Nick Buoniconti

Nicholas Anthony Buoniconti (born December 15, 1940) is a former American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) middle linebacker, who played for the Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins. Buoniconti was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

Nick Buoniconti
refer to caption
Buoniconti, circa 1975
No. 85
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born:December 15, 1940 (age 78)
Springfield, Massachusetts
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Springfield (MA) Cathedral
College:Notre Dame
AFL draft:1962 / Round: 13 / Pick: 102
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games:183
Interceptions:32
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early life and family

Buoniconti was born to Nicholas Anthony Buoniconti Sr. and Pasqualina "Patsy" Mercolino in Springfield, Massachusetts. The couple ran a family bakery in the predominantly Italian South End of the city. He was raised Catholic and played football for Cathedral High School, where a plaque honoring him as a "Hometown Hall of Famer" was unveiled in 2012.[1][2]

In 1985, his son Marc suffered a spinal cord injury making a tackle for The Citadel, rendering him a quadriplegic.[3] Nick became the public face of the group that founded the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, now one of the world's leading neurological research centers.

Buoniconti graduated from Notre Dame, and was drafted by the American Football League's Patriots in the thirteenth round of the 1962 AFL draft.

College career

In 1960, as a junior, was second on the Fighting Irish in tackles (behind senior captain Myron Pottios) with 71. As a senior in 1961, he led the team with 74 tackles as the Irish co-captain and was rewarded with 2nd-team All-America selections from UPI, TSN, and the Football Coaches' Association. He was the only All-American on Notre Dame's 1961 team.

Professional career

As a tackle, Buoniconti was the captain of the 1961 Notre Dame football team, but was considered by NFL scouts as "too small" to play pro football. Drafted by the Boston Patriots in the 1962 American Football League college draft and switched to linebacker, Buoniconti made an immediate impact, as he was named the team's rookie of the year. The following year, he helped Boston capture the 1963 AFL Eastern Division title. With Boston, he appeared in five AFL All-Star Games, and recorded 24 interceptions, which is still the seventh-most in team history. He was named 2nd team All-AFL in 1963 and the following season began a run of five consensus All-AFL seasons in the following six seasons, missing only 1968 when he was named second-team All-AFL. Buoniconti is a member of the Patriots All-1960s (AFL) Team and the AFL All-Time Team.

He was traded to the AFL's Miami Dolphins in 1969. He continued to play well with the Dolphins, in 19691974 and 1976, and made the AFL All-Star team in 1969 and the NFL Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1973. Buoniconti was also named All-AFC in 1972.

His leadership made him a cornerstone of the Dolphins' defense. During his years there, the team advanced to three consecutive Super Bowl appearances, the second of which was the team's 1972 undefeated season. In 1973, he recorded a then-team record 162 tackles (91 unassisted). He was named to the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1973.

Buoniconti ended his career with an unofficial 24 sacks, eighteen with the Patriots and six while with the Dolphins.

He was named the Dolphins' Most Valuable Player three times (1969, 1970, 1973). In 1990, he was voted as a linebacker on the Dolphins' Silver Anniversary All-Time team. On November 18, 1991, he was enshrined on the Miami Dolphin's Honor Roll at Hard Rock Stadium.

Post-playing career

Buoniconti earned his law degree during his years with the Patriots. He was a practicing attorney for a short time. As an agent over the years, he represented some 30 professional athletes, including baseball players Bucky Dent and Andre Dawson.[4] He was also president of the US Tobacco Company during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Buoniconti was a leading critic of studies which showed that smokeless tobacco caused cancer of the mouth as well as other types of cancer.

In a televised interview on the Comedy Channel toward the end of 1990, when asked his reaction to the last two undefeated teams of the season suffering losses the same Sunday, Buoniconti, indicating his cheerful countenance, told Night After Night's Allan Havey, "You know, I think this smile might just stay permanently on my face."[5]

Buoniconti also appeared in one of the Miller Lite "Do you know me?" TV ads, in which he talked about the No-Name Defense. The punch line was a variation on an old joke, with Buoniconti remarking that everyone knows him now. A passerby remarks, "Hey, I know you... you're... uh... uh..." trying to recall Buoniconti's name. Upon being told that it's Nick Buoniconti, the passerby says, "No, that's not it."

Buoniconti put his verbal talent to use as a co-host of the HBO series Inside the NFL until 2001. That same year, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Buoniconti is a member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

Buoniconti has openly shared that he struggles with neurological issues, with one or several different diagnoses potentially being the cause.[4] On November 3, 2017, he announced that he would posthumously donate his brain to aid CTE research.[6] In March 2018, he joined with former NFL stars Harry Carson and Phil Villapiano to support a parent initiative called Flag Football Under 14, which advises no tackle football under that age.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ "New England Roots: Nick Buoniconti". ESPN. September 14, 2010.
  2. ^ "Nick Buoniconti's return to Cathedral High School leaves a lasting impression". The Republican. May 1, 2012.
  3. ^ "Marc Buoniconti paralyzed on the field, but not in life". USA Today. September 24, 2010.
  4. ^ a b 'I Feel Lost. I Feel Like a Child.': The Complicated Decline of Nick Buoniconti, Sports Illustrated, S.L. Price, May 9, 2017.
  5. ^ Night After Night with Allan Havey, 1989–93, Comedy Channel/Comedy Central, HBO Downtown Productions
  6. ^ Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti to donate brain for CTE research ESPN.com, November 3, 2017
  7. ^ Former NFLers call for end to tackle football for kids, CNN, Nadia Kounang, March 1, 2018.
1963 Boston Patriots season

The 1963 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's 4th season in the American Football League.

In their first season at Fenway Park, switching from Nickerson Field, the Patriots hovered around the .500 mark all season, and were in position to win the Eastern Division title outright with a victory on their final game. The 35–3 road loss to the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs allowed the Buffalo Bills catch up and both finished at 7–6–1, which required a divisional playoff game, the AFL's first. Both teams had a bye the following week, postponed from the Sunday after the assassination of President Kennedy; the tiebreaker playoff was scheduled for Saturday, December 28, at Buffalo's War Memorial Stadium. The teams split their two games during the regular season, with the home team winning, and the host Bills were slight favorites.The visiting Patriots won the playoff game 26–8 on a snowy field, with quarterback Babe Parilli throwing two touchdown passes to fullback Larry Garron, and three field goals were added by end Gino Cappelletti. With the win, Boston became Eastern Division champions, while the Western champion San Diego Chargers (11–3) were idle. The AFL championship game was played the next week in southern California on January 5, where San Diego routed the Patriots 51–10 at Balboa Stadium.

1964 Boston Patriots season

The 1964 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's 5th season in the American Football League The Patriots ended the season with a record of ten wins, three losses, and one tie, and finished second in the AFL's Eastern Division.

1965 Boston Patriots season

The 1965 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's 6th season in the American Football League The Patriots ended the season with a record of four wins and eight losses and two ties, and finished third in the AFL's Eastern Division.

1966 Boston Patriots season

The 1966 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's 7th season in the American Football League The Patriots ended the season with a record of eight wins and four losses and two ties, and finished second in the AFL's Eastern Division. This would be the last winning season the Patriots posted as an AFL team; they would not have another such season until 1976, by which time the team was in the NFL as the New England Patriots.

1967 Boston Patriots season

The 1967 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's 8th season in the American Football League The Patriots ended the season with a record of three wins, ten losses, and one tie, and finished last in the AFL's Eastern Division.

1968 All-Pro Team

This is a list of players named as All-Pros based on their performance in the 1968 AFL and NFL season. These lists provide a perspective into how players were judged against their peers by critics of their time. Players representing both the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) are included.

1972 Miami Dolphins season

The 1972 Miami Dolphins season was the team’s seventh season, and third season in the National Football League (NFL). The 1972 Dolphins are the only NFL team to win the Super Bowl with a perfect season. The undefeated campaign was led by coach Don Shula and notable players Bob Griese, Earl Morrall, and Larry Csonka. The 1972 Dolphins went 14–0 in the regular season and won all three post-season games, including Super Bowl VII against the Washington Redskins, to finish 17–0.

The team remains the only NFL team to complete an entire season undefeated and untied from the opening game through the Super Bowl (or championship game). The closest team to repeating this feat was the 2007 New England Patriots, who recorded the most wins in a season in NFL history by going 18–0 before shockingly losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII (the Dolphins won 18 straight through and until the first week of the 1973 season). Besides the 1972 Dolphins and 2007 Patriots, the only other team to ever complete the regular season undefeated and untied is the Chicago Bears, who accomplished the feat in both 1934 and 1942. Both of those Bears teams however failed to win the NFL Championship Game.

During the 1972 season, Bob Griese’s ankle was broken in Week 5 as he was sacked by San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Ron East and defensive end Deacon Jones. He was replaced by veteran Earl Morrall for the rest of the regular season. Griese returned to the field as a substitute in the final regular season game against the Baltimore Colts and then also relieved Morrall for the second half of the AFC Championship game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers and then started for Miami in Super Bowl VII. On the ground, running backs Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris became the first teammates to each rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Paul Warfield led the receivers, averaging over 20 yards per catch on 29 receptions. The offensive line included future Hall of Fame members Jim Langer and Larry Little and Pro Bowler Norm Evans.

The 1972 Dolphins defensive unit, called the No-Name Defense because Miami’s impressive offense received much more publicity, as well as Cowboys coach Tom Landry coining the phrase in an interview, was the league’s best that year. It was led by linebacker Nick Buoniconti, end Bill Stanfill, tackle Manny Fernandez, and safeties Dick Anderson and Jake Scott. In all, nine players—Csonka, Morris, Warfield, Little, Evans, Buoniconti, Stanfill, Anderson and Scott—were selected to the Pro Bowl, and Morrall, Stanfill and Anderson were named 1st team All-Pro.On August 20, 2013, four decades after their accomplishment, President Barack Obama hosted the 1972 Dolphins, noting that they "never got their White House visit".

1973 Miami Dolphins season

The 1973 Miami Dolphins season was the franchise's eighth season and fourth season in the National Football League (NFL). The team entered the 1973 season as defending Super Bowl champion following its undefeated 1972 season.

In week 1, the Dolphins extended their winning streak to 18 with a 21–13 win over the San Francisco 49ers. However, the following week, they would be defeated 12-7 by the Oakland Raiders to end the winning streak. The streak stood as an NFL record until it was broken by the New England Patriots in 2004 whose record of 21 consecutive wins still stands.

The team won the AFC East, finishing with a regular season record of 12–2, and then defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the Divisional Round and then the Raiders in the AFC Championship game, and defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the league’s eighth Super Bowl. It was the Dolphins’ second consecutive (and to date last) Super Bowl victory. With the Dolphins' combined records of 17–0 and 15–2 over the course of their 1972 and 1973 seasons, the Dolphins posted a 32–2 total record over 2 years, for a winning percentage of .941.

AFL and NFL era competitive college drafts

During the first seven years of existence (1960–1966) of the American Football League (AFL, 1960–1969), the AFL and the NFL held separate, competing drafts for college football talent.

These drafts were conducted differently in each league, with the AFL, as a new league, starting its existence with the 1960 AFL draft that was actually held in December, 1959 and had 33 rounds. Each AFL team had "territorial rights" to players from its general region for a "bonus" draft selection, so that teams could sign players who were known to their fans. These were not "picked" as such, but agreed on by consensus. The 1960 AFL draft proceeded with teams selecting by lot and player position, e.g., each team selected quarterbacks from the available list, then running backs, etc. These were not listed in order of selection, but alphabetically in two groups called "First Selections" and "Second Selections" by each team. Minneapolis-Saint Paul was originally included in the AFL draft on November 22, 1959. When the Minneapolis-Saint Paul owners reneged on their agreement to join the AFL and jumped to the NFL, some of the remaining AFL teams signed several players from the deserters' draft list. To compensate for this, after the Oakland Raiders' AFL franchise was granted, an allocation draft was held, to permit the Raiders to stock their team with players from the other seven AFL teams.

The established NFL held drafts more similar to the present day, in which the team with the worst record from the previous year selected first, and the reigning league champion selected last. Starting in 1961, the AFL also followed this procedure.

Because of the competition between the leagues, unlike today's drafts, they were held soon after the end of the football season in each league, often before the college bowls were over. Many players, such as LSU's Billy Cannon signed pro contracts "under the goalposts" at bowl games; and in the College East-West Game and other all-star college bowls, many players wore the helmets of the professional team that they had signed with.

The AFL was at a disadvantage in name-recognition with the established NFL, but contrary to common belief, during this period, its franchises signed a significant number of stars away from the older league. These included Cannon, as well as eventual Hall of Famers Lance Alworth, Buck Buchanan, Jim Otto, Billy Shaw, and Nick Buoniconti, and such standouts as Matt Snell, Tom Sestak, Charley Hennigan, Abner Haynes, Johnny Robinson and many others.

American Football League draft

The American Football League (AFL, 1960–1969) stocked its teams in two ways:

Signing free agents (players whose contracts in other professional football leagues had expired, or who had no professional experience).

Signing players from the previous year's college graduates.The latter option involved a "draft" in which each team selected players who then were not available for other teams to select. The draft for the 1960 season was actually conducted in late 1959, shortly after the formation of the league. Thereafter, American Football League drafts were conducted separately from the rival NFL through 1966. Starting in 1967, after the NFL agreed to merge with the AFL, the two leagues conducted a "common draft".

In 1961 and 1962, the American Football League drafts were "regional". Teams were assigned broad geographical regions around their home city, and had "rights" to the players within those regions. The AFL's owners reckoned that players would be more willing to play in their league if they had the opportunity to sign with their "home town" teams, and also hoped to attract fans with players with whom they had some familiarity. The AFL also tapped sources which the NFL had disdained: small colleges and all-black colleges.

During the years in which the American Football League was in direct competition with the NFL for players (and fans), numerous star players chose to play in the AFL. The first and one of the most prominent of these was LSU All-American Billy Cannon, who went on to become an AFL All-Star both as a running back with the Houston Oilers and as a tight end with the Oakland Raiders. Other greats signed by the AFL in the years before the common draft included Abner Haynes and Johnny Robinson (Dallas Texans); Jim Otto (Oakland Raiders); Lance Alworth, John Hadl, and Ron Mix (San Diego Chargers), Lionel Taylor (Denver Broncos); Billy Shaw (Buffalo Bills); Larry Grantham (New York Titans); Matt Snell and Joe Namath (New York Jets); Nick Buoniconti (Boston Patriots) and a host of others.

Doug Swift

Douglas A. Swift (born October 24, 1948) is a former American football linebacker who played six seasons in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins. Swift moved into the starting lineup as a rookie and held the strongside linebacker position for the next six seasons, including the Dolphins' Super Bowl victories following the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Swift's blitz late in the second quarter of Super Bowl VII forced Washington Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer to make a hurried throw, which Nick Buoniconti intercepted and returned into Washington territory to set up the Dolphins' second touchdown in a 14-7 victory, cementing Miami's 17-0 season. Made available in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft, he chose to retire from football and enter medical school rather than report to the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.He is a graduate of both Nottingham High School and Amherst College (1970). Swift is an anesthesiologist in Philadelphia.

Inside the NFL

Inside the NFL is a weekly cable television sports show that focuses on the National Football League. It originally aired on HBO from 1977 through 2008. Following Super Bowl XLII, HBO announced that it would be dropping the program, and it was subsequently picked up by the Showtime network.

Each NFL season, the program airs from Week 1 of the regular season until the week after the Super Bowl. The show principally features highlights of the past week's games that were captured by NFL Films, in addition to commentary and analysis by the hosts, and occasional interviews with current and former NFL players and personnel.

John Bramlett

John "the Bull" Bramlett (July 7, 1941 – October 23, 2014) was an American football linebacker who played from 1965 to 1971 on four teams, the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins and the Boston Patriots in the American Football League and the Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League . He was a two time AFL All-Star. Bramlett served as a minister before his death.

Bramlett was an All-State and All-American at Humes High School in Memphis and played college football at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), where he was named an honorable mention All-American his senior year. Bramlett signed a professional baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals but was kicked out of baseball after a few years after getting into trouble. Bramlett then signed a contract with the Denver Broncos and was named runner-up AFL Rookie of the year behind Joe Namath in 1965.

Bramlett only lasted two seasons with the Broncos, making one appearance in the Pro Bowl before being traded to the Miami Dolphins for a fourth round pick in the 1968 NFL Draft. He played two seasons with Miami, making another Pro Bowl appearance, before being traded to the Patriots along with quarterback Kim Hammond in exchange for Nick Buoniconti in 1969[1].

With the Patriots, Bramlett was named the Most Valuable Player for the team in 1970 but also got in more trouble and was nicknamed the "Meanest Man in Football." [2]. Bramlett was then traded to the Green Bay Packers for Rich Moore. However, he balked at reporting to Green Bay and was released by the Packers before the 1971 season. He was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons and played one season for them before retiring.

Bramlett is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. The Dolphins compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The Dolphins play their home games at Hard Rock Stadium in the northern suburb of Miami Gardens, Florida, and are headquartered in Davie, Florida. The Dolphins are Florida's oldest professional sports team. Of the four AFC East teams, they are the only team in the division that was not a charter member of the American Football League (AFL).

The Dolphins were founded by attorney-politician Joe Robbie and actor-comedian Danny Thomas. They began play in the AFL in 1966. The region had not had a professional football team since the days of the Miami Seahawks, who played in the All-America Football Conference in 1946, before becoming the first incarnation of the Baltimore Colts. For the first few years, the Dolphins' full-time training camp and practice facilities were at Saint Andrew's School, a private boys boarding prep school in Boca Raton. In the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, the Dolphins joined the NFL.

The team made its first Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl VI, losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 24–3. The following year, the Dolphins completed the NFL's only perfect season, culminating in a Super Bowl win, winning all 14 of their regular season games, and all three of their playoff games, including Super Bowl VII. They were the third NFL team to accomplish a perfect regular season. The next year, the Dolphins won Super Bowl VIII, becoming the first team to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls, and the second team (the first AFL/AFC team) to win back-to-back championships. Miami also appeared in Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XIX, losing both games.

For most of their early history, the Dolphins were coached by Don Shula, the most successful head coach in professional football history in terms of total games won. Under Shula, the Dolphins posted losing records in only two of his 26 seasons as the head coach. During the period spanning 1983 to the end of 1999, quarterback Dan Marino became one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, breaking numerous league passing records. Marino led the Dolphins to five division titles, 10 playoff appearances and Super Bowl XIX before retiring following the 1999 season.

In 2008, the Dolphins became the first team in NFL history to win their division and make a playoff appearance following a league-worst 1–15 season. That same season, the Dolphins upset the 16–0 New England Patriots on the road during Week 3, handing the Patriots' their first regular season loss since December 10, 2006, in which coincidentally, they were also beaten by the Dolphins.

Miami Dolphins Honor Roll

The Miami Dolphins Honor Roll is a ring around the second tier at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, which honors former players, coaches, contributors, and officials who have made significant contributions to the Miami Dolphins franchise.

The Miami Dolphins Honor Roll was started on September 16, 1990 with its first inductee being the owner/founder of the Miami Dolphins: Joe Robbie, who died one year prior to his induction.

Since then, 23 players, and two coaches have been inducted into the honor roll, along with a special induction to honor the 1972 Undefeated Team, which was inducted in 1992 at the 20th anniversary. Inductions included a special "four individual" induction in 1990 to honor the first four Miami Dolphins Hall of Famers of Csonka, Langer, Griese, and Warfield.

There have also been special "dual" inductions: In 2003, the "Marks Brothers" of WRs Mark Clayton and Mark Duper were inducted. In 2008, a special "dual" induction honored two members of the famed "Killer B's" defense with DT Bob Baumhower and DE Doug Betters. In 2010, a "dual" induction of two defensive stars on Miami's 1972 undefeated team - S Jake Scott and DE Bill Stanfill - were inducted. In 2012, a special "dual" induction of two all-time Dolphin fan-favorites, defensive stars from the mid-late 1990s/early 2000s - LB Zach Thomas and DE Jason Taylor - were also inducted.

In 1992 at the 20th anniversary, Miami's "1972 Undefeated Team" was enshrined into the Honor Roll. At the 40th anniversary, which enshrined former defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger into the Honor Roll, his name went on the Honor Roll where the "1972 Undefeated Team" inductee previously and originally was enshrined, and an updated "1972 Perfect Season Team 17-0" inductee was put into one corner of Hard Rock Stadium with special placards of Super Bowl VII and Super Bowl VIII included next to it on each side.

Miami Dolphins Honor Roll inductees are chosen by current members of the honor roll as well as current franchise officials.

Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis is a spinal cord injury research center and a designated Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. It was co-founded in 1985 by Barth A. Green, M.D. and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti after Buoniconti's son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. Today, The Miami Project’s international team is housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center and includes more than 250 scientists, researchers and clinicians.

Super Bowl VI

Super Bowl VI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1971 season. The Cowboys defeated the Dolphins by the score of 24–3, to win their first Super Bowl. The game was played on January 16, 1972, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana, the second time the Super Bowl was played in that city. Despite the southerly location, it was unseasonably cold at the time, with the kickoff air temperature of 39 °F (4 °C) making this the coldest Super Bowl ever played.Dallas, in its second Super Bowl appearance, entered the game with a reputation of not being able to win big playoff games such as Super Bowl V and the 1966 and 1967 NFL Championship Games prior to the 1970 AFL–NFL merger. They posted an 11–3 record during the 1971 regular season before defeating the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs. The Dolphins were making their first Super Bowl appearance after building a 10–3–1 regular season record, including eight consecutive wins, and posting postseason victories over the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Colts.

The Cowboys dominated Super Bowl VI, setting Super Bowl records for the most rushing yards (252), the most first downs (23), and the fewest points allowed (3). For the next 47 years, they would be the only team ever to prevent their opponent from scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl, a feat matched by the 2018 New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. The game was close in the first half, with the Cowboys only leading 10–3 at halftime. But Dallas opened the third quarter with a 71-yard, 8-play touchdown drive, and then Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley's 41-yard interception return in the fourth quarter set up another score. Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, who completed 12 out of 18 passes for 119 yards, threw 2 touchdown passes, and rushed 5 times for 18 yards, was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.

This was the last Super Bowl to be blacked out in the TV market in which the game was played. Under the NFL's unconditional blackout rules at the time, the Super Bowl could not be broadcast locally even if the local team did not advance to the Super Bowl, and it was a sellout. The following year, the league changed their rules to allow games to be broadcast in the local market if sold out 72 hours in advance. It was the last Super Bowl played with the hashmarks (also called the inbound lines) set at 40 feet apart (20 yards from the sidelines, and the last NFL game overall); the next season, they were brought in to 18​1⁄2 feet, the width of the goalposts, where they remain.

Super Bowl VII

Super Bowl VII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1972 season. The Dolphins defeated the Redskins by the score of 14–7, and became the first and still the only team in NFL history to complete a perfect undefeated season. They also remain the only Super Bowl team to be shut out in the second half and still win. The game was played on January 14, 1973, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, the second time the Super Bowl was played in that city. At kickoff the temperature was 84 °F (29 °C), making the game the warmest Super Bowl.This was the Dolphins' second Super Bowl appearance after losing Super Bowl VI. They posted an undefeated 14–0 regular season record before defeating the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. The Redskins were making their first Super Bowl appearance after posting an 11–3 regular season record and playoff victories over the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. Despite being undefeated, the Dolphins were actually one point underdogs, largely based on the weakness of their regular season schedule.Super Bowl VII was largely dominated by the Dolphins, and is the second lowest-scoring Super Bowl to date with a total of only 21 points (3 touchdown and 3 extra points), behind the 13–3 score in Super Bowl LIII. The only drama was during the final minutes of the game, in what was later known as "Garo's Gaffe". Miami attempted to cap off their 17–0 perfect season with a 17–0 perfect score shutout with a 42-yard field goal by Garo Yepremian, but instead the game and the season was jeopardized when his kick was blocked. Instead of falling on the loose ball, the Dolphins kicker picked it up, attempted a forward pass, but batted it in the air, and Redskins' cornerback Mike Bass (who was Garo's former teammate on the Detroit Lions years earlier) caught it and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown. This remains the longest period in a Super Bowl for one team to be shut out, as Washington was held scoreless until 2:07 remained in the fourth quarter. Because of Garo's Gaffe, what was a Miami-dominated game became close, and the Dolphins ended up having to stop Washington's final drive for the tying touchdown as time expired.

Dolphins safety Jake Scott was named Most Valuable Player. He recorded two interceptions for 63 return yards, including a 55-yard return from the end zone during the 4th quarter. Scott became the second defensive player in Super Bowl history (after linebacker Chuck Howley in Super Bowl V) to earn a Super Bowl MVP award.

Miami Dolphins Honor Roll inductees
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