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Kiick, the Butch Cassidy of the pair, is three inches shorter than Csonka, 22 pounds lighter and wears a Fu Manchu mustache. He played college football at Wyoming, far from his native New Jersey, and is frank in explaining how a New Jersey high school boy winds up in the wild West.
"My grades and college boards were not very good," he says. "I wanted to go to Penn State, or really anywhere in the East, but I didn't get that many offers. So I took Wyoming. Never had been there before and when I got off the plane, wow, it was just like the movies. You expected to see a shoot-out in the street."
He didn't regret the long trip. In his three years at Wyoming Kiick was an All-Western Athletic Conference tailback three times and took the Cowboys to the Sugar Bowl in 1968, the year Csonka was a rookie pro. He believes he experienced a greater change in moving from college to pro than did Csonka, but it was a pleasant one.
"At Wyoming I was bigger than some of our offensive linemen," he says. "When you're a back and you can see over your blockers, you're in trouble. When I run a sweep here, behind Little or Kuechenberg, the defensive players can't see me. It makes a difference."
Bob Kuechenberg is the other Dolphin guard. At 6'2" and 247, he is not as big as Little, but he blocks well on sweeps. If he had been of the caliber of his father, he would probably be in the circus today instead of playing professional football.
"My dad was in a circus act when I was a kid," he says. "He got shot out of a cannon. One time he landed in the net wrong and broke his neck and while he was recovering my uncle took over, but he overshot the net and got hurt. I had a choice of going to college or into the cannon. I went to college."
He played at Notre Dame and was drafted fourth by the Eagles in 1969, then was waived to Atlanta and wound up the year playing with a minor league team in Chicago. Picked up as a free agent by the Dolphins, Kuechenberg has been a starting guard since halfway through the 1970 season.
"When I look at the defensive tackles in this league," he said ruefully before the Pittsburgh game, "I sometimes figure I would have been better off in the cannon."
Little was named the outstanding offensive lineman in the American Conference last year by the NFL Players Association, an honor he richly deserved, says Shula. "He has everything," the coach says. "Size, quickness, strength. He's a great blocker straight ahead or on traps or sweeps. He is going to be one of the really fine offensive linemen in the league."
Squarely built with tremendous chest, biceps and thighs, Little says he would rather block for the run than for the pass. "It gives you a chance to hit back. You block on the pass, you're dropping back, getting hit all the time, you got no chance to lay it on anyone."