In 1984, Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula received a message that quarterback Dan Marino was not going to make it to practice during training camp, despite Marino sitting in the room. David Hyde tells us about that story, and several other lightheated moments in Dolphins training camp history.
The Miami Dolphins open their 2012 training camp this week, with the team reporting on Thursday. But, throughout the 46 years of Dolphins football, training camp has had moments of levity sprinkled throughout the sweat, blood, and tears. David Hyde from the South Florida Sun Sentinel broke down several of those lighthearted, or simply strange, training camp moments over the weekend.
Hyde starts off his article retelling a 1984 training camp moment, when then head coach Don Shula's assistant Anne Rodriguez answered the coach's phone. The voice on the other side identified himself as quarterback Dan Marino, and explained that he would not be able to make it to the practice that day. Rodrigues immediately headed down the hall to tell Coach Shula, who was in a meeting, that Marino would miss the day. Hearing the news, Shula turned to Marino, who was sitting in the meeting and simply shrugged.
The Dolphins ultimately found the impersonator at an area Krispy Kreme donut, and told him he either stopped the charade, or the team would file charges.
Another story from Hyde's article involved two Hall of Famers. In 1974, center Jim Langer headed headed out to practice in his gym shorts, not knowing someone had sliced open the crotch of the shorts. When the team lined up to practice, quarterback Bob Griese received a surprise as he lined up under Langer to get the first snap of practice.
Hyde also tells a 1997 Jimmy Johnson story, where, instead of giving punter Rob Deignan the "Coach wants to see you in his office, and bring you playbook," typical treatment when getting cut, Johnson simply walked up to the punter during the middle of practice, and cut him on the spot.
But, Johnson also had the exact opposite moment as well. In 1996, Hyde retells, Coach Johnson opened a training camp meeting by pointing to the "too small," undrafted Larry Izzo and stating, "'Larry, let me be the first to tell you, you're the first guy to make the team,'' he said. 'Well, you and Dan Marino.'"
Make sure you read all of Hyde's article. You can find out who Nick Saban made cry on the field, how an alligator ended up in Shula's shower, why a player would fake an injury in order to be placed on injured reserve, what Hall of Famer was "injured" in training camp by allergies, and how the FBI ended up investogating a player's absence from a training camp practice.