Some have claimed that Dan Marino is the greatest NFL player to never win a Super Bowl. While each individual can have their own opinions on a claim like that, it’s hard to deny just how legendary of a player Marino was in his prime. His play has been deemed so legendary that he still works in a consulting and advising role for his beloved Miami Dolphins.
His career is one filled with NFL records, impressive plays, and a level of fame that few NFL players could ever hope to achieve. Being one of the most famous NFL stars of all time, Marino has managed to create quite the unique life when compared with many of his contemporaries.
10 He Only Ever Played For The Dolphins
A simple fact that a lot of people forget for some reason is that Marino only ever played for the Miami Dolphins. Despite that fact, there were a few close instances in which Marino nearly ended up playing for other teams, but it seems he was always destined to play for Miami.
He played for the team from 1983 to 1999 in what was one of the most impressive NFL careers of all time. In that time, Marino made sure that the Dolphins were a team that was always taken seriously as a major contender for the Super Bowl.
9 He Had More Than 40 NFL Records To His Name
Most football players would be happy to just have lengthy careers in which they make plenty of money and the ability to retire relatively injury-free. That doesn’t often happen to most players, but neither does setting multiple league records.
Dan Marino managed to set over 40 unique NFL records during his career. He wasn’t competing against complete slouches on the field either, just adding to how impressive Marino actually was when compared to many of the other unique legends he would often play against.
8 He Was Almost Drafted By An MLB Team
Those that only follow the NFL may not actually be aware that Dan Marino almost had a career in MLB before he became an NFL star. He was a part of an amateur draft before he even began playing football in college.
That draft was thanks to his incredible baseball skills and, at the time, he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals. Luckily for football fans, Marino decided to pursue the NFL instead, and it paid off for him. Still, it is interesting to think about what could have happened if he pursued baseball instead.
7 He Wasn’t A High Draft Pick
No one could be blamed for assuming that Dan Marino was in high-demand when it came time for his NFL Draft. The issue was that Marino was actually coming off of a fairly rough season of college play, and while he was skilled, his stock in the draft fell quite significantly when compared to others.
Rather than being one of the hottest quarterback picks of the year, Marino went 27th behind a couple of fellow legends. He’s admitted that how long it took him to get drafted was a shock, and that he didn’t even know some of the names selected ahead of him.
6 His Only Super Bowl Appearance Was Against Another Legend
When most people who aren’t devoted fans of Dan Marino talk about the legend, it’s to talk about the time he almost managed to win himself a Super Bowl. He only had one chance at it, but unfortunately, it was against another titan of football, Joe Montana.
Montana was able to lead his team to mostly dominate the Dolphins, winning the Super Bowl 38-16, dashing Marino’s only hope at winning the big game. Marino would never make it back to the Super Bowl despite more than another decade of high-level play.
5 He Had To Wear A Special Shoe In 1994
In roughly the middle of Marino’s career, he suffered a rather serious injury that kept him out of playing for a long time. Rather than taking a huge tackle, he simply randomly injured his Achilles heel either during or in between plays.
When he returned to the field, something that some say was too soon, he had to wear a special shoe to play. It was clear that the injury had impacted Marino as most people could clearly see the difference in his legs. Still, despite the odds and further injuries he helped keep his team strong.
4 He Was The First Quarterback To Throw For 60,000 Passing Yards
It’s certainly impressive that Marino was the first NFL quarterback to throw for 60,000 passing yards, but it does become a bit less impressive when you remember he did play for over a decade and a half.
A handful of iconic quarterbacks have managed to pull off the same feat over the years, but there is something special about being the first. The company Marino is mentioned alongside with for this accolade include Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. All of those men are often regarded as some of the best of all time.
3 He Almost Played For The Vikings
There were a lot of questions about Marino’s retirement before it officially came. Many wondered if the Pennsylvania native would end up trying for a season with the Steelers, but of all his offers, Marino admitted he considered playing for the Vikings.
He would ultimately decide to call it quits having only ever played for the Dolphins because he wasn’t sure how well his body could hold up for another NFL season. For many, it was hard to see him go, but playing for another team may have changed the way Miami looks at one of their idols.
2 He Made Cameos In High-Profile Projects
There have been a lot of NFL players with a lot of star power over the years, but many seem to forget that Marino had quite a bit of star power himself. Some remember Marino had a relatively major role in the iconic Jim Carrey film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, but he took other roles as well.
Marino also made appearances in The Simpsons, the Adam Sandler comedy Little Nicky, and even Bad Boys 2. Outside of that, Marino is frequently used in commercials and has even appeared in a fair share of music videos.
1 He Still Has Plenty of Active NFL Records.
The fact that anyone who’s been out of the game for as long as Marino has and still holds a handful of records is incredible. The play in the NFL has only continued to get better and better, but Marino hasn’t been topped in quite a few ways.
One of the most notable records is his sack percentages and completions. His sack percentages are arguably most impressive considering his sack percentage in 1988 was 1% and his career percentage was only 3.1%. Something that puts him more than a full percentage ahead of Tom Brady.
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