El Super Tazón: Manny (Manuel José) Fernández

El Super Tazón: Manny (Manuel José) Fernández played nose tackle for eight seasons for the Miami Dolphins, and saw action in three Super Bowls; many believe that his legendary defensive performance in Super Bowl VII (17 tackles and 1 sack) should have earned him the MVP Award, which went to Jake Scott.

Manny was born in Oakland, California in 1946. The story goes that he was signed by the Miami Dolphins with the hope that he would appeal to the Spanish-speaking fans of South Florida. Fact was, Manny didn’t speak a word of Spanish.

He’s often referred to as a “Mexican-American” football player, but his father was born in Hawaii, and we’ve been told by reliable sources in California, that he traces part of his roots to the Spaniards that were recruited to work the sugarcane plantations of the Hawaiian islands, many of whom re-emigrated to California, and often to the Bay Area.