DAVIE, Fla. (CBS4) – As the Denver Broncos celebrated the signing of Peyton Manning Tuesday, it was yet another reminder of the heartache Dolphins fans feel each time they are rejected by a high-profile player or coach.
Some of those Dolfans have had enough and protested in front of the team’s training facility in Davie, over the recent string of rejection from players like Peyton Manning, Ryan Clark, and Matt Flynn.
Evan Hirsch organized the protest on Twitter and was happy with the roughly two dozen people turnout in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. He said he couldn’t sit idly by any longer.
“I just want them to know we’re not happy, we need a change,” he told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
Some of the protestors say they’re so ashamed to be Dolphins fans they protested with their heads in brown paper bags.
“Too many years, same heartache,” secret protestor “James” said.
But they’re not shy about who they blame for the percieved shortcomings of their team. They accuse Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland of failing to seal the deal with big name players because of a poor bedside manner.
“When somebody leaves and says they have bad vibes from talking to Ireland and nobody’s doing anything about it…”
“So you blame Ireland?” asked Zea.
“Yeah, of course,” exclaimed “James.”
Radio listeners also called into the Jorge Sedano show on 790 the Ticket demanding owner Stephen Ross initiate Ireland’s exit.
“He believes in this guy and they don’t believe that the bottom’s fallen out like the fans do,” said listener, “Tony”.
Some even suggested a game boycott.
“The way we get to this team is if people unite, say enough is enough, say no, don’t go, and that’s my campaign for this year, and let’s hurt these bastards in the pocketbook man,” said listener, “Jack”.
Ireland defended himself to our news partners at the Miami Herald Tuesday saying in part, “I absolutely think players and coaches want to be here….They have no problem coming here. And sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they make other decisions. But it’s a two-way street. We make our decisions also.”
And then there’s the Tim Tebow question.
Would there be a backlash if Tim Tebow came to play for the Dolphins? Well, some ‘Canes fans sure think so.
“This is not his turf….he’s overrated,” said student Austin Payne.
Student and fan Tori Miller agrees. “We’re ‘Canes for life, we can’t root for him.”
The protestors aren’t pro-Tebow either. And they are desperate for the Dolphins to win, especially Shannon Daniels who’s giant Dolphins tattoo covers his large left shoulder.
“I want the Super Bowl, but the way things are looking we might not win two games,” Daniels said.
As the Dolphins continue to fade from the top of the sports crop in South Florida, the Florida Panthers tried to capitalize on the misery of at least one Fins fan.
A Panthers spokesperson confirmed to Zea that two sales representatives for the hockey team went to the Dolphins protest and gave free tickets to a protestor who was wearing a Panther’s t-shirt. The spokesperson said they also handed out business cards to other protesters.
By the way, the Panthers have just about wrapped up a spot in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which could make those tickets even more valuable in the coming weeks.