When footballs conversations go to the subject of the best passing quarterbacks of all time….the name Dan Marino seems to always find its way into that conversation….not so much because of the Super Bowls that he won….cuz he didn’t win any…..but more so because of his passing prowess….as this cat could “thread a needle” with a football at 40 yards with the flick of a wrist and a super quick release…. which happened to bee unlike any quarterbacks before or after his time in the NFL. Now, let me clear the air….I have never been a Miami Dolphins fan….but I have always enjoyed watching Dan Marino pitch the football around the gridiron….cuz he could with tremendous accuracy find a window for a well covered receiver to catch the ball….when it seemed impossible to get the pass through the defense….so, when you consider Marino amassed 420 touchdowns and 61,361 yards over a 17 year career with the Miami Dolphins….it becomes evident why he deserves his “place in the sun” with one of L E’s Stories here at ImaSportsphile.
NFL – 1983 To 1999 – NFL Fan Zone Special – Dan Marino: “A Football Life” – Narrated By Josh Charles
Daniel Marino Jr. is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. After a successful college career at Pittsburgh University and being named First-team All-American in 1981….Marino was the last quarterback taken in the 1st round of the quarterback class of 1983….but went on and held or currently holds dozens of NFL records associated with the quarterback position….and despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team….he is recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time…..who is best remembered for his quick release and powerful arm….as Marino helped the Dolphins become consistent postseason contenders….while leading them to the playoffs ten times….with one Super Bowl appearance in XIX….albeit a title victory ultimately eluded him during his career….but still, Marino is considered by many to be one of the greatest players to never win a Super Bowl….while currently being the QB with the most career victories to not win a title at 155.
NFL – 1983 To 1999 – Dolphins Special Film – Dan Marino: “The Man And His Career”
Dan Marino was a 9-time Pro Bowl selection…..and 8-time 1st or 2nd team All-Pro….plus he was voted All-AFC on 6 different occasions…. and was voted NFL Rookie of the Year by Sporting News…..as well as in his 2nd season in 1984, was the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP)…. when he set single season records of 5,084 passing yards….with 48 touchdown passes….plus nine 300-yard passing games….and four 400-yard passing games…..then in 1994, he was voted the NFL Comeback Player of the Year….as well as receiving the 1998 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. At the time of his retirement, Marino held more than 40 NFL single season and career passing records….albeit many of which have since been surpassed….including career passing attempts of 8,358….in additions to his completions of 4,967….plus passing yards 61,361…..and touchdown passes of 420.
NFL – 2016 – NFL Films – “Top 10 Quarterbacks Of All Time” – # 7 Miami Dolphins Dan Marino
Marino was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003…. then was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005 in his 1st year of eligibility….and is currently one of only three former Miami Dolphins to have his jersey number retired. In 2019, Marino was named to the NFL 100 All-Time Team….as one of the 10 greatest quarterbacks in NFL history….which was determined by a panel of coaches and media members.
NCAA Football – 2003 – College Football Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony – With Pitt QB Dan Marino’s Acceptance Speech
Marino was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of Italian and Polish ancestry…..as the eldest child of Daniel and Veronica (Kolczynski) Marino….while having two younger sisters, Cindi and Debbie. His father delivered newspapers for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette….as Marino grew up on Parkview Avenue in the South Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh….and attended St. Regis Catholic Elementary School…..then he attended Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh….where he started in baseball….and won Parade High School All-American honors in football. He was drafted in the 4th round by the Kansas City Royals in the 1979 amateur draft….but decided to stay in college football for his senior year instead.
NCAA Football – 2005 – Special – Dan Marino Remembers The Early Years And Being Recruited By Pitt
NCAA Football – 1979 To 1982 – Pittsburgh Panthers Highlight Film – “The College Career Of Pitt QB Dan Marino”
Marino attended the University of Pittsburgh….and played for the Panthers football team from 1979 to 1982…..when as a freshman in 1979, he led the Panthers in a 24–17 triumph over West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl….along with a 29−14 win over longtime rival Penn State. Pitt’s 1980 Marino-led team finished # 2 in the season ending rankings (The New York Times computer poll rated Pitt as No. 1). Marino was part of an elite team during those two years that included two other future NFL Hall of Fame players….with defensive lineman Rickey Jackson and center Russ Grimm….as well as future Pro Bowl linebacker Hugh Green and future Pro Bowl guard Mark May. In 1980, Pitt added future NFL players Bill Maas, Dwight Collins, and Tim Lewis….while their offensive line got a third future Pro Bowl player: tackle Jimbo Covert….leading Marino to say, “There were games when my uniform never got dirty. There were games when I never hit the ground. That’s incredible.”
NCAA Football – 1979 To 1982 – Pitt Panthers Special Highlights – “The Career Of QB Dan Marino”
Following the 1981 regular season, Marino led the Panthers….who had been ranked # 1 most of the season, to a last-minute triumph over the # 7 Georgia Bulldogs in the 1982 Sugar Bowl by throwing a game-winning pass to tight end John Brown with less than a minute remaining in the game. Marino later cited this as the most memorable pass he’d thrown in his college career. Overall, during the three seasons from 1979 thru 1981, Pitt garnered 33 wins with only 3 losses (three straight 11–1 seasons)….and was constantly ranked in the Top 5 of both major media polls….but then the Pitt football team’s fortunes and Marinos’s statistics dipped during his senior year….which saw the team transition from head coach Jackie Sherrill to new coach Foge Fazio….which culminated in a 7–3 loss in the 1983 Cotton Bowl Classic to SMU (Southern Methodist University)….and their “Pony Express” running back tandem of Eric Dickerson and Craig James. Marino finished 9th in voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1982….after finishing 4th the previous year. Marino finished his four college seasons with 7,905 passing yards and 74 touchdowns….with 64 interceptions.
NCAA Football – 1982 – Sugar Bowl Classic – Pitt Panthers Vs Georgia Bulldogs – Featuring QB Dan Marino (Pitt) + RB Hershel Walker (GA) – With Keith Jackson
Marino’s selection status in the 1983 NFL Draft plummeted after his weaker senior season at Pitt….along with rumors of recreational drug use…..as 5 other quarterbacks including Ken O’Brien, Tony Eason, Todd Blackledge….. and Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and John Elway were drafted ahead of him in the 1st round. Bill Hillgrove, who was with the Marino family on draft day, later recalled that when the New York Jets selected O’Brien, Marino “became visibly ill”. (O’Brien, who played for Division II Cal-Davis was so obscure that Marino later asked his agent Marvin Demoff “Who is Ken O’Brien?”)…. when the Miami Dolphins chose Marino as the 27th pick in the 1st round…..as he had not been expected to be available for the team to draft….which meant that he had never spoke to head coach Don Shula or anyone else from the Dolphins before the coach called after the selection. Opinion was divided on the wisdom of the team’s decision….as ESPN’s Chris Berman said that Shula was “the best”, but Paul Zimmerman was skeptical of the coaching staff’s ability to help Marino “overcome the problems he’s had”. Shula later said that being passed up by so many teams “motivated [Marino] to show everybody else what a mistake that they had made.”
NFL – 1984 – NFL Films – The Timeline: 1984 – “The Season That Saved Pro Football”
Marino was the 1st draft pick in the history of the United States Football League….after being selected by the Los Angeles Express. He did not sign with the team, choosing instead to sign with the Dolphins. After starting the season as a backup to incumbent starter David Woodley, Marino was given his 1st NFL start in Week 6 versus the Buffalo Bills…..when Marino and Miami lost that game 38–35 in overtime. As a rookie, Marino set several records when he posted a 96.0 passer rating…..and was selected to the Pro Bowl as a rookie….as he had the lowest percentage of passes intercepted with 2.03….while being the only rookie quarterback to lead a conference in passing….as well as having the highest passing completion percentage with 58.45. The Dolphins finished the season with a 12–4 record….and advanced to the AFC divisional playoffs….where Marino threw two touchdown passes in his playoff debut….however, he also threw two interceptions as the team lost 27 – 20 to the Seattle Seahawks.
NFL – 1983 – Week 3 Highlights – Oakland Raiders Vs Miami Dolphins – With Rookie QB Dan Marino Throws 2 TD’s In Mop-Up Duty
NFL – 1983 – Week 3 Highlights – Miami Dolphins Vs Buffalo Bills – Featuring QB Dan Marino’s 1st Start For Miami
NFL – 1983 – Week 14 – Highlights Of Miami Dolphins Vs Houston Oilers – At The Astrodome
In his 2nd season, Marino broke six NFL full-season passing records…. including the records for most touchdown passes (48, surpassed by Peyton Manning in 2004)….and the most passing yards (5,084, surpassed by Drew Brees in 2011)….as well as being selected as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. The Dolphins finished with a 14–2 regular season record….while clinching home-field advantage for the playoffs. In the Divisional round, the Dolphins avenged their playoff loss of the previous season to Seattle Seahawks with a 31 – 10 victory behind Marino’s 262 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. The next week the Dolphins defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game 45 – 28…..when in that game, Marino set AFC Championship Game records with 421 passing yards and 4 touchdowns….even though he had thrown his last pass of the game with 11:07 still remaining on the clock…..as both records still stand as of 2020.
NFL – 2015 – NFL Films – “The Cradle of QB’s – As Told By Joe Namath + Jim Kelly + Dan Marino + Joe Montana
In Super Bowl XIX, Marino and the Dolphins faced off against San Francisco 49’ers and Joe Montana in Palo Alto, California…..which was a game that Bone Daddy, the original Sportsphile, saw live at Stanford Stadium…..as he and his “sports running buddy”…..who was known by the moniker of Prince of Pleasure….caught a late Friday night flight to “the Left Coast”…..while not having any hotel reservations or tickets for the game…..when the boys from Texas ended up sitting on the 40 yard line behing the 49’ers bench 25 rows up…..as they landed those awesome tickets from a scalper just 10 minutes before kickoff. The Dolphins, who had 74 rushing attempts in the previous two weeks, ran the ball only eight times in this game…..as Marino finished with 29 completions out of 50 attempts for 318 yards, throwing one touchdown pass and two interceptions…..as the Dolphins lost 38–16 in what was Marino’s only Super Bowl appearance.
NFL – 1985 – Super Bowl XIX – Miami Dolphins Vs San Francisco 40’ers – Featuring Dan Marino + Joe Montana – With Frank Gifford + Don Meredith + Joe Theismann
In 1985, Marino threw for 4,137 yards and 30 touchdowns while leading the Dolphins to the AFC Championship game. On September 29, Marino threw for 390 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Dolphins’ 30–26 victory over the Denver Broncos, in the 1st match-up between Marino and Broncos quarterback John Elway. Then on December 2, Marino threw for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns against the vaunted Chicago Bears defense in a 38–24 victory. The loss was the only one that the Bears experienced that season. Marino led the league in yards and touchdown passes and was named 1st team All-Pro in 1985.
NFL – 1985 – Miami Dolphins Special – QB Dan Marino’s Touchdowns In 1985
NFL – 1984 / 1985 – Miami Dolphins Highlights Of QB Dan Marino
On September 7, 1986, 8 days shy of his 25th birthday, Marino threw his 100th touchdown pass in a 50–28 loss at San Diego…..as he accomplished that feat in just 44 games….which was the fastest in NFL history…..when in that 1986 season Marino threw for 4,746 yards and 44 touchdowns….and was the 1st QB in NFL history to record three consecutive seasons of 30 or more touchdown passes….with 48 in 1984….30 in 1985….and 44 in 1986. Marino again led the league in yards and touchdown passes and was named 1986 first team All-Pro.
NFL – 1986 – Miami Dolphins Special – QB Dan Marino’s 1986 Touchdowns
NFL – 1986 / 1987 – Miami Dolphins Special – QB Dan Marino’s Season Highlights
In 1988, Marino threw for 4,434 yards and 28 touchdowns…..and as a result of his 4,434 yards passing, Marino became the first QB in NFL history to throw for 4,000 or more yards in four different seasons….as Marino had been tied with Dan Fouts for the most 4,000 yard passing seasons with three prior to the 1988 season.
NFL – 1988 – Miami Dolphins Highlights Special – QB Dan Marino’s Touchdowns In 1988
In 1992, Marino again led the Dolphins to the AFC Championship game while passing for 4,116 and 24 touchdowns. His 4,116 passing yards led the entire NFL and marked the 5th time in his NFL career that he led the league in passing yards.
NFL – 1992 – Miami Dolphins Highlights Special – QB Dan Marino’s Touchdowns In 1992
In 1993, Miami was strongly favored at the start of the year to make it back to the AFC championship game and possibly the Super Bowl. However, after throwing a swing pass at a game in Cleveland….as Marino, who was untouched on the play, crumpled to the ground in pain with a torn Achilles tendon and was out for the season. Marino later said, “I felt like I got kicked”…..when backup quarterback Scott Mitchell had an impressive series of starts before suffering an injury of his own…..as Steve DeBerg started the last 4 games of the season. Mitchell signed a free-agent contract with the Detroit Lions….and Miami signed veteran quarterback Bernie Kosar from the Dallas Cowboys as a backup….and while wearing a special shoe on one foot….and having a right calf that was visibly atrophied, Marino was the starting quarterback at the opening of the 1994 season. In the 1994 season opener, a home game versus the New England Patriots and quarterback Drew Bledsoe….when the two quarterbacks put up a combined 894 yards….as Marino had 473 yards….and Bledsoe had 421 yards…..along with a combined 9 passing touchdowns….with Marino having 5….and Bledsoe having 4…..with Miami winning by a score of 39 – 35. Later in the season, Marino led a comeback win on the road against the New York Jets (28 – 24), a game famous for Marino’s execution of a fake spike for the winning touchdown pass….which is a play known as “The Clock Play”. The Dolphins finished 10–6 that year….as Marino passed for 4,453 yards and was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association…. so, after missing the postseason in 1993 during his injured season…that is when Miami came back to the playoffs in 1994….after placing 3rd overall in the AFC….as Miami was pitted against the Kansas City Chiefs in what became the final NFL game played by Joe Montana…..when Marino threw 257 yards and two touchdown passes, contributing to Miami’s 27 – 17 win….as the Dolphins reached the AFC Divisional Playoff round….. where they competed with the San Diego Chargers…..when 3 touchdown passes by Marino in the 1st half allowed the Dolphins to lead 21 – 6 before the Chargers staged a comeback….and took the lead toward the end of the 4th quarter. In the final moments of the game, Marino tried to set up a good position for a field goal….but with little time left at the Chargers’ 30-yard line, Pete Stoyanovich was forced to attempt a 48-yard field goal. Stoyanovich missed….thus ending the game with a 22 – 21 loss for Miami.
NFL – 1993 – Miami Dolphins Highlights Special – QB Dan Marino’s Touchdowns In 1993
Marino started in 14 out of 16 games in the 1995 season. He suffered a hip injury in week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts….and was replaced by Bernie Kosar in the following two games. Throughout the regular season, Marino threw 3,668 yards….which included 24 touchdowns. Despite falling to 9 – 7 and to 3rd place in the AFC East, the Dolphins again advanced to the playoffs because they placed 6th in the AFC. In the wildcard round against the Buffalo Bills, Miami dominated in passing….with Marino passing 432 yards….while Buffalo was far ahead of Miami in rushing yards with 341 yards….when the Bills held a wide lead throughout the game. The Dolphins remained scoreless until the 4th quarter….when they scored 22 points….which included two touchdown passes from Marino….however, Miami fell well short of a comeback and lost 37 – 22.
NFL – 1999 – Miami Dolphins Highlights Special – QB Dan Marino’s Touchdowns In 1999
NFL – 1999 – NFL Vault Classic Match-Up – Colts Rookie QB Peyton Manning Vs Dolphins QB Dan Marino
On November 10, 1996 vs. Indianapolis, Marino became the first QB in NFL History to throw for 50,000 career passing yards…..then on November 29, 1998 vs. New Orleans, Marino threw for three TD’s….with his 2nd TD pass being a 7 yard throw to wide receiver OJ McDuffie…. thus giving him 400 for his career…. as Marino became the 1st QB in NFL history to reach that number of career TD passes.
NFL – 2016 – NFL Films – “The Cradle of QB’s” – As Told By Joe Namath + Jim Kelly + Dan Marino + Joe Montana
The Dolphins opened the 1999 season on September 13 at the defending Super Bowl champions Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football…..when Marino threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns in the Dolphins’ 38 – 21 victory….for which Marino earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors…..and he again earned that honor on October 10th….. as he threw for 393 yards and two touchdowns in thrilling 34 – 31 comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts…..then on October 17th versus the New England Patriots….that is when Marino became the 1st quarterback in NFL history to throw for 60,000 career passing yards.
NFL – 2018 – Special Film – “All Eyez On Me” – Dan Marino Career Highlights
Marino’s final win of his career was his 1st playoff road win….and his 36th comeback win…..as the Dolphins defeated the Seattle Seahawks 20 – 17 on January 9, 2000….which was also the final football game ever in the Seattle Kingdome. In the next round (January 16)….while also on the road, Marino and the Dolphins lost 62 – 7 to the Jacksonville Jaguars….as the Dolphins’ 55-point margin of loss was the worst in the AFC playoffs’ history….when Marino was replaced by backup Damon Huard after playing one series in the 2nd half…. however, he did end the 1st half on a high note….while leading the Dolphins on an 80-yard scoring drive…. and throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to receiver Oronde Gadsden with 20 seconds remaining. The Jacksonville game marked the end of Jimmy Johnson’s coaching career…..as Johnson announced his retirement the next day.
NFL – 2005 – Pro Football Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony – Miami Dolphins QB Dan Marino
Before the 2000 season, Marino decided to retire, after declining offers from Minnesota, Tampa Bay and his hometown of Pittsburgh….when the Dolphins declined his option on his contract. Marino later admitted that he seriously considered the offer from the Vikings….but that he turned it down not because of his arm, but because he was not sure that his legs could take another season. He also appreciated the fact that unlike many of his contemporaries, he got to play his entire career with one team.
NFL – 1983 To 1999 – NFL Legends Special – Dan Marino’s “Quick Release” Career Highlights
During Marino’s career, the Dolphins were perennial playoff contenders….while reaching the postseason in 10 of his 17 seasons. He was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls (1983–1987, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995), seven times as a starter, but due to injuries he only played in two of the games (1984, 1992). He was named first- or second-team All-Pro eight times and earned All-AFC honors six times. Marino won all three major individual awards: NFL MVP (1984); NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1994); and NFL Man of the Year (1998), which recognizes charitable work off the field.
NFL – 1983 To 1999 – NFL Films – Greatest Clutch Quarterbacks Of All Time – # 10 Dan Marino
In 1999, Marino was ranked 27th on The Sporting News list of the 100 greatest football players….which made him the highest-ranking Dolphins player. In 2010, he was ranked # 25 on the NFL’s Top 100 Greatest Players list. Dan Marino was known for his quick release….who despite the fact that he was not skilled at scrambling, possessed an uncanny awareness in the pocket….while often sliding a step or two to avoid the pass rush. As the 2020 NFL season started, Marino is ranked 6th behind Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, John Elway and Drew Brees, on the list of most wins by a starting quarterback…. and with 155 wins is the most of a quarterback not to win a Super Bowl.
NFL – 2010 – NFL Network Special – The NFL’s Top 100 Greatest Players – At # 25 Miami Dolphins QB Dan Marino – Presented By Alex Rodriquez
On Sunday, September 17, 2000, at halftime of the Dolphins-Baltimore Ravens game at Pro Player Stadium, Dan Marino’s jersey # 13 was retired…..as the only other Dolphins jersey number retired at the time was Bob Griese’s # 12…..and since then Larry Csonka’s # 39 has been retired as well. Marino joined the Dolphins Honor Roll the same day. In a year of accolades from the franchise he led for many years, the Dolphins also installed a life-size bronze statue of Marino at Pro Player Stadium (now Hard Rock Stadium)….and renamed Stadium Street to Dan Marino Boulevard.
NFL – 2005 – ESPN Special – Dan Marino’s # 13 Retired – Part 1
NFL – 2005 – ESPN Special – Dan Marino’s # 13 Retired – Part 2
NFL – 2005 – ESPN Special – Dan Marino’s # 13 Retired – Part 3
NFL – 2005 – ESPN Special – Dan Marino’s # 13 Retired – Part 4
In 2003, Marino was honored for his outstanding NCAA career at Pitt with an induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. In early 2004, Marino briefly returned to the Miami Dolphins as Senior Vice President of Football Operations….but resigned from the newly created position only three weeks later…. while saying that the role was not in the best interest of either his family or the Dolphin organization. Marino was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005….as one of only four Dolphins to be elected in their first year of eligibility along with Jim Langer, Paul Warfield and Jason Taylor…..as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 7, 2005…..and was introduced by his oldest son, Daniel. During his induction speech, Dan threw “one last pass” to former teammate Mark Clayton….who was sitting in the audience.
NFL – 2005 – HBO Inside The NFL Special – A Video Tribute To Pro Football Hall Of Fame Inductee Dan Marino
NFL – 2019 – The Dan Patrick Show – With Guest Dan Marino – “I Could Throw 60 TD’s Per Year In Today’s Game”
Marino was an analyst for CBS’s Sunday pregame show The NFL Today, from 2002 – 2013…..then on February 18, 2014, it was announced that Marino, along with Shannon Sharpe were being relieved of their duties as on-air commentators on The NFL Today….and were being replaced by Tony Gonzalez and Bart Scott. Also, he was formerly a studio analyst on HBO’s Inside the NFL, from 2002–2007. On August 24, 2014, Marino announced he would return to the Dolphins as a special adviser.
NFL – 2010 – NFL Today Show – With Dan Marino + Boomer Esiason Trading Jabs
Although the assumed greatness of an NFL quarterback is typically measured by the number of championships (Super Bowls) that the quarterback led his team too….Dan Marino stands with Fran Tarkenton, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon and Dan Fouts at the top of the list of thousands of NFL quarterbacks who never won a title…..as all five of these guys did make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame…..which proves that greatness in NFL quarterbacks is not measured solely by their winning a title. As way you cut the pie, Dan Marino, was something special from the moment he stepped onto the gridiron….and he remained that way until he left the playing field in 1999….so, there is no doubt that he deserves his place in ImaSportsphile’s place of honor by having an L E’s Story written about him.
NFL – 2006 – ESPN Classic Films – “You Can’t Blame Dolphins QB Dan Marino For Never Winning A Super Bowl”