Fins at 50: Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula reflects on ‘perfection’
▪ Sister all-sports radio stations WQAM-560 and 790-The Ticket are tinkering with their lineups, moving their two local evening hosts to a midday show.
Josh Friedman, who hosts 790 The Ticket’s evening show, and Alex Donno, who does the same on WQAM, have been moved to the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. slot on WQAM, replacing the dismissed Orlando Alzugaray.
Their new show debuts Thursday.
Neither WQAM and 790 The Ticket has announced what will replace Donno and Friedman on nights they don’t air games. WQAM has rights to the Hurricanes, Dolphins and Florida Panthers, and 790 The Ticket airs Heat games.
Friedman has been with The Ticket for 13 years and Donno has worked at WQAM for six years.
WQAM and Alzugaray previously declined to explain the reason for Alzugaray’s departure, and Alzugaray subsequently has started a podcast.
Former Dolphins star linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti will be the subject of a new HBO documentary.
The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti promises to tell “the remarkable tale of the 77-year old NFL Hall of Famer, whose story encompasses turns as a linebacker, lawyer, sports agent, broadcaster, executive and philanthropist.”
“Nick Buoniconti has lived an extraordinary life,” says Rick Bernstein, executive producer of HBO Sports. “We are grateful that Nick and his wife, Lynn, agreed to allow us to present the many chapters of this compelling story in the manner that Nick would expect it to be told: honest, raw and to the point.”
The background from the HBO press release:
“The son of a baker from the south end of Springfield, Mass., Nick Buoniconti’s early inner drive propelled him to a football scholarship at the University of Notre Dame in 1958, where he became a captain and All-American. Though considered undersized for the pros, he defied the odds and became a star defensive player in the AFL with the Boston Patriots, and later, with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. As the starting middle linebacker under legendary coach Don Shula, Buoniconti anchored the Dolphins’ famed “No Name Defense” as the team reached Super Bowl glory and recorded the only perfect season in NFL history in 1972.
“Having earned a law degree at night while playing football, Buoniconti quickly made the transition to a successful attorney and sports agent after retiring from the NFL in 1976. In 1979, he also became a TV star when he started co-hosting HBO’s “Inside the NFL” with Len Dawson, a job he’d hold for more than two decades.
“In fall 1985, life changed suddenly and tragically when his youngest son, Marc, was paralyzed from the neck down while playing football at The Citadel. As he grieved deeply, Nick made a vow: He wouldn’t rest until his son walked again. Within months, he co-founded The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which would become a world-renowned spinal cord and brain research center.
“In 2001, Buoniconti entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with Marc introducing him from his wheelchair. For both men, it was one of the proudest moments of their lives. The induction came as the Miami Project and its fundraising arm, the Buoniconti Fund, continued to have unprecedented growth. Today, thanks in large part to Nick Buoniconti’s singular devotion, more than a half-billion dollars has been raised for spinal cord research.
“But in his early 70s, Nick’s own health began to deteriorate. Today, he’s nearly immobile and suffers from severe neurological problems that include warning signs of CTE. Despite his condition, his sense of determination remains as strong as ever. With his wife, Buoniconti has established a research fund and agreed to donate his brain for study upon his death.
This film will intimately capture Nick Buoniconti, taking viewers through every step of his journey.”
Actor Liev Schieber, star of the Showtime series Ray Donovan, will narrate. The 75-minute documentary debuts at 10 p.m. Feb. 12.
THIS AND THAT
The Atlantic Coast Conference, which watched the Big 10 and Pac 10 launch 24-hour television networks, is doing the same, next Aug. 22.
And it’s first marquee event — a Clemson-Georgia Tech football game next Aug. 29 — could put the pressure on cable systems and satellite providers in the Southeast to add the channel.
The network promises to air approximately 450 live games including 40 regular-season football games, 150 men’s and women’s basketball games, and 200 other regular-season competitions and tournament games from across the conference’s 27 sponsored sports, plus studio shows and original programming.
It wouldn’t be surprising if one or two Hurricanes football games end up on the ACC Network next year, with non-conference games against Bethune Cookman and Central Michigan both possibilities.
▪ CBS is sending the Dolphins-Patriots game to only 10 percent of the country because the network has other important games this weekend (including Baltimore-Kansas City) and because Fox has the double-header this week. Here’s a regionalization map. Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts call the Dolphins game.