for the Miami Dolphins
from 1983-1999, established numerous career
and single-season passing
After a solid college career at University of Pittsburgh, Marino (DOB: 9/15/1961) was drafted 27th overall (and was the sixth quarterback chosen) in the 1983 NFL Draft (behind such unremarkable quarterbacks as Todd Blackledge and Tony Eason) by the Dolphins.
He proceeded to prove all the teams that passed on him wrong, being named Rookie of the Year and becoming the first rookie quarterback to start in the Pro Bowl.
1984 was even better, as Marino had one of the best seasons EVER by a quarterback. He set single-season records in completions (362), yards (5,084), and touchdowns (48) (both the yards and touchdown marks have not been broken since). Marino also led the Dolphins to Super Bowl XIX where Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers destroyed Marino's Dolphins 38-16. Marino would play for another 15 years, but would never make it back to the Super Bowl.
While he didn't have postseason success, in the regular season he went on to rewrite the NFL record books with his prolific passing. His 61,361 career passing yards are close to 10,000 more than 2nd place John Elway. His 4,967 completions and 420 passing touchdowns are also NFL records.
Marino's decline lasted most of the late '90s, but accelerated in 1999, when he threw more interceptions than touchdowns (17 to 12) for the only time in his career.
On March 13, 2000, Marino announced his retirement from football. Rumors persisted through the summer of 2000 that Marino would return to play for any of several teams, especially the Minnesota Vikings. However, Marino remained retired and will surely be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
His legacy will be as one of the most prolific passers in NFL history. However, he was never able to get a Super Bowl ring, mostly due to Miami's weak defense throughout his career.
In 1999, ESPN's SportsCentury named Marino #75 on their list of the greatest North American athletes of the 20th century.