In 2009, the Miami Dolphins welcomed their new owner Stephen M. Ross to the world of the NFL after purchasing the team.
Stephen Ross’ tenure in Miami has been met with mixed results and there has been some blame in his direction after Bullygate and certainly missing on Jim Harbaugh.
Ross was often the butt of jokes that he was an absentee owner and that one only knew he was in town when his chopper would land at the Dolphins training facility since he lived and worked at Related Companies in New York City.
However, Stephen Ross got it right when he finally hired the coach that would lead the Miami Dolphins to the playoffs in his first season.
Just last week, he had to make a decision with the force of nature-Hurricane Irma bearing down on South Florida and asked the NFL for the best case scenario and quite possibly a way out of playing week one or playing Tampa Bay at a neutral site.
For everything that the NFL stands for, Stephen Ross plays by the rules, but the NFL made the decision as Ross and his executives and his head coach and GM learned the Dolphins and Buccaneers would play in week 11, their scheduled bye week.
So the Miami Dolphins began the week- on Tuesday with a bye and players were able to go about their business and head home if they needed to. Some players went home and spent time with family whom they hadn’t seen in weeks while other Dolphin players went home to board up windows and get their families ready for the impending storm.
Stephen Ross, seeing that the Dolphins were not going to play and practicing could be out of the question in Davie with the remnants of Hurricane Irma still being felt, rounded up the team, players, executives, and families. All the families that wished to accompany the team and executive team were welcome.
It’s a breath of fresh air that Stephen Ross made this decision to fly the team and all families out just before the hurricane outer bands reached South Florida.
While the storm was not nearly as severe for South Florida as many had feared early in the week, 5.6 million people were scheduled to evacuate the area and some of them stayed home and braved the storm as Hurricane Irma made landfall at Key West early Sunday.
As owners will one day be judged on how the team did in the standings and if they won Super Bowls, know this about Stephen Ross, both aspects of ownership matter to him, but the one that matters most is having a heart.
Tomorrow will be a very telling day in South Florida and in Southwest Florida as the pieces will have to be picked up as the Miami Dolphins are far away in Oxnard, CA making their preparations for their official week 1.
Nothing can compare to the heart of Stephen Ross and the people of Florida who will work together to rebuild the very foundations that made Stephen Ross, the developer his money.
Photo Credit: dolphinswire.usatoday.com