[Click on Shannon's Big Gamble for my column today on UM coach Randy Shannon and his contract. Column also delves into Jacory Harris and the Canes' overall outlook].
As UM opens practice ... how good is Jacory Harris?: Well, we know he's confident, anyway. The Hurricanes' sophomore quarterback (see left) went on Dan Le Batard's 790 radio show recently and said he planned to win a Heisman Trophy and show up at the ceremony wearing a pink pimp suit (see right). And carrying a diamond-encrusted pimp goblet, too. Also, Harris said he is growing a giant Afro and is a budding rapper called "J-12." Clearly this interview did not earn the Randy Shannon seal of approval, but nevertheless displayed in Harris a swagger that may be a good thing. But -- can he deliver? That is the one question whose answer will go the furthest in shaping the Hurricanes' upcoming season and immediate future. Is Jacory Harris the next great Canes quarterback? Will he prove to be a bust? Or will he fall somewhere in between? Last year, in limited action behind the since-departed Robert Marve, we saw hints but not enough to know for sure. So what is fans' confidence level in Harris as UM opens fall practice Saturday? Take a dip in our poll and together you'll decide. Vote, then let us know what kind of season you think is in store for Harris and UM.
[Poll note: The above is our 69th blogpoll to blast past 1,000 votes within the first day of its posting. You crazy kids with your computers! Thanks. And keep 'em comin'!]
SWEEEEEEP! The Marlins strike back!: We hoped three losses in a row to the lowly Nationals by a team desperately fighting to stay in the playoff chase was not some sort of litmus test for legitimacy. Well, the Fish have bounced back with three straight wins -- a sweep in Philadelphia, led today by Josh Johnson on the mound and a 19-hit attack. The Marlins return home now with a fighting chance in the playoff race. This team is flawed and madly inconsistent, but does not quit. Fun.
A quick word on the Dolphins: The team still is lacking at wide receiver. Unlike some others in the local media, I haven't stopped thinking that, done an about-face and gone all a-swoon over Miami's WR corps based on the scant evidence of a few practices. The lack of a proven, defense-scaring, playmaking target for Chad Pennington remains the team's biggest concern, followed by the secondary.
Heat rekindling interest in Allen Iverson?: Clearly Pat Riley is smarting from losing out on Lamar Odom. Now the word is he's cozying up again to Allen Iverson. I haven't stopped thinking Iverson would be a good get, especially to add some offensive pop. He'd certainly be a better signing than Jamaal Tinsley!
On Derrick Thomas: Pro Football Hall of Fame adds six Saturday including South Miami High's Derrick Thomas. Click here for a new column by me on Thomas and his legacy, online now and in Friday's paper. Below is a chart I put together that didn't make the paper. Just another bonus for the loyal blog reader!
What would Heath Ledger think?: Is anybody offended by the Barack Obama-as-The Joker poster? Not sure I get the point of it or the message (if there is one), but I find it mildly interesting visually.
Latest shoutouts...: ...and thanks to some of the outlets who have run my stuff lately, including Anchorage Daily News, Belleville (IL) News Democrat, Boston Herald, ESPN.com, Kamloops (BC) This Week, Las Vegas Review-Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Seattle Times, Sports Business Daily, USA Today, and The Weekly Standard.
That'll do it for now but click back. Updating/adding more stuff later.