BY SEAN DONOVAN
But he seems to be learning that the formula for success in business -- the guy is a self-made billionaire and real estate magnate -- is much different from the formula for success on the football field.
“I’m a developer,” Ross (Photo: Corey Seeman, Flickr) said in an interview with CBS4 television in Miami. “So I'm looking at property and I have to have a vision. In football, it’s a lot harder to do.”
In his brief time as the owner of the Dolphins, he has been reviled by his fans for on-field failures and a focus on celebrity partners and stadium amenities rather than team victories. He has renovated Sun Life Stadium into a destination for celebration, but given the fans who file in there nothing to celebrate about.
On his watch, a once-proud NFL franchise has deteriorated into an AFC welcome mat.
It's not for a lack of trying on Ross' part, but most of his franchise's problems are attributable to his misunderstanding of the league. He seemed to first approach it as any other industry, where smart financial investment can fix just about any problem. But he is learning, slowly, that building a successful football product isn't about the restaurants and nightclubs at the stadium. Instead, it's first and foremost about building a winning team.
The fans are frustrated and angry, and Ross knows it because he hears all of the negative reaction from them.
“You’ve got to believe in yourself… anything in life. However, the criticism does sting,” Ross said.
The criticism of Ross won't stop until the Dolphins are winning games. There is literally nothing else that will alleviate the frustration that gets pointed in his direction.
All indications are that he is trying to step back and organically build a winning franchise.
The silver lining here for Dolphins fans is that they have an owner who loves his team, has nearly unlimited resources, and is willing to learn what it takes to build them a successful team.
“You know, you go through life once, and if you can afford to do something you have great passion to do, you go for it,” Ross said.
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