The Miami Dolphins thought they were doing the right thing, but plenty of local fans could not agree less.
"Gator Day" at Sun Life Stadium, a promotion put together by the Fins, has some supporters of the team boiling mad. The plan is to have a reunion for some members of the 2008 Florida Gators national championship squad on the same field they won the crown. One problem: It's now the home field of the rival University of Miami Hurricanes football team.
As CBS Miami points out, this is like Alabama hosting a party for Auburn players to celebrate the 2010 Tigers national title. And of course it doesn't help that this is happening in the wake of Yahoo! Sports' devastating report on "The U."
Oh, but it gets worse for Canes fans:
Tim Tebow's Denver Broncos will be in South Florida to play the Dolphins on "Gator Day", which is Oct. 23.
Dolphins CEO Mike Dee addressed the idea of paying tribute to the Florida Gators on the Hurricanes home field, but he didn't seem to understand the resentment.
"If we were honoring Virginia Tech or the University of Georgia or somebody that was outside the state of Florida, I could maybe see it more clearly," Dee said of the backlash. "We have a great relationship with the University of Miami. They're terrific partners, and none of this is coming from the university. As it relates to the fan base, we know fans down here are passionate about their teams. There are more U of M fans who are fired up. But I think it is fair to point out that quite a few Gator fans are coming to the forefront and saying that it's great."
The move is being described as a desperate attempt to sell tickets by a team that has been second-rate for the better part of a decade. Angry fans say the Dolphins are willing to offend both University of Miami and Florida State fans to make a few bucks.
Dee told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the Hurricanes turned down a similar offer to honor the 10th anniversary of the school's last national title during a Dolphins game this year.
"They politely declined and said that they were going to do something to honor that team at one of their own home games," Dee told the paper. "We reached out to both schools at about the same time in early to mid July."
The Canes play their first home game of the season on Sept. 17 against Ohio State.