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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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Mando Hartline would have done better than collie with Manning at the helm.

Angry Manning = trouble for jets... Rex Ryan will eat himself into a comma after the game.

With that said I would have not mind see him over Turner & Nalbone two wasted picks. Lets not mention White.

If jets win i hope Jabba the coach leaves a bunch of greasy pizza boxes in channing crowders locker.

What ya talking bout.. Fasano looking for a big payday... What a fool go back to college and learn to block

No way are the Jets gonna be handed this game. Not on Mannings watch.

The point is not that Manning makes Collie better. The point is Collie is still a better player than White and Turner, who didn't even get on the field.

I don't drink often , but if this keeps up . i'm hitting the bottle .

Ryans face just cracks me up!!!

Posted by: Gman050
Reminds me of my landlord....fat basterd

If Anthony Gonzalez was healthy Collie would of been fighting for a spot on the field too. Crazy good WR's in Indy!

If jets win i hope Jabba the coach leaves a bunch of greasy pizza boxes in channing crowders locker.

Posted by: Bigwillystyle | January 24, 2010 at 04:32 PM

ME TOO!!!

I'll drink to that NJ!

Turner may still surprise! I don't have the same expectation for white. Can't beleive bill drafted. 190 lb qb

Po , some how i knew you would. :)

Then Cuban menace.. Your gonna punch your landlord for me in the face of the jets win.. I'll pay for your moving charges

for all good the jets did in the first half and for all bad the colts looked in the first half its still only a four point game. jets have to be nervous a little.

You are a man of Vision NJ!

Jets are happy right now. Winning on the road. they're confident.

White in the 2nd round... Uh!!!!!!!!!

I think it's hillarious how Fatty McFat Fat Rex Ryan and the jets cracked on our wildcat saying it was a gimmick play for wussies...yet here he is CONTINUING to use versions of the wildcat...typical.

I hate halftime... on the bright side it gives me time to breathe between my puking sessions.

These pretzels are making me thirsty!

Look at it this way: Who would rather have White and Turner over Collie? And why?

I love Seinfeld!

I think i'm going to watch figure skating on abc rather than the 2nd half. it's more calming. :)

Armando,

You ever had a Dolphins player or coach really comment on your blog?

I remember a few seconds before white was picked the excitement in this blog about wildpat 2.0 and mando even predicted hed be picked. Yes it was a bad pick but at the time most of you cheered it.

Seinfeld is a great show.. Gotta love kramer... Love the episode with elaines dad... "he's in the bathroom"!!! Hahah

Stick in there NJ, Dont give up now......

Mando,

You can throw Ginn and Jason Allen (two #1 picks) with White and Turner and I would still want Collie; however, Collie only got playing time b/c Gonzalez was hurt and Turner needs the same opportunity.

Good question Carlito.

I wanted white... Not in the second round for gods sake

Collie makes good catches... Manning or no manning... He's gonna be good... The fact that he doesn't go into the fetal position or to the sidelines makes him better than what we are dealing with

This blog is starting to slow down.

Three red zones possesions one td... Dan henning style offense

Great point Gman, are you refering to one Ted(No jock strap required)Ginn?????

God... Like I'm
Watching the dolphins secondary... To quality plays

Yes sir Cuban menace!

Watchin this crap has us at a loss for words.

Menace , it's better for my nerves.

Buffalo used to run thurmon thomas on us all day and then drop a pass to andre reed.

I didn't realize the colts defense was so bad

Peyton will come out strong in the 2nd half and win this game. Sanchez will thrown an int and turn this game completly around.

Carlito, that I know of only one player -- Feely -- has left a comment on this blog.

Now, I know of many coaches, players, their wives and girlfriends that read the blog. You would be shocked some at the names.

Scaredy cat sanchez

Would rather sanchez throw than the jets run.. Their run game is strong

I like it alot!

Uh oh colts are a'commin!!

Feeeeleeey! Haaa

Ohh I agree fully I said white was a waste from day 1 and Turner... Well his just a mystery and a big dissapointment.

Have no fear Peyton is here!

Jay feely.. Pete stoyanovich... Nate kaeding...all are ray finkels

F the stinking jests!!!

Do these guys remind you of the 98 Falcons? Played great till the SB and lost to Denver...

Add that shmuck from buffalo and u have a line of choking fools!!!!

Armando,

Thats cool!

Is Jay Feely tortureddolphin?

you can tell us...

Let's go Peyton, do as Danny says, "just throw the ball"!!!

I admit I was excited about the White pick because in college I saw a guy that took over games and put a team on his shoulder.

But then he got to Miami and on the practice field I saw a guy that had no arm, little accuracy, was not fast and wasn't very big at all.

That's when I soured on him.

What about the thought of Nolan bringing DJ Williams back to Miami from Denver to play Inside LB

LOL @ carlito

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