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SBD/August 25, 2014/FranchisesPrint All
The Dolphins last night officially announced Pro Football HOFer Dan Marino "has accepted a position" in the team's front office and will "serve as a special advisor" to both Owner Stephen Ross and President & CEO Tom Garfinkel, according to Adam Beasley of the MIAMI HERALD. Marino will "have no formal role in the team's personnel or coaching departments," and his "primary involvement will be on the business side." However, he is "willing to provide input whenever -- and wherever -- asked, football operations included." Marino had "been in talks with the franchise about a formal role for months, although his responsibilities are still not clearly defined." He has been an "increasingly visible figure within the organization, popping in on practices and games, and representing the franchise in the Bahamas in the spring." Unlike his "abbreviated stint with the franchise" in '04, this is "not believed to be a short-term hire" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/25). In Ft. Lauderdale, Omar Kelly writes Marino's new role "puts him in Ross’ circle of trust," and he will be "responsible for helping to re-brand" the Dolphins. The position does not give Marino the "same power and control" as Broncos Exec VP/Football Operations John Elway, but he now "has the owner’s ear on a regular basis, and will be in a position where he can guide Ross when it comes to making better football decisions." Marino’s presence and voice "should add some clout and football insight" to Ross' circle of advisers (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 8/25). In West Palm Beach, Andrew Abramson notes Marino's interest in joining the team "grew earlier this year after he lost his job as panelist on 'The NFL Today' on CBS." The team "chose to keep Marino’s announcement low key and did not hold a news conference to formally reintroduce him as part of the franchise" (PALM BEACH POST, 8/25).
The Washington Post's editorial board on Friday announced that it will stop using the word Redskins, "joining a growing list of commentators who have renounced the term because they believe it disparages Native Americans," according to Annys Shin of the WASHINGTON POST. The editorial board "is separate from the news-gathering side of the organization, which Executive Editor Martin Baron said will continue to use the team’s moniker." The Post editorial board’s "stance against the name predates" Daniel Snyder’s ownership of the team. It "published its first editorial decrying it in 1992 but last used the name of the team in an Aug. 13 editorial." Redskins Senior VP/Communications Tony Wyllie said, "The editorial board has been opposed to the Washington Redskins name for more than 30 years" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/23).
TJ COULD TAKE A STAND: ESPN's Tom Jackson said he may "follow suit" and join NBC's Tony Dungy and CBS' Phil Simms in trying to avoid using the Redskins name on air. Jackson said, "It’s hard for me to believe that Native Americans see that as a term of endearment and respect. ... I don’t have the right to tell Native Americans what’s insulting to them. I don’t have the right to do that. And I don’t think that anybody’s who’s not Native American can tell Native Americans what’s insulting to them" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/22). Meanwhile, ESPN's Mike Ditka last week indicated he did not support changing the Redskins moniker, but on Friday he admitted that he "would be willing to change his stance on the term 'if an American Indian says it’s offensive.'" Ditka: "If an American Indian says it’s offensive, that’s fine. I’m all for changing it. But I don’t want some liberal to come out and say, ‘this is wrong.’ It isn’t wrong" (SUNTIMES.com, 8/22).
SILENCE IS GOLDEN? In N.Y., Bob Raissman reports he "attempted to speak with Simms" regarding his stance, but Simms' rep, "without expanding, said he was 'unavailable.'" Simms and Dungy have "never met a microphone or camera they didn’t like," but in the "wake of their statements they went into mummy mode." Raissman: "Simms and Dungy probably believe they made their point. Or maybe the NFL, and or CBS/NBC, told them to lower the burner" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/25).
The Browns have "increased their season ticket base" by about 10% in each of the last two years, and the season-ticket base is now "very close to whatever number they want," according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. That means it is "possible a good year on the field could produce a waiting list for season tickets" in '15. Single-game tickets were made available to the public Aug. 12, and "within 15 minutes," games against the Saints and Steelers "sold out, including all premium areas." Within 30 minutes, the Browns "sold enough single-game tickets to ensure no home TV blackouts." The Browns also have "sold out season suites" for '14 and have "only a few left for single games." The "average attendance for training camp was 3,364," with the previous best being 2,652. Traffic on the team website is up 101% from a year ago, and the Browns have the "No. 3 selling jersey in the NFL," with QB Johnny Manziel at No. 1 (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/23).
INTEREST UP ON SECONDARY MARKET: In Cleveland, Kevin Kleps examines the prices of Browns tickets of the secondary market and notes tickets on Vivid Seats have "increased 11.6% year-over-year,” while SeatGeek data shows Browns tickets “are up 30.5% -- the fourth-largest jump in the league.” Cleveland-based Amazing Tickets Owner Mark Klang said that the difference in the prices the team's games are fetching on the secondary market this year “is more than 40% ahead” of ‘13. Klang “credits the increase” to the presence of Manziel. Klang: “The Browns are on ESPN 24/7, they're on the NFL Network all the time -- that's all because of Johnny.” Kleps notes on the secondary market, the “hype, combined with the reduction of about 4,000 seats (FirstEnergy Stadium's capacity is now about 68,000), has meant better value for resellers.” Klang said that his Browns regular-season seats “all are selling for at least $100” (CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 8/25 issue).
In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette wrote the Jaguars have "no indisputable face of the franchise," which is "not necessarily a good problem for a team starving to make a name for itself." Frenette asked 10 returning Jaguars who the face of the franchise is and "only one consensus was reached ... it’s either owner Shad Khan or coach Gus Bradley." Not one player "named a teammate as the face of the franchise, and that’s a function of where the Jaguars stand at the moment" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 8/24).
COMMUNITY OUTREACH: In Buffalo, Lisa Khoury reported fan group Bills Fan Thunder is "asking its 13,000 members to send personal emails" to Jon Bon Jovi’s PR team, "giving their personal testimonies of why it means so much to keep their team in Buffalo" (BUFFALONEWS.com, 8/22). Also in Buffalo, Jerry Zremski wrote even after $130M in renovations this year, Ralph Wilson Stadium "is not -- and probably can never be -- the moneymaking machine that the NFL now favors." Some NFL owners are "so keen on a new venue for the Bills that they're even recommending a site for it: downtown Buffalo." But sources said that some owners believe the "new home should be closer to Toronto and Rochester to cash in on those markets" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/24).
LEAVING ON A JET PLANE: On Long Island, Bob Glauber noted many Jets fans Thursday "sent the strongest possible message" that the club "ought to re-connect with their Long Island roots and return to the heart of their fan base for their summer-long training camp." An estimated 11,000 fans "streamed into Shuart Stadium" at Hofstra Univ. to watch the Jets' final practice session. The team has held training camp in Cortland, N.Y., the past seven years after previously holding camp at Hofstra for more than four decades. Glauber: "It is time to re-create the memories that lasted nearly half a century on Long Island. It is time for the Jets to move back home for training camp" (NEWSDAY, 8/24).
SHARING IS CARING: The Seahawks and Boeing on Friday announced a community program -- Legion of Youth Powered by Boeing -- will give out 100 tickets for each Seahawks home game to a group or organization. Twenty-five youth will each receive four game tickets, breakfast with a special message from a Seahawks alum, concession vouchers, and a Legion of Youth Powered by Boeing sweatshirt (Seahawks).