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Special Event

Dan Marino Announces Retirement

Aired March 13, 2000 - 10:08 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take you live right now to South Florida, where Miami Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino is announcing his retirement after 17 years in the NFL.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

DAN MARINO, MIAMI DOLPHINS: ... this was an extremely difficult decision. But I know that I have made the right decision for me and my family. I'm very proud of the success that we have had as a team for 17 years, as well as all my individual accomplishments.

Not many people have the opportunity to spend 17 years of their life doing what they truly love to do, and I stand here before you today, I can say that I have been blessed with a career greater than I could have ever ever imagined.

I am extremely proud of the fact that I was able to play 17 years for the Miami Dolphins. And I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss everything about it. I'm going to miss the relationships with the players, I'm going to miss the fans, I'm going to miss the great friends that I have made over this time, I am going to miss all the good times that we've had together. But most of all, I'm going to miss Sunday afternoons.

There are not many situations in life that can compare to the emotions, the competition, and the preparation that go into a football game. And it is a great game.

I've been blessed over the years to have great family and support from them, and today they are here, my mother and dad are here. I want to thank them for everything over the years, the support that they have given me, and it's special because, through my whole career and ever since I've been a little boy they've been able to watch every game that I've played. There is not many guys that can say that.

To my dad. He's the best coach I've ever had. Thank you, both.

To my wife, Claire. We've been through this 16 years together. We've had a lot of ups and downs, but we've accomplished a lot of things, you have always been by my side, you are an incredible mother and you're my best friend. Thanks.

And we have five fabulous children, Michael, Dan-oh, Joey -- Joey is just smiling, this is not easy Joe! (LAUGHTER)

Alley and Nicky. Guys, I was always hopeful that I would play long enough for them to see me play the game that I love, and they were able to do that, and I hope that they always have fabulous memories of me being a Miami Dolphin. Thanks, guys.

There are so many people that I would like to thank. Starting with the Robby family. I want to thank the late Joe Robby and his son Tim for giving me the opportunity to play here.

And a special thanks to the Huizenga family, Wayne and Marty, you have always been very supportive and it was an honor to have been a part of your football team. But most importantly, I want to thank you for your friendship.

And I am honored that Coach Shula is here today. Coach, not only have you been a tremendous impact on my career, but you have taught me how to be a true professional, and I am very proud of the fact that we were able to win more games than any other coach-quarterback combination in the history of football.

Thank all the coaches that I've worked with over the years, and all the great players. To the Dolphins' staff, the people that are in the building here that you see each and every day, to our team president, Eddie Jones, thank you.

To the guys that work and help the players and what they're doing, each and every day, the equipment staff, Tony Equas (ph), Charlie, Joe, guys that are important to the players, the guy that's not here anymore, Bobby Monica (ph), he's a friend, the trainer, take care of me, get me in shape, try to make me the player that I am. Ryan Vermelian (ph), Choy Moer (ph), Brad Role (ph) is here, and John Gamble (ph), thank you.

And the public relations staff, Harvey Green (ph), he has been great, 11 years I've worked with Harvey. Fudge Brown (ph) and community relations, thank you, Fudge.

There's one person that is kind of unique. Our video man, Dave Hack (ph). He is the only person who has seen every touchdown pass that I have ever thrown. I thought that was kind of neat.

I played with so many different players over the years, thrown touchdown passes to 51 different players. But there are some special players in my career that I would like to acknowledge.

When I started out here with the Miami Dolphins, I had a great group of receivers, Mark Duper, Mark Clayton, Nat Moore, Jim Jenson, Jimmy Cephalow (ph). But there will always be a special place in my heart for Duper and Clayton. They caught more touchdown passes than anybody that I have ever played with. And as they have always said, they made me look good, they made me a star.

Don Strock, thanks for helping me when I was a young quarterback. Thanks to Dwight Stevenson, who is the most incredible leader on the field, he's a Hall of Fame player, as well as a Hall of Fame person. Thank you, Dwight.

More recently, to Richmond Webb ,who was on my left side and taking care of me for so many years. And to probably the toughest player I ever played with, O.J. McDuffy. Thanks to all of you guys, you know, you made life easy for me.

Some special friends that are here, Marvin Demoff (ph), we have been through a lot this past month. I want to thank Marvin for coming from Los Angeles. Another person, Ralph Stringer (ph), who has helped me a lot in my community work here. I want to thank him.

I want to thank the members on the media for covering me throughout my career and supporting a lot of things that I do charitablewise. I have some close friends that have done a lot of work with me and I appreciate that.

And finally, to the Dolphin fans. It has been an honor to play here in front of great and supportive fans. Together, we have shared many memories. I feel that I have always had a special relationship with Dolphin fans everywhere. I thank you for being behind me throughout my career. I hope you have enjoyed these 17 years as much as I have.

I want to thank everybody in organization, all the players I've ever played with and for my family and for the media coming out here today. It's been great, thank you very much.

Well, Danny, I know that I speak for all your fans when I say that we will miss you on the field. And to put it simply, Danny, nobody did it better than you.

WAYNE HUIZENGA, OWNER, MIAMI DOLPHINS: You are the greatest quarterback ever, holding countless records, including over 61,000 yards passing, which is about 34 miles, or approximately the distance from here to Palm Beach. And your 420 touchdown passes is a record that will probably never be broken. And I know that's the one that you're the most proud of because it directly correlates to putting points on the board and winning.

But records alone don't fully measure your contributions that you have played more games as a Dolphin than anyone in team history. And your dependability and your durability guaranteed that your teammates could and would count on you each and every week. You were a team leader, and one of the toughest competitors the game has ever known. Your only concern was winning. And everything else, records and personal statistics, didn't matter.

I remember after a loss, I walked in the locker room and said to you, "Danny, you played a great game." And you said, "It doesn't matter, we didn't win."

Well, it's no wonder that your teammates looked up to you for leadership. And while it's hard to hear that you are retiring, it only seems proper that you are doing so as a Dolphin. You spent your entire career here, and I can't think of any athlete who is more identifiable with his team and his community than you.

KAGAN: We've been listening to Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, as he says good-bye to Dan Marino. The future hall of famer quarterback announces his retirement today. Seventeen years in the NFL, he leaves without that coveted Super Bowl championship ring, and yet he also leaves with NFL career marks in touchdowns, yardage and completions. The Dolphins made it clear that he wouldn't be guaranteed a starting job to start the new season. He did have an offer from the Minnesota Vikings, but Dan Marino deciding before the draft gets underway that he has had enough and that he will call it a career, saying it has been a very blessed and great career.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of folks were wondering whether or not he would take the Vikings offer, but we have seen so many stars sort of fizzle and fade in their careers when they put on a different uniform and different colors, and it doesn't seem quite right. And for Marino, obviously, it wasn't the right decision for him.

We thought we might get a jersey retirement in that thing. Hasn't happened yet. We will let you know, though, if that, indeed, is the case yet. Dan Marino, after 17 years in Miami, is done.

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