Dolphins to use Week 7 vs. Steelers to honor 1972 ‘perfect’ team

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2022 will be the 50th anniversary of the most unique teams in the history of professional football – the lone undefeated Super Bowl Championship in NFL history, the 1972 “perfect” Miami Dolphins season.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported Monday that the nationally-televised Sunday night matchup on October 23 against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Week 7 will be time to honor the legendary team.

That’s a team that was in the middle of three straight Super Bowl runs that started with a loss against the Dallas Cowboys in 1971 but led to a pair of titles in 1972 and 1973.

Unfortunately on the same day that the 50th-anniversary celebration date news was announced, another member of the Perfect Team passed away, pioneer quarterback and wide receiver Marlin Briscoe.

Briscoe became the first black starting quarterback in professional American football in 1968 for the Denver Broncos, and then became a receiver and spent three years playing for Miami from 1972-74.

While Week 7 and Sunday Night Football in America will celebrate the many Miami legends that are sure to be in attendance, figuratively, and perhaps literally, raising glasses of champagne to toast and remember 1972, the team and the individuals.

Especially those who will be celebrated and honored posthumously, such as Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti, the legendary Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich and other popular Dolphins such as Jake Scott, Jim Kiick and Bob Kuechenberg to name a few. And, of course, Hard Rock Stadium will once again get an opportunity to honor the greatest to ever coach a group of football players, Don Shula.

While the legends will be out in spirit and on the sidelines against the Steelers on October 23, you can imagine a grand celebration for a feat that’s so great that it simply has never been replicated.

While there were a few scares within these 50 years of another franchise meeting Miami on the mountain of football immortality, it was a Dolphin himself who made sure it didn’t happen in 1985. Dan Marino led the Dolphins against a 12-0 Bears juggernaut, well on their way to a Super Bowl win.

Entering December with an unblemished record, the Bears’ defense was mastered by Marino, as the Dolphins beat Chicago 38-24. Shula brought out his players-of-perfect-past, as Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris and company roamed the sidelines in hopes of retaining the sole place in “Perfectville.”

Most recently, the 2007 New England Patriots ran the regular season gamut perfectly to 16-0. However, a miraculous throw and catch by New York Giants Eli Manning and David Tyree in Super Bowl XLII ended perfection for the Pats.

It will be an amazing atmosphere at Hard Rock Stadium for the nationally televised Sunday Night Football in America contest on NBC. With the number of former Dolphins supporting a current group of players, as well as a few former players and coaches on the opposite side of the field, the storylines are rife with intrigue.

Not only will the Dolphins honor their landmark achievement’s 50th anniversary, but they will also go against their former head coach Brian Flores, working as an assistant coach for the Steelers’ defense, as well as a former first-round pick, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

However, regardless of how appealing that sidenote is to a primetime game, Dolphins fans and football historians will no doubt be treated to a proper honoring, of an accomplishment that’s treasured by fans young and old.

Miami will look to make Week 7 a perfect Sunday night, with a toast and, hopefully, cap off with a win.

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