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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.


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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Get well soon Jim.

You have the complete support of Dolphin Nation.

Well said Armando...

Mad Dog, we are all praying for you and your family. Stay strong brother!!

Well said Mando. Agree 100%. My wife and two brothers have been fighting cancer for the past few years. I hope and pray for Jim's recovery.

Get well Mad Dog!!

Armando, I am humbled by the depth of your own soul poured into this "Get Well" for Jim. I am also gladdened that you purposefully left the "talk of better times and days in the Sun gone by" to a more appropriate time, hopefully and prayerfully in a much distant future. I share in your prayers as does my family. If fighting cancer is approached by Jim anything like the way he played "A Game" for our enjoyment, I see him around for a long time. Thank you, Armando. In just two days you have taught me a great deal of respect for you. Keep up the deeds till their done, my friend. Here is to more days with "Mad Dog" to come. Cheers!

Mr Mandich get well soon!

may this post be soley dedicated to jim mad dog mandwich .. we can talk about draft picks/free agents some other time.




Mandich has greatly enriched my enjoyment of life for the past thirty years or so.

He is very much a part of the Dolphins and South Florida, and as important a part, as anyone else we can name.

Get well & best wishes.

Keep Fighting 88

Very well said mondo...


Mad Dog! We need you man! Getter well soon, you're in my prayers. Look forward to your interview with Joe Rose on friday or monday.

prayers from here. Wish I could hear Mandich on the radio. I like reading his column.

Can we please find a cure for cancer now!!!

Godspeed Mr. Mandich!

You're better than this disease. Beat it up and make it sorry!!!

Mad Dog will fight through it and be there for the start of the 2010 season! Let the spirit of this town remind you of how much we appreciate your work! ...LeTs Go MiaMi!!!

Beautiful write up Armando. Get well soon MAD DOG.

I remember Jim Mandich as a player, I hope he get well soon.
Desde México una oración para su pronto restablecimeinto y apoyo moral para él y su familia

Well meaning sentiment as Mad Dog is the balls but don't need the lecturing, Mando. Any idiot with half a brain realizes the worth of that man without your soapboxing.

Beautiful. How about dumping all our "war" money into disease research??? Go Big J!

Mad Dog,

I wish you God's speed. You have provided me many rememberable Sunday afternoons as I watched Games from Tennessee as a child, as well as, listing to you over the internet during Game broadcasts. You are a class act and I too will be praying for you and yours.

Almighty God, we lift up to you Jim Mandich and ask ask your healing touch on our brother Mad Dog. We ask that his days be filled with Joy and your hand be on him and his family during this process of recovery. Please find the Mandich Family in your favor.

Armando writes:

"Football is a game. It is not a battle or a war as many players and even some coaches often suggest in passing reference."

Aren't you forgetting the journalists? In fact, I would argue that reporters such as yourself and commentators such as Mandich are more important in constructing this idea of the game as a life and death struggle than the players...in fact you will probably be doing it in pre-season.

Good luck Jim.



Mando, thanks for writing what the fan base feels. Jim Mandich means a great deal to all of us who are Dolphin fans and/or radio fans. I have started a petition on facebook "We want Jim Mandich to be added to the Dolphin Honor Roll" because given his many years as a player and broadcaster for the Dolphins, he is not only worthy of this honor, but long overdue. Please join this effort and let's pray for Jim to be able to continue broadcasting our Dolphins for many years to come.

Best of wishes!!

Datroro kid you must be a very small-minded bitter lonely abused man to think Mando was on some soapbox. Get someone to hug you sometime. It'll do wonders for you.

Jim Mandich is an example for today's players how to turn a career into a life. Thanks for the post Mando

Get well soon Mad Dog! We all wish you a speedy recovery and hope to hear you back calling the games for 2010!

Get well soon Jim.

I have never been to Miami. I have never heard of Mandich here in NJ but I wish him a recovery. The "C" is a scary thing. I wish anyone and everyone a recovery from that. Best wishes Mr. Mandich and to your family. Stay strong!


Yet another great article. After the moving tribute you write about your mother I thought you were miscast as a sportswriter. But I am glad you're here following the Dolphins beat.

One of my closest friends was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer two years ago and is beating it. There have been significant developments in the last five years regarding cancer-treating drugs; I believe it was that and my her rock-solid religious faith and attitude that brought her through. My prayers are with Jim as well.

One of things I miss dearly when I catch Dolphins games where I live now is not hearing Mandich's 'WAY TO GO MIAMI!'

Thanks again for another great article.

Of course nobody wants to see anyone get sick, or hurt, or die, and no FANnatic would ever place the game over a life. I wish Jim Mandich courage, strength, and good fortune just as everyone else does.
That said, to be honest here, Armando, I am sorry, but you post does not sound very sincere. It seems more about posturing yourself as some sage philosopher who can write about something more than strikesports/strike football. Writing is how you make your living, but this reads like a 7th grader's religion essay. You come off like one of those people who portray themselves to be someone's best friend after the fact, but in life was just an acquaintance if that.
You're supposed to be a professional writer, Armando; I expect better than this.
And btw, wft is a green lizard?
Interesting, because the only relevant reference to a "green lizard" I can find on the Internet is a cartoon character who "shows his skeptical minions the rampant racism and fascism that goes on at the blogs he hates -- racism and fascism that are, of course, in the Green Lizard's head and there only." the parody is of a blogger who pontificates, yet is a fraud.
So don't get me wrong, I would love to see Jim Mandich defeat cancer with the ease of combing his hair, just like everyone else here, but frankly I am surprised that your editor at the Miami Herald allows you to get away with this level of copy.

Always my favorite radio guy as a host and a commentator. He brings life to the games and sports radio. In reading an article on him this morning he seems upbeat and, rightfully, hopeful.

He is leaving talk shows permanently - I know I and many fans will miss that. I hope that Dolphins Radio will find a way to keep him on the air as he really makes the game broadcasts what they are.

Certainly, he has a lot of people praying and hoping that he beats this. I am one of them.

<3 Mad Dog

As a player I remember him been small that's why the Fins had Marv Fleming doing most of the blocking but he was fast with great hands; a "Money Guy" who will make that clutch catches in traffic.

As a game announcer he was sharp and to the point never mincing words full of knowledge and love for his beloved Dolphins.

As a radio personality he was witty, colorful, funny, blue-collar, never took himself serious, unique and respectful of his pears.

As a man he likes my favorite beer even to the point as to loose gigs for not endorsing other beers, what else can I say about this guy other than he is “alright”.

Hope he has a speedy full recovery!

Football is not life but serves to me as an excellent outlet of some of the day to stressors that life has to offer. It is drama and entertainment. Some people like going to movies or plays, I prefer to be entertained by sports.

Also, residing in Vegas for the past 8 years, I enjoy placing a wager or two on the game as well. ;-)

Again, best wishes on Jim's battle with cancer. I am sure he is a warrior and will kick this into submission sooner than later.

Great work as always Mando. I will say a prayer for Mr. Mandich tonight.

Meanwhile, Kevin you are an idiot. A green lizard is what Mandich called beer. It was a Heineken. Dude, you just proved yourself a retard.

Is football a game? I couldn't tell by the twelve thousand times he said it. And are sports important in the grand scheme of things? OF COURSE THEY ARE. People need sports teams and players more than they need most things.

Here's perspective. People die every day, football entertains the rest of us from our boring miserable existance. He should be so lucky

Kevin, this is a blog he can write as he pleases. You are retard and many other things that you are not worth mentioning. If you don't have something nice to say don't say it all. As for Jim get Better buddy and don't listen to these idiots. Your health then football!

If anybody can beat the big C.it's maddog Jim mandich!! I often think of maddog when I'm having a green lizard,riding around with my windows down or when I see a guy who's light in the lofers.lol.never had the pleasure of meeting you but I think of you as a friend. My thoughts & prayers will be with you & your wonderful family in hopes of a speedy& full recovery.awwwwrrright Miami !!!!!

Best wishes to you, Jim. Fight it hard. Thanks for the article Armando. Those of us outside of Miami really appreciate these.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Mad Dog... Mad Dog, we all love ya brother- get well soon and keep fighting!!

Alex, I am not surprised that you missed the point. You go on and kiss his @ss, but the fact remains that it was insincere tripe and readers deserve better.

Get well Jim my prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Name calling is what the weak-minded resort to when they can't keep up. "retard"???? "idiot"????
Oh please! How weak!
Keep them coming, don't disappont me now.

Boobyd12 , to answer your question , mad dog has cancer of the Bile Duct . it's a tube that goes from the liver to the small intestine

Cancer is te plague of the 20th century and onto this one. But mando writing about it is almost just as sickening, saying sports aren't important. I want that from my gf, not a dolphins writer. I'm still upset about us signing pennington, and saying he's going to compete. Henne doesn't need to hear that, we should have all our faith in him and let pennington know he is barring injury a backup at best. It was a bad move unless it was purely sentimental.

Jim was the first pro football player I met. In November of 1973, he was signing autographs at the Sears in Coral Gables. here comes this 9 year old with a broken arm and aske Jim to sign it. Of course he with while questioning how it happened as if he knew the answer...playing football. I kept that cast throughout high school, until the humidity rendered it a biohazard. always wanted to walk up to Jim and thank him... I will next time I see him. I have always been a big fan and I am rooting harder than ever.

Has anyone seen teh latest mock draft from NFL.com?? They have us taking Jared Odrick...?? This is someone new in which this blog has not discussed, so any thoughts?

I don't think he is going to be the guy at #12. I think we are going to go OLB or FS, but I am thinking more OLB...

Kevin, on a blog which is normally rife with dissenting opinions and harsh words being flung back and forth, Mando wrote something intended to galvanize the Dolphins fans into a supportive community for Mad Dog.

Whether it is tripe and insincere is subject to debate. People attack Mando all the time for his writing and the content of his stories but I personally think it in poor taste to use this particular blog as your forum for such an attack. But, it is a free speech forum so, to each their own.

Inimounts - Armando writing about this is not sickening. It was thoughtful to let us Dolfans know about this and for us to put him in our prayers.

Why you upset we signed Pennington. He is not going to take over the job for Henne. Even if Henne has a 2nd year slump, he's still our QB. Pennington is not our future and is only on the team for insurance reasons and leadership!!

G e t
W e l l
S o o n


You inspired many young Kids to play Football.
(This one included...) A generation of Kids were motivated to be their best because of you and your Teammates.

I Loved watching you Catch Passes
I love listening to you Broadcast Dolphin Football.

We wish you many future Victories!

Oh Kevin go jack yourself as your hand is the only love you apparently have ever had.

Nobody forces you to come here, nobody forces you to read the blog, nobody forces you to comment and certainly nobody wants you to comment multiple times.

You're just a hater and not a very smart one at that.

Mando, I admire you allowing people like this to continue to come to the blog. It shows balls and great temperance on your part to put up with this dummy.

People should use another blog or emails if they want to question Armando's sincerity or writting style. Acting the fool is almost expected from many of you, but I am sure at least a few of Jim's friends and family will be reading this blog, so would it be so hard to behave and keep on topic on this blog?

Indiana , Are you seriously that Disrespectful that you're going to talk about a mock draft and what position miami might draft. This is a open get well card for Mad dog and his family to read. Give it a rest will ya.

Nothing will be alright until we hear "alllllrrrriiiiggghhhtttt Miami" again. Get well soon Mad Dog. All of South Florida misses you. You can beat this and be better than new!

We Love You Jim! I will be praying for you. Can't wait to hear you this fall!

NJ - I posted my get well wishes. This is still a football blog, so why can't we talk football after paying our respect? I am not being disrespectful at all...

NJ - Are you the one that assigned this an "open get well card"?? I didn't see anywhere in the great article Armando wrote where we were not allowed to post or talk about football??


Kevin, since it is clear you never have listen to the Dolphin broadcast that included Jim, He always referred to a Heineken Beer as a "Green Lizard". It is just another memorable part of his huge personality. I tell you this only because it saddens me that you would bother to even comment on this subject at all, since it is overwhelmingly clear you have no clue who or what Jim is all about. One day you will learn life transgresses your ability to "Google It" and becomes a very real thing you can taste and touch. I feel extremely sorry for you Kevin. And as many times as I have disagreed with what Armando has written, and some times even embarrassed myself doing it, to accuse him of insincerity here shows an inability to understand the human condition. I wish you life and love Kevin, but am certain you will Google its meaning as it sails past you. Once again, Armando, Thank you for this piece, and what you have taught me about myself in the past couple of days. I will not forget it.

Get Well Jim!!

A positive attitude goes a long way. We are all here for support. You will be in our prayers tonight.

Thanks for everything!

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