The NFL Draft, which begins Thursday with the first round, is arguably the most pivotal one in Dolphins history.
Not only because the selected players will help determine the future of a team going nowhere, but also because the perception of the Dolphins’ choices will determine whether a dwindling fan base deserts a franchise it no longer likes or recognizes.
Listen to Joe Lancaster, whose family has owned four season tickets since 1967. He stopped going to games and has been selling his tickets. But the people who usually buy them haven’t called to renew. He might have to advertise his prized 16th-row, 45-yard-line seats on the Internet. That’s what the Dolphins have been reduced to: Craigslist.
“The Dolphins have been living off the 1972 season for far too long,” Lancaster said. “There’s a lot of apathy and anger among fans. There’s no faith in management. People say this is still a football town, but the Heat, Marlins and even the Panthers generate much more excitement than the Dolphins.”