Frustrated and fed up, about three dozen Miami Dolphins fans protested the team's free agent failures just across the street from its Davie training facility Tuesday.
“If you’re a Dolphin fan, you’ve been seeing this for years. It’s just one thing after the next. Everybody’s starting to turn us down," fan Matt Cozzo said, in light of the team's unsuccessful pursuit of top quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn, not long after coaches Jeff Fisher and Jim Harbaugh turned down the Dolphins. "This is one of the greatest places in the world to live, and they can’t even get somebody to play football here and to coach here?”
Most of the ire was directed at General Manager Jeff Ireland, a day after Dolphins fans took aim at the GM with some creative edits to his Wikipedia bio. Team owner Stephen Ross' bio became the target of angry Dolfans early Tuesday.
The entry accused Ross of "blowing up the Miami Dolphins franchise with a series of bizarre off the field distractions (Orange Carpet, Club Liv, Jimmy Buffett), failed coaching changes, public relations lies (see prior statement) and other management miscues which have turned the NFL's formerly winningest franchise into the laughing stock of the league, unable to attract even washed up veteran superstars or unproven younger talent."
It's been a tough week to be a Dolphins fan, after the team lost out on one superstar QB, Manning, and a potential star, Flynn. Not to mention the surprise trade of star receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears last week, and Monday night's signing of former Jacksonville Jaguars' QB David Garrard, which didn't instill a lot of hope in the front office.
While the edit to Ross' entry was critical, the changes to Ireland's were even worse. His job title was changed from "General Manager" to "Chairman, Department of Terrible Decisions." The first sentence of the entry read: "Jeff Ireland (born in a Denny's parking lot in Abilene, Texas) is the most incompetent human being in the history of existence."
"He has previously served as an executive for the Dallas Cowboys," it continues, "a team he dearly loves, proving so by signing every player the Cowboys cut to the Miami Dolphins."
The edits to Ireland's page were changed back within hours, but as of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Ross edits were still posted. The Ross page even managed to poke fun at his addition of celebrity ownership to the Dolphins.
"A native of Miami Beach, he also co-owns the Miami Dolphins NFL football franchise with Fergie, Mark Anthony, the Williams sisters and anyone else who would pay down some of his enormous debts for a vanity stake in the team and 95% of Sun Life Stadium," it reads.
At the fan protest Tuesday afternoon, Brad London of Pembroke Pines dressed as a clown and said clowns are running the team.
“We’re the laughingstock of the NFL, and we’re just tired of it. We need some new leadership," he said.
A few fans wore bags over their heads. Another guy held a Dan Marino figurine and said the Dolphins need a quarterback like that.
"Give us some hope," he said. "That's all we want. Give us some hope."
Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene said in a statement that the team is striving toward that end.
"We have the most passionate fans in football, and they are not shy about letting their sentiments be known," Greene said. "We understand and we are working hard on giving them something to cheer about this season."
Later Tuesday Ireland addressed the rising frustration. Speaking only to newspapers, he pleaded for fans to let the process play out.
"Where we are at this juncture, I'm happy where we are at the quarterback position," Ireland said, according to The Miami Herald. "You have to remember we're not even halfway through the player acquisition process. We will continue to leave no stone unturned. We have a process in place that we're following but we're also being flexible."