As the Miami Dolphins’ home opener quickly approaches, we all think about the young players and the bright future of the team. But, I think of someone who is part of their glorious past. A person who has been with the Dolphins for five decades (he was hired full time in 1989) and has worked for all four ownership groups and all of the coaches in team history except George Wilson.
The NFL is a business and the behind the scenes look at what goes on off the field is often never really recognized or appreciated. For the Dolphins, it was losing one of their best who quietly left the organization – because that’s how Scott Stone wanted it.
In many ways, as a fan you’ve been touched by Scott and you never knew it. This offseason, Scott has quietly taken a sabbatical from the Dolphins. He was happiest to be backstage and never wanted to be history. So I will tell his story.
14 years ago, I first met Scott. Scott was, at the time, in charge of the official Miami Dolphins website. It went well. Nothing was missed and nothing was ignored. It’s not a blow to those running it today, but rather a testament to the attention to detail that has never escaped Scott.
I contacted him because I became an editor on a Miami Dolphins fan site and wanted to be part of the team. We chatted and he invited me to an annual event that catered to these fan sites.
Its Web Weekend events have brought fan sites from around the world to Miami for a Dolphin Soccer Weekend. It was unlike anything I had ever seen or heard of. These events brought all websites together and we have become more than football related friends all those years later.
It’s amazing how much Scott cared about us. He welcomed us into the Dolphins family. He named the “Webbie” award for best fan website in honor of one of our original members, Tom Eddie, after his passing far too soon. If either of us had a death in the family, there were flowers at the funeral and a touching note from Scott and the team. He has helped us grow from a group of individuals to a network of sites that have come together to raise funds and participate in charity events in South Florida. His efforts have made our sites recognized and this has led to an increase in our traffic as well as our professional growth.
Scott was, and is, one of the most selfless men I have ever known. Even now I wonder if I write something so personal about a guy 99% of you have never heard of. Here’s the thing though, Scott is like family to me. He’s more than a friend, Scott is my brother. I love it. Not because he put me in games on Sunday or in a press box, but because we clicked. It was just a perfect situation.
I was surprised it took a long time, but in these difficult times of COVID, I got it. Web weekends ended a few years ago when Scott decided to take the next step and gave all web geeks the chance to sit in the press gallery and be treated like medias.
Thanks to Scott, I met Wayne Huizenga, Dwight Stephenson and I can call acquaintances of Tom Garfinkel and Jason Jenkins. I can thank Scott for my relationship with Jason Taylor Foundation President Seth Levit, who invited my brother and I to JT’s HOF after party. It was because of Scott that I sat next to the late and great Jim Kiick at the screening of a 1972 Miami Dolphins documentary.
Scott’s time with the Dolphins ended far too soon. I can pretty much guarantee that the organization will fail. He’s the reason the annual media guides were accurate and the dolphin directory was perfect. His handprints are all over the team – from the initial launch of their award-winning social media to leading the effort to design the statue of Coach Shula that adorns the entrance to the stadium.
I will miss Scott Stone’s version of the Miami Dolphins, but I won’t have to miss my friend, Scott, or his wife, Michelle. I don’t have to wish him good luck for the future because I talk to him every week.
For those of you who have followed me all these years, you will know that our site, Phinphanatic.com, has won over 20 “Webbie” awards, one awarded during Web Weekend in various fields and voted by other fan sites. It was always surreal to be honored and it was thanks to Scott that everyone knew who I was initially.
So give a toast to the guy backstage you didn’t know was there and thank him for an incredible journey that spanned decades with the Miami Dolphins.
For me, it’s a simple thank you. Hats off, sacred Yankees fan! A sign of appreciation. I am very lucky to call Scott my friend, my family. And I can’t thank him enough for guiding me all those years ago when I didn’t know where to turn or what to do.
Take advantage of your time my friend. I’ll talk to you again next week!