It took four decades and eight presidents, but the 1972 “Perfect Season” was honored at the nation’s capital on Tuesday, after White House officials finally decided to suck it up and take one for the good of the country.
“These guys were never going to go away on their own; I think we all recognized that,” said President Obama in a conference call on Sunday. “We just kind of realized that Mercury Morris will probably outlive every one of us.”
It had been 41 years since their Super Bowl victory, but, curiously, the ’72 Dolphins had never been formally invited to the White House, an honor usually reserved for championship teams of all sports.
Marv Fleming and Garo Yepremian once stood outside the White House gates dressed only in orange and aqua Zubaz, drinking champagne from the bottle and singing the Dolphins fight song, but that was as close as they’d get, as former President Bill Clinton had them removed from the premises after only 17 minutes.
“Have you ever talked to those guys?” the former president seethed. “They’re just the worst. A lot of people don’t know this, but Richard [Nixon] started the Watergate scandal just so he’d have a legitimate reason to blow off those smug a-holes.”
But President Obama felt that it was time to address the situation, rather than continue to ignore it, a move some within his administration hope will unify a country that seems more and more divided every year.
“It’s just so hard to get both sides on the same page these days, and we had been met with so much resistance on so many levels,” one official said. “Health care, taxes, unemployment–we needed a victory that everyone could rally around, so we thought, ‘What if we could just make the ’72 Dolphins go away?’”
Not everyone from that undefeated team made the trip to the nation’s capital, though. Jim Langer and Manny Fernandez both chose not to attend, citing political reasons. Bob Kuechenberg had a scheduled colonoscopy.
As for the members who did attend, the hope is that yesterday’s ceremony was a crowning of sorts. One that will finally allow the ’72 Dolphins to be at peace. One that will allow the next NFL team to start 9-0 to do so without being subjected to the torturous moans of Bob Griese and Larry Csonka.
The President doesn’t seem so sure, though.
“These guys were pulling champagne bottles out of their pants and popping them in the Oval Office,” he said shortly after the ceremony, shaking his head in disbelief.
“They are out of f–ing control.”