Stephen Ross is many things to many people. To Dolphins fans, some of those things can't be printed here (but will surely show up in some of the comments).
But businessman is his No. 1 occupation, which is why on Friday morning he appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box. During the interview, Ross endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney as the CNBC graphic below him stated that his real estate company he co-owns with fellow Dolphins co-owner Jorge Perez called The Related Companies "owns over $15 billion in real estate."
The majority of the interview was about why he endorsed Romney, as well as the state of the real estate business in Miami, which I know all of you come to Bleacher Report to read about.
To him, owning the Dolphins is but a hobby, a lucrative one that he's passionate about, but a hobby nonetheless.
He channeled his passion when asked about what surprised him the most about his biggest surprise of the NFL's opening weekend.
“We didn’t win, so to me it was a surprise. We were there. I think our team, at this point after one game, we’re still very optimistic. I think what was perceived as our biggest weakness, the quarterback situation, that was very positive as probably our best strength of the game Monday night.
We played a great team. Our defense, which was supposed to be so good, I think allowed way too many yards, probably an NFL record. I think that could be fixed.”
Ross was very diplomatic and restrained himself from being sarcastic, as he said "our defense, which was supposed to be good," something that a Jerry Jones wouldn't have done.
Ross was also asked about the business of the NFL, especially how the sagging economy is affecting the business.
“I think the television ratings will be greater than ever before. It’s a lot harder to sell tickets today, especially your suites and your club seats. It’s a real marketing effort today even though it is so popular.
"But also it’s so great, the production at home is so great. As owners we really have to do something to really bring fans back to the stadium, to come there, because it still is a great spectator sport to be there in person.”
He does have a point. The economy does have a lot to do with the Dolphins having problems selling tickets, although part of it is also the malaise of the fans. This is part of why the Dolphins have tried the gimmicks that they have
However while he says "we really have to do something to really bring fans back to the stadium," myself and plenty other fans can answer that with only one word: win. He knows this, too, and as diplomatic as he was while on the show discussing the Dolphins, you could tell that it pains him when they lose.
I've bashed Mr. Ross in the past, and for good reason (the Harbaugh mess was deplorable). But I'll give him credit where credit is due and say that between his TV appearance on Friday morning and distributing the unsold tickets to Sunday's game to season ticket holders to get the game on television, he's shown me that he's making an effort to reach out to the fans at the very least. He does want this team to win, and will do what it takes to make it happen.
I still think Mickey Arison is the best Miami sports owner, though.
Click here to view the video and transcript of Stephen Ross' appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box.