Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

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

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

PBS NewsHour YouTube Channel video: Sports Fan in Chief Honors Champion 1972 Miami Dolphins. "More than 40 years since the 1972 Miami Dolphins made NFL history with their perfect season, coach Don Shula and his undefeated team were honored by President Barack Obama with a visit to the White House. Kwame Holman reports on the presidential tradition of following sports and Mr. Obama's dedication to his home teams." Uploaded August 20, 2013  http://youtu.be/wAAXkutt7as

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

On this day in history, 1965, August 16 Danny Thomas and Joe Robbie received the approval of the Dolphins Franchise.   
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.
Here's some of the rest...

You were fortunate enough to have a son who as a child loved to evangelize about the 
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,
more-influential and more important than Miami in the larger scheme of things.


Sudden Death at Kansas City 

Miami's Garo Yepremian Ends the Longest Game; (kneeling) placekick holder Karl Noonan, January 3, 1972


Kiick and Csonka, Miami's Dynamic Duo 
Larry Csonka & Jim Kiick, August 7, 1972

Building For The Super Bowl
Miami Coach Don Shula, December 11, 1972


It's Miami and Washington 
Mercury Morris Speeds Past The Steelers, January 8, 1973


Miami All The Way 
Bob Griese, January 22, 1973

Wolfson Archive YouTube Channel video: Miami Dolphins Perfect 1972 Season Celebration and Superbowl Victory. Uploaded August 20, 2013. http://youtu.be/BxLG_exjIDQ

The Don Shula Show 17-0 Season January 15, 1973. Super Bowl VII Winners.  
conkyjoe YouTube Channel video:The Don Shula Show 17-0 Season January 15, 1973. Super Bowl VII Winners. Uploaded December 1, 2012. 

1970 Dolphins radio play-by-play announcer at WIOD and later Channel 10 sports director Joe Croghan was host until 1974 for what everyone simply called "the Shula show."
The guests the Monday night after the 14-7 Super Bowl victory over the Redskins were QB Bob Griese and DT Manny Fernandez.
But as usual, Coach Shula is the glue that holds it all together, which is why even today, he is still THE most-admired person in all of South Florida for most longtime South Florida residents, including me.

My family and I never missed the Don Shula Show and we could all mimic the show's intro voice-over by heart!
By the time this particular show aired, I think I'd been up since sometime Sunday morning! Just riding on adrenaline...
From the video uploader's comments, which are quite important for making sense of this for those of you who were NOT living here forty years ago,  "From January 15, 1973. The Dolphins first Super Bowl win with an unbeaten 17-0 season. Perfection. This is the only footage of this show in existence. It was recorded on a Sony B&W reel to reel VTR in the newsroom. No quad color tape machines were available because of commercial playback. Unbelievable nobody but me recorded this historic event. Sorry for the marginal audio track. No highlights are shown due to NFL rights restrictions. The show was produced by The Sandy Tinsley Ad Agency, Miami. Rick Shaw, voice over announcer. Sponsored by Holsom Bread and Eastern Airlines."
When the Dolphins were undefeated in 1972 and won their first NFL Championship, your son was at every home game, his first year as a season-ticket holder, his eyes like a video-camera remembering everything around him, which he would detail years later to anyone who was interested.

Once Upon a Time.. there was perfection in aqua and orange and white.

Just like our whole family has talked so many times over the years since when we all drove down to the Eastern Airlines tarmac and terminal of Miami International Airport early in the morning hours 42 years ago to greet the team returning from Kansas City, after their extremely-emotional double-overtime playoff win over the Chiefs on Christmas Day in 1971.
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 

Larry Csonka & Bob Griese, September 17, 1973

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.

beaverstuffers YouTube Channel: NFL on NBC, opening (1973). Uploaded August 20, 2009. http://youtu.be/nv-datkQYUU

Yes, 1973, the last year the Dolphins really WERE the best team. Forty years.

Zonk! Miami Massacres Minnesota
Larry Csonka, January 21, 1974

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.

Vince Lombardi Championship Trophies from Dolphin victories in Super Bowl VII and VIII.
April 2007 photo by Mario J. Bermudez taken at Miami Dolphins Headquarters, Davie, Florida.
It's why you play the game.

For more on this longstanding wistfulness, see my Super Bowl blog post of February 6, 2011,
"Lombardi. A certain magic still lingers in the very name. It speaks of duels in the snow and cold November mud..."; Packers will win by at least 8!


New Life In The WFL 

Warfield, Csonka and Kiick of Memphis, July 28, 1975


The Day Of The Dolphins 
Andra Franklin Plows Through The Chargers, January 24, 1983


Rookies On The Rise 
Dan Marino: Miami's Hot Quarterback, November 14, 1983


Air Raid! Miami Bombs Washington 
Mark Clayton (burning Darryl Green) September 10, 1984


Super Duper!

Wide Receiver Mark Duper Of The Undefeated Dolphins, November 19, 1984

Dangerous Dan
Dan Marino Passes Miami Into The Super Bowl, January 14, 1985

In mid-January of 1985, when your son was 24, he watched the Dolphins play the 49ers  in the Super Bowl at your apt. near The Falls, their second Super Bowl appearance in four years, and in only Dan Marino's 2nd-year.

Like all of South Florida, we were all quite confident that with Marino as our QB and with Don Shula as head coach, there would be many more such Super Bowl appearances in the next ten years, and the Dolphins would likely win their share of them.

But though we didn't know it at the time, after the game the Dolphins were, to be fair, largely toyed with by the 49ers in the second half, something fundamental was taking place.
A shift that for Dolphin fans like us, would NOT be a change for the better, not even a valuable learning experience.

We thought the team was getting better and building towards the future, but the reality was that we were actually falling like quicksand into a particular ring of football hell reserved for very entertaining NFL teams that never win in the clutch, no matter how big a lead they have.

Teams that score a lot of TDs quickly, but then promptly give them up even more quickly.
Teams that never make that one trade that they need to make to keep the door open and then knock the door down.

After Marino retired, theDolphins got older, more boring  and more irrelevant than ever, and changed coaches and QBs with great regularity until they were no longer considered one of the best-run sports teams in the country, they were no longer even the best-run team in Miami, having long ago lost that title to the University of Miami that played exciting AND winning football.

And now, today, 48 years to the day they became a team, the same day that Babe Ruth and
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.
Now that's some perspective that really says something profound.

Still, your son, ever the Dolphins evangelist, albeit in-spite of the team rather than because of any success or enjoyment from watching the team, keeps the spirit of a once-upon-a-time tradition of hard work, commitment to attention to details and a winning culture alive, however he can, even when he travels overseas.

Above, at Panera Bread, Hallandale Beach, FL in December of 2012
Photos above and below as seen at:

Which is why when a certain son of yours found himself in Sweden in January, it was only natural that he had extra Dolphins caps with him to help spread the word.

And thus, when a certain very talented and moxie-filled Swedish singer named Anni Bernhard came to record her new Full of Keys album in April for at least part of the recording session that week in a Swedish city that you've never heard of -Visby- she wore the Dolphins aqua cap proudly  when smiling for the camera, and even put that photo out on the Internet for all to see.

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.

No, Anni was not ashamed to be seen wearing the aqua and orange.
Thanks to your son, the persuasive Dolphins evangelist.

Full Of Keys

Full Of Keys


Stockholm, Sweden · fullofkeys.com

Love, Dave,
your son, the Dolphins evangelist

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!

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