DVR alert: NFL Network profiles Miami’s great backfield of Csonka, Kiick and Morris

A personal story and why I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Larry Csonka.

My parents joined me in New Orleans for Super Bowl XX between Chicago and New England. The day before the Bears’ big win, we were walking in a mall when my father, Jerry, spotted Csonka.

“I’m going to go up and say hello,” he said. “He looks like he wants to talk.”

“No,” I said. “These guys don’t want to be bothered.”

My dad pressed me, but I said we should respect his privacy. “OK,” he said.

A few minutes later, Csonka walked past us, and my dad simply said, “Hello, Larry.”

Well, Csonka stopped on a dime and spent the next 15 minutes talking to us. Needless to say, it made my dad’s day, especially when he got in the last word.

“I told you he wanted to talk,” My dad said.

So that’s one of the reasons why I will be looking forward to the latest edition of “A Football Life.”

From NFL Network:


Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris are still remembered for achieving something that no other NFL team ever has: Perfection. These three running backs were a part of what is still seen in history as the best football team of all time: the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

NFL Network’s series A Football Life continues Friday, November 14 at 9:00 PM ET with a profile of the 1972 Miami Dolphins backfield. In the one-hour, NFL Films-produced documentary, Kiick and Morris travel to Alaska where they are reunited with Csonka. The three teammates reminisce about their past while fishing the scenic Unalakleet river, highlighting the incredible bond that was forged between them that is still strong to this day. In addition to individual interviews with Csonka, Kiick and Morris, The Perfect Backfield: A Football Life includes game highlights and interviews with head coach Don Shula from the 1972 season.

Among the topics discussed in the show are:

Csonka, Kiick and Morris’ upbringings and how each began playing football

The strong friendships between the Dolphins teammates

The change in dynamic when Morris joined the Dolphins

Csonka’s relationship with head coach Don Shula

The journey from almost winning a championship in 1971 to completing a perfect season in 1972

The defeat of the near-perfect 1985 Chicago Bears

The eventual retirement of all three running backs and their legacy

Emmy-nominated actor Josh Charles narrates.

Provided below are some select quotes from The Perfect Backfield: A Football Life:

– “I started out in a kid’s backyard playing touch football and I never abandoned the principle when I got to the pros: if they can’t touch you, they can’t tackle you.” – Mercury Morris

– “We just had a personality that sort of meshed. We played football because we had fun playing it.” – Jim Kiick on his friendship with Larry Csonka

– “He would tolerate a little more from the humor side from me because he knew I would be serious in my preparation.” – Larry Csonka on relationship with Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula

– “As much as it hurt me to not play as much as I had been, I knew we were probably better off as a team. So whatever I could do to contribute to us winning football games that was fine.” – Jim Kiick on adjusting to a 3-back offense

– “Everybody talks about ‘Did you guys set out to be perfect?’ Yeah, we set out to be perfect. Did we believe we were going to be perfect? No. What we wanted to do was have a championship season where we won it all.” – Larry Csonka on their expectations for the 1972 season

– “We did one thing: we hit perfection. When you become a definition, not just a number, then you are in a special place.” – Larry Csonka on the 1972 Dolphins’ legacy

– “I had had enough and I quit, and there is a distinction…You retire when the game has had enough of you. You quit when you have had enough of the game.” – Mercury Morris on how his career ended

– “To this day, I see it differently than I saw it back then. Back then I saw it as what I did and now I see it as what we did, as what Jim and Larry and I did. We have this relationship and this bond over this one specific thing that we did in professional sport like nobody else ever did.” –Mercury Morris on his bond with teammates Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick


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