The perfect NFL season 1972 Miami Dolphins set to celebrate 50th anniversary

The perfect NFL season 1972 Miami Dolphins set to celebrate 50th anniversary

The Miami Dolphins are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1972 team that defined perfection.

They played 17 games that season and won them all. No one has done it since and each year, the remaining players from that storied squad break out the champagne and toast each other when the last remaining NFL team finally falls.

Some see this as a grand tradition and raise a glass along with those long-ago heroes. Others think it’s silly and selfish.

Here is some good advice. Stop. Not because it’s ridiculous but because it’s like saluting the sun rising every morning … or the first time the temperature finally drops into the 50s in Florida in the fall … or the next time you see Donald Trump at a political rally.

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All those things are simply going to happen.

Just like every NFL team is going to pick up one loss sometime, somewhere.

Let’s start with the odds. According to, the odds of winning 20 straight games (50/50 chance of winning a game in 17-game regular season, plus 3 playoff games) are in excess of 1 million to one. With 32 NFL teams, that would give us an undefeated team about once every 300,000 years.

OK, that’s a bit extreme.


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Here is the reality check:

The Philadelphia Eagles are this year’s last standing unbeaten. No one wearing aqua and orange is ready to start sweating yet; we are only 6 weeks into the season and no one had the Eagles going to the Super Bowl in Arizona outside of Pat’s King of Steaks.

Perhaps it will be the Steelers next week or the Packers next month or any of their NFC East opponents. Someone will beat Philadelphia and Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Paul Warfield and others will break out the Dom Perignon.

Why bother?

Former Miami Dolphin's quarterback Bob Griese, left, holds a signed jersey with President Barack Obama and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, 41 years after their perfect football season as the Super Bowl VII Champions were honored in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Aug. 20, 2013.

If it didn’t happen when the New England Patriots were one Super Bowl quarter away from perfection, it’s never gonna  happen.

Think of all the great teams that have hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy since those Dolphins won all 17 of their games when Richard Nixon was in the White House.

The Steelers won four Super Bowls in six seasons … the 49ers owned the NFL while winning five Super Bowls in 13 seasons … the Cowboys won Super Bowls in 3 of 4 seasons … the 1985 Bears shuffled their way to a Super Bowl but they suffered a loss to – who else – the Dolphins in a memorable “Monday Night Football” game … Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, for all their greatness, only came close that one season.

All of those teams defined NFL excellence. None went undefeated.

And, therein lies one of the reasons we will never see a perfect season

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