History Lesson : The ’72 Dolphins

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You know that group that hangs out at the bar and talks about that championship they won back in the day? The group that everyone sees and follows with a sigh because you know it’s going to be the same old story again?

The ’72 Dolphins are the ultimate example of that club…only they have reason to chat up days gone by. They’re still the only team in the history of the league to have an undefeated season.

The amazing thing about the ’72 Dolphins is that they didn’t even have their starting quarterback, Bob Griese, for the entire season. He broke his ankle in Week 5. The backup QB, Earl Morral, led them to more wins than Griese did, winning 9 games in the regular season before Griese returned for the playoffs.

Also amazing: their undefeated season boasted not only 17 wins, but three shutouts. Three! One really would have been plenty, but three, on top of an undefeated season…that’s just crazy.

Six of the players on the legendary ’72 team are already in the Hall of Fame, along with the team’s coach, Don Shula. The team has been accused of being fiercely protective of their record-breaking season, but since over 40 years have passed without any team equalling their success, can you blame them?

What about the ’07 Patriots, you ask? Good memory! The Pats were close, but not close enough. They had an undefeated regular season, and even an undefeated playoff run, but lost the Super Bowl in the final minutes to the Giants, thus falling short of a completely undefeated season.

The Dolphins have struggled since the days of the ’72 team and the Dan Marino era that followed. They’ve made quite the splash in free agency so far this offseason, though, so maybe something could be brewing for next year.

(Maybe.)

Until then, Miami still has the ’72 team. And they’ll continue to hold their breath through each consecutive record-keeping season.

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