|dolphinsinfo.com - Dan Marino's Retirement speech
March 13, 2000
After 17 years I would like to announce my retirement from the Miami Dolphins. After playing the game of football most of my life, this was an extremely
difficult decision. But I know that I had made the right decision for me and my family. I am very proud of the success that we have had as a team for 17 years, as well
as all my individual accomplishments. Not many people have an opportunity to spend 17 years of their life doing what they truly love to do. And as I stand here before you today, I can say that I had
been blessed with a career greater than I could have ever imagined.
I am extremely proud of the fact that I was able to play 17 years for the Miami Dolphins. And I am going to miss it. I am going to miss the relationships with the players. I am going to miss the fans. I am going
to miss the great friends that I have made over this time. I am going to miss all the good times that we have had together. But most of all, I am going to miss sunday afternoons.
There are not many situations in life that can compare to the emotions, the competition and the preparation that go into a football game. It is a great game. I have been blessed over the years to have a great family and support from them
and today they are here. My mother and dad are here. I want to thank them for everything over the years, the support that they have given me, and it is special because through my whole career, ever since I have been a little boy, they have been able
to watch every game that I played. There is not many guys that can say that. To my dad, he is the best coach I have ever had. Thank you, both.
To my wife, Claire, we have been through this 16 years together. We have had a lot of ups and downs, but we have accomplished a lot of things. You have always been by my side. You are an incredible mother and you are my best friend. Thanks. We have five fabulous
children, Michael, Danno, Joey is just smiling - this is not easy Joe - Ally and Niki. Guys, I was always hopeful that I would play long enough for them to see me play the game that I love, and they were able to do that. I hope that always have fabulous memories of me
being a Miami Dolphin. Thanks guys.
There are so many people that I would like to thank, starting with the Robbie family. I want to thank the late Joe Robbie and his son, Tim, for giving me the opportunity to play here and a special thanks to the Huizenga family, Wayne and Marti. You have always been very supportive, and it was an honor to have been
a part of your football team, but most importantly, I want to thank you for your friendship.
I am honored that Coach (Don) Shula is here today. Coach, not only have you been a tremendous impact on my carrer, but you have taught me how to be a true proffesional. I am very proud of the fact that we were able to win more games than any other coach/quarterback combination in the history of football.
I thank all the coaches that I have worked with over the years and all of the great players. To the Dolphins staff, the people who are in the building here that you see each and every day. To our tean president, Eddie Jones, thank you. To the guys that work and help the players with what they are doing each and every day:
the equipment staff, Tony Egues, Charlie, Joey, guys that are important to the players. A guy that is not here anymore is Bobby Monica, he is a friend. The trainers, guys that take care of me, getting me in shape, try to make me the player that I am: Ryan Vermillion, Troy Maurer, Brad Roll is here and John Gamble,
thank you. And the Public Relations staff, Harvey Green has been great, 11 years I have worked with Harvey. Fudge Browne in community relations, thank you, Fudge. There is one person that is kind of unique, our video man, Dave Hack. He is the only person that has seen every touchdown pass that I have ever thrown. I thought
that was kind of neat.
I have played with so many different players over the years and thrown touchdown passes to 51 different players, but there were some special players in my career that I would lilke to acknowledge. When I started out here with the Miami Dolphins, I had a great group of recievers - Mark Duper, Mark Clayton, Nat Moore, Jim Jensen, Jimmy Cefalo,
but there will always be a special place in my heart for Duper and Clayton. They caught more touchdown passes than anybody that I have ever played with. As they have always said, they made me look good, they made me a star.
Don Strock, thanks for helping me when I was a young quarterback. Thanks to Dwight Stephenson, who was the most incredible leader on the field. he is a hall of fame player as well as a hall of fame person. Thank you Dwight, and more recently to Richmond Webb, who was on my left side and taken care of me for so many years and to probably the toughest
football player I have played with - O.J McDuffie. Thanks to all of you guys, you have made life easy for me.
Some special friends that are here : Marvin Demoff, we have been through a lot this past month. I want to thank Marvin for coming from Los Angeles. Another person, Ralph Stringer, who has helped me a lot in my community work here. I want to thank him. I want to thank the members of the media for covering me throughout my career and supporting a lot of things
that I do charitablewise. I have some close friends that have done a lot of work with me, and I appreciate that.
Finally, to the Dolphin fans. It has been an honor to play here in front of great and supportive fans. Together we have shared many memories. I feel that I have always had a special relationship with Dolphin fans everywhere. I thank you for being behind me throughout my career. I hope you have enjoyed these 17 years as much as I have.
I want to thank everybody in the organization, all the players I have ever played with, my family and for the media coming out here today. It has been great. Thank you very much.
Daniel Marino introducing his father, Dan at the hall of fame (August 7th, 2005)
I've always felt that I was truly blessed in so many ways, but most importantly, in the way that no one could ask for better examples of people than my parents. There's never been a situation that they did not know how to approach, or how to act in. They've always treated people with so much compassion and are so grateful for everything in their lives. I think that all five of my brothers and sisters would agree that we were all so lucky to be raised by such wonderful people.
My father has made a lot of smart decisions on the field, but I believe the smartest decision he has ever made was one he made off the field: He chose my mom.
Together, they have shaped me and my family in such a meaningful and positive way, and so rarely do you find parents so willing to give you everything and in return want only their children's happiness. My parents will belong in me and my siblings' personal Hall of Fame always for that.
I'm often asked the question, ''Are you a football player?'' or ''Does your dad want you to play football? Or sports?'' It may seem to many people that that would be appropriate, but my father has always supported me in whatever I chose to do: whether I was performing, whether Joey was golfing, whether Ali was horse riding, whether Michael was DJ'ing; as I'm sure he will support Niki and Lia in whatever passion they choose to pursue.
My father's friends have always said to me repeatedly how proud he is of his children. They tell me he can't seem to stop talking about us. My father only asked us to work hard at what we do. It seems odd to me, that such a modest request could make my father so happy. But our passion for something seems to make him as eager and happy as if he waiting to go on the field. For this, me and my siblings are also very fortunate. Perhaps this can shed some light on the man off the field -- the family man who has always been a loving father.
My father played quarterback for the Miami Dolphins from the years 1983-1999. I don't claim to be the biggest football fan in my household. Aside from my dad, my brothers Joey and Michael have that honor.
Growing up watching my dad was difficult with a preteen attention span and even tougher with a preschool attention span. However, from that time, I will never forget the scars on my arms from my mom's fingernails, when she squeezed them for dear life, watching my dad on the field.
But now that I'm older, I can appreciate more what my father did. I sometimes watch my father's old games on tape, and I can't put into words the experience of watching your father when he was young win a game. When he yells, when he skips off the field, hugs his teammates and his coach, and a look of competitive accomplishment on his face. That look always made him stand out for me a little on the field. I don't think my father was ever out of the game.
If you watch him from the sideline, he watches every play with intensity. Eager when the defense is keeping the opposing team from getting down the field, and if the Dolphins had a bad play, the cameras would have to cut away for the family audiences. My father is the most passionately competitive person I know. If there's one thing you can say about my father, it's that his competitive spirit matches his ability as a player.
In the same way that my grandfather is my father's hero, my father has always been my hero, and in the same way, I hope my children will look up to me one day. But it would be selfish of me to say that I'm the only one who looks upon my father as a hero. My father has given so much to the community he lives in -- the time he has spent with the sick and terminally ill children, the Dan Marino Children's Hospital founded for children with neurological disorders, the Dan Marino Foundation that has worked with children's charities in South Florida -- have I'm sure all earned him the status of hero with many other people. Both my parents have given so much time to helping the community in which they live, and my father's hand reaches far beyond the community he lives in as well.
My father was always committed to his team and his teammates. Even if my father scored four touchdowns and failed to win, it was always to him a lost game. The Miami Dolphins were and still are my dad's team. More than that, they are in a way his extended family. My father's 17 years were spent with one franchise -- the franchise he loved. That seems so rare in professional sports today, I thought it was worth mentioning.
I've always felt that talent, if nothing else, is something you don't have control over. My father was very lucky in that department. But it's what you do with your talent that counts.
My father, when he played, worked his hardest and always played to the best of his abilities. I think that's all a coach can ask from a player, and furthermore, all you can ask of a person. One thing, when I started writing this speech, I realized that you have to start thinking very hard about how you feel about your father. I realized how completely unselfish my father's life has been. His induction into the Hall of Fame is in recognition of his abilities and career on the field. But I personally feel that it's also in recognition of my father's life in many ways. A life that was never about him, but about his team, his fans, his community, his friends and his family.
I'd like to introduce to you my father, my hero and my friend: Dan Marino
Dan Marino's Hall of Fame induction Ceremony Speech (August 7th, 2005)
"Thank you, son. I'm very proud. I want to thank and congratulate the families of NFL pioneers Benny Friedman, Fritz Pollard. I enjoyed being with you this weekend, the families. Steve Young, congratulations on your induction. I've always admired your style of play. It's an honor to be in the Class of 2005.
To Jim and Jill Kelly, they've been friends from a lot of years. I can't imagine what you've been going through [after Friday's death of their son Hunter]. Our
prayers are with you.
To the people of Canton: Wow, what can I say? The pride you all take in this weekend, the Hall of Fame weekend. I'm proud to be a part of it. You can count on me coming back all the time.
Last January when I was elected to the Hall of Fame, I challenged Dolphins fans to overrun Canton, Ohio. You know what -- you've taken it over! Thank you. Thank you to all of you.
I started playing football when I was 10 years old. That year, my father and I took a short drive to a very special place, the 90-minute drive from Pittsburgh to Canton, Ohio, where I spent the day with him at the Hall of Fame. To think now 33 years later I'm actually here with my mother, my dad, my family, teammates, friends being inducted into the Hall of Fame is overwhelming and an incredible honor.
It's also an honor to be up here with so many great Hall of Famers that include the great players and coaches that have made the game what it is today. It is humbling, and I am proud to be part of this special club, guys. Thank you.
As a young man, God blessed me with a special talent to throw a football. I was very fortunate to grow up in an environment like the city of Pittsburgh in the neighborhood of Oakland, an area that was filled with football tradition. My dream started right there on Parkview Avenue in Oakland, and it stayed there for 21 years. There's not many players who can say they went to grade school, high school and college all in the same neighborhood, all within a short walk from the home I grew up in. It was literally a 10-minute walk from my home to the 50-yard line of old Pitt Stadium
I lived right across the street from a church as a kid, and I still have vivid memories of playing football for St. Regis on the mornings of games, going to church in full dress uniforms. We had cleats, pads, helmets, everything. We were wearing everything, and the coaches would lead us in prayers. We would say Hail Marys and Our Fathers in praying for victory, and then we'd march down the streets, cheerleaders, bands playing ... It didn't get much better than that. And you know what? We never lost. I'd like to think that God was on my side, but then again it was a Catholic church league, and he was on everyone's side.
Central Catholic was my high school, and it was a great place for an education. I know there's a bunch of you here. It was a great place for an education and also a great place to play the game of football, and many of my teammates I know are here and friends from high school. I thank you for coming to Canton.
I also want to mention my high school coach. Rich Erdelyi's here. Coach, you meant so much for us. I want to thank you for taking pride and dedication and teaching us the game of football. Coach Erdelyi takes all the credit for my success. To this day, he still tells the story that when I went to Central that I was throwing left-handed and he actually taught me how to throw right. Problem is, I think he believes it after all these years. Thank you, Coach.
From Central Catholic I went right down Fifth Avenue a few blocks to the University of Pittsburgh where I had four great years. Pitt taught me how to compete at a high level. To tell you how talented our teams were, most weeks our practices were tougher and more demanding than any games we had on Saturday. I still say the 1980 team could've beat Georgia at 1 o'clock, Notre Dame at 4 o'clock and been national champs if we were only given the chance. And I have some friends over there, Ricky Jackson, Hugh Green, Jimbo Covert -- they'll all attest to that.
To all my Pitt teammates, thanks for coming. Coach Jackie Sherrill, coach Foge Fazio ... Coach Sherrill, I'll never forget your passion for the game, and I'll also never forget the advice you gave me the summer of my freshman year. After Coach Sherrill watched me throw for 15 minutes, he pulled me over and said, `Son, whatever you do, don't let anybody change your style on how you throw the football. You just keep throwing it like you're throwing it.' Coach, thanks
Then came the 1983 draft. I will say it was an interesting day. I've always been asked the question did it bother me that 26 teams passed on me in the first round and I would always answer. `No.' Well, I lied. Today, I want to thank those 26 teams for passing on me. You gave me an opportunity to play for one of the greatest franchises in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins, and to be coached by the greatest coach ever, Don Shula.
Coach, other than my father you are the most significant influence on my football career. You pushed me and demanded my best. Coach, you were always a true professional, and I want to thank you for the example you set for me on the field [and] also in the community. We didn't win a Super Bowl together, and that is something I will always regret not knowing what that feels like. But you and I have won more games together than any quarterback and coach in the history of the NFL. That is something I'm very proud of.
Football is the ultimate team game, and as you know, no one gets to the Hall of Fame alone. And I'm honored so many of my Dolphin teammates are here today. Many of you showed up, and I thank you. And right from the start you've helped me. I remember my first start going back to 1983. It was against Buffalo, and I was a rookie. To be honest, I was a little nervous. As I stood on the sidelines, I remember a veteran safety coming up to me, Lyle Blackwood. He came up to me with a serious look, and he shook my hand and said, `Dan, good luck today. I don't want you to feel any pressure, but remember this one thing: If you play bad, we'll lose.' [Laughs]
Now that's pressure on a rookie.
For 17 years, I was blessed to play with so many great players and coaches. Through all of the good times and bad, all of the wins and the losses, the one thing I could count on was that I could count on my teammates. I want to thank all linemen, you guys for protecting me. All of the receivers for the tough catches. All of the coaches for helping me be the best player I could possibly be. I will cherish those Sundays that we lined up together. And for every Dolphin player that I have ever stepped on the field with, thank you for sacrifice and your dedication. I know in my heart I would not be here without you. All of you, every player, every coach, I share in my induction into the Hall of Fame, and I share in this bust very much.
I wish I could thank you all individually, but I would like to mention a few guys. Mark Duper and Mark Clayton ... In 1984, we set a standard throwing the football that teams are still trying to match today. The one thing I remember most about Duper and Clayton is their competitive spirit and their attitude that they were the best. Every time they would come back to the huddle, they would always insist that they were open and they always wanted the ball. And they constantly reminded me that they were making me a star. I will see you guys here one day because you guys deserve it.
To my fellow Hall of Famer Dwight Stephenson, who is right back here. Dwight, it was a privilege to take snaps from the best center to ever play the game of football. And to main man Don Strock, sitting right here. My kids call him Uncle Don. As a quarterback, I couldn't have had a better teammate to learn from or a better friend. Coach Shula, `Stroker' and I have something to confess. We had special hand signals we would use, so if we didn't like the play you called, we would just change it. Coach, I'll tell you, it was Don's idea.
I was one of the fortunate few who spent an entire career in one place, one team to play for two great owners. I want to thank the late Joe Robbie and the Robbie family for bringing me to Miami. I want to thank Wayne and Marti Huizenga. Wayne, you're a great boss, but also you're a very special friend. Thank you for your commitment to the Dolphins but also for your commitment to the community and sports in South Florida. [Cheering] That's right. There are so many in the Dolphins organization who helped me over my career. The trainers, the equipment staff, community relations, the PR department and also one man who stood for class in the entire franchise: former president Eddie Jones. Eddie, I would like thank you for your commitment to the Dolphins, and I want to thank all of you in the Dolphins organization for helping me on and off the field. You are all a special part of my career
This is a proud day, not only for me but for the entire Marino family, and I'm blessed that you're all here. But there is one lady who's missing, great grandma Marino. Grandma was a true Dolphins fan, she was a true sport fan. What I loved about Grandma was, she always said I never threw an interception that was my fault. And I believe Grandma. I think she was right. She was a great lady and a tough lady, and we wish she was here. My younger sisters are here, Cindi and Debbie. All the games you went to supporting me and cheering me on, it seems like you always put me first, and I'm glad you're here with your families.
To my mother and dad, we've come a long way from Parkview Avenue. Mom and Dad, I still can't figure out why they called it Parkview Avenue because there wasn't a park and there wasn't no view. But I can tell you that a son couldn't ask for better parents. Mom, thank you for your dedication to Cindi, Debbie and me. We were lucky we got to be raised in such a healthy and loving environment. You're the best, and I love you.
My dad, you're my hero. You're my role model; you're the best coach I've ever had. You taught me how to throw a football; you taught me about hard work, how to be positive. I'll always remember the times that we'd just sit and talk about football and about life. You taught me how to treat people the way you want to be treated. You would always say that you didn't deserve anything in life; you only deserve what you earn. My only hope is that Claire and I could pass on those important values to our children. Thank you, Dad. My dad would always tell me that no one does it better. Well, let me say that no one is better than you.
To Claire and the kids, you guys are my true Hall of Famers. You guys are my whole life. You mean everything to me. Win or lose, no matter what the situation, the kids and Claire, you're always there with smiles, hugs and kisses. Dano, Michael, Joey, Allie [Alexandra], Niki, Lia, I love you guys. Claire, we've had 21 years together. You've been my best friend. You've been an incredible mom. I can't imagine where I'd be without you. There's nothing better than going through life with your best friend right next to you along the way. Claire, you've been my best friend. Thank you for making my life complete, and kids, making my life complete.
Looking back on my career, I've accomplished many things. But what I cherish more than any record that I hold, any fourth-quarter comeback, any win that I was involved in, what I cherish more is the relationships that I've made, the people I've worked with, the teammates I lined up beside, the opponents that I've competed against. But the friends and family, that's what I cherish most.
My son and I talked about what I was going to talk about in my speech, and we want back and forth. He said, `Dad, you need to tell everyone what you miss most about the game.' To tell you all what I miss most is for 17 years, running out of the tunnel knowing I was the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins and playing in front of the greatest fans in the world. That's what I miss most.
It's time. I'm going to start licking my fingers a little bit because you know what happens when I lick my fingers.
Of course in the end, every quarterback wants one more thing. He wants one more Sunday in front of his fans with a football in his hands and one last chance to go deep. I'm going deep to Clayton."
Clayton, turn around and go deep right there. Go. [Clayton gets up and walks down an aisle.]
You gotta run, man. He was much quicker in his younger days, you know what I'm saying? Much quicker. [Marino completes a pass from the stage to Clayton in the crowd].
Thank you, Mark. Thank you Dolphins fans for coming. I'll remember this day the rest of my life. Claire, kids, Mom, Dad -- thank you."
President Bill Clinton
"As the most prolific passer in the NFL, a committed leader to his team through so many seasons and a strong community leader, Dan Marino has set an example in sports we should all applaud. I wish him the very best as he brings his playing days to an end having earned a lasting place among the greatest players in football history."
Don Shula - Dolphins coach 1970-95
"I don't believe that there is anyone who has made more of an impact on the NFL than Dan Marino in his 17 year career. He has all the passing records and is one of the winningest quarterbacks
in the history of the league, and those accomplishments are how players should be judged. Dan brings an excitment to the quarterback position, even during practice, and especially during the last two minutes of games, when he has brought us back
to win more times than I can count. Whether it was the clock play against the Jets or any of his other great comeback wins, I always had the feeling that with Dan at quarterback, we were never out of the game, no matter what the score. To me, Dan is the greatest competitor among the over 2,000 athletes I have coached."
Mark Clayton - Former Dolphins Wide Reciever
"I can honestly say I played with The Man. He had a hell of a ride, and he simply was the best that ever played. He left a mark on the game that will never be duplicated."
O.J McDuffie - Dolphins Wide Reciever
"It's really sad to hear the Dan may be retiring, but in a way I'm glad because I couldn't bear to see him play for anyone else... Dan made me look good so many times...Shoot, he made me!"
Bob Griese - Former Dolphins Quarterback
"I marveled at how he was so composed when things didn't go well on game day. He never had a negative word for anyone. Sometimes you get frustrated at the coaches, or at the recievers when they ran a wrong pattern, but he was always positive in situations when it was tough to be that way."
Zach Thomas - Dolphins Linebacker
"I almost wish I could go back and enjoy each day as his teamate. I got more of a thrill intercepting Dan in practice than I did any of my interceptions in games."
Tim Robbie - Former Dolphins President
"This is an odd day because it saddens everyone, when it should have been a celebration of this guy's career."
John Elway - Former Denver Broncos Quarterback
"I'm glad to be ranked in the same breath with him. Early on, we were real competitive. All the quarterbacks in 83' who came out were real competitive, see who's going to rise above the rest. Dan did it early. We were chasing Dan all of our careers...
He's thrown the ball better than anybody has ever thrown it."
Troy Aikman - Dallas Cowboys Quarterback
"Of all the players that I followed throughout my career, he was the one guy that I had at the top of my list. When you think about Dan, you think about his unique ability as a player and of all his accomplishments on the field. But what I will remember most is the way that he conducted himself. He did it the right way, and he represented his team, the community and the NFL very, very well."
Nat Moore - Former Dolphins Wide Reciever
"You could tell right away that Danny had this unbelieveable talent to throw the football. He was so accurate, had so much zip on the ball...For me, playing with Danny was more than anything like watching an artist at work. He could pick apart defenses no matter what. It's a missing art today. It gave us more incentive to try to get open."
Dwight Stephenson - Former Dolphins Center, Hall of fame player
"Dan had a certain confidence, a certain air about him from the very begining. He felt he would succeed and he didn't necessarily have to do it the convensional way. He knew he could win by throwing. A play would come in from the sideline and Dan would say '(Forget) that. We'll run this'. He knew what we could do on the field better than anyone. And doggone right he'd always get it done."
"The boy is good. How many times can I say it ?" - Mark Clayton, 1984.
"Danny just had a confident swagger. He was a street smart kid from a metropolitan area." - Foge Fazio, Marino's college coach.
"I throw better than anybody in college, and I can throw with anybody in the pros. There that's what I think." - Marino prior to the 1983 draft.
"He avoided injuries a long time because he's always had the greatest vision of anyone on the field. Dan saw the whole picture.. He knew when to get rid of the ball". - Don Strock, former Dolphins quarterback, 2000.
"He's led the way for a lot of other dads." - Dr. Roberto Tuchman, executive medical director, Miami children's hospital, Dan Marino center, 1999.
"Marino always said to me 'I could throw a ball through a hurricane'." - Mark Clayton, 2000.
"This guy is like a dream." - Ed Newman, former Dolphins guard, 1985.
"Marino will break all the passing records." - Don Shula, 1990.
"All I can tell you is the guy has thrown for 60,000 yards, so he must have been challenged a hell of a lot." - Jets coach, Bill Parcells when asked if he thinks Marino plays better when challenged, 1999.
On September 17th, 1989, Dan Marino threw his 200th TD pass. He did it in his 89th game, faster than any QB in NFL history. He became the 13th player to throw for 200 TDs. 220 more were to follow.
On January 7th, 1990, Joe Robbie died at age 73. Robbie was the founder and owner of the Dolphins and the driving force behind the construction of Joe Robbie Stadium.