In the early days of the Super Bowl, I pulled for the American Football League teams.
I wasn't a big fan of the old guard, the establishment, the NFL.
I liked AFL play.
And, when the leagues merged, I pulled for the AFC teams.
Didn't matter that the Falcons were NFL and NFC.
I liked the upstart AFL. And the AFC.
So, since the Falcons were in the NFL/NFC, I pulled for another team. An AFL team.
The Miami Dolphins.
Stayed a Dolphin fan until the Jacksonville Jaguars came into being.
Jacksonville was closer to my home town than Atlanta. Plus, they were the Falcons.
Sure, when the Falcons did win on occasion, I'd be happy for them. But I still cheered for the Jags.
But, like I said, before the Jags, it was the Dolphins.
And, in 1972, I was one huge pain in the ass for every football fan in my high school.
I was the only Dolphins fan.
And, in 1972, things started badly.
1971 ended well, with the Dolphins winning the longest NFL game (and longest pro football game at the time), 27-24, in the second overtime.
They went on to the Super Bowl on January 16, 1972, but got clobbered by the Dallas Cowboys, 24-3. I was not a happy camper.
But I told those that would listen that the Dolphins would be back ... and would win.
After a 3-3 preseason, the Dolphins began the 1972 season with a win. Then another. Then another. And another.
Then, Bob Griese got hurt. There went the season.
Except for Earl Morrall.
There's a trivia answer for you.
He led the Dolphins to 10 regular season wins, and a playoff win, before turning the reins back over to a healed Griese.
And the Dolphins won Super Bowl VII, 14-7, over the Washington Redskins, to wrap up the only perfect season and postseason in NFL history.
Like I said, I was a pain in the ass that year.
I have enjoyed the fact that, before they went 17-0, I was pulling for them.
Then, this year, the New England Patriots ran the table, and were heavily favored to win Super Bowl XLII.
Didn't happen, as you know now.
I'm not unhappy.
I am glad that "my team" remains the only perfect team in NFL history.
Patriots fans have nothing to be ashamed of. Their team was great all year long.
It just wasn't their night.
I know what you're going through.
Nah. I don't. My team did have a perfect season ... back in 1972.
I don't know what you're going through. But I do know what you almost had.
You'd have enjoyed it. You really would have.