As most of you regulars here at FN have probably already figured out, I am a huge Dan Marino fan. I love Dan Marino in a way that can only be described by some in the medical field as "obsessive," or as my girl would put it, "creepy." When old men talk about their childhood heroes like a Micky Mantle or a Joe DiMaggio or a Jim Brown with awe and reverence, that's me years from now rambling to my grandkids about Marino as they pretend to listen and care, while they take all the loose change from my pants and false teeth from my night table because they think it's so hilarious. Damn little punks!
Marino is my hero. He defined my childhood. I grew up playing sandlot football on Saturday afternoons, imagining I was him and watched him work his magic on Sundays while crying every single time his teammates failed to help him get to and win a Super Bowl. Every time I met with a challenge in life, I imagined how Marino would handle it, and it would get me through. The man was simply amazing. And simply the best. (See? Creepy)
So when his TD record falls to Brett Favre this Sunday, I might just weep. Because Marino deserves better. But such is life. Anyway, I pass you along to this outstanding piece by ESPN's Len Pasquerelli -- a man I usually abhor because, most of the time, he comes across as a pompous know-it-all dick. But today's piece just won him some Dude points. Which isn't a gay thing or anything. It's just my way of saying, "Maybe you're not so bad, you fat self-important bastard. Maybe you're just awright with me."
"...In Favre, there was the same self-assuredness I had witnessed in Marino from his days at St. Regis to Pittsburgh's Central Catholic High School (my beloved prep alma mater) to the University of Pittsburgh, then to the Dolphins. Favre and Marino shared the kind of inherent moxie that, combined with their talent, eventually allowed them to assault the NFL record book.
Both were, obviously, leaders. And on the football field, they were risk-takers, throwbacks to a time before dink-and-dunk passing paradigms. They were strong-armed quarterbacks for whom the term "West Coast offense" meant that, well, you could just about heave the ball from one coast to the other."