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Dave Hyde: He guarded Don Shula, married Jimmy Johnson and has 34 years of Dolphins stories from behind the curtain

By Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Football

For 34 years, he was the first phone call. He was called to be bodyguard for the Miami Dolphins coaches or to be a facilitator through red tape. He was the investigator of potential draft picks, the point man if a stranger appeared at practice or the first man up if a player needed legal help.

Any legal help.

"I married four players and (coach) Jimmy Johnson," Stu Weinstein said.

For 35 years until retiring in 2018, Weinstein was head of the Dolphins security staff — he was the staff, really, meaning from the time Don Shula offered him the job after the 1985 season he wasn't just the man behind the curtains. He often guarded the curtains.

He stood beside Shula on the sideline after the FBI warned him of a death threat (wondering about his life), accompanied a player into a crack house to get the player's mom (no names, please) and tracked down impostors pretending to be Mark Higgs, Jason Taylor or Dan Marino.

"I confronted the Marino impostor at a doughnut store in North Miami Beach," Weinstein said. "He was 5-8 and heavy. I was like, 'You've got to be kidding.' This was the age before the internet, and it was Dan's rookie year, so some people weren't sure what he looked like."

 

When Weinstein started, only four other teams had security officials. The age of innocence was dying. Weinstein already had worked part-time with NFL security for 11 years, and the Dolphins saw an increasing need for his role.

One of Weinstein's introductory cases to the Dolphins was when a man named Matthew Micelli came to see Shula with a luggage full of money. He said he was buying the Dolphins. Weinstein and his NFL security boss, Ed DuBois, were called out. They searched the man and found a knife. Shula said he'd meet with him if the Weinstein and DuBois were present. They met, talked and nothing happened. Weinstein followed him that night. Nothing.

"A month later I got a call he'd killed someone," Weinstein said.

He wrote about it all in a book called, "The Grass Isn't Always Greener." He wrote it for himself for now. Just to put it down. Just to tell all the good stories without telling all the names involved.

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