Just before the 2010 Pro Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, Miami Dolphins officials put a signature touch on their new 35,000 square feet of office space on the east side of the stadium, unveiling a statue of Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history.
The statue depicts Shula being carried on the shoulders of Nick Buoniconti and Al Jenkins after the Dolphins won the Super Bowl in 1973 completing the team’s -- and the NFL’s only -- perfect season. “Perfect Moment in Time” is printed on the statue.
The statue unveiling came less than a month after Shula celebrated his 80th birthday and was attended by a who’s who of Dolphins greats, team owner Steve Ross, coach Tony Sparano and general manager Jeff Ireland, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and local and state politicians, including Gov. Charlie Crist.
Dolphins CEO Mike Dee didn’t miss an opportunity to remind Goodell – and everyone else in attendance – of South Florida’s record-setting 10 times hosting the Super Bowl – “more than any other city in America.” Jimmy Cefalo added “We’re fortunate to have the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl and we hope many, many more in the future.”
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Shula’s ceremony came complete with Bob Griese and Shula teasing each other – “I look over at Bob Griese and think ‘I was a hell of a coach to win with talent like that,’” Shula said.
Hall of Famer Dan Marino showed up late for the ceremony to which Jimmy Cefalo said, “Shula just fined No. 13.”
Kidding aside, Shula said he was humbled. The NFL announced the creation of “The Coach Shula Award” to honor an NFL coach each season who displays excellence, integrity and achievement.
And then the Dolphins gave their new offices a new address: 347 Don Shula Drive – in honor of Shula’s 347 wins. That’s the address for the team’s offices. Don’t worry, Marino fans: the stadium’s address remains 2269 Dan Marino Blvd.