The Uniforms of the Miami Dolphins!

 

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Titled “Football’s Royal Family” and licensed by the National Football League, we present the uniforms history of the Miami Dolphins.

 

Please note the print visuals shown here on our website simply cannot do justice to the meticulous detail of the actual print.  In addition, the year each uniform was first introduced is inscribed underneath.  Please also note the uniforms print you receive may have been updated with additional uniforms than what is shown on the print displayed above.

                                            

Framed Version 1

Framed with our classy multi-grooved black frame and matted in black with a white accent mat, this is one striking artpiece.  Measuring 12 ½ inches by 22 ½ inches with glass covering, it comes fully assembled and ready to hang or lean.  The cost is a welcoming $49 each and there is a one-time $6 discount shipping cost regardless of how many items you order!

 

Below is an example of the framed and matted version, which depicts the St. Louis Cardinals:

 

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Framed Version 2

Framed with a gold metal frame, this is our “thrills but no frills” version.  Measuring 5 ½ inches by 15 ½ inches with a glass covering, it comes fully assembled and ready to hang, lean or lay flat.  The cost is a welcoming $29 each and there is a one-time $6 discount shipping cost regardless of how many items you order!

 

Below is an example of the framed version with no mats, which depicts the Chicago Bears:

 

 

 

Framed Version 3

This is our Personalized version.  Framed with our multi-grooved black frame with a black mat, there is an opening in the mat to add your photo.  It measures 12 ½ inches x 27 inches with glass cover—and we make it easy to add your photo to this fully assembled, ready-to-hang-or-lean artpiece.  The cost is only $69 each and there is a one-time $6 discount shipping cost regardless of how many items you order!

 

Below is an example of the framed Personalized version, which depicts the New York Giants:

 

 

CLICK HERE for more detailed information concerning this super Personalized artpiece.

 

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Here then is the history of the Dolphins’ Uniforms …

 

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#1.

1966  The American Football League (AFL) began in 1960 as an 8 team rival league to the NFL. Both leagues competed head to head for players, fans and broadcast revenue. This was the way it was from 1960 to 1965 - two separate leagues, two separate champions (although few people would have honestly believed that the AFL champion could have beaten the NFL champs). Then in 1965 the two leagues agreed to merge. It was decided that beginning in 1970 there would be only one league, the NFL. In the interim, between 1966 and 1969, the AFL Champion would play the NFL Champion for the “World Championship”. It was only after the first World Championship had been played in 1966 that the name “Super Bowl” came into being.

 

Thus it was in the midst of the merger of the AFL and the NFL that in 1965 the city of Miami and owner Joe Robbie were awarded an AFL expansion franchise, the first team to join the AFL since its birth in 1960 (the Dolphins became the 9th AFL team). A “name the team” contest was held and over 1000 names and 19,843 entries were submitted. Of the 12 finalists, the ‘Dolphins’ moniker garnered 622 entries making it a landslide winner!

 

The inaugural season started out with a bang with Joe Auer returning a 95-yard kickoff for a touchdown, just 15 seconds into Miami’s first game. Though the Dolphins would finish a disappointing 3-11 that opening season, by the dawn of the 1970’s Orange Bowl crowds would witness football supremacy.

 

This ’66 HOME uniform, as worn by such Dolphins notables as Joe Auer and Edward ‘Chief Wahoo’ McDaniel, quickly established the legendary Dolphins’ aqua, orange & white color scheme. Look closely at the helmet and you’ll notice that the dolphin is wearing a small helmet of his own and that his beak extends beyond the sun ‘halo’. Keep a close eye on this fellow, he’ll be undergoing some minor modifications over the course of the next 35 years.

#2.

1969  The Dolphins finish 3-10-1 in the final year of the AFL. Fans have endured 4 years of futility and mediocrity (15-39-2) but general manager Joe Thomas used this time to assemble a terrific football nucleus.

 

In 1967 he drafted Purdue quarterback Bob Griese, the following year he selected fullback Larry Csonka, Dick Anderson and Jim Kiick. Then in 1969, he not only drafted defensive end Bill Stanfill and running back Mercury Morris, but also traded for all-time AFL middle linebacker Nick Buoniconti, Larry Little and Paul Warfield. All this was setting the stage for great things to come.

 

Of note on this ’69 ROAD uniform, the dolphin’s beak is now INSIDE the sun halo on the team helmet, and the overall look of the uniform is pretty unique – white shirt, white helmet, white pants, with a white belt to match!

#3.

1971  Don Shula, who would eventually become the NFL’s all-time leader in wins, is hired on February 18, 1970 after 7 years as head coach of the Baltimore Colts. In 1970, his first season at the Dolphins’ helm, Miami’s new field general leads the Dolphins to a 10-4 record – the first winning season in franchise history.

 

Then came 1971. Not only do the Dolphins compile an impressive 10-3-1 regular season record, but they beat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime in the first round of the playoffs and then shut-out the defending Champion Colts 27-0 to advance to the Super Bowl. And although they are then defeated 24-3 by the Cowboys in Super Bowl VI, this is the first of three straight Super Bowl appearances for the Dolphins.

 

Of special note, by this time the HOME uniform has an aqua belt, and the striping is absent from the sleeves. As we did research on Miami’s uniforms through the years, we were surprised to see how often  players wore different colored belts – even in the same photo. Thus we have tried to depict the most common belt color, in this case it was an aqua belt.

#4.

1972  UNBELIEVABLE!

 

No AFL or NFL expansion team has gone from first-year loser to ultimate winner as quickly as the Miami Dolphins, who win it all in 1972, just 7 years after their first season.

 

If you’re a Dolphins fan, you know what happened in 1972, and can probably recount the scores of every game in their 17-0 season by heart. But for the record, here goes:

 

Regular Season (First team listed was the visiting team)

9/17/72                    Dolphins 20 Chiefs 10

9/24/72                    Oilers 13       Dolphins 34

10/1/72                    Dolphins       16       Vikings           14

10/8/72                    Dolphins 27 Jets                 17

10/15/72      Chargers 10 Dolphins 24

10/22/72      Bills     23       Dolphins 24

10/29/72      Dolphins 23 Colts   0

11/5/72                    Dolphins 30 Bills     16

11/12/72      Patriots 0      Dolphins 52

11/19/72      Jets     24       Dolphins 28

11/27/72      Cardinals 10 Dolphins 31

12/3/72                    Dolphins 37 Patriots 21

12/10/72      Dolphins 23 Giants            13

12/16/72      Colts   0          Dolphins 16

 

Playoffs:

12/24/72      Browns          14       Dolphins 21

12/31/72      Dolphins 21 Steelers 17

1/14/73                    Dolphins 14 Redskins 7

 

The 1972 Dolphins’ perfect 17-0 season is the only perfect season in NFL history! The 1934 Bears, the 1942 Bears, and the 1972 Dolphins are the only 3 teams in the history of the NFL to go through the regular season undefeated and untied. But the ‘34 Bears lost to the Giants 30-13 in the NFL Championship Game, while the ‘42 Bears lost 14-6 to the Redskins in the final game. This leaves the 1972 Dolphins as the only team in NFL history to go undefeated and untied throughout an entire NFL regular season and playoffs. A truly remarkable achievement.

 

Of note: The ’72 ROAD uniform showcased here is not the definitive Dolphins’ uniform for 1972! Our records show that there wasn’t an exact standard uniform. In the same photo we see some players wearing orange belts while others wore aqua.  It’s the same thing with the jerseys - some jerseys had sleeve striping, others had none (Bob Griese, for example, wore a different jersey from his teammates!). But in the end, did it really matter? The aqua and orange carried the day, and for Miami fans, the image of coach Shula being carried triumphantly off the LA Coliseum field on the shoulders of his players will forever be etched in their memory!

#5.

1973  The Dolphins’ juggernaut continues to roll! The ’73 Dolphins finish the regular season 12-2, their first loss since 1971 coming in game 2 (a 12-7 loss to the Raiders in Oakland) and their second loss coming 11 games later in game 13 (a 16-3 loss to the Colts in Baltimore).

 

In the playoffs the Dolphins crushed the Bengals 34-16 in the AFC Divisional Playoff, then they knocked off the Raiders 27-10 to advance to Super Bowl VIII was the Vikings.

The Dolphins then captured their second straight Super Bowl by steam rolling Fran Tarkenton and the Vikings 24-7. This game showcased the sheer dominance and power that Larry Csonka brought to the fullback position - he shredded the Vikings’ defense for a Super Bowl record 145 rushing yards on his way to winning the MVP award.

 

This HOME uniform shows several changes since 1971, the most noticeable of which is the fact that orange and white striping has returned to the sleeves.

 

Of note: The 1974 Dolphins went 11-3 but lost in the 1st round of the playoffs 28-26 to the Raiders in Oakland, and in 1975 they went 10-4 but amazingly missed the playoffs. They would also have quite a few more great years in the late 70’s and 80’s, but they haven’t quite equaled the magic of the early 70’s, when from 1970 to 1975 they went an incredible 75-19-1.

#6.

1980  By 1980, the HOME uniform has undergone some very subtle modifications. First, the jersey is a meshed fabric with silk-screened numbers. Now, look carefully at the Dolphins’ logo on the helmet - the dolphin’s beak is once again protruding from the sun halo, but now he’s wearing a larger helmet than in past years.

 

The 1980 Dolphins, led by QB’s David Woodley and the aging Bob Griese, go 8-8 and miss the playoffs for the only time between 1978 and 1985.

 

1984  As all Dolphins’ fans know, 1984 was a fantastic year for the Dolphins and their young sophomore quarterback! After losing Super Bowl XVII to the Washington Redskins in 1982, coach Shula looked to replace QB David Woodley. In the ’83 draft, with the 27th pick, Miami selected Dan Marino from the University of Pittsburgh, and Marino would go on to become the NFL’s most prolific passer of all time.  Marino not only went on to set NFL passing records for yardage, completions and TD’s that ’84 season, he also helped lead the Dolphins to a 14-2 record and another berth in the Super Bowl.  Unfortunately, the 1984 Dolphins would go on to lose Super Bowl XIX 38-16 to a powerful 49ers team that went a combined 18-1.

 

The ’84 ROAD uniform shown here, as worn by Marino and his two favorite targets, Mark Duper and Mark Clayton, features a standard aqua belt worn, as far as we can tell, by all personnel. We say this because throughout many of the Dolphins’ glory years in the early 70’s, there were numerous instances of players wearing slightly different uniforms from each other during the same game – not a crime by any means, but interesting that as recently as the 70’s there wasn’t rigid enforcement of uniform standards.

 

 

#7.

1988  A trying year for the Dolphins’ organization as the team goes 6-10 and finishes up 5th overall in the standings. In fact, this is the Dolphins only losing season in the entire decade of the 80’s.

 

The team’s uniform has undergone some interesting changes. On this ROAD uniform you’ll notice that the dolphin logo is now not just on the helmet, but on the jersey sleeve as well, thus forcing the sleeve numbers up onto the shoulder area. Also, the chest uniform number and traditional orange trim has taken on a different look. The orange trim is no longer flush to the numbers, thus leaving a small white outline in between.

 

Of note: Until 1987, the Dolphins played their home games at “The Orange Bowl”, the name of their stadium in Miami. Then in 1987 a new stadium was opened, and it was named “Joe Robbie Stadium” in honor of team owner Joe Robbie. Then in 1996 Pro Player (a clothing line) bought naming rights to the Stadium and it became known as Pro Player Stadium.

#8.

1990  The 1990 season is a bittersweet one for the Dolphins’ franchise as it mourns the loss of their beloved owner and patriarch Joe Robbie.   Robbie passed away on January 7th, 1990 at the age of 73. On a happier note, the team also celebrates its 25th anniversary in 1990, and goes 12-4 in the regular season.

 

The 1990 Dolphins beat the Chiefs 17-16 in dramatic fashion in the AFC Wild Card game, coming back with 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter. But a great season is snuffed out in a wild shootout against the Bills in Buffalo the following week –final score Bills 44, Dolphins 34. As is the case throughout much of Dan Marino’s career, the defense isn’t quite the equal of the Dolphins’ offense.

 

The ’90 ROAD jersey showcased here depicts the commemorative 25th anniversary patch on the upper left area of the chest. The patch has the traditional Dolphins’ logo in the middle, sandwiched by the words ‘Silver’ and ‘Season’ along with the numbers ‘1966’ & ‘1990’.  In honor of the late Joe Robbie, the Dolphins incorporated a thin black armband with the initials ‘JR’ on the right sleeve, although it’s hard to see these in this painting because of the angle of the torso.

#9.

1994  During this season, the NFL and its franchises showcased ‘throwback’ jerseys, or replicas of older uniforms – to help commemorate the NFL’s 75th anniversary. The 75th anniversary was also commemorated by the diamond patch on the upper left part of the torso.

 

Note that as part of the “throwback” uniform program, the Dolphins have reverted back to their late 60’s uniform number style, using a solid aqua number flush with a thin, orange trim.

 

One interesting thing about the Dolphins’ throwback uniform is the fact that the Dolphins were one of the few teams to wear a small NFL shield patch on their throwback jersey and pants. Most NFL teams added these patches to their uniforms beginning in 1991, but almost all teams did not include the patches on their 1994 throwback uniforms, but for some reason the Dolphins kept them.

 

In 1994 the Dolphins tried to recapture past glory on the field as well. They finished first in the AFC East with a 10-6 record, and won their AFC Wild Card game 27-17 over the Cheifs. Then in the AFC Divisional Playoff game in San Diego, the Dolphins let a 21-6 half time lead slip through their fingers and they lose a heartbreaker 22-21 to the Chargers. The Chargers then went on to lose in the Super Bowl to San Francisco, 49-26.

 

Of note: 1994 was Coach Don Shula’s second to last year of coaching. In 1993 he broke George Halas’ remarkable career record for wins, and by the time Shula retired at the end of 1995, he had compiled a remarkable regular season record of 328-156-6, and a playoff mark of 19-17. An incredible achievement.

#10.

1997  By 1997 there have been some significant uniform changes.

 

On this ROAD jersey, the following differences are apparent: the neckline color has been changed to aqua; the uniform number style, which has mostly been a Dolphins’ uniform staple since the franchise’s inception, has changed to a thick, black drop shadow effect that gives the numbers a 3D effect; finally, the Dolphins’ logo itself has been radically altered! The once ‘friendly’ demeanor on the dolphin’s face has been replaced with a more menacing, “we-mean-business” look! And the tiny, thin ‘hash marks’ circling the sun halo have been removed.

 

As far as the season is concerned, the 1997 Dolphins finishing with a record of 9-7, and make a post season appearance once again.  Their quest to the Super Bowl falls short as they lose the AFC wild card game to the New England Patriots, 17-3.

 

Of note: Until 1987, the Dolphins played their home games at “The Orange Bowl”, the name of their original stadium in Miami. Then in 1987 a new stadium was opened, and it was named “Joe Robbie Stadium” in honor of team owner Joe Robbie. Then in 1996 Pro Player (a clothing line) bought naming rights to the Stadium and it became known as Pro Player Stadium. I realize this sort of thing is progress, but I can’t help but wonder what Mr. Robbie would make of this if he were still alive – it just doesn’t seem right.

#11.

2000  This HOME jersey, has some interesting, subtle nuances. The word ‘Dolphins’ now appears just beneath the NFL logo on the neckline of the jersey. This is known as a “secondary logotype”. The addition of a secondary team logo just below the V-neck is now used by the majority of NFL teams. The striping on the Dolphins jersey sleeves has also become more complex and compact.

 

The year 2000 marked the first year since early ’83 that Dan Marino wasn’t at the helm of the offence. And although football in South Florida just won’t be the same without good ol’ #13 taking the snaps, life goes on for this beloved and legendary franchise.

 

Without Dan, the 2000 squad still team posted an impressive record of 11-5 finishing first in their division and advancing to the playoffs for the 6th time in 7 years, only to end up losing to the Oakland Raiders 27-0 in the second round of the playoffs.

 

Of note: Since 1970, the Dolphins have had only two losing seasons, in 1976 and 1988. An incredible run!

 

***************************************

 

The Miami Dolphins: “Football’s Royal Family”

 

 


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