Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Mike Stanfield, is very pleased to announce that Miami Dolphins Quarterback, Dan Marino, will serve as the Rubbermaid Commercial Products Grand Marshal for the 2018 “Welcome Home” Festival. Marino joins a select list of athletes who were so highly regarded that they were chosen by Festival Organizers to be Grand Marshals rather than Sports Marshals. That list includes: 1965 – Jack Dempsey, 1974 – Frank Gifford, 1976 – Mickey Mantle, and 1984 – Willie Mays. Dan Marino is currently fifth on the “Most Wins by a Starting Quarterback List” with 155; and, he is best remembered for his quick release and powerful arm. He helped the Dolphins become consistent postseason contenders, leading them to the playoffs ten times and to one “Big Game” appearance in Super Bowl XIX, although a title victory ultimately eluded him. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest players to never win a Super Bowl.
Over his lifetime, Marino has become synonymous with the role of famous, glamorous “Professional Athlete.” He has ascended into the position of a modern cultural icon, often playing himself in music videos, movies, on television, and in commercials. Marino acted in the 1994 comedy “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective,” playing himself alongside Jim Carrey and Courtney Cox; and, made a cameo appearance in the Adam Sandler film “Little Nicky,” in which he playfully asked Satan for a Super Bowl Ring. In 1999, he voiced himself in a guest role in an episode of “The Simpsons.” Marino also had cameo roles in “Holy Man” and “Bad Boys II.” He worked as a project consultant on Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday,” and observers noticed a resemblance to Dennis Quaid’s character, Jack Rooney. In 1995, Hootie and the Blowfish featured Marino in their music video “Only Wanna Be with You.” Marino is currently featured in advertising campaigns for NutriSystem, South Florida Ford Group, Universal Insurance, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, and Encore Resort and Reunion.
During Marino’s career, he was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls, seven times as a starter. He has won all three major individual awards: NFL MVP (1984); NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1994); and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award (1998) for his charitable work off the field. In 1999, Marino was ranked 27thon The Sporting News list of the 100 greatest football players; and, in 2010, he was ranked 25thon the NFL’s Top 100 Greatest Players list. Marino was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 7, 2005, and was introduced by his oldest son, Daniel. Marino was an analyst for CBS TV’s Sunday pregame show The NFL Today from 2002 to 2013. He was formerly a studio analyst on HBO’s Inside the NFL, from 2002 to 2007. On August 24, 2014, Marino announced that he would be returning to the Dolphins as a special team adviser.
Dan and his wife, Claire, became one of the first families to advocate for autistic children. Inspired by their experiences raising their second son, Michael, they founded the Dan Marino Foundation in 1992, raising over $72 million to provide services and fund first-of-their-kind initiatives, including the Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Center, the Marino Autism Research Institute, the DMF Jobs Development Program, and the Marino College. The Marino Campus provides an inclusive, supportive and welcoming atmosphere where young adults can experience success, learn vital life skills, and most importantly, gain independence. Dan Marino’s appearance as Grand Marshal of the 2018 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is made possible through the generous support of longtime Festival Sponsor: Rubbermaid Commercial Products! Dan’s Festival activities will center on his role as Grand Marshal; but, Festival Organizers are attempting to add onto his schedule allowing for a brief visit to the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast Presented by Grange Insurance.