Pete Carroll invokes the curse of the 1972 Dolphins at worst time
In what may have been the worst timing ever, Pete Carroll inspired his Seahawks team by invoking the memory of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. It did not go well.
Pete Carroll comes under an awful lot of criticism for a successful coach. In his 13th year leading the Seahawks, he’s120-74-1. That’s a .618 winning percentage, folks. Only two Hawks coaches even managed winning records, let alone come within 50 percentage points of Carroll.
His 120 wins are miles ahead of anyone else. Mike Holmgren is in second place in wins with 86. If he had gone undefeated for two straight seasons under the new schedule, he’d only tie Carroll.
The astute 12s will note that equates to 17 wins per season, a number that plays an outsize role here. Multiple sources reported that during training camp, Pete Carroll challenged his team by presenting the story of the 1972 Miami Dolphins. I know some of you 12s are as young as our Seahawks rookies, so let me remind you. The Phins remain the only undefeated team in the history of the modern NFL, going 17-0 in 1972.
Pete Carroll played with the wrong mojo invoking the ’72 Dolphins
Pete no doubt saw this story as the ultimate motivation for the Seahawks. He also reminded them that he had led USC to three straight undefeated seasons. Now, there are two problems with this. First, no matter how great an accomplishment it is to go undefeated in the NCAA, it isn’t the NFL.
Pete Carroll was easily the best college coach going. But Southern Cal didn’t have to win three playoff games after they wrapped their regular season. Just ask the New England Patriots how easy it is to win that final game.
The biggest problem with this motivational tool is the mojo of that undefeated team. Those players famously gather each year when the last undefeated team goes down in flames. Here we are 50 years later, and I guarantee you Larry Csonka, Larry Little, Bob Griese, et al will be popping the champagne when the Chiefs – or Bills, or whoever – get tagged with their first loss.
As I write this, there are only five undefeated teams left, pending the Bills game. Let me remind you, 12s, we’re only in week two.
That’s the one thing I’m grateful for. We’ve only finished week two. The Seahawks have plenty of time to correct their mistakes. Sadly, they are legion. At least they won’t have the curse of the 1972 Dolphins hanging over them anymore. They got that little bit of business out of the way quickly.