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Backyard Football convinced my childhood self that Dan Marino was trash

The Dolphins legend was great in real life, but in Backyard Football? Not so much

January 15th, 2000 was Dan Marino’s last NFL football game ever. He played like shit and was pulled mid-game. For a Hall-of-Famer, that’s a hell of an exit. But I’m not going to go into Marino’s farewell game in any depth, because Will Buikema already covered it on our series “The Worst”:

Meanwhile, here’s Ryan Simmons’ take on Marino, explaining how one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time — seriously, he finished his career with 61,361 passing yards and 420 touchdowns — failed to ever win a Super Bowl:

Please watch those videos above if you want more information on Marino. Because — I’m going to be honest — I don’t know shit about him. I was 4 years old when he played his last game. I know him mostly as an old CBS Sports analyst who claims to have thrown the ball pretty good in his heyday.

So what am I doing writing a post about Dan Marino? Turns out that there’s one thing I remember about the man. I’m here to talk about how they made Dan Marino the most disrespected quarterback on the Backyard Football roster.

Backyard Football came out in 1999, and was one of a series of Backyard Sports which let you play sports as a bunch of neighborhood kids. Backyard Football included some pro players, also as kids. Here are the NFL quarterbacks who made the cut:

Now let’s take a look at Dan Marino’s attributes.

Without knowing it, Humongous Entertainment made one of the best NFL players of all time one of the least chosen Backyard Football pros ever. They had 4-year-old me thinking this man was pretty much trash. They had me thinking that Drew Bledsoe was better. Wow.

Look at all the Backyard kids that were just as good, if not better quarterbacks, than Marino.

In Backyard Football, players play on both sides of the ball, but Marino is so slow on defense that he’s basically unplayable there. Any of the other players are better two-way threats and therefore better choices. Backyard Football probably didn’t mean to insult him like this, but they did, and a generation of kids now knows him as the man you’d never pick in this game.

So that’s what I know about Dan Marino. Apparently great in real life, but in Backyard Football, where it really matters, he just didn’t have the goods.