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Don Shula: Jets' tarp accusations are nonsense

INDIANAPOLIS -- As today is the AFC championship game and the New York Jets are playing, there has been a ton of pre-game hype about this game. Part of that hype has included the Jets playoff history (which is short) and particularly their performance in championship games.

A couple of those championship games have connections to Miami. The Jets one and only Super Bowl title came in Super Bowl III against the Baltimore Colts. The Colts were coached by Don Shula, who went on to coach the Dolphins and is the winningest coach of all time.

Another game Jets fans and media speak much about is the 1983 AFC title game. Dolphins 14, Jets zippo. In typical New York fashion, this loss has been rationalized and blamed on, of all people, Shula. I'm not making this stuff up.

Google "Jets and tarp and Shula" and you'll get a ton of articles, including this one this week in the Newark Star-Ledger, in which an otherwise respected journalist claims Shula ordered the grounds crew at the Orange Bowl not to place the tarp on the field on a day it was raining in Miami in order to give the Dolphins an advantage.

Aside from how stupid that sounds based on the fact it means it was raining on ground the Dolphins as well as the Jets were using, I actually decided to do what journalists used to do, and go to a source on the topic to find out the truth.

"Tha'ts an insult to my intelligence," Shula told me moments ago when I asked if he ordered the tarp in the Orange Bowl not to be used on the field. "If there was ever a coach that wanted to play a game on a fast track, I was that guy. I've heard of the Jets accusing us of not putting the tarp on the field or some nonsense like that but it's ridiculous.

"I did a radio show where they asked me about that and one of the hosts was obviously a Jets fan and he said I did that. I told him, 'You've got to be stupid to think I would something like that.' I like playing a game in the best possible conditions. It's the truer test for both teams."

Well, that settles that. Shula isn't re-writing history here. He's got no agenda because his reputation has already been written, both good and bad.

And he recognizes that on the bad side of the ledger is that fateful Super Bowl III that, as he says, "was the Joe Namath guarantee game."

That was New York's one and only NFL championship. And it set the stage for Shula coming to Miami.

"That game had a big impact on my career because after we lost, my relationship with the owner was never the same," Shula said. "Carroll Rosenbloom was the owner than and he'd get on the phone and take a lot of heat from his New York buddies for losing the game and then he'd get on the phone and pass the heat on to me.

"I lasted another year in Baltimore after that, but it was never the same between us. It's the main reason I ended up in Miami."

Shula said he'll be watching the both title games today, including the AFC game between the Jets and Colts.

"What the Jets have done is pretty amazing with a rookie quarterback and to come the way they've come," Shula said. "Mike Westhoff is a is friend of mine and I'm happy for him. And I'm happy for Brian Schottenheimer because he's Marty's son and Marty Schottenheimer is a close friend of mine."

So Shula likes some of the folks on the Jets.

But ...

"They're going against one of the best guys to play the game and there's not a lot they can do about that," Shula said. "I would never pick against Peyton Manning. It's unbelievable what he does. Whatever the situation is in the game, you never feel like you're safe if Manning is the other quarterback. He's one of the best of all time and when he's done he'll probably have all the records.

"You can't pick against him."

And Shula doesn't. He's picking the Colts.

[BLOG NOTE: Yup, we'll have a live blog in the comments section during the AFC title game. Go there, discuss the action with fellow Dolfans and others, and enjoy a big afternoon of football.]


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Shonn green hurt

Greene is going to get Ryan his snack pack

Did you use a condom last night cuban? My butt does not smell like latex...

What the hell!!!

Aloco what are u talking bout

Collie is a freaking stud.. He's Making hard catches look easy

Ya who the hell is that tortured guy anyway? If I met that guy in a bar I wouldnt think twice about nailing him in the face. ignorant jets fan.

Manning has found his new Brandon Stokley in Austin Collie

Just keep throwing it

I just feel squishy in there

Dont think that is ALoco. IMHO.

Bunch of late round draft picks and they are sure catches.. We have nobody that can make catches like that!!!! Nobody

Always cover your monkey, you never know if she's been funkey. is my Motto.......

Time for Peyton to take charge.

It looks like they setting up Wayne for a big play

It is me

As I said.. Patience gentlemen.. Manning won't let them fail!!!!!!!

Here come the colts fellas!

So what the excuses tomorrow if the Jets lose by 6 or less?

I smell Tortured Dolphin, He is undercover. If the Jets win he will come out of the closet so to speak.

Manning is a beast.

amazing how after one year a guy is suddenly a bust. should have ship chad henne out to, after the first year

As i said... Give it two quarters and the colts will shredd them!!!!!

W00T!!' Manning's the man!!! He got that D figured out quick lol

Things are lookin up!

Guys just to clear a myth that many might be thinking...Black people's seman is the same color as German's!!


I'd be willing to bet money on that.

Fairy tale is over cinderella :D

Alright, I give props to mando. Incredible qb play trumps everything.
Hopefully Henne gets there someday.
Go fins!



What are your thought on Dummervelle? A lot of talk on the radio this morning about him possibly coming here via a trade.

So much for the family blog

Aloco u gotta go buddy that talk is stupid

I hope the phins take Andrew Quarless in the 3rd round this year. Yes I am a PSU homer but he is a great receiving TE.


Think you would win some money....

Incredible QB AND WR play is the best way to play offense these days. It doesn't trump EVERYTHING, but you got that, you're way ahead of the game.

Wow, that stadium looks like a big barn.

Micah Johnson ILB Kentucky 3rd round!

Dummervelle ??? LMFAO !!!!!

I'm willing to bet Dj Williams intead of Dummerville

Big ten has run offenses so maybe he is a blocker

Thats not the meatball eating, kiss stealing, whiskey drinking limousine riding ALoco.....

Dumervil is restricted dam it.. He isn't coming to us

Right on that one CM.

Hell YEA!

Yeah 790 was all over it caliming they might ship our 12th overall and a 3rd to the Donkeys for him.

A trade for Dumervil, NM? And who did the geniuses on the radio suggest the Dolphins would give up for a Defensive POY candidate?

Pat White? Ted Ginn? Ryan Baker?


Mando, you get it, we get it but when is Parcells gonna get it?

Armando you should star a poll what do fans prefer Boldin & Dumerville or Bryant & Dansby

yes, yes I would.

I go to alot of PSU games, and the kid is a gamer. Did you see the end of the East-West shrine? Game winning catch.
He had some off the field issues but nothing to serious. Got in JoePa's dog house when he was a freshman.

Dam ryans head looks like a stuffed pepper

Hopefully Ginn.....

Sounds like a good trade to me Mando....

Not happening, NM.

Ryan better calm down he's gonna pop

im not a Dummerville fan, but he would be a nice addition.

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