Name the best player in Miami Dolphins history. I would say I will wait, but you probably had the answer before finishing the first sentence. It is Dan Marino. Period. End of discussion. You see, Dan Marino is the Miami Dolphins. Even without ever winning a Super Bowl - and this franchise is the only one to ever have a Perfect Season, so that tells you something about the greatness that was Marino.
Dan Marino is the Dolphins. And 13 is Dan Marino. (Sorry Jake Scott.)
Who is the only player with a statue outside Hard Rock Stadium? Dan Marino.
Which player retired with over 40 NFL passing records, including most passing yards in a season, most passing yards in a career, most passing attempts in a career, most touchdown passes in a career, and most touchdown passes in a season - all while playing in an era when receivers could be mugged and there were no where near as many rules protecting quarterbacks? Dan Marino.
Yes, the Dolphins drafted a quarterback that has excited the fan base. Yes, Tua Tagovailoa brings hope that the mediocrity since Marino retired can finally end. Yes, Tagovailoa wore number 13 at Alabama.
He should not be wearing it in Miami.
We have all seen edited photos of Tagovailoa in an aqua number 13 jersey. That should be the end of ever seeing Tagovailoa - or anyone - wear the number 13 for the Dolphins.
Why retire a number if a high-profile prospect can come in and wear it?
Remember when the fan base near-revolted seeing players wearing 99 and 54 shortly after Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas? Yeah, those numbers are not even retired and yet no one wears them.
Maybe Marino would consider allowing Tagovailoa to wear his number. It does not make it right, though. That number is properly retired. There are plenty of numbers for a rookie to select and make his own.
Even Tagovailoa knows it. “For me, I’m not too worried about what number I have,” he said after being selected by Miami. “I understand number 13 is retired and it should be. Dan Marino, he – he’s the GOAT. He’s like the mayor out there, and I have much respect for him. Whatever number I’m given by that organization, if it’s 78 or 99 – I’ll wear it. It doesn’t matter.”
The number 13 is Dan Marino. Dan Marino is the Dolphins.