He’s the only coach in football history to lead his team to a perfect season record.  On top of that, he’s football’s most winningest coach ever, winning an NFL-record 347 games.  On Monday Don Shula of the Miami Dolphins passed away “peacefully in his sleep,” and he was 90 years of age.  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement, “Don Shula will always be remembered as one of the greatest coaches and contributors in the history of our game. He made an extraordinarily positive impact on so many lives.”

Shula was an extraordinary and rare #5 FEIR NFL coach who was passionate in everything he did (in typical #5 fashion).  When one thinks of the hawk-eyed Empirical Inanimate glare, Shula stood as a prime example.  “He looked the part, thanks to a jutting jaw and glare that would intimidate 150-pound sports writers and 300-pound linemen alike,” writes one journalist quite accurately.  Mind, Shula wasn’t a mean individual, but he was tough, and he was certainly intense.  He once said of himself, “I’m not going to worry about the critics until some of my peers start saying I’m a softie.”

Shula, like all #5s, had great spatial vision, which made him a successful coach, and he knew talent when he saw it.  Shula once said of fellow FEIR Peyton Manning during the height of Peyton’s career, “Peyton Manning is doing things that I think no other quarterback in the history of the league has done at the line of scrimmage.”  And, like most #5s, he loved to learn in order to get the extra edge on his opponents.  “I never felt I knew it all. I always felt there’s something new to learn, something new to do.”  Yet, he was honest as he was competitive, saying, “If I’m remembered for anything, I hope it’s for playing within the rules.   I also hope it will be said that my teams showed class and dignity in victory or defeat.”

Maybe Bill Belichick (#15 FCIL) should take a few notes?

Written by: Staff
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