On this day 49 years ago, the Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins, 14-7 in Super Bowl VII at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to complete the NFL’s only perfect season. Despite entering the game with an undefeated record, the Dolphins were a slight underdog by the oddsmakers. Critics said Miami had feasted on a weak schedule. But what they often forget is the Dolphins played most of the season with a 38-year-old backup quarterback (Earl Morrall) and defeated the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at Pittsburgh.

The game was not nearly as close as the score indicated. Early in the game, an apparent Bob Griese touchdown pass to Paul Warfield was called back due to a holding penalty. With the Dolphins leading 14-0 in the 4th quarter, Garo Yepremian was called upon to attempt a 42 yard field goal that would have made the score appropriately 17-0. However, Yepremian’s kick was blocked. The 5’7, 150 pound kicker picked up the ball and tried to throw a pass. The ball slipped out of his hands, went straight up in the air and landed in the hands of Washington player Mike Bass, who raced 49 yards for a touchdown.

But “Garo’s Gaffe” wasn’t the only notable mistake that afternoon. Miami nose tackle Manny Fernandez turned in the most dominant performance that afternoon, registering an astounding 17 tackles. However sportswriter Dick Schaap, selected safety Jake Scott as the game’s MVP. Schaap had partied the night before the game. He admitted to having a bad hangover and barely watched Super Bowl VII in the press box. When he saw Scott had 2 interceptions on the stat sheet, he decided to pick Miami’s free safety as game MVP.


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