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March 20, 2012

Garrard vs. Moore for Dolphins' start ... should Tebow be in play, too? Vote now (with poll); plus Heat, March Madness 'n Canes, Panthers & more

[1) It is Wednesday, March 21. Live Chat Wednesday, our weekly Q&A, returns for another round today 1-2 p.m. Click HERE to join us live then or to post questions now. 2) Hope Yeremiah Bell re-signs. A good safety and a better guy. 3) Thanks to Bonnie Gross for having us speak to her FAU multimedia journalism class. Enjoyed it. 4) Lady Gaga says here she won't do any more press interviews for a long time. The group, People Who Believe Her, would not fill a Kia. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote].

1aa1protest 1aa1finsprotest 1aa1jeffirelandOCCUPY DAVIE?: About 35 protestors (pictured) gathered across the street from Dolphins' HQ in Davie yesterday to protest the club's direction under owner Stephen Ross and GM Jeff Ireland. Sign of the Day "FIRELAND!"

Click on Leading the League in Rejection for my latest column, on the Dolphins' offseason woes.

DOLPHINS SIGN QB DAVID GARRARD: Whirlwind times for the Dolphins. Last night they signed QB David Garrard (pictured right), the ex-Jaguar. Would think that effectively eliminates the hopes to get Alex 1aa1davidgarrardSmith, just as Peyton Manning choosing Denver will likely make available Tim Tebow (pictured left). The 49ers not landing Manning likely means they will now re-sign Smith,  erasing yet another option from the Dolphins. Will the last person to reject the Dolphins please turn out the light? This planned major quarterback upgrade is not coming easily for the Dolphins. It may not come at all. The winner in all this? Maybe Matt Moore, who is looking more and more like he'll keep his starting job. Doubt Garrard is better. 1aa1tebowtAnd neither is Tebow. With no Smith, I think Miami should and will end up sticking with Moore for another year and move to draft and develop Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill. Then again, the way the Dolphins' luck is running, somebody else will draft Tannehill first and Moore will bust his ankle jet-skiing. Oh, and Chad Henne will make the Pro Bowl for Jacksonville. Do not think Tebow will be pursued. Isn't good enough. He would be a splash signing in terms of headlines and buzz, but don't count on it. Ross and Ireland need help, though. Should they pursue a trade for Tebow assuming the asking price is fair? Vote now and say why. Interesting, evolving results. Check back often to monitor... 

Flynn on Seattle over Miami: Matt Flynn on Seattle radio topday, about choosing the Seahawks over Dolphins despite his familiarty with Joe Philbin: "I felt it’s a program that’s really on the rise, doing the right thing, is being led by the right type of people." A veiled shot at Ireland et al?

Manning, Tebow bettling lines: Nobody puts up lines quicker than Bovada. They have Peyton Manning over/unders for Broncos as 4,000 passing yards and 28.5 TD passes. Tim Tebow's destination is Jaguars at 3-2, Broncos and Dolphins both 7-4, Patriots 7-1 and Browns 12-1. Revised Super Bowl odds have Packers 13-2, Patriots 15-2, Saints 10-1, and Texans and Broncos both 12-1 -- Denver up from 50-1 last month. Miami is 40-1 (mid-pack tie for 17th), from 35-1 last month.

HEAT'S COUNTDOWN TO OKLAHOMA CITY: Revenge upon Orlando completed with Miami's 13th straight home win, check. Impressive late rally to beat Phoenix last night for 14th straight home win, check. Now Heat fans' next red circle on the calendar should be this coming Sunday's visit to Oklahoma City in the teams' first meeting of the season -- and a likely or at least very possible NBA Finals preview. Meantime, with the regular season two-thirds finished, time to start paying attention to conference standings and likely playoff pairings. Miami, as it stands, would draw creaking Boston in the first round.

1aa1ozhouseIT'S GOOD BEING OZZIE GUILLEN: Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen posted on his website a picture of the shack he's living in up in Jupiter during spring training, and we pass it along for your edification.

MADNESS UPDATE / NATIONAL: REST TIME FOR THE SWEET 16: No. 11 seed North Carolina State would be Cinderella in the men's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 if not for 13th seed Ohio, and I wonder if a few 1aa1sweet16Miami Hurricanes fans have thought, "That should be us." N.C. State was the last ACC invite, bumping UM. Anyway, the Madness breathes and rests for a few days before Sweet 16 games start Thursday. UPSET WATCH: Through 48 games so far, the biggest upsets by seed have been by 15s Lehigh and Norfolk, by 13 Ohio and by 12s Virginia Commonwealth and South Florida. In all there have been 13 upsets in 48 games, or 27.1 percent. MY BRACKET: I'm alive with 10 of the 16 survivors. Could be worse, I guess. My bracket-killers have been Missouri and Florida State; I had both reaching the Final Four. Too much faith in the ex-Canes coaches, Frank Haith and Leonard Hamilton.

Updated Madness betting lines: From Bovada, Kentucky is a clear national-championship fave at 11-5, followed by Ohio State 5-1, Michigan State and North Carolina both 13-2, and Kansas 8-1. Glass slipper fits Ohio at 100-1. 

1aa1katiemeierMADNESS UPDATE / MIAMI: CANES WOMEN, MEN BOTH ELIMINATED: Tough night for The U in hoops last night. UM women were upset in round two of the NCAAs by Gonzaga on their home court in Spokane, after routing Idaho State in their tourney opener. Canes were again without suspended star Riquna Williams. Kudos to Katie Meier (pictured) for a righteous decision many coaches would not have had the nerve to make. The Miami men, trying to make the best of the NIT, hosted Minnesota but lost after beating Valparaiso in their opener.

ICE ON FIRE AS PANTHERS STAY HOT: Overshadowed by the Heat, the Dolphins' QB calamity and nationally by March Madness, the Florida Panthers last night won a fifth straight games, the club's best streak in four years to maintain a five-point division lead with 10 games left. Cats have lost as many games (36) as they've won and been outscored by 16 goals, but first is first is first. Especially for a club that last made the playoffs in 2000 and last won a playoff series in halcyon 1997.

BETHENNY FRANKEL UPDATE: Reality cougar Bethenny Frankel appeared on TV the other day, dropped for a pushup and flashed her nearly bare bottom. Click here if you don't believe it. I couldn't say it if it weren't true. This is a blog!

1aa1fenway100FOR RED SOX FANS: Most of the sports books I am sent sit unread. An exception is Fenway: A Fascinating First Century (Sports Illustrated Books, $32.95), which I'd recommend as a must-have for Boston Red Sox fans and which would also nicely grace the coffee table of anyone enamored of baseball history. Well, not counting Yankees fans. They should probably skip it.

THE LIST: HOME STADIUMS AND ARENAS: With Opening Day in 16 days, Marlins Park will become only the sixth different South Florida facility to be home to one of our Big Four pro teams. The stadiums and arenas...

DOLPHINS: Orange Bowl (1966-86); Dolphins stadium (1987-present).

HEAT: Miami Arena (1988-99); Downtown bayside arena (2000-present).

MARLINS: Dolphins stadium (1993-2011); Marlins Park (beginning 2012).

PANTHERS: Miami Arena (1993-97); Sunrise arena (1998-present).

Click back. Will be updating and adding more to this latest blogpost...

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