Barry Jackson

Amid declining health, Jim Kiick buoyed by Dolphins gesture

Jim Kiick and son Austin Kiick pose for photos during a red carpet event at the Dolphins gala for the 50th Season All Time Team at the Dilpomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla., on Dec. 11, 2015.
Jim Kiick and son Austin Kiick pose for photos during a red carpet event at the Dolphins gala for the 50th Season All Time Team at the Dilpomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla., on Dec. 11, 2015. Attn: Roman Lyskowski

This was classy: The Dolphins and some of Jim Kiick’s former teammates teamed up to buy him a Super Bowl ring to replace the one he lost.

Neither the Dolphins nor the involved teammates sought publicity for this, but Dick Anderson mentioned it in a conversation last week.

The Dolphins presented Kiick with the replicate ring a couple weeks ago at Kim Bokamper’s restaurant in Plantation, with Bokamper and Dick Anderson among those in attendance.

Kiick, by phone, thanked Dolphins security director Stu Weinstein for steering the ship on his ring replacement.

The ring replaces a 1973 Super Bowl ring (1973 season, ‘74 game) that was lost years ago. Kiick already has a ’72 Super Bowl ring that his son keeps stored in a safe.

But Kiick said the replacement ring is another 1972 ring. So he said he now has two rings to commemorate the Dolphins’ perfect season.

“It was nice to get it,” Kiick said. “Now I have two. The ring was more important than the money.”

FINS AT 50: A celebration of the Dolphins' storied past and looks forward to a bright future

Anderson said former teammates paid for the ring but declined to reveal the price. “It was something he treasured and wanted,” Anderson said.

Kiick, incidentally, said he never read the recent Sports Illustrated piece about him that said he is suffering from dementia and early onset Alzheimer’s and living in an assisted living center. He sounded lucid during a phone conversation.

“My memory is not as bad as made out to be,” he said. “They give you a test to test dementia and the doctor said, ‘How many fingers do I have up?’ He held two. Kiddingly, I said five. The testing is ludicrous. It doesn't show anything. I have longevity in my family. My mother passed away at 99. I feel fine.”

Anderson said after Kiick received the ring, an official from Kiick’s assisted living facility emailed Anderson and said “this was the best week he’s had since he’s been here.”

Kiick’s and Nick Buoniconti’s health issues were chronicled in a recent Sports Illustrated two-part series.

Anderson, who keeps in close touch with both men, said “they are well enough to understand they have a problem and frustrated they can’t do anything about it. Both have cognitive issues but I have good conversations with both of them. I was pissed off about the [SI] story saying Jim was living in squalor. That was inaccurate.”

Buoniconti said he’s disappointed that nobody from the NFL reached out after that SI piece detailing his diagnosis of neurodegerative dementia.

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