Why Hard Knocks Will Help, Not Hurt, the Miami Dolphins
"I wasn't too thrilled to tell you the truth. I think we were informed at a team meeting and there were a lot of groans when it was announced. But, we're going to have to deal with it and try not to let it be a distraction. But it's going to be fun for the fans, and just looking at a football standpoint...I don't know how much that's helping our team."
In the midst of his rant, Fasano unknowingly justified the organization's decision.
"It's going to be fun for the fans," he said.
The Dolphins are not appearing on Hard Knocks to better their chances of winning the Super Bowl. In fact, the players have nothing to gain from this except an influx of Twitter followers.
Instead, this is a PR move. Through and through.
The franchise's image has never been worse, and for all intents and purposes, the Miami Dolphins are in crisis management mode.
Stephen Ross has alienated fans with celebrity owners, the orange carpet, "Fins Up," that horrible fight song, and the worst promotion of all time: Gator Day. Not to mention, he embarrassed the organization by courting Jim Harbaugh and then retaining Tony Sparano. And, under his watch, the Dolphins have made some historic draft blunders (Pat White, Chad Henne and Patrick turner come to mind) and failed to land Jeff Fisher and Peyton Manning this offseason.
Fans have gone to unparalleled lengths to protest this team's mismanagement, flying a "Fire Jeff Ireland" plane above the stadium and picketing outside of team headquarters.
Here's some Public Relations 101 for you.
When a crisis arises, an entity can venture down multiple avenues. It can issue a public apology, make some charitable donations, or just hunker down, stay quiet and hope the crisis passes. None of these tactics will pacify Dolphins fans' anger though, so the team is resorting to another strategy: Transparency.
And there's no better vehicle for transparency than Hard Knocks.
Quite frankly, this is the most brilliant move the Dolphins could have possibly made; however, the success of this move is contingent upon Stephen Ross and Jeff Ireland's ability to appear compete and professional—not like the bumbling idiots the public perceives them as.
Hard Knocks will cover underdogs and players on the roster bubble, and they'll highlight the team's most gregarious characters. In the end, the Dolphins can emerge as an extraordinarily likable team that can gain supporters nationwide.
But, again, it's up to the organization to capitalize on this opportunity.
I don't care what anybody says, I'll never believe Joe Philbin voluntarily agreed to have his team showcased on Hard Knocks.
He said it was a "football decision," and added, via ProFootballTalk:
"I want you to know a couple things about the decision. Number one, it was a football decision. It was made by the football operations staff. Our owner, [Stephen Ross], supported our decision but in no way, shape, or form forced us to make this decision.”
This decision has Stephen Ross written all over it, and Armando Salguero's tweet reaffirms my belief:
"Having said that, source says not everyone in organization happy with Hard Knocks decisions but that owner Stephen Ross is very happy."
However, Hard Knocks isn't for the players and it isn't for the coaches.
It's for the fans.
It's a business decision and it's a necessary evil, one that can give the Miami Dolphins a much-needed PR boost.
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