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The Birth of a Franchise

The first professional American football team to be based in Miami and the state of Florida was the Miami Seahawks. The Seahawks entered the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) during its inaugural 1946 season, as the first major league-level sports franchise ever in Miami. However, the team only lasted one year before being confiscated by the league.[3]

In 1962, the fledgling American Football League staged a preseason exhibition game between the Houston Oilers and the Dallas Texans. Three years later, the AFL awarded an expansion team franchise to lawyer Joseph Robbie and actor Danny Thomas for $7.5 million. Robbie had originally wanted to establish the franchise in Philadelphia, but AFL commissioner Joe Foss suggested courting Miami due to its warm climate, growing population, and lack of a football team. Thomas would eventually sell his stake in the team to Robbie. A contest was held in 1965 to choose the name of the team, which elicited 19,843 entries and over a thousand different names. The winning name, "Dolphins," was submitted by 622 entrants.

Early years (1966–1970) 

Championship years (1971–1974)

After the championship years (1975–1982)

The Dan Marino Era (1983–1999)

The Modern Era Dolphins (2000–2015)



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