Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Evenly Matched Opponents

05 Jan

It’s the 18th and final week of the NFL’s regular season schedule for 2022, and we’ve pinpointed a matchup from the week’s slate of games to feature for the last TBT post of the year. The San Francisco 49ers meet the Arizona Cardinals, and our featured game between the 2 clubs was played on December 12, 2004. It was a battle of two teams that were very evenly matched, to say the least. They were both plowing through regrettable campaigns, with Arizona amassing 4 wins and San Francisco just a single victory going into this late-season contest. Earlier in the year, the 49ers got that lone win in overtime against these same Cardinals, 31-28. Larry Fitzgerald, a sure-fire future Hall of Famer, was in his rookie season with the Cardinals, while Emmitt Smith, who helped Dallas to 3 Super Bowl wins in the 1990s, was finishing up his long career the way a lot of aging former stars do, playing out the string with a losing club.

Sun Devil Stadium was the site of this contest, which San Francisco started out with a flash. Quarterback Ken Dorsey tossed a short 5 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd to open the scoring , then threw 19 yards to Cedrick Wilson for another score. Maurice Hicks, who would rush for 139 yards on 34 attempts for the day, scored from a yard out, and the visitors from the Bay Area had themselves a 21-0 lead. Arizona finally cracked the score sheet with a Neil Rackers field goal but Dorsey and Wilson more than matched that when they hooked up on a 27 yard strike to up the lead to 28-3. It looked like a blowout was starting to take shape, until Cardinal QB Josh McCown began to put together a pair of scoring drives, engineered with timely passes to his favorite target Anquan Boldin. Both drives ended with short TD runs from Obafemi Ayanbadejo, who only amassed 13 rushing yards in the game but made them count.

Emmitt Smith then reached down into the prime of his career to score on an 8 yard run, and when McCown ran in successfully on a 2 point try, the Cards found themselves down by only 28-25. Amazingly, they completed the comeback when Rackers hit a tying field goal with a minute left in regulation, sending the contest to overtime. The 49ers recovered in the extra period, the second time the 2 clubs had to go to overtime to settle a game that year. Todd Peterson’s 31 yard field goal won it by the same exact score as their first meeting, 31-28. The game was one of the few high points in the six year NFL career of Dorsey, a college legend at Miami of Florida who was a pro football journeyman. He has enjoyed a successful coaching career, and is currently the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills.


49er legend QB Ken Dorsey



NFL – Throwback Thursday: Mitchell Makes A Statement

29 Dec

Looking over this week’s slate of NFL games, the one we chose to use as the Throwback Thursday feature for our week 17 post was a game between the Cleveland Browns and Washington Commanders. We’ll go back 60 years, to September 23, 1962, for a game played between these franchises at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. It was the season’s second week, and the Browns had opened the year by taking down their main rivals, the defending Eastern Division champion New York Giants, on opening day. Washington, of course going by Redskins back then, had a disappointing tie with the lowly Dallas Cowboys to start their year off, and were looking to right the ship against a Paul Brown-led strong Cleveland outfit.

It was a game of significant importance to one player in particular – Redskin flanker Bobby Mitchell. He was a star player for 4 seasons with the Browns, as a halfback and running mate of superstar fullback Jim Brown. Prior to the ’62 season, however, the Browns traded him to Washington for the rights to rookie back Ernie Davis. It was a bad trade for Cleveland as Davis died of leukemia before playing a down in the NFL. For Mitchell, it wasn’t exactly a picnic either. The only reason he was acquired by Washington was because their racist owner, George Preston Marshall, was forced to integrate his team, against his wishes. Mitchell was mocked by the owner and ostracized by teammates. Coach Bill McPeak moved him from halfback to flanker, a move that many teams were making at the time. Mitchell had made a mark on opening day with a 92 yard kickoff return, and was determined to keep making major contributions to his new club, despite not being completely accepted. Add in the fact that this game was against the team that gave up on him, and Mitchell had plenty of motivation.

There wasn’t a lot of offense for the first 3 quarters of this contest. Washington opened the scoring with a defensive touchdown as Jim Steffen scooped up a fumbled and raced 39 yards to paydirt. Cleveland would get a 1 yard scoring run from Tommy Wilson and sprinkle in 3 Lou Groza field goals, with Bob Khayat adding a three-pointer for the ‘Skins. That would set up the play of the game late in the final quarter. Redskin quarterback Norm Snead hit Mitchell with what turned out to be a game-winning 50 yard touchdown bomb as Washington, and Mitchell, pulled off a 17-16 upset. Mitchell wound up with 3 catches for 94 yards and the TD to lead a Washington attack that was outgained 355-209 in total yards by the Browns on the day. The Redskins beat the Browns again in the second meeting of 1962, but Cleveland then dominated the series between them for the rest of the decade on into the early 1970s, winning 12 straight.

To his credit, Bobby Mitchell forged ahead the remainder of the ’62 campaign and let his play on the field push back against the racism he faced with his new team. By the end of the season, he took full ownership of his new flanker position and led the NFL in receptions with 72 and receiving yardage with 1,384 yards. His 11 touchdowns ranked third. He was named to his first of what would be 3 consecutive Pro Bowls. His new teammates took notice. He was awarded a football, signed by all those teammates, after his tremendous year as a sign of respect. That ball is now proudly displayed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.


Bobby Mitchell’s signed football at the Hall of Fame in Canton




NFL – Throwback Thursday: The Turned Tables

22 Dec

A pair of franchises that have a deep history of hard-fought battles face off on this week’s NFL schedule. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders, although both are mired in mediocrity in 2022, have been notorious for hating each other over the decades. In the 1970s, the Raiders, then in Oakland, had one of the top regular season winning percentages in the NFL. But the Steelers dominated the postseason in that decade with 4 Super Bowl wins, and in the early to mid-’70s won 5 of 7 matchups with coach John Madden’s club. In 1976, the tables began to turn in Oakland’s favor. They defeated Pittsburgh in the regular season and again in the playoffs on their way to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history that year. In the second half of the decade and into the early 1980s the Raiders continued to own their AFC rivals, to the tune of 4 more victories in a row to stretch their winning streak over the Steelers to 6.

It’s the final game of those 6 consecutive wins that we feature in this week’s TBT post. It was a divisional playoff game of the 1983 season, played on New Year’s Day of 1984. The Raiders had relocated to Los Angeles in 1982, so the game was played at one of the 20th century’s athletic cathedrals, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Raiders were favored in the game as the Steelers, although they managed to grab a playoff spot, were a shell of the team that had been so dominant in the previous decade. Terry Bradshaw was gone and the Steel City club was quarterbacked by a pair of journeymen in Cliff Stoudt and Mark Malone, both of whom saw action in this contest. After a Gary Anderson field goal gave Pittsburgh an early lead, Lester Hayes pilfered a Stoudt pass and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown to put L.A. ahead 7-3. The Raiders used their rushing attack, with quarterback Jim Plunkett filtering in passes to Cliff Branch and Todd Christensen, to put together drives that ended in a 4 yard TD scamper by future Hall of Famer Marcus Allen and a Chris Bahr field goal, upping the lead to 17-3 at halftime.

The rest of the game’s scoring came in the third quarter. The Raiders’ ground game continued to churn out yardage, with Kenny King scoring on a 9 yard run and Allen finding daylight on his way to his second score of the game from 49 yards out. The rout was now on, but Stoudt broke the L.A. momentum with a 58 yard touchdown bomb to John Stallworth. Frank Hawkins’ 2 yard touchdown run matched that and the Raiders advanced to the AFC Championship game with a resounding 38-10 win. In all the Raiders racked up 413 yards of offense, including 188 hard-fought rushing yards. Allen had a banner day, totaling 121 yards on 13 carries and his 2 TDs. The win proved to be a springboard for Los Angeles, as they soundly defeated Seattle in the AFC title game, then shocked the heavily favored defending champion Washington Redskins 38-9 in the Super Bowl to secure their second NFL championship.


Marcus Allen shreds the Steeler defense


NFL – Throwback Thursday: A Bump In The Road

15 Dec

On this week’s NFL schedule there is a meeting of the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts, 2 teams that were members of the old guard NFL before the merger. For this week’s Throwback Thursday feature our sights are set on opening day of the 1964 season, which was a pretty successful one for the Colts and their young coach, Don Shula. The old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota was the setting for the game, the September 13th home opener for the Vikings. The team was still relatively young as a franchise, entering their fourth season under coach Norm Van Brocklin. The Colts, still located in Baltimore then, had high hopes for the new campaign. They had ended the 1963 season with 3 straight wins, including a 41-10 thrashing of the Vikings, and appeared ready to shed the mediocre reputation that had befallen the franchise since winning back-to-back NFL titles in the late 1950s.

That old pro football saying of “any given Sunday” is a real thing, and it played out on this day. Minnesota’s Tommy Mason raced 51 yards for a touchdown in a sign of things to come, as the Vikings’ rushing attack would have 2 backs go over 100 yards for the day and the team would amass over 300 on the ground. Lenny Moore got the Colts even with a 2 yard scoring run, followed by a short Fred Cox field goal and a 48 yard TD pass from Fran Tarkenton to his fullback, Bill Brown. That gave the Vikings a 17-7 halftime lead. The entire second half amounted to the teams trading scores. John Unitas cut the Viking lead to 17-14 with an 18 yard touchdown throw to Jimmy Orr, but the Vikings answered that with a 1 yard Brown plunge. Unitas kept his club close with a 70 yard bomb to Moore to close out the third quarter. Tarkenton, however, opened the final stanza with an answer to that, finishing a drive with a 6 yard touchdown toss to Paul Flatley to put Minnesota up 31-21. The teams traded field goals to close out the scoring and Minnesota had themselves an impressive 34-24 opening day victory.

Mason finished with 137 yards on 20 carries while Brown added 103 on 20 tries and also chipped in 84 yards on 3 receptions to fuel the Viking attack. It wasn’t the start Shula and the Colts expected, but they didn’t let it derail their aspirations. They would lose only 1 more time in that ’64 regular season, finishing 12-2 to claim the Western Division crown. Their string of wins included a sweep of Vince Lombardi’s Packers and shutout wins of 52-0 over the defending champion Bears and 34-0 over the Lions. Their only other regular season loss was in the season’s penultimate week, to Detroit, after they had already clinched the division. Despite the dominance, the Baltimore club lost the championship game to Cleveland in disappointing 27-0 shutout fashion.

Vikings’ Tommy Mason finds daylight (Neil Leifer-Getty Images)


NFL – Throwback Thursday: Boomer Blanks The Browns

08 Dec

When former Cleveland Browns’ founder/coach Paul Brown was awarded a pro franchise for Cincinnati in 1968, and then plunked into the AFC Central Division with those Browns as part of the 1970 merger, an automatic rivalry was destined to happen between the 2 Ohio cities. They renew that rivalry as AFC North opponents on this week’s NFL schedule, so we look back at a contest played between them on December 3, 1989 for this week’s Throwback Thursday feature. It was a week 13 contest and both clubs were fighting to stay alive in the AFC playoff race. In the cold environment of Cleveland’s old Municipal Stadium, the defenses took command of the game early, and battled through a scoreless first quarter.

Bengal running back James Brooks finally broke the standoff with a one yard touchdown run in the second quarter. After making some adjustments at halftime, Bengal signal caller Boomer Esaison lit up the scoreboard with touchdown throws of 38 yards to Tim McGee and 9 yards to Rodney Holman. The throw to McGee involved some trickery, as it was the result of a successful flea flicker. With the playing conditions deteriorating and the defenses still forcing things, that gave Cincinnati what amounted to an insurmountable 21-0 lead. That score held up as the final tally, and the Bengals kept their slim playoff hopes alive with the win.

That Ohio rivalry was, and still is, a heated one for both players and fans. In fact, the following week, the Bengals had a home game against Seattle, and things weren’t going real well for the home team. Between blowing a lead and some questionable officiating calls, the fans began to get restless and started to pelt the field with snow balls. Bengal coach Sam Wyche took it upon himself to try and calm the crowd down. He grabbed a microphone and proclaimed “If you see anyone throwing things on the field get them out of here. You don’t live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati!” Ah, yes, a little more fuel to the fire that is the Battle of Ohio rivalry.


The late Sam Wyche, former Bengals’ head coach


NFL – Throwback Thursday: Defensive Day Off

01 Dec

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons clash on this week’s schedule, and for our Thursday Throwback we’ll feature a game played between these 2 teams in the Falcons’ inaugural season, on December 18, 1966. The Steelers were a suffering through a typical dismal season for them in the 1960s, while the Falcons, of course, were an expansion team still cutting their teeth. To properly gauge the moods of the 2 clubs going into this game, let’s look at where they were entering this final regular season game for both. Pittsburgh was 4-8-1 and closing out another losing year, while Atlanta was just beginning to build some momentum, having won 2 games in a row to raise their record to 3-10. They saw an opportunity to finish the year on the high of a 3 game winning streak.

The Steelers, however sorry of a team they were, reacted like a kid whose buddies bullied him, then some new kid moves in and tries to join in on the bullying. There was no way they were going to let that happen. As bad as the Steelers were in the 1960s, they at least always had a reputation for playing tough defense, even to the point of being dirty. That defense took a vacation day in this game, however,  as did the Atlanta defensive unit. It started out quietly enough as the only first quarter scoring was a pair of Mike Clark field goals for Piitsburgh. The Steelers then exploded in the second quarter. Quarterback Bill Nelsen hit Gary Ballman on a 12 yard touchdown pass and Amos Bullocks ran 13 yards for a score and suddenly the Steelers were up 20-0. Atlanta put together a drive to try and stay close, finishing it up with a 1 yard Junior Coffey touchdown run. Pittsburgh score again on a short run by Cannonball Butler, with Clark missing the extra point. Clark then redeemed himself with another short field goal and the Steelers had themselves a commanding 29-7 halftime lead.

There was another flurry of scoring in the third quarter. Falcon QB Randy Johnson connected on a 53 yard pass to running back Preston Ridlehuber for a TD to open the quarter, but the Steelers took over again from there. Buter scored again, winding up a drive with another touchdown. Then Nelsen took the longer, faster route by connecting with Roy Jefferson on a 68 yard touchdown bomb. When Clendon Thomas scooped up an Atlanta fumble and returned it 23 yards to the end zone, the Steel City club now found themselves ahead of the expansion bunch 50-14. Pittsburgh’s defense went back into vacation mode after that. Johnson and Ridlehuber connected again for a score, this time from 19 yards out, but the Steeler offense matched that when Willie Asbury scampered into the end zone from 2 yards out. Falcon coach Norb Hecker, who had been plucked from Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay staff to guide the new team, sent young Dennis Claridge in to mop up the game at quarterback. Claridge, who came from the Packers along with Hecker, lit up the scoreboard with a pair of touchdown throws, of 62 and 12 yards, to four year vet Taz Anderson, ringing up the final tally at 57-33 in favor of Pittsburgh.

It was a typical showing for a team wrapping up it’s inaugural season up against a perennial losing team trying to at least show it could bully somebody else instead of being bullied. Both Hecker and Steeler mentor Bill Austin would last until the 1968 season before being fired, while Claridge, despite showing promise in this game, never stayed in the league beyond the ’66 season.


Game program from Falcons/Steelers 1966 clash



NFL – Throwback Thursday: Coryell Sees His Future

24 Nov

On September 26, 1976 the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Cardinals met, and they play each other again on this week’s NFL schedule, with both clubs calling different cities home. We highlight this matchup as our Throwback Thursday feature because the Cardinals’ coach, Don Coryell, would find himself as the head man of the Chargers a couple of years later. It was week 3 of the ’76 season and both teams entered the contest unbeaten at 2-0. Coryell had a top quarterback leading his offense in Jim Hart, and Hart played a pretty good game, but it was San Diego’s young signal caller, Dan Fouts, who dominated the action. He led a drive that ended with a Don Woods touchdown run to start the scoring, but Hart brought the Cardinals back with a 14 yard touchdown toss to J.V. Cain and a field goal drive. Since the Chargers had missed their extra point St.Louis now led 10-6.

Fouts and the Chargers took command in the second quarter. Rickey Young’s short scoring run started a 27 point avalanche, with Fouts throwing 3 touchdown passes. He found Charlie Joiner for a 30 yard score, then threw twice to Dwight McDonald for touchdowns from 44 and 18 yards out. Another extra point was missed, but it hardly mattered. San Diego now led 33-10 at the half. When Hart hit Wayne Morris with an 11 yard TD it looked as though the Cards might have some life, but Fouts snuffed that out by leading another field goal drive and throwing his fourth touchdown pass of the day, a short 1 yarder to Pat Curran. Morris added another touchdown for St. Louis but the outcome had been decided by then. The final result was a 43-24 beatdown by San Diego.

The seasons went in opposite directions for these 2 teams after this game. San Diego would stumble to a 6-8 record. The Cardinals went 10-4 but still wound up third in the NFC East, and had the dubious distinction of being the only 10 win club to not qualify for the playoffs in the 14 game season era. It was the first time in 3 years that they missed the playoffs. Ultimately, the Cardinals fired Coryell and in the middle of the 1978 season San Diego fired their coach, Tommy Prothro, and replaced him with Coryell, who had cut his teeth as a coach at San Diego State in the 1960s and early ’70s. He took Fouts and Joiner and added pieces like Chuck Muncie, John Jefferson and Kellen Winslow and created the “Air Coryell” offensive attack that the Chargers used successfully for the 9 years that he coached there.


Future Hall of Fame QB Dan Fouts


NFL – Throwback Thursday: Flipping The Record Book

17 Nov

On November 26, 1989, an NFL contest was played between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, who also play on this week’s slate of games. We picked this matchup for our Throwback Thursday feature to highlight a record-breaking performance by a forgotten wide receiver from the Rams’ past, Willie Lee “Flipper” Anderson. The game was hotly contested but not really high scoring. It went into overtime and was decided by a 31 yard Mike Lansford field goal, 20-17 in the Rams’ favor. A couple of Saints’ players had good statistical games – Dalton Hilliard rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries and Eric Martin caught 5 passes for 107 yards and his team’s only 2 touchdowns. The Saints’ defense, for the most part, had a decent game, racking up 6 sacks and 2 interceptions. Their one problem was they had no answer for the passing connection of Jim Everett to Anderson. Everett threw for 454 yards, 336 of which went to the record-breaking Anderson. The connection befuddled the Saints. Los Angeles ran for only 57 yards in the game, but the passing attack enabled them to wipe out a 17-3 deficit and claim the overtime win.

One important running play in the Rams’ attack was a 5 yard touchdown by Buford McGee that cut the lead to 17-10, while Anderson caught a 15 yard scoring pass from Everett to tie the game in the waning moments of regulation. Flipper continued his dominance in the extra period by snagging a pair of passes to set up the winning field goal. The Rams finished up the year as a playoff team but were beaten by the powerhouse San Francisco 49ers when they got there. This was a memorable day for the franchise, however. Anderson’s record of 336 yards on 15 receptions still stands to this day, and only 5 receivers in NFL history have amassed 300 yards in a single game.


Flipper Anderson on his way to a record


NFL – Throwback Thursday: Battle Of The Icons

10 Nov

The Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers face off on the NFL’s week 10 schedule this Sunday, and for our Throwback Thursday feature we’ll wander back to November 11, 1960 for a game played between the 2 franchises. It pitted 2 former co-workers, Dallas coach Tom Landry and Packer head man Vince Lombardi, in their first meeting since both were top assistants with the New York Giants in the 1950s. The future icons were at opposite ends of the spectrum as far as the development of their respective teams. Lombardi was in his third season rebuilding what was a sad sack franchise when he took over in 1958, and the Packers would advance to the NFL title game in this season. Landry, on the other hand, had taken charge of an expansion team that year, and was still sorting out pieces of a roster that included a lot of older washed up veterans, the only type of players who were made available in expansion drafts back then.

Green Bay entered the game with a healthy 4-2 record, while the Cowboys were winless at 0-7. The game proceeded exactly like expected between a club starting to grow into a perennial title contender and a first year team trying to find an identity. Lombardi attacked the Cowboys with the style of play his teams would become known for – a relentless ground attack. Fullback Jim Taylor ripped off touchdown runs on 28 and 6 yards to start the scoring, and rough and tumble linebacker Ray Nitschke got the defense involved when he returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown to put the Pack ahead 21-0. Paul Hornung added a pair of field goals and by halftime the game was essentially over as Green Bay led 27-0.

The Taylor show continued in the third quarter as the future Hall of Famer scampered 23 yards for his third touchdown, and Hornung joined the party again with a 4 yard touchdown run to wrap up Green Bay’s scoring. Don Meredith, one of 3 Dallas quarterbacks to see action in the game, scraped up a little pride for his sorry team by connecting with Walt Kowalczyk on a 14 yard scoring pass. The final gun ended the misery for Landry and the Cowboys, with the Packers earning a 41-7 win. Five Dallas turnovers contributed to the lopsided score, but in the end Landry’s unit of mismatched expansion team parts were no match for Lombardi’s fine-tuned club. The two legendary coaches would meet up again in the future in some classic title games, including the 1967 “Ice Bowl”.



Packers, Cowboys at the line of scrimmage (Green Bay Press Gazette photo)



NFL – Throwback Thursday: Pop The Champagne!

03 Nov

It’s week 9 of the NFL season, and a matchup on this week’s schedule has the Miami Dolphins squaring off with the Chicago Bears. For our weekly Throwback Thursday feature we’ll land on a game played between these clubs on December 2, 1985. This was a magical season for the Bears. It culminated in a dominating Super Bowl win over New England and along the way introduced America to a wild cast of characters. There was brash coach Mike Ditka and his salty defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. There was the defiant punk quarterback, Jim McMahon, who taunted commissioner Pete Rozelle by wearing a headband with a corporate logo on it from Adidas, a violation of the league’s strict dress code. After being fined for the violation, he wore a headband that said “Rozelle” on it the next week. He also mooned a helicopter flying over a Bears’ practice during Super Bowl week. The defensive unit was loaded with crazy characters. They included wild-eyed middle linebacker Mike Singletary, future pro wrestler Steve McMichael, and most notably, the lovable William “The Refrigerator” Perry, a plump giant who captured the nation’s affection when Ditka lined him up on offense and allowed him to score touchdowns at the goal line. The players also made a video called the “Super Bowl Shuffle” in which they danced and rapped their way to a Grammy.

Chicago’s wild bunch finished the regular season with a dominating 15-1 record, then shut out 2 playoff opponents before demolishing the Patriots 46-10 in the big game. The game we’re featuring, on that December Monday night, was the only blemish on their record. The Dolphins, of course, are the only NFL team to ever accomplish the feat of going through an entire season undefeated, which they did in 1972 when they went 17-0 overall and won their first Super Bowl. On this night, there were members of that undefeated team on hand for the game, and of course, coach Don Shula, who orchestrated the perfect season, was still coaching the Dolphins. So in effect the Dolphins, and young third year quarterback Dan Marino, were protecting the legacy of the ’72 team in facing the 12-0 Bears.

Marino and the Dolphins never appeared intimidated at all by the vaunted Chicago defense. Marino opened the scoring with a 33 yard touchdown pass to veteran Nat Moore. The Bears then tied the game when quarterback Steve Fuller, who started in place of McMahon who was nursing a shoulder injury, ran in from a yard out. Miami’s defense held the Bears to a field goal while racking up 24 points prior to halftime to lead at the break by an astonishing 31-10. The scoring outburst included a field goal, a pair of 1 yard runs by Ron Davenport, and another Marino to Moore touchdown pass, this time a short 6 yarder. Fuller valiantly tried to bring his team back into the game in the third quarter. He scored himself on another 1 yard run and threw a 19 yard scoring pass to Ken Margerum, but Marino countered those with a 42 yard bomb to Mark Clayton for his third touchdown pass of the game. The scoring ended after the third quarter, and Miami’s 38-24 lead held up as the final score.

The Dolphin defense did a number on Fuller and the Bears with 6 sacks and 3 interceptions, but the real surprise of the night was the ease with which Marino was able to carve up the Bear defense. The loss didn’t faze the Bears much as they didn’t lose another game the rest of the season, but on this night, Shula and the rest of those proud 1972 Dolphins were able to pop the champagne bottles and celebrate, as their mark of the only club to attain perfection remained intact.


Marino throws avoiding Bears’ Richard Dent