Happy 50th Birthday to former NFL Quarterback Dan Marino. Born in Pittsburgh, PA back in 1961, Marino attended the University of Pittsburgh and started all 4 years for the Pitt Panthers. Upon graduating in 1983, Marino was selected 27th overall by the Miami Dolphins. The ’83 draft would prove to be a QB heavy draft as 2 other future Hall of Famers were also selected in the 1st round, Jim Kelly and John Elway.
In his first season, Marino would not be named the starter for the Dolphins until week 6, but Marino would end the season as the starting quarterback for the AFC in the Pro Bowl. In his sophomore campaign, Marino would set the single season record for passing yards at 5,084 (a record he still holds today). Over the course of his seventeen career seasons (all with the Dolphins), Marino would break 34 NFL records, many of which he still holds on to. Over his career, Marino threw for 61,361 total yards and 420 TDs. He was voted as the league’s MVP and offensive player of the year in 1984, and be selected to the NFL Pro Bowl 9 times. The only blemish on Marino’s record is his lack of Super Bowl rings. Despite not winning a Super Bowl, his exemplary play over his career earned him the #25 slot on NFL.com’s All-time Top Player ranking in 2009. Since retiring, his #13 jersey has been retired by the Dolphins. Happy 50th Dan!
On August 16, 1965, Miami was awarded an AFL franchise for the 1966 season. It's the first expansion franchise to be awarded by the AFL and is given to Joseph Robbie and his partner, TV personality Danny Thomas.
To commemorate this important day in Dolphins history, let's learn a little more about the aqua and coral.
- A contest was held to name the new Miami football franchise. There were a total of 19,843 entrants, with 622 of those suggesting the name Dolphins.
- The Dolphins first win came on October 16, 1966 when they beat the Broncos 24 - 7.
- February 18, 1970 is, without a doubt, one of the most important dates in franchise history - that's the day that Don Shula became head coach and Vice President.
- In Shula's first season the Dolphins won their first playoff game with a 21 - 14 win over the Raiders.
- The Dolphins played in, and won, the longest game in NFL history. On Christmas Day, 1971, Miami outlasted Kansas City in a game that lasted for 82 minutes and 40 seconds. In the second overtime, or sixth quarter, Miami won the game on a 37 yard Garo Yepremian field goal. Miami 27 - Kansas City 24.
- Miami made their first Super Bowl appearance on January 16, 1972, losing to Dallas 24 - 3.
- On December 16, 1972, the Dolphins became the NFL's first team to finish the season with 0 losses. 14 - 0. A record that stands to this day.
- The 1972 season brought the first Super Bowl to Miami. They defeated the Redskins 14 - 7, with Safety Jake Scott getting the Super Bowl MVP Award.
- Miami's second Super Bowl came the following season when the Dolphins beat Minnesota 24 - 7. The Super Bowl MVP Award went to FB Larry Csonka.
- Bob Griese, Miami's beloved and spectacular QB retired on June 25, 1981.
- Two years later Miami drafted a man who would soon become their new beloved and spectacular QB. On April 26, 1983, Miami selected Dan Marino with the 27th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft.
- In his second season, Marino was awarded with the NFL MVP Award, Player of the Year Award and Offensive Player of the Year Award.
- With a 34 - 27 loss to the Patriots on December 22, 1986, the Dolphins played their final game in the Orange Bowl.
- In a pre-season game on August 16, 1987, the Dolphins got their first win in their new home, Joe Robbie Stadium. They defeated the Bears 10 - 3.
- On November 14, 1993, Don Shula got win # 325, surpassing coaching legend George Halas to become the winningest coach in NFL history.
- "The Shula Bowl" took place on October 2, 1994 when Don Shula, father and head coach of the Dolphins, faced off against David Shula, son and head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. It marked the first time in the history of professional sports that a father and son met as opposing head coaches. The elder Shula got the win, 23 - 7.
- On January 11, 1996, coaching legend Don Shula moved from the field to the front office, becoming Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors. Jimmy Johnson replaced him on the Miami sidelines.
- T.D., the Dolphins first official mascot, was unveiled on April 18, 1997.
- There are currently nine Miami Dolphins in the Hall of Fame: Paul Warfield, Larry Csonka, Jim Langer, Bob Griese, Larry Little, Don Shula, Dwight Stephenson, Nick Buoniconti and Dan Marino.
So that's your Miami Dolphins lesson for August 16, 2011. Feel like a Dolphins authority now?
On January 14, 1973, the Miami Dolphins completed their perfect season with a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. The Miami Dolphins were led by coach Don Shula and notable players Bob Griese and Larry Csonka, among many others. Although Super Bowl VII was a low scoring game with a total of 21 points, the game was perhaps not as close as the score indicates, as the Dolphins' "No-Name Defense" dominated the game, allowing the Redskins to cross midfield only once in the first half and only four times overall. Super Bowl VII is most memorable for the final two minutes of the game when Miami's quest for a perfect season was almost jeopardized when Dolphins' kicker Garo Yepremian picked up a blocked field goal, attempted a forward pass, but batted it in the air, and Redskins' cornerback Mike Bass caught it and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown.
Dolphins' safety, Jake Scott, was named Most Valuable Player. He recorded two interceptions for 63 return yards, including a 55-yard return from the end zone during the 4th quarter. Scott became the second defensive player in Super Bowl history to earn a Super Bowl MVP.