It is not often that an election can have a direct effect on a sports franchise. I can't think of an instance where a politician, particularly a presidential candidate, has cast a shadow over the daily running of a football team. After all, why would a coach, player or owner ever get involved with something as polarizing as a presidential race? Why? Because they always have been.
One of the first posts I wrote on my Dolphins blog was titled The Garbage Man In Winter. In it I discussed Huizenga's money first approach to owning a sports franchise. I also discussed his hardline right wing politics and hardcore Christianity.
I mentioned the dismantling of the Marlins and the slow decay of the Dolphins. I talked about the manipulation of personnel decisions from on high (Huizenga himself) to include players of spiritual and political demeanor aligned with Huizenga himself. John Beck and Abraham Wright are two most recent players of that mold.
The Dolphins have always been profitable for Huizenga. It's a simple issue of bookkeeping. You run the team always below the cap. Maintain a couple of superstars to keep fans interested and jerseys selling.
When the team plays poorly year to year, you know that the demographics of Miami will always allow for high sales from the visiting New York and New England teams (and anywhere else, really).
In essence, if you are H. Wayne Huizenga, you don't need to offer Dolphins fans a good product. You need to sell tickets. And really, what has been a better buy for a displaced New Yorker living in South Florida than to go to a Dolphins-Jets game? I can't think of one.
The team has been horrid since Huizenga took over. He finally made the desperate and wise move to bring in some real brass. I say finally because bringing in Bill Parcells meant bringing in a fully utilized salary cap.
He's not a Jimmy Johnson-style conservative (referring to football) who believes in drafting cheap help. Parcells believes in drafting cheap help and making the right big plays in free agency. Long story short: Parcells would be expensive for Huizenga. He would cut into some of those profits.
He would also drive up the value of the team. Stephen Ross, the new Co-Owner of the team, bought a team in the off season that had just finished one of the worst seasons in franchise (and NFL) history.
With the Dolphins sitting at 4-4 with a easy schedule to close the season, this team will finish at least 8-8 (mark it down), and be one of the media darlings going into the 2009 season.
So where am I going with this? Huizenga has sounded off on the election, as many of you know, by saying he will sell another 45% of the Dolphins off if Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama is elected.
Really, Wayne? Seriously? You know, I was leaning towards Obama as it was. Now though, you almost certainly locked up my vote for Barack Obama.
The reason he wants to sell? Here are H. Wayne's own words:
"He wants to double the capital gains tax, or almost double it," Huizenga said. "I'd rather give it to charity than to him."
That would be wrong. Barack Obama plans on raising capital gains from 15% to 20%, which was what it was under Ronald Regan. It would also be wrong for anyone to believe that Obama somehow gets the money.
America does, H. Wayne. The United States of America would get your 5%. An awful thing in Wayne's mind. I guess he'd rather it go to the GOP or something.
For one, people who are able to buy and sell vast companies and organizations like the Dolphins get soft taxes to begin with. 20% instead of 15% is still a lot less than what he'd pay if that sale was specified under income tax.
I don't want to go there though. I just want to point out that Huizenga has again used the Dolphins as a venue for his politics. He has again confused what the fans of his franchise care about and what he cares about.
If Huizenga is willing to part with the Dolphins over the a difference of 5% in taxes, then godspeed, Wayne. You have been a terrible owner and have ground up for beef every franchise you have ever owned.
This isn't about politics, Dolphins fans. This is about getting good ownership back in Davie, FL.
Good riddance, I say. The sooner your hands are off my Dolphins the better.