1972 Pefect Season
Following the 1971 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins made their first appearance in a Super Bowl (VI). The young Dolphins had posted a 10-3-1 record in the franchise's sixth year of existence, and Don Shula's second year with the team. Following a humiliating 24-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl, many wondered how the players and coaches would bounce back in 1972.
No one expected what the young team accomplished in 1972. A promising campaign seemingly was lost when starting quarterback Bob Griese went down with a broken leg during just the fifth game of the season. However, the Dolphins rallied behind journeyman Earl Morrall and posted an unprecedented 17-0 record, culminated by a 14-7 victory, Griese's first full game back, over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. How the Dolphins accomplished perfection is no secret. Shula relied on a smash-mouth power running game, featuring an amazing trio of Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Mercury Morris, and the aptly tabbed "No-Name" defense to acheive what no NFL team had ever done (or has accomplished since), an unbeaten, untied season resulting in the world championship.
The 1972 Dolphins are arguably the best sports team ever; certainly the unblemished record will back that up statistically. As Csonka once said, "Perfection ends a lot of arguments." There may be several arguments as to why other sports teams should be considered the all-time best. However, until one can post a perfect record, the arguments will be short-lived. So far, six players from the team are enshrined in Pro Football's Hall of Fame: Nick Buoniconti, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Larry Little, and Paul Warfield. In July 1997, Head Coach Don Shula joined them in immortality in Canton, Ohio.