THE MIAMI DOLPHINS by Morris T. McLemore


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The Miami Dolphins ""football's most exciting team""? Their first training camp ""the most ridiculous any pro team has endured since the invention of pigskin"" OK fans, hyperbole is the order of this play-by-playback of the young Dolphin club (1966--), a franchise put together with the financial help of comedian Danny Thomas and the legal wisdom of Joe Robbie. The first season was pretty much the washout everyone expected -- you can't win too many with a quarterback who ""scrambled with all the agility of a drunken seal on a wet rock,"" the makeshift team losing their first nine games and finishing with a 3-11 record. The next few years were equally disheartening under coach George Wilson, but then Robbie plucked the talented coach Don Shula away from the Baltimore Colts (after first flirting with Notre Dame's Ara Parseghian and 'Bama's Bear Byrant) and the team began winning in 1970, making it to Super Bowl VI the following year. Former coach Wilson, a mite peeved, said publicly that Shula had the horses -- the running combo of Kiick & Csonka, premier QB Bob Griese, receiver Paul Warfield -- all acquired by him, Wilson: Shula ""took over a ready-made team. Joe Doakes could have coached that team."" That's about the only feud here -- the rest reruns of the Dolphins' epic encounters on 'that ""steaming-hot, grease-slick griddle"" (the '71 season gets about half the ink), no scuttlebutt from or about the players. Nick the Greek probably wouldn't give this much of a chance except in Orange Bowl land where winning is said to be the better part of loyalty.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday