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September 08, 2010

NFL Week 1 predix: Dolphins, but barely; plus judging Parcells (with Tuna poll), Koran-burning, The Rock vs. Tressel in Canes-OSU mouthoff, Pat White & more

[Follow at Twitter.com/gregcote. Unless you're too a-scared!]

1aacote 1aacote2 UPSET BIRD WEEK!: Welcome to Upset Bird Week in South Florida, culminating with today's launch of the 20th Anniversary Season of our Friday NFL predictions page featuring the Upset Bird. ("Aawwk!") An official proclamation by city of Miami mayor Tomas Regalado declaring this Upset Bird Week might have been issued had the mayor responded to any of my emails.

NFL WEEK 1 PREDIX: DOLPHINS WIN (BARELY): Click on Week 1 Gems for my opening salvo. I like Dolphins slipping past Bills 17-16, and Ravens-over-Jets tops a parade up upsets. Click on Say Cheese for my rpix-page column prevewing the season. I have Green bay winning the Super Bowl, Dolphins finishing third in their division at 8-8.

PAT WHITE SIGNS WITH ... ROYALS?: It's true. The vanquished Dolphins' second-round pick signed a minor-league baseball contract today with Kansas City. So, when Bill Parcells thought Pat had pro potential, well, he might still be right after all!

COMPUTER PUTS DOLPHINS AT 7.2 WINS: A website that intrigues us, predictionmachine.com, computes 50,000 simulations of every game to figure a team's likelihood of winning. How accurate? No idea. But interesting. And, based on what the site sent me, looking pretty legit, too. Here are its percentages of Miami winning each game this year, listed from most likely to least likely wins. Dolphins are 50%-plus on eight games but somehow given a victory over/under of 7.2 wins:

78.1% likely to win--Week 13 vs. Browns; 73.0%--W16 vs. Lions; 67.2%--W15 vs. Bills; 55.7%--W11 vs. Bears; 51.5%--W7 vs. Steelers; 51.3%--W1 at Bills; 50.5%--W10 vs. Titans; 50.5%--W12 at Raiders; 40.8%--W4 vs. Patriots; 34.6%--W2 at Vikings; 34.5%--W3 vs. Jets; 31.9%--W8 at Bengals; 28.2%--W17 at Patriots; 23.9%--W6 at Packers; 23.1%--W14 at Jets; and 22.9%--W9 at Ravens.

THE TUNA POLL: YOU JUDGE PARCELLS: Bill Parcells spent two years running and rebuilding the Dolphins as total-control personnel boss before retreating to an advisor's role and ceding power this week to Jeff Ireland. You have lived Tuna's successes and failures. (One of the latters: Center Jake Grove was cut Thursday, meaning Miami got 10 games out of him for its $14.5 million expenditure). Perhaps an opinion has formed? Take a dip in our poll and say why you voted as you did.

THE ROCK VS. TRESSEL IN CANES-OSU WAR OF WORDS!: Click on Sweater Vest Stompin' Ass-Kicking for a for a video message from UM alum Dwayne "The Rock" Johson about Saturday's Canes game at Ohio State. And click Sweater Vest Strikes Back for a retort by the fake Little Jim Tressel.

1aakoran TERRY JONES IS A DANGEROUS NUT: The man pictured left might look like a dressed-up Jed Clampett -- or maybe the less-accomplished brother of Howard Schnellenberger? -- but heads the 50-member "Dove World Outreach Center" in Gainesville and plans Saturday -- Sept. 11 -- to burn copies of the Koran, the Muslim holy book. Most everyone including the doves have condemned him, although evidently his 50 disciples have lost their tongues and spines. If I find a way to blame this outrage on Urban Meyer, I'll let you know.

ON REGGIE BUSH'S HEISMAN: Let him keep it. You can't rewrite history. You don't take away Barry Bonds' MVP awards for what you learned later. You don't erase O.J. Simpson's name from the Heisman for what happened later. Bush's name and his Heisman are forever sullied. But lete him keep his diminished trophy.

1aafifa MIAMI WOWS FIFA DELEGATION: Miami, bidding to host World Cup games in 2018, hosted FIFA delegates for a tour of the Dolphins' stadium Wednesday. Here we see diminutive yet impressive local-bid person Donna Shalala, the UM president, striding purposefully along Stephen Ross' ridiculous orange carpet. Also pictured: Dolphin cheerleaders, assigned to curry favor with the voting delegates with sexual charms. I'm just kidding. That was the Heat Dancers' job!

MAN BREAKS WORLD RECORD FOR "GET A LIFE": Click here if you don't believe me.

1aamom WOMAN ELIMINATED IN MOM-OF-YEAR SEARCH: Click here.

EVER READ A HEADLINE...: ...that left you unsure whether to feel happy or nauseous? Click here.

THE LIST: SO FLA'S 20-YEAR NFL MEN: Brett Favre this year becomes only the 13th man to play in at least 20 NFL seasons. Four of that select group are former Hurricanes or played for the Dolphins. Impress your friends by acting like you knew the four were:

22   Jeff Feagles (Hurricanes), 1988-2009

21   Earl Morrall (Dolphins), 1956-76

21   Vinny Testaverde (Hurricanes), 1987-2007

20   Junior Seau (Dolphins), 1990-2009

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