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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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Lock it and set it on fire...

I was hoping we picked shonn greene with the pat white pick definetly a missed talent what about leon washington coming to miami? they cant keep both jones and washington w greene

just think of what the wets would do to the dolphins locker room. it sickens me thinking about it. But then again its a sickening day.

Colts are losing the game just like the chargers did.. Not ny winning!!!!

Miss, miss, misssssss

Mando,

It's OK, if the Jests do get to the SB, the Saints will beat the crap out of them. Here's hoping they Colts come back.

Geaux Saints!

This is like an old school game from the 90s with fg running and bad ass defense

Excellent Point, Mando---this ain't no "ball control" + defense. It's balls-to-the-wall offense including bombs & madman defense.

Our O-line is far inferior to Jets. Our D is talent-wise & philosophy wise far below them too.

And I cannot imagine our coaches seizing the day like Fatso's staff has.

17-6 before half? Crazy.....those idiots from NFL live asked, how will the jets score, I guess we know how now!

What is ryan holding in his belly... Like video footage of the colts...? Something in that belly

Rex isn't looking so bad now! I hate the Jets, but this guy has taken advantage any way he can. Hate the Jets.

C'mon gman. this is not like the chargers game. the jets are winning.

Colts are spotting the jets points

Yea but the colts are still making mistakes!!!

LOL @ Gman....

Haha manning was trying to bounce it and take out Ryan LMaO

Qb sneaks on the one...break downs in blocking mistakes

Turn out the lights the party is over .....

Come on colts!!!!!!

What if the jets died in.... oh i dont know... A JET!
Nahh im just kidding itd be nice though if they all broke their legs or something.

I need a few dam beers right now!!!!

Ok. Our Phins need to take a closer look, and try to imitate the Jets winning formula. (hint: we need a big play wide receiver, and no more waisting of high picks on dual threat Qbs).

Guiterrez is beating Salguero in a landslide
"Boring" football (great defense and running game) with a few gimmicks thrown in (wildcat) looks like a SUPER formula.
Tuna, stick to for plan - ignore armando.

If the jets do make it to miami will the world end?????Are the Mayans off by a couple years, I say yes.......

The phins should watch the colts defense so they know what they look like every week... Especially the safties

Shut up jc!!!! Don't like Mandi then leave!!!!

Anyone else just want this season to be over all ready? I dont think ill be able to watch the super bowl if the jets are in it.

"mando"

Yessss!!!!!!!!

That 80 yard play only worked cause colts bit on the fake hand off third run in a row.

Yes!!!!!!!!!

Nice

That is Manning's first amazing Manning-like pass today.

Its never over with Peyton fellas

Amazing

As much as it pains me You have to give the Jets credit they are taking to the Colts

Wildcat pass for the same reason.

Thats what i'm sayin CM!

That's it!!!!!!!

Why do I have to be living in NY!! Now of all times, I the jets bs on the news and it makes me sick I can't take another week of this he'll I even stopes watching NFL network they need to go down!

THAT QUICK>>>>>>>>>>>>

Score!

That is an elite qb

Woot that's more like it!! Now go for 2!!

Thats what they should have been doing instead of two dam fg's

That's the way to do it

Patience fellas.. Colts will
Take care of business

Quick strike beats rumble stumble and fall everytime. Get ti JC?

Austin Collie was a fourth round pick ... after Pat White, Brian Hartline and Patrick Turner.

Manning looks Pissed.

Dam shame... Parcells dropped the ball on collie

The jests can't cover 4-5 wide!!! They don't have enough corners that can keep up with the colts

Now stop the jets offense or ause a turnover that involves sanchez getting knocked on his ass!

TRIP BACK ON BABY....

not a shock...thats what the colts do, score and score quickly.

Not only a 4rth rounder but several draft publications had him going to Miami

Pat turner.. The guy that didn't touch the dame field all year... Bad Pick if he Isnt good enough to be on the sidelines

Armando Austin Collie has Reggie Wayne & Dallas Clark playing with him. Hartline had Ted Ginn & Fasano playing with him.

Pick 6 time.......

Ryans face just cracks me up!!!

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