For all the accolades Dan Marino earned during his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, the biggest hit to his resume was that he never won a Super Bowl.
But he did have a couple kids in one of the easternmost parts of Asia named after him – a pretty neat consolation prize.
There’s no bigger Miami Dolphins fan in Hawaii than Ryoji Soranaka.
“It was a real high priority in my life. It still is actually,” he said.
So much so that he named his two oldest sons after a legendary Dolphins quarterback.
Meet Dan and Marino, football players for the Aiea Na Alii.
“When Dan was born, I was telling my brother if our next child is a girl I’m going to name her Marina,” Soranaka said. “This generation now, a lot of people don’t know who he is. I used to tell them as you get older you’re going to come to this age when you’re playing football you’re going to understand and realize who you’re named after.”
But there’s more to these two than a hall of fame name. They grew up in Japan. Each of the boys gradually came back right before their freshman year at Aiea.
To say that it’s been a difficult transition to a new culture here in Hawaii would be an understatement.
Marino uses Eminem rap songs as a language learning tool. And communication wasn’t the only challenge for the brothers. They had grown up playing baseball, and only started football when they got to the islands.
With new knowledge of the gridiron game, Dan and Marino’s eyes were opened to the weight of their shared namesake.
In an unprecedented development, Marino, a receiver for Na Alii roots for his favorite pass-catcher Odell Beckham jr. At least Dan has followed his dad’s footsteps into Miami Mania. He also plays the same exact positions his dad did, for one of the same coaches, at the same school.
Cover2’s Ren Clayton has the full story.