The Business & Pleasure of Sports

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Are you ready for some Buffett…er…football?

The fun is supposed to start long before the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts take the field for Monday Night Football at Land Shark Stadium tonight. Pregame concerts, the “orange” carpet, the celebrity limited partners…

The pregame activities get started at 4:30 p.m. at the Grand Plaza at Gate G. At 5:15 p.m., Jimmy Stowe performs live at the Land Shark Tailgate Stage near Gate F – he’ll also be performing at 6:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. At 6 p.m. there will be a wakeboard demonstration near Gate H.

The celebrity orange carpet arrival is to begin at 7 p.m. by Gate G and yes, limited partners Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Marc Anthony (and wife, singer-actress Jennifer Lopez), and Venus and Serena Williams are expected. So are Bob Griese and Dan Marino, who will be honorary captains performing the coin toss before the game.

Oh, and at 7:45 p.m., don’t be surprised if the surprise guest performer is none other than … Jimmy Buffett. Surprised? Halftime is to feature 600 Parrot Heads dancing to Fins.

And in case you missed it, here’s today’s Two-Minute Drill interview with Dolphins CEO Mike Dee:

Mike Dee spent 14 years working in Major League Baseball, the past five as chief operating officer of the Boston Red Sox, before being named CEO of the Dolphins in May. Staff Writer Sarah Talalay asked Dee about moving from baseball to football and the Dolphins’ 2009 home opener against the Indianapolis Colts tonight, which happens to be Dee’s birthday. Dee grew up in Maryland, rooting for the Baltimore Colts.

Q. What’s the biggest difference between baseball and football?

A. You start to immediately recognize that every game [in football] is like the seventh game of a playoff series, the regular season is so important. And obviously it’s that way for the football team and the coaching staff and the players take that seriously, but it’s also important on the business side. You have to make sure you get everything right, If you misstep or don’t get something right one game of the year, that’s 10 percent of your schedule. And that’s coming from a place like Boston, where every game was a sellout, so every game was a big deal. But when you only have 10 games, eight in the regular season, it puts a lot of pressure on you to get it right.

Q. The home opener is on a Monday night and it’s against the Colts. What does that mean to you?

A. My team growing up. Isn’t that amazing? It’s actually eerie. My parents and I talked about this, like can you imagine on your 46 birthday all those things happen? I live a charmed life. At least I recognize it.

Q. Do you consider the Colts the team you grew up with even though they moved from Baltimore?

A. I do. Oh yes. They’re the team I grew up with. I became a Dolphins fan when I was 22.

Q. How did that happen?

A. The Colts left and I moved to South Florida [for a job in a family-owned paint company]. Two months after I moved here, I went to the Monday night game against the Bears [Dec. 2, 1985]. I was mad at the Colts for leaving, I was an independent, I had left my party. I was a free agent fan, and I walked into the Orange Bowl and the electricity in that game, just being here in South Florida, at the time, I remember wow. From that day forward I was a Dolphins fan. I’ve been described by some online bloggers as a quote unquote newbie … but I’ve been around for 25 years as a fan… and stayed with it, even after it was the Shula-Marino era that sucked me into it and got me excited. But I’ve stayed with it all the way through the good times and the bad times.”

Oh, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @sarahtalalay

Categories: Land Shark Stadium (44), Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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