This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Post
What's the definition of perfect? I guess it's someone or something that lacks weakness and doesn't make mistakes. That's an impossible accomplishment, especially when we are talking about human beings. If we were perfect, what would be the point of living? We've accomplished everything and therefore can't learn anything else because we are perfect. I guess we could show the world what we know and spread our perfection around so to speak. Hey, look at me, I'm perfect, be like me. This is all nonsense.
None of is perfect and I wouldn't have it any other way, because we learn whether we are intelligent by making mistakes. The 1972 Miami Dolphins were not perfect, but they did have a perfect record. They played 17 games and won 17 and, when it comes to sports, that's the best you can do. But they didn't have a perfect team, they just made fewer mistakes then anyone else in the NFL in 1972 and had a perfect record. They played the best as a team that season, so much better that they went undefeated, and they did this by being the best team.
They didn't have the best talent. I would argue that the team they beat in the 1972 AFC Final, the Oakland Raider, had better talent and a better team even though they lost 2-3 games that year and the Dolphins lost none. I would also argue that the Washington Redskins, the team they beat in Super Bowl 7, had better talent and a better team as well. If their quarterback, Sonny Jurgenson, who's one of the best QB ever and in the Hall of Fame (a better QB than the Dolphins' QB Bob Griese, who's also in the Hall of Fame) had been healthy and played in that Super Bowl, I believe the Redskins would have won, but of course we'll never know.
The 1972 Miami Dolphins were exactly what a great team should look like. They understood what kind of team they had, the type of talent they had, and the type of players. They didn't win because of the overwhelming talent they had, not including their Head Coach Don Shula. The Dolphins had five Hall of Famers from all on offense, except for MLB Nick Bonoconti. QB Bob Griese, FB Larry Csonka, WR Paul Warfield, and OG Larry Little. They ran a Power Ball Control Offense that ran the ball about 70% of the time. Their No Name Defense was exactly that. Most of the players on that defense weren't known outside South Florida very well until they won that Super Bowl. Perhaps not that many people in South Florida were familiar with the No Name Defense, but they were all very good players, defensive tackle Manny Fernandez, middle linebacker Nick Bonoconti, safety Larry Anderson, and others. Head coach Don Shula knew what type of team he had in 1972, that they weren't going to blow teams away with their talent and had to beat teams as a team, run the ball well, and run the ball a lot, Bob Griese hitting key passes off of play action, don't turn the ball over, and play great defense, stuff the run, attack the QB, and get a few takeaways.
The 1972 Dolphins, the team with the perfect record, won because Don Shula knew exactly what type of team he had, what type of system to have, and how to utilize his players to get their best performance and execution every week for all 17 weeks. And he had the players who understood that if they made 1972 about themselves rather than the team, they were going to fail and maybe even not make the playoffs. But together as a team, with every player and coach understanding their role the best that they could and playing their part, they would be champions.