Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins' Perfect Season

( 8 )

Overview

“[Freeman is] an excellent storyteller.”
Sports Illustrated

The 1972 Miami Dolphins, under the expert leadership of legendary coach Don Shula, remain to this day the only team in the National Football League ever to enjoy a perfect season with no defeats and no ties. Now, 40 years after sports history was made, acclaimed sports writer Mike Freeman celebrates the Dolphins’ singular achievement in Undefeated. A riveting story filled with heartbreaking injuries, miraculous ...

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Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins' Perfect Season

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Overview

“[Freeman is] an excellent storyteller.”
Sports Illustrated

The 1972 Miami Dolphins, under the expert leadership of legendary coach Don Shula, remain to this day the only team in the National Football League ever to enjoy a perfect season with no defeats and no ties. Now, 40 years after sports history was made, acclaimed sports writer Mike Freeman celebrates the Dolphins’ singular achievement in Undefeated. A riveting story filled with heartbreaking injuries, miraculous finishes, and tested relationships—featuring a roster of gridiron greats, including Bob Griese, Earl Morrall, Larry Csonka, Paul Warfield, Mercury Morris, Nick Buoniconti and others—Undefeated follows a underdog team on its remarkable run: 14 regular season victories, 2 postseason wins, and a Super Bowl championship. It is a book no football fan will want to miss. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Miami Dolphins’ perfect season gear up this year, Freeman, a national NFL writer for CBSSports.com, has assembled a new book hailing Coach Don Shula’s ragtag squad’s improbable rise after a heartbreaking Super Bowl loss the previous year. A letter from then President Nixon did nothing to soothe the defeat, but the coach gradually transformed his team from losers to winners, taking the team from the bottom to glory. Whether it’s inside the testy locker room or the brutal action of game day, Freeman ticks off the challenges to perfection: ace quarterback Bob Griese breaking a leg in the fifth game; shifty running back Mercury Morris’s tirades to the media about the coach; the conflicts inside the team, and the mental chess game between Shula and various coaches around the league to get a win. The Dolphins didn’t possess elite players, but contained a colorful crew: Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, Paul Warfield, Marv Fleming, and Manny Fernandez. In this homage to the 1972 Miami Dolphins, Freeman’s classic book will enthrall readers with the extraordinary story of a team that went through 14 regular season games and two playoff games to capture Super Bowl VII. Agent: John Monteleone. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Keyed to the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Dolphins, this book recalls the only NFL team to go through an entire season without losing. Despite that unique accomplishment, this exceedingly smart, disciplined and dedicated team is generally underappreciated in history because of its lack of superstars and its weak schedule. In detailing the assembly and accomplishments of the Dolphins, Freeman (national columnist, CBSsports.com) relies heavily on the coach, Don Shula, and exalts his legacy above all. All key players are profiled and prevailing issues such as race relations are explored, but there is not much game action in the book. VERDICT Timed well and professionally written, this work will be in demand as the definitive book on a signature team.
Kirkus Reviews
A conventional, sometimes fawning account of a remarkable NFL season. There's not much hard hitting here, other than what occurs on the gridiron. Freeman (Bowden: How Bobby Bowden Forged a Football Dynasty, 2009, etc.) is clearly in awe of the undefeated 1972 Dolphins and their Hall-of-Fame coach, Don Shula. He even engages in a pointless were-they-the-best-ever argument near the end. The clichés and hyperbole fly downfield frequently--far more often than passes from the throwing arm of Dolphins' quarterback Bob Griese, the disciplined, conservative signal-caller who came off the bench at halftime in the 1972 AFC Championship Game. Griese threw only a handful of passes that year's Super Bowl, relying instead on his "No Name" defense and on the punishing running of Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick and the speed and agility of Mercury Morris, who subsequently went to jail on drug charges. Scattered throughout are sketches of other key Dolphins; the history of the Dolphins and its Scroogean owner, Joe Robbie; and some accounts of other games, other players and opponents. Some will not enjoy their portraits. Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer, for example, was consistent, says the author, only in his beer drinking. Freeman reserves his highest praise for the Dolphins and their coaches. Other, less Einsteinian coaches, "filled their special teams with psychos and dickheads." Oddly, the author's account of the 1972 Super Bowl is sketchy and scattered, not the climactic clash that readers will expect. Freeman also includes some occasional passages about race issues and drug wars in Miami. Will appeal mostly to fans of Shula and the Dolphins.
Jeff Pearlman
“A marvelous, engrossing trip back to a period when football was played with love and passion and the Miami Dolphins were not merely fantastic, but unstoppable. Mike Freeman is one of the nation’s best sports writers, and he proves it once again here. A dazzling read.”
Jim Trotter
“An entertaining and meticulous journey back in time, illuminating the men and personalities who, in some cases, are as memorable as the team’s 17-0 record.”
Christine Brennan
“A richly-detailed and riveting account of one of the great accomplishments in the history of American sports. It’s a book that’s just as good as the team it chronicles.”
Andrea Kremer
“Well researched and fast paced, UNDEFEATED reveals the psyche of the only unbeaten team in the history of the NFL. Untold stories from the locker rooms, meeting rooms, and on the field are placed in the historical context of the unsettled seventies. Lest we forget - no names, no more.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062009821
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 691,385
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Freeman is a national columnist for CBSSports.com. He has been an investigative reporter for the New York Times, a columnist for the Florida Times-Union, and a sports reporter, features writer, and investigative writer for the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Dallas Morning News. His most recent book is The All-Time Biggest Sports Jerks: And Other Goofballs, Cads, Miscreants, Reprobates, and Weirdos (Plus a Few Good Guys).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: President Nixon on the Line xiii

Part 1 Wreckage

1 "I Don't Ever Want to Feel This Way Again" 1

2 Truce 13

3 The Start of Redemption 21

4 The Three Wise Men 29

5 Revenge of the Nameless 51

6 The Duke of Earl 57

Part 2 From the Ashes

7 Melting Pot 73

8 The Man who Fired Flipper 92

9 Shula's Backbone 109

10 The Beginning 121

11 Guts 148

Part 3 The Greatest Team

12 Unbeatable 169

13 "The Money Season" 177

14 Steel Hurtin' 184

15 Gonzo Dolphins 212

16 Shoe Shiners 229

17 Perfect 250

Afterword: Perfection's End 273

Author's Note 281

Acknowledgments 294

Notes 297

Bibliography 299

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2014

    I expected more

    I expected more here. There are interviews with the 72 Dolphins, but way too much play by play of the games. It's OK, but nothing special.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Absolutely loved this retelling of the 1972 Dolphin and their un

    Absolutely loved this retelling of the 1972 Dolphin and their undefeated run. Not just a look at the team itself but the elements that went into it: Shula's fear of losing another Super Bowl, players' attitudes, and the impact of the media. Freeman touches on players before the reached the Dolphins and after they left. Best complete picture of the 1972 team that I've read. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves the Dolphins or a great football story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    very good

    easy reading story of a remarkable accomplishment, a once in a lifetime event.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Dolphins rule

    Best team ever

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    BIGGEST miami dolphins fan

    Very good and miami dolphins rule they are changing theyre logo theyre possibly building a new stadium and go on you tube and search 1972 undefeted season superbowl and watch. If u all are dolphins fans go on you tube and get everyone u know that likes dolphins make a video and show ur jerseys

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    Miami Dolphins

    I love this book because it is about the Miami Dolphins and I was born in Miami so I love them. Of course. It is amazing cause they were the only team in history in the NFL to be undefeated. So anbody who reads this book and likes another team HA-HA

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 24, 2012

    Im a big Dolphins fan and this book really excites me about the

    Im a big Dolphins fan and this book really excites me about the entire
    undefeated season of the 72' Dolphins

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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