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Dolphins to honor Jim Mandich on draft day

The flags at Sun Life Stadium flew at half staff today.


The sign of respect and mourning was for Jim Mandich, the former tight end on the 1972 perfect team who passed on Tuesday night. Jim, 62, passed after a 14-month battle with cancer. The local radio show host and color analyst on Dolphins game broadcasts the past couple of decades was an icon in South Florida.

His signature, "Alllllrrriiightttt, Miami!" is a part of team lore now.

Jim was undoubtedly the team voice. And that voice is silent now. He cannot be replaced.

The Dolphins will do all they can to commemorate Jim's life on Thursday, Friday and Saturday even as they celebrate the addition of new players at their draft parties at the stadium and other venues. It's fiting. Jim lived hard and died young. And the Dolphins will, in part, be celebrating that zest for life.

The club will straddle the line between celebration and mourning at that draft party. I trust it will be just fine because Jim always approved of having a good time.  

Tomorrow night, I am expecting general manager Jeff Ireland to pause before he begins talking about the team's newest player acquisition -- the first round draft selection -- and talk first about Jim. It is just another deserving sign of respect that will neither suffice nor be the last thing the Dolphins do to remember Jim.

Much respect, Jim. Rest in peace. Hope I see you again someday.