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Memories of 62-7 resurface during Jags week

Editor's Note: The following post contains material not suited for Dolphins fans with weak stomachs, fragile dispositions, or outstanding memories.

Do you remember the day the last great Dolphins Age passed away?

Where were you on Jan. 15, 2000? What were you doing on the day of 62-7?

For the uninitiated, 62-7 forever lives in Dolphins infamy as the score of the divisional playoff game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins in January of 2000. And as the Dolphins are in Jacksonville today, only weeks from the 10-year anniversary of that not-long-enough-ago game, I decided to recall what that day meant then and still means today.

"It's been 10 years? I guess so," said Jason Taylor, the lone member of today's Dolphins to play in that game. "We've had so many moments since then you kind of forget it. Thank God.

"It was just a long day, really. That was one of those days that won't go down in infamy, but pretty darn close. Nothing worked. I think they scored their first play or first three plays, I don't know. They were running plays that should go for two yards and they were running for touchdowns instead."

The game, as Taylor recalls, was indeed a disaster for Miami. Coming off a stirring 20-17 victory over Seattle in an AFC first-round playoff game, the Dolphins traveled to Jacksonville hopeful they could put a year's stress and strife behind them.

That 1999 season, you may recall, was known as the year Dan Marino and Jimmy Johnson spent feuding. Johnson wanted to bench Marino, threatened to bench Marino, but in the end knew Marino gave him his best chance to win. Marino cursed Johnson, wanted to throw more often than Johnson would allow, but in the end recognized he was diminished and could no longer consistently carry the team on his back.

So this flawed team full of fight (inwardly as well as outwardly) went to Jacksonville hoping, believing, that they had a "shot to be special," as Johnson said of them.

Didn't turn out that way. The Jaguars were supremely talented. And ready to play.

Jacksonville scored a touchdown on their first possession. On Miami's first play from scrimmage, Aaron Beasley intercepted Marino's first pass and Jacksonville took over at the Miami 41 yard line. The Jags kicked a field goal. Then the Jags scored again the next time they had the ball when Fred Taylor ran 90 yards for a score. And on the very next play, Marino was stripped of the ball while in the pocket and Tony Brackens scooped the ball up and ran 16 yards for another score.

It was 24-0. And it was only the first quarter.

The Jaguars didn't let up. They led 41-7 by halftime, with Miami's only score coming on a 20-yard pass from Marino to Oronde Gadsden.

Jacksonville would score 21 more points in the second half, with two of those touchdowns coming on a 70-yard and then a 38-yard touchdown pass by Jay Fiedler. Yes, that Jay Fiedler.

The Dolphins fumbled six times that day, losing five. Marino was intercepted twice. The Jaguars tallied 520 total yards, including 257 on the ground.

"It was just a mess. Just a mess," Taylor recalls. "And at the end of the game, as disappointed as you were because you got your butt kicked, it was almost to the point where you were glad because it was over and they couldn't score any more."

But aside from the demolition the Dolphins suffered, the game is known as much for what happened next as what happened during.

"It was Danny's last game, Jimmy's last game," Taylor said.

Johnson had decided to quit coaching for good at least a month before that season ended, probably longer. He had tried to quit after the 1998 season but had been convinced to return by owner Wayne Huizenga. There woud be no bringing him back after 1999.

The morning after the fiasco in Jacksonville, Johnson called a selected handful of reporters individually to his office and told them his intentions to depart. He also told them of his endorsement of Dave Wannstedt as his successor. (Amazing aside of how far we've come: Even though Johnson told the newspaper reporters first, no news leaked because most newspapers didn't have websites up and running at the time that could break the news. So the news broke on radio and TV.)

Within a couple of hours, Johnson held a news conference announcing his departure. Just as it had been immediately following the Jacksonville loss, Johnson took no questions. He made a statement and headed out the back door of the Dolphins' main meeting room.

And in the same press conference the Dolphins then announced the hiring of Wannstedt. Such a thing should not have happened then as Huizenga gave a failed coach the priviledge of naming his successor -- something Huizenga didn't allow Don Shula to do.

But the Wannstedt hiring could not have instantly happened in today's NFL, either. Today, the Dolphins would have had to undergo a search process that involved the interviewing of minority candidates. I'm not saying the Rooney Rule would have saved the Dolphins from Wannstedt, but, well, if you close your eyes, you can dream that perhaps clearer heads might have prevailed.

So Wannstedt ascended to the head coaching job that very day. He had spent the past year dipping heavy hands into the defensive game plan and that plan had just yielded 62 points and now he was going to make decisions over both offense and defense.

That is amazing for it's lack of clarity.

Wannstedt's first decision?

He wanted a new quarterback. He wanted Marino gone. Johnson had benched Marino in the second half of the Jacksonville game in favor of Damon Huard. Within weeks the Dolphins began the process of divesting themselves from Marino as a player.

On Feb. 10, the Dolphins asked Marino to void the final two years of his contract. It was an elegant way to basically cut Dan Marino, making him a free agent. Marino weighed offers from Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh to continue playing but ultimately his ego and competitive spirit didn't override his intelligence. Marino could no longer move in the pocket to avoid hits. He had thus become injury-prone.

The golden arm that made Marino famous never betrayed him. His legs did.

So on March 13, 2000 Marino announced his retirement from football.

"Boy, I really struggled with this," Marino said at his retirement press conference. "This has been the toughest month of my life as far as dealing with playing football or retiring. After the season, I pretty much thought that I was not going to play anymore and I felt that way for a while and I think it was because of the physical aspects of the game. It kept coming back to how my lefs felt during last season, going through the neck injury, not knowing whether I was going to be able to throw the football, and family reasons also. But Claire and the kids were great. They wanted me to play, to be honest with you. Really, it was my decision, a family decision and a health decision."

When the unrestricted free agency period opened that year the Dolphins replaced Marino with Fiedler. Wannstedt would later admit he had been impressed by what he saw from Fiedler the day the Jaguars beat Miami 62-7.

That was 10 years ago this season. The Dolphins play the Jaguars on Sunday.

Follow me on twitter. I will be tweeting news later today about Jake Grove likely being downgraded to out for Jacksonville and other information. Those tweets appear <---- over there, by the way, if you simply refuse to follow me.

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Dear Mr. Salguero


Dolphins 100 Jags 99

"Here’s why: the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America is using Garrard as their way to get their message out about the need for a cure to Crohn’s disease. And for every time Garrard is responsible for a score, the foundation is donating $10,000 toward research and finding a cure for Crohn’s disease"

Soiled :)

A dark day indeed for Dolphin fans.

I remember being shocked when Jimmy "retired" a year earlier and was pleased when they talked him into coming back.

That was a mistake because his heart and head weren't in it and after the 62-7 fiasco, I was glad to see him gone.

As much as Wannstedt drove me nuts as a coach, he did put together a solid 2000 season and brought us back to respectability again by winning the division. Of course, it only got worse from there.

Mando, you are clearly the best writer in town. No doubt. This stuff was moving, it was at times funny, it was ... compelling.

Thank you.

The 62-7 debacle I can get over. The way Jimmy treated Marino, never.

Johnson is, and always was, an idiot. I'd like to forget he was ever with the Fins.

I remember Mando was on the radio then. Some little crappy station called 1700 or 1400 or something.

And he predicted the Jagoffs would not just beat the Dolphins but blow them out and I was one of the angry callers who thought he was crazy.

He wasn't crazy. 'Memba that Mando?

Mando been noticing on your twitter you kicking our butts. you got yoeself some new high powered sources homey?

Nice post by the way.

I was only 21 when this game was played and a senior at UF. We drove over to the Gator bowl just to tailgate and get drunk.

Glad I missed the actual game.

Brilliant piece, Mando. This should be a column in the print version. Bravo.

Dear Mr. Salguero

This article has brought back many memories for me both fond and sad.

Everything I've ever seen, heard or read about Dan Marino makes me realize what a truely gifted man he is with sports, family and life.

Look up the phrase "Role Model" this is where you will find him.


Soiled :)

I remember I was in 5th grade and in tears when I watched I watched this game. By far the saddest game I have ever seen in sports.

I hope we get some revenge tommorow.

Way to re-open old wounds... This story makes me feel like throwing up and then crying in fetal position.

;)

Dear Mr. Salguero

Who should be more concerned ?

Miami's concern for Earnest Wilford.

Jacksonville's concern for Tony McDaniel.


Soiled :)

I remember that show Finheaven is talking about. I remember Mando saying the Jags were too talented and the Dolphins were coming apart at the seems.

Everybody ripped on him. And then everybody had to basically call him on Monday and tell him how wrong we were and how right he was.

Please respond if you remember those shows on 1700 The Fan Armando

Truly was the day the Dolphins died. They turned the keys over to an incompetent fool, and subsequently to someone to who didn't want the job, then to another incompetent.

And this is how we ended up here.

But this Sunday we will come full circle. The Dolphins will rise again like the fiery phoenix.

Jacksonville, Sunday, you will pay for the sins of your fathers. Revenge is indeed a dish best served cold!

painful memories armando..
even the stup*p sprinclers went off
still can not come to grips;danny boy leaving like that..

Dear Mr. Mark in Toronto

"Revenge is indeed a dish best served cold!"

And the phrase "Sweet Revenge"

Doe's this mean Revenge is........Ice Cream ?

Soiled :)

This piece is a well written explanation of why Wayne was a very poor decision maker and ultimately owner. You need to be smart enough to recognize when one of your employees is not committed and cut that employee loose. Johnson had quit in 1998 following the death of his mother and Huzienga, instead of letting him go, foolishly talked him into staying and then basically hired Wannstedt to coach behind the scenes at Johnson's request. That was a recipe for disaster (similar to keeping Spielman and trying to make Dan Marino the football czar).

Johnson was a complete failure as a coach of this team. Had he taken over a team with a losing record and then had the few accomplishments he had with this team that statement wouldn't make sense. However, he set Don Shula up for failure during his last year at Fox before coming here claiming that the Dolphins should win the Super Bowl, clearly angling for Shula's job. I was at the Dolphins awards banquet following his hire and he repeatedly "dissed" Shula in his remarks to the crowd about the past meaning nothing. Then I was standing behind him in the Broward County Convention Center on the escalator as he was leaving, Heineken in hand, when he joked to a friend "I wasn't too hard on the old man (Shula), was I, ha ha ha." Classless.

Once he had the job and pushed Shula out of the way he did no better than Shula at the end and, off of 62-7 I would characterize it as worse. He could draft defense (Thomas, Taylor, Madison, Surtain) but couldn't draft offense (JJ Johnson, Konrad, Cecil Collins, John Avery, Yatil Green) to save his life.

Johnson was a good, not great coach at the University of Miami. He benefitted from Howard Schnellenberger's great recruiting classes and still lost games that he should have won - anyone care to remember the Maryland comeback, Hail Flutie or the Fiesta Bowl loss to UCLA that year? How about the blowout loss to Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl debacle against Penn State.

At Dallas he came on board with the first pick in the draft (Aikman, a no brainer) and Irvin (picked by Landry the year before) and didn't even want to pick Emmitt Smith. He wanted Tim Worley from Georgia. The rest of his offensive picks were nightmares (Kevin Williams anyone?) In fact, when Emmitt didn't play, the Cowboys lost (anyone remember the first 2 games that Emmitt held out?) and Johnson never won any of the close games.

The bottom line is that Johnson was and is overrated. However, the sad part is that a weak minded owner swayed by the stupidity of public opinion led to his hire, his retention in the face of failure (and a desire to quit) and his ability to hand pick his successor despite monumental failure.

Huizenga doomed the franchise at the end of the 1990's and this article picks at the foundation of that debacle.

Great article, Armando! That game certainly marked an unfortunate end to an era for the Dolphins. But the same game also had a lasting impact upon the Jaguars. So this article is not complete without at least one reference to the "Curse of the Marino".

http://mia.scout.com/a.z?s=62&p=2&c=654890

Brought me to tears Amando and put a knot in my stomach! Aughhhh.... 1999/2000 were sad years for dolfans! I cried and cried when Marino retired! How could a 62-7 whipping be his last game? It didnt seem fair for a future hall of famer. Jimmy Johnson I still cant llok at him on Fox. I hate that guy!

Dear Mr. Bobby F

Wow..great post
Looking to hear more in the future

I come here for my daily Dolphin cup of coffee and your post along with Armando's article has filled my coffee pot.

Soiled :)

The one and only time I truly considered giving up being a dolphin fan. The sour taste in my mouth, how I hated Jimmy Johnson and the complete lack of effort are what I remember. And the stark reality that the dolphins had squandered away 13 years with one of the best Quarterbacks ever to never win the superbowl. It's been a long road back to some respectability and I hope this team begins a new chapter by winning out this year and getting into the playoffs!

:( One of the worst days EVER, and one that set the tone for the last decade. I do disagree. Marino had a horrible game, and a not so great year, but, I believe he was fully capable of completing his contract, and where could we have been had we gotten Ricky and still had Marino?

Boy did I get drunk during that game :-/

One thing I always think of:

Since each year it seems a new handful of running backs emerge in the league. And that fool JJ couldn't find ONE running back in 5 years other than karim abdul-jabbar?

MORON!

Not to mention trading Irving Fryar for Fred Barnett or releasing Keith Jackson only for him to win a super bowl with Green Bay!

FOOL!

OK , Boys and Girls ( MISTY ). Here's my Long Anticipated prediction. Now , with the injury reports in on John Henderson , Rashead Mathis ans Sims walker , it looks they're likely out for sunday's game. Big Losses ! So here go's . Your ready ........... Ready .......... can't wait can you .............. MIAMI 27 Jacksonville 20. Thanks for stopping By Folks.

Why Danny Boy? Why?

Leave it to NJ to detract from Mando's excellent article, and the ensuing discussion by the commenters, and to redirect attention to himself.

Self-centered drivel. No surprise.

Question for everyone,

Who is the bigger evil?

Jimmy Johnson
Dave Wandstatt
Nick Saban
Cam Cameron

In my opinion, Jimmy Johnson wins slightly over Nick Saban. Ruining Dan Marino's career is much bigger offense than lying, but both didn't want to be coach of fins.

Wanny and Cameron are too stupid for be evil.

I prefer to remember the game where Ricky ran about 35 yards for a 10 yard TD - he reversed field as the Jags had the play side completely covered. I think we won 24-10 or something. Had a great morning tailgating out in the parking lot with all the fans. Go Fins!

I agree - JJ was the most evil. He tainted the last year of Marino's career - and allowed Wayne to as well by recommending wanny. With a storied franchise like the Miami Dolphins, you would expect more respect, from the top down, for great players that have spent their career with the team.

One of the things that make the Montreal Canadiens special, aside from the 24 championships, is the way in which they honour their past. Miami should take note and do more to keep their old stars involved, and make them feel as special as they made the fans feel.

Nick Saban wasn't evil - he just wasn't a good fit for the NFL and was too arrogant to admit it, thus the lies.

Cam and Wanny were WAY over their head.. they were decent coordinators that should have remained as coordinators of be given a HC job in college..

after shula and marino .....
knot in my throat...lets just say .....the dolphins
the nfl
were never the same.
bill and trifecta saved the franchise.

It is quite amazing, really.

I started following the Miami Dolphins because of Marino. As a kid, I didn't really know much about the DOlphins... all I knew was Marino was the best and despite not having a consistent defense or a threat at RB, I thought HE ALONE could lift the team to beat anyone!

I cannot believe that my passion for the Dolphins remains 10 years after Marino retired.

Man, it would have been nice to see him in the big game a few more times.. but was awesome being at the HoF induction..

I was there in the crowd for a long afternoon of "BEER GUZZLING" cause just drinking them did not help, had just moved from Ft. Lauderdale to Jax after years of season tickets watching the Fins. It was the last Dolphins game I have been to as career has dictated moves. But alas, moving to Tampa soon and looking forward to road trips to see the up and coming FINS. It won't be long and we will be the ones dishing out the 62-7 butt kickings.

lipsintoronto
hows the snow over there!
started following miami in 83 only wear marino jersey on gameday
got 35cm here mtl.

Damn I was in HS during that game, caught the news of it and was shocked. I remember seeing W getting named the coach and feeling uneasy..

I agree with the posters who think this is a fine piece of writing. Mando you got a gift bro.

I also agree that while NJ Fin Fan is sometimes a good poster and makes good points, his sense of timing on this is ridiculous. Dude, we're discussing this game and the fallout from out.

Nobody gives a crap about your prediction.

What a great post Bobby F.

Wayne certainly caved in to public pressure because everybody and their dog knew Jimmy was going to be the next coach and Wayne wasn't about to go against the locals.

But to pile on his own mistake, he then allowed a departing Jimmy to handpick a successor who had already crippled one franchise. I think the Dolphins job was a very attractive one at the time because there was some young talent on defense and had Wayne looked at the possibilities, he could have found a better choice than Wanny.

Wayne's biggest downfall was that he didn't know football and took bad advice from the people around him. If he had fired a football savvy guy like Parcells years ago, he could have avoided most of his trouble.

As for Jimmy, he was terribly overrated as a coach. He promptly got rid of most of our offensive playmakers (Byars, Kirby, Fryar, Stoyanovich)and didn't do a goog job of replacing them. He left Marino with nothing to work with at running back or receiver (except for McDuffie) and then decimated what was once a pretty good offensive line.

Other than drafting a few defensive standouts, he did little to point our franchise in the right direction.

Like someone said earlier, I can't watch him on Fox either because I cringe every time I hear him talk.

The pain won't go away.

Well that was great Armando.

Now I'm depressed.

Thanks.

Your right Mando, that pretty much was the beginning (jax) of a long decline. Wow, what a horrible game that was. But not the worst IMO.

Man I remember that game. I've never seen a game like it. I hope we play better tomorrow than we did back then

This is for Alex. MIAMI 27 Jacksonville 20. :) As for the past , That was then , this is now. This is perhaps the biggest game of the year. Miami losses and they'r probably out. Win , they might get in. You think i want to talk about Shyt that happened 10 years ago ? That was a Sad Day and the Beginning of the end For this once Storied Franchise. Big Game tommorrow. ALLLLLLLLRIGHT MIAMI !

come on now, bandwagon, our american cousins don't know what a CM is. Hhahhaa

band wagon express: no snow since earlier this week..

And yes, I still wear my Marino jersey on game days (or to the odd game I attend).. I've come close to getting a Ricky or JT jersey..

Guy's you gotta blame one person and one person only for the decline of the mighty air breathers and that's Wayne(Please be kind and rewind)(or i'll charge you five dollars)Huizanger, he and he alone caused all this missery for the mighty fins, his ONLY accomplishment was getting the tuna, and i still think the tuna was fishing for a job anyway so i dont even give Wayne any cridet for that eather...

I agree with you NJ!

We can sit here and cry about a sad day like pansies or we can rise and unite and KILL those F*(&^IN' JAGS!

Aye, fight and you may die, run and you'll live. At least a while.
And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to
trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one
chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take
our lives, but they'll never take our freedom?!

- Braveheart

More garbage

I have a Marino jersey I bought in high school. I went to Buffalo a few times to try to get Danny to sign it, but I never got it. I did get it signed by one young athlete who caught my eye early in his rookie season - #54 Zach Thomas.

I will never forget my exchange with him either.

I apprached him and gave him a kind tap on the back. After a 3 hour physical game, he didn't take too kindly and gave me a look that almost made me crap my pants.

Luckily I was alert enough to give him props on his performance the week before when he had 13 solo tackles in a loss to Seattle.

He then smiled and said, "you guys are brave to come here and cheer for us"

To that I replied, "F**K BUFFALO"

It was a good day.

Gotta Love This:

"New England Patriots Mascot Arrested for Prostitution

A man who acts as a mascot for the New England Patriots is among 14 people who have been arrested for prostitution-related crimes in Rhode Island...

State police say Robert Sormanti was among those arrested in an undercover sting at a hotel...

The Patriots said...that the 'individual in question' has been suspended."

---------

Not mentioned is whether Pat Patriot had also been late for meetings.


Full at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-1235269/New-England-Patriots-mascot-arrested-prostitution.html#ixzz0ZVaPPqMc

Mark , that Line in Braveheart gets me PUMPED ! Just Substitute Freedom with , they'll never take our DIVISION!

Hahaha, Jon that's wicked. That may explain why the Patriots had weak legs in the 2nd half.

Ricky Williams will break 1,000 yards rushing mark on sunday

The problem with Don Shula was that he was to damned good at what he did. During Shula's 30 year reign its difficult to remember the times we didnt make the playoffs.

This my fellow Fin fans was like a double-edged sword. During Shula's reign if it were average out over the entire period Im sure we average picking right at #20 in the draft for his entire Fins carrer. Its very to assemble a championship team against those kind of odds. Yet Shula still would lead us into 2 more super bowls in the 80's.

Our worst record under Shula was 7-9. Look at teams like the Raiders, Cowboys, Steelers. Teams who were perrenial powers in the 70's like the Dolphins. They would win Super bowls in the 80's 90' and 00's because even though they all would rise again they had to hit rock bottom several times to do it.

They drafted top 5 or top 10 several years and they would get players talented enough to be champs again. Shula would never allow us to sink that low. We always made or competed for playoff nearly his entire tenure. Because of that we were always just good enough but would never be good enough, to ever win a championship again.

Yes, Fin fans Don Shula was just to good but not good enough to allow us to hit rock bottom. Thus not being able to acquire the supreme talent that would make us Super Bowl champions again. Still he always did the very best with the very least.

Don Shula's only crime is he never let us sink to the level of swine. When given a team of real good men, he hammered out a championship and 17 straight wins!

NJ, that would be more football applicable. But in terms of the season, it is do or die. All the teams are in this position. 3 of 4 is the minimum and even then would need help.

The backs are up against the wall and the Jags have an impossible schedule too. Let's F**K EM UP!

If (when) the Dolphins win the division again, Tony Sparano is a shoe in for coach of the year...

DyingBreed, you're right. I remember watching the draft several times in the Shula and Johnson eras and not even being able to fathom picking top 5 in the draft. It just seemed alien to me. Thanks to Wannstedt and Cameron, I got to live that reality and didn't like it.

Mark, under Shula it was an awful year to pick top 15! LOL

The only early draft pick I remember was the year they had 2 1st round picks and picked Richmond Webb (9th I think) and Troy Vincent. Shula sure didn't mess up that draft.

Blame Wayne.........

That had to be the year we were 7-9 because thats as bad as it got under Shula.

I stand corrected, Vincent was drafted with Marco Coleman in 1992 7th overall. The earliest pick the Dolphins had since 1968.

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