Members of the '72 team held conference calls with the national media this week to address the possibility that the Patriots could possibly join them as the only other undefeated team in the Super Bowl era. On the calls were former Dolphins players Bob Greise, Dick Anderson, Larry Csonka Mercury Morris, Jim Kiick and head coach Don Shula.
When asked what he'll be doing on Super Bowl Sunday, Shula admitted he'll be at the game and pulling for the Giants to win. Shula couldn't hold his emotions in check when asked how he'd react. "I'll be jumping up and down," he said before letting out a laugh. What is it about the '72 Dolphins that so many people want to see come to an end?
Many fans feel the 1972 Dolphins' time at the top needs to end. Those who want to see the Patriots join Miami as the only undefeated teams in NFL Super Bowl history refer to former Dolphins comments in defending their 17-0 record. The Patriots are trying to make their record stand at 19-0.
"From our standpoint, we went undefeated all the games that were thrown against us, we played the Championship Game in Pittsburgh, and we were just fortunate to be the only team in the history of the NFL in 88 years to go undefeated," said former Dolphin Dick Anderson. "If New England does it, they will be the second team to go undefeated and I think they have a real good chance to do so."
When asked what their reaction is to being portrayed as a bunch of players desperately trying to hold on to the undefeated record for 35 years.
"You mentioned the word desperately trying to hold onto. Let me set you straight," said Mercury Morris. "First of all, there's nothing for us to hold on to because there's nothing for us that belongs to us. It only belongs to the history of the National Football League. It's been 35 years. This record is old enough to be president and nobody has done anything except almost make it."
Morris is known for the swagger he uses to defend the Dolphins' record, telling all who ask about the record 'Don't call me when you're in my neighborhood, call me when you're in my block.' He has revised the saying a number of times as the Patriots advanced further toward the reality of the perfect season.
"These guys [the Patriots] are the first guys who have actually come close for real, and I take my hat off to them," said Morris. "So there's no way that we could have stopped it. It could have happened in '73, 74, '75, 76. It's been 1,290 tries."
The Dolphins have reportedly celebrated losses by other undefeated teams by sharing a champagne toast with each other. That portrayal is inaccurate according to Jim Kiick.
"No. 1, I prefer Jack Daniels, I don't like champagne, so we don't sit around waiting with a bottle of champagne waiting for that last team to lose the game, and most importantly, what we are celebrating is our accomplishments, not the loss of the team," said Kiick.
"So that's what we are celebrating, our accomplishment that has not been done in 35 years and really has not been done prior to that," he continued.
The Patriots are double-digit favorites to defeat the New York Giants on February 3rd in Glendale, AZ. If they were able to accomplish the feat, they would join the Dolphins in history. Some believe that the 19-0 record usurps the Dolphins' 17-0 mark.
Only time will tell. If the Giants do win, their fans won't e alone. As Shula said, he'll be jumping up and down, celebrating along with them, maybe just not with the Champagne.
For the rest of the comments made by the '72 Dolphins, < click here > (membership req'd)