The Miami Dolphins no longer have to play football to win a game this season. They no longer have the monkey on their backs screaming 0-16 in their ears. They only need to prepare to battle the only unbeaten team left in the NFL and, in an unlikely twist, become as much a part of Dolphins history, as say Dan Marino, Bob Griese, Earl Morral, and that unblemished team of 72.
These unlikely men who have come together as free agent cast-offs, in-season free agent signings, unheralded rookies, and one 10 year veteran leader, all have the ability to forever have their names tied to Miami lore. The word is perfection. Miami owns it, New England wants it, Chicago wanted it, Miami took it away, for these much criticized 53, they now have the chance to take it away again. Preserve history, make history themselves.
Each year there is a team that challenges the 1972 Miami Dolphins record of perfection. Each year we listen to ESPN talk about popping champaign corks and we listen to disgruntled media types blast them as being old and outdated, yet each year someone goes deep but falters. In 1985 the Chicago Bears ran the table, facing 13-0 they got beat by a Dolphins team that was not at the best of their game, on a Monday night stage that to this day each year, is replayed over and over again as the Dolphins took down the eventual Super Bowl champions. Chicago would not lose again that year.
Here we are, only a few days away from what most will tell you is the inevitable. A perfect New England Patriots team. The first team since Miami to start a season 14-0. They are the unbeatable. They face a team that has finally won it’s first game of the year and in all reality, offer the best chance of beating them before the playoffs. Why? History. History is on Miami’s side. History is in that locker room. Those players walk by history every day as they come into the facility. It is all around them. Ask the 1972 team about history and they will also talk about the teams that have challenged them, they will talk about Chicago, and how Miami unseated the unseat-able.
A win this weekend, and these Miami Dolphins will be remembered forever in every fans eyes, in every media highlight. They will be remembered each year as the next team challenges perfection. In what is as close to imperfection as you can have, the morbid can become immortal. This is their chance at preserving perfection. They will battle to the end.
These Miami Dolphins will play for pride. They will hand out the required cliché’s they always do. They will take the field and they will fight. Inside, they play for something else. They play for their own history in a season that they would just assume forget. This is their shot. Their time. No other game this year means more to a franchise or it’s fans than this one solitary game. This is their time, their chance. If they cannot find the will to play over their ability than perhaps they shouldn’t be playing at all. Division rival. Undefeated. Disrespected. This is it.
These Miami Dolphins find no easy road to finding a victory. They must come together as a team. They must fight as a team. They must execute, as a team. Last week, the 1972 Miami Dolphins were honored at half-time, they brought some of their luck to a winless team, now it is time to repay the favor.
It is time to battle the unbeaten and make history or become it. That is what they fight for this week. The rest of the season no longer matters. One game, late in a forgettable season, on the road, in the cold, and history awaits the other side. Ironic that it could be the worst team in football, that after this season is remembered iconically each and ever season as someone else tries for perfection. Not a bad way to be remembered if you ask me.