Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins' Perfect Season [NOOK Book]

Overview

Each year, every football team sets out to play a perfect season. Only one has ever succeeded talk about beating the odds.

The Miami Dolphins of the late 1960s were a laughingstock, an expansion team, and a franchise where careers went to die. Then came Coach Don Shula. In just a few short years—through hard work, long practices, and his no-nonsense attitude toward the game—Shula transformed the team into a championship franchise. The Dolphins were by and large unseasoned ...

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Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins' Perfect Season

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Overview

Each year, every football team sets out to play a perfect season. Only one has ever succeeded talk about beating the odds.

The Miami Dolphins of the late 1960s were a laughingstock, an expansion team, and a franchise where careers went to die. Then came Coach Don Shula. In just a few short years—through hard work, long practices, and his no-nonsense attitude toward the game—Shula transformed the team into a championship franchise. The Dolphins were by and large unseasoned players or rejects from other teams. Even so, they made it to Super Bowl VI. They suffered a humiliating loss to the Dallas Cowboys, becoming the first team in Super Bowl history not to score a single touchdown. But Shula closed the 1971 season by telling his players to remember this loss and make sure nothing like it ever happened again. And they listened.

The Miami team came back for the 1972 season determined to be winners this time, not losers. Through his tough-as-nails coaching, grueling preseason training, and inspiring message of redemption, Shula took the Dolphins, one game at a time, to their legendary Super Bowl victory. Led by such greats as Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Nick Buoniconti, Larry Little, Mercury Morris, and Jake Scott—as well as players discarded from other franchises who were transformed into key contributors once they were indoctrinated into Shula's system—the team was undefeated 17-0 in the regular season and went on to win Super Bowl VII, in one of the greatest stories of toughness, perseverance, and skill the National Football League has ever seen.

Along the way, the Dolphins became the team of the 1970s, with Miami as a fascinating backdrop. The city emerged as an anti–Fidel Castro hub and morphed into the city made notorious on the television show Miami Vice. The cocaine began to flow as the Dolphins rose to prominence, and the team struggled with its own drug issues. Yet the Dolphins established themselves as one of the city's most trusted entities. While the city faced racially charged riots, Shula purposely built an integrated locker room in an NFL—and a city—that were still extremely hostile to blacks.

Based on years of research and interviews, Undefeated, by award-winning journalist and author Mike Freeman, examines what is perhaps the single greatest accomplishment in team sports history: the unforgettable NFL season in which the Dolphins didn't lose a single game. There has never been a football team like those Miami Dolphins, and there may never be again.

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Editorial Reviews

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.”
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062209535
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 225,130
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

Mike Freeman is an NFL Insider for CBSSports.com. Before that, he was an NFL writer, investigative reporter, and columnist 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. He lives in New Jersey.

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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 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • 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
  • 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.

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

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Dolphins rule

    Best team ever

    0 out of 1 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.

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  • 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 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews

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