The Loop

This story of Don Shula handling a curfew issue with his players is absolutely legendary

On Monday, legendary Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula passed away at the age of 90. The sad news was a reminder that, at least for a late 20s sports fan like me, we probably don't give Shula the full respect he deserves as the winningest coach in NFL history. Because of rings-above-all culture, Bill Belichick and his six championships (for now) will likely go down as the greatest to ever do it. But Shula should at least be in the conversation, and he should definitely be on the Mount Rushmore of leaders of men.

This story, told by ESPN's Jeff Darlington, only further cements Shula's greatness as a coach. Prior to working for ESPN, Darlington covered the Dolphins for the Miami Herald for six seasons. During that time he developed a close personal relationship with Shula. The day before Shula's 80th birthday, the coach invited Darlington over and ended up telling him "story after story," as Darlington puts it. Darlington relayed his favorite one to SportsCenter anchors Jay Harris and Hannah Storm on Monday, and it's well worth the watch:

Pretty brilliant. Also pretty diabolical. In other words, standard behavior from an all-time great coach. Anytime a sports figure like Shula passes, everybody has a story to tell about them, adding to the legend. Here's hoping we're treated to everyone's best Shula story over the next few weeks.