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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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screw u jets sanchez is probably gonna go and cry in his soup for all we care


Thank you GOD!

Give the Jets credit they made it to the AFC championship game.


Looked like wetback was throwing darts... Hahaha.. Sanchez is use
To playing butt darts!!!!

Link Standley23?

Mando, In your opinion is Payton the best playing right now????/

Ok... Question..... Will Rex Ryan eat more cup cakes than the amount of tears shed by Tebow??

We ain't giving the Jets S*it. We beat them twice this year. Give them credit? You are joking right?

Colts prove that you don't necessarily need "name" wide receivers
They're doing this with collie and garçon.
Tuna and Ireland just gotta go out and find some diamonds in the rough
Senior Bowl should be huge

TN, I don't think you need a No. 1 WR. You need two or three No. 1 WRs in today's NFL.

The more the better. The Dolphins don't have any. Not one.

Q.....where;s the dolphins ?

Miafins1...... NEVER!!! I will never give te jets credit... Never!!! Now all we are gonna hear is how they got to the arc championship and we didn't... We have
The 12th pick and they don't!!! Hahaha

Jet go drink wiskey

Mando, I dont know about that. This is Peyton Manning we are talking about. He will probably go down as the greatest QB so far(poor Marino was born too early). He is the only QB out there that can make a 1 dimensional team this good. Hell, who else thinks the Colts OC is way overpaid lol.

Well it looks like Manning has three #1 WR's today

Mando we need receivers that don't like the fetal position

I feel the world is coming back to normal, Miami is warm again, Nolan got hired and the Jets are choking in a big game ahhhhhh!!!

Happy offseason to the ny jets!!!!

whare's the dolphins now ?

Jet. Why did you stop talking about the game? Be mad at the Colts. They are the ones whipping you today. Oh that's right we beat you twice. Please proceed with your whining.

Jets got a good pick commin in the 1st round. LOL

Cuban, forget what I think. I asked Shula this morning who he thinks is the best of all time?

He said, "Manning will have all the records before he's done. The reason they keep stats and score is to see who the best is. So he'll be the best."

Remember this guy coached marino and Unitas.

Tick , tick , Tick.


Yeah Litos, We did our Job.

this not a whipping ? we r in it and you are some where in vacation .

True, True....

Tortured Dolphin where are you Pus*y?

im with litos here jet

In vacation? You fake jets fan. You are here in Hialeah aren't you?


I don' care how many times we beat them they are doing somthing were not PLAYING TODAY. For a chance at the Super Bowl

Jet fans immediately talk about off the wall krap when they are about to lose and then more when they have lost !!!!! That's what jet fans do... Simms is awfully quite... let's see spit shine esiason at the end and see how he's doing

we are the champs .

Why no more closeups of Ryan? I want to see the look on his face.

All they ate playing for is a lousy draft pick.

its not over.....actually sry jets it ends here

Tortured Dolphin where are you Pus*y?

As the dolphins learned early in the season playing against Peyton for 4 quarters instead of 2 = loss...I still feel bad for the chargers who deserved to be in this game.

game-set-match, jets are no more, ENJOY YOUR HIGH DRAFT PICK TORTUREDFAG!!!*lmao*

Ground and Pound! NOT!

Right Joe!

JETS= Just End The Season!

Guys . i have some phone calls to make. LOL !!

MANDO do you think rex got over-confident by bringing only 4 d-line to the game????

Miafins... Your making me angry... I'm gonna get David Neal to beat your ass... He's my buddy now!!!!

Mando, how many yds does Payton have against this patented defense????

Some one is not here?

Who might that be?

No balls Tortured Dolphin, at least jet has balls enough to show up.

Jet, go clean ur boyfriends anus...41 years of abject FAILUaRE!!!! By the way , NE was the AFC East Champs, ur a wildcard team that backed in

That's true Po

The champs of what? AFC East... nope... AFC confrence... nope...

I can start on my next beer. This one is over eh UtFinFan. Sanchez will get pic'd today


Show no mercy!

Menace , what was my prediction ?? Indy 31-17 Right. Pretty close HUH !

Jet fans just became met fans!!! Hahaha jersey swap time.. I can see it now... Haha

champs of Mid game hot dog contests.. ya we knew that from weeks ago..

Cuban, make ur Jet Blue Reseevations and cmon down

Manning has thrown for 377 yards and three TD so far. So far.

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