Where Have You Gone, Dan Marino?

Dan Marino stands dejected on the sideline after being pulled from the Dolphins 62-7 loss at Jacksonville in the 1999 Divisional Playoffs. It would be the final game of his career.

Today, Jacoby Brissett becomes the 23rd quarterback to start a game since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season. Below is the complete list of quarterbacks to start for the Dolphins since then:

Jay Fiedler

Damon Huard

Ray Lucas

Brian Griese

A.J. Feeley

Sage Rosenfels

Gus Frerotte

Daunte Culpepper

Joey Harrington

Cleo Lemon

Trent Green

John Beck

Chad Pennington

Chad Henne

Tyler Thigpen

Matt Moore

Ryan Tannehill

Jay Cutler

Brock Osweiler

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Josh Rosen

Tua Tagovailoa

Jacoby Brissett

I was shooting for Dolphin Digest at the time, and we had a seat on the team plane. The league scheduled us @ Seattle for the wild card round, and then for the first game the following Saturday for the divisional round. We arrived home at 2am Monday morning after the Seattle game, and the team had to prepare for the 14-2 Jaguars in essentially four days.

It showed.

The Jaguars, who finished the 1999 regular-season 14-2, led 24-0 after the 1st quarter and 41-7 at halftime. Their dominance was total, out gaining the Dolphins in total yards 520-131, forced seven turnovers, and out gained Miami on the ground 257 yards to 21 yards.

Head coach Jimmy Johnson pulled Marino during the 3rd quarter. It would be the final appearance of his career. Marino finished 11-25 for 95 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. It was also Johnson’s last game of his career.

Ironically, Jay Fiedler (7-11, 172 yards, two touchdowns for Jacksonville) would become Marino’s successor as starter for Miami in 2000. Fiedler guided the Dolphins to a 23-17 overtime win over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the wild card round that season, Miami’s last playoff win.

MORE WITH MIRRORLESS: Using The Sony E Mount System

In my previous blog post, I discussed how I incorporate the tiny Nikon 1 system into my equipment bag. However, this tiny system wasn’t an option to replace my bulky DSLRs on my side gig: shooting stills and videos of waterfalls.

After searching for a lighter option than my full-frame Nikons for the hiking trails, I decided to go with the Sony E-Mount System.

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My first gig with the system was on a waterfall trip to the Pacific Northwest last fall. I paired two a6000 bodies with a Sony E 10-18mm f4 and a Sony Zeiss E 16-70mm f4. A body paired with the 10-18mm f4 weighs a fraction over 20 ounces, lightening my pack by a considerable amount. As any serious hiker knows, pack weight is one of the most important issues with any distance hiking.

Combined with a Sony ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone and a Sony RM-VPR1 Remote Control, the system proved to be a capable alternative to my regular DSLR system.

Once I returned to South Florida, I started to ponder how I could incorporate this investment into my sports workflow. Pairing the a6000 and the 10-18mm f4 with a monopod, ball head and a Flash Zebra extended-length remote led to the image below.

Miami Hurricanes Fans
2014 Miami Hurricanes Football vs Florida State

Extending the monopod allowed me to get the camera up to and above the fan’s level. While this was a nice image, it was hardly justification to keep this system around for sports. Fortunately, that 11fps burst rate had kept calling me for experimentation, so I had purchased a Sony E 70-200mm f4 and headed for that week’s Dolphins game:

The above three images were made with an a6000 and the 70-200. The a6000 has an articulating screen so the camera was on the ground for these shots. For game action, I usually love to be as low to the ground as I can get, which is not easy for a 6’ 2” man. This combo made it a breeze. The combination is quick and responsive, allowing me to capture the defining moment in these images.

Adrienne Motley
2015 Miami Hurricanes Women’s Basketball vs Notre Dame

Once basketball season arrived, I paired the two a6000 bodies and the two aforementioned short zooms with small tripods and the RM-VPR1 wired remotes and placed one next to each of my knees on the end of the basketball floor. The shot above is from a Sony a6000 placed to my right, and the shot below is from a Sony a6000 placed to my left.

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Third party manufacturers are making lenses compatible with Sony’s E mount. I’ve recently purchased a Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II and a Lensbaby 5.8mm f/3.5 Circular Fisheye. Each sell for about $300 and add an alternative view to my toolkit.

Like with my Nikon 1 System blog, I don’t delve into specifications much as I prefer to discuss how these alternative mirrors systems fit into my toolkit and workflow. There are plenty of sites and blogs out there that get into technical specs and comparisons.

After a season of experimentation with the E-mount system, I’m sold. My three-body, five-lens kit fits neatly into a Nanuk 930 case. I regularly use the a6000/70-200 combo to shoot select sports (softball, tennis, and rowing) as the quality rivals my Nikon DSLR and the cost of operation (depreciation) is much less. The a6000 currently sells for 1/10th the price of a Nikon D4s. The third party fisheye lenses cost much less than their name brand equivalent, so I don’t have a ton of money tied up into lenses that I only use on occasion.

While this system isn’t going to replace my Nikons, it serves as a nice compliment to them, allowing me additional looks and angles to my traditional coverage during assignments, and will take a significant number of shutter actuations away from them.

2015 Miami Hurricanes Men's Tennis vs Florida Atlantic
2015 Miami Hurricanes Men’s Tennis vs Florida Atlantic

UPDATE: After a year of experimentation, I sold off my Sony gear and ventured into Fuji territory. In the end, I didn’t like the lenses, with the exception of the 70-200 f4. Shortly after I made the move, Sony offered its first OSS f2.8 lenses, which are competitive with Nikon and Canon pro lenses.