How do Dolphins fans feel about Mike Wallace? New poll. Vote now!; plus Heat-Lakers, Heat/Panthers playoff likelihood, Austin and a horse's head, a man named Suh & more
1) It is WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4. Sorry the blog's been a tad stagnant the past couple of days. Due largely to Internet issues now happily resolved. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, optimism-poll results & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
THE VIEW ON DOLPHINS RECEIVER MIKE WALLACE: As NFL free agency begins in earnest the Dolphins seem more and more inclined to keep receiver Mike Wallace and his big salary, although he has somewhat under-performed on expectations. Part of keeping him may be that the trade market was tepid. Some fans undoubtedly think Miami might be better off cutting ties with Wallace and pursuing Packers free-agent Randall Cobb, who is younger and coming off a Pro Bowl year but wouldn't be much cheaper. I wonder how Dolfans feel about Wallace, factoring in his performance and also elements of his personality that included removing himself from a game late last season in a pique over the amount of passes being thrown his way. Is Wallace overrated and nothing special? Or is he a big talent being underutilized? Is the problem his or Ryan Tannehill's that the deep passes taking advantage of Wallace's premier speed have not been happening enough? For me, Wallace is a talent worth keeping and finding a way to fully deploy. Some may disagree. This poll isn't really asking if you think Miami should keep Wallace or not, though it sort of is I I guess. Interpret the question any way you wish, but whatever way you do, it'll be a referendum on how Dolfans feel about one of the team's biggest (and most controversial) stars. Vote and say why in the Comments section.
AUSTIN AND A HORSE'S HEAD: My wife and I meet a couple of good friends from the D.C. area in a random city a couple of times a year for a mini-vacation, just because. Been doing it a few years now, and we spent the long weekend just past in Austin, Texas, visiting funky-bizarre antique shops on SoCo and party-drinking on 6th Street. Loved hearing the blues-rock of the Red Lady Band at Darwin's, loved Iron Works BBQ, loved the (unexpected) Scholz Garten, loved touring the LBJ Presidential Library, and counted a quite-elaborate horse's head mask among the souvenir purchases I brought back. Of course I had to take it into the Clevelander studio yesterday and turn it into radio schtick just for laughs. That's me pictured here wearing the head. Check me out on Twitter or Vine for a video of me trying to coax Dan LeBatard into putting it on.
HEAT-LAKERS: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING RIVALRY: It used to be LeBron and Kobe on Christmas Day, with two big teams and stakes high. Now? LeBron gone, Kobe out, Bosh out and not much interest (at least nationally) as Heat host Lakers tonight. What used to be a hell of a rivalry is now a shell of a rivalry, with Miami trying to hang onto playoff pace at 26-33 and L.A. way out of it at 16-43. The last time both teams had losing records the same season: 1992-93.
Heat, Panthers playoff odds: Heat sit on playoff pace as current No. 7 East seed but find five pursuers on their tail. ESPN's computerized Hollinger postseason odds are pessimistic, giving Miami only a 40.9 percent chance to make playoffs. In hockey, the Panthers currently are only two points off pace as the No. 9 seed, but Cats' outlook is even gloomier. Hockey-reference.com puts Florida's playoff shot at 12.0%.
A QUICK BRAG ON NDAMUKONG SUH: Good to see everybody else catching up to us this week on the Dolphins and free-agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. It was almost a month ago, Feb. 7 in this blog, when under the headline 'Ndamuking Suh a Dolphin?' we listed three reasons why it was possible. In an accompanying poll on whether Miami should pur-Suh him, y'all voted 56.8 percent yes, 29.0% no and 14.2% undecided.
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