The immortal moments of Sunday’s game put it on that pedestal, too. Julian Edelman’s ricochet catch late in the fourth, on the game-tying drive, is arguably the greatest in Super Bowl history.
The fact that the Patriots pulled off two touchdowns and a couple two-point conversions to tie it — brutally hard to do under any circumstances — qualifies it, as well.
Brady had no choice but to keep throwing it after falling so far behind, and after throwing his first postseason pick-six ever … and he set Super Bowl records for passes thrown and yardage.
There were unsung heroes like James White and Marcus Mitchell, MVPs humbled like Matt Ryan, stars who shined in defeat like Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, strategic blunders, dramatic turning points, unforgivable gaffes even by the winning team (the clanked extra-point kick).
It’s sort of a strange tribute because four of the six players spent their entire careers with the Dolphins. Only Little, whose first two seasons were spent with the Chargers, and Madison, who played the final three seasons of a 12-year career with the Giants, were with other teams.
“In this day and age, we try to get players to retire as Dolphins,” executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum said during the signing ceremony. “This means a lot to us, our legacy. We’re all so proud of it and all the contributions you guys have made, it means a lot to all of us. We thank you guys and we’re proud that you’re Dolphins.”
The six players combined for two NFL MVP awards — Griese in 1971 and Marino in 1984 — 14 first-team All-Pros selections and 25 Pro Bowl invitations.
Griese helped lead the Dolphins to their only two Super Bowl championships during their undefeated 1972 season and again in 1973.
Marino retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, completions, attempts and touchdowns — and remains among the top five all time in each of those categories.