We made an agreement with our boss to never again mention the importance of uniforms in the affairs of men. However, in the fine print of the agreement, it states that whereinupon, etc. uniforms of locally identifiable units are changed in a material way, all the above is null, dull and void. Which means the Dolphins changed their uniforms.
The subject is particularly apt right now, as the undefeated team of 1972-73 was honored by the president of the United States yesterday. All real Americans are concerned that in this season of August (through January) memories, the classic uniforms worn by these heroes have been changed. The changes are not glaring. Aqua has replaced orange in stripes. Not much else. The effect is to make somewhat effeminate colors even more so. Although don’t call No. 39, aka Larry Csonka, effeminate. The question, therefore, that real Americans ask, is why? Why change the look, even mildly, worn by a team of legend? It has been 40 years and no other team has gone undefeated, and we are willing to bet several martinis that the guys in the new Dolphins uniforms will not go undefeated. Proof of that bold statement is that they have already lost two games.
It has been a lifelong crusade of this writer to oppose stupid changes in classic uniforms. Our favorite, as with all real Americans, is the New York Yankees, who still look much the way they did in the time of Ruth and Gehrig. One could say the same for other franchises, including Detroit, St. Louis (the baseball team), the Dodgers, and Notre Dame (the football team). On the opposite side, we should mention the United States Army (not the football team), which has discarded the bile green that so many of us wore since 1957, for a return to the two-tone blue the Union wore in the Civil War, itself a throwback to the Continental Army’s colors in the war against the Brits.
Back on topic. Don Shula says it does not seem like 40 years since that season of glory, until he looks in the mirror. Gold Coast magazine was there, actually the year before, when we traveled with the soon-to-be legends to Boston, where our all-time favorite photo was taken. Gold Coast also covered the team a few years later, profiling both Joe Robbie, the owner, and Doug Swift, perhaps the most unusual of an unusual collection of jocks. He is now Dr. Doug Swift, an Amherst grad who got into professional football almost on a lark, and after a brief, wonderful career, went to medical school and, as an anesthesiologist, participated in the first heart transplant at Temple University Hospital. He got us into that hospital early one Monday morning to witness a triple bypass. He did not even ask the PR people for permission, and his fellow docs that day did not know the unknown figure behind the green mask was writing a piece for The Miami Herald. Such innovation is what made him a great linebacker on the No Name Defense.
Little note here of another uniform change. The Miami Marlins (the baseball team) made another uniform change, adopting a look abandoned by most junior high teams. Nobody cared.