Miami Dolphins was the first professional American football team in Miami, state of Florida. They joined in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946 season. But the team only lasted only one year for being seized by the league.
In 1965, an expansion franchise was awarded to politician/lawyer Joseph Robbie and actor Danny Thomas for $7.5 million by AFL. Robbie had initially wished to found the franchise in Philadelphia, but AFL commissioner Joe Foss recommended working in Miami due to its growing population, warm climate and not having a football team.
Thomas ultimately wanted to sell his stake in the team to Robbie. To choose a name for the team a contest was held in 1965, which brought out 19,843 entries with over thousand of different names. 622 contestants suggested “Dolphins” as the team name. The journey of Miami Dolphins was started on 1966 during the summer in St. Pete Beach training camp.
George Wilson was the first head coach the Dolphins’. The Dolphins had a combined of 15–39–2 record in four consecutive losing seasons. Then in 1970, Don Shula was replaced with George Wilson as head coach. The Dolphins first won in an AFC wild-card playoff with a 10-4 record by losing 21–14 at Oakland.
The Dolphins were successful in the early 1970s. They participated in three consecutive AFC championships in 1971, 1972, 1973. But they won the AFC championship in 1971 by defeating Kansas City Chiefs and the match was the longest fight in NFL history (82 minutes 40 seconds). In Super Bowl VI Miami was defeated to the Dallas Cowboys by 24–3.
1972 was Dolphins’ perfect season. They were undefeated champion in this season by winning AFC Championship by 14-0, two playoff games, Super Bowl VII by defeating the Washington Redskins by 14-7 and finished the season with 17-0-0 record.
1973 was another successful season. The Dolphins finished by 12-2 in AFC Championship and won Super Bowl VIII by defeating the Minnesota Vikings with 24-7. In the playoff games the Dolphins lost in the first round to the Oakland Raiders in 1974.
Miami Dolphins NFL Football Team profile History
The Dolphins won ten games in 1975 with the great performance of Bob Griese and Nat Moore. But they did not make the playoff games by losing on tiebreakers to the Baltimore Colts. Same fate happened in 1977; they won AFC Championship but could not win playoffs.
The Dolphins also got an achievement that anyone could never do before by another NFL team. They defeated the division rival Buffalo Bills 20 consecutive times in the 1970s.
The Dolphins were back to winning track in the AFC East in the 1981 NFL season with 11–4–1 record. In the strike-shortened 1982 season, the Dolphins was led by the “Killer B’s” defense and won the AFC Championship.
They appeared fourth Super Bowl, Super Bowl XVII, but they lost the game to Washington by 27-17. In 1984, the Dolphins won their first 11 games with 14–2 (team’s best 16-game season to date).
Dan Marino produced one of the most remarkable set of passing statistics in NFL history, setting single-season records for most completions (362), yards (5,084) and touchdown passes (48) in his first full season. He was voted for NFL MVP. Miami avenged the Seahawks and crushed the Steelers with 45–28 in the AFC Championship to move forward to Super Bowl XIX. In the title game Miami lost to the San Francisco 49ers with 38–16.
It was Marino’s only Super Bowl appearance. They shifted to the new Joe Robbie Stadium in 1987 season. Later, the stadium’s name was changed to Joe Robbie Stadium (1987–1996), Pro Player Stadium (1996–2005), Dolphin Stadium (2005–2009), Land Shark Stadium (2009–2010), Sun Life Stadium (2010–present).
Dolphins’ owner Joe Robbie died at the age of 73 after the 1989 season was finished. Then Wayne Huizenga took over control of the Miami Dolphins in 1990. He purchased 15% of the team and stadium in 1990 as a reason of financial need for the franchise. After a long time Joe Robbie’s family found that it is difficult to keep the team floating. So Huizenga bought out the remaining shares of the team to become full owner in 1993.
In 1995, Shula became an Executive in the Dolphins’ front office. Jimmy Johnson was named as Shula’s replacement who won a Collegiate National Championship at the University of Miami and two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.
Miami Dolphins Team
Following the 1999 season, Dan Marino retired and Jimmy Johnson left the team. In 1995, Dan Marino broke the career records held by Fran Tarkenton for completions (3,913), touchdowns (352) and yards (48,841).
In February 2008, Stephen M. Ross bought 50 percent of the Miami Dolphins’ ownership, Dolphins’ Stadium and surrounding lands from the owner Wayne Huizenga for $550 million. On January 20, 2009, Ross purchased the additional 45 percent of the team from Wayne Huizenga with $1.1 billion. Ross is now the owner of 95% of both the team and the stadium.