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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'll buy that fer a dollar!

That's the way.

NOW YOU'RE TALKING !!!!

Open the slot and flats!!!! Yes sir

Colts need to get Collie, Garcon, and Brown more involved in the offense. Jets d is keying on Wayne and Clark.

GARCOOOOONNNNNN

you're welcome (dumb luck, not esp or etc)!

CHECK PLEASE !!!

Joseph Addai has a shoulder injury, thus Donald Brown is in the game.

Addai's return is probable.

Garcon (from palm beach county)

I wonder if we could see Hartline play like Garcon if Miami had a number 1 WR

Keep throwing slants. Thats how you beat the blitz

Brown has more speed.. Addai is great out of the backfield though

Good news: We get to watch the jets lose plus they will hae bad draft position!!

Brown or Addai, no big deal. As long as it's not the other guy in the backfield.

Boooooooooooooom!

There it is!!!!!!!!!!!! N

CHECK PLEASE GARCON !!!!

Tick Tock, Cinderella. Tick Tock.

...and their Primary Linebackers weigh over 255 pounds!

(unlike Crowder, Ayodele, and Torbor...)

Save Buster!

Anyone else naked?

Today's attendance is a 67,650, a franchise record for Indy.

As I said...blitz won't work all day.. Hell I thought it would atleast work for two quarters... Not even half a quarter and manning is shredding them

Vive Haiti!! Love that little dude, even tho he burned us bad!

btw: great back story on him---
single mom, belle glade sugar fields to WPB, poor grades, VERY small college, low draft pick, year on bench learning, etc.

Bill Polian sure can pick 'em!

How much of it is jets fans... Haha

LOL @Aloco. he's nuts !!!

Armando,

but this wouldn't even fill up the Dolphins stadium!

I'm not naked but I am cooking a pork roast as we watch game.

At my age, that's more pleasurable.

Turkey grease dripping from ryans neck

It looks like FG time. This is not good.

Seer,

Garcon is from Lake Worth

I hope the jets lose by 2....That way they can blame the kicker..ala Chargers

Go for it.

I'll take fgs.. Scores are scores for Indy because they will get their tds

Pork Roast. Yum!

I'll roast your pork!!! ummmmm

OMG---why is everyome so touchy today (as if I don't know why or aren't myself). To me WPB & Lake Worth are part of same area (like, let's say, Ft Laud. & Plantation, or H'wood & Dania beach, etc.).

The point I was making is his family moved from Belle Glade to a "better" area & way of life. A good & interesting thing.

Sheesh!

Jets fans so pompous they probably think they're leading 0-0 after the first quarter.

Shula is all class......How fortunate we were to have him as our coach for so many years.

Rex Ryan hacked the blog... Heard about the Pork!!!!

F*CK!

Goof play call all u can say

uh oh..........sanchize to HOF all week? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Colts got too cocky

... And that's why throwing the football is important.

They look like Phins D...

Is Wison out there?

Indy is going down. The jets will win. MY GOD!!!

Jet male fans make Chinese guys dick size look like black wiener.

Wilson.

If the Colts lose they are the dumbest organization for allowing the Jets in the playoffs & will be the laughing stock of the NFL

Haha please sanchez won't do that often.. Just got the defense... It's ok

we get one really good restricted free agent like Brandon Marshall, Vjackson, Elvis D or Owen Daniels,
I'm thinking the Passing side of our game needs to change.
Henne is at the helm. Time to get weapons Go Cj Spiller or D Bryant in the draft over defense

That's why having a good run game is important

Aloco... How long did u think of that comment...

I know from experiance

U know Asian pen/s from experience?

I am still shocked B.Edwards actually made the catch. They normally doink off his face.

i feel it too, NJ----Indy will be slain by the Monster they Created.

THAT's the story-line here: NOT rest or no rest, BUT Do Not Let an opponent into playoffs when you can ELIMINATE them!

Hubris = Bad Karma!!!

Ok guys the cuban has arrived....

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