Manny Fernandez (American football)

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Manny Fernandez
No. 75
DT / DE
Personal information
Date of birth: (1946-07-03) July 3, 1946 (age 68)
Place of birth: Oakland, California
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school: San Lorenzo (CA)
College: Utah
Undrafted in 1968
Debuted in 1968 for the Miami Dolphins
Last played in 1975 for the Miami Dolphins
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • Super Bowl champion (VII, VIII)
  • Member of the 1972 Miami Dolphins team that went 17-0
  • NFL's Unsung Player of the Year in 1973
  • 2nd team All-Pro in 1970 and 1973
  • All-AFC in 1971
  • 2nd team All-AFC in 1972 and 1973
Career NFL statistics
Stats at NFL.com

Manuel Jose Fernandez (born July 3, 1946) is a former American football player of who played eight seasons for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. He played in three Super Bowls for the Dolphins.[1]

High school career[edit]

At San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo, California, he played football, wrestled, and threw the discus.

College career[edit]

Next came Chabot Junior College before enrolling at Utah under head coach Mike Giddings. Fernandez wore number 65 at the Utah and was a 3-year letterman.[2]

He went undrafted and signed with the Dolphins who, according to Fernandez in an interview in NFL America's Game: Miami Dolphins, had hoped he would be a draw for the South Florida Spanish-speaking audience.[citation needed]

NFL career[edit]

Manny Fernandez was a strong contender for MVP of Super Bowl VII. Wrote Nick Buoniconti, "It was the game of his life–in fact, it was the most dominant game by a defensive lineman in the history of the game, and he would never be given much credit for it. They should have given out two game balls and made Manny Fernandez the co-MVP with Jake Scott." Larry Csonka also said he thought Fernandez should have been the MVP. The MVP was selected by Dick Schaap, the editor of SPORT magazine. Schaap admitted later that he had been out late the previous night, struggled to watch the defense-dominated game, and was not aware that Fernandez had 17 tackles. Fernandez also recorded a sack against the Washington Redskins' QB Billy Kilmer.

"Winning the car never entered my mind until I heard that Jake won it," Fernandez said in the January 1974 issue of SPORT magazine.[3] "I was happy for Jake, he played a helluva game for a guy who was healthy but he had two bad shoulders."

The following year, Fernandez recorded 5 tackles and 1 sack in Super Bowl VIII against the Minnesota Vikings. Two years earlier, Fernandez recorded 6 tackles, 1 sack and recovered a fumble in the Dolphins loss to the Dallas Cowboys. In his three Super Bowls Fernandez recorded three sacks and 28 tackles.

For his career Fernandez had 35 career sacks, a high number for a nose tackle, with a career-high of 8 in 1971, which led the Dolphins.[4] In Dolphin history only one nose tackle (Bob Baumhower: 39.5) recorded more sacks. Fernandez recorded 5.5 sacks in post-season play which is currently 3rd in Dolphins history behind defensive ends Kim Bokamper (8) and Trace Armstrong (6).

Fernandez was 2nd team All-Pro in 1970 and 1973, and an All-AFC selection in 1971 and a second-team All-AFC choice in 1972 and 1973, marking four consecutive season with post-season honors. Fernandez is also credited with being one of the first nose tackles in the NFL, since the Dolphins played the famed "53" defense (which was a 3-4 defense) in 1972 through 1974, which put Manny over the center. Likely, no team played the 3-4 defense more until the New England Patriots when went to the 3-4 full-time in 1974.

In 2007 was voted to the Dolphins All-Time team.[5][6] Fernandez had previously been voted to the 1990 Dolphins Silver Anniversary Team that celebrated the Dolphins' 25 years in the NFL. From 1968 through 1973 Fernandez was voted as the Dolphins "Outstanding Defensive Lineman" even though Pro Bowlers like Bill Stanfill and Vern Den Herder were on the same line.

In January, 2001, was named to Pro Football Weekly's All-Time Super Bowl team.[7] In 2006, USA Today named Manny to their All-time Super Bowl team.[8]

Manny Fernandez was honored into the Miami Dolphins Walk of Fame at Sunlife Stadium on December 16, 2012. In 2013, President Barack Obama honored the entire 1972 Perfect Season Dolphins at an event in the White House, but Fernandez declined to attend.[9][10][11] He told sports columnist Dave Hyde of Ft. Lauderdale's Sun-Sentinel "I'll just say my views are diametrically opposed to the President's...Enough said. Let's leave it at that. I hope everyone enjoys the trip who goes."[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gonzales, Manuel G. (2000). Mexicanos: A History of Mexicans in the United States. Indiana University Press. p. 300. ISBN 0-253-21400-9. 
  2. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/utah/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2007-media-guide-12.pdf
  3. ^ "Larry Little and Manny Fernandez - The Dolphins' Irresistible Force & Immovable Object - SPORT magazine". thesportgallery.com. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  4. ^ "Game Center". Miami Dolphins. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  5. ^ "Topic Galleries - South Florida". Sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  6. ^ "Final fan balloting results - South Florida". Sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  7. ^ http://archive.profootballweekly.com/content/archives/features_2000/sb_allteam_011501.asp
  8. ^ "USA TODAY's all-time Super Bowl team honors clutch performers at the NFL's peak". Usatoday.Com. 2007-01-24. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  9. ^ Darlington, Jim (20 August 2013). "President Obama honors 1972 Miami Dolphins at White House". NFL.com. NFL Enterprises. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Cote, Greg (20 August 2013). "White House invite a last stamp of approval for ’72 Miami Dolphins". MiamiHerald.com. Miami Herald Media. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  11. ^ McIntyre, Brian (20 August 2013). "Three members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins to skip White House visit for political reasons". Sports.yahoo.com. Shutdown Corner. Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Hyde, Dave (17 August 2013). "At least three '72 Dolphins refuse White House invite". Sun-Sentinel.com. Howard Greenberg (Tribune Company). Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 

External links[edit]