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Perspective: Mandich wages a battle for his life

Football is a game. It is only a game.

It's easy to forget that sometimes when your team loses and your spirit feels defeated. It's easy to forget that when your team wins and you feel unbeatable for days.

Football is a game that lacks perspective unless and until life intervenes. And then when life does what life does -- throws curves, some of them vicious and biting -- we remember that how our team performs on Sunday or in free agency, or on the draft's first day, matters not one wit in the grand scheme of things.

Football is a game. It is not a battle or a war as many players and even some coaches often suggest in passing reference. Wars are happening in Iraq and Afghanistan every day without relent. Not in Pittsburgh or New England or Buffalo for 16 weeks in the fall.

Football is a game. It is not a life and death struggle between two teams. True life and death struggles play out every day on our streets and in our hospitals and nursing homes.

I remind you of all this to tell you that football as life is a lie.

Life is life and it is filled with more drama and more bitterness and more boundless joy than any 60-minute game could ever hope to offer.

I remind you of all this because I am touched and saddened but also heartened in hearing that ex-Dolphins and current broadcaster Jim Mandich is battling cancer. 

I want to publicly say that I pray Jim recovers completely. I want to say publicly that I hope he recovers a million times more than I hope the Dolphins win a Super Bowl next year.

The Super Bowl, you see, would be an important accomplishment. It would be great for us all. But no one will live or die if the Dolphins succeed or fail in chasing a Lombardi Trophy. Mandich is indeed fighting for his life.

And all of us would be lessened if he doesn't win the fight.

Perspective. 

This is not an obituary. Jim Mandich shall live and not die.

So I'm not going to tell you what a great guy Jim is. I'm not going to share stories of his career both on the field and in the radio booth. The time for those nostaligic tales is not yet. Hopefully it will not be for a very long time.

We believe Jim will recover. We trust that when the 2010 season dawns, he will be there to witness it, to describe it on the Dolphins radio network, to take us via his commentary to all the games we cannot witness in person or on television.

Today we celebrate the fact that around here we understand what's truly important.

Today we celebrate and toast Jim Mandich with a "Green lizard."

Get well soon, Jim.

Get well soon.

[Update 11:30: There is a fan facebook page for anyone wishing to sign a petition to get Jim Mandich's name on the Dolphin Honor Roll. Here is the page if you wish to sign the petition.]

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Wow, young man. You can write your butt off. I don't know this Mandich and I'm not religious but I want to say a prayer for him.

Made my eyes water Mando.

cancer sucks, took my Mom and Grandma, blank you cancer !!!

I'm not religious either and I'm young to know him but I hope the best for Jim and pray that he recovers fully and I agree that football is a game not a life or death situation I'd trade a 0-16 season for anyones life!get well soon Jim

Armando great writing...no dis respect to Curtis but 4-7 isn't the same...I could appreciate the wordsmith and the master of grammar that Jim is. I can truly say that I could look forward to a guaranteed laugh between 4-7...."Mark Sanchez with his dark smoldering Latino looks"

Mad Dog - get well - will think about you when I am "riding around with my windows down" awwwwwwwwwwrrrrrriiiigggghhhhhhtttt Miami!

Green lizard in your name my friend - hope to hear you on the dolphins games next year.

By the way - "I love Rich Camarillo!"

Jim get better soon! Prayers for you tonight and your recovery!

mando WOW your writing can make a grown man cry.
First the touching one about your mom may she rest in peace and and this one,you have talent. BRAVO.

Excellent post Mando...your a class act and Get Well Jim.....theres about 100 Dolphin fans I know of in my area here in Melbourne Australia...they love this blog....they salute you Mando and Jim...

Alfy....Ozzzzzzzzzzzzz

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRIIIIIGGGHHT MIAMI !!!! That's priceless . I get pumped eevrytime i hear that. Get well Mad Dog !!!!!

Excellent post, Mando and great perspective. From all the Dolfans in Nicaragua, we hope Jim gets better soon.

Armando, I've been reading your articles for a while now without ever posting a comment. Just not my style. I do this now because this is what it's all about. Way to put things into perspective for all of us. As a kid a watched Jim Mandich and my Dolphins play all the way from the West coast. Way to go Armando this is what true journalism is all about. My prayers are with you Jim. Get well soon. You will beat this.

Armando,
Excellent words for a great guy. You nailed it. Prayer can work wonders, try it.

Here's wishing you beat this crap, Jim. Keep on keeping on.

Get well soon Mad Dog. Dolphins games wont sound the same if your not there.

Mando, Good heartfelt and inspirational thoughts.

MadDog you fought off linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs to persevere, this too you shall fight off as well.

Get your butt back in the booth soon, as Miami Dolphin football isn't, well, just isn't Miami Dolphin football without the voice of MadDog!

Keep the faith, be stronger, and get well soon!

GetterDone MadDog!

Get Well MadDog!!!

Your most honest, angry ,heartfelt column since your mom passed `Mando.

Sometimes the voice of a team is the best memory a fan may have. Players and coaches come and go, but the one constant with a team is the broadcaster. Everyone can remember their favorite call, or repeat their favorite catch phrases. It's one of the things cool about rooting for a team. I hope Jim gets better, you help make the games great.

Nice piece of writing Mando.

Thoughts and prayers are with your MadDog! Get well soon.

Mad dog might not know how many fans he has around the world. I was going to write "get well from NY, grew up listening to you, games won't be the same without you" but wow look at people from Australia and Nicaragua on here. Never knew him personally, but his humor made the whole city laugh, wish you the best mad dog

Marv Flemming, Howard Twilley, and Jim Mandich were the best trio of Miami Dolphin TE's ever. Neither great on thier own but what all 3 brought to table made them and absolute 3 headed monster. But Flrmming was an old Packer all-pro coming to the Fins nearing the end of a great career.

Mad Dog all the old Dolpfans remember you and pray Godspeed for your health!

A condensed perspective.

Whether by draft or otherwise, the new administration is responsible for fielding more than half the starting team:

Drafted & starting: Jake Long, Chad Henne, Kendall Langford, Devon Bess, Jason Ferguson, Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, Brian Heartline, Chris Clemons, Anthony Fasano, Joe Berger, Jason Taylor.

* Out of the 18 players they've drafted, only two have been sent packing: Shawn Murphy, and Jalen Parmele.

* Only seven players have been drafted to fit the DEFENSIVE side, while 11 have been picked to join the offense.

* There are currently six (including Dansby) acquired starting defensive players, vs seven on offense.

* This year's draft ends with the #204 selection in the 7th round. All nine picks could be as good as existing players which were selected at, or later than this year's last pick: #204 Lex Hilliard, #245 Lionel Dotson, (UD) Devon Bess, #214 JD Folson.

* With Karlos Dansby, the list now grows to 13 starters by Tuna Inc.

Bottom Line: Regardless of who they pick - offense, or defense, we can rest assured that there will be at least two, possibly three new starters.

If one looks at it from an "out with the old, in with the new" mindset, the positions which have starters from a previous administration include:

RB, DE, Mike LB, RG, LG, SS.

From a "cleaning house" POV, those are the positions which might be on the short list.

For my money, and whether they trade up or not (not likely down), look for a new edge rusher, or a better starting NT than Soliai.

If both Jason Pierre-Paul AND Dez Bryant are still standing come #12, my feeling is that JPP wears the aqua. If by some miracle Berry is available, the point is moot.

Obviously, what is not picked at #12 gets addressed at #43.

2010 Selections: 1st: #12, 2nd: #43, 3rd: #74 4th: #104 5th: none 6th: #s164, 165, 170 7th: #s197, 204.

Lastly, after the first week of free agency's gold rush, it's hard to imagine that any new FA will be brought in to fill anything other than for depth at a position.

Then again...


Mando, I would lie if I said I have ever heard Jim on the radio or if I said I watched him play which, unfortunately, I didn't. But from the bottom of my heart, I hope you get better soon Jim, I know you might never read this, but I hope you beat the c#$p out of cancer. GET WELL SOON JIM!

Mandi: true greatness lies in learning perspective and honoring class and guts. Nice column and get well big M!!

Get Well soon Mad Dog!! One of my favorite things to do was to hear the replay of the Mad Dog's calls after a huge Dolphin win!! Alriggghhhtttt Miami!!!!

I love Rich Camarillo!!!

My fav play of all had Mad Dog with this awesome call. I wish you all the best and speedy recovery.

That was some great writing Mando.Get well Jim.

Spiller fan , are you freaking me ??? This is a get well card for Mad Dog Mandich not a History of How this team was built or draft talk . You can't wait until the next blog !! No Class and No respect !. Get some perspective Moron !

Freaking KIDDING ME . sorry mad dog excuse that idiot spiller fan,

I offered my best wishes to Jim earlier. What else do you want, a blood transfusion?

Mando,

Great writing again. Bravo!! I hope Jim has a fast and full recovery. Go MadDog!

Armando,

Those are some very kind words for a guy that has meant a lot to the Dolphins from stem to stern. So many years of Dolphins contribution from different angles... Thank you Mr. Mandich.

Cancer can be a tough thing BUT, you don't get a moniker like "Mad Dog" by being a piker!!!

Get your treatments, keep a strong positive mental attitude and pretend it's a another Jet punching bag for you to beat Mad Dog!!!

Recover swiftly.

From all the way over in England - Get Well Jim !!
The world is a better place with the madDog around.

I'm a Dolphins fan from Australia, and started following the team in 1994. Having never seen a game on TV, let alone in person, I used to wake up before work on a Monday morning at 4am to listen to the then free internet radio broadcast of the Dolphins games live... and low and behold this loud, enthusiastic chap would fill my ears with every detail of the game.

Had no idea who he was at the time, but soon learnt the name 'Mad Dog'. This, sadly enough, gave me reason to wish my weekends away as I couldn't wait for the live radio broadcast of the Dolphins game Monday morning (time difference, yeah?) just to hear Jim call the games.

Jim Mandich, hope you get better soon!

I love listening to this guy on the radio too

Alllllllllllllllllll right Miami - Get well soon -nothing would be the same wo you mad dog

Grew up listening to Jim. LOVE his voice and passion.

Mad dog last year I found myself watching fins game with the TV volume down and the radio volume up.

We all got a lot of love for you mad dog.

Armando, thank you for writing this.

Jim has been a lifelong friend of our family. I have memories of him being in my life since...well...I started having memories. He gave my father the nickname "roto" because of our last name and I carry that nickname on today.

Tears came to my eyes several times while reading your post. I have known about Jim's condition for quite some time, but out of respect for his wife and the boys, we were asked to keep the news private & now I'm glad to have somewhere to type everything I'm feeling because this situation sucks.

Jim is SO MUCH more than just "Allllllllllright Miami" and his crazy radio persona. Although he's a busy man, he's been a part of many of my life's fond memories. He took me on the court to shoot around in the old Miami Arena when he called 'Canes Hoops, invited us backstage during the old "Sports Wrap" days, offered to help me find a job when I graduated from college, and we always had a blast playing in his celebrity golf tournament at Shula's C.C. Those are all great, but what's most important is that he's been a wonderful family friend.

I also pray Jim recovers completely, and I'd trade NO Super Bowl wins for the rest of my life for it... Mad Dog, if you're reading this, get well soon and know we're sending a lot of love your way. When you recover, we won't miss a fishing trip in the Keys again!

WE're BORN TO DIE.

I KNOW YOU LIVED ONE HELL OF A LIFE. KEEP FIGHTING MAD DOGG

Get well Jim....we need YOU...
Thanks...

Mando...I met and spoke with Jim Mandich at the team hotel one time . He is a gentleman and was a great player. A loyal Dolphin as well.

My heart and prayers go out to him. Please help him get well soon, Lord.

As a Dolphins fan fron NJ, I have had the priviledge to listen to the Miami feed on sirius radio...Jim I wish you all the best and look forward to your hearing your voice next season. Get well soon sir
...Awwright MIAMI!

as a 4 time cancer survivor he has my prayers!!

Mad dog is the man.. I prey that he comes out of this alright...I wish him and his family nothing but the best... I rememer listening to mandich as a child and all i could look forward to on sunday was when the dolphins would score a td and mandich would scream AlRIGHT!!!!!!!!

My thoughts and prayers go out to Jim Mandich and his family. This is truly shameful that someone like him has to go through this ordeal.

GET WELL MAD DOG!!!

We will keep him in our prayers. Touching article and well written. And thank you for putting things in perspective; it is so easy to get distracted.

Good luck Mad Dog!

Jim you're a tough guy, a real man's man. I know you'll beat this. I can't wait to watch the games next year with Phil Simms muted and the Mad Dog all the way up. Get well buddy!

My prayers to "The Mad Dog" and his family to get well. I always looked forward to turning on your show on WQAM on my way home from work. Get Well

Fight it Jim fight it! Thanks Mando for that unique perspective of life.

Get well soon Mad Dog !!!

Germany loves you too ...

Greetings from Berlin

Good Job Mando.. All is not lost! My wifefought and won and is 7 years clean now. Miracles DO Happen. I just prayed for one for Jim. Great Ball plater and Great Man!

Get well soon Jim. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Dammit Mando,
You made me shed a tear brother!!! Coño...
I drive about 45 min everyday too and from work. I hear the Big Dog in the A.M. & Mad Dog in the P.M. and I really miss him very much. Radio is not the same at least for me, without him. I really wish him a quick recovery and will be praying for him. I will have a couple Green Lizards today myself...
Cheers to all...

Great article Mando...

My wife and I once met Jim "Mad Dogg" Mandich at his steakhouse in Islamorada (Florida Keys) and he was a very nice guy... we even talked some Dolphins football for a while... I hope he makes it through this one...

I knew something was up a week or so ago. Does anyone know anything about this type of cancer?

Get well Jim, we miss you.

Mad Dog, you are in our prayers. We know you'll open the season and all will be well in Dolphinland.

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