On this day: September 23rd, 1973

1973 Occurrences:

  • Spiro Agnew resigns as Vice President
  • Supreme Court rules on Roe v. Wade
  • The median household income was $10,512
  • Best picture went to the Godfather
  • A stamp cost $0.08
  • The Miami Dolphins lost to the Oakland Raiders 12-7 their first loss since the 1971 Super Bowl VI loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Dolphins were founded as an AFL expansion team in 1966 and under coach George Wilson they blew donkey balls their first four years going 3-11, 4-10, 5-8-1, and 3-10-1.  Owner Joe Robbie was sick of all the sucknicity and decided to hire a coach by the name of Don Shula away from the Baltimore Colts.  Robbie succeeded in the matter but was hit with a tampering charge and forced to fork over a 1st round pick.  You could think of this like Robert Kraft signing Bill Belichick away from the Jets (they also lost a 1st for tampering).  Just like Kraft, Robbie couldn’t have given less of a shit.  The move to acquire Shula was a wild success.

The 1970 Dolphins immediately catapulted to 10-4.  The 1971-1973 Dolphins were among the greatest three year runs in NFL history.  The 1971 Dolphins went 10-3-1 making it all the way to Super Bowl VI where they were flattened by Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, and the Dallas Cowboys 24-3.  This would be their last loss for 632 days.  The 1972 Dolphins completed the only modern day perfect season in NFL History going 17-0 and winning Super Bowl VII over the Washington Redskins 14-7. Carrying a 17 game winning streak into 1973 the Dolphins began the year with a 21-13 over the 49ers.  The streak however would end at 18 with this nail biting 12-7 loss to the Raiders:


This loss didn’t phase the Dolphins however as they proceeded to rip off 10 straight wins en route to a 12-2 season.  Think about that for a second, the Dolphins won 18 straight, then lost, then won 10 more in a row.  Effing 28 of 29!!!!  In doing a little research the 2003-2004 Patriots won 27 of 28 and the 2008-2009 Colts won 23 of 24.

***Side tangent, leave it to the Colts to pound their chest over the 23 game regular season winning streak.  What you can’t see is Polian and company quietly sweeping that 2008 Wild Card loss to the Chargers under the table.  Give me the Dolphins and Patriots streaks any day that include, oh I don’t know, A SUPER BOWL VICTORY!!!!***

The 1973 Dolphins went on to win their second consecutive championship over the Minnesota Vikings 24-7.  I’m not sure if any of the Dolphins admitted so but I’m willing to guess that loss to the Raiders was seen as a positive.  You weren’t going to go undefeated forever… lose a game, improve on weaknesses, and sharpen your focus.  1972 was already in the books and 1973 – while not perfect – cemented this run as one of the greatest the NFL has ever seen.