Dan Marino's Final Game Slidehow

Dan Marino's Final Game - Images by Brian Cleary

As Drew Brees’ phenomenal 2011 NFL season continued last night and he surpassed Dan Marino
s long-standing single season passing yardage mark, my thoughts drifted back to that January day in 2000 when Dan Marino played his final NFL game.

As a lifelong Miami Dolphins fan, I was excited by the chance to once again photograph my hero, Marino, in action as the first round of the playoffs brought the Dolphins into Jacksonville to meet the Jaguars.

Of course, the game began with high hopes as I envisioned the aging star once again making the throws of his youth and rallying the Dolphins up and down the field and into the next round of the playoffs. Little did anyone realize that this would be the final day of Dan Marino’s brilliant career.

From the opening kickoff things went badly, as the Dolphins could do nothing right and the Jags could do no wrong. Marino repeatedly asked his aging arm to make the throws that it used to make, but was no longer able to.

By the second half marino had been pulled from the game and his own eventual replacement in Miami, Jay Fielder was at the helm for the Jaguars. By the end of the sad game, the Jags had opened up a 62-7 lead and the Dolphins were out of the playoffs.

The fallout from this lopsided defeat included both Dan Marino’s and coach Jimmy Johnson’s retirements as well as the deal that brought QB Fiedler to the Dolphins. As we all know, thigs have not been the same in Miami since.

However, Brees’ spectacular 2011 season has at least given Dolphans another chance to reflect of the career of the great Dan Marino!

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Slideshows.bcpix.com is the Slideshow blog of Florida-based freelance photographer Brian Cleary and features selected collections of images from his online photo archive which contains more than 30 years of photography, both editorial stock and royalty-free stock photography and is housed at www.bcpix.com.