Forbes Underestimates Parcells' Value

Don't ever swim away, please, Tuna

By Janie Campbell
|  Thursday, Sep 3, 2009  |  Updated 4:45 PM EDT
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Forbes Underestimates Parcells' Value

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That's not grass - it's shredded value.

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Sure, there's Jake Long's bulging muscles and Jason Taylor's drive and Vernon Carey's, um, fat -- but the most valuable part of the Dolphins is riding around on a golf cart and answering to "Tuna." 

Forbes, who can and will put a price tag on anything (next month: feelings, colors), has assigned one to Executive VP of Football Operations Bill Parcells$300 million. That's the difference between the value his last three employers -- the Jets, Patriots, and Cowboys -- would have added based on average league appreciation ($700 million) and what they gained instead with Parcells on board ($1 billion).

While he says it's just a coincidence -- "I came along at a time when values were on the upswing" -- anyone who's seen him take a team mired in mediocrity and buried in debt to Super Bowl contention knows he's just being modest. Parcells is a phenomenal evaluator of talent, a master rebuilder, and a guy who commands loyalty from his players in an age of faster food and freer agents. In other words, he can exponentially increase the value of a franchise by winning -- without getting pushed around by the salary cap or forcing owners to resort to stadium construction projects.

Dolphins fans already know that, and know that with the $350 million Miami owed in debt, spiraling season ticket sales (61,000 in 2006 to 47,000 in 2008), and only 1 win in 2007, they're lucky to have him. Buyer Stephen Ross brought new capital to what Wayne Huizenga had plunged into financial distress, but he also brought kittens, no sports ownership experience, kittens, a narrow view of what Miami's all about, kittens, and some seriously cockamamie marketing schemes that are threatening to separate fans from their sanity (having already humiliated them in sports bars).

That's where the Tuna's added value lies: ask around town what Fins fans think is the best thing their team has going, and most will say either Parcells or the coach he brought in, Tony Sparano. When there's so much to find disenfranchising -- genuflecting at the orange carpet, say -- coupled with a need to drive values up for long-term security, there's no doubt it's a faith in Parcells that keeps people hanging on, forking over, and enduring the heat on Sundays. 

Take that, lifeless eyes of Jennifer Lopez!

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