Dan Marino Made His Dolphins Debut 30 Years Ago Today
It's September 19, 1983. Scarface had yet to premiere in theaters. The Heat, Marlins and Panthers didn't even exist. The Miami Hurricanes had yet to win a national championship. LeBron James hadn't even been born. So many icons associated with modern day Miami had yet to exist.
On that night, the Miami Dolphins, just a few months from a loss in the Super Bowl, are down to 27-0 to a Raiders team who still played in Los Angeles during Monday Night Football. Head coach Don Shula decided it was as good a time as any to sit starting QB David Woodley to give his rookie QB his first play in a pro game.
That rookie's name was Dan Marino.
With less than a quarter left, Marino wasn't able to pull the Dolphins out of an unsurmountable deficit, but he did lead the team to touchdown drive that ended the game with a more respectable 27-7.
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Woodley would hold to the starting gig for just two more games. The promise Marino showed was too much to hold back. In week six he'd make his first career start against the Buffalo Bills. He'd lose that game but would lose only one more game for the entire season. The team finished 12-4 on top of the AFC.
Here's a compilation of every touchdown Marino would throw during his rookie season, including those first two 30 years ago today.
Marino would remain Miami's man until his retirement in 1999 and would go on to break a lot of records and round up a boatload of divisional championships along the way.
In part of a massive graphic putting the human lifetime in prospective, blog Wait But What recently plotted out what has happened so far during the lifetime of a 30-year-old.
But to put it in more Miami-specific terms, here's a selection of things that have happened since Marino made his Dolphins start:
- December 9th, 1983 - Scarface premieres in theaters.
- January 1st, 1984 - The Miami Hurricanes win their first national championship.
- September 16th, 1984 - Miami Vice premieres on NBC.
- December 30, 1984 - LeBron James is born.
- 1987 - The team starts playing at what's now known as Sun Life Stadium
- July 27, 1988 - Ryan Tannehill is born.
- November 5th, 1988 - The Miami Heat play their first regular season game.
- April 5th, 1993 - The Miami Marlins play their first regular season game.
- 1994 - Wayne Huizenga buys the Dolphins from the family of Joe Robbie.
- 2000 - The Elian Gonzalez affair.
- July 8th, 2010 - LeBron James joins the Miami Heat.
A lot has happened since then. The one thing that we're not quite sure has happened, yet, anyway: The Miami Dolphins debuted a QB who would mean even a fraction of what Marino meant to the franchise. That's up to Ryan Tannehill.