[Immediately below this in the blog: Grade-the-Dolphins-draft post].
[Dolphins' GM Ireland gets ripped: Click here for an interesting new Yahoo.com piece on Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland. Paints a bit of a different portrait of him than the glowing, post-draft testimonial that appeared in Monday's Miami Herald].
MARINO VS. WADE: THE POLL: I wrote in my column (click here) off Sunday's Heat playoff win and his 46-point performance that it is time to say that Dwyane Wade has surpassed Dan Marino as the most exciting, talented athlete we have had on a local pro team. But I also think it is a close call and certainly open to debate. So let's debate. I last blogged on this in February 2009 and had a similar poll a couple of years ago, so it's time again. Take a dip in our poll and make your argument.
[Poll note: This is our latest to blast past 1,000 votes in its first day. Thanks again and keep 'em coming. Poll comment: Results so far no surprise. Marino winning solidly but hardly a landslide. In what clearly is a football town where Dolphins are king, call it a strong showing for Wade, even aided by the poll's timing].
FOUR CANES ON 2011 DRAFT HOT-LIST: Mel Kiper Jr., like rust, never sleeps. He's already looking at the 2011 NFL draft with top fives at every position, and UM Hurricanes mentioned are Allen Bailey (1st DE, pictured); Leonard Hankerson (3rd WR); Colin McCarthy (4th OLB); and Orlando Franklin (5th OG). Florida gators mentioned are OG Mike Pouncey and S Ahmad Black (both 3's). FSU Seminoles are OG Rodney Hudson (1), C Ryan McMahon (3), QB Christian Ponder (4) and FB Marcus Sims (4). Probably means Bailey will start a new first-round streak for Miami if he has a strong, healthy season. [Update: SportsIllustrated.com has a 2011 mock draft (no, seriously; click here) that has Bailey, who has played DE and DT, going 29th overall. Dolphins are projected to pick 19th and take Michigan State LB Greg Jones. No not another linebacker!!].
LATEST SUPER BOWL ODDS: Says Bodog: Jets SB odds have gone from 25-1 in February to 12-1 now. Miami's have gone from 45-1 to 30-1. Patriots holding steady at 10-1. Colts (8-1) and Saints (9-1) still lead overall. Post-draft odds also reflect trades and other developments. Brandon Marshall helped lower Dolphins odds. Redskins went from 50-1 to 28-1 after getting Donovan McNabb. And Steelers went from 11-1 to 18-1 with Ben Roethlisberger suspension.
ON ADALIUS THOMAS' AVAILABILITY: Patriots released veteran OLB Adalius Thomas Monday, and initial reports had him headed to the stinkin' Jets, rejoining Rex Ryan, for whom he played six years in Baltimore and earned two Pro Bowl bids. Althought now NYJ interest reportedly is limited. Thomas (pictured) can still produce (14.5 sacks in 35 Pats starts), but should Miami be interested? Probably not. Thomas is 32 and a bit of a malcontent, and the Dolphins just drafted what seemed like about 146 players who do what Thomas does. What does make him attractive, especially for Miami's evolving defensive schemes, is versatility. He is by trade a pass-rush-oriented OLB but at 6-2, 270 also can play inside-LB, end or even shift to tackle at times.
MILLEN ANALYZES POLACKS' LOVE OF BOLOGNA: Matt Millen was used to making draft day mistakes and having to apologize in his many years as Detroit Lions president, but he did it again as an ESPN analyst by referring to Ron Jaworski as a "polack." They were talking about fried bologna sandwiches when Millen said, "Ask any polack from Buffalo how they like them, right Jaws?" To which the unoffended Jaworski said something about preferring them with fried onions. Me? I think far fewer listeners were upset by the polack reference than by hearing two ESPN analysts on draft-day discussing fried bologna sandwiches.
[The above reminds me how interesting I find semantics in terms of what offends people. For example, one may not not properly refer to a Chinese man as a Chinaman. Also, when inquiring about someone's religion (itself gravely frowned upon), asking "Are you Jewish?" is more acceptable than "Are you a Jew?" It was once considered insulting to call an American a "Yank." That is no longer the case, except in Boston].
GAY SOFTBALLERS DEFEND THEIR SANCTITY: The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, which runs the Gay Softball World Series, is defending itself against a lawsuit brought by three San Francisco-area men who say they were banned from competing because they were not entirely gay, but rather more of a bisexual persuasion. Click here for the tale. I'd go on, but it might lead to a lame joke about the softball event not allowing switch-hitters. So I'll just move on.
REVENGE OF THE BULL: Famous Spanish bullfighter Jose Tomas was seriously injured after being gored in the groin during a competition. I wish Tomas well. However I doubt I am alone in generally rooting for the bull. That's especially true on the streets of Pamplona, but also in the ring. Pictured right: Sometimes the bullfighter wins; other times, he does not. Tease the wrong bull with your fey red cape at your own risk, Mr. Macho Matador!
THEY DON'T CALL THEM PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS FOR NOTHING: American track star LaShawn Merritt (400-meter gold, Beijing) tested positive for a banned substance that turned out to be ExtenZe. the over-the counter male enhancement product whose pitchmen include UM coach-turned-talking head Jimmy Johnson. Not sure what Merritt's penalty will be but it could be stiff. Did I just say that?
DEAR GREG: Your blog is OK, but it would be better if occasionally you would show a photo of a dog that has been humiliated by its owner in a dog-grooming contest, and yet has a loopy grin indicating an unawareness that even other dogs are laughing. Thank you.
Personal aside: Thanks to Paul & Young Ron (Big 105.9) for having me on the show this morning. I didn't realize how many people are up at 7:20 a.m. listening to the radio. I didn't know people were up that early doing anything.
THE LIST: HEAT PLAYOFF POINTS: Top five in postseason points in Heat history:
1. Dwyane Wade: 1,705 (65 games)
2. Alonzo Mourning: 989 (82)
3. Shaquille O'Neal: 751 (40)
4. Tim Hardaway: 605 (39)
5. Udonis Haslem: 487 (65)
Note: Wade's and Haslem's totals include current series.