Don Shula Passes Away

Philip Jeff Frye

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I'm a bit of a lapsed Dolphins fan - still follow the team from a distance and root for them, but lately (and by lately I mean the last 20 years or so), what's been the point? Shula's Super Bowl teams were right when I first became aware of professional football and my uncle lived in Florida and sent me a banner or something, so I was hooked. I grew up in upstate New York and was surrounded by Bills fans. Every fall before on the Friday before a Dolphins-Bills game, they'd taunt me with "Miami's got the oranges, but Buffalo's got the Juice," and every Monday (or almost every Monday, anyway), I'd taunt them by recapping the Miami victory. Good times. Also really enjoyed the Marino years, but it was frustrating how they could never get over the top. Always had a huge amount of respect for Shula though.
 

BigSoxFan

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I had a lot of respect for Shula’s accomplishments. Did not respect him for how petty he got vis-a-vis Patriots/Belichick over the past couple of decades.
 

cornwalls@6

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He'll no doubt have a glowing statement later today, but I wonder if a little part of Bill died today too. Not being able to mic drop Don when he gets the all time win record has to be a big disappointment.
 

SoxJox

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Miami, of course, but many will skip over a 71-23-4 record after assuming the HC duties for the Baltimore Colts at the ripe old age of 33. Plus the NFL Championship in 1968.
 

Ale Xander

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He'll no doubt have a glowing statement later today, but I wonder if a little part of Bill died today too. Not being able to mic drop Don when he gets the all time win record has to be a big disappointment.
Will be a shame to not have Shula alive when Pats, with Trevor Lawrence, go 20-0 in 2021
 

InstaFace

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Fitting that he didn't stick around to watch Belichick break his record.

Dude never had nice things to say about anybody but himself. I hope nobody I respect ends up as cranky and just plain old as he became.

From his wikipedia:
Over the years, Shula's relationship with [Dolphins owner Joe] Robbie chilled considerably, in part due to Robbie's unwillingness to spend money on higher-profile players. Despite this, one of the few times he came close to leaving Miami came in the middle of the 1983 season, when Donald Trump, the new owner of the upstart United States Football League's New Jersey Generals, offered him a $5 million contract–a significant increase from the $400,000 he was earning at the time with the Dolphins. Negotiations hit a snag when Shula insisted on getting a rent-free apartment at Trump Tower. When Trump publicly announced the deal was all but done except for the apartment agreement, Shula broke off talks and stayed in Miami. Years later, Csonka, by then an executive with the Jacksonville Bulls, said that he believed Shula would have taken the job, but was angered at being "thrown out to the press" by Trump.[45]
Dodged a bullet there, no way does that check clear.
 

BigSoxFan

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Fitting that he didn't stick around to watch Belichick break his record.

Dude never had nice things to say about anybody but himself. I hope nobody I respect ends up as cranky and just plain old as he became.

From his wikipedia:

Dodged a bullet there, no way does that check clear.
Yeah, if Belichick starts crapping on everyone else’s accomplishments the way Dungy, Polian, Shula, etc. did to the Pats, I’d be quite disappointed. Fortunately, I just can’t ever see that happening.
 

tims4wins

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Yeah, if Belichick starts crapping on everyone else’s accomplishments the way Dungy, Polian, Shula, etc. did to the Pats, I’d be quite disappointed. Fortunately, I just can’t ever see that happening.
Depends who he is crapping on for me. I may be petty but I'd love to see BB unload on Dungy and Polian and their unreal string of first game playoff exits.
 

BigSoxFan

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Depends who he is crapping on for me. I may be petty but I'd love to see BB unload on Dungy and Polian and their unreal string of first game playoff exits.
I’m willing to grant a “clap back” exception...
 

jaytftwofive

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Miami, of course, but many will skip over a 71-23-4 record after assuming the HC duties for the Baltimore Colts at the ripe old age of 33. Plus the NFL Championship in 1968.
The problem was he never won an official World Championship with the Colts because there were Super Bowls by then. The Colts IMO had the best team in the NFL and AFL in 67 and 68(Sorry Packers fans.)They were 11-1-2 in 67 and missed the playoffs because the Rams with the same record got the tiebreaker and won the division. They beat the Packers in reg. season and even though the Packers at 9-4-1 and aging beat the Rams in the first playoff round easily in Milwaukee(Unfair rules until 1974 the team with the better record didn't get home field they use to alternate. DUMB!!!!!!!!) I think the Colts could have beaten the Packers and then the Cowboys in Baltimore. Not in 15 below zero temps,lol. But stuff happens. A lot of people who aren't as old as me may not know but the Jets upset over the Colts in that Super Bowl affected the Pats future in many ways. Unless somebody already posted this. After Mike Holovak was fired at the end of 68, Billy Sullivan the Pats owner had 2 finalists for the new head coach. An innovative pass and run offensive coordinator from the Jets Clive Rush who helped Ewbank and Namath and company upset the Colts, and a not so well known assistant coach for the Colts. Rush got the job, and had a bad omen with an electrical zap at his first press conference with the microphone that knocked him down(Maybe an omen) . Took them to 4-10 the first year, then after getting blown out by the Bills in early November 1970 he resigned at halftime because of a nervous breakdown.He had alcohol problems also. He was hired by the Redskins in the spring of 71(before they hired George Allen, lol) then turned it down a few weeks later. Oh........the Colts assistant coach who didn't get the job........his name was Chuck Noll. Many believe possibly myself that if the Colts had won like they were favored he probably would have got the Pats job. Amazing how games can change history and franchises. Oh the Pats finished 2-12 with John Mazur the rest of the year, 1970, allowing them to get Plunkett.
 
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jaytftwofive

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I always despised the Dolphins no.1 in AFC because we could not win in that awful Orange Bowl and the better Joe Robbie. But I have to give the guy credit for turning a bad team into a champion. 10-4 from 3-10-1 the year before and a wild card appearance and then played in 3 straight Super Bowls and won 2 in a row. Then the usfl messed them up after 74.(Damn Jan Stenerud in 71 lol. I liked the Chiefs and everybody in my 8th grade class loved the Fins. I thought the Chiefs were better. Even in provincial Philly. Or I should use the Philly accent MYAAAAAHHHHMI) Shula was an assistant at 2 colleges and was def. coordinator for the Lions before being hired by the Colts in 63 at age 33. RIP Don.
 
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jaytftwofive

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I believe Shula's dislike of the Pats was long before Spygate and deflategate. It was the snowplow game in Dec. of 82 when the prison release worker, Mark Henderson(3rd most famous Henderson in Boston sports history next to Dave and Gerald, lol) drove a snowplow on the field and cleared a path to help Jon Smith kick a field goal to beat the Fins 3-0. He had been complaining about that forever.
 

jaytftwofive

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I'm a bit of a lapsed Dolphins fan - still follow the team from a distance and root for them, but lately (and by lately I mean the last 20 years or so), what's been the point? Shula's Super Bowl teams were right when I first became aware of professional football and my uncle lived in Florida and sent me a banner or something, so I was hooked. I grew up in upstate New York and was surrounded by Bills fans. Every fall before on the Friday before a Dolphins-Bills game, they'd taunt me with "Miami's got the oranges, but Buffalo's got the Juice," and every Monday (or almost every Monday, anyway), I'd taunt them by recapping the Miami victory. Good times. Also really enjoyed the Marino years, but it was frustrating how they could never get over the top. Always had a huge amount of respect for Shula though.
They say (NFL writers and Fins fans) that he kept Marino too long and didn't run and pass the ball like his teams use to do before he got Dan. In other words they passed the ball almost all the time.
 
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mauf

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It's hard enough not to let success go to your head. Being successful and developing a reputation for moral rectitude is too much for just about anyone.

In the last few years of his life, Vince Lombardi began to believe his press clippings; if he had lived another 15 years, he'd be remembered as a great football coach who was a sanctimonious asshole, rather than as a sincerely pious man who was ahead of his time on civil rights. Don Shula became a bit of a pompous ass later in life, but he did better than most men who are placed on that kind of pedestal. RIP.
 

Rough Carrigan

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I believe Shula's dislike of the Pats was long before Spygate and deflategate. It was the snowplow game in Dec. of 82 when the prison release worker, Mark Henderson(3rd most famous Henderson in Boston sports history next to Dave and Gerald, lol) drove a snowplow on the field and cleared a path to help Jon Smith kick a field goal to beat the Fins 3-0. He had been complaining about that forever.
For the coach who left the tarp off the field the night of a predicted tremendous downpour thus creating a ridiculously muddy field that hindered a much faster Jets team in the January 1983 AFC championship game the next day to get on a high horse about cheating is quite ironic.
 

BigSoxFan

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For the coach who left the tarp off the field the night of a predicted tremendous downpour thus creating a ridiculously muddy field that hindered a much faster Jets team in the January 1983 AFC championship game the next day to get on a high horse about cheating is quite ironic.
Yup. Dude was the Dean Smith of the NFL.
 

E5 Yaz

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For the coach who left the tarp off the field the night of a predicted tremendous downpour thus creating a ridiculously muddy field that hindered a much faster Jets team in the January 1983 AFC championship game the next day to get on a high horse about cheating is quite ironic.
That ship sailed when he agreed to coach the Dolphins when already obligated to the Colts
 

jaytftwofive

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For the coach who left the tarp off the field the night of a predicted tremendous downpour thus creating a ridiculously muddy field that hindered a much faster Jets team in the January 1983 AFC championship game the next day to get on a high horse about cheating is quite ironic.
You are 100 % right. Forgot about that game. I rooted for the Jets. Despised the Dolphins worse. I don't know why the Jets didn't file a complaint with the league and postpone the game till Monday night or when it was dry enough. Like a Monday night football game. I rooted for the Jets over Raiders the week before also. Still had bad feelings for Raiders for Sugar Bear Hamilton game and Jack Tatum.
 
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Dotrat

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I had a lot of respect for Shula’s accomplishments. Did not respect him for how petty he got vis-a-vis Patriots/Belichick over the past couple of decades.
My thoughts and feelings exactly. He seemed to get awfully petty with age.
 

JimD

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Shula lost me with 'Beli-i-cheat'. There is no way anyone who coached that long didn't bend a few rules along the way.

F***ing David Tyree.
 

InstaFace

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Shula lost me with 'Beli-i-cheat'. There is no way anyone who coached that long didn't bend a few rules along the way.
Moreover, that was during Ballghazi, not CameraPlacementGate. Even if they're no Mona Lisa Vito of footballs and air pressure, any single NFL coach ever should be able to immediately come up with (A) deflating footballs confers no competitive advantage, just the opposite, (B) equipment violations are minor fines, and (C) inflation guidelines are for optimal performance, done for the convenience of the quarterback, not some holy writ... not to mention (D) I'm a football coach too and I can see the world from Belichick's eyes. And that's way before you get into intellectual honesty like what Jimmy Johnson said, that he and every successful coach ever was always happy to bend the rules for an advantage. Nevermind the fiasco over how things were measured and then twisted around by Exponent.

Fuck Don Shula with a fossilized manatee.
 

Kliq

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I don't even understand why Shula was so petty with BB, I mean, it wasn't like anyone considered Shula the coaching GOAT before BB came along.
 

Dahabenzapple2

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Moreover, that was during Ballghazi, not CameraPlacementGate. Even if they're no Mona Lisa Vito of footballs and air pressure, any single NFL coach ever should be able to immediately come up with (A) deflating footballs confers no competitive advantage, just the opposite, (B) equipment violations are minor fines, and (C) inflation guidelines are for optimal performance, done for the convenience of the quarterback, not some holy writ... not to mention (D) I'm a football coach too and I can see the world from Belichick's eyes. And that's way before you get into intellectual honesty like what Jimmy Johnson said, that he and every successful coach ever was always happy to bend the rules for an advantage. Nevermind the fiasco over how things were measured and then twisted around by Exponent.

Fuck Don Shula with a fossilized manatee.
This
 

Bergs

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Moreover, that was during Ballghazi, not CameraPlacementGate. Even if they're no Mona Lisa Vito of footballs and air pressure, any single NFL coach ever should be able to immediately come up with (A) deflating footballs confers no competitive advantage, just the opposite, (B) equipment violations are minor fines, and (C) inflation guidelines are for optimal performance, done for the convenience of the quarterback, not some holy writ... not to mention (D) I'm a football coach too and I can see the world from Belichick's eyes. And that's way before you get into intellectual honesty like what Jimmy Johnson said, that he and every successful coach ever was always happy to bend the rules for an advantage. Nevermind the fiasco over how things were measured and then twisted around by Exponent.

Fuck Don Shula with a fossilized manatee.
Thank you for this.
 

cornwalls@6

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A bitter, hypocritical, pathetic old fool. Absurdly and unattractively protective of his records, and whatever he perceives his legacy to have been. A case study in how not to age gracefully. Sucks that he won’t be around to see it, and eat it, but look forward to the day Bill passes him in wins(he’s already left him in the dust overall, IMO). Hope Bill enjoys a nice glass of champagne that day.
 

Cotillion

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Holy shit... he was and his defenders are still ignoring the rule breaking that Shula did.

Okay... yep... shula was a boy scout and never broke the rules except for...
 

Kliq

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That article comes across like the old mother who thinks that the crazy drunk son that died in a motorcycle crash at 24 was an angel.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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Holy shit... he was and his defenders are still ignoring the rule breaking that Shula did.

Okay... yep... shula was a boy scout and never broke the rules except for...
In the SoSH tradition of not letting the deaths of our enemies be sentimentalized, let us be reminded that Don Shula was a cruel person, to the point that he was one of the coaches named in the big NFL painkiller lawsuit. The lawsuit was triggered in part because Shula threatened players with being cut from the team unless they loaded up on painkiller in order to get back on the field.
 

PedroKsBambino

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When he retired he was often called the best coach ever. Thanks to Belichick, only a few Dolphins fans still think that’s a reasonable claim for Shula.

It seems clear Shula knew he was replaced by a better coach on those stories and it shows the caliber of the man that he lashed out when that happened.
 

Kliq

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When he retired he was often called the best coach ever. Thanks to Belichick, only a few Dolphins fans still think that’s a reasonable claim for Shula.

It seems clear Shula knew he was replaced by a better coach on those stories and it shows the caliber of the man that he lashed out when that happened.
I know now most people wouldn't think this despite the career win record, but it seems strange that even when he retired, people thought he was better than Brown, Walsh or Lombardi.
 

kartvelo

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Moreover, that was during Ballghazi, not CameraPlacementGate. Even if they're no Mona Lisa Vito of footballs and air pressure, any single NFL coach ever should be able to immediately come up with (A) deflating footballs confers no competitive advantage, just the opposite, (B) equipment violations are minor fines, and (C) inflation guidelines are for optimal performance, done for the convenience of the quarterback, not some holy writ... not to mention (D) I'm a football coach too and I can see the world from Belichick's eyes. And that's way before you get into intellectual honesty like what Jimmy Johnson said, that he and every successful coach ever was always happy to bend the rules for an advantage. Nevermind the fiasco over how things were measured and then twisted around by Exponent.
...and E) THE IDEAL GAS LAW
 

mauf

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I know now most people wouldn't think this despite the career win record, but it seems strange that even when he retired, people thought he was better than Brown, Walsh or Lombardi.
I never heard anyone argue Shula was more than the best coach of the Super Bowl era. Lombardi was the consensus GOAT until the past few years. (That’s giving too little weight to longevity imo, but I do believe it was the consensus view.)
 
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Rice14

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I never heard anyone argue Shula was more than the best coach of the Super Bowl era. Lombardi was the consensus GOAT until the past few years. (That’s giving too little weight to longevity imo, but I do believe it was the consensus view.)
I think Shula was always regarded as one of the best motivators of players, second only to Lombardi. I don't think he was ever considered a great tactician or X and O guy. In the second half of his career Shula the coach was let down time and again by Shula the GM. Giving him roster control was a big mistake. As a Dolphins fan, we used to brace ourselves to hear who he'd be drafting (Eric Kumerow? Remembering listening to that draft on the radio and you could literally hear the announcers searching through their papers to find something to say about him). He was gifted Marino in '83, but otherwise not a great personnel guy, probably cost Marino a ring. Still, his team was always prepared and played hard, two losing seasons in almost 30 years of coaching. Must have done something right. RIP coach.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I never heard anyone argue Shula was more than the best coach of the Super Bowl era. Lombardi was the consensus GOAT until the past few years. (That’s giving too little weight to longevity imo, but I do believe it was the consensus view.)
I have no idea what you did and did not hear, but the argument was widely made among those who follow the NFL not only when he coached but also upon his death.

Here’s one of literally hundreds of articles saying as much


I don’t personally agree, but to suggest this was never said is spectacularly uninformed
 

Jet-Boo

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A bitter, hypocritical, pathetic old fool. Absurdly and unattractively protective of his records, and whatever he perceives his legacy to have been. A case study in how not to age gracefully. Sucks that he won’t be around to see it, and eat it, but look forward to the day Bill passes him in wins(he’s already left him in the dust overall, IMO). Hope Bill enjoys a nice glass of champagne that day.
Not to mention that Shula’s Steak Houses are garbage.