Best Miami Spokesman - 2007
When the South Florida Super Bowl XLI Host Committee needed a public face, its members didn't tap Gloria Estefan, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, or rapper Rick Ross. Instead they went with the granite jaw, the legend: former Dolphins head coach Don Shula. The man is an icon in this city. For more than 30 years he manned the sidelines for the city's storied sports franchise, engineering a perfect season in 1972. But Shula is more than just a football coach. He is a man of great honor and integrity who still hasn't abandoned his down-to-earth-by-way-of-Cleveland persona. You're just as likely to run into him eating a slice at Gino's Pizza on Washington Avenue as you are at the United Way annual ball. And the 77-year-old steakhouse and hotel entrepreneur doesn't pull any punches, as evidenced by his stinging rebuke of recently departed Fins coach Nick Saban. Now if only someone could convince Shula to run for county mayor in 2008. Then maybe we could really have an inspiring leader.