Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said Monday he’s sticking with Tony Sparano as his coach. This can only mean one thing: Stephen Ross will surely fire Tony Sparano by the end of the 2011 season.
"I am very disappointed, to put it mildly," Ross said in an interview on WINZ Monday. "But I think that we have to stay together and really get behind our coach. I believe that Tony is the right coach."
Say what? You may remember Ross surreptitiously flew to California last winter trying to lure then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh to the NFL. He failed, and the Dolphins were stuck with Sparano for at least one more year.
"Everybody talks about changes, and that they would change things around," Ross added. "If you look at the winning teams, they’re consistent and stay the course. You go through rough periods. I think we have a lot of talent."
For football coaches, there are few things more daunting than a vote of confidence from the boss.
Sure, on the surface it means ownership is committed to stability. But make no mistake, an owner who has to publicly support his embattled coach is not a happy owner, ergo Sparano's job is not long for this world.
Of course, maybe Ross is secretly part of the growing contingent of Dolfans who are rooting for a losing season so the team can select Stanford QB Andrew Luck first pick in the NFL Draft. Perhaps Ross will soon join the chorus yelling "Suck for Luck."
"I think most important of the players really believe in Tony," Ross continued.
"As long as the players believe in Tony and they’re playing hard for him, and with the talent we have, we are going to win our share of ballgames."
We see what you're doing here, Stephen. And we're too intrigued by the idea of Luck in aqua and orange to lodge much of a protest.