‘Most demeaning, humiliating experience of my life’

Jose Lambiet of the PALM BEACH POST reports on a delightful idea the Miami Dolphins recently concocted to generate revenue while also filling out Don Shula’s birthday party with two-legged props:

Don Shula Birthday Party: Season Ticket Holders Got The Steerage

(Dolphins sent season tix holders to steerage for Shula bday party)

Many of the 80 season ticket holders randomly “invited” to pay $80-per to attend former coach Don Shula’s 80th birthday party Saturday night at Land Shark Stadium are complaining bitterly about the way they were treated at the banquet.

Shula, dozens of his former players, rapper Fergie, new Fins owner Stephen Ross, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other VIPs got the silver spoon treatment.

And the 80 “invited” fans, meanwhile, got partly-cooked hot dogs, dried chicken and soda, all served on plastic plates with plastic forks, Sorentrue said.

They also were bestowed the honor of watching the VIPs munch on their fine foods from a balcony — this, after waiting outside in the cold for all VIPs to get in.

“I’m actually considering cancelling my ($1,700-a-year) season tickets,” 12-year season ticket holder Fred Sorentrue said.

How ungrateful of Sorentrue. Who wouldn’t pay $80 to watch (from a heavily guard, roped-off location) Fergie serenading a bewildered Shula whilst savoring personal proximity to dozens of other local South Florida celebrities. (Give it up for Hank Goldberg!)

The event description from Lambiet hooked me, but accounts from commenters who actually paid $80 to watch Tony Sparano inhale enough langoustines to greenlight another season of Deadliest Catch are truly wondrous.

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Miami Dolphins Celebrity Owner Club Gets Bigger

One of the most unusual side stories of the upcoming NFL season has been the spectacle that ownership of the Miami Dolphins has become. While it’s thought that Stephen Ross is still the majority owner, this summer has seen a spate of celebrities join into minority ownership.

Williams Sisters
(”Dolphins would look so good on these plates.”)

While we couldn’t have anticipated it at the time, Gloria Estefan’s decision to buy into the team (with husband Emilio Estefan - not to be confused with “Mr. Mighty Ducks” Emilio Estevez) was just a harbinger of bigger announcements to come. Soon afterward, the naming rights to the stadium were sold to another famous Miami resident, one Jimmy Buffett, and Marc Antony joined Estefan as owners shortly thereafter.

But if you’re foolish enough to scoff at that collection of names, scoff no longer, as the team is being joined by, legitimately, one of the top 20 brands in sports today.

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