New York Jets Most Wanted: Top 20 villains in team history – Part 3 (5-1)

Darth Vader. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)
Darth Vader. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney) /
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New York Jets
Dan Marino, Don Shula, Miami Dolphins. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

4. Dan Marino

In many ways, when Dan Marino graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983, the young quarterback resembled Jets legend Joe Namath. They were both came from the football rich blue-collar area of Western Pennsylvania. Like his predecessor, Marino was a tall pocket passer with a rifle arm, lightning-fast release, and not afraid to take a chance downfield. Also, like his predecessor, he was bold, cocky, and liked the nightlife.

For New York Jets Head Coach and de facto General Manager Joe Walton, Marino’s brash personality off the field outweighed his ability on it. Instead of drafting the Pitt star 23rd overall in 1983, Walton opted for Ken O’Brien from Division II California-Davis. It was a slight that Marino never forgot.

The Gunslinger threw more touchdown passes (72) and yards (8651) versus the Jets than any other opponent. Although he put up big numbers, Gang Green always fought hard against him. In 16 NFL seasons, Big Dan had a 17–13 record when facing NYJ.

The biggest insult Marino perpetrated against the New York Jets was the famous (or infamous, depending on which side of the fence someone is on) “Fake Spike” that happened on November 27, 1994. Trailing 24–21 in the fourth quarter, Marino drove the Dolphins down the field. He completed a pass to Mark Ingram at the Jets’ eight yard-line right on the hash mark.

As he walked to the line of scrimmage, Marin looked like he was making a hand gesture to spike the ball and stop the clock. He took the snap, made like he was going to spike it for a half-second, then threw a touchdown pass to Ingram with 22 seconds left to win the game. The Jets got caught sleeping and lost the game.