Miami Dolphins Fire Tony Sparano; Keep GM Ireland

Sparano’s final post-loss handshake


Miami, FL —  Although the Miami Dolphins played some inspired football over the past two months – winning 4 out of their last 6 games – head coach Tony Sparano was finally fired Monday. Though expected eventually, the timing seemed odd. Many assumed that if Sparano lasted through an 0-7 start, he’d obviously keep his job until the end of the season, especially with the team winning as of late. Nope – not in Dolphinland, aka Loserville, USA.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross saw Jacksonville and Kansas City fire their coaches within the past 2 weeks, and didn’t want to fall behind in the 2012 coaching search. Guys like Bill Cowher and John Gruden won’t accept interviews from teams with their head coaches still in place, therefore it was better to cut Sparano loose now rather than face the possibility of top free agent coaches signing elsewhere.

What seemed really bizarre and unprofessional is the fact that the Dolphins front office obviously made the decision to fire Sparano after Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, yet still had Sparano give his weekly Monday morning press conference, where he spoke about facing the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. He was let-go moments later.

The most upsetting part of Monday’s announcement was that Jeff Ireland is still General Manager. The two men came in together to institute Parcells’ “Genius”, but suddenly the team’s shortcomings all Sparano’s, yet not Ireland’s? Ireland might have referred to coach Sparano as his “friend”, but let’s not forget he jumped on a plane with Ross last January to try and hire Jim Harbaugh behind his “friend’s” back. Stand up guy that Jeff Ireland is.

Note to Stephen Ross — top-flight head coaching candidates such as Bill Cowher, John Gruden, Jeff Fisher or Brian Billick will want to bring in their own GM. Plus, nobody likes working for a back-stabbing D-bag. Just sayin’. So Ireland is in the uncomfortable spot of choosing a new Coach who will probably ultimately let him go.

Such is life in the NFL, but hopefully Sparano, by all accounts a good man, will land a good coaching job, and by “good” I mean no Parcells or Chad Henne. Here’s to Sparano’s future “feeding the wolf” with “chunk yards”, and to the new age of Dolphin football, with or without Jeff Ireland.


Here are some quality articles that delve deeper into the reasons behind the mess, and the Dolphins’ plans for the future….

What happened to make Ross suddenly believe in Jeff Ireland?:

Miami Dolphins Loyalty to Jeff Ireland — Miami Herald

Ireland really screwed over his “Friend”:

Miami Dolphins: A Tale of Sparano and Ireland — Sun-Sentinel

Were the Coaches the problem, or the GMs?:

Chiefs and Dolphins Fire Coaches, Ignore Real Problems — Grantland

Selling Coaches on Dolphins will be tough:

Dolphins Coaching Job is a No-Win Situation — Fox Sports

Stephen Ross discusses why, and who he wants to bring in:

Dolphins Fire tony Sparano as Coach —