Even though their backgrounds were much different – Doug being brought up in the suburbs of Syracuse and Garo on the island of Cyprus – in some sense, the same unlikelihood of ever playing in the NFL could be said about Garo. Despite the fact that he was the leading scorer for the Dolphins in ’71 and‘72, Garo was seen by his teammates as a little foreigner who didn’t know the first thing about football. Even President Lyndon Johnson held that opinion. After watching Garo on TV, the President told the press, “I don’t like the fact that a little foreigner who’d never made a block or a tackle in his life could decide the outcome of a game hard-fought by American boys in the trenches.”
So, how did these two oddball Dolphins do it? According to Doug, their success was due to a combination of discipline, determination, and doggedness. As Doug saw it, “To achieve perfection in football, or any sport, you have to be totally focused on the game. That’s what made the Dolphins so great.”
In Rise of the Dolphins, Dave Morine not only takes an interesting, informative, off-beat, and often humorous look at what made these two Dolphins and the rest of their teammates in the early ‘70s so successful, but he also explores how the game itself changed during that period. Plus, how Pete Rozelle by teaming up with TV was able to lay the foundation for the NFL to build itself from being just a football league into becoming the huge entertainment business it is today. Given these insights, past and present Dolphins fans as well as anybody interested in the history of the NFL or just a look back at the ‘70s in general will enjoy this book and learn why, according to Morine, “There will never be another ‘Perfect Season’.”
The 425-page Rise of the Dolphins, including a foreward by Don Shula, may be obtained online at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/rise-of-the-dolphins in hardcover, paperback, or ebook formats.