George Mira

George Ignacio Mira (born January 11, 1942) is a former professional American football player, a quarterback in eight National Football League (NFL) seasons for four teams. He then played five seasons in the Canadian Football League and World Football League.

George Mira
refer to caption
Mira in 1962
No. 10
Personal information
Born:January 11, 1942 (age 77)
Key West, Florida
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Key West (FL)
College:Miami (FL)
NFL Draft:1964 / Round: 2 / Pick: 15
AFL draft:1964 / Round: 18 / Pick: 137
  (Denver Broncos)
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Passer rating:57.4
Player stats at
Career CFL statistics
Passing yards:2,291
Passer rating:42.4
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Born and raised in Key West, Florida, Mira graduated from Key West High School in 1960.[1] He played college football at the University of Miami under head coach Andy Gustafson.

One of the best games in Mira's collegiate career came as a junior in 1962 in the Gotham Bowl against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Despite playing in 20 °F (−7 °C) weather in front of fewer than a thousand fans at Yankee Stadium, Mira threw for 321 yards, a Miami school record at the time, and was named the bowl game's most valuable player. Despite Mira's efforts, the Cornhuskers won by two points, 36–34.[2][3] The previous year, the Hurricanes lost by a point to Syracuse in the Liberty Bowl.

Playing career

Mira was selected in the second round of the 1964 NFL draft, fifteenth overall, by the San Francisco 49ers. Primarily a reserve,[4] he played for eight NFL seasons, 1964 through 1971, for the 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Colts, and Miami Dolphins. He was a backup to John Brodie in San Francisco and to Bob Griese in Super Bowl VI as a member of the 1971 Dolphins.[5] With the 49ers in 1964, he threw a pass to Billy Kilmer that Kilmer eventually fumbled; the fumble would be recovered by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall, who infamously ran 66 yards in the wrong direction.[6]

Mira signed a multi-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in August 1972,[7][8] completing 92 of 168 passes for 1356 yards and 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 1973.

With the Birmingham Americans of the new World Football League (WFL) in 1974, he was MVP of their championship game victory,[9] completing 155 of 313 passes for 2,248 yards and 17 touchdowns and 14 interceptions during the season. Despite the success on the field, the Birmingham franchise folded in March. In 1975, with the Jacksonville Express of the WFL, he completed 123 of 254 passes for 1,675 yards and 12 touchdowns and interceptions. The league would cease operations late in the 1975 season.

Mira finished his career in 1977, playing six games for the Toronto Argonauts as a player-coach.[10]

After football

Mira returned to Florida and now operates the Native Conch, a food concession at Fairchild Botanical Gardens in Coral Gables.[11]


His son George Mira Jr. was an All-American linebacker at the University of Miami.

See also


  1. ^ "Lakeland goes after Key West". Ocala Star-Banner. Florida. Associated Press. June 12, 1959. p. 5.
  2. ^ "Nebraska wins Gotham Bowl. 36-34". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. December 16, 1962. p. 1B.
  3. ^ "Nebraska edges Miami, 36-34". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. December 16, 1962. p. 1, section 4.
  4. ^ "George Mira cashes in". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. UPI. April 10, 1971. p. 10.
  5. ^ "George Mira tried harder; but never rose above no. 2". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Florida. Associated Press. July 25, 1972. p. 9.
  6. ^ "This Day in NFL History: Jim Marshall runs the wrong way". Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  7. ^ Gilbert, Doug (August 8, 1972). "Als sign ex-NFL QB Mira, cut Chasey". Montreal Gazette. p. 29.
  8. ^ Blackman, Ted (October 24, 1973). "Mira plays for free to prove a point". Montreal Gazette. p. 29.
  9. ^ Browning, Al (December 6, 1974). "Birmingham stops Florida for first World Bowl title". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. p. 13.
  10. ^ "Argonauts sign Clint Longley". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. September 23, 1977. p. 20.
  11. ^

External links

1961 Liberty Bowl

The 1961 Liberty Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game that featured the Syracuse Orangemen and the Miami Hurricanes.

1962 Gotham Bowl

The 1962 Gotham Bowl was a college football bowl game at Yankee Stadium in New York City, between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Miami Hurricanes.

1966 Green Bay Packers season

The 1966 Green Bay Packers season was their 48th season overall and their 46th in the National Football League. The defending NFL champions had a league-best regular season record of 12–2, led by eighth-year head coach Vince Lombardi and quarterback Bart Starr, in his eleventh NFL season.

The Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL championship game, the Packers' second consecutive NFL title, fourth under Lombardi, and tenth for the franchise. Two weeks later, the Packers recorded a 35–10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the inaugural AFL-NFL Championship Game, retroactively known as Super Bowl I.

Quarterback Starr was named the league's most valuable player (MVP) in 1966. Said Cold Hard Football Facts about Starr's 1966 season, "Starr, always underappreciated, was at his classic assassin-like best in 1966, his lone MVP season. He led the league in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating, while his 4.7-to-1 [touchdown-to-interception] ratio remains one of the very best in history. Starr, as always, cranked out great performances when he absolutely had to: the 1966 Packers, for example, were the worst rushing team in football, with a meager average of 3.5 [yards-per-attempt] on the ground, despite the reputation Lombardi's Packers still carry with them today as a dominant running team." Cold Hard Football Facts also notes that 1966 Packers had the best passer rating differential (offensive passer rating minus opponents passer rating), +56.0, in the Super Bowl Era.

In 2007, the 1966 Packers were ranked as the 6th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions.

Bob Breitenstein (American football coach)

Robert Logan Breitenstein (July 24, 1913 – March 28, 2002) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Appalachian State Teachers College—now known as Appalachian State University—for one season in 1959, compiling a record of 6–4.Breitenstein was a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he played college football as a halfback. Breitenstein coached high school football at Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He resigned as head football coach there in 1949 to take a job as backfield coach under Andy Gustafson at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. At Miami, he coached quarterback George Mira and fullback Don Bosseler. Breitenstein died in 2002.

Earl Morrall

Earl Edwin Morrall (May 17, 1934 – April 25, 2014) was an American football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for twenty-one seasons. Morrall, who also occasionally punted, played 21 seasons in the National Football League as both a starter and reserve. In the latter capacity, he became known as one of the greatest backup quarterbacks in NFL history. During the 1968 Baltimore Colts season, he filled in for an injured Johnny Unitas leading to an NFL championship shutout victory and Super Bowl III, which they lost to the New York Jets. For the 1972 Miami Dolphins season (both under coach Don Shula) he filled in for an injured Bob Griese leading to Super Bowl VII and the only perfect season in NFL history. Morrall made Pro Bowl appearances following the 1957 and 1968 seasons.

George Mira Jr.

George Mira Jr. (born c. 1965) if a former an All-American Middle linebacker for the University of Miami Hurricanes football team during the mid-1980s, taking over the reins after the departure of Jay Brophy. He is also the son of former U.M quarterback George Mira Sr. He had a stellar career at the University of Miami until the 1987 National Championship Game, his last game of his senior year, before which he was suspended by the NCAA for diuretics use. The suspension endangered his draft status, which sent him down to the 12th round of the 1988 NFL Draft, where he was selected by the San Francisco 49ers, but did not manage an NFL game.He is now a division chief for MDFR.

Jack Gotta

Jack "Jocko" Gotta (November 14, 1929 – June 29, 2013) was an American-born Canadian professional football player, coach, and general manager.

Gotta played Tight End at Oregon State in 1952 and Hamilton Air Force Base from 1954-1956. He signed with the Cleveland Browns in 1956, but was cut and played with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League from 1957-1959. In 1960 he signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He sometimes played corner linebacker and safety due to injuries on defense. During the 1964 season he was cut by Saskatchewan and signed by the Montreal Alouettes.

In 1965 he rejoined the Roughriders as an assistant coach. He resigned after the 1967 season and joined the Ottawa Rough Riders coaching staff. In 1970 he replaced the retiring Frank Clair as head coach. The team went from first to last place, however the team made the playoffs every year afterwards. He had a 30-26 record in his four seasons as Ottawa's head coach, winning the Grey Cup in 1973 and the Annis Stukus Trophy in 1972 and 1973.

In 1974, he jumped to the World Football League's Birmingham Americans as head coach and general manager. The Americans, led by George Mira, Charley Harraway, and Dennis Homan, finished with a 15-5 record and won the only WFL World Bowl at Birmingham's Legion Field, defeating the Florida Blazers 22-21.

In 1975 the Americans folded, new ownership was brought in and the team renamed themselves the Vulcans. Gotta stayed on as General Manager only. The team had a league best 9-3 record when the WFL folded. He returned to the CFL in 1977 as head coach/general manager of the Calgary Stampeders. He retired as coach after four seasons, but remained on as GM.

When Jerry Williams resigned as head coach after the 1981 CFL season, he returned to the sidelines. He remained in Calgary until 1983, when he was fired after missing the playoffs.

As the Stampeders coach, he finished with a 44-46-6 record and won Coach of the Year in 1978.

In 1984 he joined the CFL on CTV as a commentator. He left the network to become head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1985. In 2 seasons with the Green Riders he had an 11-22-1 record,Gotta died on June 29, 2013 in Calgary.

Jeff Kemp

Jeffrey Allan Kemp (born July 11, 1959) is a former professional American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Dartmouth College. In 1984, Kemp led the Rams with 13 touchdown passes and a trip to the playoffs. In 1986 as a back-up to the injured Joe Montana, he threw 11 touchdowns for the 49ers.

Kemp is the son of late former NFL quarterback and American politician Jack Kemp and brother of former Canadian Football League quarterback Jimmy Kemp. Kemp and his wife, Stacy, have four sons: Kyle, Kory, Kolby and Keegan. He went to high school at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland.

List of Miami Dolphins starting quarterbacks

The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. They are members of the East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Lawyer Joe Robbie and actor Danny Thomas were granted enfranchisement on August 15, 1965, committing their team as the ninth member of the American Football League (AFL).The Dolphins have had 32 different starting quarterbacks (QB) in their franchise history; only George Mira and Tyler Thigpen have started only one game for the Dolphins. The Dolphins' first starting quarterback was Dick Wood during the first inaugural season game in 1966, against the Oakland Raiders; Wood however was replaced a week later by rookie Rick Norton due to inconsistency. Notable Dolphin starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Bob Griese and Dan Marino, who together combined for 391 total starts and 239 wins all with the Dolphins. Other standouts include Earl Morrall, Don Strock, David Woodley, Jay Fiedler, Chad Pennington, and A. J. Feeley.

The Miami Dolphins entered the 2012 season with the franchise's 32nd different starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He is the first rookie to ever start on opening day for the Dolphins.

List of Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Eagles.

List of San Francisco 49ers starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the 49ers.

Matt Cavanaugh

Matthew Andrew Cavanaugh (born October 27, 1956) is an American football coach and former player who is the Senior Offensive Assistant for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He is a former American football quarterback in the NFL who played from 1978 to 1991. In the course of his career as a professional football player, he earned two Super Bowl rings. Since his retirement, Cavanaugh has worked as an offensive coach and coordinator, for teams including the San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears, and the Baltimore Ravens, where he earned a third Super Bowl ring as a coach.

Matthew Reed

Matthew Reed is a former professional gridiron football player, starring at quarterback in the World Football League (WFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL).

A graduate of Grambling State University, Reed was a 10th round selection (240th overall pick) of the Buffalo Bills in the 1973 NFL Draft but did not play in the league. Reed began his pro career with the Birmingham Americans of the WFL. In 1974, he backed up George Mira, completing 77 of 188 passes (41%) for 1345 yards and 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He was part of their championship team. In 1975, he became starter of the newly renamed Birmingham Vulcans, but had a poor year, completing only 38.9% of his 208 passes, for 1252 yards and only 4 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He did rush for 347 yards and 6 touchdowns. In the WFL's short history, Reed manage to be the league's 10th leading passer (in yards).

Reed later played 3 years in the CFL, all as a back-up QB. He played 18 games for the Toronto Argonauts in 1976 and 1977, and finished his pro career with the Calgary Stampeders in 1977 and 1978.

While with the Argonauts, Reed backed up CFL star Chuck Ealey. As noted in the Toronto sports press, this was the first time in professional football that a team had a tandem of black, or afro-American, quarterbacks running a team.

Miami Hurricanes football statistical leaders

The Miami Hurricanes football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Miami Hurricanes football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Hurricanes represent the University of Miami in the NCAA's Atlantic Coast Conference.

Miami began competing in intercollegiate football in 1926, but these lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1926, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002.. The Hurricanes have played in 12 bowl games since this decision, giving many recent players an extra game to accumulate statistics.These lists are updated through the end of the 2016 season.

Norm Snead

Norman Bailey Snead (born July 31, 1939) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, and San Francisco 49ers. He played college football for Wake Forest University and was drafted in the first round (second overall pick) of the 1961 NFL Draft.

Red Kirkman

Roger Randolph "Red" Kirkman (October 17, 1905 – November 30, 1973) was a professional American football player for the Philadelphia Eagles. He attended high school in Akron, Ohio. He attended Washington & Jefferson College and Western Reserve University (now known as Case Western Reserve University).

Scott Bull

John Scott Bull (born June 8, 1953) is a former professional football player, spending three seasons as a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at the University of Arkansas.

In his NFL career, Bull completed 76 of 193 passes for 3 touchdowns. A strong running quarterback, he rushed for 186 yards in 46 attempts and three touchdowns in his three-year professional career. Bull saw his most extensive action in 1978. He spent 1979 on injured reserve with a knee injury suffered in the final game of the 1978 season.

Tom Owen (American football)

Willis Thomas Owen (born September 1, 1952) is a former American football quarterback who played in ten National Football League (NFL) seasons from 1974–1982 for the San Francisco 49ers, the New England Patriots, the Washington Redskins, and the New York Giants. He played college football at Wichita State University and was drafted in the thirteenth round of the 1974 NFL Draft.

World Bowl (WFL)

The World Bowl, also known as World Bowl 1, was the American football championship game of the short-lived World Football League. The Birmingham Americans defeated the Florida Blazers 22–21 on Thursday, December 5, 1974 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. George Mira, quarterback for Birmingham was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP). It was televised on TVS Television Network.

Original plans for the World Bowl had the 1974 championship scheduled for November 29, the day after Thanksgiving 1974 at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida. However, the WFL decided to expand its playoff field from four to six teams, pushing the championship back a week; furthermore, the host Jacksonville Sharks folded during the season, leading to the league moving the game to the home stadium of the higher seeded playoff team (in this case, Birmingham). A cash prize of $10,000 was brought onto Legion Field for the league's season MVP award, which was split between three players. The league presented the players with actual cash ($1 bills stacked on a table) in lieu of a cheque in order to avoid the scrutiny of a whether a WFL cheque would even clear the bank. However, after the ceremonies, the locker room of the champion Americans was raided and all team assets, including uniforms, were seized to collect on the team's debts. The day before the playoffs began the IRS had put lien on the Birmingham Americans over a $237,000 tax debt. The league negotiated a deal where the IRS allowed Birmingham to play in exchange for a portion of the gate receipts which were used to help pay off the debt. In addition, the Americans and Blazers players had gone unpaid for several weeks and refused to play until they were paid. It took Birmingham's owner Bill Putnam's promise of championship rings if they won and the league dividing the remaining gate receipts 60/40 (based on who won the game) to settle the dispute.

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