Don Shula bowed down to no one

There is a quote from Don Shula that may help you understand the man: “You ever talk to me like that again, I’ll kick your ass.” What makes it interesting is that Shula did not say it to a player or a reporter. He said it to his boss: Dolphins owner Joe Robbie.

Shula died Monday morning, at age 90, after a long, rich, life and a career unlike any in NFL history. He got his first NFL head-coaching job when John F. Kennedy was president and retired late in Bill Clinton’s first term. The world and the game changed drastically during those 33 years, yet neither passed Shula by. You can think of him as a my-way-or-the-highway whose way was almost always the right way. People around him saw that and generally respected it, even when they didn’t like it. Shula said what he meant, meant what he said, and carried the kind of genuine authority that is so rare in life. And he knew it.

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