Monday, October 27, 2014

Dolphins - Chargers history

These two teams have played a fair amount over the years, and between 1981-1995, they met up in the playoffs a half dozen or so times...its been mostly even, but there are some memorable moments...

Of  course one of the single most memorable plays came in the playoffs at the end of the 1981 season... it was the "Hook and Lateral" which you can relive here:

 The game was, well, epic. It went on for what seemed like forever, and ultimately went into OT. The Chargers won, Kellen Winslow was dragged off... and the Chargers went on to play in to play in frigid Cincinnatti the following week. Photo from

The two teams met again in 1982, and the Dolphins dominated and kept winning ... all the way to the SuperBowl.

Another memorable game came in 1992, in the pouring rain in Miami.  The Dolphins took control and wound up winning...only to meet up with the Bills in the AFC Championship that year. And I don't need to tell you how that turned out, do I?  I think Tom Olivadotti still has nightmares about Thurman Thomas...

And then there was this...gem?  Don Shula had achilles surgery during the 1994 season, and relied on a golf cart to get around.  So there he was on the sidelines sitting in it. The Dolphins had things go their way, then there was a late TD by the Chargers...then, the phins had a chance to win it with 6 seconds left....and Pete Stoyonavich missed!

The story about Shula's golf cart goes... The National Football League hierarchy is quietly happy the Miami Dolphins are no longer in uniform, for two reasons. One, no home-field advantage for either team in the Super Bowl Jan. 29 in Miami. Two, they no longer have to deal with Don Shula's golf cart on the sidelines. ''You can imagine the uproar if, say, Steve Young had injured himself crashing into that damned cart,'' an NFL official privately remarked over the past weekend. The league tried to coax Shula into the press box coaches' booth while rehabbing his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon, but the Jaw would have none of it. Shoes reasoned he could have more of an impact on the sidelines. And, perhaps, be seen better? After all, the man does have a rather sizeable, albeit justified ego. . . . The Shula Cart also was an issue over the weekend in San Diego, where groundskeepers wanted to keep both teams off the rain-softened playing field the day before the game. The Chargers obliged, opting to work out on their practice field adjacent the stadium. However, Shula kicked up such a ruckus, NFL officials relented and allowed the Dolphins to use the east end of the Jack Murphy Stadium field for their Saturday run-through, instead of the Chargers' practice field. Stadium workers clenched their teeth at the sight of Shula riding his golf cart about the east end of the field Saturday and again during the Dolphins' warm-ups on Sunday. ''That's pretty dumb,'' stadium manager Bill Wilson was heard to snort. ''He wants a good field and he puts ruts in it. Is that smart?'' You know there was a lot of happy leering when the Dolphins missed a potential game-winning field goal from that same, chewed-up east end.
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What would you pay now to see us in the playoffs as often as Shula led us there??

Don't forget we missed a FG at the end of regulation in that '81 epic playoff loss. We were down 24-0 very, very early. The Hook and Lateral made it 24-17 and then we tied it up early in the 3rd period. The Orange Bowl was buzzing. That stadium was so magical for us. We can have those days back again. Well maybe.

We also loss a tough playoff game in San Diego when we were up 21-0 with Marino running off the field after his 3rd TD pass yelling "They can't stop us!" They ran the ball down our throats in the second half.

Anonymous DeleteReply

Yeah, and the very next season the NFL paid Shula back by allowing a snow plow to clear a space for the NE kicker; 3 - 0 New England wins.

Anonymous DeleteReply

Dave, sorry about that comment. I thought the article was still referring/talking about the 1981 game. My screen looks a bit different and I was skimming along so fast I forgot it was a piece about the series/or memorable games(all of them) between Miami & San Diego. Long time ago; some things stay burned in my memory & I end up yapping about games that were 15 years apart.

Anonymous DeleteReply

The `81 game was the best game we ever lost. Chargers were a better team that year, or at least they had the better kicker....

The `95 game still kills me. Dolphins had the better team. And Shula playing mind games with the golf cart - classic.