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


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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