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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.