Happy Miami Dolphins Anniversary; For some, the Dolphins' glory is like faded photographs in an album, but to me, it is as fresh in my mind as anything else in my memory. I only wish the people running and coaching the team now cared as much as I and some others do, who know what it's like to see and appreciate a thing of beauty -perfection- up-close and personal; Sports Fan in Chief Obama Honors Champion 1972 Miami Dolphins at White House
The following is an edited version of a August 16th email I received from my NPR-listening mother, who now lives up in Polk County in Central Florida, and my response to her shortly thereafter, on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the Miami Dolphins being born in 1965.
August 16, 2013
At least that's what I think the announcer said this morning...or something very similar to the beginning of the Dolphin Football team.....they don't repeat these things.
I replied as follows:
But that's only half the story, of course.
Dolphins and their players with perfect strangers -even while acknowledging the players shortcomings- and often talked what some thought was too much about the wonderful things that they could do so much better than other teams in American cities that were much-larger,
SUDDEN DEATH AT KANSAS CITY
I was so exhausted and hoarse that I literally couldn't talk the next day.
And eyes like a video-camera remembering everything around him the following season when they won their second Vince Lombardi NFL Championship trophy.
PRO FOOTBALL, MIAMI IS ROUGH AND READY
Over at NBC, one of the perks of consistently winning -attention- came to a whole crew of Dolphins in their NFL intro package, featuring mostly Dolphins guard Bob Kuechenberg getting dressed, and, in between video of other great players of that era, Larry Little, Vern Den Herder, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese and at 0:57, the late Jim Mandich., whose warm personality and honesty is still so greatly missed in South Florida by so many, more than two years after his untimely passing.
Yes, 1973, the last year the Dolphins really WERE the best team. Forty years.
And for a while at least, when people around the country thought of Miami, they thought of the Dolphins, never the most-talented team, but always the hardest-working team and a team of winners who demanded a lot of themselves and of each other.
NEW LIFE IN THE WFL
Elvis died on years apart, 99% of anyone you see or speak to who is under the age of 27 has NEVER BEEN ALIVE when the Dolphins were playing in a Super Bowl game.
Above, at Panera Bread, Hallandale Beach, FL in December of 2012
Pictured above, left-to-right, are Anni Bernhard (Full of Keys), sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013, Sandvie Studios, Visby, Gotland, Sweden.
Full Of Keys
As some of you know, from the time I went to my first Dolphins home game at the Orange Bowl in December of 1970, with my Dad, a 45-3 win over Buffalo that clinched a playoff position for the first time in team history, I missed less than a handful of home games -preseason, regular season and playoff- some because of my own sports games, until I left for Bloomington and college at IU in August of 1979.
And I have every Pro! game program from every game I went to, as well as the ticket stub.
I didn't see much losing because after a tough loss to the Jets in 1971, the Dolphins won a record 31 straight home games, regular season and post-season games, not losing until the opening season game in 1975 against the Raiders on a Monday Night Football classic that was back-and-forth with that great Raider team of so many future Hall-of-Famers.
That was the famous game within our family's history where after doing it for years, I somehow got on the wrong Metro Dade Orange Bowl Express bus to the Golden Glades stop in the Levitz Furniture showroom parking lot, because there was a back-up of buses along the street outside the Orange Bowl.
(I think it was a small accident or something, so all the busses were slight out of queue.)
I always checked what the destination said on the front of the bus before boarding, even though the buses were always in the same place so that people would remember where to go.
But that night, something happened and... within ten minutes or so, I realized I was headed somewhere towards Kendall -the complete opposite direction.
In those pre-cell phone days, I had to call my Dad on a pay phone around 1:30 am. and have him drive from North Miami Beach to pick me up, after the bus finally dropped me off on the way at a well-lit area.
Talk about panicked, my dad had to go to work in a few hours and I had school in a few hours.
Only one of my biggest mistakes ever!