Somehow, despite the night life, the beaches, and the sun, Miami is turning into a sports town again. Headlines everywhere, from local newspapers to national media such as ESPN and Fox Sports, have Miami news non-stop right now. But, it's not Miami Dolphins. It's Miami Marlins. It's Miami Heat. It's Miami Hurricanes. It's even Florida Panthers. Meanwhile, the story on the Dolphins continues to get bumped lower and lower.
How did this happen? Wasn't Miami always the Dolphins' city?
Suddenly, there's the Big Three. There's Ozzie Gullien and the Miami (Fantasy) Marlins. There's the division leading Panthers. There's constant news coming out of "The U" - admittedly, not always positive, but still news.
With the Dolphins, the main coverage is 2012. What happened?
The Dolphins are making a splash in the NFL right now. After starting the season on an 0-7 streak, the Dolphins are hot right now. They've won four out of five and three in a row at Sun Life Stadium. They are starting to be noticed throughout the NFL.
But, not in Miami. The Dolphins, on their way to their third straight non-winning season, cannot keep up with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh talk. They cannot break through names like Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Heath Bell headed to the Marlins or Albert Pujols to SoCal not South Beach.
Winning will bring the fans back - and the Dolphins are starting to do that now. But, they need to make a bigger splash this offseason, if they want to get noticed in the sports mecca that's building in south Florida. Does that mean firing head coach Tony Sparano and bringing in a big name coach? Does that mean the Dolphins must land one of the top quarterback prospects in April's draft? What does it take to put the Dolphins back on top of a city with more sports news than it's ever had before? Can the Dolphins reclaim a town they once ruled?
In this 24-hours news-cycle world, in a city with more distractions than most, and a sports environment full of other options, the Dolphins must find a way to make themselves relevant again. Or else owner Stephen Ross will continue to buy all the Dolphins' tickets each week.