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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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Jesus... Hes throwing flaming tostadas out there and nobody has picked him yet... Dam!

true dat, Po...i'm thinking the same thing...he's looking pretty darn good; good enuf, anyhoo

Funny comment carlito!!!!

LOL @ Carlito

Jets will score !!!

the issue with Bryant is not the towel. That indeed has been resolved.

the issue is his knees and desire to be paid like he has no knee issues.

Sanchez got flattened like a quesadilla!!! Haha how the tide has turned

I hope so UtFinFan. But he's dinking and dunking down field. He almost did it

gotta get td here & settle this nonsense.

Colts please score and put this game away.

throw your towel in sanchez

Colt TD would be good.

That can be an issue especially when Wilford & Turner have not been able to get seperation from CB. We need a WR bad and It is gonna be real interesting to see what this organization does.

PLEEEEEEEESE , get a f'n td here, so i can relax. I'm sweating bullets. I've changed 2 t-shirts already.

If manning gets it in here it's over the J**** look panicked and are now relying on the D to score some points cos Mexico ain't getting it done

Colts need a TD.. They better not go wanstadt in me

Dam Wayne... That's not funny!!!!

I just SH*T my paints...

Agree Po. Has poise that I not seen in Henne. Yet.


Revis for defensive player of the year... My ass!!!!!

Hope we got the better QB Joe.

Revis is good but he is overrated

Don't forget to bring a towel, so you don't get all wet!

go jets , you are not like the dead dead dead dead fish .

Manning will get a drive going now and put the Yets to rest. What do u think UtFinFan?

Spread offense...does Dan henning now how to blog? Mando make sure u tell henning to learn from This freaking game.. Spread offense!!!!

Good call Ref!

Now the stupid jet fans are gonna talk about how there better than the phins because they are tapping out in the current game!!! Haha pathetic

Wet towel... Wet back sanche... hahah!!!!!!!



Truth, gentlemen. Truth.

TD !!!!!! BABY !!!!!

Sanity is returning to the Universe, after four strange, weird weeks.



TD!!!!! Time to have wetback start passing.. Which means this ball game is ova!!!

i agree TNFinFan this drive will end it

signed, sealed and delivered! U-Wish Jets!


Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

The nightmare is coming to an end

Game ova jet fans! Wott! LOL!!

Nah nah nah nah, hey hey, good bye.

Bring out the Oreo cookies and milk for rexy... Good bedtime snack

Here comes the turnovers


the dolphin fans are dumb ,we are the jets playing for the super bowl and they are watching in tv.LOL

Manning is 23 of 34 for 339 yards and 3 TDs.

The Colts have two WRs with over 110 yards in receptions.

Anyone still want to argue that you have to throw the ball to win a championship?

nightmare is right carlito.

Mando , the reverse physc. worked BABY !!!!!

NJ I told ya to be patient... Now u can go to work in peace... Hell u might lose clients to suicide..

Think of how much money the Dolphins will save, not having to have the locker room disinfected. Not to mention what Rex Ryan would have done to the plumbing.

No Mando.

Playing for the super bowl.. Somebody take the bottle away from the jet guy.. This isn't madden football pal!!!

Jets are awesome, NJ!

Lurid absolutely hilarious!!!!

I will making phone calls in about 5 minutes. LOL !!!

If guys get a chance, YouTube, jets fan arrested at chargers. It's pretty funny!

Hey Mando! Everyone's bellyaching about Phins needing a #1 WR but look at Manning spreading it around. I think the QB helps the WR's a lot. I hope that Henne can get to the next level next season and maybe our WR'S won't look so bad. What do you think Mando?

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