Dan Marino is on the short list of the greatest players never to win a championship, and he’s just fine with that.
Appearing at a Pro Football Hall of Fame function on Friday, Marino was asked whether he would trade the gold jacket that comes with Hall of Fame induction for a Super Bowl ring. Marino’s one-word answer: “No.”
Enshrinement in Canton represents the greatest individual achievement a pro football player can aspire to, and Marino isn’t just in Canton, but he’s even among the elite in the Hall of Fame, an easy choice as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
And yet a Super Bowl ring is what every player is playing for every year, and although this is probably unfair, virtually every story about Marino’s career mentions the absence of a ring.
Marino’s comments are reminiscent of a story from a couple years ago, when LaDainian Tomlinson said he’d take the Hall of Fame over a Super Bowl ring, while Tedy Bruschi shot back that a ring is the greater accomplishment. Tomlinson, of course, never got a ring but will likely get to the Hall of Fame, while Bruschi isn’t going to Canton but does have three Super Bowl rings.
Marino’s comments may be an accurate representation of the status of enshrinement in Canton as the greatest achievement for a football player. Or they may just be an attempt to look on the bright side on the one count where Marino’s career fell short.