As I sit down and reflect on the news of legendary Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula’s passing, I felt yet again that a part of my childhood was lost. Lost to only memories now. I won’t get to see Coach Shula in his golf cart driving around Hard Rock Stadium, or as it once was Joe Robbie Stadium.
Like so many older Dolphins fans, it took a while to adjust to this stadium, for all of our early memories were of the Orange Bowl. That is where the real magic was. That is where it all began. During the late ’60s and ’70s, Don Shula’s name was a mainstay in our household. Going to Dolphins game became so religious that all our neighbors would think we were heading off to church.
This Sunday, the Miami Dolphins will face the Cincinnati Bengals. Many Dolphins fans will concern themselves only with the outcome of the game and what draft position the Dolphins will eventually end with.
But to the older fans and former players, this game will have another meaning.
You see this Sunday, the Miami Dolphins will honor the “1972 Perfect Season Team” as part of the NFL 100 Greatest in a special halftime ceremony. Every player from the ’72 team will receive a special personalized golden football.
“It’s always special to be around the guys who came together to accomplish what no other team in the 100-year history of the NFL has ever done – the perfect season,” said Hall of Fame Head Coach Don Shula. “It’s only fitting as the League closes out this milestone season that the 1972 Dolphins are officially recognized with an honor that we always knew was true – that they are the greatest team in NFL history.”