Sometimes justice takes its time. Forty-one years is a long long wait for anything but it feels right that the 1972 Dolphins finally are getting their due with next week’s White House visit. It will be purely ceremonial but for these men now all in their late 60s and older — led by 83-year-old coach Don Shula — the occasion will be symbolic too.

It will represent the long-elusive perfect ending to the Perfect Season.

“Puts the cherry on top of the cake” as former safety Dick Anderson put it Wednesday.

It also represents closure of sorts for a collection of proud men who perhaps never have quite gotten the full attention their unique claim to history merited.

“Feels like it’s come full circle with this. It realty does” said Larry Little the great old guard. “Winning two Super Bowls in a row that was great. Going into the Hall of Fame that was great. But this honor is just as great. It’s so special. The common man does not go to the White House.”

Little mentioned how it was extra meaningful for him because Barack Obama is our first African-American president. Then he let loose a deep rumbling laugh and added “But I’d have gone even if Nixon came back from the grave and invited us!”

Richard Nixon was a football-loving president who called Shula more than once while staying at the “Florida White House” on Key Biscayne. He loved to suggest plays.

“He became a Dolphins fan and I remember once he suggested we throw a slant-in pass to [Paul] Warfield” Shula recalled Wednesday from his California vacation home. Miami ran that play all the time but Shula was polite of course. “He was the president! So I just said ‘That’s a good idea.’ ”

Nixon was preoccupied with a little thing called Watergate as 1972 swung into ’73 and the Dolphins’ perfection was minted. Besides the now-common practice of championship teams being honored at the White House did not begin until years later. The Dolphins’ belated visit wouldn’t have happened at all if Marv Fleming hadn’t mentioned it last year to someone who knew someone on the White House legal staff who then helped cut through the red tape to make it happen.