President Obama Honors Nixon-Era Miami Dolphins at White House

Pro NFL team is recognized by U.S. president more than 40 years after Watergate nixed original plans
13:55 | 08/20/13

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Transcript for President Obama Honors Nixon-Era Miami Dolphins at White House
This has been a special group. Report from me. Hello everyone I'm Devin -- New York this is an ABC news digital special report President Obama. Welcomes the Super Bowl -- of the White House today -- Super Bowl seven champs that is their. -- see -- there the undefeated 1972. Miami Dolphins finally getting some quality time with the president. Forty years after their initial date for the -- I'm Richard Nixon was postponed. Steven Marek fire -- ending their green jackets. 1972. Miami Dolphins and undefeated team the only team in NFL history. To have an undefeated season through the Super Bowl seventeen you know pretty impressive stuff we're joined now. By ABC news political director Rick Klein in Washington who just about like everyone else here right now is not alive when those dolphins won this admirable that Rick seriously what took so -- here. What took so long was that couple of events happened. Right after the -- championship they won -- -- role in January 1973. Richard Nixon was was inaugurated for the second time that month. And then Watergate happened and all of a sudden the president's time was taken up by other things now president. -- in is a well known was a well known major sports fan. He's even known to calling plays to the it is the Redskins coach at the time. But he never had a chance to meet the dolphins and it's been sort of a lingering issue over these four decades and he never did it. So the dolphins have been talking to the White House for some time like getting us on the books that finally made it happen today. That's right -- and and as we understand it to Rick some some of the politics here not entirely. Absent from this event to him in these. These players. From 72. That's right 33 individuals have made it known that they won't be attending here the need this actually. Not a typical that for political reasons -- have an occasional player make a -- like -- saying they don't agree with the politics that's what happened here. -- of the three players that decided this and agree with policies of Fresno Wallace put forward they don't agree with where Washington is headed made him want to. Be there for a photo op in any way to to glorify that. And this isn't the first time obviously as you said -- -- to some other famous famous no shows come to mind that I think I remember he had the Chicago Bears there right. And to me that's right. There were some boycotts -- captain Thomas was -- tone for the Boston Bruins. A couple of years ago he let it be known that he didn't wanna be there -- -- -- that he's an American -- -- mostly Canadian and Russian team and we want to be part of the an event like that so it does happen time time. But is as -- -- -- Don Shula announced some of the more recognizable folks at least part of today's ceremony right in here we see President Obama coming into the room now. To -- with the 1972 Miami Dolphins -- Super Bowl champs who. Some now forty years later finally getting their day at the White House to celebrate that special very special undefeated season -- here's the president. Well welcome the from the -- cervical exams. It's mid August. Which makes football premiere -- And -- love baseball. About sports -- better when you also got some football. College football picks up next week. NFL regular season the week after that. And so today. Just to wet everybody's appetite I am proud football. The only. Undefeated. I'm tired. Team. In NFL history to the White House for the very first time given up for the 1970 -- my. I know there is little unorthodox. For decades after the fact but. Never got the White House visit. After winning Super -- up. And of some -- a little harder recognize these days. You know they don't frozen. The mutton chops. An improvement shoes. But. I -- recognize and thank first and foremost there -- outstanding coach coach Shula. -- thank -- owners Steven Ross. I want to thank Tim -- and ever want from the dolphins' organization well make this event possible after all this time. And I know that some people may be asked him where we're doing is after all these years my answer is up. Wannabes the younger -- for once and I -- enter explain in my stance. Who mostly -- in their early thirties. What an incredible impact these guys -- including on me. When they were plan. These dolphins made history back before Super Bowl champs start visiting the White House first -- -- start coming until after. 1980. And let's face is also just pumping to do -- like Norman as president. I want Packers come a couple years ago which was hard to do. -- outside it was -- time to pay tribute to the NFL's only perfect team. And to get butch and Sundance in the no name defense in here to. In in 1972. These guys were a juggernaut. There grinding running game that war -- doubt they became the first team ever with -- thousand yard rushers. That the league's best offense that league's best defense that posted three showed us. That double to score their opponents eight times. And they did most of it after their outstanding. Pro -- starting quarterback robberies. Broke his leg and weak spot. And -- abroad and back up parole. Old homes. -- unfortunately couldn't be here today. As as one teammate later says Earl couldn't run it couldn't thrown. Federal could went and that's what he in the dolphins did again and again. Winning the Super Bowl -- was not a foregone conclusion the dolphins had to win. In Pittsburgh just to make it there and once they did they still were slight underdogs to the Redskins in the big game. Plus they've lost in the -- bowl the year before. People were. Stupidly doubting whether culture was gonna win big. So the pressure was off. Leading up to the big game. But the key to their victory I'm told. Is that not to put an alligator in -- -- we -- -- -- That loosen everybody up. The dolphins went on to win their first back to back titles and whatever year this team's accomplishments. Just look better and better. There one of only two teams to play in three straight Super Bowls seven players have boss in the -- thing. Coach Shula retired -- more wins than any coach in NFL history. Each and every time that perfect record has been challenge team after team has fallen short. But these -- and always get the credit they deserve. Some sense that they only had paid fourteen regular season games. I've got it. Come clean here a couple years ago I hosted the 85 bears the so long. They'd also missed their chance to have a White House visit. And that -- -- called the greatest team member but. A man take would bring us all there. Bears lost once in -- purposes. That happened to -- at all. So I think you made your point. Nobody can argue with this record. Nobody. Can argue with what all of -- -- -- to do after you hung up the shoulder beds. From last time you know players from the Steve gone on to become a minister. A mayor a doctor a state senator. A high school counselor. Many successful businessman. You know Annette -- -- kind helped found the world's most comprehensive spinal cord research center. Some have dabbled in acting. Hire somebody -- -- pretty good team -- well. So. Believe these are all -- of accomplishments and character. And it showed on the field and off the field as well we want to congratulate all of them. We want to make sure that there remembered. For not only the history that. Sports fans -- murmur but also for all the countless contributions they've made in their community as well so thank you again. Congratulations it's been a great honor to be. Are you watching President Obama there at the the White House this afternoon. 72 Miami Dolphins. About forty years late -- negative positions for their Super Bowl win let's listen in out eventually here and -- we feel honored its. That forty years -- what they always still I don't know honor. But when you look at that the undefeated team and we all signed and we want to present -- it is. And even though you're bear fan we understand you gotta root for somebody so. But that's everybody's a zionist indicated subject to -- The this is something that we hope that you find a good spot for some -- near officer. In worried and look at it and think about. The whipping that we put on -- -- We have struck -- We're back watching President Obama. The white house with the 1972 dolphins ABC imposing with a 72 Jersey undefeated. This is one of the if not the best team in NFL football history the team undefeated fourteen -- -- in the regular season. Bid to improve their Super Bowl win there you see the president would Don Shula. The coach to head coach -- -- in a wheelchair with some back trouble. The president and his team a special moment put on the back burner after. Richard Nixon's resignation back in nineteen -- to kind of put. You heard the president say here today he wanted to honor this team for their historic achievements -- all the good work that they do but you also. I heard him say it's a fun thing to do something he enjoys doing and I want to bring -- ABC's political director Rick Klein in Washington Rick. Seems like every time you turn around President Obama has a sports team in the White House somebody to celebrate -- -- does he do these things more than previous presidents. He does by most objective measures inning going back forty years defining team's honorary one Republican say to me it's like well this evening -- started his presidency but now this obviously is -- -- a long time coming and I'll say this -- as a sports fan as a memorabilia collector he gets some pretty cool stuff I mean that's signed Jersey that's. That's a pretty unique -- to say that came from the white house of all places. That's right AG a huge sports fan in chief and -- love to get there. Children those players there about the Chicago Bears in -- she loves slightly back that they got -- within the Nazis and now obviously. Real quick -- you know obviously this is a lighter moment today the president coming off of his vacation in Martha's Vineyard last week he sort of back in the White House today he's got some meetings. But he really gets back to to work tomorrow hits the road and kind of a campaign style event when we held up. That there is such a weird week when you think about it in -- just yesterday the White House announcing that they got a new poppy today. Obviously the Miami Dolphins at the White House at the same time you're dealing with a crisis that's unfolding in Egypt a lot of pressure on the administration about. What how to respond to it what you can do is an administration we can do about funding and many hits the road later in the week and in and starts talking about job she has talked about as the number one priority. For this for this administration -- you have to be able to work on a couple of different tracks and I think that's -- -- stark relief in the in in this week that he's back. From break it definitely has that's not gonna stop this president from having a lot of in his comments today -- of the 1972. Miami Dolphins. We think ABC's political director Rick Klein and Washington. And we think all of you for watching us today this has been an ABC news digital special report on Devin Dwyer in New York. This has been a special group. Report from me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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