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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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Well that would be a rough situation.. Being in new York and not being a jets fan... That's a rough situation


MSS, two things:

You're reading waaaay too much into my use of New York fashion. I was talking about the Jets and use New York as simply part of the name. Wasn't talking about the city.

Two, you sound like my junior year philosophy professor -- whose course I dropped.

Hey I'm with ya armando!!! That's what fuels the rivalry between the jets and dolphins... It's great

Reality is.... If jets win... We all are gonna be an angry group!!!! Don't care if your in ny... Miami... Indy.. It won't matter...

This is what sealed it for me this year:

The Dolphins beat the jets in the first game and people like Calvin Pace and other rip the team that just beat them as being inferior.

Then the Dolphins beat the Jets a second time this year and Bart Scott gets sarcastic about the Dolphins going to the Super Bowl.

I was taught you simply grin and bear it when you get it handed to you -- no matter what the competitive venue, sports, business, anything.

MSS , excellent post and AMEN !! to that. :)

Tru point Mando... So tru!!!

NJ: thnx for the nflnet tip--as annoying as it can be, nflnet is FAR superior to ESPN & blowhard Berman & co.

Mando---glad to see you aren't trying to give PC answers re Colts-Jets.
My desire & hope for a Colts victory is now much more about their fans & their media-whores.

But having said that (Curb Your Enthusiasm reference), a VERY small part of my brain sees that a Jet victory would serve the Colts right for allowing Jets in the dance in the 1st place. But screw it--

I cannot stand the though t of the entire Jersey Shore down here & on tv the next two weeks.

And to whoever asked=---yes, 640AM, especially DeFoe (formerly & beneficially onthe Fins payroll for 1/2time events, etc.) declared his station the SoFla Voice of the Jets. Troy Staffford has resisted this a bit.

Sid R on QAM has been insufferable and unlistenable---he quickly went from 'The Jets deserve our attention' to 'G-d bless the Jets.'

Please Lord, let it end NOW!

I liked your blog today. I see a trend with the jets. They like to accuse people of cheating. From the "Shula Tarp Conspiracy" to calvin pace saying the Dolphins cheated by using the wildcat. It would be nice if they acted like MEN and admit that the other team just played better. Since Rex Ryan is their coach that will never happen and they will continue to be a team that has no class.

Reality is NJ if the jets lose new York will be in an uproar... U
Might want to lay low... Seriously!

Seer , No Problem and it's my pleasure. You don't have to worry about berman or espn. Nfl network will be the only one's carrying the senior bowl practices starting tommorrow from 3-5 pm.

Gman. believe me , i can handle myself. if the jets lose i will have a field day. :)

I'm so fed up w/ pre-game Jets suckfest on the tube I'm about to watch the "other" football (AC Milan v Inter Mila live) up to kickoff & channel surfed beyond every time Simms kisses Jet behind (in that case I may have to turn sound off CBS)

FYI. scott and pace aren't from new york.

Armando, D, Hanks artcle on the front page of the Herald was a bit dumn from a logic standpoint. "why should you pull for the Jets". Well great question, but I'm not rooting for the jets.

Jet fans are bitting their nails right now.. Almost game time fellas!!!!!!!!

Mando, you need to be more careful about your "unseemly connotations" and "bigoted allusions".

FYI...pace almost was a phin and wanted to be a phin.. Money was overwhelming from the jets

SHYT , I'm biting my nails.

Haha tru NJ

go jets for the ring of the lords .

FYI. we know.

Well, I have a bigot streak against pompous, vulgar, tools of stupdity. Cuff me now, dream.

Good stuff today Armando... One question thats been bothering me all week is what is the deal with the article I guiterrez wrote about phinfans should root for the Jets? DO you agree n thoughts?

If the Colts go up early , it's over. It would fall on Sanchez to make a comeback. LOL !!

Aholes are aholes no matter where they are from.. They come in all different shapes and sizes... But they perform and act the same way...

Careful Mando, we're watching you.

agreed, NJ---

Colts must go 2 scores up (& preferrably 2tds, not 10 pts.

close or Jet lead = nail biter.

If the colts jump ahead early...The jets will be in deep...sanchez can't win the game and Ryan knows it and he knows if he relies on sanchez he will lose!!!!

Beer, I wrote almost exactly the opposite of what Izzy wrote about three days before he wrote his article.

Could not disagree more. Totally whack. I'm supposed to root for the Jets because they resemble Miami's approach?

Both teams have that approach because their passing games are terrible. Otherwise they would be more will to throw.

NJ, you're wound up tighter than a 3 dollar watch. Obviously a part of you thinks the jets can/will win.

Anyways, good day all, I'm off to watch the game at a family members house then off to the Guns N Roses concert tonight!

Welcome to the jungle baby, you're gonna diiiiie, Sanchez!

When I think about the draft... What I would dobro have berry from Tennessee in a phins uniform!!!

FYI & fwiw: Fatman talking tough pre-game about novel coverages; from PFT:


go jets idiots .

Of Course the guy is wound tight.. He lives in ny for gods sake!!!

i would think that "NJ" lives in "NJ," though if its northern NJ I'm sure its overrun w/ Jet fans, both real & bandwagon-jumpers bummed by the Jints.

God I hate boomer esiasion!!!!

Watching Challenger the Eagle fly around the stadium is almost as impressive as a F-18 flyover.

It's all the same thing.. He obviously is around the ny are... Look at his profile name.. Thanks geography teacher for the clarification

GMAN--I have not watched one second of pre-game nonsense since about 11:30 a.m., my (already fragile)mental health thanks me.

Give um hell mando!!!!!

No sign of Tortured Dolphin Yet?

Thank God for Small miracles.

chill dude, I said its prolly the same thing---good lord you are touchy today--save it for the Jets & their swinish fans, not us!

There's a real winner... Manning... Doesn't need to throw warm ups... Sanchez will be eating a hot dog at halftime!!!

Esiason is a smart guy. Good at what he does. But he has a radio show in NY. Think he has an agenda?

I am!!! Haha just heated about this game... Got go blow it up from nerves!!!

Esiason absolutely hates Marino.. Just listen to him on tv...

Did he really say "NY Giants"?

Ref just said, "The NY GIANTS call tails ..."

Digging the xxxxL sweater vest Ryan has!!!!

Haha jets are already getting dissed

Didn't know NY had another team...

Boomer needs counseling; jealously > envy > hate > bitterness. F Him!

They should do a commerial with sanchez for nathans or ball park hotdogs... He can follow mannings footsteps

Mark , don't quit your day job.

Armando - you think the colts might regret laying down on the Jets? I hope Manning has a great day. Hate the Jets and remember watching the colts vs jets with Johnny U in 1969 though always a colts fan, it wad bitter sweet when they moved. Living here now rooting for the fins always, rooting for the colts today.

A real qb is on the field!!!!

D: Only way they regret it is if they lose today. Then not going for it all will have been fruitless.

Double team and still got shredded... It will be all day.. Blitz or no blitz!!!

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