Since we certainly don't celebrate the 1972 Miami Dolphins enough every year, what with the champagne popping every time the last undefeated team in the NFL loses, why not just invite them to the White House?
Oh I'm sorry, President Obama already did that. But only because that Richard Nixon was a little busy with -- ahem -- other things to bring Miami up to Washington, D.C. back in 1973. A large group of players, along with head coach Don Shula, will make the trip, including Hall of Famers Bob Griese, Paul Warfield, Larry Csonka, Jim Langer, Larry Little and Nick Buoniconti.
“It's a long time coming, but we're finally getting there,” Buoniconti said. “I guess most of the guys are going. I hear Csonka is trying to come in from Alaska. Knowing Zonk, hopefully he'll be there. He was such an integral part of that team, and his personality would go well with the president, because he's whimsical. I'm sure he'll have a few things to say to the president.”
And owner Stephen Ross is, understandably, quite excited that his organization will be honored by the President. So excited he's paying the way for all the members of the team to make the trip.
“The entire Miami Dolphin organization is very excited and appreciative that the 1972 'Perfect Season' team is going to be honored by President Obama at the White House," Ross said in a statement. "By going undefeated all year en route to a Super Bowl championship, the '72 Dolphins reached the pinnacle of sports achievement and set a standard for excellence that has yet to be duplicated. In addition, Coach Shula and his players were just as successful off the field in their charitable and civic activities, becoming role models for the South Florida community.
"The players and coaches are most deserving of this unique honor, and they are looking forward to their trip to the White House and their ceremony with the President."
Also excited? Shula, who remains the only coach to guide a team through an undefeated season.
"I'm honored that the accomplishments of the 1972 Dolphins are going to be recognized by the President with a ceremony at the White House," Shula said. "It is a very special occasion and I know it's something that all of us will enjoy and remember."
I joke about the Fins having an annual celebration -- it's mentioned every time the last undefeated team goes down each year but the idea that these older football legends get together and slug champagne every time they remain the only undefeated team, well, it's not as intense as it was a few years ago.
When the Patriots were on a roll in 2007, there was a lot more chatter about the '72 Dolphins and how they might deal with another team joining them in the ranks of the undefeated teams. Since then only the 2011 Packers really managed to scare the Fins.