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Book details
  • SubGenre:Sports
  • Language:English
  • Pages:448
  • eBook ISBN:9798887573038
  • Hardcover ISBN:9781637602867

Rise of the Dolphins

by Dave Morine

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Starting in 1970, Coach Don Shula turned the Miami Dolphins from being the perennial doormat of the NFL into one of the most dominant teams ever to play in the NFL. At the same time, Pete Rozelle, the NFL's Commissioner, was changing the enterprise from being just a football league into one of the greatest entertainment businesses in the world. In Rise of the Dolphins, these two events are seen through the eyes of Doug Swift, the unlikely starting strongside linebacker for the Dolphins' famous 1970-1975 "No Name Defense." For old fans, Swift's recollections will bring back memories of many of the League's biggest stars and some of the greatest games ever played — not only in the '70s, but also in the entire history of the NFL. For current fans, Rise of the Dolphins will connect many of the dots about how the NFL got to where it is today. Either way, this book is an interesting, insightful, and at times humorous read for anyone who cares about football and the NFL.


Doug Swift is without doubt one of the most interesting people ever to play in the NFL. From 1970-1975, Doug was the starting strongside linebacker for the Miami Dolphins and during his six-year career, he played in three Super Bowls, won two rings, and was a key member of the 1972 squad that to this day is the only team in the history of the NFL to post a perfect season. On paper, it would appear that Doug had no business playing professional football. He didn't have the right pedigree. He hadn't gone to a big-time football school like Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Texas, or even Syracuse, the college team he grew up watching in his hometown. Instead, Doug went to little Amherst College which played an eight-game schedule in Division III with no playoffs. In addition to this lack of experience and training, for a professional football player Doug wasn't exceptionally big, fast, or "mobile, agile, and hostile" as Bear Bryant liked his players. So, how did Doug do it? He maintains that his success was due to a combination of discipline, determination, and doggedness, or as he is quick to note, "While I wasn't always the best, I made sure I was always the most determined." In addition to being very determined, Doug was very smart and early in his football career developed the ability to sense what was going to happen before it happened, and then put himself in the right position for when it happened. With this unique feel for the game, it is no coincidence that Doug compiled one of the best, if not the best "games started/games won" ratio of anyone who ever played in the NFL for at least six years. As Coach Shula said when Doug announced his retirement, "Like a lot of guys who played on the "No- Name Defense," Doug never received the individual credit he deserved, but in retrospect, I can say that he was as smart, dedicated, and determined as any player I ever coached." Not too bad for a kid from little Amherst College.

About the author
Dave Morine graduated from Amherst College in 1966 and received an MBA from the University of Virginia in 1969. All through the 1970s and 1980s he was the Head of Land Acquisition for The Nature Conservancy, and during that time he directed the permanent protection of over three million acres of the finest natural areas left in America. These days he spends his time as a volunteer helping local land trusts save land and writing about things that interest him. As a former football player for Amherst and a fraternity brother of Doug Swift, Doug's career with the Dolphins is something that really captured Dave's interest. Rise of the Dolphins is his eighth book.