A suited-up Dan Marino entered the so-called green room at Macy’s Dadeland Mall on Friday evening looking tanned, rested ... and rushed.
He was running late. Couldn’t find parking. He’s just like the rest of us. Didn’t even have time to complete his outfit.
The Miami Dolphins legend walked over to a table and picked out a tie — power blue, for the record — and fastened it in place by looking at his cellphone camera in reverse.
“How’s it look?” he asked.
No complaints, just wide smiles.
Wielding a silver Sharpie, the spiffy dresser began the job of of signing dozens upon dozens of footballs lined up on another table.
The black, limited-edition balls were heading down to the cologne counter as part of an event put on by Hugo Boss Fragrances, the official scent of the NFL (so now you know what locker rooms smell like).
Marino is one of the faces of the brand, which held this appearance for his most avid fans. Individuals who purchased a bottle of $80 cologne not only received a Boss ball with his autograph but the opportunity to meet the man, shake his hand and take a coveted selfie.
“I did this event last year, and it was a lot of fun,” said the Hall of Famer. “I’m glad to do it again. They just have to have patience with me, and I’ll get to everyone.”
The 54-year-old Weston resident was amazingly, legitimately thankful that he can fill a room 16 years after retiring from the sport.
“When I see people wearing my jersey it feels good,” said No. 13. “To have the support of the fans, it really is a great feeling. The bobbleheads are pretty cool, too!”
Funny enough, many people who approach one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time don’t inquire about his famous moves on the field.
“They’ll ask me what it was like to be co-stars with Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective!” said Marino, who played himself in the 1994 comedy. “I just tell them it was my best work.”
The Pittsburgh native is still deeply involved in football, currently acting as a special adviser to the Dolphins.
“I watch a lot of games.I help get the guys get ready to play, work with the team.”
As for how he thinks the newly retooled Fins are shaping up this season: “They’re getting better,” he allowed. “They’re gettin’ there, that’s what I’ll say.”
Marino was also there to talk up Boss’ “Success Beyond the Game” campaign, celebrating men who strive for success in their personal lives. As for his own life, Marino keeps busy with his namesake foundation, helping kids with special needs (his son, DJ Michael Marino, is autistic), is a partner with Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and recently co-founded Passing Time winery with fellow ex-QB Damon Huard outside Seattle.
So, the eternal burning question: Red or white?
“A little bit of both.”
If someone has aspirations to follow in his footsteps what advice would Marino give?
“Like anything else, give it your all to succeed. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t do something.”