Dan the Man
During a special halftime ceremony, the HEAT presented Marino with a special Miami HEAT jersey, made a $25,000 donation to The Dan Marino Foundation and aired a Marino tribute video on HEATV.
With a golden arm and lightning-quick release, the 6-foot-4 Marino became an instant NFL sensation. He became the only rookie quarterback to ever start the Pro Bowl, en route to leading the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in 1984. In just his second season, Marino was named the NFLs Most Valuable Player.
At the conclusion of his 17-year career, the nine-time Pro Bowler left as the most prolific passer in NFL history. In addition to holding 25 regular season records, Marino is also the NFLs all-time leader in touchdown passes (420), yardage (61,367), completions (4,967) and attempts (8,358).
On Aug. 7, 2005, Marino who was selected 27th overall by the Dolphins in the 1983 NFL Draft once again found glory, as he joined the games other immortals in the NFL Hall of Fame.
I started playing football when I was 10-years old, Marino said. That year my father and I took a short drive to a very special place, a 90-minute drive from Pittsburgh to Canton, Ohio, where I spent the day with him at the Hall of Fame. To think now that 33 years later Im actually here with my mother, my dad, my family, my teammates and friends, being inducted into the Hall of Fame, its overwhelming and an incredible honor.
Its also an honor to be up here with so many great Hall of Famers, he continued. Its humbling and Im proud to be part of this special club.
These days, Marino is still close to the NFL gridiron. But instead analyzing the Xs and Os from the pocket, hes doing it from the safe confines of a television studio.
Following his retirement after the 1999 season, Marino became co-host for HBOs Inside the NFL. In February 2002, he joined CBS Sports as a studio analyst for the CBSs NFL pre-game show, The NFL Today.
Even though Marino will forever be remembered for his achievements on the field, South Floridians will always remember him for his philanthropic work on behalf of children with developmental disabilities.
In March 1992, Dan and his wife, Claire, established The Dan Marino Foundation to raise money for various childrens charities in South Florida. The Dan Marino Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting programs, which provide integrated intervention services for children with special needs medical, emotional and behavioral.
With the mission statement of, To support integrated treatment programs for children with chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities, so they can lead healthier and happier lives, The Dan Marino Foundation funds over $1 million annually to support medical treatments, program services and research for children with chronic illnesses.
Looking back on my career Ive accomplished many things, he said. But what I cherish more than any record that I hold, any fourth-quarter comeback, any win that I was involved in, (are) the relationships that Ive made, the people Ive worked with, the teammates Ive lined up beside and the opponents that Ive competed against. But friends and family, thats what I cherish most.