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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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Beerphin , to get any of those guys , you'll have to give a 1st round pick . How are they going to get spiller o bryant. Think !!!

Entire Colts secondary bit on the play-fake. Terrible defense


I can´t believe it!! Just to see how sanchez celebrates de TD makes me sick...

A just hope the colts get them selfs together and beat them down.

also important to have a consistant reciever or two.

Mando everyone is mentioning Dumerville why doesn't Peppers get any love. I know he will 31, but guy can ball. Maybe because he has not played OLB.

It is interesting everyone mentions guys like Dumerville & Boldin guys you have to give picks for, but nobody thinks Miami could sign Antonio Bryant still young and perhaps Peppers. Peppers would cost you though

Opinions Mando

My trip to miami rests on the colts, Come on colts.....

My boy toy has arrived... Hi Cuban

Sorry im a fins fan hoping the colts lose today. Should of tried for the perfect season. Karma is a biatch.

Welcome Cubiche'


Don feel so bad about phins safteties after that play

Menace , unpack your bags. you're going nowhere. I'm sorry.

Jets will screw up one way or the other

Here is another name Miami might not have to give picks for if he is not Franchised. Aubrayo Franklin NT 49ers. He was brought from Baltimore to San Fran by Nolan and could be brought to Miami if San Fran does not feel like spending their money.

I joined in on the Edwards TD, I hope Iam not a bad luck charm.....

Revis got his ankles broke!

Revis just got played like a fiddle... Real stud!!!

I like it, I love it, I need some more of it!

Robert, everyone is mentioning Dumerville because he's from Miami and Adam Schefter mentioned him this morning.

What was not mentioned is that he is not unrestricted. Period. And the Dolphins aren't giving up multiple draft picks, including No. 12 overall of a 5-11 OLB.

Brown has the speed that's what they need

Reggie just owned Revis

Thankfully Im watching from home this week so I dont have to deal with the Jets Chaos at the bar...

Hows everyone doing?

The jets defense is their linebackers... Play around them and there defense is nothing

Come on now NJ.....Think positive....

49ers have already said they will franchise franklin if they can't sign him.

Thats what i'm talkin bout!

Indy running ball

NJ, you've believed in the Dolphins all year long even when we all understood their defense sucked and their offense couldn't throw the ball.

And you're jumping ship on Peyton Manning when he's down 7-3 in the second quarter?


Yeah baby....

Yeaaaaaaaaah Menace !!!!

jets cant outscore the colts and we all know the colts are gonna put points on the board, jets d will get worn down and manning will do his thing. The cinderalla story ends here for fat rexy!!!

Yes sir!!! A tight end that blocks.. Phins have that!!! Not!!!!

My rump still hurts from last night Cuban Menace. You gotta take it easy on me sometimes :)

Yeah NJ...

Whats Up?

i dont really understand the restricted free agent deal thing is it like the nba where you throw out a contract and the team he plays for has a chance to match it?

link anyone?

mando . i knew miami wasn't going nowhereand called pou for it often on here. as far indy ?? It's called reverse PHSY !! Shhhhh !!

Lesson NEVER let a team back into the playoffs!!!

Of fer crying out loud......shotty call.....FG + loserville Karma!~

Norv turner callin the plays for the colts

out often, Typo.

Armando, you think their regretting it yet?

Ah, reverse psychology. Very intelligent.

Jets rule!

Sanchize is G-D!!!

Beer, the team can match it. But if they don't, you have to give them draft pick compensation.

Barry Jackson reports Fins looking to resign Nate Jones, Solid Move especially with Allen coming back. Fins could have a good Nick and Dime corner in Jones & Allen

QB sneak??????

To all those rooting for the colts today, this is the future of the mighty air breathers in two or three years... it feels good dosnt it....

There you go mando. JETS RULE!!!! :)


yea that really didnt make much sense to me either.

found one

shoot...the half's almost over...this is going jets way fer sher, unfortunately

Colts should be winning 14-7 right now

this guy Shonn Greene's got the goods. He's going to be very good, barring injury.

Good freaking play !!

Wildpat 2.0

Jesus!!! Are u kiddin me

I told you guys , This is not good.

Let's go colts!! Damn this suxs.

Colts D lookin like our D

Wilson, you back there?

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