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Shula says ’72 Dolphins don’t have champagne parties

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula presents the inaugural Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year award in Dallas

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula (L) presents the inaugural Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year award to Ray Seals of Madison High School of Houston, Texas at a news conference in Dallas, Texas, February 4, 2011. The award is given to youth and amateur level coaches. The Super Bowl XLV NFL football game will be played in nearby Arlington, Texas on February 6. REUTERS/Pierre DuCharme (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)


With only seven undefeated teams after two weeks of the 2011 season, the ’72 Dolphins are more than 72 percent of the way toward seeing their perfect record remaining unique for at least another year.

But former Dolphins coach Don Shula told Vic Carucci of Cleveland Browns Daily that the perception regarding the team that went 17-0 nearly 40 years ago is incorrect. Specifically, Shula said that the members of the team don’t crack open the bubbly when the last unbeaten team falls.

“The champagne story is ridiculous,” Shula said. “People really do think that we’re a bunch of angry old men and we gather and just root for that last undefeated team to get beat and when they do, we pop the champagne. I think the thing that happened is, one year, the last undefeated team got beat and Nick Buoniconti and Dick Anderson lived next to each other in Coral Gables, and they went out in their driveway and opened a bottle of champagne and popped it and toasted to each other. And they were too cheap to invite the rest of us to their party.”

Though the full complement of 1972 Dolphins aren’t regarded as angry old men, the “don’t call me when you’re in my town, call me when you’re on my block” rants of Mercury Morris from 2007, which ultimately were parlayed into a series of Reebok commercials featuring Morris and other members of the team, cemented the widespread belief that the ’72 Dolphins don’t want to see their 17-0 eclipsed with a 19-0.

Given the way that the Patriots have played through two weeks, it could be time for Reebok to dust off those spots.