James Anthony Ellis Editor Legacy Magazine
Oh we all know what the New England Patriots fans have to say.
And truthfully, they have every right to say it. Bragging rights are there for a reason – to brag! That team has kicked the AFC East’s and the NFL’s collective bargaining ass for 20-plus years – ever since some QB-or-other-guy got hurt and Mr. Perfect Tom Brady came onto the field and onto the scene – tucking right in there nicely.
We may even want to give the Pat fans a pass about their main defensive stance – “You only hate us because we win.” But nope – we won’t give them a pass. That line does not come close to covering the real reasons that team gets some boos from those outside the fan-base. I mean Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Peyton Manning win a ton of games, but they earn the respect just by being beasts – while being honorable, gracious and human-like at the same time.
So it’s with this in mind, that this here Miami Dolphins fan must bring forth the necessary truth many a Patriot fan would find cringe-worthy. Go ahead and cringe.
Yeah – there is no comparison to perfection. Like the perfection of a 17-0 season in 1972 when the Dolphins won it all.
The New England team can get all the rings to fit an entire hand and more. They can sport a brilliant though belligerent coach who can strategize with the best of them and mumble with the worst. They can brag about all the swag and streaks and Super Bowls. Call their QB the GOAT, which I would not deny at all. (Though here comes Mahomes.)
But the uber super Patriots could not do what the Miami Dolphins got done in one fateful season.
It was 1972. The previous season the fins tanked in the Super Bowl, losing 24-7 against the Dallas Cowboys. That didn’t sit too well with the coach, Don Shula, who ended up forcing the team to watch the agonizing replay of SB VI just so they could feel that sickness they’d never want to feel again.
What came of that season? Yup, 17-0. My father was able to attend Super Bowl VII in Los Angeles. Though I was a young fan – at 9 years – I was the biggest fan. I remember I was so upset about not attending, that after my mother got off the phone with my dad and told me he would be attending with a workmate, I slipped under the dining room table and stayed for some time.
No worries. We won. And I ended up reading that Super Bowl program cover to cover, over and over. To this day, you can throw out a number, and I can rattle off the player who wore it. Try it.
- 45 – Curtis Johnson
- 42 – Paul Warfield
- 13 – Jake Scott
- 41 – No one. Nice try
- 39 – Larry Csonka
- 82 – Otto Stowe
Ever since then, no team has been able to match that level of perfection, no matter how hard they have tried and no matter how much they want to slough it off as no big deal. No big deal? It’s never been matched. As soon as it has been matched, then we may want to claim it’s not so big … anymore.
The Pats got close in 2007 when they went 18-1: the year of the miraculous helmet catch, the year the Giants spoiled their attempts, the year the GOAT giggled when a reporter questioned about the idea the Giants would keep the Patriots under 20 points.
Final score New York Giants 17 – New England Patriots 14.
Sorry folks. No go.
No perfection. Not even a freaking trophy.
Those bragging rights will remain with a football team which may have sucked in many a time since 1972, but at least for that one season they were able to experience sheer perfection.