As the NFL season draws to a close, the 1972 Miami Dolphins breathe a sigh of relief; Another year has passed and, almost three and a half decades later, they are still the only professional soccer team to achieve perfection. Over the years, some teams, the Bears, the Broncos, the Colts and the Colts once again, have made the Dolphins sweat profusely in the mouth of their fins; these teams have come close but not pure, especially Don Shula’s.
It’s safe to say that all members of the 1972 Dolphins have retired and moved on to other companies. Some remain playing sports, others engage in completely different activities. No matter where they are and what they’re doing, the members of this Dolphin team still have a place in NFL history … at least for now. This makes us think about them, remember what they were like, and wonder what they are doing now.
An All-Star, Pro Bowler, six-time Dolphins MVP, Bob Griese was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. Known more for his leadership than his arm, when it happened a little in some games and a lot in others: Bob led Miami to nine winning seasons.
After retiring from soccer, Bob continued to support his son Brian’s college and professional soccer careers, stating that watching Brian win the Rose Bowl was one of the best moments of his life. In 2000, he and Brian wrote a book called Unbeaten, which discussed the perfect Dolphin season, as well as the death of Bob’s first wife from breast cancer. Bob is currently an ABC college football analyst and recently appeared on the game show. Wheel of Fortune.
One of the most recognized coaches in the entire sports world, Don Shula began his soccer career with the Cleveland Browns in 1951 as a cornerback. During his playing days, he played for the Browns, Baltimore Colts, and Washington Redskins before becoming a coach. In 1963, at the age of 33, Don made history by becoming the youngest person to serve as the NFL’s head coach. This historic moment was just a preview of things to come.
After coaching the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1969, Don was hired by the Dolphins. He remained as their head coach from 1970 to 1995, a span of years that is unrivaled. Don currently holds the record for the most wins in the NFL regular season with 328 and the most Super Bowl coaches with six. In 1997, in a move everyone saw coming, Don Shula was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Since retiring, Don has now lent his name to a chain of restaurants in Florida, Shula’s Steakhouse. Also spend time with him Don Shula Foundation, a foundation that strives to find a cure for breast cancer. Don formed this organization in 1991, just before his first wife succumbed to the disease.
Lawrence Richard Csonka
In the early 1970s, some men feared conscription from Vietnam and others feared Lawrence Csonka. At 6’3 and 235 pounds, he was a running back with the ability to go over or through defenders. He was also a great blocker and a great receiver, making him a triple threat on offense. Nominated for five Pro Bowls, Lawrence was an All-Pro in 1971, 1972, and 1973. He was named a Super Bowl VIII MVP and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. In the 1996 NFL Films production of The 100 toughest players in the NFL, Lawrence claimed the number ten spot.
Since hanging up his cleats, Lawrence has been a motivational speaker, an avid nature lover and conservationist, a host of hunting and fishing shows, a general manager for the United States Soccer League, and an analyst at American gladiators. He is currently President and Executive Producer of Zonk! Productions in Lisbon, Ohio and producer and host of a nature show called NAPA’s north of Alaska.
For nine seasons, Jake Scott played in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and the Washington Redskins. He served as a free safety and kick returner and made five consecutive Pro Bowls. While playing for the Dolphins, he had 35 interceptions in six seasons, including two in the Dolphins’ perfect season Super Bowl victory. With 63 yards of return in that game as well, Jake was named Super Bowl MVP. In the 1980s, Jake was considered the Dolphin Neutralizer of All Time by NFL Films. He was inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame in 1998. Jake currently lives in Hawaii, where he is an investor.
By duoing with Lawrence Csonka, Jim Kiick was the other part of Miami’s running game. Known, along with Csonka, as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Boy”, Kiick played in Miami from 1968 to 1974. His career was marked by playing in three Super Bowls and accumulating rushing yards. In the Dolphin record books, Kiick continues to rank as the fourth leading running back of all time.
In later years, his football career was marked by some oddities. These included the signing of Kiick and Csonka with the World Soccer League. Kiick eventually returned to the NFL, where he was released by the Denver Broncos. It was unfortunate that this statement came the same day that Kiick saw his marriage end and his house burned.
In 1996, Kiick was named a member of the University of Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame. He is now president of Kiick sports promotions, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His agency hires former players for guest appearances.
A linebacker who played for the Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins, Nick was instrumental in both the game and his leadership throughout his career. He was named to the AFL All-Star team in 1969 and to the Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1973. In the past year, he set a record by making 162 tackles, 91 of which were unassisted. In 2001, he was named a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Since his retirement, Nick served as president of the US Tobacco Company and co-hosted the HBO series, Inside the NFL. For the past two decades, he has been a pivotal figure in the Miami project to cure paralysis. He became a part of this foundation when his son Marc was paralyzed during a college football game in 1985. Since then, this foundation has become one of the world’s leading neurological research centers.
Nick is believed to be the most vocal member of the Perfect Season Miami Dolphins team. He is rumored to lead a champagne toast every year after the undefeated team suffers its first loss.
Until another team can match a flawless record, it’s just bottom-up for Nick and the rest of the 1972 members. The other NFL franchises’ only hope is to keep fishing and pray for something besides a dolphin. , bite.