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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 Jets are pathetic but don't be calling it "typical new York fashion" or taking cheap shot NY slurs. Must I remind you all that the Jets are a NEW JERSEY team? When the Raiders moved to LA did you still call them the Oakland Raiders? Do you still refer to the Cardinals as the St Louis Cardinals? Do you still refer to the Rams as the LA Rams? No.
We all know that Jets fans are ignorant, obnoxious, clueless, @ssholes but don't diminish that fact by sinking to their level and making hater-type comments disparaging the state that borders NJ.
The Jets got in by beating two teams that laid down for them. Then they got to play the bengals AGAIN, which I thought was a travesty, and the Bengals just prooved that they weren't the same team that won all thos games early on. San Diego? No. They are not a real team-for the last 5 years, you never know who is going to show up when they play... I NEVER bet for or against SD-ther're a sucker bet either way. But as poorly as they played against the Jets, they still beat the Jets if not for that stupidly lucky interception that Revis catches off a freak bounce off the heel. Ridiiculous!
The Jets had to play a real team today. The game was a patented and blueprinted Peyton Manning spanking.
So, to all you clueless Jets fans that fooled yourselves into thinking that the Jets would have still beaten the Colts to get into the playoffs even if they hadn't pulled Manning and put in their 3rs stringers, even though Manning was beating them when he was pulled, this TRUE New Yorker is here to say, in typical NY fashion when I see you all crying in your beer tomorrow, "Hey, you couldn't even beat the Dolphins...the Jets obviously didn't even belong there."

Best 2 teams won. Period Jets sux, I'm surprised they even put up a fight. Still No SB since 1969 and complain that we haven't had a win since 72. Jets!

The Jets lost to Indy...How sweet it is...Ha Ha Ha !!!!Go Fins !

Kevin11c. if the jets would of won the super bowl . where would they have had the parade ?? where is the jets training facility. ??

I am not sure where it is, but I know where they can go - straight to H E Double hockey sticks!

The Jets Training facility is in Florham Park, NJ
I am talking about football any you are talking about parades... Come back when you can talk football.

The Jets Training facility is in Florham Park, NJ.


I am talking about football and you are talking about parades... Come back when you can talk football.

There still having a parade, it's in Newark, they have a Fatman and Robin ballon, a hot dog cart and 50 fans yelling Sanchez sucks...

The parade would've been in NEW YORK and a large base of jets fans are from lomg island NEW YORK . Their training Facility was at hofstra university IN NEW YORK for years before this year. STOP passing the buck from NEW YORK to nj. NEW JERSEY is GIANTS COUNTRY. More that 3 quarters of that stadium is giants fans from bergen county NJ. NICE TRY !!! This is about football

What I love is u go to the NY Post and u get five pages of comments about Fat Rex, Giants are great and another year of failure...That's why they come on our blog, there is more Jet haters in the NY area then in Miami

Sucks to be you... Jets fans...ha ha....

Long island.

Oh , thanks for stopping by.

Can u imagine a Ticker Tape Parade along the same route where all those great Yankee players have been??? For Rex The Manatee Ryan and Mark Sanchez???!!! Talk about a travesty....

Bobbyd12, shutter the thought.

Weak reply. Who cares where the Jets used to practice? You asked where they practice in an attempt to use that as your proof that they are a NY team. HA! You lose. They practice in NEW JERKSEY, and more importantly, they PLAY in NJ too. That makes them a NJ team regardless of what they call themselves or where their fans live. I live in NY. I am a Dolphins fan. There are thousands of Dolphins fans in NY--still that does not make them a NY team.

No kidding, that would have been a disgrace...

LMAO !!! that was the weakest come back i've ever heard . It says NEW YORK JETS ON THE HELMET , in the papers , in the standings and in THE LEAGUE. NEW YORK JETS, read it and weep. thanks for stopping by :)

Congrats to the Jets, they played very good football in the playoffs and look to be set for a good year next year. Any fellow finfan that doesn't acknlowedge this is about as slow as our mlb coverage.

Let's hope we make upgrades to keep pace with them...

We both hate the jets.


Just got off the phone with Mark Sanchez - says he is available to be a hot dog vendor on 2/7/10.

Rex Ryan just sent me a text - says he is coming back home to the Miami Seaquarium.

Woody Johnson just wrote me an email - said he left some Monistat, K-Y, and Band-Aids in the Locker Room for his team.

See you next year Jet Fans; must be nice to have made it to the AFC Championship game - but remember who has beaten you 3 times in a row......

I'm just so happy the JETs lost : )
Frack the JETs
I just think the JETs fans are the bigest a*sh*les ever

Killer , i see you're as happy as me the new york jets lost . :)

Sanchez is grabbing his mop bucket and headed to Miami to clean the locker rooms.

Plenty of time for Rex to go to weight watchers now and get in shape for the Phins to beat him again next year.

J - E - T - S, Just - Enough - To - Suck

Today all the Jets blowhards on the radio and Jets fans are eating the bitter dog doo of defeat.

All the Jets fans like that blowhard on Mike and Mike in the Morning are saying the Jets look good for the future - well, I'm here to tell you that Mark Sanchez will NEVER play in another AFC title game as long as he is quarterback of the Jets. Every year is different and different teams rise up every year - this was the Jets last shot for a while - so suck on that Jets fans.

Jets fans are full of hyperbole and excuses…A very unattractive combination.


Lol, you guys have to be the most ignorant bunch of fools I have ever seen. You really buy Shula's crap? I mean, come on, you can't be that stupid, can you? First of all, the talent level between the Jets and Dolphins was so great that year, they didn't belong on the same field together. Secondly, even if Shula's nonsense is to be believed, answer this(which no one ever has): Why was the field not covered WHEN IT RAINED FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE THE GAME THROUGH THE ENTIRE GAME, NEVER STOPPING? What possible legitimate explanation can you give for that? None. And Dolphins fans, before you insult us, where have you been all these years? Thought so. You won the division last year, but lost to Baltinore, whose defense was coordinated by............Rex Ryan! Haha. How about the 1985 AFC Championship Game against the Patriots? Steve Grogan. Tony Eason. Wow. The playoff game against Jacksonville? 63-7. The worst loss in NFL playoff history, the largest margin of victory in NFL playoff history, and the most points given up in modern NFL playoff history. And lastly, the Miracle At The Meadowlands. Before Jason Taylor(where's his ring?) opens his big mouth again to our fans, go out there and stop us. What a joke. So, until you Dolphins fans win something, don't talk about us. It only makes you look really foolish and ridiculous.

Has anyone brought up the history between Shula and Rex's boorish dad Buddy.

Shula and he ARE NOT close.

Buddy was on the defensive coaching side of the Jets vs. Shula's Colts in 1969.

After a game in Miami in 1990 vs. Ryan Eagles, I believe Shula's quote was something to the effect of "Ryan's just not my kind of guy."

Cause Ryan is a boor.

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