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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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The game is over. Stop living in the past. The Fins are in the same place as the Jets: off season. (we just have a better draft pick and we don't feel depressed like you)

Mark--go to Rich Cimini or the JetsBlog....y'all can tell each other how great Fatman & Robin are, and how proud you are of the team.

Setting aside the Colts Karma/lay down issues, the irrefutable point is that today's game proves that 15-10 would have become a greater Colt lead, & that you were gifted a playoff spot. Did you do good with that FOR AWHILE? Yes.

But now all it means is your season lasted a couple of weeks longer thasn ours. Big Whoop. Blowhards!!!

Plenty -O- beer CM!

Losing the AFC champ game that they BACKED into....bye bye Marky, put on ur Klecko Jersey and go blow Fireman Ed

LOL @ Litos....

Keyword being "played". See Marky Mark your goal is not supposed to be to PLAY in the game it's supposed to be to WIN the game.

Guys, This next game(Vikes/saints) Could last for 4 hours or more with the passing that will be going on there, Does everyone have enough beer/whiskey/Champagne(Not that there's anything wrong with that)??????

Posted by: cuban menace | January 24, 2010 at 06:27 PM

as long as the dolphins not playing you can always make a store run!!!!!

Wow mark u really are living in a fantasy world. Can we say sweep.

Guys what's the over under on when the game will end??? 10:30 or 11:00???????

Has nothing Better to do but be on a dolphins blog with multiple alias names...loser... The dolphins are on Miami right now mark... Where your not going hahah bum

NO ONE remembers the losing teams, so that's where the Jets are...losing for 41 Years in a row

whats funny is that jet fans are in a dolphins blog when thet should've been going at it with a colts blog!! go figure

Mando?! You alright buddy? Rex didn't sit on you did he?

That was awesome Spike 1909!!!

where are the dolphins ? they are eating RICE BUDDING W/ANGLES .

now i just need the vikings to lose!!!! i HATE farve and my dad's best friend is a die-hard vikings fan(cant have him winning nothing

Who am I kidding Mando can take Rex. Rex has never beat a Dolphin!!!

I'm with you phinfan. Pulling for the saints.

The funny thing is that Rex Ryan couldn't even catch Mando to sit on him that fat ba$t@rd

Though he periodically flogs one.

All those AFC Champ T-Shirts the Jets made up...I bet u within a week u will see some Hatian wearing one on CNN!!!

Yummmm........Rice budding with Angles rawk!

birth73--Excellent point! Jet fan should be on Colt blog or PFT posting about how they were robbed & how Fatman and Robin are the future of the NFL & rule now & for froever.

@ bobbyd12- I hope that's not the case cause those shirts might CHOKE them to death!!!

bobbyd12 you crazy but its true

actually, if the Jets had class they would send the shirts to Haiti for relief.

But being Jets, they are probably contracting with "The Situation" to get them into half-price bins at KMart.

bobbyd12 i just thought about it, they only made a handful of shirts b/c they didnt really believe they had a chance

Is Pierre Garcon from Haiti? Just kidding, I wonder how much of his winnings he will donate?

Shockey looks like he's strung out on Meth, no?

Not that there's anything wrong with that, Po!

I bet Rex Ryan had one of those t-shirts on under his cool sweater vest so he could rip it off like the cool guy he is

OK guys the Cubans stepping out now(To collect on past due bets) So I'll talk to you guys later, Have a "Phintastic" nite and enjoy the saints/vikes game.......

Not a speed kind of guy Seer.....

seers, i would love to see somebody make a sign and bring it to the game next year with FATMAN and boy wonder

Some of my jet fan freind won't answer the phone . LOL !!!!




Garcon, Vilma, Dumervil, Cesaire & a coupla other Haitian NFLers have been doing plenty of fund raising & public awareness stuff.

I spoke w/ a Red Cross dude in SoFla this weekend & he said they HOPE to have NFL arrange some player-relief/fund raising stuff during SB week. But NFL can be stuffy/don't offend sponsors uptight at times.

Lord knows enough people & Jocks & celebs will be here pissing away big $$$---might as well kick in a few for Haiti.

yea farve gonna have a bad game

Oh Brad Childress way to make yourself look like an idiot.

Kool-aid considering changing the mascot picher to green and hiring Rex Ryan to play the character.

just riffing on the white trash thing...I never meant to suggest, etc. So its Hillbilly Heroin, then? (kidding!!!).


check out NY Post from yesterday or friday .....i think Mando might have even limked it, or maybe PFT, or go directly....they had a tres cool photo(shopped) of Ryan & Sancheeze as Fatman & Robin.

dont wanna get off subject but why it took an eartquake to finally realize these ppl needed help

Can't stand Joe Buck

Thanks seer, the us should rebuild Haiti and turn it into a tourist meca like the Bahamas.

So lets keep score. Miami and the Jets are both out but miami beat the jets twice this year and have a higher pick in the draft. MIAMI WINS !!!!!

Now THAT's how you quiet a rowdy home crowd!

Sure is fun watching a game w/o the neurosis of Jet-watching involved.

i can't stand buck either.

No Haiti has way more OIL than Venezuela, it's a trajic situation there, but you have to question are motivs

Courtney is Reggie Roby's nephew, no?

I recall him having great STeams games vs us & a couple of other teams. great coverage guy on kicks.

Thanks seer, the us should rebuild Haiti and turn it into a tourist meca like the Bahamas.

Posted by: H8dpats | January 24, 2010 at 06:52 PM

within the next 10years haiti will be tourist haven. these ppl are not getting all this money up not to prosper from it in the end! my thing is this, if you build it up let the haitian ppl be the ones doing the labor that way they feel apart of it and they have steady incomes coming in

It is what it is......

Pain killers are Preferable.

I am a trustee of modern chemistry, I just like Pharmaceutical grade.


Did Jet fans really think they could maybe win today?


Hey phinfan, the US gives Haiti billions of dollars. Not millions but billions with a B. And have been for years, they have a corrupt government and it doesn't get to where it's needed. Kind of like many countries in Africa.

So you would rather have the 12th pick in the draft then be in the AFC championship game. Great

And the Shootout has began!

Now THAT's how you get a rowdy home crowd back into game.

I don't indulge, but I hope you gambling types took the over.

Cocojoe is 100 % correct. The US has given haiti 5 billion dollars since 1998 and nothing had changed.

And the U.S. Will stay in Haiti.

i seriously doubt they give haiti billions of dollars. and where can u possibly hide billions of dollars

Saints putting dirty hits on old man favre

Percy Harvin---Go Gators.....so far ahead of Ginn in his 1st yr it ain't funny.

Why didn't Rick Spielman draft this good here?

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