Dolphins honor Jim Mandich at memorial
MIAMI -- Jim Mandich will be inducted into the Miami Dolphins' honor roll, the team announced Wednesday at the end of a two-hour program paying tribute to the longtime broadcaster and former player who died last week at age 62.
A crowd of about 2,500 at the Dolphins' stadium included five Pro Football Hall of Famers, among them Don Shula, who was Mandich's coach from 1970 to 1977.
Shula announced that Mandich will become the 22nd member of the honor roll as a special contributor. Mandich was a tight end for the Dolphins when they achieved the NFL's only perfect season in 1972, and he helped them repeat as Super Bowl champions the following year.
Mandich later became a popular radio announcer for the team.
"He never did anything halfway," Shula said. "That's what made him so successful and special. He became one of the most recognizable figures in South Florida sports."
Besides working as a color commentator at games for most of the past 20 seasons, Mandich hosted a radio call-in show and luncheons for the Dolphins Touchdown Club. Shula was a frequent interview guest.
"You never knew what questions were going to be asked," Shula said with a chuckle. "But you knew the audience was going to love them."
Joe Rose, another former Miami tight end, was Mandich's partner on game broadcasts.
"His great ability was to critique a football game and make you laugh," Rose said. "He owned the booth."
Mandich was diagnosed with bile-duct cancer in early 2010 but didn't miss a game last year, even though he was on a feeding tube at the end of the season.
"Nobody loved the Miami Dolphins more than Jim," team CEO Mike Dee said.
Also attending the event were Hall of Famers Bob Griese, Nick Buoniconti, Dwight Stephenson and Larry Little. At the close of the program, Rose led the crowd in chants of Mandich's signature call as a broadcaster: "All right, Miami!"
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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