American Football Database
Mike Kolen
Date of birth: (1948-01-31) January 31, 1948 (age 74)
Place of birth: Opelika, Alabama
Career information
Position(s): Linebacker
College: Auburn
NFL Draft: 1970 / Round: 12 / Pick 289
 As player:
1970-1977 Miami Dolphins
Playing stats at

John Michael Kolen (born January 31, 1948 in Opelika, Alabama) is a former American football linebacker who played eight seasons in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins.[1] 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. He still shows his love for the game by raising money and donating with the Monday Morning Quarterback Club.


  1. "1973 Miami Dolphins". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 28 February 2013.