1972 Dolphins gather to celebrate 40th anniversary

Don Shula had the 1972 Miami Dolphins over to his house for

dinner Thursday to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of their

perfect season.

”It’s going to be a wonderful evening for me to have them walk

through the door,” the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach said

beforehand. ”I can check them in and weigh them in and have them

run gassers and the 12-minute run, and make life miserable for them

remembering what I put them through.”

The dinner is among the festivities this week for the 1972 team,

which will be honored at the Dolphins game against Jacksonville on


Led by such Hall of Famers as Bob Griese, Larry Csonka and Paul

Warfield, the `72 Dolphins went 17-0 – still the only unbeaten,

untied team in NFL history.

”I never thought it would happen that we would be the only

team,” Hall of Fame guard Larry Little said. ”Then 10 years went

by, 20 years went by, 30 years went by. Now 40 years. And maybe 10

years from now, we’ll all be in wheelchairs and it still may not

have happened.”

Quarterback Earl Morrall, at 78 the team’s oldest player, said

he thought most of his ex-teammates looked good.

”We’ve all gotten a little bigger and stronger,” Morrall said

with a smile.

Most of the team was expected to attend this week’s events.

Safety Jake Scott, the most valuable player in the Super Bowl that

season, made the trip from his home in Hawaii after missing similar

reunions for many years because he had a falling out with


”That’s all water under the bridge now,” Scott said Thursday.

”It’s too long to hold a grudge. You get over it, go on and have

some fun.”

Some of the players are fiercely protective of the 1972

Dolphins’ unique place in history, and the 82-year-old Shula said

because of their record, they deserve to be considered the best

team ever.

He declined to predict how many more seasons might pass before

another team goes undefeated.

”You just never know,” he said. ”We’re just happy and

thankful that we did it. And if somebody else does it, we’re not a

bunch of angry old guys salivating and wishing they’d get beat.

I’ll call that coach and congratulate him, and I’m sure my players

will call their players and congratulate them.”

Scott, 67, joked that contemporary teams will have a tough time

catching the `72 Dolphins.

”As we get older,” he said with a laugh, ”we’re getting

better and better.”

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