I'll start out by saying I'm a Miami Dolphins fan, have been since I was a kid. I have a Dolphins helmet sitting on my computer as I type this. I need to say that because you should know I'm not very neutral on this subject.
So I find myself shaking my head at all the negativity thrown at the 17-0 Dolphins. They're a bunch of old men holding on to a dream. They had a soft schedule. Paul Warfield only caught 29 passes. Heck the Patriots offensive line outweighs 'em by 60 pounds a man.
All hype and all pointless.
Why compare teams 35 years apart? Win or lose?
It's a different game.
Receivers couldn't just sprint down field in '72. The defense was allowed to pound them nearly the entire route.
Quarterbacks took the same pounding. Many of the old timers will ask why doesn't the NFL just put the current crop of quarterbacks in skirts? Harsh, but it says something about the changes over time.
I like the Warfield comment. They always forget the second part of the stat, the important part. Paul Warfield "only" caught 29 passes, but his average was over 25 yards a catch.
Bob Griese "only" threw 11 passes in the Super Bowl. Heck he was "only" 6 of 7 in the next Super Bowl. That's because he was handing off to Csonka. That was the way they won. Crush the defensive line, then throw deep to Warfield.
There's a story about Csonka getting called for a personal foul for hitting a defensive player while running down the sideline. It's true, it's part of the footage NFL films includes in their first season of America's Game.
Does this matter?
The Patriots are a different type of team. Bigger. Faster. Full Time. Virtually all the Dolphins had other jobs. That's what you needed when you only made $30,000 a year.
Yeah. A '72 Dolphin was paid less for the season than the Pats make a game.
Different era. Different rules.
I'm an AFC fan. I've only pulled for the NFC once in the Super Bowl. That was the Panthers versus Patriots. Nothing against New England, but the Panthers play five minutes away from my office. They're my hometown team even if the Dolphins are MY team.
This Sunday I'll just watch.
If the Pats win, they join a very exclusive club.
If the Patriots lose, I'll tilt one more Michelob to Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Earl Morrall, Jim Kiick, Howard Twilley, Larry Seiple, Norm Evans, Bob Kuechenberg, Manny Fernandez, Larry Little, Nick Buoniconti, Paul Warfield, Mercury Morris, Jake Scott, Dick Anderson, Jim Langer, Bob Matheson, Bill Arnsparger, Don Shula and the rest of the '72 Dolphins. Even Garo.
Oh Yeah. The '73 team was much better. No question about that. If you wanna compare, use that squad.
'til Butch and Sundance ride again
Keep the Adventure Alive,