Looking back, I should have seen this one coming.
HBO has found a home for their series “School of Hard Knocks” in Miami, Florida.
1-15. New Head Coach Tony Sparano. One playoff trip, a bad loss at home to the Ravens. Ugly football. Botched reach for Jim Harbaugh by owner Stephen Ross and General Manager Jeff Ireland. Hmf. “Ire” land.
Former players publicly beating him down. Couldn’t get Peyton Manning, who lives in South Beach, to seriously consider them. New HC and new rookie QB with extremely hot wife. GM, owner, and entire franchise in need of a PR makeover.
Add one dastardly beautiful young couple from small town Texas to big-city culture shock Miami and HBO’s viewership is bound to rise. All the execs really had to do was take one look at Lauren Tannehill and know to pack the panama hats – if the Dolphins were interested in them.
Therein lies the metaphorical marriage’s beauty. The Dolphins need HBO as much as HBO needs the Dolphins.
All the ingredients are there for a storybook setup: The handsome rookie quarterback with the wife direct from Hollywood casting. The rookie head coach in Joe Philbin looking to build his proven system from Green Bay. The General Manager with a nice family whom is thought to be an out of touch jerk by much of the public. The owner that demonstrates all the competence and media savvy of Jed Clampett.
Will all this scrutiny hinder or help them? Nobody knows for sure right now because there are many facets to look at. In the short term, it could hinder things because of the team’s overall inexperience in key areas…namely QB and Head Coach.
Granted, Joe Philbin never was going to be the man orchestrating relations and interactions between HBO’s producers and the Dolphins’ players and staff – that’ll be the aforementioned Dolphins owner Mr. Magoo. What he doesn’t handle will be Ireland’s to deal with. It’ll be extra pressure on them to juggle with their regular duties.
The hope is that the media microscope will help the public image specifically of Jeff Ireland and Stephen Ross and the entire organization in general. In the long run, it could help as NFL players see the actual people behind the legends. Miami wasn’t able to attract any free agent help to speak of anywhere on the roster with the thirty-something David Garrard leading the list with a back injury that kept him out of football last year.
They got rid of ill-fitting Brandon Marshall for the two third round draft picks but they have no talent left at the WR position aside from slot man Davone Bess. Rookie Jonathan Martin should be an upgrade for the team at the right tackle position and fellow rookie Lamar Miller should see time as a sub at RB.
Will their development be hampered?
There’s the added dynamic of Ryan Tannehill and his offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman, having been his college coach. That familiarity should give the rookie a boost to start out his winning over of the locker room.
It’s a unique situation with a lot of moving parts that other teams don’t have. All said, there IS a clear winner here.
That would be the viewer.