Daniel Constantine Marino (born September 15, 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) was an elite National Football League quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, who attained nearly every measure of football success, but never won a championship.
Marino played college ball at the University of Pittsburgh from the 1979 to 1982 seasons, and led the Panthers to a Sugar Bowl triumph over the Georgia Bulldogs in January of 1982. His senior season during the '82 season was pretty much of a disappointment in respect to all the Heisman Trophy and National Championship hype during the pre-season. His team lost the Cotton Bowl to SMU. Dan attended Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
With the down season of his last year at Pitt and unsubstantiated rumors of drug abuse, Marino's selection in the 1983 NFL draft fell to second to last pick in the first round by the Miami Dolphins. He would play seventeen seasons for Miami.
During his career in Miami he would lead the Dolphins to Super Bowl XIX in January 1985 where they lost 38-16 to the San Francisco 49ers and Joe Montana. During the game, Montana set a record for rushing yards by a quarterback, while scrambling from the Dolphin pass rush, and outrushed Roger Craig. Meanwhile the immobile Marino threw two interceptions and had Miami's only fumble. He brought Miami division titles in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1992, and 1994. With Marino at the helm, the Dolphins were a perennial playoff team except during the seasons of 1986 through 1989. He brought them the AFC Championship game three times, winning in 1984 and losing in 1985 and 1992. He won the Dolphins first road playoff game in over twenty years in the 1999 season (his last win) against the Seattle Seahawks. The following week, Marino and the Dolphins were outclassed 62-7 by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the most one-sided game in AFC history. It was his final game.
Marino would never attain that elusive Vince Lombardi Trophy, partly because his teams never had the right parts. It came down to either not having a successful running game or a strong defense. Ironically, when the run-first Jimmy Johnson came to Miami, the team had a top ranked defence and Marino played poorly.
During his professional career (1983 to 1999) in Miami he was one of the most skilled and revered quarterbacks in the game. He was known for having the quickest release in the sport, throwing bullets, and making the most miraculous passes. Also, despite the fact that he was not known for his scrambling ability, Marino possessed a great awareness in the pocket, often sliding a step or two to avoid the pass rush. He has the second most fourth quarter comebacks in the history of the NFL, and second most victories (John Elway is first in both). He had one of the greatest regular season QB performances in history in 1984, the year he led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl, when he threw for NFL records of 5,084 yards and 48 touchdown passes (although the single season touchdown pass record was broken by Peyton Manning in 2004). Following the 1994 season he was named Comeback Player of the Year for his Pro Bowl season after his season ending achilles tendon injury in 1993. He was selected to play in 9 Pro Bowls. He holds the career record for passing yardage (61,361), touchdown passes (420), completions (4,976), and pass attempts (8,358). He also holds or is tied for several other passing records. He has earned the title of "The NFL's Most Prolific Passer."
In early 2004, Dan 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, saying that the role was not in the best interest of his family or the Dolphins.
Presently, he lives with his wife, Claire, and six (four by birth, and two by adoption) children in Florida. During the football season he works for CBS on their The NFL Today show and HBO on Inside the NFL.
Dan Marino was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.
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