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Dolphins fans pay for flying banner asking owner Stephen Ross to fire Jeff Ireland

Posted by Erik Frenz  November 17, 2013 03:50 PM

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Dolphins fans have done it again.

On Sunday, prior to kickoff of the Miami Dolphins' home game against the San Diego Chargers, a flying banner made the rounds over SunLife Stadium imploring owner Stephen Ross to take action against general manager Jeff Ireland.

The banner read: "Mr. Ross: We told you so 2 years ago #FireIreland"

A group of Dolphins fans used WePay.com to collect donations for the banner, which flew over the stadium from 1:00-3:00pm Eastern, prior to the 4:05 kickoff of the game. There are air space restrictions over the stadium during the playing of the game.

In the final home game of the 2011 season, Week 17 against the New York Jets, Dolphins fans raised $1,500 to fly a banner over the stadium that read, "Mr. Ross: Save our Dolphins. Fire Ireland."


This is the second time in the past 24 months a banner has been flown over the stadium in protest of Ireland.

Last time, Chris Joseph (a writer for the Miami New Times) and Roger Paul, both avid Dolphins fans, led the charge. Both are members of a Twitter clan that identifies with the hashtag "#WAARF", which stands for We Are All Ray Feinga (Feinga is a former guard for the Dolphins who bounced from the active roster to the practice squad to the unemployment line from 2009-2012).

"#WAARF is kind of a movement and state of mind," said Paul. "It's a general sense of malaise with being a Dolphins fan during the last six years or so."

Last time, it took $1,500 to fund the banner. This time, Dolphins fans were able to raise $1,000 in less than an hour, taking donations from approximately 50 people, with donations ranging from $10 to $100.

"We did it because we're sick and tired of the organization embarrassing themselves," said Paul. "This act is nothing compared to the way the front office misrepresents what was at one time a prestigious, classy organization. Now it's a mess.

"As fans, we have every right to expect more than a sub-.500 record by our GM and coach during their tenure."

The seat continues to get warmer for Ireland with the drama surrounding the situation between offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. He has already come under fire for a number of questionable personnel decisions, including trading wide receiver Brandon Marshall for a pair of third-round draft picks and allowing running back Reggie Bush to walk away in free-agency.

Ireland's teams have gone a combined 42-47, and have lost at least nine games in each of the past four seasons. Ireland's contract was set to expire after the 2013 season, but he was signed to a one-year extension before the season began.

Ross was effusive in his support of head coach Joe Philbin when speaking to the media regarding the Martin-Incognito incident, but he didn't have much to say about Ireland.

Whether Ross looks at the roster, the record, the sky or the empty seats in his stadium, he's reminded of the shortcomings of his general manager. It's fair to wonder how much longer that will go on before the unrest prevails.

Dolphins fans are growing eager for change -- either on the field, in the front office, or both. That being said, maybe fans should fly those banners overhead more often: the Dolphins are 2-0 in games where a #Fireland banner is flown over the stadium.

This post was modified from its original version to include the quotes from Paul.

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Erik Frenz delivers analysis of the biggest news with the Patriots, including insight into the AFC East and New England's biggest rivals from a Patriots perspective. Erik is an interactive writer who engages his audience in his posts’ comments sections and on Twitter. Readers are encouraged to share their thoughts and ask questions. More »


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