Emmy-Nominated Series Continues Tuesday, September 10
at 9:00 PM ET
A Football Life: Backstory Follows at 10:00 PM ET
Don Shula’s football life almost ended before it began. Wanting to play football as a sophomore in high school against his mother’s wishes, Shula forged his parents’ signature. Then, after earning a scholarship from John Carroll University, he almost gave up the game for the Priesthood. However, after he decided to continue playing and with a career game vs. Syracuse while legendry head coach was Paul Brown in attendance, Shula was drafted into the NFL. The Ohio native soon discovered the foundation was laid for his true calling – coaching.
During his tenure with the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins, NFL’s most consistent winner accumulated 328 regular season wins, 19 playoff victories which includes two Super Bowls, and became synonymous with perfection.
NFL Network’s Emmy-nominated series A Football Life continues Tuesday, September 10 at 9:00 PM ET with a profile of Don Shula – the NFL’s winningest coach. The one-hour special an inside look at the impact the 33-year head coach has had on the game and on the players that played for him.
Emmy-nominated actor from CBS’ The Good Wife, Josh Charles, narrates.
Don Shula: A Football Life captures the relationship a coach has with his players, a bond that goes beyond wins and losses. The strength of the kinship allows for a coach that once brought his players to tears to now bask in their company.
Featured stories in Don Shula: A Football Life:
- Early Coaching Career: When Don Shula became the Baltimore Colts head coach at the age of 33, he was younger than a number of his players. Shula explains the challenge of getting through to players who were both his peers and possessed playing ability superior to his own.
- Inside Super Bowl III: The Shula-led Baltimore Colts entered Super Bowl III with the best record in the NFL and were heavily favored over the AFL’s New York Jets. However, the Jets would defeat the Colts 16-7 and it is still considered one of sport’s biggest upsets. Shula opens up about the defeat and how it still affects him today. Additionally, hear how that night was difficult off the field as well.
- The Historic Miami Dolphins Tenure: After a fallout with Baltimore Colts owner Carroll Roesenbloom, Shula was hired as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach. The Dolphins had 15 combined wins in their four previous years before Shula. With a hardnosed, no nonsense approach, Shula was determined to change the direction of the organization. He did just that.
Two seasons into his tenure, the Dolphins would be in the Super Bowl. In Shula’s third season, the Dolphins completed the only perfect season in NFL history capped off by winning Super Bowl VII. The perfect season was followed up with another Super Bowl title. Shula’s tenure with the Dolphins is recapped with stories from former players, reporters, staff members and family.
- The First Family of Football: The Shula’s were the first family of football. At 23 years old, Don’s son, David, became the youngest assistant coach in the NFL when he was hired by his father. David later was hired by the Cincinnati Bengals as their head coach setting up a historic father vs. son matchup in 1994. Don Shula: A Football Life features interviews and footage from the unique matchup.
- Breaking George Halas’ Record: With win number 325, a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Don Shula became the winningest head coach in NFL history. The film documents the game, Coach Shula’s reaction, and how impressive the record really is.
Don Shula: A Football Life includes interviews with the following people:
Dan Marino – Dolphins quarterback 1983-1999
Irving Fryar – Dolphins wide receiver 1993-1995
Nick Buoniconti – Dolphins linebacker 1969-1976
Steve Rosenbloom – Colts president 1971-1972
Rick Volk – Colts defensive back from 1967-1975
Tim Robbie – Dolphins president 1990-1993
Larry Csonka – Miami Dolphins fullback 1968-1974, 1979
Dan Le Batard – Miami Herald and 790 The Ticket in Miami
Eddie White – Dolphins PR Director 1986-1988
Alex Marvez – South Florida Sentinel 1998-2007
Mercury Morris – Dolphins running back 1969-1975
For the first look at Don Shula: A Football Life, visit:
New this season, A Football Life: Backstory airs following each episode at 10:00 PM ET on NFL Network. Hosted by Jenn Brown, the 30-minute show provides a deeper look into the lives and stories surrounding each subject, features interviews with relevant individuals, and includes material that did not make the final edition of each A Football Life episode. Viewers will also have the opportunity to interact and offer their thoughts on Twitter by following @NFLNetwork and using the hashtag #AFootballLife.
NFL.com is the premier destination for A Football Life, featuring bonus and behind-the-scenes footage from each episode, commentary with featured NFL legends and NFL Films producers, and photo galleries highlighting key moments and events in the lives of each subject. Additionally, NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison writes a corresponding profile on each subject featured throughout the season.
Airing on Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM ET throughout the NFL season, the expanded 22-episode season examines the iconic individuals and subjects that have had an undeniable and profound impact on the history of the National Football League, offering an inside look into their untold stories.
Additional subjects profiled this season on A Football Life include:
- NFL Films president Steve Sabol
- Legendary broadcaster Pat Summerall
- Hall of Fame defensive tackle and current NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp
- Super Bowl-champion defensive end Michael Strahan
- Hall of Fame wide receivers Jerry Rice & Cris Carter
- Former Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham
- The 1993 Houston Oilers
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