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Richard Nixon Designed A Play The Dolphins Ran In The Super Bowl

Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

“Football fan” is probably pretty far down on the list of the labels most people associate with Richard Nixon, but the man who spent a few years in the White House before his time as the President of the United States was cut short was a fan of the game to the point where one NFL team trusted him to whip up a play they actually ran in the Super Bowl.

I’m hoping I don’t need to provide an in-depth history lesson concerning the rise and fall of Richard Nixon, a career politician who served in Congress, mounted an ill-fated presidential run against John F. Kennedy in 1960, and claimed he was done with politics after failing to secure his bid for the governor of California a couple of years later before officially punching his ticket to the Oval Office in 1969.

His time at the head of the executive branch came to a premature end in 1974 courtesy of the Watergate scandal, and while he’d been reelected in a landslide a couple of years prior, he’d also amassed plenty of critics who were not a fan of his approach to politics.

That group of vocal detractors included Hunter S. Thompson, who once wrote about the time he agreed to put his disdain for the president aside to accommodate Nixon’s desire to talk with a member of the press about one of his favorite topics: football, a sport they each shared an appreciation for.

Nixon played football when he was a kid, and while he was eventually forced to accept he didn’t have what it took to be a force on the gridiron, he was a lifelong student of the game who could undoubtedly appreciate the parallels between his line of work and a pastime that requires you to carefully and constantly plot to gain an edge on your opponents.

He may have hailed from California, but he spent a fair amount of time in Florida and apparently developed a fondness for the Miami Dolphins—a team that actually ran a play he dreamed up in the Super Bowl.

Richard Nixon called Don Shula to give him an idea for the Dolphins gameplan ahead of Super Bowl VI

Richard Nixon holding a football
Richard Nixon holding a football

The Dolphins headed into Super Bowl VI as six-point underdogs against the Cowboys, and Don Shula and Co. probably knew they were going to need a little bit of help if they wanted to pull off the upset.

During a conversation with Yahoo Sports, the legendary head coach said he was gearing up for the game when he got some unsolicited advice from a fairly unexpected source: Nixon, who suggested having wide receiver Paul Warfield run a “down-and-in pattern” across the middle to haul in a pass from quarterback Bob Griese.

Shula apparently took that advice to heart, as the Dolphins harnessed that strategy by having Warfield run a slant toward the beginning of the contest. Unfortunately for Miami (and Nixon), Dallas linebacker Mel Renfro was able to intervene and swat the ball down to force an incompletion, and when everything was said and done, the Cowboys cruised to a 24-3 victory.

As the outlet notes, it’s believed Nixon had previously pulled a similar move with George Allen (the former coach of the Washington, D.C.-based team now known as the “Commanders”) and the legend goes that suggestion resulted in the team losing 13 yards following a sack.

As a result, it seems like running a play just because the President of the United States told you to do it might be a bad idea, but we’re also working with a relatively small sample size.

The post Richard Nixon Designed A Play The Dolphins Ran In The Super Bowl appeared first on BroBible.


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