Hate is an overused term when it comes to sports, but for a generation of Kansas Citians old enough to remember the Chiefs’ Christmas Day Game at Municipal Stadium, it fits like Flipper in the Florida sunshine.
You see, this epic-length showdown in the divisional playoffs, contested on a balmy December day in 1971, cost one of the best teams in franchise history a shot at another Super Bowl championship. The longest game in NFL history lasted 82 minutes, 40 seconds until placekicker Garo Yepremian booted Miami to victory in the second overtime. Across KC, Christmas Day dinners had burned in the oven while fans held out hope that the Chiefs might find a way to beat Bob Griese and the Dolphins. Instead, it was Miami 27, Kansas City 24.
A lone bright spot? Ed Podolak’s 350 all-purpose yards for KC that day remains an NFL playoff record. Other than that, yep, we hate the Dolphins.
1. DAN THE (RINGLESS) MAN
Here’s a great idea: Let’s have Dan Marino, who never won a Super Bowl (but remains idolized in South Florida), rejuvenate the Dolphins franchise. Miami did just that in August, bringing Marino back as special adviser. We hate Elway, but at least he won a ring.
Isn’t that cute? It’s the name given to the Miami Dolphins’ long-suffering fan base. (No, we’re not kidding. And no, we don’t really find it cute.)
3. The helmet
This one really parches our pompano: Why on earth would a team ditch the little helmet on the dolphin adorning its helmet logo? That was the one thing these teal-clad losers had going for them.
“Oh, look at us! We’re old-timers from the 1972 Dolphins squad, and every season we break out champagne to toast the moment the NFL’s final unbeaten falls!” Get a life, dudes.
5. More Marino
A parting shot at Dan Marino (they make it too easy, like signing LeBron and winning NBA titles). Did you know that Dan’s old locker is encased in glass at the team’s facility? And that the running joke is, “In case of emergency, break glass”? Grab a hammer, Miami.