Stanfill doesn't mind if single-season sack record falls

Bill Stanfill knows his record won't last forever.

He knows eventually, maybe this year, some Dolphins player, perhaps Trace Armstrong, will get more than the 18 sacks he had as a defensive end in 1973. But Stanfill, the Dolphins' career sacks leader with 67, can't help but chuckle when he hears Armstrong has 16 sacks and is threatening his single-season Dolphins record.

"The clock has run out on Trace," Stanfill said.

Stanfill got 18 sacks when the NFL played a 14-game season.

Armstrong has already played 14 games.

"Everybody in the state of Florida must be Democrats," said Stanfill, a lifelong Georgian who is living in Albany, "because you're trying to change the numbers on everything."

Everything Stanfill said was tongue in cheek, of course.

He's not bitter about having Armstrong and fellow defensive end Jason Taylor (13 sacks) approach his mark.

"Both Trace and Jason have had outstanding years," he said.

So did Stanfill, especially considering how his 1973 season began.

The day of the opener against San Francisco at the Orange Bowl, Stanfill was in the hospital being treated for an injury.

He got a call an hour before kickoff that the Dolphins needed him to play. He left the hospital, drove down to the Orange Bowl, had no warmups, played on passing downs, and went back to the hospital the next day.

It was that type of effort that helped Stanfill have a five-sack game against the New York Jets that year and helped him earn his third consecutive Pro Bowl berth in a string of four consecutive Pro Bowl seasons.

Stanfill, the Dolphins' first-round draft choice out of the University of Georgia in 1969, and the 11th overall selection, played eight seasons in the NFL, all with the Dolphins.

He was a starter for his entire career, although his starts were reduced mostly due to injuries late in his career. Prior to the 1975 season he sustained a neck injury that would eventually end his career.

Years in the NFL trenches took their toll on Stanfill, who is now in the farm and agriculture and real estate brokerage businesses.

He has had three neck operations, walks with a cane and will need hip replacement surgery next month. He has a circulatory problem that he says was caused by cortisone injections.

Still, Stanfill recalls his NFL career with fondness and humor.

In the '73 season, he didn't even get the Dolphins' Outstanding Defensive Lineman award. It went to Hall of Fame tackle Manny Fernandez for the sixth consecutive year.

"Manny always won," Stanfill said.