Former UM, Dolphins stars bid farewell to Orange Bowl with flag football game
MIAMI -- Dan Marino and Don Shula -- regarded as Miami Dolphins royalty -- were there.
So were the five quarterbacks who won national championships at the University of Miami.
Even Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, who never played in the Orange Bowl, came out to say goodbye to the soon-to-be-demolished stadium and play in a flag football game between former Dolphins and UM players.
"I respect everything the Dolphins and Hurricanes accomplished here," said Taylor, who was the only current Dolphins player on the field Saturday. "But the real reason I'm here is to catch a pass from Dan Marino."
About 15,000 fans -- most wearing Dolphins shirts -- watched Taylor reach that goal in the Orange Bowl's final event. The Miami alumni beat the former Dolphins, 65-51, in a game rich in comedy and nostalgia.
Marino showed he still has a rocket arm. He completed his first six passes -- all of them right on target.
Howard Schnellenberger, who led Miami to its first national championship, sported a dapper dark suit and red tie. Former Hurricane Devin Hester, now a Pro Bowl kick returner for the Chicago Bears, showed up wearing a St. Louis Cardinals cap. He did not play in the game, but said he wanted to support the Canes.
Former Dolphins defensive lineman Kim Bokamper teased former Hurricanes running back Melvin Bratton, who appeared to be heavier than his playing weight, and former Dolphins tight end Joe Rose got in some shots, too.
"I haven't been impressed with the Canes," Rose said in the first half. "This is one of the weakest teams I've ever seen from The U."
Countered wide receiver Lamar Thomas: "Joe is still upset that UM never recruited him."
Thomas played for both the University of Miami and the Dolphins.
Former Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper ran a couple plays and then sat out the rest of the game with a back injury.
"I guarantee you," Rose said, "Duper has not run in 20 years."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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