On March 12, it was announced that the Miami Dolphins would be bringing an end to The Finsiders, a production that goes way beyond what some call a radio show. During the week, they are live on-air from 4 -7 PM EST on Dolphins.com and 940 WINZ-AM in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. During the second hour, they are broadcast live on television on Fox Sports Florida. Additionally, they produce and air content on the Miami Dolphins website on a daily basis.
During the three-hour show, they also hold a live chat with Dolphins fans all over the world. It isn't just a placeholder though to get fans to tune in. Those on the show take what is being discussed in the chat and talk about it on the air. Comments are also read during discussions and it is truly an interactive experience.
However, it doesn't stop there. The relationships that have been cultivated by host Greg Likens along with his crew members - Tristin Jones, John Congemi, Sam Madison, OJ McDuffie, Troy Stradford, Troy Drayton, Kim Bokamper, Twan Russell, Keith Sims, Jon Cope and others - have been wide-ranging. Whether it's in person, on social media platforms or in private conversations, you will be hard pressed to find anyone else that best represents the Miami Dolphins organization.
These people are not just another number in the financial department's books. They are not just a tally mark on the year-end report. Yes, we understand that there are financial reasons behind this as well as contractual reasons. We understand that the radio rights to the Miami Dolphins will be headed in a different direction. We understand the ratings were very low. But, that doesn't mean that these talented people should be simply let go because I, along with many others, believe that it is not their fault.
It is not their fault that they are put up in the 4-7 PM timeslot, one where people are getting out of work and just getting home while trying to unwind and spend time with their family. It is not their fault that they are limited in some ways what they can and can't talk about, thus not being able to drive in ratings with the controversial things that come in everywhere else. It is not their fault that their show wasn't tested in another time slot to see just where the problem was.
When you have people who are as talented as Greg, Tristin, John, Sam, Troy and others, you find a way to make it work and fit them in. On the football field, you find ways to fit talent in and make it work. It should be the same behind the scenes as well. A head coach will always talk about ways to scheme around his players' strengths while hiding their weaknesses. The Dolphins organization needs to find a way to do just that.
When the news was announced, I started a petition to save the show and to save these talented people.As of today, it has just over 2,000 signatures but we need much more. The amount of Dolphins fans all over the world cannot be quantified. However, if we can get 10% of what packs the stadium on Sundays, it may just make enough of a difference. We all know that not everyone signs petitions or votes. We see it every four years with the presidential elections. So, you find a sample size that works and I believe that 10 percent, which is roughly 6,500 signatures, may make some noise in the administrative offices at Dolphins headquarters.
For obvious reasons, members of The Finsiders cannot publicly comment at length on the petition and efforts to save the show and re-package it in a different format. I can tell you they are aware of the petition and have even mentioned it on the air. These are humans, just like me and you, and in less than two weeks, they are being shown the door down in Davie.
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross stated several months ago that he believes the Dolphins are best in class in everything they do off the field. Permanently getting rid of The Finsiders and its crew would put a large dent in that statement.
With the creative minds that are headquartered in Davie, there are ways that you can make this program work. This includes a daily podcast, fan interaction and columns on the website, a behind-the-scenes look throughout the week and more. Sure, there won't be any radio broadcasts anymore but there are just as many people who have turned to the podcast route to get their fix of information.
We are asking you that you keep one of the gems of the Miami Dolphins - The Finsiders Crew. Former host Jesse Agler made it what it is today and Greg has done a fantastic job of carrying the torch. It would be a shame to see if come to a permanent end.
This column was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter! Follow @FinsInsider