Donald Trump Blew a Possible Deal With Don Shula Back in 1983

Stephen Douglas
Don Shula
Don Shula / Kidwiler Collection/Getty Images

Back before Donald Trump failed to buy the Buffalo Bills, he helped run the USFL into the ground. Before Donald Trump helped run the USFL into the ground, he tried to lure Don Shula away from the Miami Dolphins.

Trump went on television during halftime of a Dolphins game and bragged about how well negotiations were going and made sure to mention that Shula really wanted an apartment in Trump Tower. No matter how close those claims were to reality, Shula didn't like the distraction. The next day he told the press he was no longer interested.

Then there is the bonus of Hammerin' Hank Goldberg calling out Trump as someone who was very concerned with being on television and saying he was, "someone who occasionally changes his story." This was in 1983. Dolphins owner Joe Robbie also pegged Trump at the time. Via the Palm Beach Post:

"“This confirms my impression that Donald Trump has been engaged more in ballyhoo for his grand entrance to the U.S. Football League than in a serious effort to build his franchise competitively by sound, professional management. “Headlines in the sports pages and network television can be mighty heady to Fifth Avenue tycoons.”"

Not much has changed.