The 1972 Miami Dolphins can break out the bubbly. They are still the only team to finish an NFL season undefeated and untied. Their record remained intact after the Atlanta Falcons lost to the New Orleans Saints Sunday, 31-27.
Every season when the last undefeated team loses members of the ’72 Dolphins toast their accomplishment. Some get together to do it while others do it alone. Each living member of the squad is very proud of their record and would like to see it last forever. So far it has lasted 40 years with the New England Patriots coming closest to breaking it in 2007. They went 18-0 before losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.
There are some who do not like the Dolphins ritual of celebrating their undefeated season every year. They say that they are crotchety old men who are living in the past and need to let it go. Many feel as though the ’72 Dolphins were not the greatest team of all time and benefited from an easy schedule. However, 17-0 speaks for itself.
I for one saw that team play and hope they get to celebrate for the rest of their lives. Though I rooted for New England in 2007 a part of me wanted Miami to keep the record. Whenever the last undefeated team loses I toast the Dolphins myself.
The reason why I hope that the ’72 Dolphins keep their place in NFL history is, because there just aren’t any unique records anymore. It seems as though every statistic has been trivialized and no longer has any meaning. They say that records are made to be broken, but it seems like they are being shattered every year. How special can a record be if someone comes along and breaks it before the next encyclopedia on the sport is written?
We need less fantasy football and more unique records. We need more team accomplishments to be acknowledged. I would much rather talk about the ’72 Dolphins than Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Drew Brees. It seems like they do something to top each other every week. No one has topped the ’72 Dolphins. Most teams won’t even try saying that it puts too much pressure on them in the post season.
Come on. Teams should want that pressure. Though the Patriots failed to beat Miami at least they tried. New England may be the last team that we see have a shot at going undefeated which is a shame. If players can strive for individual records why shouldn’t teams strive for immortality?
We are bombarded by statistics so much that one blends into another. It has gotten to the point where we forget what true greatness really is.
Whenever the last undefeated team in the NFL loses the members of the 1972 Dolphins remind us of what greatness is.
I hope that they get to for the rest of their lives.