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The 1972 Dolphins: Where are They Now?
As the NFL season draws to a close, the 1972 Miami Dolphins breathe a sigh of relief. another year has passed and, nearly three and a half decades later, they remain the only professional football team to achieve perfection. Over the years, a few teams, the Bears, Broncos, Colts and again the Colts, have made the Dolphins sweat profusely in the hollow of their fins; these teams got closer but no cigar, especially not Don Shula’s.
It’s safe to say that all members of the 1972 Dolphins have since retired and moved on to other projects. Some stay in the sport, others indulge in completely different activities. No matter where they are or what they’re doing, this Dolphin’s team members still have a place in NFL history…at least for now. It makes us think of them, remember how they were and wonder what they are doing now.
All-Star, Pro Bowler, six-time Dolphins MVP, Bob Griese was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. Known more for his leadership than his arm – when he died a little in some games and a lot in others – Bob led Miami to nine winning seasons.
After retiring from football, Bob continued to support his son Brian’s college and professional football careers, stating that watching Brian win the Rose Bowl was one of the greatest moments of that life. In 2000 he and Brian wrote a book called Unbeaten, which discussed the Dolphin’s perfect season as well as the death of Bob’s first wife from breast cancer. Bob is currently a football analyst at ABC College and recently appeared on the game show Wheel of Fortune.
One of the most recognizable coaches in the sports world, Don Shula began his football career with the Cleveland Browns in 1951 as a cornerback. During his playing days, he played for the Browns, Baltimore Colts, and Washington Redskins before turning to coaching. In 1963, at the age of 33, Don made history by becoming the youngest coach in the NFL. This historic moment was just a taste of things to come.
After coaching the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1969, Don was hired by the Dolphins. He remained their head coach from 1970 to 1995, an unprecedented period of years. Don currently holds the record for most NFL regular season wins with 328 and most Super Bowl coaches with six. In 1997, in a move everyone saw coming, Don Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Since retiring, Don now lends his name to a chain of restaurants in Florida, Shula Steakhouse. He also spends time with Don Shula Foundation, a foundation working to find a cure for breast cancer. Don formed this organization in 1991 just before his first wife succumbed to the disease.
Laurent Richard Csonka
In the early 1970s, some men feared Vietnam’s draft, and others feared Lawrence Csonka. At 6’3 and 235 pounds, he was a running back with the ability to crush – or run through – defenders. He was also an excellent blocker and receiver, making him a triple threat on offense. Nominated for five Pro Bowls, Lawrence was an All-Pro in 1971, 1972 and 1973. He was named Super Bowl VIII MVP and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. In the 1996 NFL Films production of The NFL’s 100 Toughest PlayersLawrence took tenth place.
Since hanging up his boots, Lawrence has been a motivational speaker, outdoor enthusiast and conservationist, host of hunting and fishing shows, general manager of the States Football League States and an analyst on American Gladiators. He is currently the President and Executive Producer of Zonk! Productions in Lisbon, Ohio and producer and host of a nature program called NAPA from north to Alaska.
For nine seasons, Jake Scott played in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins. He served as a free safety and punt returner and went to five consecutive Pro Bowls. While playing with the Dolphins, he had 35 interceptions in six seasons, including two in Dolphin’s Perfect Season Super Bowl victory. With 63 return yards in that game as well, Jake was named Super Bowl MVP. In the 1980s, Jake was considered the Dolphin All Time Neutralizer by NFL Films. He was inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame in 1998. Currently, Jake lives in Hawaii where he is an investor.
Forming a duo with Lawrence Csonka, Jim Kiick was the other part of Miami’s running game. Known, along with Csonka, as “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid”, Kiick played in Miami from 1968 to 1974. His career was highlighted by playing in three Super Bowls and racking up rushing yards . In the Dolphin’s record books, Kiick remains listed as the fourth best runner of all time.
Later, his football career was marred by a few quirks. These included the signing of Kiick and Csonka with the World Football League. Kiick eventually returned to the NFL where he was released by the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, this release came on the same day that Kiick saw his marriage end and his house burn down.
In 1996, Kiick was inducted into the University of Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame. He is now president of Kiick Sports Promotions, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His agency is booking former players for special appearances.
A linebacker who played for the Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins, Nick has been instrumental in play and leadership throughout his career. He was named to the AFL All-Star Team in 1969 and to the Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1973. In the past year, he set a record by making 162 tackles, including 91 unassisted. In 2001, he was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Since retiring, Nick has served as president of the US Tobacco Company and co-host of the HBO series, Inside the NFL. Over the past two decades, he has played a key role in the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. He became involved with this foundation when his son Marc was paralyzed during a college football game in 1985. This foundation has since become one of the leading neurology research centers in the world.
Nick is believed to be the most vocal member of the Perfect Season Miami Dolphins team. He was rumored to raise a champagne toast every year after the persistently unbeaten side suffered their first defeat.
Until another team can match an unblemished record, that’s just low for Nick and the rest of the 1972 members. The other NFL franchises are just hoping to keep fishing and praying that something, besides a dolphin, bites.
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