The Loop

The Loop

Larry Csonka smoking cigars, sipping scotch after the Steelers' loss is a thing you love to see

December 08, 2020

It’s not a national holiday, per se. We don’t get a day off work or exchange gifts, but each year it comes all the same. Sometimes later, like in 2008, and sometimes earlier, but when the clock strikes midnight on the NFL's last undefeated team, Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris, and the rest of the 1972 Miami Dolphins are always there, ready to take a good, long drag from the finest Cuban from the humidor. This is the Dolphins Day tradition, and it is glorious.

That’s Csonka on Monday, December 7th, celebrating the 2020 Fins festivities after the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL’s last undefeated team, fell to the Washington Football Team 23-17. It was an odd Dolphins Day, like most days have been this year. There were no fans in the stands. The score went final right as actual Monday Night Football was kicking off. Csonka celebrated alone, not with teammates at a banquet table. But he made the most of it, sipping something neat and expensive while puffing on the international symbol for victory. Seriously, how many 73-year-olds are still owning it this hard? Very few, and you unironically love to see it.

That said, the celebrations were bittersweet this year following the passing of head coach Don Shula. The greatest coach in NFL history (at least until Belichick retires) achieved plenty over the course of his 32-year career, but the ‘72 Dolphins perfect 17-0 season remains the crown jewel; the pinnacle by which all other football perfection is measured. Or should we say near perfection, because no NFL team before or since has achieved what Csonka and Shula’s ‘72 Fins did. And don’t bother with that “tHeY oNlY pLaYEd 17 gAmeS” garabage. Csonka can’t hear you over the tinkling in his rocks glass anyway.