Volume 93, Issue 62

Thursday, Janurary 20, 2000


SPORTS

Wrestling the real facts on Tak

A different kind of coaching

To Dan Marino - hang up your spikes of leave Miami

To Dan Marino - hang up your spikes of leave Miami



"Dan, Dan, he's our man, if he can't do it, no one can." Unfortunately for the Miami Dolphins, this saying has had its day.

Quarterback Dan Marino is no longer "the man" and unfortunately he "can" no longer fulfill a dependable position for the Dolphins.

The 1999 season was definitely the toughest of Marino's National Football League career, as he suffered from many injuries and for the first time, began to show his age.

Arguably, Marino may have been the best quarterback in NFL history, but he's lost his magic touch and it's time for him to take his Isotoner gloves and go home for a rest.

The only reason Marino could, or possibly want, to come back is to win what has elluded his grasp the extent of his 16 year professional career – a Super Bowl. But if Marino wants to take home the title, there is no way he could win it with the Dolphins.

Five years ago, Miami could have been a contender for the Super Bowl. Now, they're barely a playoff team. Their running game is non-existent and their offensive line is unable to protect big Dan like they used to.

In order for Marino to perform to his potential, he needs to be on a team with a strong running attack. The Dolphins were never able to give this to Marino and as a result, a strong throwing arm has been destroyed before its time.

Marino has thrown so much, to compensate for Miami's running deficits, his once great arm has fallen into the realm of average. His deep ball does not travel as far as it used to and his accuracy on short passes is slipping away.

Marino could possibly have one or two more years in him, but they would be wasted in Miami. If he wants to play another year in the NFL, he will have to get out of the sunshine state and find a team with a balanced offence which is less reliant on the pass. Perhaps Marino should return to where he played college ball – Pittsburgh – and retire as a Steeler.

Marino is a great quarterback, but the years of sacks and sharp turns have taken their toll. Two knee injuries and shoulder problems have finally caught up with him. The lack of a big shiny Super Bowl ring should not taint an athlete like Marino's career. He holds almost every passing record available in the NFL and has carried the Dolphins on his shoulders every year of his career.

Marino should leave the game on his terms and not be forced out. Retiring now would give him a chance to end his career with dignity – if he stays one more year with the Dolphins, he risks losing the respect he has gained throughout his career. He could wind up as the back up quarterback, ending his career on the sidelines, or buried in the grass at Pro Player Stadium, a victim of a weak offensive line.

Marino should use the San Francisco 49ers' Joe Montana as an example of retiring with grace.

Montana was able to leave the league with his head held high and on his own terms. If Marino wants to leave as a respected member of the Dolphins, he should retire now.

He has nothing left to prove and has cemented his place in history, as a true superstar and a legend of the NFL.


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Copyright The Gazette 2000