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August 04, 2009

What is it about Don Shula?; plus do you believe in God? (with poll), Dolphin song by T-Pain, Tiger fart video, Clinton Portis, sad trombone & more

     [Follow along on Twitter.com/gregcote because it's free and we'll get to pretend we're friends! Thanks to all who joined in today in the resumption of our live online chats. We do it every Wednesday from 1-2 p.m., not here in the blog but in the Q&A Forum. Click here to join us live or to post a question any time.]

     What is it about Don Shula?: I have a new column, online now (click here) and shipping to 1shulapic Wednesday's paper, on the Dolphins' legendary former coach and franchise icon Don Shula as he nears his 80th birthday. The "news peg" is that Shula just returned from a USO tour to Afghanistan. (Pictured here is Shula meeting with a soldier from Miami, Sgt. Dan Reichert). The column isn't just about that, though. Shula talks about that extraordinary trip, his career, today's Dolphins, his regrets, everything. I have developed the opinion from listening over the years that Shula is beloved by Dolfans in a way no one else is, not even Dan Marino. Is it true? And if so why? Is it the forever-lingering perfume of the Super Bowls and Perfect Season? Is it the longevity that made him a father-figure we grew up with? Is it his imprimatur of personal integrity? What is it about Shula? Why (even after all this time) is he special to you?

     On God: True belief vs. atheism: A total coincidence, this segue from Shula to God. My newspaper had a recent thought-provoking article (click here to read) on a local group of atheists and how they were attempting to become more mainstream and accepted, and to actively promote non-belief. They are affiliated with a controversial billboard that reads, "Being a good person doesn't require God. Don't believe in God? You're not alone." I agree with the first statement there but also think there is a bit of arrogance in aggressive non-belief, because you can't disprove God any more than I can prove Him. (I capitalized 'Him' just now purely to annoy the atheists). I think the agnostic may have a better case than the atheist. Anyway, weigh in if you'd like. Confront the essence of your very soul! This may be the blog's first-ever (and maybe last) religion poll.

1tpain      Dolphin fight song by T-Pain: Celebrity rapper T-Pain (pictured) will unveil a new Dolphins fight song -- actually his version of the team's long-standing official fight song -- Friday night at a red carpet party and fashion show for the 2010 Dolphins cheerleader calendar, to be held at the former Versace Mansion on Miami Beach and featuring a bevy of barely clad, hip-swiveling young women. The event is invitation only. You won't be there, because you weren't invited. I won't be there because my wife won't let me.

     Tiger Woods farting video: Click here for the brief video. Funny! Although I think the farter is actually Tiger's caddie, because, immediately after the offending sound -- braaap -- it is clearly Tiger who appears to be the one saying, "Ha! Are you serious!?"

     Why I'm not a big fan of Dolphins (or any NFL) training camp: Mountains are made of ant hills. (I'd have said mole hills, but I wanted to be inventive!). I mean, is the temporary, quasi-mysterious absence of Dolphin defender Matt Roth really either a fascinating soap opera or major controversy? Really? Strained groin or illness -- is that what passes for headline news in early August? In the immortal word of Jimmy Johnson: "Puh-leeze!"

1clintonportis      Portis on rumors: Redskins running back Clinton Portis, the former Miami Hurricane, revealed yesterday he is not gay (not that's anything wrong with that!), giving unneeded credence to rumors that apparently started by his temporarily dying his hair blond and adopting the look pictured during the recent offseason. Thanks for setting us straight, Clint. 

     Heat announce schedule. shift into nuetral: Two Heat developments today. 1. The team released its 2009-2010 schedule. Which isn't a big deal because the season doesn't start for almost three months. 2. Pat Riley said do not expect any significant changes/additions before then. This is a big deal because, based on what Eastern rivals have been doing, it strongly suggests Miami will be sitting out the playoff race this coming season and risking rolling all its dice in the summer of 2010. Riley downplays losing out on targeted free-agent Lamar Odom -- the same Riley who, had he landed Odom, would have been bugling a major addition. A Heat fan may forgive himself for being a bit apprehensive at the moment.

     O.J. to be freed?: The Nevada Supreme Court is considering whether to release O.J. Simpson from prison pending his appeal. The reason this makes sense and I support it is, it would give O.J. a greater opportunity to further embarrass himself by doing something really stupid. 

     Shaq vs. The Big Show on WWE: Click here for a video snippet of last week's "match." What's amazing is that the Cleveland Cavaliers would allow Shaq to risk serious injury in an event whose result obviously is not predetermined in any way whatsoever!    :)

     Special bonus from my blog to you: Click on Sad Trombone (and then 'play') for the funny, classic sad trombone sound!

1shakespeare      Best words ever written about the futility of trying to improve upon perfection: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily; To throw a perfume on the violet; To smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow; or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess." -- Shakespeare, 'King John', 1595. (What's funny is, if those exact words were submitted by any writer today, any editor would give him an I-bit-a-lemon look and say "What is this crap!?")

      That'll do it for now. I'd go on but I'm too verklempt over the Arena Football League folding. But click back; will be updating/adding more stuff.

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Shula by far over Marino. For all the reasons listed -- not just longevity, but WINNING longevity -- crowned by the Perfect Season. I would've like to see him continue, but his failure to dump Olividotti and install a decent defense and his over-reliance on a withering Marino in later years; kept him from repeating his glory years.

In the 70's we all wanted disco to die..and it did. Why does rap stay around so long? I'd take back disco anyday over this non-singing, non-literate junk.

I agree with Cote on the atheist subject. It is very arrogant to promote it when there will never be a way to provide that He does not exist. the changes are better that He could be proved to exist, rather than disproved. If He does exist, I think He might be merciful on those who never could find faith, but He'd be pretty mad at those who made it their goal to diss Him.

Cote, if you can go to the Versace Mansion, you should go. I think we could count on you to provide some nice photos, as usual.

Can Phins fans vote on whether we want the new thing called a "fight song", despite the fact that there is no singing in rap and therefore it can't be a song? Call it what it is" A 'fight rap'.

I'd have appreciated Shakespeare a lot more if I could understand the English of the era. It's almost a foreign language. Fortunately, this one piece provided by Cote is obvious enough.

When I was a kid in 1972 & 1973. I kept praying for each win..and it came true. At that time, I did believe.

As I've stated before, My Pops used to take me to the Orange Bowl to watch the Phins play, back in '70 - '74. As a kid I had a lot of heroes on those teams, but I always knew Shula was in charge. He had them cool ass polyester britches and a clipboard.

You don't need to read a bible to know that there is a God. Maybe they should say they don't believe in organized religion because if anyone or anything has confused what God is, are the religions of the world.

Don Shula was a great coach. He helped a great talent become greater. Dan owes Don a lot of thanks because Don recognized the talent and gave Dan the chance to use it.

men,

as i remember the sequence, don shula came from baltimore and took a mediocre expansion team into the post season in his first year (if i remember correctly) as coach; the other expansion teams of that era-dallas, minnesota, atlanta, and new orleans in the NFL, and the bengals of the AFL all took years under their coaches, with the bengals getting to the playoffs in 1970 along with the dolphins; however miami stayed in the playoffs for FIVE years running (and three super bowls in a row) and only the departure of the stars to the WFL allowed baltimore to temporarily dethrone the dolphins as eastern division champs. miami was a cowtown as far as pro sports was concerned and the dolphins under shula put miami on the sports map in a big, big way. shula's teams were always good and his 1972/1973 teams were magnificent. a great catch by clarence davis kept the dolphins from four super bowls in a row. with all due respect to lombardi, paul brown, chuck noll, george halas, tom landry, bill walsh, george allen and a few others, "shoes" is the greatest coach in NFL history; only a missed tackle on john riggins and shula's david woodley-led team could have probably won another super bowl. don shula was the boy-genius coach of the colts and then turned the dolphins into the NFL's best team very quickly. the chiefs and chargers playoff games are among the most memorable in the history of the NFL; shula makes the mount rushmore of NFL coaches, while marino does not make the grade for QBs. and people wonder why he is beloved above all others associated with the dolphins? puhh-lease!!!!

Cote I say we sign the Juice to upgrade "The Wildcat" formation...

ginrai's God is a stretch for this ol boy. Hell ginrai's whole cosmology is a stretch. His cosmology was a stretch for me when I was 10years old and it still is. I believe in a "Manufacturer." And I believe something funny, funny strange not funny ha ha, is going on between Cote and Micheal Vick...

shadow, I gotta read and reread your comment. I lived in Steeler country, Western Pa that football had a cult like alure to boys that no other era held. I became a Fins fans fan because of the playoff game when Punter Larry Seiple fake punted and ran, Miami bearly beating the Steelers. Been a die hard Fin Fan ever since.

I feel that God is here and is real. Honestly feel that how the Muslims crapping on everyone else-murder-and feel justified thay they are doomed to total self-destruction on their own hands.

OJ to be freed? Wonder how many times the Juice was grabbing his ankles in the showers while incarcerated? Don't even say he was running s*** in there.

Greg, to marvel at our existence. To deeply observe the countless facets around our reality is a mere electron microscope glimpse in the reality God.

into the reality...

Jimbo,

i know that i wrote a rather lengthy piece; just wanted to point out that shula turned miami around immediately. the steeles rise from the bottom was based on many years of drafting star players high in the draft and the arrival of chuck noll as coach. granted that the steelers picked mel blount and jack lambert relatively late, but they had lots of high draft choices-bradshaw, joe greene, jack ham, franco and others.

Jimbo,

jack ham wqas a second round pick, as was lambert, ands mel blount a 3rd round pick- RELATIVELY late for hall of famers!!!

Shula had his faults, if you looked hard enough you'd actually find them. With that said, Shula was exactly what a leader should be. Smart, determined, classy, respectful, no-nonsense, and retrospective. His teams played within the rules. There was no spygate, or snowplows with a Shula team. What you got was everything he had to offer.

We did not get that from Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wandstadt, or Nick Satan. The other idiot might have given his best, but nuff said.

Shula was and is a once in a lifetime coach and person. Marino was great, and gets a ton of respect, but there really is no comparison in my mind.

Shadow, good points.

It is however, forgotten though that Miami was already building up its strong talent pool before Shula arrived. Csonka, Griese, Twilley, several other future greats were already here. Shula added Warfield and his coaching smarts.

When I think of the Redskins game, I think more about Theisman's awesome play jumping up from the ground to bat away at the very last second, what was a sure INT at the 2 yd line and would've been a Miami TD to put the game away.

Shula however, got outcoached in the SF game. he stuck to his one dimensional game; he didn't change anything up to surprise the 49ers. However, 49ers did.and the successfully confused Marino.

In the 1986 AFC champ game..Marino self-destructed with several turnovers. A horribly played hoemj game that should've been an easy win.

Jimbo, I believe Seiple did that on his own initiative ..though I think he was coached into looking for the opportunity. At that time, the rotation had Miami playing the game at Pittsburgh, which is nonsense by today's standards. Griese had to save the day. However, I believe that if Griese had played all season, the passing game would be less conservative and Griese could always be counted on to have one or two real bad games. So I don't think we would've gone unbeaten.

Shula's faults came later -- keeping the team one dimensional around Marino; especially later, not realizing that Marino was passed his prime and devent defenses had him figured out, and not ditching his friend Olividotti.

It is after reading the bibles, that I began doubting. All their inconsistency and in terms of the OT..mythological-like stories. And then learning how they came to be written; how they were chosen as to what would be included or omitted. Not even written in the original language; no original text..just copies of copies. And so many stories that are told in both versions, are similar to stories told in various other religions at the time. Stories were similar. How many facts of Christian stories were taken from pagan or other religions.

If we had a creator, do we still have an after-life or is that just wishful thinking?
How would we ever know if the creator was not just a superior alien from a planet that evolved millions of years before Earth, seeding our life here. There is no way to ever know anything. Can't prove, can't disprove.

Pray with me from the Book of Cookoo. L. Ron Hubbard went to the eternal cupboard to get his poor disciple a bone. When he bent over Tom Cruise took over and gave him a bone of his own. "Dianetics" Chapter 6, Verse 9.

Jimbo if they let OJ out do you think he'll miss the sex?

Mike1,

While I can understand you saying Shula got outcoached by San Francisco and Bill Walsh, I can tell you IMO he was simply out manned by a better team. I was at that game and will never forget watching Jay Brophy failingly trying to keep up with the SF running back. There was relentless pressure on Marino and the offense never had a chance. I am just not convinced there was much the coaching staff could have done that would have made a difference. The 49ers on that day were just too good and had a sound game plan.

mike1,

i hear you about the dolphins having a talent pool when shula arrived. the coach of the rams before george allen had roman gabriel, deacon jones and merlin olsen, but the rams didn't win until george brought in his staff (including howard schelllenerger and dick vermeil, i believe) and many veterans to implement his win now concept. shula's assistants were all-stars-monte clark, bill arnsbarger,... very similar situations

sorry, howard- "SCNELLENBERGER" is the name!

The Gospel according to the Apostle Wilbur;

A horse is a horse of course of course,
And no one can talk to a horse of course,
Unless of course that talking horse IS The Famous Mr.Ed.

Think about it won't you...

Shula's strengths:
1) One of the greatest offensive minds in the history of the game
2) Superb command of X's and O's till the end-changed with the times and as his personnel changed - the game never passed him by as it did Landry and Noll
3) Beating the Steel Curtain in Pittsburgh destroys all doubters who claim that we had an easy schedule in 1972 and that we're not the greatest team of all time. This win closed the deal.
4) Almost winning the Super Bowl with a QB that arguably didn't belong in the league in David Woodley.

Shula's Weakness:
1) As he got older, his heart softened (as happens to most people); a young Shula would have moved faster on Chuck Studley and fired Tom Olivadotti as well. After Shoes left, Olivadotti became a LB coach and then was out of the league. We may have gone to the SB over the Bills in '92 if we had a competent D-Coordinator.

Free OJ so he can embarrass himself? Cote are you insane? I hope you realize his history of "embarrassing himself" included decapitating two innocent victims.

Don Shula is loved because not only was he a winner, but he is a good and decent man. I've met Don Shula and he spent a lot of time with me just talking football. He could have easily blown me off, but he didn't. Shula is at the top of my list of current and former Dolphins. My son wanted to see Shula while he was in Kandahar, but he had work commitments that kept him from attending. Damn, I would have loved that picture.

Mike,

True. 49ers were overall better. However, we managed to beat everyone to the SB, so we shouldn't have been destroyed. Look how we beat Chicago. Phins should've known that 49ers were going to focus on Miami's only strength which was the passing game. Therefore, we needed to do something different. Sometimes strategy can overcome weakness. We beat the Patriots last year because we surprised them with the wildcat.

Mike1, Yes, on any given Sunday. But, talent usually wins. The Wildcat was a rare example of a team coming out and really surprising the league. It is the exception, not the rule. You said it yourself, Miami's only strength was the outside passing game and SF was one of the very few teams that had the talent to match up. We can agree to disagree on this one. I am not one to say that Shula never got out coached. He has. Just not sure that game was a great example of it. I would point towards some of those horrible Buffalo games first. I feel we were a better that then we showed in some of those games.

Atheist believe in a God. It's themselves. And, if the atheists I know are God, then I'd rather just kill myself and die rather than live under the depravity of their various morals, ethics and values. There is so much evidence to an intelligent design for the universe. It's only ignorance and arrogance that prevents one from recognizing it. It is literally right before our eyes. The question is not if there is a god. The question is who is "God". We all have to answer for ourselves if the Bible has ever been historically and scientifically proven incorrect. It's perseverance under the scrutiny of some of history's brilliant minds throughout the thousands of years that it has existed proves otherwise. But, if you don't believe in the God of the Bible, it is ludicrous to conclude that God doesn't exist.

Also, proof there is a God: the Dolphins won the AFC East last year. More divine intervention will lead us to the Super Bowl!

Tom,

hope that your son gets a photo op with shula at one oh his steak joints soon!! a picture in the heat of the desert would have been great, and G-dspeed in your son coming ome safe and sound.

mike1,

i was rooting against the 49ers in that super bowl and was tremendously disappointed. as stated many times here, the bengals were a tough nut for san francisco, while miami, denver, and san diego were all done by halftime. the 49ers were a machine, and without roger craig's fumble against the giants, steve young would have led a win over buffalo. my favorite QB cane off the bench cold in that giant game to get a crucial first down with a bullet pass only to have that fumble on the next play lead to the winning field goal for the NYG.

Currently 69.3% of respondents believe in god. I can't for the life of me figure out why, because your parent's told you so? Believing in god has to be the purest form of intellectual laziness.

GREG COTE! you said "but also think there is a bit of arrogance in aggressive non-belief, because you can't disprove God any more than I can prove Him.", do you believe in the Hindu gods? Aren't you showing the same arrogance by not believing that cows are sacred just as hundreds of millions of people in India do? What makes your belief in "Him" (Capitalized to show it doesn't bother this atheist at all), any more valid than their beliefs? If I am arrogant for not believing in your god then you are just as arrogant for not believing in everyone elses.

This belief in god is simply an attempt to explain what cannot be explained, it's the human ego that prevents people from saying "I don't know how we got here and I'm not willing to accept some poppycock for the sake of expedience."

Believers always say "I can't believe you think we are descended from apes" which is factually incorrect but anyway I simply reply that I can't believe they think we were made out of mud because that is so much more convincing, oh sorry and women were made out of ribs, ok.

Cote, you exemplify the collective stupidity of the majority of the global population. Using the argument that "you can't disprove God any more than I can prove Him" just goes to show how weak minded you are. I can't prove that the tooth fairy or Santa Claus don't exist but THAT DOESN'T MAKE THEM EXIST!!!!! I can prove that God doesn't exist...because there isn't one single shred of evidence to indicate that he does. God is nothing but a myth. Religion is for the weak: those who do not have the fortitude to believe in themselves and have to believe in the space god.

Cote what prompted you to have a God poll as it were? Just curious.

How do I know if the voice in my head is God or just psychosis?

Mike,

Well, at the least Miami could've tried to be creative offensively (and defensively) and catch SF off-guard. Maybe we wouldn't have won against an all-around better team, but there was no way we should've been thumped. It's as if we went into the game just sticking to the usual..which obviously SF was going to strategize against. Defensively, probably not as much as we could do. But we blew the offensive part, which was Marino at his best.

That season, SF did lose to the Steelers...who we beat; so logic would suggest we should've had a chance. Most of SF's margins of victories during the season were less than that in the SB.

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