FOLLOWING PERFECTION: THE 1973 MIAMI DOLPHINS.

dolphins 73By: Randy Campbell (OLD DOLFAN)

 Game 5: MIAMI @ CLEVELAND; October 15, 1973

On Monday Night, October 15, 1973, the Miami Dolphins rolled into Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium as slight favorites to defeat the home standing Cleveland Browns, who were 3-1.  Many wondered aloud if this game would equal the 20-14 1972 playoff classic won by Miami when Jim Kiick scored the go-ahead touchdown in the game’s final, desperate, moments.  It was one of the most exciting games played by Miami during the NFL’s one and only Perfect Season.

The Cleveland Browns were the dominant franchise in the old All-American Football Conference from its inception in 1946 until its demise after the 1949 season.  Led by the legendary Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown and Hall of Fame quarterback Otto

PDHST Plain Dealer Historical Photographic Collection - Cleveland Browns - Hall of Fame - Coach Paul Brown with quarterback Otto Graham in the dressingroom after a game on Nov. 15, 1953, against the San Francisco 49ers. The Browns won 23-21. "Just think it could have been his ankle," Brown quipped. Cleveland News photo by George Hixon, staff photographer

PDHST Plain Dealer Historical Photographic Collection – Cleveland Browns – Hall of Fame – Coach Paul Brown with quarterback Otto Graham in the dressingroom after a game on Nov. 15, 1953, against the San Francisco 49ers. The Browns won 23-21. “Just think it could have been his ankle,” Brown quipped. Cleveland News photo by George Hixon, staff photographer

Graham, the Browns were seldom challenged in the AAFC.

Cleveland won all four league titles, losing only four games over that span.
In 1948, the Browns ran the table undefeated, culminating in a 35-7 win over Buffalo in the AAFC championship game.  (The NFL does NOT give Cleveland credit for a perfect season because these games, mostly against vastly inferior teams, did not take place in the NFL).  When the league folded, the Browns, the 49ers, and the first team known as the Baltimore Colts, were absorbed into the NFL.

Most observors believed the Browns would be over matched by the top teams in the NFL.  But they were proven wrong when Lou Groza’s last minute field goal gave Cleveland a 30-28 victory over the L. A. Rams in the 1950 NFL title game.  Cleveland would make it to the championship game for five more consecutive seasons, winning two more NFL titles in 1954 and 1955, Thus, counting the AAFC title games, from 1946 to 1955 the Browns made it to the Championship game for 10 consecutive seasons, a record that WILL NEVER BE BROKEN!!

In 1964, led by the incomparable running back, Jim Brown, the Browns claimed their fourth NFL championship.  That 1964 title represents the city of Cleveland’s LAST CHAMPIONSHIP IN ANY MAJOR SPORT!!

The Cleveland team in October of 1973 resembled the Cleveland team that nearly upset the Dolphins in the previous playoff season.  Quarterback Mike Phipps was back.  His top receivers, Frank Pitts, Fair Hooker and TE Milt Morin were ready to go.  Running backs Leroy Kelly and Bo Scott were joined by new star Ken Brown.  Future Hall of Famer Gene Hickerson anchored the offensive line.

But Miami’s coaching staff noticed something wasn’t quite right.  Cleveland’s offense had averaged only 11.7 points per game over the last three games.  And the passing shula and arnsbargergame produced only 98 yards per game over that stretch.  (Indeed, Phipps would end the season with only 9 TD passes vs. 20 interceptions).  Both Shula and his outstanding defensive coordinator, Bill Arnsparger, believed the Dolphins’ defense WAS BETTER than any defense had faced in 1973.  They decided that the key to beating the Browns was to contain their running game and maintain good field position.  Sooner or later, Miami’s offense, which had scored 75 points in their last two victories, would produce enough big plays to defeat a very sound Cleveland defense.

Cleveland fans were extremely excited as kickoff neared at 9:05 PM.  Most of them had been drinking for several hours hoping THIS would be the year their beloved Brownies would finally get to their first Super Bowl.  (HINT: as Super Bowl XLVIX phippsapproaches in 2015, Browns’ fans are STILL WAITING for their first Super Bowl appearance!)

It was a damp, dreary, windy night in Cleveland.  Passing the ball would be difficult, especially so for deep passes.  Clearly, the team that ran the ball the best would have a distinct advantage.  Larry Csonka, from nearby Stow, Ohio, was familiar with these conditions.  He reveled in them!  He hoped Bob Griese would give him plenty of carries and plenty of chances to move the chains and score touchdowns.

After a scoreless first quarter, Griese finally got the offense rolling.  Garo Yepremian lined yepremianup a 36 yard field goal attempt.  The winds swirled coming in from Lake Erie.  But Garo’s kick was right down the middle and Miami led 3-0.

Cleveland dominated the rest of the second quarter.  A 30 yard field goal by Don Cockroft tied the score at 3-3.  Then, just before halftime, Cockroft drilled a long 44 yard 3-pointer and the Browns led 6-3 at intermission.

In Miami’s locker room, the coaches decided to forego sweeps and slow-developing morris set upplays in favor of straight ahead quick-hitting plays.  A few minutes into the third quarter Mercury Morris broke a quick-hitter FOR 70 YARDS, all the way down to the Cleveland 9!!  Two Csonka runs moved the ball to the two.  On third down, Csonka bulldozed through Jerry Sherk for the touchdown that put Miami ahead 10-6!  “Now we’ve got a bang-up ball game,” said ABC’s Howard Cosell.  “And it’s the BROWNS who are getting banged-up,” replied Dandy Don Meredith.

Late in the third quarter a Browns’ drive stalled at the Miami 28.  Don Cockroft’s third field goal (a 35 yard effort) narrowed Miami’s lead to 10-9 entering the final quarter.

In last year’s playoff game, QB Mike Phipps was intercepted FIVE TIMES by the Dolphins’ defense.  Midway through the final quarter Phipps launched a long pass toward midfield.  It was PICKED-OFF by Miami’s “Captain Crunch,” linebacker Mike Kolen!  Kolen returned the pick all the way to the Cleveland 18 yard line!

Quarterback Bob Griese knew THIS was the time to turn the game over to Larry Csonka.  The bruising fullback’s first two carries gained only five yards.  on third and five both of Miami’s wide outs drew double coverage (the Warfield Factor).  So Griese simply handed off to Csonka who roared for nine yards and first and goal at the four!  Two carries later, Csonka scored the game clinching touchdown and the Dolphins had defeated Cleveland by a score of 17-9!

On the night, Morris ran 13 times for 94 yards, 70 of them on the biggest play of the night.  Larry Csonka, gained 114 yards (and BOTH touchdowns) on 21 bruising carries.  “Plain and simple, it was too much Larry Csonka tonight,” said Howard Cosell.

Next up for Miami, the 4-1 Buffalo Bills led by O. J. Simpson.  Where else to play this battle for first place than in the historic Orange Bowl?  The 1973 Miami Dolphins were now 4-1.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197310150cle.htm

 

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385 Responses to FOLLOWING PERFECTION: THE 1973 MIAMI DOLPHINS.

  1. D says:

    Piggy….”Deliverance” was white water rafting witht he guys…..just saying, and your already known to make pig noises…soooooooooooo

  2. Al in MIA says:

    http://www.biggayrafttrip.com/

    This site is no joke, lol.

    • D says:

      So how many times have you gone ….lol 🙂

    • Ken says:

      I am not checking that out from work. LOL.

      • son of a son of a shula says:

        Ah Ken we’re going to have to ask you to not browse anymore gay rafting trips in the office anymore, not that there’s anything wrong with that…

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Holy shit
      there is a entire site about it
      I can;t believe I was completely oblivious that it was a a gay dude invite

      All I could think about last night was that I wanted to go white water rafting
      I didn’t even think that the guy who invited me was gay

      • son of a son of a shula says:

        Today he’s telling everyone that he outed you. They’re saying things like, “We thought there was something about him”

      • The Flying Pig says:

        Yeah
        I am probably going to get a dozen invites to gay spas before the end of the week

  3. Al in MIA says:

    Piggy,

    “But Bowens was involved in an altercation in high school that led to him being stabbed with a hunting knife.

    Despite the stabbing, despite losing three toes on his left foot because of a lawn mower accident and despite his academic problems, Bowens never stopped playing football. His raw strength, his potential, his size – the Dolphins couldn’t pass them up despite the fact Bowens played only nine games at the NCAA Division I level.”

    http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1994-05-01/sports/9404300338_1_tim-bowens-dolphins-minicamp-mississippi-state

    • Tim Knight says:

      I remember reading his evaluations coming out of college and one phrase was “he looks like King Kong in shoulder pads”. Not sure that would fly today. LOL

  4. Tim Knight says:

    D, the asshole who shot me with a BB was my friends’ 19 year old cousin when we were 14 and it was a 10 pump pellet gun but he used a BB and one pump at close range. It still stung and hurt like a bitch!

  5. Ken says:

    Piggy is probably sitting in his office chair with his cheeks clenched a little tighter after visiting that site. LOL.

  6. son of a son of a shula says:

  7. Tim Knight says:

    Piggy, you’ve determined he was using the gay white water reference?

    Did he say the river was his tub? LOL

  8. Tim Knight says:

    If Ken opened that site at work he’d find a chair like this the next morning.

  9. son of a son of a shula says:

    Words to live by:

    Never go white water rafting with anyone who isn’t family

  10. Ken says:

    It would be really funny now if the team announced as team building exercise it was going white water rafting.

  11. Ken says:

    What if Piggy’s fiend tells him to bring his girlfriend?

  12. The Flying Pig says:

    A tale of Trannies, Rafting and Pork

    • Ken says:

      Sounds like the subject matter of the next porcine odyssey.

    • Al in MIA says:

      LOL.

      I can just see it now.
      The rafting trip from NY to the Poconos with an obligatory stop in Buttzville NJ to eat at Hot Dog Johnny’s.
      Weekend reservations at a local Cock and Bull

  13. The Flying Pig says:

    Colonpokey is certain to make an appearance in that Oddyssey

  14. Tim Knight says:

    Piggy, just call the movie White Water Rafting so the outdoor types go to see it and shock them with WTF? LOL

  15. Tim Knight says:

    Supplemental Draft starts soon.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Tampa took Battle in the 4th. They’re rebuilding so not bad for them. He was the only player drafted.

  16. Mike E. says:

    If my kids decided they didn’t want to have a relationship with me I’d just lock them in the basement, I wouldn’t ask a judge to do it. lol

    • Tim Knight says:

      And torture them with singing really bad songs and only feeding them lukewarm water, stale chips and over-cooked meats. LOL

  17. Ken says:

    There are days I wish my kids didn’t want to have lunch with me.

  18. Mike E. says:

    Tim

    It was the Rams who took Battle, and it was a 5th RD pick

  19. D says:

    Tim, i think visitation laws require them to go, but i don know if the level they went to i have ever heard of. Usually if something impedes visitation one parent pulls the other back into court for the judge to rule on it, so seems to me the mother would have been most at risk of getting in trouble. Dont know that i have ever heard of a kid being punished for visitation refusal.

  20. D says:

    Mike E. says:
    July 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm
    Does she have lady parts? I know Caitlyn still has a salami. lol
    ——————————
    Damn Mike did he come in for the full service eye exam? Is that how you know?

    • Mike E. says:

      No, it was in one of the articles that someone posted here. He basically said he’s still attracted to women, and he wants to be able to please a woman, so he’s keeping his junk. lol

      • D says:

        Strange, i mean i understand transexualism doesnt always equate to being gay, but might be hard for hi to find a woman who wants to have a hetero relationship with a man who is otherwise all woman. Thinking his chances of finding love is pretty small lol.

      • Mike E. says:

        Oh it’s strange alright. I can’t comprehend any of it.

      • Tim Knight says:

        He just feels like a woman inside but likes his penis. LOL

  21. Brian in NY says:

    Tim Knight says:
    July 9, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    Tampa took Battle in the 4th. They’re rebuilding so not bad for them. He was the only player drafted.
    *
    That was a mock draft Tim. The Rams took Battle in the 5th.

  22. D says:

    Tim Knight says:
    July 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm
    I saw it reported the Bucs first then saw it was the Rams. Can’t trust the damn internet. LOL
    ————————
    Very true. I read something the other day that said the Bucs who have first bid put in a 3rd round bid on him, but now im hearing 5th round to the Rams. Thats a pretty big disparity.

  23. Mike E. says:

    Freaking Tim is NO Adam Schefter! lol

  24. Brian in NY says:

    Mike,

    I’ve been to the OBI many times- it’s down Robert Moses Causeway, East of Long Beach. I’ve actually bungee-jumped buzzed off of a crane a bunch of times there!

  25. Mike E. says:

    LMAO @ Tim!

  26. Rockphin says:

    Tim & Brian, I am ashamed to admit this, but my car has driven my drunk ass home way too many times in my 20’s & early 30’s. literally 100’s of times. Thank god I never hurt anyone or got arrested for it!

    I got stopped one night coming home from a party in Ft. Lauderdale (lived in lake worth 30 miles north) and I was plastered. Do not pass go, go directly to jail drunk. The cop came to my window and asked for my license & registration for making an illegal left turn (There was a sign, but the way to the right was totally blocked by construction so you could ONLY go left) as he was walking back to his car to run my info I called my buddy to tell him get ready to bail me out, I’m going to jail.

    Well about the time the cop got back to his car, another guy makes the “illegal left turn” but he clips the center median and side swipes the cop car and tears off down the road. The cop ran back to my car, threw my stuff through my window and yelled “Don’t you go anywhere, you STAY RIGHT HERE” and ran back to his car and chased the other guy.

    I was still on the phone with my buddy and told him what happened and he said “sooooooooo, are you going to ‘stay right there?'”….I was like FUCK NO!

    I hit a u-turn in the middle of the road, jumped the median, took a right down a side street and took “the long way home”

    Funny story because no one was hurt, but TOTALLY ASSHOLEISH on my part.

  27. Rockphin says:

    Tim Knight says:
    July 9, 2015 at 11:00 am
    Say you’re afraid of rock and cock.
    Reply

    Tim, why would he say that? The guy probably has never heard of me so dropping my name wont mean anything……

  28. Mike E. says:

    Tim

    Every time I think of Caitlyn Jenner, that Jerky Boys skit with the gay guy runs through my head.

  29. Rockphin says:

    Damn it! I will never get that two minutes 43 seconds of my life back! I went back up the page to find your post about drunk driving, Mike, and you didn’t even tell a story about yourself. You were commenting on how the players can afford limos and such! grrrrrr

    LOL JBB

    • Mike E. says:

      Mike E. says:

      July 9, 2015 at 9:54 am (Edit)

      True, but these are kids. You remember when you were 18-24? I thought I was invincible. I drove home drunk from Long Island after going clubbing and drove 30-50 miles too drunk to drive. I didn’t have a $15M contract, but I could have died though.
      *****************

      I did that many times too, just lucky, or a good drunk driver, or maybe both. Probably both

  30. Tim Knight says:

    When I was 17 myself and a few friends of mine drank some rum or gin or whatever, it was fucking disgusting at the time but I got lit. I had my mother’s car and we went for a cruise just locally. I didn’t make a complete stop at a stop sign so I got pulled over. I don’t know how he let me go nor did my friends but he did. Then again this was back when it wasn’t a slam dunk you’re getting a DUI.

    • D says:

      I havent done it much, but one time that i did was a scared straight moment. Lucky for me it happened on a rural road at the time of night no one was there but i literally passed out driving. Car went out of control and i remember waking up mid spin in what turned out to be at least two full 360 degree spins ended up on the side of the road opposite i was driving. Air smelled like friggin burnt rubber but nothing happened to me or the car other than having the shit scared out of me. Very very lucky. The car could have easily went into the culvert and crashed, there were houses in that area so i could have careened into one of them, just all in all very dumb on my part. Was like one of only a couple time i ever drove drunk and was the last time.

  31. Rockphin says:

    Hey Piggy, if you went white water rafting / camping with a couple of guys, and woke up after getting trashed drunk, then next morning with lube smeared all over your ass and a pain in your anus, would you tell anyone???

    • Tim Knight says:

      I wouldn’t because I’d soon be hunted down for murder. Why give them anymore clues. LOL

    • New Age says:

      Also, are you planning on bringing cream filled donuts to your adventure? Or just the regular glazed version. Might make a difference in how gentle they are…

  32. Brian in NY says:

    Watch your assets people:
    Breaking News (Yahoo)
    U.S. says hackers stole Social Security numbers from 21.5M

  33. Brian in NY says:

    Someties when I need a good laugh I watch this:

  34. D says:

    An ex GF of mine, who was an alcoholic, got a DUI once. She was driving home from New Orleans when she was like 18 i think and was so dunk she actually drove her car up on one of those concrete dividers you see near overpasses. Car was at like a 45 degree incline and she was still trying to drive down it. Cop pulled over and got her out of the car, and took her down to the police station. When they got there they asked her to take a breathalyzer test and she was so fucking hammered that she thought they had given her a cigarette so she started drawing in air instead of blowing into it. They had to tell her multiple times to blow into it before they finally got a reading on it. I think she blew like .25 or .3 or something insanely high. cost her like 1500 dollars and she had to do several weeks of community service.

  35. D says:

    These fucking shit head celebs with their “right to express themselves” as a way to be rude and not be held accountable for it.

    https://celebrity.yahoo.com/news/ariana-grande-apologizes-saying-hate-america-183923501.html

  36. herdfan says:

    Obviously the issue with the white water rafting confusion is the gay community uses everyday terms to mean sex. Unlike the hetero population who uses terms that you KNOW are referring to sex.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/javiermoreno/how-many-euphemisms-for-sex-do-you-know?utm_term=.balPEM7wy

  37. Rockphin says:

    Tim Knight says:
    July 9, 2015 at 3:54 pm
    I wouldn’t because I’d soon be hunted down for murder. Why give them anymore clues. LOL
    Reply

    HA Tim has heard that joke before. “so….you want to go camping”

  38. Rockphin says:

    New Age says:
    July 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm
    https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/esma/2015/07/08/2015-nfl-fan-equity-rankings/

    Not very nice. Not nice at all.

    SEE I KNEW YOU GUYS WERE THE WORST FANS IN FOOTBALL!

  39. Tim Knight says:

    We used to party at my one friends house all the time. One night it was summer and still somewhat light out and we hear a loud bang. We all run from the backyard to see what the hell it was. We see this car hit the telephone poll right after his driveway. His car is smoking, the front end is all smashed up and his front wheels are all fucked up. He’s still trying to restart the car and a few of us are like yo man, you’re not going anywhere. Why don’t you just sit down over here and wait for the cops because you’re not getting out of this. Poor dude, he was Asian and didn’t speak good English and he was so drunk we couldn’t understand anything he said. LOL

  40. herdfan says:

    The Flying Pig says:
    July 9, 2015 at 4:22 pm (Edit)
    vulcanize the whoopie stick?

    See….if that guy had asked you on an overnighter to do that there would have been NO confusion. Lol

  41. Ken says:

    Until today I had kind of always wanted to try white water rafting. I don’t think I will ever do that now.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Ken
      I wanted to do it too

      And just so there is no confusion about this invite
      One day we will place a kayak on water
      and travel over rapids

      but we will never call it white water rafting

  42. Tim Knight says:

    Gay dude: Hey Piggy, want to share our corn dogs some weekend?
    Piggy: Corn dogs, I don’t eat that crap.
    Gay dude: No, you know, our corn dogs?
    Piggy: I don’t have any corn dogs, I just told you I don’t eat that crap.
    Gay dude: Never mind, my god. lol

    Later that night Piggy lying in bed jumps up and yells fuck!!!!, he meant our corn dogs!!! I think he touched my cheek too. Uggghhhhh!!!!

  43. The Flying Pig says:

    Brian in NY says:
    July 9, 2015 at 4:07 pm (Edit)
    Yes. I also think our stadium has sucked in terms of a crowd noise factor. The seats are too far from the field.
    ****
    I wonder if the renovations affect that at all and make it better

    • Tim Knight says:

      People will likely want to go to see the new stadium and if the team starts winning it might stick. Let’s hope so.

  44. Rockphin says:

    Stir the up skirt yogurt?? Come on!!!

  45. Rockphin says:

    Brian in NY says:
    July 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm
    What were the results of the telephone poll?

    ZOOOOOMMM right over Tim’s head….

  46. Rockphin says:

    Piggy, yes definitely! They took out a bunch of seats in the upper corners for the future supports of the “roof” but they also added seats in the 100 section and moved them closer to the field.

  47. Rockphin says:

    If I recall correctly the reduced the number of seats overall by like 10K (so we should sell out easier) and moved the bottom level seats much closer to the field. So the reduction of seats will be offset by the closeness to the field (for noise)

  48. Rockphin says:

    Going to make like a leaf now.

    NOGTIH ALL!

  49. Tim Knight says:

    Rock, the telephone poll was a drunk story, not a gay story. LOL

  50. Mike E. says:

    Nogtih Rock!

  51. Mike E. says:

    Bri

    No doubt. King also didn’t approve of Jack Nicholson, because he had already been crazy in “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”. He would have preferred Jon Voight, Christopher Reeves or Michael Moriarty to have played Jack. I suppose if Michael Moriarty played Jack, there would be less star power.

  52. Tim Knight says:

    I never read the book The Shining but I did read that the scene with the guy in the bear suit and the other dude made more sense in the book. It was more obscure in the movie and just strange.

    • Mike E. says:

      My wife and I crack up every time we see that scene with the two guys, but I thought it was a rabbit. lol

      • Tim Knight says:

        Others say it’s a dog as in good little doggy. There is a gay relationship there.

      • Mike E. says:

        I can see that. Freaky as hell no matter what. I was reading about the film, and Shelley Duvall (Wendy) was so stressed out about the constant changes in the scripts and the demands of Kubrick specifically, that her hair started falling out. She didn’t get along with Kubrick at all, and it appears Nicholson didn’t either.

  53. Tim Knight says:

    LOL @ Brian on The Shining starring…

  54. Tim Knight says:

    Mike E, I heard that Kubrick wanted to make the owner of the hotel more of a sinister part of it all. They cut out a hospital scene at the end where Wendy and Danny are recovering and the owner of the hotel comes to see them and he tosses Danny the ball that he saw in the hallway. Spooky!

  55. Mike E. says:

    Stephen King admitted to having an alcohol problem of his own at the time he wrote The Shining.

  56. Mike E. says:

    You didn’t by any chance read Dr. Sleep, did you? It’s the sequel to The Shining. Came out late last year. I loved it.

    • Tim Knight says:

      I’m not a book reader. I either get distracted or fall asleep and have to keep reading the same few pages over and over again. LOL

      I tried years ago. I did read a book of Stephen King short stories can’t remember the name of it and I enjoyed it and got through it. But big novels, no way. I tried to read Jaws back in the day and almost lost my mind trying to get into it. LOL

  57. Brian in NY says:

    I read one horror book when I was 19- “Pet Semetary”. I was so into that book I called a freind of mine “Gage” (his name is Jay).

    • Brian in NY says:

      Predictably, I was not in a good mental place after I read it. It was a great book, although I’m not sure why I listened to my older brother and read it.

  58. Mike E. says:

    I have a Stephen King library in my house. I’ve read at least 20 of his books.

  59. Mike E. says:

    Tim

    That’s how I was with schoolbooks. I would read the same damn line over and over again. It was so frustrating.

  60. Brian in NY says:

    RIP Ken Stabler

  61. Mike E. says:

    I was just counting how many books I’ve read by Stephen King, I got to 40 and then got bored. lol

  62. Brian in NY says:

    And for your latest installment of “How bad can the Mets’ luck get”, Stephen Matz is shut down for 3 weeks with a partial lat tear!

  63. Tim Knight says:

    Good guy and QB. RIP The Snake!

    • Tim Knight says:

      Yep! Can’t wait for the competition to begin. 🙂

      That said I can wait, I don’t want summer to go by too fast. The winter can do that to you. LOL

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