Bob Griese’s Advice to the Unbeaten Colts and Saints: Lose a Game
Much talk around the NFL lately has been devoted to the looming question for the unbeaten Saints and Colts. Should the teams try to run the table and become the third team in NFL history to finish the regular season undefeated, or should they rest their players to try and get healthy for the playoffs? There’s no right or wrong answer to the question considering both practices have produced failed results. For instance, the Colts started off 13-0 in ’05, lost in week 15, rested their starters, and still lost their playoff opener to the Steelers. Contrarily, the ’07 Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season and came a David Tyree miracle catch away from winning the Super Bowl. Even though it’s an arbitrary subject, ’72 Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese offered his suggestion to the 13-0 Colts and Saints on ESPN:
“The advice that I would give them is that the season is not defined by going 16-0 or 18-0. Ask the New England Patriots about that from a couple of years ago. The thing that I would recommend is this: keep your practice schedules the same, keep your game schedules the same, and if you do anything different, pull the starters after the first quarter or before the first half. But the bigger advice that I would say: lose a game before the end of the season. You’re team will go into the playoffs and have the best of chance of winning because that monkey won’t be on their back.”
Many people forget that Griese was hurt in ’72 and only started five games for the Dolphins. Regardless, he was a member of the only NFL team in history to go undefeated. So the question I have for you is this: was Griese’s advice motivated by his desire to preserve his ’72 team’s place in history, or do you think it was honest advice? Even though I believe there was a touch of preservation in his answer, you can probably ask John Elway, Terrell Davis, and the rest of the ’98 Broncos to see what they’d say about Griese’s comments; I bet you they would agree.