Ex-Dolphins RB Kiick dies from Alzheimer’s
MIAMI — Jim Kiick, the versatile running back who helped the Miami Dolphins achieve the NFL’s only perfect season in 1972, died Saturday at age 73 following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, daughter Allie said.
The former University of Wyoming star was part of a formidable backfield that included his best friend, Pro Football Hall of Fame fullback Larry Csonka. They earned the nicknames Butch and Sundance, inspired by the popular 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Kiick (“Butch”) made the American Football League All-Star team in his first two seasons and played on Miami’s back-to-back Super Bowl championship teams in 1972-73. Kiick had two touchdowns for the ’72 Dolphins in the AFC championship game, and also scored in the Super Bowl victory that capped their 17-0 season under Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.
Shula died May 4 at 90.
Kiick lived in an assisted living home in recent years. Allie Kiick said that because of the coronavirus, visitors weren’t being allowed in his room.
“I miss my dad,” she wrote Thursday on Twitter. “It’s pretty hard when you’re sitting on the outside of the glass and can’t do anything to cheer him up. He’s lost the spark in his eyes as anyone would in this situation.”
In his NFL heyday, Kiick and the speedier Mercury Morris split playing time with the Dolphins during the 1972-73 seasons, which gave Shula a potent one-two punch at halfback but sometimes led to second-guessing by fans.
“Kiick and Mercury Morris both contributed,” Shula said. “Every Monday there was a controversy, but the bottom line wasn’t bad.”