17 stories from 'Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ Perfect Season’

Writer Mike Freeman explores the undefeated season of the Florida team in his book.

2. President Nixon calling

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President Nixon, who fashioned himself something of a Coach-in-Chief, contacted Miami’s coach, Don Shula, several times over the years. One phone call came before the Dolphins’ first Super Bowl appearance in SB VI – at 1:30 a.m.! Nixon suggested using a slant-in pass play to Miami’s talented wide receiver, Paul Warfield, a play that Shula assured the president was already in the game plan.

After the Dolphins lost that game, Nixon dictated a consoling letter that he sent to Shula. Midway through the 1972 season, after Shula notched his 100th career victory faster than anyone had ever done, Nixon sent a congratulatory telegram. In part it read: “This new milestone is convincing proof of your superior coaching ability and, therefore, I will do my very best to resist suggesting any more plays should you get through the playoffs and into the Super Bowl again.”

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