Dan's big day

Dan Marino was the last speaker Sunday afternoon at the 2005 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and the greatest player in Dolphins history scored yet another touchdown.

In front of a Canton crowd flooded with Dolphins fans from everywhere, Marino delivered an inspiring speech before closing things out with a great touch: A long completion to former teammate Mark Clayton after he licked his fingers, asked for a football and told Clayton to go deep.

When Clayton caught the pass, the crowd went nuts.

Here are some of the highlights from Marino's speech:

After his son, Daniel, completed his introduction speech: "I'm so proud of you, son. Thank you so much. He literally wouldn't let (wife) Claire or I know what he was going to say. Thank you, son. I'm very proud."

About the largest number of Dolphins fans in attendance: "Last January when I was elected to the Hall of Fame, I challenged all Dolphins fans to overrun Canton and, you know what, we've taken it over. Thank you."

On joining the Hall of Fame: "It's humbling and I'm proud to be part of this special club, guys."

On the 1983 draft: "I will say it was an interesting day. I've always been asked the question, did it bother me that 26 teams passed on me in the first round? And I've always answered no. Well, I lied. Today I want to thank those 26 teams for passing on me. You gave me an opportunity to play for one of the geatest franchises in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins and be coached by the greatest coach ever, Don Shula."

On Coach Don Shula: "Coach, other than my father, you're the most significant influence on my career. You pushed me and you demanded my best. Coach, you were always a true pro and I want to thank you for the example you set for me on the field, but also in the community. We didn't win a Super Bowl together, and that's something I'll always regret, not knowing what that feels like. But you and I have won more games than any other quarterback-coach combination in the history of the NFL. That's something I'm very proud of."

On his first NFL start: "I remember my first start, going back to 1983. It was against Buffalo and I was a rookie. To be honest, I was a little nervous. And as I stood on the sidelines, I remember a veteran, a veteran safety coming up to me, Lyle Blackwood, he came up to me with a serious look and he shook my hand and said, Dan, good luck today. And I don't want you to feel any pressure. But remember one thing, if you play bad, we'll lose. Now that's pressure on a rookie."

On Mark Duper and Mark Clayton: "In 1984 we set a standard throwing the football that teams still are trying to match today and the one thing I remember most about Duper and Clayton was their competitive spirit and attitude that they were the best. Every time they would come back to the huddle they would always insist that they were open and that they always wanted the ball. And they constantly reminded me that THEY were making me a star. Thank you, guys. Hopefully, I'll see you here someday because you guys deserve it."

On his parents: "To my mother and dad, we've come a long way from Parkview Avenue. ... I can tell you that a son couldn't ask for better parents."

On his father: "You're my hero, dad. You're my role model. You're the best coach I've ever had. You taught me how to throw a football. You taught me about hard work and how to be positive."

On his family: "To Claire and the kids, you guys are my true Hall of Famers. You guys are my whole life. You mean everything to me."

Finally, on what he misses most about the NFL: "What I miss most, for 17 years running out of the tunnel knowing I was the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins and playing in front of the greatest fans in the world, that's what I miss most."


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