Larry King's Forgotten Past With the Miami Dolphins

Saturday morning, news surfaced that longtime broadcaster Larry King had passed away at the age of 87. Several people reacted to his passing by reminiscing about iconic moments from his career, including covering professional football. King once worked for the Dolphins and helped call games during the franchise's first winning season.

While King was a household name due to his work as a radio personality and interviewer, he actually started his career in South Florida. He changed his name from Ziegler to King following his boss' recommendation and became a color commentator for WIOD and the NFL team during the 1970 and 1971 seasons. King worked alongside longtime analyst Henry Barrow. However, he lost his job midway through the season due to legal issues.

According to the Miami Herald, King was arrested in December 1971, leading to his dismissal. A former business partner accused him of grand larceny. The charges were later dropped, but King did not return to the Dolphins. Instead, he later landed an overnight talk show on the Mutual Broadcasting System, "The Larry King Show."

While he did not work for the Dolphins for a long period, King did remain a fan of the team. He was occasionally spotted wearing a No. 17 Ryan Tannehill jersey, as well as a No. 91 for Cameron Wake. As he explained during a previous interview, King saw the biggest moments and the heartbreaking losses while working the radio broadcast, which led to him experiencing them as a true supporter.

"How could I not be a Dolphins fan?" King said to Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I was there for their first game. I was on their radio team for their greatest days. I was friends with their biggest names. I was one of those who lived and died in Miami in those days with how they did."


King also shared with Hyde stories from his time covering the team. He interviewed with running back Larry Csonka in the medical room, prompting an outburst from head coach Don Shula. "Get the [expletive] out of the medical room!" the Super Bowl-winning coach yelled on the live broadcast. He later asked King how could he not know that the medical room was off-limits.

The brief moment may have been tense, especially given that Shula swore on a live radio broadcast, but the two men had a healthy relationship. King interviewed the head coach on his radio show and paid tribute to him after his death. "Rest In Peace to my dear friend Don Shula. We shared many great memories together on and off the field. Don Shula could not tell a lie and is the greatest football coach off all time," King wrote in May 2020.