MIAMI (AP) – Mercury Morris played online football Saturday night, calling plays for the New England Patriots and New York Giants while trying not to think about the stakes.

“I was so busy monitoring my game plan, I didn’t have that emotional involvement,” said Morris, a 1,000-yard rusher for the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Those Dolphins achieved the NFL’s only perfect season by finishing 17-0. Some 35 years later, the Patriots need three postseason wins for 19-0.

“I have to embrace the fact there’s a possibility we may have company,” Morris said. “But it doesn’t change anything about who we are. We’ll always have the pole, and they’ll have the outside pole.”

The perfect-season Dolphins are perceived by some as being jealously protective of their unique achievement. Many of them have acknowledged they’re rooting against the Patriots, but they saluted New England for a 16-0 regular season.

“Going undefeated during the regular season is a remarkable achievement,” coach Don Shula said in a statement released by the Dolphins. “I know firsthand how difficult it is to win every game, and just as we did in 1972, the Patriots have done a great job concentrating on each week’s opponent and not letting any other distractions interrupt that focus.”

AP-ES-12-30-07 0005EST


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.