A Gathering of ‘Old Men’ – 1972 Dolphins ENCORE

For the first time, this is an ENCORE of a previous ENCORE of a blog-commentary by the movement behind the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean.

We must have really been moved!
Indeed we were …

The remnant of the 1972 Miami Dolphins was on the field at the local Hardrock Stadium on Sunday December 22, 2019 – this was the home finale of the 2019 Miami Dolphins Football Season. The halftime show was a reunion of that perfect team from 1972.

What a moving feeling for a life-long Miami Dolphins fan (and current season-ticket holder): Me!

Title: Dolphins To Honor 1972 Team As Greatest Team In NFL History Against Bengals
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins will honor their 1972 Perfect Season team as part of ‘NFL 100 Greatest’ in a special halftime ceremony against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 22 at Hard Rock Stadium. The team was named the greatest team in the 100-year history of the NFL on Nov. 15.

“It’s always special to be around the guys who came together to accomplish what no other team in the 100-year history of the NFL has ever done – the perfect season,” said Hall of Fame Head Coach Don Shula. “It’s only fitting as the League closes out this milestone season that the 1972 Dolphins are officially recognized with an honor that we always knew was true – that they are the greatest team in NFL history.”
Source: Posted December 19, 2019; retrieved December 23, 2019 from: https://www.miamidolphins.com/news/dolphins-to-honor-1972-team-as-greatest-team-in-nfl-history-against-bengals

This is my photo from the event – this Gathering of ‘Old Men’!

It is only apropos to Encore the previous blog-commentary (May 16, 2017) on this subject; which itself was an Encore of a previous blog-commentary (from August 31, 2015). See here-now:


Miami, Florida – If you’re a fan of American football (NFL or the National Football League) then you know how impactful it is to go undefeated from the beginning to the end of the season, playoffs included. Only one team has done it … ever: the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The 50 players on that team became heroes to every football-loving kid anywhere near the broadcast waves of Miami.

There was a time when these guys were my heroes.

But “time and unforeseen occurrences befall us all” – The Bible (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

There is a connection between Miami and the Caribbean; the city has become much more than a shopping destination; it has redefined itself as the financial, political and sports capital of the Caribbean and Latin America.

So this news is shocking to receive, as the Miami Herald newspaper reports that many of the players on the 1972 Dolphins team now suffer from CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).

Say it ain’t so …

CU Blog - UPDATE - Concussions Come Home - Photo 1

CU Blog - UPDATE - Concussions Come Home - Photo 1b

CU Blog - UPDATE - Concussions Come Home - Photo 3

It seemed like this CTE disease was so far-off; an affliction on people “over there” … somewhere. But to hit the 1972 Dolphins players means that this disease has come home…to our local heroes.


See the story here in this recent Miami Herald article:

Title: Football’s toll: At least eight members of 1972 Dolphins affected by cognitive impairment

CU Blog - UPDATE - Concussions Come Home - Photo 2They called him Captain Crunch, and the name was fitting. Mike Kolen packed a punch.

Now, 45 years after the Dolphins’ No-Name Defense ran through the 1972 season undefeated, Kolen and his perfect teammates are tied together again. But instead of celebration, there’s heartache.

South Florida’s most legendary team has become a cautionary tale, a poignant symbol of the concussion saga that threatens the future of America’s favorite sport.

“Within the last month or so, I’ve been diagnosed with the initial stages of Alzheimer’s,” Kolen, a starting linebacker on Miami’s two Super Bowl-winning teams, told the Miami Herald.

And was football the cause?

“I think that’s about the only way I’d have cognitive issues,” replied Kolen, 69, who has no family history of dementia.

Kolen’s story is not unique for Miami’s most historic team.

Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated detailed how Kolen’s better-known 1972 teammates Nick Buoniconti and Jim Kiick have both deteriorated mentally in the past few years.

After quarterback Earl Morrall’s death in 2014, an autopsy revealed he had Stage 4 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease more commonly known as CTE that researchers have linked to football.

Bill Stanfill, the Dolphins’ first sack king, suffered from dementia and Parkinson’s disease when he died last fall at age 69.

Three others from that famed roster — cornerback Lloyd Mumphord, defensive back Tim Foley and running back Hubert Ginn — have quietly dealt with cognitive impairment in recent years, teammates tell the Herald.

That makes at least eight members of a roster of roughly 50 men who have experienced loss of acuity. And that figure includes only those who keep in regular contact with the organization; several do not.

Roughly a quarter of the ’72 team has passed away, including five from cancer. Manny Fernandez, a defensive lineman who was the star of Super Bowl VII, has had eight surgeries on his back alone. Center Jim Langer, 68, said his “legs are bad and my knees are shot” after six operations.

Even the NFL acknowledges – see VIDEO below – that there is a link between football-related head trauma and neurological diseases like CTE after denying any such connection for years. …

Continue reading the full article here; (it is lengthy):

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nfl/miami-dolphins/article150311157.html retrieved 05-11-2017.


VIDEO – NFL acknowledges link between football and brain disease CTEhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4503362/Seven-members-72-Dolphins-suffered-brain-injuries.html#v-6189767714419658422

Relating Miami to the Caribbean makes this story relatable to the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean. One purpose of this movement is to engage business models so that Caribbean communities can better take advantage of the economic benefits of sports. There are few expressions of professional sports in the Caribbean now – there is no eco-system for collegiate athletics at all. Due to the territorial status and the border proximity, there are 3 member-states with organized American Football league play in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.

With the advantages of professional sports (money from ticket sales & broadcast rights, pride, athletic fitness, etc.), come disadvantages as well. CTE, as one, is only now begrudgingly been accepted as a direct consequence of the often times brutal game of American Football.

This was the warning from this previous blog-commentary that marked the release of the movie “Concussion”, chronicling the David-versus-Goliath-like advocacy of the Pathology Doctor who “blew the whistle” on the systemic “willful” ignorance and Crony-Capitalistic abuse in the NFL. This excerpt highlights some main points from that blog:

Yes, movies help us to glean a better view of ourselves … and our failings; and many times, show us a way-forward.

These descriptors actually describe the latest production from Hollywood icon Will Smith (the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). This movie, the film “Concussion”, in the following news article, relates the real life drama of one man, Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-born medical doctor – a pathologist – who prepared autopsies of former players that suffered from football-related concussions. He did not buckle under the acute pressure to maintain the status quo, and now, he is celebrated for forging change in his adopted homeland. This one man made a difference. (The NFL is now credited for a Concussion awareness and prevention protocol so advanced that other levels of the sport – college, high schools and Youth – are being urged to emulate).

Beyond the excerpt, see the entire blog-commentary from August 31, 2015 on the movie ‘Concussion‘ and the dreaded CTE disease being encored here:


ENCORE – Go Lean Commentary – ‘Concussions’ – The Movie; The Cause

“Are you ready for some football?” – Promotional song by Hank Williams, Jr. for Monday Night Football on ABC & ESPN networks for 22 years (1989 – 2011). See Appendix Below.

This iconic song (see Appendix) and catch-phrase is reflective of exactly how popular the National Football League (NFL) is in the US:

“They own an entire day of the week”.

- The Movie; The Cause - Photo 2So says the new movie ‘Concussions’, starring Will Smith, referring to the media domination of NFL Football on Sundays during the Autumn season. The movie’s script is along a line that resonates well in Hollywood’s Academy Award balloting: “David versus Goliath”; “a small man speaking truth to power”.

In the case of the NFL, it is not just about power, it is about money, prestige and protecting the status quo; the NFL is responsible for the livelihood of so many people. The book Go Lean … Caribbean recognized the importance of the NFL in the American lexicon of “live, work and play”; it featured a case study (Page 32) of the NFL and it’s collective bargaining successes (and failures) in 2011. An excerpt from the book is quoted as follows:

Football is big business in the US, $9 billion in revenue, and more than a business; emotions – civic pride, rivalries, and fanaticism – run high on both sides.

Previous Go Lean commentaries presents the socio-economic realities of much of the American football eco-system. Consider a sample here:

Socio-Economic Impact Analysis of [Football] Sports Stadiums
Watch the Super Bowl … Commercials
Levi’s® NFL Stadium: A Team Effort
Sports Role Model – College Football – Playing For Pride … And More
Sports Role Model – Turn On the SEC Network
Collegiate Sports in the Caribbean – Model of NCAA
10 Things We Want from the US: #10 – Sports Professionalism
10 Things We Don’t Want from the US: #10 – ‘Win At All Costs’ Ethos

While football plays a big role in American life, so do movies. Their role is more unique; they are able to change society. In a previous blog / commentary regarding Caribbean Diaspora member and Hollywood great, Sidney Poitier, it was declared that …

“Movies are an amazing business model. People give money to spend a couple of hours watching someone else’s creation and then leave the theater with nothing to show for the investment; except perhaps a different perspective”.

Yes, movies help us to glean a better view of ourselves … and our failings; and many times, show us a way-forward.

These descriptors actually describe the latest production from Hollywood icon Will Smith (the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). This movie, the film “Concussion”, in the following news article, relates the real life drama of one man, Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-born medical doctor – a pathologist – who prepared autopsies of former players that suffered from football-related concussions. He did not buckle under the acute pressure to maintain the status quo, and now, he is celebrated for forging change in his adopted homeland. This one man made a difference. (The NFL is now credited for a Concussion awareness and prevention protocol so advanced that other levels of the sport – college, high schools and Youth – are being urged to emulate).

See news article here on the release of the movie:

Title: ‘Concussion’: 5 Take-a-ways From Will Smith’s New Film

Will Smith, 46, is definitely going to get a ton of Oscar buzz portraying Dr. Bennet Omalu in the new film “Concussion.” NFL columnist Peter King of Sports Illustrated got an exclusive first peek at the trailer and it has been widely shared on social media since. And it’s very chilling.

- The Movie; The Cause - Photo 1

Here are five take-aways and background you need to know before checking out the clip:

1 – It’s Based on a True Story

Omalu is the forensic pathologist and neuropathologist who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy in football players who got hit in the head over and over again, according to the Washington Post.

In the clip, he says repetitive “head trauma chokes the brain.”

Omalu was one of the founding members of the Brain Injury Research Institute in 2002. He conducted the autopsy of Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, played by David Morse in the film, which led to this discovery.

2 – Smith’s Version of Omalu’s Accent Is Spot On

Omalu is from Nigeria and Smith has been known to transform completely for a role. He was nominated for an Oscar for 2011’s “Ali,” playing the legendary Muhammad Ali.

For comparison, here’s Omalu’s PBS interview from 2013.

3 – Smith Is a Reluctant Hero

“If you don’t speak for them, who will,” Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays Prema Mutiso in the film, tells Smith’s character.

He admits he idolized America growing up and “was the wrong person to have discovered this.”

4 – Alec Baldwin and Luke Wilson

“Concussion” brought in some heavyweights for this movie. Baldwin plays Dr. Julian Bailes, who advises Omalu, and Wilson, who will reportedly play NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, according to IMDB. There’s no official word on this. He’s seen at a podium in the trailer, but doesn’t speak.

5 – “Tell the Truth”

Smith captures Omalu’s passion to have the truth told about this injury and disease.

“I was afraid of letting Mike [Webster] down. I was afraid. I don’t know. I was afraid I was going to fail,” Omalu told PBS a couple years back.


VIDEO Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3322364/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Will Smith stars in the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player.

The subject of concussions is serious – life and death. Just a few weeks ago (August 8), an NFL Hall-of-Fame inductee was honored for his play on the field during his 20-year professional career, but his family, his daughter in particular, is the one that made his acceptance / induction speech. He had died, in 2012; he committed suicide after apparently suffering from a brain disorder – chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a type of chronic brain damage that has also been found in other deceased former NFL players[4] – sustained from his years of brutal head contacts in organized football in high school, college and in his NFL career. This player was Junior Seau.

- The Movie; The Cause - Photo 3a

- The Movie; The Cause - Photo 3b

Why would there be a need for “David versus Goliath”; “a small man speaking truth to power”? Is not the actuality of an acclaimed football player committing suicide in this manner – he shot himself in the chest so as to preserve his brain for research – telling enough to drive home the message for reform?

No. Hardly. As previously discussed, there is too much money at stake.

These stakes bring out the Crony-capitalism in American society.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean (and subsequent blog/commentaries) relates many examples of cronyism in the American eco-system. There is a lot of money at stake. Those who want to preserve the status quo or not invest in the required mitigations to remediate concussions will fight back against any Advocate promoting the Greater Good. The profit motive is powerful. There are doubters and those who want to spurn doubt. “Concussions in Football” is not the first issue these “actors” have promoted doubt on. The efforts to downplay concussion alarmists are from a familiar playbook, used previously by Climate Change deniers, Big Tobacco, Toxic Waste, Acid Rain, and other dangerous chemicals.

This Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). Sports are integral to the Go Lean/CU roadmap. While sports can be good and promote positives in society, even economically, the safety issues must be addressed upfront. This is a matter of community security. Thusly, the prime directives of the CU are described as:

  • Optimize the economic engines of the Caribbean to elevate the regional economy to grow to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs, including sports-related industries with a projection of 21,000 direct jobs at Fairgrounds and sports enterprises.
  • Establish a security apparatus to protect the people and economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these economic and security engines.

The CU/Go Lean sports mission is to harness the individual abilities of athletes to not just elevate their performance, but also to harness the economic impact for their communities. So modern sports endeavors cannot be analyzed without considering the impact on “dollars and cents” for stakeholders. This is a fact and should never be ignored. There is therefore the need to carefully assess and be on guard for crony-capitalistic influences entering the decision-making of sports stakeholders. The Go Lean book posits that with the emergence of new economic engines, “bad actors” will also emerge thereafter to exploit the opportunities, with good, bad and evil intent”. These points were pronounced early in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12 &14):

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices of criminology and penology to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interests of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxxi. Whereas sports have been a source of great pride for the Caribbean region, the economic returns from these ventures have not been evenly distributed as in other societies. The Federation must therefore facilitate the eco-systems and vertical industries of sports as a business, recreation, national pastime and even sports tourism …

The Go Lean book envisions the CU – a confederation of the 30 member-states of the Caribbean chartered to do the heavy-lifting of empowering and elevating the Caribbean economy – as the landlord of many sports facilities (within the Self-Governing Entities design), and the regulator for inter-state sport federations. The book details the economic principles and community ethos to adopt, plus the executions of strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to optimize sports enterprises in the Caribbean:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways Page 21
Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices / Incentives Page 21
Economic Principles – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Economic Principles – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Security Principles – Whistleblower Protection Page 23
Community Ethos – Security Principles – Light-Up the Dark Places Page 23
Community Ethos – Security Principles – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness – Mitigate Suicide Threats Page 36
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederating 30 Member-States into a Single Market Page 45
Strategy – Vision – Foster Local Economic Engines for Basic Needs Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Prepare for Natural Disasters Page 45
Strategic – Staffing – Sporting Events at Fairgrounds Page 55
Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change Page 57
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Sports & Culture Administration Page 81
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Fairgrounds Administration Page 83
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Health Department – Disease Management Page 86
Implementation – Assemble Regional Organs into a Single Market Economy Page 96
Implementation – Steps to Implement Self-Governing Entities – Sports Stadia Page 105
Implementation – Security Initiatives at Start-up – Unified Command & Control Page 103
Implementation – Industrial Policy for CU Self Governing Entities Page 103
Implementation – Ways to Deliver – Project Management/Accountabilities Page 109
Anatomy of Advocacies – Examples of Individuals Who Made Impact Page 122
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Promote Fairgrounds Page 192
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Emergency Management – Trauma Arts & Sciences Page 196
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Sports Page 229
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Urban Living – Sports Leagues Page 234

The Go Lean book and accompanying blogs declare that the Caribbean needs to learn lessons from other communities, especially when big money is involved in pursuits like sports. These activities should be beneficial to health, not detrimental. So the admonition is to be “on guard” against the “cronies”; they will always try to sacrifice public policy – the Greater Good – for private gain: profit.

Let’s do better. Yes, the Caribbean can be better than the American experiences.

The design of Self-Governing Entities allow for greater protections from Crony-Capitalistic abuses. While this roadmap is committed to availing the economic opportunities of sports and accompanying infrastructure, as demonstrated in the foregoing movie trailer, sport teams and owners can be plutocratic “animals” in their greed. We must learn to mitigate plutocratic abuses. While an optimized eco-system is good, there is always the need for an Advocate, one person to step up, blow the whistle and transform society. The Go Lean roadmap encourages these role models.

Bravo Dr. Bennet Omalu. Thank you for this example … and for being a role model for all of the Caribbean.

RIP Junior Seau.

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people and governing institutions, to lean-in for the empowerments described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. This roadmap will result in more positive socio-economic changes throughout the region; it will make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO: Hank Williams Jr. – Are You Ready for Some Footballhttps://youtu.be/dKPZEMu7Mno

Uploaded on May 28, 2011 – Official Music Video


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