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"Wait until you've had a couple of knee surgeries to go with it," said Griggs.
"Football is weird," Kirby said after a time. "Who invented it, and what in the hell was he thinking? I heard that players used to tape magazines to their arms and legs as pads. Can you imagine that?"
Griggs can imagine most anything, but not Kirby's college passion for riding a big motorcycle at top speed. "A Kawasaki Ninja 1100," said Kirby. "Oh, man, it's the best feeling in the world, laying down and going. You feel the wind, you're on two wheels and you're saying, 'I can't believe I'm doing this.' I got it up to 150 miles per hour once at school."
Shula would, too, if he knew. But just now, he's feeling good about his rookie runner. On Nov. 14 young Kirby got the Dolphins' first touchdown in their game against the Philadelphia Eagles, on a pass pattern called halfback choice. The score would help Miami to a 19-14 victory.
Not just any victory. It was Shula's 325th, the one that broke George Halas's career record. "Kirby's was the big play in the game," said Shula later. "It demonstrated his awareness. That he did it without practicing, because of his toe, makes it all the more remarkable."
The tough man looked as mellow as he ever gets. "He's a good kid," Shula said.
That about says it all.