In 1966 the Miami Dolphins who currently play in the AFC East Division became a pro football team joining as the ninth member of the American Football League. Six years later in 1972 Miami would become the only National Football League team to date to record a perfect season. Their 1st season started as well as it possibly could when in their opening game Joe Auer returned the opening kickoff for a 95-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders. However they went on to lose that game and finished their inaugural season with a 4-10 record.
Their first four seasons didn’t go too well and it took a new decade and a new coach Don Shula (Pictured Right) to turn Miami’s fortunes around and they did it big style. Don Shula was fortunate enough to inherit a team with potential build up with two good 1st round draft picks, quarter back Bob Griese in 1967 and running back Larry Csonka acquired in 1968. George Wilson who left as coach after the 1969 season is also credited with acquiring Hall of Fame guard Larry Little and one can only wonder what would have happened had he stayed in charge.
Anyway in 1970 new coach Don Shula led the Dolphins to a 10-4 record and a place in the AFC wild-card game and followed this with three consecutive AFC championship wins in 1971, 1972 and 1973. They lost their first Super Bowl appearance to the Dallas Cowboys before winning Super Bowls VII and VIII with Super Bowl VII being the pinnacle of their perfect season. They also won their fourth consecutive AFC East title in 1974 and had the ill fated World Football League not been introduced after the 1974 season Miami may have continued to dominate the NFL for quite some time. However when John F. Bassett, owner of the Toronto Northmen, signed three key Miami Dolphins players, Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, Paul Warfield to a then record breaking US$3.5 million contract the heart was ripped out of the team. Miami never again reached the standard set in 1972 and 1973 but coach Shula, did keep the Dolphins competitive for several years. This included two losing Super Bowl appearances in the 1980s where quarter back Dan Marino won MVP despite losing in Super Bowl XIX. Don Shula remained head Coach until 1995, after which the Dolphins maintained their form making the playoffs every year from 1997- 2001. However the new Century has not been so kind since, and apart from their surprise divisional win in 2008, helped in no small part by the opening game injury to New England star quarter back Tom Brady, they have rarely looked like making the post season. This has included a dismal 1-15 season in 2007.
Miami Dolphins Honours
Super Bowl Champions
1972 (VII), 1973 (VIII)
AFC: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1982, 1984
AFC East Division champions
1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2008
Playoff appearances (22)
* NFL: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2008
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