What's Buzzing:

President Nixon tried to help the Miami Dolphins win Super Bowl VI

Jay Hart
Yahoo Sports

It's been a tradition that the winning Super Bowl coach gets a call from the president after the game. But in 1972, Don Shula received a phone call from President Richard Nixon before Super Bowl VI, a game that pitted Shula's Miami Dolphins against the Dallas Cowboys.

View photo

.

President Richard Nixon, here with former Redskins coach George Allen, was a big NFL fan. (AP)

"They had the 'Nixon White House' on Key Biscayne," Shula, 83, told Yahoo! Sports recently. "He'd spend whatever time he could there. I guess he became a Dolphin fan."

On the arm of quarterback Bob Griese, the legs of running back Larry Csonka and the hands of wide receiver Paul Warfield, the 1971 Miami Dolphins cruised through the regular season with a 10-3-1 record.

Still, they entered Super Bowl VI in New Orleans a six-point underdog to the Cowboys, winners of nine straight. Nixon, apparently, thought the Dolphins could use some help.

"I still think you can hit Paul Warfield on that down-and-in pattern," Nixon reportedly told Shula.

"I said, 'Yeah, that's a good idea,' " Shula told Yahoo! Sports.

[Also: Ray Rice ready to emerge from shadows in Super Bowl]

Folklore has it the call came on Jan. 3 at 1:30 a.m., though Shula disputes that now. Regardless of the timing, Nixon's advice was hardly a revelation for Shula; Warfield was Griese's favorite target.

"Warfield was a great receiver, one of our biggest threats," Shula explained, "so I'm sure we game-planned him to be a big part of what we were trying to do offensively."

On their eighth play from scrimmage, the Dolphins ran the slant to Warfield. The result? Cowboys linebacker Mel Renfro deflected it away for an incomplete pass.

Nixon's call to Shula may not have been his first to a head coach. Nixon is believed to have phoned Washington Redskins' coach George Allen a week earlier to recommend he run a flanker reverse with Roy Jefferson in the 'Skins playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers. Another version of the story has Allen asking Nixon to recommend the play to quarterback Billy Kilmer. In any event, Nixon and Allen did talk, the Redskins ran the play from the 49ers' 8-yard line and Jefferson lost 13 yards. Washington subsequently missed a field goal and eventually lost 24-20.

[Y! Sports Fan Shop: Buy Super Bowl XLVII merchandise]

The Dolphins wound up losing Super Bowl VI to the Cowboys 24-3, becoming the first and still only team not to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl.

"The fact that he was so interested and a fan of football made me feel good," Shula said. "It was an honest effort on his part to help, so I enjoyed the conversation."

More Super Bowl coverage from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Rebuild or regroup: Celtics at crossroads with Rajon Rondo injury
East Carolina hoops player sorry for punching foe in face
Runaway snowmobile plows into crowd at Winter X Games

View Comments (209)
  • Hur takes first-round LPGA lead as Wie struggles again

    (Reuters) - Hur Mi-jung reeled off five consecutive birdies on her way to a one-shot lead after the first round at the Texas Shootout in Irving on Thursday. On a leaderboard dominated by South Korean players, Hur carded a five-under-par 66 in the … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Georgetown wins women's distance medley relay at Penn Relays

    Georgetown wins women's distance medley relay at Penn Relays

    Sabrina Southerland led Georgetown to the Penn Relays women's distance medley relay title Thursday, running a speedy third leg to help the Hoyas dethrone four-time defending champion Villanova. Georgetown finished in 11 minutes, 12.73 seconds for … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • Golf-Hur takes first-round LPGA lead as Wie struggles again

    Hur Mi-jung reeled off five consecutive birdies on her way to a one-shot lead after the first round at the Texas Shootout in Irving on Thursday. On a leaderboard dominated by South Korean players, Hur carded a five-under-par 66 in the LPGA event at … More »

    Reuters - 12 minutes ago
  • South Koreans dominating at LPGA event

    South Koreans dominating at LPGA event

    Mi Jung Hur topped the South Korean-dominated leaderboard Thursday in the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, opening with a 5-under 66 in breezy conditions. ''My putting just was everything on the course today,'' Hur said. ''I used to live in … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago
  • The Latest: Raiders try to get an early start on the draft

    The Latest: Raiders try to get an early start on the draft

    Earlier Thursday, Raiders owner Mark Davis tried to get an early start on the NFL draft, all the way from Las Vegas. ''I'm excited to announce today the 14th pick in the NFL draft,'' Davis said, drawing laughter from the room. The laughter turned … More »

    AP - Sports - 15 minutes ago