|This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
|Date of birth:January 31, 1948|
|Place of birth: Opelika, Alabama|
|High school: Hoover (AL) Berry|
|NFL Draft: 1970 / Round: 12 / Pick: 289|
|Debuted in 1970 for the Miami Dolphins|
Career NFL statistics
|Stats at DatabaseFootball.com|
John Michael Kolen (born January 31, 1948) is a former American football linebacker who played eight seasons in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins. Because of his hard-hitting style, he was nicknamed "Captain Crunch." He played for Berry High School in Hoover, Alabama, and collegiately for the Auburn Tigers.
Kolen was involved in one of the most famous plays in NFL history. In the December 21, 1974 playoff game between the Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders is the so-called Sea of Hands game. With 35 seconds to play and the Dolphins leading 26-21, the Raiders had the ball 1st and Goal at the Miami 8-yard line. Quarterback Ken Stabler dropped back to pass and was flushed out of the pocket and nearly sacked by defensive end Vern Den Herder. As he went down, Stabler wristed a weak pass toward running back Clarence Davis in the end zone. Davis was surrounded by three Dolphins, including Kolen. Kolen got his hands on the ball and nearly knocked it away, but somehow Davis, amidst a "sea of hands," ended up with the ball and the touchdown, giving the Raiders the win and ending the Dolphins' dynasty. He now lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife Nancy. He has two children, Kelly and John, and five grandchildren. Mike owns Kolen Financial Team and works with his son.
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