Miami Dolphins

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 16:19

The history of the Miami Dolphins

About the NFL team Miami Dolphins.

The Miami Dolphins is a professional football team founded by Joseph Robbie. The team plays home games in the suburb of Miami Gardens at Dolphin Stadium. The team is based in the metropolitan area of Miami, Florida. Their headquarters is the Miami Dolphins Training Facility in Davie, Florida. The team began to play in 1966 with the American Football League (AFL), acquiring the status as an expansion team. They joined the National Football League (NFL) after the AFL-NFL merged into one body. In the state of Florida, the team is the oldest major league professional sports franchise, and today the Dolphins belong to the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) of the NFL.

The team lost to the Dallas Cowboys during their first Super Bowl game in 1971; however, the Dolphins made a Super Bowl win in 1972 when they won all 14 regular season games and two playoffs. The Super Bowl VII record is so far the most distinctive mark the Dolphins hold to date. Don Shula, the most successful head coach in the history of professional football, served as their coach for most of the time. The most prolific player in NFL history belonged to the Dolphins from the 1980s and 1990s; Dan Marino led the team to Super Bowl XIX and various playoff appearances.

The Dolphins gained success in the early 1970s as they were the first team to advance to the Super Bowl in three consecutive seasons. In 1971 they gained the AFC championship and won against Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game. However, the team lost to the Dallas Cowboys scoring 24-3 in Super Bowl VI.

The team made it again as the NFL Champion, defeating Minnesota Vikings in a 24-7 record in 1973 during the Super Bowl VIII at the Rice Stadium in Houston. The 1974 season, however, have seen the team lost in the first round to Oakland Raiders. The next year, three of their valued players - Csonka, Kiick, and Warfield - joined the World Football League.

With this setback, Shula drafted new stars and built a solid defense taking a 6-8 record in 1976 by winning more than ten games in four out of five seasons thereafter. The following year was not so promising as they lost the division title to the Colts in 1977 and made the wild-card in the 1978 playoffs but lost to the Houston Oilers the first round with 17-9 score. The team was rejoined by Csonka during the 1979 season and after winning the division with 10-6 record, lost the divisional playoffs to the Pittsburg Steelers who eventually championed the Super Bowl at Three Rivers Stadium. In 1980 the Dolphins did not make it to the playoffs, finishing with only 8-8 score.

The Dolphins reached the playoffs in 1981 and were back on top of the AFC East with a 11-4-1 record in the NFL season. In the 1982 NFL season, the Dolphins held five out of nine opponents to 14 or lesser points leading to their fourth Super Bowl appearance. To offset their previous losses, they beat the Patriots in a 28-13 record including the San Diego Chargers in 34-13 at the Orange Bowl. In the 1983 season, with Shula replacing David Woodley with Dan Marino, the rookie went on to win the AFC passing title with 20 touchdowns as against 6 interceptions as well as receiving the award of the NFL Rookie of the Year. The team garnered 12-4 record to win the last five season games, taking the title of the only team in the AFC East to win a record. They were, however, upset by the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional playoff at the Orange.

In the next season in 1984, the team won their first 11 games to a 14-2 seasons, dubbed as the best 16-game season until today. Marino set the single-season record for most yards (5,084), touchdown passes (48) and completions (362) being the most impressive set of passing statistics in the history of NFL. During the year, they defeated the Seahawks and the Steelers in the AFC Championship, taking the Super Bowl XIX. The Dolphins, however, lost to the San Francisco 49ers for the title game.

In 1985, the team finished 12-4; it handed to the Chicago Bears their only defeat during the season as well as to the Cleveland Browns in the divisional playoff. Soon after many fans were expecting a rematch with Chicago in Super Bowl XX. The following season in 1986 saw the Dolphins suffer defensive struggles, finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 1977. They lost their last ever game to the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. Moreover, the challenges continued in 1987 and, at the new Joe Robbie Stadium, they experienced their first losing season in 1988 as well as finishing a regular season with an 8-8 record in 1989.

The Dolphins had finished second in the AFC East with a 12-4 record in 1990, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs but losing to Buffalo Bills in the playoffs. Suffering from defensive injuries in 1991, the Dolphins missed the playoffs to the New York Jets, handing the AFC’s final playoff berth to their arch rivals during the final week of the season.

The team made a comeback in 1992 to capture the AFC East title, crushing the Chargers but once again losing to the Buffalo Bills in a 29-10 record in the AFC Championship. The team’s Dan Marino suffered another injury that led to missing the playoffs in 1993 but in 1994 he led the Dolphins into winning the AFC East crown with a 10-6 record.

In 1995, the team finished second in the AFC East but made the playoffs as a wild-card, loosing to the buffalos in the first round. After the season Don Shula retired to become an executive in the Dolphin’s front office and was replaced by Jimmy Johnson formerly with the Dallas Cowboys.  

The team finished 8-8 out of the playoffs in 1996 and back to the playoffs again in 1997 with a 9-7 season however losing to the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round. The Dolphins made a 10-6 season in 1998 but not sufficient to beat the New York Jets into the division first place. In the same year the team beat the Bills in the Wild Card round but losing eventually in the second to the Denver Broncos. The next year in 1999 the team suffered the worst playoff loss in NFL history with a 62-7 score against Jacksonville Jaguars. After which Dan Marino retired and Jimmy Johnson left the team.

In 2000, with the new coach Dave Wannstedt coming from the Chicago Bears and former Jacksonville Jaguars backup Jay Fiedler as new quarterback, the Dolphins finished an 11-5 record, above the AFC East. The Indianapolis Colts were taken down by the team during the first round; however, they were shut out by the Oakland Raiders in the second round. In 2001, they finished second in the AFC East but lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the playoffs. The Dolphins in 2002 pulled off and won over the Oakland Raiders to steal the AFC East prime position but the Jets took the title. In 2003 the team finished with 10-6 which still was short of a playoff position.

Due to various problems, Miami dropped their first six games in 2004 season and the next two seasons saw many personnel changes which made a standstill in the team’s games. Finally in 2007, Cam Cameron was named as new head coach coming from San Diego Chargers. Bill Parcells was chosen to head the team who in turn fired Randy Mueller and Cam Cameron (along with almost all of his staff) in 2008. Equally the Dolphins parted ways and, along with these events, Tony Sparano was hired as head coach. Chad Pennington, a star player from the Jets, joined the team.