NFL Network’s ‘A Football Life’ Profiles Stars of the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ Backfield

‘The Perfect Backfield: A Football Life’ Premieres Friday, November 14 at 9:00 PM ET on NFL Network

“We did one thing: we hit perfection. When you become a definition, not just a number, then you are in a special place.” – Larry Csonka

Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris are still remembered for achieving something that no other NFL team ever has: Perfection. These three running backs were a part of what is still seen in history as the best football team of all time: the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

NFL Network’s series A Football Life continues Friday, November 14 at 9:00 PM ET with a profile of the 1972 Miami Dolphins backfield. In the one-hour, NFL Films-produced documentary, Kiick and Morris travel to Alaska where they are reunited with Csonka. The three teammates reminisce about their past while fishing the scenic Unalakleet river, highlighting the incredible bond that was forged between them that is still strong to this day. In addition to individual interviews with Csonka, Kiick and Morris, The Perfect Backfield: A Football Life includes game highlights and interviews with head coach Don Shula from the 1972 season.

Among the topics discussed in the show are:

  • Csonka, Kiick and Morris’ upbringings and how each began playing football
  • The strong friendships between the Dolphins teammates
  • The change in dynamic when Morris joined the Dolphins
  • Csonka’s relationship with head coach Don Shula
  • The journey from almost winning a championship in 1971 to completing a perfect season in 1972
  • The defeat of the near-perfect 1985 Chicago Bears
  • The eventual retirement of all three running backs and their legacy

Emmy-nominated actor Josh Charles narrates.

Provided below are some select quotes from The Perfect Backfield: A Football Life:

– “I started out in a kid’s backyard playing touch football and I never abandoned the principle when I got to the pros: if they can’t touch you, they can’t tackle you.” – Mercury Morris

– “We just had a personality that sort of meshed. We played football because we had fun playing it.” – Jim Kiick on his friendship with Larry Csonka

– “He would tolerate a little more from the humor side from me because he knew I would be serious in my preparation.” – Larry Csonka on relationship with Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula

– “As much as it hurt me to not play as much as I had been, I knew we were probably better off as a team. So whatever I could do to contribute to us winning football games that was fine.” – Jim Kiick on adjusting to a 3-back offense

– “Everybody talks about ‘Did you guys set out to be perfect?’ Yeah, we set out to be perfect. Did we believe we were going to be perfect? No. What we wanted to do was have a championship season where we won it all.” – Larry Csonka on their expectations for the 1972 season

– “We did one thing: we hit perfection. When you become a definition, not just a number, then you are in a special place.” – Larry Csonka on the 1972 Dolphins’ legacy

– “I had had enough and I quit, and there is a distinction…You retire when the game has had enough of you. You quit when you have had enough of the game.” – Mercury Morris on how his career ended

– “To this day, I see it differently than I saw it back then. Back then I saw it as what I did and now I see it as what we did, as what Jim and Larry and I did. We have this relationship and this bond over this one specific thing that we did in professional sport like nobody else ever did.” –Mercury Morris on his bond with teammates Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick

Following the premiere of The Perfect Backfield: A Football Life on NFL Network, the episode – along with the entire A Football Life series – will be available on NFL Now, the League’s next-generation video service. Providing fans access to the largest digital library of NFL video anywhere, NFL Now dynamically personalizes each fan’s viewing experience, allowing them to follow their favorite NFL teams and players. Visit for more information.

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This season, A Football Life airs Friday at 9:00 PM ET on NFL Network. Below is the broadcast schedule for the remaining November episodes:

  • November 21 – Lyle Alzado
  • November 28 – Dick Butkus & Gale Sayers


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