseason when he promised fans a more exciting and winning team. The moment the Fins got off to an 0-7 start, Sparano’s fate was sealed. This isn’t about kicking Sparano while he’s down, but simply put, he didn’t do a good job.
I know some fans are quick to point out that Miami has played much better football over the last 6 weeks, but that doesn’t mean you can erase the debacle that was the first two months of the season. We also can’t forget the Dolphins have now had 3 straight seasons with a losing record. Do you know how many times that had happened to Miami since the franchise entered the NFL? Zero. That’s right, the Fins are in the middle of a historic run of misery. How do you not blame the head coach for that?
That said, Sparano may be the fall guy, but he isn’t the only one who deserves blame. Ross hasn’t done a single thing to inspire confidence in fans that the Dolphins are headed in the right direction. He botched this entire Sparano situation in the offseason when he flew cross-country to court then Stanford coach, Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh declined and has since led the 49ers to a division title. Ross had hoped to maybe speak with Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden, but neither coach would take Ross seriously until the job was vacant. Ross should have just fired Sparano then. If he was ready to hire Harbaugh, then he was clearly ready to fire Sparano, so why not just pull the trigger? Instead, he delayed the inevitable until today.
We also can’t forget about Bill Parcells and current general manager, Jeff Ireland. Parcells came to Miami and bailed faster than you can say “big tuna!” He took the money and ran, and in the process, left Ireland and Sparano to suffer the consequences. Ireland gets a pass from Ross, but I’m not sure he deserves one. Ross believes in Miami’s talent, so it’s Sparano who got the ax. Ireland must now prove he can really bring in talent, and it starts with a new quarterback. Ireland has become public enemy number 1 to fans, because he still represents the awful football of the last few years.
So what happens next? Ross will make the biggest decision he’s made as Miami’s owner. Remember, it was previous owner Wayne Huizenga who brought in this current regime. Now, only Ireland remains, and Ross must find a leader who can turn this mess around.
Ross can’t mess this up. He can’t be sitting here in 3 years making the same excuses. Tell me if you’ve heard all this all before. Welcome to the Miami Dolphins franchise.