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July 20, 2012

The big sell-out: Heat, NBA to place ads on uniforms; plus Al Golden's new mess, The View From Miami (new video!), comics, Gators, ABA Floridians & more

1aa1me3GREG COTE (THAT'S ME) ANNOUNCES NEW VIDEO CHANNEL: This week I launched a new YouTube video channel for (almost) daily one-minute commentaries called 'The View From Miami.' My third and latest, on NBA uniform ads, is now posted. View all three so far at YouTube/TheGregCote.

1aa1lonmas[1) It is SUNDAY, JULY 22. No Random Evidence in print today; I've been on vacation from the paper this past week. Back to work Monday. 2) Penn State removed the Joe Paterno statue this morning. It was the right thing to do. 3) Has anyone yet satisfactorily explained why the London Olympics chose frightening amorphous Cyclops monsters (right) as their official mascots? I'm just asking. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

UGH! NBA APPROVES ADVERTISING ON UNIFORMS: The incremental death of civilization has its latest 1aa1adsunimilepost: NBA uniforms will include "small advertising patches" beginning with the 2013-14 season, the league announced late last night. Well, that's pending a September vote by the Board of Governors, but all indications are the shoulder-area ads will be approved unless maybe there is a public outcry in the meantime. It will be an estimated $100 million reveue stream for the league and its teams. The ads also will appear on replica jerseys that fans buy. Gawd. Seriously? It's bad enough that sports franchises sell their stadium and arena names to corporations and inundate spectators with a constant advertising barrage during games, but ads on uniforms is a significant step across 1aa1adsuni2a major, previously uncrossed line. The NBA will be the first of the Big 4 American pro sports to do this. But now that the seal is broken what do you bet the NFL, baseball and NHL follow in the money grab? Oh, and here's guessing those "small" advertising patches will get bigger over time, or not be limited to just one. We'll come to a point of sports prostitution when sponsors buy into team names themselves. "And tonight your Tsingtao Miami Heat take on the Prudential Boston Celtics..." Where does it end, people? I feel strongly about this. It's why I take a personal stand in my writing and refuse to use corporate names of facilities. Then again I also understand many others might think that sports' big sellout is no big deal, or even that it's smart business. Your vote and opinion are welcome.

Team USA stays perfect: Team USA men's basketball improved to 3-0 in Olympic tuneups with a 118-78 rout of host Great Britain. Heat's LeBron james had 16 points.

AL GOLDEN DEALING WITH MORE [BLEEP]: Poor Al Golden. His second Miami Hurricanes football season 1aa1algis dawning and, like his first, it is dawning under a cloud. The ACC media days are early next week in North Carolina, and NCAA-related questions will far outnumber football questions. New allegations are again courtesy Yahoo!, the same folks who broke last year's Nevin Shapiro pinata. This time the charge is that former assistant equipment manager Sean Allen (a Shapiro henchman) helped UM in recruiting, an allegation Golden (pictured) calls "simply false." Players named as having dealt with Allen are defenders Anthony Chickillo and Thomas Finnie and incoming freshman Duke Johnson and Herb Waters. (Finnie's father and Johnson's former coach deny wrongdoing). We'll see how this plays out. For now, it's just another headache Golden -- and UM football -- don't need. [See below for another perspective on Canes football).

A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE ON 'CANES FOOTBALL: Senior safety Ray-Ray Armstrong booted off the 1aa1ufarrHurricanes this week reminds us he was one of the guys with his hand out obliged by Nevin Shapiro, the now-jailed devil-booster whose actions still threaten Miami with future NCAA sanctions. A little perspective, though. Just look to Gainesville, where the off-field mess continues. Thirty-one player arrests under coach Urban Meyer (who drained The Swamp in a lot of ways) and now the number is up to 12 under Will Muschamp, who still is trying to clean up the culture fomented by Meyer before he bolted for Ohio State. Yes, some Canes wrongly accepted gifts, but it is the Gators' continuing, growing Urban-sprawl rap sheet that is this state's college football shame.

COMEDY WEEK WITH MEYERS, CALIENDO: Saw Saturday Night Live's wonderfully smug Seth Meyers at the Seminole Casino/Coconut Creek and then last night caught Frank Caliendo at the Hard Rock/Fort Lauderdale. That's a personal record for Most Comedy Shows Seen, Consecutive. Meyers is so typecast to me as SNL's "Weekend Update" guy that I wasn't sure how'd he be out from behind the desk but he does a classic, funny stand-up heavy on his stock-in-trade: sarcasm. Caliendo, whom I've seen before, is a great impressionist, of course. The audience could listen to his Bill Clinton all night. Got a chance to hang with Frank a few minutes afterward in the green room, which isn't green. (I happened to be a guest with Paul & Young Ron on Big 105.9 at the same time as Caliendo Thursday and told him I mourned for him that John Madden and Brett Favre both retired, which of course set up a riff by him as Madden. You're welcome.).

RETROSPECTIVE: THE MIAMI FLORIDIANS: The death of ex-player Warren Jabali is all the excuse I 1aa1miaflaneed for a quick, oddly fond retrospective on the ABA's Miami Floridians (1968-70), later simply The Floridians (1970-72). Given the franchise's brevity and lousy attendance it would unduly flatter to suggest this team paved the way for the Heat; nevertheless, it owns distinct niche in South Florida sports. Best player in club history was either Mack Calvin (All-ABA first team 1970-71) or Donnie Freeman (second-team twice), and you are a certifiable fan/historian if you know without Googling that the three head coaches were Jim Pollard, Hal Blitman and Bob Bass. (Might not have been a good idea that the cartoon guy in the original logo appeared to be dribbling blind).

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost. Hey I don't just say that. I mean it...

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