Growing up a Miami Dolphins fan, some of my fondest memories come from the 1980s when a tandem duo receiving core dubbed the Marks Brothers made some unreal catches for the Miami Dolphins. One was number 83 Mark Clayton and the other was number 85 Mark "Super" Duper. Though Chad Ochocinco is now officially a Miami Dolphins player and will wear the number 85 jersey for the upcoming season, to me that number will always represent Mark Duper.
Racked up the Yards
Mark Duper had four seasons out of his 11 that he played for the Dolphins in which he went over 1,000 yards in the course of the regular season. He finished his career with 8,869 yards, but he made every one of those yards look special with many of the best catches I've ever seen.
Living Highlight Reel
Anytime I look at highlights of Mark Duper I am simply amazed. I can still remember a game in 1985 against the New York Jets, that I was fortunate enough to be at, when Duper made it look too easy. The Dolphins trailed the Jets with just over a minute to go in the game. As a young fan I thought the Fins were done and I was quite upset. Suddenly, I delighted in watching Duper leave his coverage in the dust and had my tears turn to cheers as the ball hit the mark and he ran in for what would be the game winning score. For a ten year old kid I don't think it could have gotten any better.
Lifetime Member of the Fins
One of the reasons I will always maintain that Mark Duper is number 85 is because he spent his entire career in the NFL as a Miami Dolphins player. In today's age of free agency and players going where the money is it is indeed rare to see such loyalty. Even the other Marks Brother, Mark Clayton, spent one year in a uniform other than the Dolphins. While I fault no one for making a living, I do still love to see loyalty to the team I have followed since I was a young boy.
Looking Forward to the Memories
This season I am hopeful that Chad Ochocinco will be the kind of player he has been in the past and help provide the Miami Dolphins with some much needed yardage on offense. If he can prove to be an impact player and does go on to make some spectacular grabs during the season, it will represent memories for me of Mark Duper and all the amazing things he did while wearing the number 85 jersey for the Dolphins.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal "Dolfan" and fan of the NFL since he was six years old when he met Dan Marino and several other Miami Dolphins players. Still a resident of South Florida, he attends numerous Miami Dolphins games each season and enjoys writing about the NFL and the Miami Dolphins in particular.
More from this contributor:
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Miami Dolphins
- Mark Duper
- Mark Clayton
- the Dolphins
- Chad Ochocinco