Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins' Perfect Season

Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins' Perfect Season

5.0 2
by Mike Freeman
     
 

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“[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

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. 

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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062009821
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/21/2012
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.08(d)

What People are saying about this

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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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Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins' Perfect Season 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
VeronicaK89 More than 1 year ago
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.
efm More than 1 year ago
easy reading story of a remarkable accomplishment, a once in a lifetime event.