The Dolphins (and most other NFL teams) had no weight room back then. Players who wanted to lift had to go to a local health club.
The average NFL player salary in 1972 was $27,500, and, even considering the much lower cost of living, that pales to what athletes make now.
Players routinely had second jobs.
Little counseled troubled kids at a youth hall and was a substitute teacher at Homestead Middle School.
Anderson was an insurance agent who would call clients before and after practices.
In those days you had to have another job if you wanted to get ahead, Anderson said. Shula was always telling me to get off the phone!
Those were the un-spot-lit days when coaches or players might drink in a hotel bar with reporters. Why? No social media. No smartphones to tweet out a photo. No Deadspins or TMZs to scandalize it. No ESPN SportsCenter to put the story in heavy rotation.
You had a lot more privacy in 1972.
You also had a lot less stardom and attention (along with a lot less money).
You just didnt have the exposure, as Anderson put it.
Said Shula: We got all the accolades we could get. Everything there was. But it was a different time.
Some of those missing accolades finally catch up to the 72 Dolphins on Tuesday with the ultimate photo-op and meet-and-greet, at the White House, where Obama, if he knows a good quip, might mention that even his own back-to-back victories in 2008 and 2012 were no more impressive than Miamis titles in 1972 and 1973.
The symbolism in the visit is that is represents the ultimate, official credit, sort of an historical stamp.
Its not so much the importance, said Mercury Morris of the occasion, as the appreciation.
You remember how Little mentioned that the common man does not go to the White House?
The most uncommon men in NFL history do. It took 41 years, but thats OK.
They got there.