It’s a good thing Don Shula didn’t have a trade partner for Larry Csonka. If he had, the Miami Dolphins’ legendary fullback wouldn’t be presenting the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the winner of Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday night.
It’s been 50 years since Csonka capped off the Dolphins’ successful title defense with an MVP performance in Super Bowl VIII. It was the defining moment in what was a Hall of Fame career for Csonka, who recently wrote a book about his fascinating life. It includes his first meeting with Shula and how their partnership nearly ended before it started.
“It was one of those things where you’re really glad how you felt three days ago didn’t overrule what dropped in your lap,” Csonka said in a one-on-one interview with CBS Sports. “I stayed where I was at, and that’s where I should have been. … I’m glad that he couldn’t get much for me because I stayed where I belonged.”
It’s crazy to think that the engine behind the NFL’s only perfect team was nearly traded before he had even played a game for Shula, who arrived in Miami in 1970 after a run with the Colts that is mostly known for his historic Super Bowl loss to the Jets. In Miami, Shula was heading to a team that had won just 15 games during its first four years of existence.
The Dolphins made the playoffs that first season under Shula, and went to the Super Bowl the following year. Miami lost that game, but proceeded to win the next two Super Bowls while compiling a 32-2 record.
Nearly 50 years after their first meeting, Shula and Csonka were together again to celebrate the Hall of Fame coach’s 90th birthday. It was a full circle moment for the two men who nearly broke up before they had barely gotten to know each other.
So, what was said in that first meeting between the two? And how did the two go from nearly splitting up to winning back-to-back titles and being integral parts of…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/dolphins-legend-larry-csonka-says-don-shula-nearly-traded-him-shares-secret-behind-undefeated-teams-success/
Author : Bryan DeArdo
Publish date : 2024-02-09 18:54:24
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