News and Notes

The Road to Perfectville

For the first time in NFL history, two teams are at 13-0 as we head towards the closing stages of the 2009 NFL season. The 13-0 Colts and 13-0 Saints face the challenge of trying to do something that many teams, most recently, the 2007 Patriots attempted but ultimately failed – to finish a perfect 19-0.

Quite honestly, I hope one of them pulls it off. The notion of a group of men huddling together in a room toasting each other over champagne because another group of NFL players failed is sad and sobering all in the same regard. To think that members of the ’72 Dolphins gain significant enjoyment out of  failure is just absurd.

While members of the team certainly paint a far contrasting picture, the man who coached the team on a weekly basis sends at best, mixed messages.

Recently, Don Shula fed into the hysteria by saying in an interview that he is worried his beloved Dolphins could lose their mark. He made his feelings perfectly clear. “I’m rooting secretly inside that somebody beats them,” he told an Orlando television station.

While Shula admitted to rooting against the Colts and Saints, he did some backtracking to avoid sounding bitter:

“We’re very proud of that but we’re not a bunch of angry old men that sit around and can’t wait for that last undefeated team to get beat,” Shula said. “If somebody breaks that record . . . I’m going to call that coach and congratulate him.”

Unacceptable. The way Shula and his cast of characters conducted themselves in 2007 during the New England run and in previous years suggest otherwise.

Fearful that perhaps history will forget them (which will happen should they be supplanted), the ’72 Dolphins DO come across as angry old men. Should the Road to Perfectville lead to a Saints/Colts confrontation in a battle of 18-0 teams or with one of the undefeated squads finishing the deal versus another foe, I would certainly hope that some of the previously brazen members of the ’72 Dolphins show their faces in South Florida to congratulate the winners. Shula has to since he is the front man of the outfit.

If indeed the Colts or Saints finish on top in perfect fashion, I will celebrate with cigars in tow. Such an accomplishment should be honored and respected, not belittled by those who fear they will become a footnote in history.

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