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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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I really don't care whether they did it or not. I have no problem with it if they did. There have been plenty worse shenanigans going on prior and since. One example is the snowplow game in Foxborough.

Jets run for 125 and they will lose. Jets win for 300 an they will lose. Check game film of Colts and Fins week 2. Btw I hate the Jets.

I really want to see Ryan cry about the loss and how they gave the Colts the win. How it was not a beatdown but a poor play by the Jets D.

There is a ton of hype on this game. So much so that it should b the late game.

I am heard from Schefter that Elvis dumerville could come to Miami and so could Marshall because of Nolan.

Would it be possbile to get a trade to number 3 for the Safety from Tennessee? Wait we Got a safety from Tennesee, this guy might be different?

Joe Rose has man boobs now and was a pot head back then.He'a an inside out oreo.

Stallworth has never lived up to the college hype and parcells won't take on a guy like him.. And all the Brandon Marshall talk.. No way.. Parcells won't put in high stakes for a guy with a poor attitude When he doesn't get his way.. Dumervil maybe at the right price

Dolphins are my favorite team and anybody playing the Jets are my 2nd favorite team. Even though San Diego turned the lights out in the locker room at half time during the divisional playoff game in '94 with the Dolphins up 20-0 and end up losing 21-20 when Stoyanovich missed the 48 yard field goal, I still rooted for the Chargers to beat the Jets last week.

Again, Dumervil will be a RESTRICTED FREE AGENT. He can also be franshised. He's going nowhere.

The only reason I bought up Stallworth was he's gonna be released and he would only cost league minimum for pay...I know all the negatives with this guy but I was just curious if people thought he might be worth a look see, that's all....

What is an inside out oreo? I never hear this insult...

Gotta watch score on computer, hope Indy takes them out good and hard today!!!

stallworth was never that good except at getting the shortest time served for killing another human while drive drunk




That's why I said dumervil maybe... Defense.. That's what we need...we don't need to trade high picks for possible home runs!!! Draft and get depth..fact is when u look at the colts or the vikes or saints they have depth..I didn't include the jets because I think they do have a great defense but they don't have depth.. I mean that's a fact.. I think they are playing on luck...my opinion

Carlito . Are You nervous ???

What up, everyone? I'm at Lucas Oil Airplane Hangar, by far the UGLIEST stadium I've ever seen from the outside.

I will get nervous if the score is close


Nope, are you?

Whats up Mando? You ready?

Mando, of course it's ugly, it's in Indiana.

NJ, someone peed on your corn flakes today or just too much Ouzo last night? Metaxa 7 Star for me!!! O'Brien Schofield is really finishing this season strong. I first caught onto him in the season finale against hawaii and then he dominated against Miami. Good to see that his conversion to OLB is going well. he had a monster year - way better than Kindle for example- and with a strong combine, he will work his way up the charts. Other than height, i don't see why he's rated as a 4th rounder.

I'm ready Carlito. Fired up about watching a loud-mouth, trash-talking, hot-air-blowing team go down.

you said it! Go Colts

Mark , what the hell are you talking about ?? Peed in corn flakes . to much ouzo ?? Sounds like you're the one that hit the bottle last night.

Uglier than East Rutherford Armando? Haha

Carlito , yeah a little. I don't want to hear about the jets for 2 freaking weeks around here. I'll kill somebody.

You just sounded very irritable earlier in the blog. Don't remember?

One teeney weeney bit of Jets class I saw today:

Joe Namath is walking out of the Westin and, of course, a jets fan approaches him and asks for an autograph.

"I can't sign for you," Namath says, "otherwise I'll get mobbed and be here the next two hours.
"But let me shake your hand," he adds, extending his hand, "and we'll both say we've add a friend today."

Pretty classy, I thought.


See you in federal prison if the Jets win

Nj that comment was hilarious haha..nj is just stressing about the game... Tension.. Heck he will have to hear it constantly of the jets win

I wanna kiss yoooouUUUU!!!

Definitely uglier than Giants Stadium, Gman.

But thinking about it longer, I think Oakland Alameda County Coliseum is uglier.

Go Colts, Piss on the Jets!

Namath is the rare jet that was a class act.. Ryan and the gang should learn

Mark , the guy was insulting everybody in the ny area for 2 days. Everything from beng called trash and scum to being boy george like ( insuating being you know what ). frankly i got a little sick of it. Bash the jets , that's all i'm saying.

LOL @ carlito. I hope they carry the dolphins games on cable in prison if the jets win.

NJ... It's over...we all are aware it was jokes... It's not reality..we all are over it.. And it has been a lot more than two days

The boy George comment I'm sorry was hilarious

Only way Jets have a chance today is if they knock Manning out of the game.

Gman , i wasn't talking to you was I ??? Mark asked i question , i answered it.

What is amazing is how rough jet fans are on this blog and when they call OUR own radio stations...but I won't make comments anymore

Alot boy georges in miami and south beach. that's hilarious.

Armando..there receivers are deep am talented.. Revis is great but can't do it all..leornard is an undersized safety that plays good but will struggle today

J-E-T-S Suck! Suck! Suck!

Karma, karma, karma chameleon. You come and go.

NJ, does he really want to hurt you? Does he really want to make you cry?

Just chill man, he doesn't know you, how can it be perosnal? It's like when you type that nothing coming out of Canada is any good. I laugh it off.

See there u go NJ... Nice comeback

Thanks Mark!!!


A good comedian never say how funny he is or laugh at his own joke

Who created an identy called boy george.. Are u kidding me.. That's excessive

I'm not a comedian.. I'm just a guy trying to have fun carlito...

Mando, I hope you're right. I think Manning is pissed and is licking his chops at the blitz. Indy 31 Jets 17. I don't want to have o hear the shyt that's going to fly around here for 2 weeks if the jets win. I have to many freinds , members and clients that are jet fans. It will get ugly.

LOL @ Carlito. Exactly.

Dear Armando-

As a lifelong Dolphins fan AND New Yorker-- in addition to being a regular reader of your frequently intelligent, and occasionally incisive blog-- I winced upon reading your latest entry.

I don't know what exactly "typical New York fashion" means. I do, however, know the unseemly connotations it carries and the bigoted allusions it often implies.

New York and Miami, in fact, share this in common. Because a discrete, insular, and not widely loved minority disproportionately influences each's culture, customs, manners, politics, and image, too often those resent this influence conflate city and group. Sometimes, unwittingly; often, consciously.

Thus, "Miami" and "New York" become code words alluding to paricular ethnic sterotypes and designed to conjure the invidious traits associated with them.

I'm sure, Armando, you didn't intend the association. Still, as a journalist, I'm sure you are aware of the more sinister prejudice that contempt for and hostility toward, "New York" often masks, and more importantly, the danger of resorting to stereotypes and imprecise generalizations like "typical New York fashion."

The only "typical New York fashion" I'm aware of is bought and sold in the couture shops that line 5th Avenue.

Had you described the reaction as "typical Jets fan fashion," well, then, I'd have understood the reference and agreed with you wholeheartedly. Petulance, self-righteousness, vulgarity, paranoia: thou art the Jet fan.

As someone old enough both to remember the 1982 Dolphins-Jets AFC Championship vividly, I've bridled many a time over the last 27 years at the Jets lumpen and their pet conspiracy theories about how and why the Jets lost the game.

In focusing on the burden a wet turf posed to Freeman McNeil, the Jets fan conveniently overlooks how integral the Dolphins running game was to their success in '82 as well.

With good reason, Shula didn't trust David Woodley to throw the ball. As a consequence, the Dolphins depended on Andra Franklin as much as the Jets on McNeil. In fact, Franklin ran just behind McNeil in total rushing yards, 701 to 786.

Keep up the good work Mando. But please, don't let your dislike for Jets fans-- one I obviously share-- distort your entire impression of New York.

In Miami it won't be any different.. I live in the bible belt so I'm safe but down south it will be rough!! Like in south beach NJ

Mark , who are you ?? My parents ??? :)

I feel you NJ.

I have been around the Jets faithful for less than 24 hours and already know I don't want more New Yorkas in my town the next two weeks.

I normally don't have such dislike for a group of folks but these people are sooo arrogant and pompous and and, URGH!

Gman . Trust me . It will be NOTHING !!! compared to around here.

Now Armando take it easy.. Some people get offended on this blog when u generalize about New York people....:)

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