Showing 1 - 10 of 15 posts found matching keyword: the greatest quarterback ever to play the game of football

Eleven years ago, I attended Dan Marino's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The crowd was made up almost entirely of Dolphins fans. I imagine it was much the same thing for Packers fans yesterday when Brett Favre was inducted yesterday. However, I don't know, because I spent all day watching the Olympics.

I found out only after the fact that they canceled the Hall of Fame Game, the annual kickoff to the NFL preseason, because of poor field conditions. Apparently, no one had tested their field prior to today, and their choice of field paint made it too slick. That, or they worried that no one would be watching.

In years past, I've sometimes tuned into the HoF Fame because there was nothing else to watch. But because of 5 NBC channels of Olympic coverage — including Michael Phelps own the men's 4x100-meter freestyle relay, Novak Djokavich loose a fantastic first round match of tennis, Gabby Douglas place third overall and still be disqualified from the all-around gymnastics competition — it never occurred to me to turn on the NFL Network. I suspect that I wasn't the only one.

Maybe I'll watch next year, NFL. But don't count on it. The Olympics come only every four years, but the NFL preseason is always too long.

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While doing some maintenance to my tag cloud page on Monday, I realized that I currently have exactly 13 posts tagged "dan marino." That is too perfect.

Therefore, effective immediately, I am retiring the "dan marino" tag. From this point forward, all Wriphe.com posts that reference Dan Marino will be tagged "the greatest quarterback ever to play the game of football."

The Greatest Quarterback Ever to Play the Game of Football

Take that, Peyton.

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"Word on the street" is that Miami Dolphins' head coach Joe Philbin might not survive the day in that position following two terrible, terrible losses in a row as the now 1-3 team heads into their bye week.

As I type this, I don't really expect Philbin to get fired. I suspect that the axe will fall on some other scapegoat for the inept Dolphins organization, probably Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle who can be blamed for Ndamukong Suh's complete invisibility over four games or the defensive backs tendency to make the Bill's Tyrod Taylor and the Jet's Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Tom Brady and Bret Favre, respectively.

Besides, NFL teams whose organizations panic and fire their head coaches mid-season don't have a very good record of improving things in the short term. Most simply swap one losing coach for another. Only the Cowboy's Jason Garrett comes to mind as a step in the right direction, and he was already being groomed to eventually replace predecessor Wade Phillips anyway.

Assuming Philbin is fired before the end of the year — because let's face facts, this team stinks like dead fish no matter who is in charge — who would the Dolphins replace him with? An Offensive Coordinator who can't coordinate more than two touchdowns in a game? The 32-year-old Quarterbacks Coach? Certainly none of the defensive coaches deserve it. There don't seem to be any good candidates in the entire building.

Hmm. What's Dan Marino doing these days?

UPDATE 1:00PM: Philbin has been fired, replaced by the team's former tight ends coach, 39-year old Dan Campbell.

No team who has fired their coach 4 games into the season has gone on to post-season victories, so I guess everyone can now tune out for the remainder of the 2015 campaign. Unless you like watching train wrecks.

To be perfectly clear, this news doesn't disappoint me. Go back and check, and you'll see I've been no Philbin fan since the beginning of his tenure. But I'm also not eager to support any organization that gives a bad head coach a contract extension at the end of a bad season only to turn around and fire that same coach part way through the following bad season. The Dolphins have now done that twice in four years. Go team!

I don't know how owner Stephen Ross made his money, but he certainly doesn't manage it very well.

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So Tom Brady has won 4 Super Bowls? So what. He's still not half the quarterback this guy was:

(Am I already suffering from football withdrawal? You betcha!)

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Happy 53rd Birthday to the greatest quarterback in the history of football!

You can have a Manning. I'll still take a Marino. Even a 53-year-old one.

It's been 15 years since Marino retired, and about the only record those upstarts Peyton Manning and Drew Brees haven't stolen from him is the record mentioned on the 1998 card above. Dan led the league in pass completions for six years; that's as many as Manning and Brees have combined. It figures that it would take two quarterbacks to combine to topple Marino's stranglehold on the record book.

Enjoy your cake, Dan!

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Dan Marino has been named "Special Advisor" to the Miami Dolphins. I have no idea what this means.

Is Marino going to advise the coaching staff or management? Is he going to design plays or evaluate talent? Maybe he's going to be the water boy for the Quarterbacks Coach?

The last time the organization hired Marino in 2004, as "Senior Vice President of Football Operations," he quit after 3 weeks. At the time, ESPN reported a rumor that Marino was dissatisfied that he was being hired into a new, undefined position with no set responsibilities. I'm sure this new position of "Senior Advisor" is better defined.

In 2004, Marino was still the centerpiece of CBS's pregame show. I assumed then that Marino was unwilling to walk away from that comfortable television contract to return to the uncertain world of high-stakes football. Marino was fired from CBS earlier this year (the parlance in Hollywood is that "his contract was not renewed"), so maybe the Dolphins represent his fall-back position. "Special Advisor" looks better on business cards than "Beach Bum."

All snark aside, I wish Marino the best. I don't expect him to be able to turn the team around, but I admire his willingness to try. If John Elway can return the Broncos to the Super Bowl, Dan Marino should at least be able to get the 'Fins into the postseason.

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I woke up on Friday to a voicemail message asking if I wanted to attend the Dolphins/Falcons preseason opener that night. I had turned down the opportunity when Mom asked months ago, but in the pressure of the moment, I gave in and accepted fate.

This was all I saw of Stephen Jackson

The tickets had come to friend Brian through connections at his job, and he says he had a hard time finding someone to accompany him at the last minute. ("I said to myself, 'I'll call Walter. He'd never pass up football tickets!'," Brian explained.) Judging by the thousands of empty seats at the Georgia Dome, most people passed on the opportunity to pay $59.00 to watch a glorified practice.

The last time I attended a preseason game, it was to see Dan Marino take about 5 snaps. Not quite a decade back, I tried to get Eagles/Falcons Monday Night tickets, and ended up buying four Ravens/Falcons preseason tickets. (I blame that snafu partly on TicketMaster and partly on sleep deprivation.) I couldn't give those tickets away! The way I see it, going to this game for free is cosmic compensation for that wasted $300 all those years ago.

Preseason games in Atlanta draw about as many fans as reals game in Miami

I got my money's worth as the first-team Dolphins and first-team Falcons looked great last night on their opening drives. That wasn't too surprising. Offsenses always perform better than defenses at the beginning of the year. I considered it a better sign that the Dolphins' rebuilt O-line was able to protect Tannehill for a few plays. (The Dolphins didn't start giving up sacks until late in the game.) Maybe we'll be able to score some points this year.

Others were even more optimistic. "I think we could win the AFC East this year," said the Dolphins' fan behind me. "It's either us or the Bills." Given that the Bills haven't made finished better than .500 since 2004, I'd say those are pretty good odds. I wonder what the Patriots — division winner for nine of the last ten seasons — will have to say about that?

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For reasons I can't explain, I wound up at a picnic for some of the greatest retired NFL quarterbacks. Dan Marino is there, naturally, but so is Elway, Cunningham, Moon, and more, all dressed like they had just stepped out of a Land's End catalog.

After a brief introduction, we walk to the stadium. We move in slow motion, as though underwater. Dodging their wrinkle-free khaki legs, I realize that these giants of football are literally giants as I gaze up at them from the viewpoint of a child. Occasionally golden rays of sunlight pierce the space between them, back-lighting their smiling faces and making them look like bronze statues of gods.

The weather changes abruptly, and the Minnesota Vikings fans wait beside stacked snowdrifts to enter their domed stadium. The fans are mostly dressed in puffy pink snowsuits, giving them the appearance of cotton-candy Michelen Men.

Inside, the stadium seems far too small to host a football game. I'm seated in the upper deck facing a solid white wall with a bank of glowing windows. The field far to our right isn't even visible from our seats. Some of the fans seated near me titter excitedly when our bank of seats begins to rotate towards the field. Gradually, the field comes into view, a flat, lifeless artificial turf. No one, neither coaches, players, or stadium personnel, is on the field.

Our seats continue rotating. Despite the hopeful noise around me, I know that we're just going to rotate 360° and face the window again. Of course I'm right, and I smile smugly to myself.

I get up from my seat and begin walking downstairs towards the lower level when I trip and stumble over the railing running vertically up the middle of the white concrete stairs. Desperate not to fall and make a fool of myself in front of a full house of fans, I lithely roll horizontally around the handrail like an Olympic gymnast and land on my feet. The nearby crowd thinks I've done this on purpose and cheers its appreciation.

Someone from the Vikings organization has seen my performance and rushes me down the stairs into a wood-paneled backroom where the team is waiting. The players are all wearing their pink Vikings uniforms, milling around nervously in the too-small space. Some are talking, some are tossing a football, some are playing cards or listening to music; they are behaving like extras in the background of a Hollywood locker-room scene. I'm at least a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter than everyone else in the room.

Someone -- the coach? the general manager? -- grabs my arm and tells me that they saw my "moves" in the stadium and they need me to replace their quarterback who has just broken his leg. On cue the quarterback, fully dressed for the game in his bright pink uniform and shoulder pads, rolls his wheelchair in from another room, his outstretched left leg encased in a white plaster cast. For someone with a broken leg, he looks indecently happy.

I try to explain that what they saw was an accident, merely an attempt to keep from making an idiot of myself. The man talking to me doesn't believe me. Chomping on his cigar, he orders the lame quarterback to throw me a pass. The football comes at me like a bullet aimed just above my head. Without time to think, reflexes born of self-preservation motivate me into a leaping backflip. In the process, my flailing arms snatch the ball from the air lest it hit and harm me. When I land, the entire team applauds, and I know I've lost the argument.

Moments later I'm running onto the field in my new pink Vikings uniform. The crowd goes wild, but I know this can't end well.

And that is why I have to stop eating pepperoni pizza and watching NFL Live just before bed.

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While browsing the internet to find the etymology for the neologism "trickeration" -- currently my least favorite word in the English language -- I discovered that Jason Taylor has announced that he will retire after Sunday's game. So the horrible 2011 season will claim one last player before it's all over.

Taylor will retire with the second most starts ever as a Miami Dolphin. If Taylor hadn't spent one season each with the Redskins and Jets, he'd need only 1 more season to pass Dan Marino's 242 games as a Dolphins' starter. Seeing as this is the year that the most significant of Marino's remaining passing records falls, it seems a missed opportunity not to eliminate his other records from the books. At the rate that the Dolphins discard their players these days, perhaps that's the Marino record that is truly unbeatable.

This is the fifth time I've blogged about Jason Taylor. It will probably be the last, if Taylor is smart enough to stay away from an organization that rewarded him with a trade to the Redskins just 1 year after the NFL made Taylor into a 26-feet tall robot. It's a shame that Taylor can't ride off into the sunset with a championship ring, but that's what happens to modern Hall of Famers in Miami. It sucks, Jason, but you just sort of get used to it.

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Football season is almost here, and I'm struggling to decide whether I'll be able to cheer for the Miami Dolphins this year or not. I supported the team throughout last year's one-win debacle, but this weekend may have been the last straw: Bill Parcels signed Chad Pennington. That's right, THE Chad "I Can't Throw 20 Yards" Pennington who was CUT by the Dolphins' arch-rival New York Jets when they agreed to solve the Green Bay Packers' problem by taking Brett Favre off their hands.

It's not that I hate Pennington, I just don't see him as the answer to any of our many questions. He's old, his naturally weak arm is practically nonexistent after several operations, and he was unable to provide enough leadership in New York last year. The entire move smacks of cronyism. Who drafted Pennington for the Jets? That's right - Bill Parcels! (Again proving the old adage that it's not what you throw, but who you know!)

So now the Dolphins, who have started 12 different players at quarterback since Marino retired in 2000, will likely have a 13th. (Oh, Great Marino, why have you forsaken us?) And having a weak-armed, aging quarterback is unlikely to help the Dolphins' running game. When every player on defense knows that the ball can't go more than 20 yards downfield, they're unlikely to provide much room for the running-backs to maneuver.

With an unproven rookie, there was at least the illusion of hope. Pennington comes already loaded with the stench of loser. Phew!

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