ABSOLUTE PERFECTION: THE 1972 MIAMI DOLPHINS

By:  RANDY CAMPBELL (OLD DOLFAN)

GAME 9: NOV. 12, 1972 – BOSTON at MIAMI

 

On Nov. 16, 1959, Boston business leader Billy Sullivan won the eighth and final franchise for the new American Football League.  Sullivan invited area citizens to submit possible nicknames for the franchise.  The most popular choice (and the one preferred by Sullivan) was “Patriots.”  The team had a vagabond existence in the AFL.  Their home fields included Nickerson Field (1960-62); Fenway Park (1963-68); Alumni Stadium at Boston College (1969); and Harvard Stadium (1970).  Beginning in 1971, the renamed New England Patriots moved to a stadium in Foxborough then known as Schaefer Stadium.  It was renamed Sullivan Stadium in 1983.  The Boston Patriots made only one appearance in the AFL playoffs from 1960 through 1969.  The 1963 squad, led by Vito (Babe) Parilli, receiver and place kicker Gino Cappellitti and linebacker Nick Buoniconti, made it all the way to the AFL Championship Game.  That game, played at tiny Balboa Stadium, proved to be a nightmare for Patriots’ fans as the San Diego Chargers destroyed Boston 51-10.

The New England Patriots struggled mightily when the AFL and the NFL merged.  A 2-12 record in 1970 was followed by a 6-8 slate in 1971.  In 1972, Patriots fans hoped their team finally would have another winning campaign.  Quarterback Jim Plunkett, running back Carl Garrett and receiver Randy Vataha were all upper echelon players.  But the lack of defensive playmakers led most observers to predict a sixth consecutive losing season for New England.  Suspicions about the Patriots’ defense proved to be justified.  This 2-6 team had already given up an average of over 30 points a game.  And now they had to travel to the historic Orange Bowl to face an offense deemed “unstoppable” by Miami’s offensive coordinator, Howard Schnellenberger.

The Dolphins were overwhelming favorites.  But I didn’t care.  To my surprise, the U. S. Army sent me back home to my beloved Florida two months before my tour of duty was scheduled to end.  I received what is known as an “early out.”  I was broke, tired, despondent and in a poor frame of mind after working on mostly was casualties for nearly two years (often working 16+ hours per day).  But when my brother-in-law said he had an extra ticket FOR ME, I jumped for joy like a little boy!  I would get to see MY DOLPHINS play IN PERSON!  I WOULD BE A WITNESS TO HISTORY!  Thankfully, my old Datsun sedan got me all the way from Ft. Ord, California, to South Florida without breaking down.

 

This game was, in reality, a scrimmage for the vastly superior Dolphins.  Mercury Morris, the star in the previous win over Buffalo, scored from four yards away and Miami had a quick 7-0 lead.  A few minutes later, Morris scored again from the four to increase the lead to 14-0.  A chip shot field Yepremian field goal made it 17-0 after the first quarter.  The rout was on!  New England simply could not stop the Dolphins offense.  In the second stanza, Larry Csonka steam rolled to a three yard touchdown run.  Before halftime, Mercury Morris scored his THIRD touchdown of the first half and Miami was in complete control at 31-0.  Early in the third quarter, Earl Morrall tossed a bulls eye, good for 16 yards and a touchdown, to Marlin Briscoe.  It was 38-0 and Shula pulled Morrall, Csonka, Kiick, Morris and Warfield.

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Meanwhile, the “No Name Defense” continued to stuff the Patriots’ offense.  Dolphin fans expected, and GOT, another shutout.  In the final quarter, third string quarterback Jim Del Gaizo got to see significant action.  Known as “The Mad Bomber” for his propensity for deep passes, Del Gaizo unleashed a 51-yard bomb to Briscoe to expand the lead to 45-0.  Not satisfied, the University of Tampa product tossed another long bomb to tight end Jim Mandich, good for 39 yards and a 52-0 final score.

On the day, Schnellenberger’s “unstoppable” offense roared for 181 yards rushing and 318 yards passing!  Meanwhile, the “No Name Defense” limited the Pats to just 169 yards total offense, much of it in “garbage time” in the second half.  Jim Plunkett completed only 7 of 19 passes for 66 yards.  And the “No Names” intercepted three New England passes.

 

This game marked Don Shula’s 100th victory as an NFL head coach.  Only 8 other NFL coaches had achieved this plateau.  And Shula was the YOUNGEST to ever do it.  President Richard Nixon called Shula in the locker room to congratulate the Don of Miami.  Shula responded “I hope the next time you call me it’s in the locker room after we’ve won the Super Bowl!”  This undefeated team was now the talk of the sporting world.  They had won their last three games by a combined score of 105-16.  Talk of a Perfect Season was now in the air.

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The 1972 Miami Dolphins were now 9-0.

 

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296 Responses to ABSOLUTE PERFECTION: THE 1972 MIAMI DOLPHINS

  1. D says:

    Suggestion, if your doing the draft this way give an option for other that allows us to write in a vote. There may be teams we thing will be trading, or even “reaching” for a player that might not be listed.

  2. Rockphin says:

    I have seen Tyler Farga mached to us soooo many times on here even by me several times he is starting to get the aura of a “fan favorite” . That being said so many of us have picked him he will never be drafted by us! LOL

  3. Rockphin says:

    I have to fly to Irvine California Next Tuesday night for a meeting on Wednesday.

  4. D says:

    I think we should run a draft too where we assign certain teams to people involved and we pick for them. We’ve done this before i think. To me seems flexible than the poll method.

  5. jetsssuck says:

    kid rock has done it again. U no he is a insulin dependent diabetic;

    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2015/04/01/southcom-members-rock-out-with-kid-rock/

    • getterdone says:

      I didn’t know that…so he’s type 1?
      I wonder if he also got hepatitis C from Pamela?

      • jetsssuck says:

        I guess you can call it type 1.I’m also insulin dependent but I got it later in my 30’s. From my understanding type 1 was if you were diagnosed in childhood. Type 2 is just taking pills. From the diabetes world summit last week I understand their is a type 3 diabetic involving intestines.

      • jetsssuck says:

        being a diabetic lowers your immune system to fight off disease’s.

      • getterdone says:

        Yikes, that sounds scary, the type 3….but so is type 1.
        I’m a lil familiar with type 1 & 2 due to having worked in health & life Ins before. The medical underwriting with a lot of Insurers gets real jittery when diabetes is involved, especially if accompanied by heart problems, which it does eventually lead to in a lot of patients unfortunately.

        Hang in there and take good care of yourself brother!

      • jetsssuck says:

        i’ve cheated death several times from diabetes. Open heart 4x bypass with mitral valve replacement about 10-11 years ago.then a brain stem stroke 2 yrs and 4 months ago. Recently I got very sick from this website because I got infection in elbow that was as big as a softball. I had to have surgery and stayed in hospital for 4-5 days. I learned not to place my elbows on table when blogging.

      • twicethethe says:

        Holy Cow jetssuck – that’s some serious blogging dedication. Have always appreciated your contributions to the site.

      • jetsssuck says:

        I blog with a total of 3 sites not only this site.

  6. olddolphan says:

    JETSSUCK; My brother-in-law, Jim, has been self injecting himself for diabetes for about 40 years. He has only missed 3 home Dolphin games IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE FRANCHISE going back to 1966!!
    ————
    SON-OF-A-SON; Saw your response earlier today RE: Florida Atlantic’s 11-5 thumping of 6th ranked UCF at Bergman Field last night in Orlando. That’s TWO Top 10 teams the Owls have beaten on the road this season. NEXT UP FOR FAU: 3 games in Boca Raton against HERD’s Marshall baseball team. Hope the Herd likes to play in 85 degree temps b/c it’s going to be a tad hotter by week’s end. Next Tuesday FAU goes on the road to play the Miami Hurricanes in Coral Gables in another showdown between two ranked teams. It OUGHT TO BE A DILLY!!–SON, by the way, did you know that UCF has scored MORE RUNS this season than any other Division I baseball team? –The Knights get another shot at FAU in early May.

  7. getterdone says:

    Jetssuck, WOW, see, I knew diabetes usually comes with many troubles in due time….Thank God you have weathered them all my friend…hang tough & God Bless!

  8. getterdone says:

    Is this a hint that the Phins may draft him?

  9. getterdone says:

    ESPN NFL Nation’s James Walker reports that Miami TE Clive Walford plans to meet with the Steelers’ brass on Wednesday “and will meet with the Dolphins and other teams before the draft.”
    The Miami prospect flashes decent athletic traits with the ability to be effective in both, the running game and the passing game. As as pass catcher, Walford has recorded 121 receptions and 14 touchdowns in his time with the Hurricanes. The 6-foot-4, 258-pounder will be targeted by teams looking for a versatile pass catching TE who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty blocking. Walford has the kind of skill set that should cause mismatches in the red-zone, and should be off the board in the second round of the draft.

  10. Ken says:

    What’s up FUers? Rough day. I am sick, my wife is sick, I got a speeding ticket and a real good guy at the office who is set to retire in June has a heart attack in court today.

    • getterdone says:

      April Fools I hope????

    • olddolphan says:

      My sincerest sympathies, Ken. I wish a speedy recovery to you, your wife, and, especially, your office co-worker. When your friend is out of danger, go visit him and put on your HULK suit and tell him you’re going to give him the strength of HULK!!! – – Also, an airline ticket to south Florida might put him in a better frame of mind.

      • Ken says:

        All the guy wants to do is go fly fishing. He could have had his papers in already and been out of the all the stress. My goal is when I hit 65 to be done. Not sure if it is feasible but that’s my goal. I like my profession but I don’t feel the need to be a slave to it.

  11. Ken says:

    OD:
    Great job once again. You are the official site historian.

  12. The Flying Pig says:

    The Poll for the #2 pick is up
    Go ahead and vote

    Tomorrow int he Wedge report at the end there will be an explantion of how the poll mick draft will work

  13. Mike E. says:

    Damn Piggy! I love the Irish! Tone that sh*t down bro! lol

  14. olddolphan says:

    PIGGY: DO my eyes deceive me OR does that poll indicate who the TITANS are going to pick??–And WHEN do we get to predict who MIAMI will pick??

  15. getterdone says:

    Ken, that sucks….sorry to hear. Hope everyone is back to normal soon!

  16. Mike E. says:

    Ken

    Feel better brother, and your family as well. Also, best wishes to your colleague

  17. Tim Knight says:

    I recommend everyone go to miamidolphins.com and watch the interviews with Joe Philbin. You get an excellent insight into his football knowledge. He may make some weird expressions and he’s not a in your face type of guy, but he knows the game really well.

  18. wyoming85 says:

    Sorry to hear that Ken!

  19. wyoming85 says:

    I don’t see a TE even close to being drafted by the Fins!

  20. The Flying Pig says:

    OD

    your eyes do not deceive you

    When we get throught he first 13 picks, we will do the Dolphins pick
    We are on pick #2
    We did pick 1 and Jameis winston was the pick

    we will be changing the polls up whenver I have a few minutes
    I will leave them up for a few hours at least

    The Dolphins will be stuck selecting what is left after the firast 13 are off our boards

  21. wyoming85 says:

    If your curious about Tennessee!
    http://walterfootball.com/offseason2015ten.php

  22. The Flying Pig says:

    MOCK draft

    Damn trotters making me a racist

  23. The Flying Pig says:

    What’s odd is that “other” doesn;t show sho was written in

  24. Ken says:

    GDP:
    I am down with Blake Bell. I would not mind that in round 5 or 6

  25. Ken says:

    GDP:
    You seem to have an eye for Oklahoma players? You have any affiliation with OSU?

  26. wyoming85 says:

    Disappointing about Dres!

    Draft Prospecting: Utah Utes
    http://football.realgm.com/analysis/2606/Draft-Prospecting-Utah-Utes

  27. Ken says:

    The more I think about it the more I can see us taking a TE in the draft. Cameron is a hit away from being done, Sims has flashed but is unproven as a starter and Lynch is untested.

  28. twicethethe says:

    Piggy – I just looked into that. Apparently the specific results will not show for “Others”; they’re only viewable if you go into the Admin settings and view the poll results. Which is ridiculously stupid of PollDaddy and makes the option pretty useless to the voters. Thanks, PollDaddy. But at least you can see the write-in results in the Admin settings for the poll. So that’s something.

  29. getterdone says:

    Ken, None at all, just coincidence these days…lol
    Maybe Hickey could hire me to scout that region 😉

    • Ken says:

      My brother got his PHD there. I have been out a few times for games there and it is a blast. I do tend to follow OSU more than some other schools. I got a chance to see Bradford play live, DeMarco Murray, Kenny Stills and Brian Broyles play live to name a few.

  30. twicethethe says:

    Ken – sorry to hear about your colleague and everything else going on.

  31. twicethethe says:

    OD – forgot to mention great history lesson as always.

  32. jahndoh says:

    Piggy, have you done the quick math on leaving every poll up for a couple hours? If you’re not planning on working all night it’s going to take days to get through the first round.

  33. jahndoh says:

    + vibes Ken to your colleague, and get well to you and yours.

  34. Tim Knight says:

    Ken, sorry to hear about the sickness and your colleague. I wish all of you well.

  35. Tim Knight says:

    Philbin also has a good feel for where this team has been struggling. He’s very open and informative on matters of football. Contracts and why players were released, traded etc. are standard answers which we already knew. He’s not going to knock a player on the way out.

    Silly reporters. Learn your subject already. LOL

  36. The Flying Pig says:

    Ken
    Sorry about your colleague

    this profession is a rough one

  37. jahndoh says:

    I think I’m the last surfer remaining here, but for those who don’t know, Slater’s dominance in the sport of surfing rivaled or surpassed the most dominant athletes in ANY sport in recorded history.

    In other words, in any context, Slater is one of the greatest champions who’s ever lived.

    If this is an April Fools joke, lots of folks (myself included) are getting burned. But if it’s not, he deserves a mention from me for his incredible accomplishments. I met him on the beach about a year ago. We had just scored great waves and then the wind turned bad. He was hangin’ with his super hot GF and taking practice swings with his golf club. I told him I was marking down the day I scooped Slater on all the good waves. 🙂

    Congrats Kelly! Best of luck getting one last win at Bells Beach!

    • BoulderPhinfan says:

      he’s the shit. You’re right. Kelly slater dominated surfing more than any other athlete ever dominating the sport. he’ll be missed.

      BTW did you know that kelly slater left florida when he was very young and lived with Jack Johnson (the musician) growing up in the north shore of Oahu?
      They’re best friends. One became a world class surfer the other world class musician.

  38. Ken says:

    Yeah. What was I thinking when I was 22?

  39. getterdone says:

    Ken that’s awesome you get to go see players in the Big 12 play.

  40. BoulderPhinfan says:

    ken,
    Sorry to hear about your colleague. That sucks. I hope everything turns out ok.

    • Ken says:

      Thank you as do I. It sucks so close to retirement and then a heart attack. Hopefully everything is okay and it just expedites the process of him getting out of the office.

  41. Mike E. says:

    Twice

    Good to see ya on man! Long time no see. I’m running around today, I can’t stay still

  42. getterdone says:

    UConn CB Byron Jones ran 4.4- and 4.40-second 40-yard dashes at UConn’s pro day, according to NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt.
    CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler had him at 4.36 seconds. Either way, it was another impressive showing from the Huskies’ riser. “Jones worked out well at the pro day, catching the ball really well,” Brandt wrote. “He is really good in press coverage. Above all, Jones is described as an outstanding person; he had served as a team captain and was a leader on the field and in the locker room.”

  43. jahndoh says:

    Boulder,

    I did know that. I went to college with Jack at UCSB and surfed with him in the late 90s. True story. He was going to shine college and pursue a professional surfing career. He had already applied at several colleges including UCSB (a well reputed school with well reputed surf) when he decided this. One giant day at Backdoor he took a nasty fall that almost killed him. He decided to go to college instead.

    “I was eatin’ lunch at the DLG when this little girl came and she sat next to me…” Was a reference to the De La Guerra commons, a dorm cafeteria at UCSB where he met his wife Kim.

  44. Ken says:

    Alright I am going to load up on Nyquill and Tylenol PM. Sleepy time here I come. Peace to you all.

  45. wyoming85 says:

    Later Ken

  46. wyoming85 says:

    Later Haters

  47. Mike E. says:

    G’nite Ken – Feel better!

    • Tim Knight says:

      When in nickel and dime 70% of the time with 3-4 wide why not? Base defense is old school. Most teams spread you out on 2nd and 3rd and long.

      • jahndoh says:

        Where’d you get that stat. I seriously doubt we’re in nickel or dime 70% of the time.

        60% I believe though…

  48. Tim Knight says:

    #3 will be up soon. Leonard Williams will be the 2nd pick for the Titans. Ken Wisenhunt likes their young QB in Zach Mettenberger – a big, strong armed guy with upside.

    That doesn’t mean they won’t entertain offers for teams who may want to move up. But in our mock let’s move along. LOL

    • jahndoh says:

      Well knowitall:
      Gil Brandt historically knows better than anybody alive about who the top picks are and where they’re going, and I heard him predict he was going 2nd overall (with a note of certainty in his voice) just last week.

      J/k on the knowitall thing, I know you voted for that guy you think is the best player in the draft over that guy you think is the 2nd biggest risk in the draft so I figured I’d BB a little bit.

      Some of you blind MFers on Mariota are going to have a rude awakening if he ends up on the Jets. Mark these words. 😛

      • Tim Knight says:

        It’s not an exact science. Don’t get defensive about it.

        I listened to a radio discussion about Mariota and then I watched his last 2 games. I got what they were saying. He threw a lot of easy screens and ran option runs. He may be another Tannehill but I think Ryan has a better arm.

      • jahndoh says:

        Note the BB, the JK and the smiley face. Not sure how that gets spun into defensive.

        I was going on the offense. Uou pimped your guy, I spoke up for the other one. No biggie.

  49. Tim Knight says:

    I guess I lured the wrath of Jahn. LOL

    Jahn, when Coyle first got here and was asked about the 3-4 to a 4-3 defensive conversion, he said (I’m paraphrasing): when I watched all the film of the team, not once but twice, they were in base defense about 28-29% of the time.

    • Tim Knight says:

      I have pointed this out for years. This is nothing new nor did I make it up.

      Philbin hired Coyle because he wanted a DC who knew coverage concepts.

    • jahndoh says:

      How is that question my “wrath”? I’ll solve you some problem Tim, you can’t spin anythign I have to say as defensive or “wrath” if I don’t say anything else. LOL..

      OUT! LMAO!!!

  50. Tim Knight says:

    Oy! Jahn, I guess I forgot the smiley face. Why does blogging have to be so difficult? 😉

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