Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Dan Marino

Happy 46th birthday to former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino. Marino played his entire 17 year pro football career with the Dolphins from 1983-1999 and set virtually every career passing record in NFL history. During that time he racked up an amazing 61,361 passing yards, 420 touchdown passes and 8,358 pass attempts. His 4,967 completions have since been surpassed by Brett Favre, who is also on track to break most of Marino's records.

Born Daniel Constantine Marino Jr. in Pittsburgh, he was a sports prodigy of the Steel City. In high school Marino was a Parade All American at Central Catholic High School. But football wasn't his only sport. Marino was also a standout baseball star and was drafted in the 4th round by the Kansas City Royals. Despite at tempting contract offer by the Royals, he decided to instead play football for the University of Pittsburgh.

In college, Marino was a 4-year starter and set all the passing records in Pitt history. Pittsburgh finished in the AP top 10 all 4 years of Marino's career. During his junior year in 1981, he was a Sporting News All American and threw a school record 31 touchdown passes and led the Panthers to victory over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. He also finished 4th in the 1981 Heisman Trophy voting.

But due to a somewhat disappointing senior year, Marino slid to the 27th overall pick of the 1983 NFL Draft. He was the fifth quarterback selected in a draft behind John Elway, Jim Kelly, Todd Blackledge, Tony Eason and Ken O'Brien. But it didn't take long for Marino to show he would surpass all of them statistically.

After sitting behind incumbent starter David Woodley his month, Marino started his first game in week 6 of his rookie year and never looked back. He was the 1983 NFL Rookie of The Year. In 1984 he set the standard for passing excellence throwing for a record 5,084 and a then-record 48 touchdowns (since broken by Peyton Manning). That year he led the Dolphins to the AFC championship and a birth in Super Bowl XIX. The Dolphins would lose to 49ers and Marino would never return to the Super Bowl.

Blessed with one of the quickest releases the game has ever seen, a powerful right arm and remarkable pocket presence, it's unlikely Miami Dolphin fans will ever see the likes of Marino again. Since Marino's retirement, the Dolphins have used 11 different quarterbacks as starters.

Since his retirement Marino became a television analyst for CBS and HBO. He's also a spokesperson for Nutrisystem and established the Dan Marino Foundation which has distributed over $7 million to autism research, a neurological disorder which also affects Marino's son Michael. Marino and his wife Claire have 6 children and continue to live in Weston.

Marino Facts:

NFL records set by Dan Marino

(Note: This list documents records set by Dan Marino. Some of the records have since been broken.)

* Most Attempts, Career: 8,358
* Most Completions, Career: 4,967 (since broken by Brett Favre (5021) in 2006)
* Most Yards Passing, Career: 61,361
* Most Touchdown Passes, Career: 420
* Most Passing Yards, Season: 5,084 in 1984
* Most Touchdown Passes, Season: '48 (since broken by Peyton Manning (49) in 2004)
* Most Games, 400 or more Yards Passing, Career: 13
* Most Games, 400 or more Yards Passing, Season: 4 in 1984
* Most Games, 300 or more Yards Passing, Career: 63
* Most Seasons, 3,000 or more Yards Passing: 13 (1984-92, 1994-95, 1997-98) (since broken by Brett Favre 15)
* Most Consecutive Seasons, 3,000 or more Yards Passing: 9 (1984-92) (since broken by Brett Favre 15)
* Most Games, Four or more Touchdown Passes, Career: 21
* Most Games, Four or more Touchdown Passes, Season: 6 in 1984
* Lowest Percentage, Passes Intercepted, Rookie Season: 2.03 in 1983 (296-6)
* Most Seasons Leading League, Attempts: 5 (1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1997)
* Most Seasons Leading League, Completions: 6 (1984-86, 1988, 1992, 1997)
* Most Seasons, 40 or more Touchdown Passes: 2 (1984, 1986)
* 100 TD Passes in Fewest Amount of Games to Start Career: 44 (9/7/86 at San Diego)
* 200 TD passes in Fewest Amount of Games to Start Career: 89 (9/17/89 at New England)
* 300 TD passes in Fewest Amount of Games to Start Career: 157 (9/4/94 vs. New England)
* Highest TD-INT differential: +168

NFL records tied

* Most Seasons Leading League, Yards Gained: 5 (1984-86, 1988, 1992) with Sonny Jurgensen (Philadelphia, 1961-62; Washington, 1966-67, 1969)
* Most Consecutive Seasons Leading League, Completions: 3 (1984-86) with George Blanda (Houston, 1963-65)
* Most Consecutive Games, 400 or more Yards Passing: 2 (1984) with Dan Fouts (San Diego, 1982), Phil Simms (N.Y. Giants, 1985), and Billy Volek (Tennessee, 2004)
* Most Wins against one team: 22 against the Indianapolis Colts ( Brett Favre vs. the Chicago Bears)

Additional statistics

Regular season

* Named NFL Most Valuable Player (1984)
* Played 242 games, starting 240 of them
* Career completion percentage of 59.4%
* Career passing efficiency rating is 86.4
* Threw 252 interceptions in his career
* First QB in NFL history to have six 4,000-yard seasons (1984-86, 1988, 1992, 1994)
* Only QB in NFL history to pass for 5,000 or more yards in a single season (5,084 in 1984)
* Led 37 fourth-quarter comeback victories, second only to John Elway.
* Holds Dolphins team record for most seasons played, 17.
* Had 116 wins under Don Shula – the most by a head coach - quarterback combination in NFL history.
* Won the AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor 18 times in the regular season (and 20 times overall, including playoffs).
* Started 240 Regular Season Games and Held a 147-93 record as a starter (second to John Elway's NFL-best 148-82-1 regular season record)
* For perspective, his 61,361 career passing yards is the equivalent of having passed his way across the state of Rhode Island.


* Played in 18 Playoff Games and Held an 8-10 Record in the Playoffs
* Passed for 4,510 yards over career in playoff games[6]
* Threw at least one touchdown pass in sixteen of his eighteen playoff contests, throwing a touchdown pass in his first thirteen postseason contests.

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