It’s been 10 years since Miami last hosted the Super Bowl, and more than 20 years since Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino last threw a football at a professional level. One of the greatest to ever play the game, it’s no wonder why the 58-year-old still draws a huge crowd no matter where he travels.
This week, Marino is in the city he called home for the entirety of his career, helping sportswear brand ‘47 celebrate the league’s 100th anniversary with a special line of 90s-inspired Super Bowl hats by Zubaz. It’s almost full circle for Marino, since he was one of the original Zubaz spokespeople during his storied career.
Yahoo Sports caught up with the Pittsburgh native in South Beach and picked his brain on all things Miami, Patrick Mahomes and got his prediction ahead of Sunday’s big game.
Yahoo Sports: It’s been 10 years since the Super Bowl last came to Miami. What are the major changes you’ve observed just this week?
Dan Marino: So, the first thing is (Hard Rock Stadium). The stadium is unbelievable. They made it more intimate with the roof. Stephen Ross (developer) and Tom Garfinkel (Dolphins president and CEO) did an incredible job of overseeing the construction of it from start to finish. South Beach, South Florida, the weather is good, the parties are fun. Miami is a great city and that’s mainly thanks to the beautiful beaches and the diverse culture.
YS: Since Patrick Mahomes emerged as a rising star, many people have drawn comparisons between you and him. What do you think is the reason?
DM: Well, I think it’s because I was very young and he is very young. Also the style of throwing the football the way he does and some of this throws are reminiscent of mine when I was his age. He’s been an amazing player and I’m very impressed with how he plays the game. So, I am very excited to see how he performs Sunday.
YS: With that being said, let’s hear your prediction.
DM: I think the Chiefs are going to win, though it will be a close game. But, I’m giving it to the Chiefs. What Mahomes did when they were down 24 points in the playoffs game was remarkable. Of course, it’s not just him, it’s the team. But to come back and win that game the way that they did was pretty amazing.
YS: You recently said that had the rules been different, you would have thrown for 6,000 yards and 60 touchdowns. What were you specifically referring to and has that made the league safer and more fun to watch?
DM: So, first of all, I was joking when I said that jokingly because I didn’t have to prove it anymore because I’m not longer playing. But, the rules have changed and to be honest I do think I would be able to put up big numbers. Guys are doing that and I respect what they’re doing.
The rules have changed from the standpoint that you can’t really hit the quarterback the way you could years ago and as far as pass interference is concerned, posting up on the line of scrimmage, using your hands as a defensive back, it’s easer to move up the middle and all those things are a part of that. So, it is easier to throw the football now than it was years ago. But, these guys are putting up great numbers and are awesome players so I have nothing but respect for them.
YS: You worked with ‘47 in your playing days and to help launch these 90s-inspired designs where you spent the entirety of your NFL career. Does it feel full circle?
DM: I was one of the first guys in the league to rep Zubaz way back in the day so you’re absolutely right. I’m excited about what they’re doing and they’ve got a great footprint here this week so I’m happy to be here. They’re great people, too.
You can shop this hat and the rest of Zubaz’s 90’s collection here. From Friday until Sunday, you can save 20% off ‘47 hats by entering the code YAHOOSB54 at checkout.