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SBD/August 30, 2011/Franchises
Gator Bait: Dolphins Under Fire For Plans To Honor '08 UF National Championship Team
Published August 30, 2011
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LOOKING FOR NEW WAYS TO SELL TICKETS: Dee said, "We never envisioned that the reaction we've gotten would be what it is. ... It'd be great to just open the doors and let 70,000 people come in. But now we need to be creative and aggressive. We've got to push." In West Palm Beach, Ethan Skolnick notes a blackout "was clearly a concern for that Oct. 23 date with Denver, which is not a Miami rival." Skolnick writes of Dee, "He did not convince me that Gator Day was a brilliant idea. Rather, he convinced me that the Dolphins are just about out of ideas when it comes to drawing fans during these challenging times. They've tried celebrity owners, an orange carpet, a nightclub, even an awful new fight song. Still, they're searching." However, Skolnick writes the "transparent tie-in with Tebow, a player on the visiting team, seemed beneath an NFL franchise that has touted its own tradition for decades" (PALM BEACH POST, 8/30).
BAD TIMING: In Miami, Greg Cote notes Dee is "working damage control," as the "timing of the announcement makes it seem like piling on" after the recent scandal involving UM and booster Nevin Shapiro. Dee said, "There may be a raw nerve at the moment." Cote writes the Dolphins front office "is making a habit of these sporadic embarrassments big and small, from Jeff Ireland/Dez Bryant to Stephen Ross' Jim Harbaugh mess to the team gift shop selling Jets jerseys to this." The team needs to "draw a line." Cote: "The Dolphins are a Miami team. This is Miami" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/30). In Orlando, George Diaz wrote under the header, "Worst Idea Ever: Dolphins Honoring Tebow, Gators On UM Turf." Diaz: "Dee obviously is clueless when it comes to all things involving Hurricanes, Gators and Seminoles. Nobody likes each other. Memo to Dee: Many fans actually hate the other side" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 8/29).
SIGN OF THINGS TO COME? In West Palm Beach, Brian Biggane reports the Dolphins' game Thursday night against the Cowboys will be blacked out locally, which "could be a harbinger of things to come." The team has "sold out 101 straight games," though reportedly "thousands of tickets remain for the Week 2 home game against Houston" (PALM BEACH POST, 8/30). In Miami, Barry Jackson notes there is a "realistic possibility that a few regular-season home games also might be blacked out." Dee said of the game against the Texans, "If there were a couple thousand tickets left, we would figure out a way to get it done. But this is more significant" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/30).