While it may be home to beaches and palm trees, Miami offers more than just sand and sun – it also loves tailgating, cheerleaders, and touchdowns. In fact, Sundays in Miami are focused on the city’s professional football team – the Miami Dolphins. The team plays in the NFL’s American Football Conference East Division, along with the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots, and the New York Jets.
Now that they have over 50 seasons under their belt (the Dolphins were originally founded as an expansion team in the American Football League), it’s the perfect time to look back at the evolution of the Miami Dolphins logo.
The Miami Dolphins, their name chosen in a nearly 20,000-entry contest in 1965, are one of 19 franchises to win a Super Bowl. They’re also the only team to have completed a perfect season – regular season and playoffs – by winning 14 games in a row under head coach Don Shula in the 1972 season. The Dolphins would make a repeat appearance – and victory – in the following year’s Super Bowl, despite losing two games during the 1973 season.
Retired quarterback Dan Marino – arguably the most famous Dolphin – played 17 seasons for the organization, but he seemingly joined a decade too late to earn his Super Bowl ring. During his time under center, he was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times and was just shy of a 60 percent completion rate.
The Miami Dolphins have had five different logos since their franchise’s inception. Describing the animal during the 1965 team name reveal, club founder Joe Robbie said, “Dolphins can attack and kill a shark or a whale. Sailors say bad luck will come to anyone who harms one of them.” Over the years, each logo has included a dolphin with an orange sunburst in the background; however, both features have changed significantly.
Let’s see how the Miami Dolphins logo has evolved throughout the years.
Notable Logo Changes
1966–1973: The original logo includes an aqua-colored dolphin leaping upward with an orange sunburst background. The helmet features an “M” for Miami.
1974–1989: The dolphin changes positions by being moved up slightly and being centered on the sunburst.
1989–1996: The dolphin slims down and becomes a darker green. The sunburst brightens.
1997–2012: This version of the logo contains a more animated dolphin (perhaps because 1997 is the year that “T.D. the Dolphin” becomes the team’s official mascot). He has more expressive facial features (eyes and nose) and better-outlined fins. The sunburst also becomes more defined.
2013–Present: This is the largest change since the team’s establishment. The logo becomes a smoother, sleeker version of T.D. The dolphin no longer wears a helmet; he seems to move in an upward swimming position. The sunburst remains as an anchor among all the logos.
Team With a “Porpoise”
Although the Miami Dolphins haven’t wrapped their hands around the Vince Lombardi Trophy in over 40 years – thanks mainly to the New England Patriots – it doesn’t mean their fan base is anything less than electric. Show off your love for the only team to have a perfect season through the playoffs (sorry, Pats fans), and get the latest and greatest officially licensed merchandise and apparel for the Miami Dolphins from Fanatics.com.