Dan the Man

MIAMI, November 7 — Even though he’s been retired for six years, Dan Marino is still the man in Miami. That’s because the 2005 NFL Hall of Fame inductee has continued to win the hearts of South Floridians with his humility and charity.

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 NFL’s 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 NFL’s 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 game’s 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 I’m actually here with my mother, my dad, my family, my teammates and friends, being inducted into the Hall of Fame, it’s overwhelming and an incredible honor.

“It’s also an honor to be up here with so many great Hall of Famers,” he continued. “It’s humbling and I’m proud to be part of this special club.”

These days, Marino is still close to the NFL gridiron. But instead analyzing the X’s and O’s from the pocket, he’s doing it from the safe confines of a television studio.

Following his retirement after the 1999 season, Marino became co-host for HBO’s Inside the NFL. In February 2002, he joined CBS Sports as a studio analyst for the CBS’s 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 children’s 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 I’ve 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 I’ve made, the people I’ve worked with, the teammates I’ve lined up beside and the opponents that I’ve competed against. But friends and family, that’s what I cherish most.”