They were all suited up and ready to play. They even had their cleats on, did Dan Marino, Mark Duper, Nat Moore and Keith Byars.
Of course, the cleats those ex-Dolphins had on were their golfing cleats, as they prepared to tee off in the Miami Heat-sponsored Pro-Am of the Miccosukee Golf Championship.
The tournament starts Thursday after its pro-am on Wednesday turned into a mini Dolphin reunion.
“It’s always great to see these guys,” Marino said.
“We have a bond that will never be broken,” Byars added.
“Great to see everybody,” Duper said.
OK, that was enough of the sentimental stuff. It was time to do a little razzing and trash-talking.
Marino, the Hall of Fame quarterback who is now 51, looked over at Duper, 53, and noticed the former receiver had put on a little weight.
“Hey, Duper,” Marino yelled out. “You need some of that Nutrisystem stuff. I can get you all you want.” Marino happens to be a national spokesman for the weight-loss product.
Beforehand, Moore, 61, was asked how he was doing. “I haven’t hit a shot yet,” he said, “so I’m doing just great.”
When someone suggested Marino was the best golfer of the ex-Dolphins, Moore quickly and defiantly said: “Bull. He’s not better than me.” Then the former receiver relented and with a laugh admitted, “Actually, Dan is the lowest handicap.”
Marino also was asked who was the best golfer in the group.
At first, he gave a smiling one-word answer: “Me.” Then he had a change of mind. He looked over at Casey Wittenberg, the professional playing with the group, and said, “No, it definitely would be him.”
Bringing the ex-Dolphins to the course was Don Strock, Marino’s backup on the Dolphins for much of his career. Strock is the executive director of the Miccosukee Championship and with his cohort, David Evans, runs the tournament. All the details leading into the tournament kept Strock from joining his fellow Dolphins on the course Wednesday.
It was Moore and Strock who introduced Marino to the game of golf during their Dolphins playing days, persuading the Hall of Fame quarterback to go over to Doral Golf Resort & Spa after practice.
Marino quickly became hooked on the game.
Byars, the ex-fullback, hasn’t played golf as long as Marino, but it was suggested that because of his size he possibly should hit the ball farther than anyone in the group. “Sure, I’ve got the weight,” said Byars, 48, “but they have the better swing. I’ve learned that’s more important, but I’m working on it.”
Asked who would be calling signals for the group on this day, Marino said, “Not me.” If not you, Dan, then whom? All four of the ex-Dolphins wisely pointed toward Wittenberg and said, “Him.”
Wittenberg, 27, might have been the most excited person on the course.
“I love sports, and look who I’m playing with,” he said. “Dan Marino and all these great Dolphins. It’s like a dream. I watched these guys play. I grew up in Memphis so I’m a Titans fan, but playing with these guys is something special for me. It’s incredible.”
• The ex-Dolphins and Wittenberg combined for a 54 in the best-ball format Wednesday.
Proceeds from the event raised money for various charities, including the Dan Marino Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, First Tee of Miami and the Notah Begay III Foundation. The Miccosukee Championship beginning Thursday is part of the Web.com Tour.