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Dan Marino

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Daniel Constantine Marino, Jr. (born September 15, 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a Hall of Fame quarterback who played for the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League. The last quarterback of the legendary Quarterback Class of 1983 to be taken in the first round, Marino became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in league history, holding or having held almost every serious NFL passing record. Despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team, he is widely recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in American football history. Remembered particularly for having a quick release and a powerful arm, Marino drove the Dolphins into numerous playoffs.

In 1994, a season where Marino's viability was very much a question mark from the outset, two of his signature games took place. The first was the opener, a home game versus the New England Patriots and their upstart quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who drew more than a few comparisons to a young Marino. It had rained heavily that day, and the baseball infield used by the Florida Marlins was muddy as a result. Despite the conditions, the two quarterbacks put up a combined 894 yards and nine touchdowns through the air, with Miami winning a 39-35 shootout. The other was the comeback win on the road against the New York Jets, a game famous for Marino's execution of a fake spike for the winning touchdown pass, a stunt known simply as "The Clock Play". Miami went 10-6 that year, winning the division and defeating the Montana-led Kansas City Chiefs at home before losing a heart breaker to the San Diego Chargers the following week. That season, Marino passed for 4435 yards and was named the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year.

Now more injury prone and less consistent than he had been at the peak of his abilities, Marino's decline became evident at a Thanksgiving game in 1999 versus the Cowboys. In his first game back after missing a month due to injury, Marino threw five interceptions in the Dolphins 20-0 loss. The Dolphins then proceeded to back into the playoffs by losing four out of their next five games to finish the season at 9-7.

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 either his family or the Dolphin organization.

Marino was a first-ballot selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 7, 2005 and was introduced by his oldest son, Daniel. During his induction speech, Dan threw "one last pass" to former teammate Mark Clayton, who was sitting in the audience (Marino had initially intended to throw the ball as far as he could, then he spotted Clayton in the audience and surprised the ex-Dolphin by instructing him to "Go Long").

Marino opened two restaurants in South Florida called Dan Marino's Town Tavern, with one location in Coral Springs and one on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. The name changed around 2005 to Dan Marino's Fine Food and Spirits. By 2006, both original locations had closed, but, as of January, 2007, the restaurant had opened other locations in Miami, St. Petersburg, Las Vegas, NV, and Orlando. The Orlando location was closed and scheduled to re-open sometime in early 2007.


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