SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The '72 Dolphins and Schadenfreude?

Is it true that the '72 Dolphins get together each year when the last undefeated team loses and then offers themselves a champagne toast to celebrate that they're the only undefeated team to win a Super Bowl?

This article seems to differ with that perception, but then I ask this -- what did I see on ESPN over the past couple of days? Wasn't that Nick Buonoconti and other '72 Dolphins raising champagne glasses? That's what it looked like to me.

Are the '72 Dolphins really taking pride in someone else's misfortune, someone else's defeat? That seems to be a corollary to something Truman Capote once said, "Every time a friend of mine does something well, a piece of me dies." If the '72 Dolphins in fact are going to great lengths to toast another team's defeat because it buttresses their legend, it's certainly not the conduct worthy of a champion.

Unless, of course, in the modern era, we permit our champions to act like self-centered fools out of a theory that if they weren't self-centered and focused to begin with, they wouldn't have won the title in the first place and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

The '72 Dolphins were a great team. It's a shame that their legacy is tarnished with reports that the cause of their annual get-together (whether in person or virtual) isn't solely their own historic accomplishments, but another team's failure.

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