[1) It is MONDAY, AUGUST 20. Watch for a new blogpost later today. 2) LATEST VIDEO! Watch our newest video -- a post-mortem of the Dolphins' loss at Carolina -- at YouTube/TheGregCote. All 13 "The View From Miami" mini-commentaries I've done so far are there. 3) Marlin's Giancarlo Stanton hit a 495-foot home run the other night. Good lord. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
UPSET BIRD COUNTDOWN: 18 DAYS: The Upset Bird and I kick off our season of Friday NFL prediction pages Sept. 7, and began a 21-day countdown that each day will honor a notable bird. Following the former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, today we welcome the classic comedic prop, Rubber Chicken.
PS2: CAROLINA 23, DOLPHINS 17: TANNEHILL FAILS TO NAIL DOWN STARTING JOB, MIAMI DROPS TO 0-2 IN PRETEND GAMES: Miami hopes and plans to name a starting quarterback this coming week, before preseason game No. 3. Friday night's 23-17 loss at Carolina didn't make coach Joe Philbin's decision any easier. Rookie Ryan Tannehill, who started Friday, failed to maintain momentum from last week, only going 11-for-23 for 100 yards, and incumbent Matt Moore was a mere 3-for-10 for 33 yards. Reserve Pat Devlin looked pretty good late before throwing a last-second end-zone interception. If only shaky QB play was the only issue. Receivers had a lousy, drop-filled game, underlining WR as a Dolphins soft spot. The offensive line was shaky, especially the second unit. The defense wasn't very good; Panthers QB Cam Newton had his way early on. And is anybody but me a bit concerned that for a second straight game no real attention was paid to the running game? Beyond that a combined 27 penalties made the game nearly unwatchable. Now, midway through the preseason for Miami, there remain lots of issues to correct and one major decision (QB) still unresolved. ..... Original post: The Dolphins will likely name a season-opening starting quarterback in a few days, in time for the third preseason game, and so it is logical to think the job will swing unmistakably to either Matt Moore or rookie Ryan Tannehill if either is clearly better tonight at Carolina. Since Moore started last week (in lieu of injured David Garrard) I'd be surprised if Tannehill did not start tonight and I was right. He's starting. Let's see what he can do against a starting defense. Miami will sit several slightly injured starters this evening but still will want to see improvement from last week's loss to Tampa Bay, especially on pass defense. For this team right now, though, it's all about the quarterback, about somebody stepping forward. LeBron James had "The Decision." Joe Philbin faces one of those, too, and I suspect tonight will help make it for him.
PATRIOTS TO SIGN DEMPS: The Dolphins' climb in the AFC East just got steeper because the Patriots just got better. Or at least faster. Olympic silver-medalist sprinter Jeff Demps is signing with New England, according to various reports. Seven or eight teams were interested in the former Florida Gators star running back. Would have been an interesting fit for Miami.
HURRICANES TO SEE DEBUT OF AWFUL NEW NOTRE DAME UNIFORMS: This week Notre Dame revealed its new alternate football uniforms that will first be worn Oct. 6 vs. the University of Miami at Soldier Field. The helmets pictured are particularly bad.
Poll result: LeBron will (or might) surpass Michael Jordan: Few of our poll votes surprise me, but this did. In the previous blogpost I asked if you thought LeBron James will someday be considered greater than Michael Jordan (you can still vote), and a plurality of 38.5 percent said yes, another 36.9% said possibly, and only 24.6% said no. Take away votes from Florida, where Heat-related bias would most be a factor, and the 'yes' or 'possibly' votes still outnumber 'no' votes.
FOOD STAMPS FOR DESSERT?: This story interests me. Andrea Taber (pictured), owner of Ever So Humble Pie, a Massachusetts bakery, is controversially in the news for refusing to accept food stamps, saying, "American taxpayers should not be footing the bill for people's dessert." To some the case has racial tones; she says not. I think her stand is valid. Sensible. Food stamps are supposed to be for essentials, not luxuries. You can't use them for cigarettes or lottery tickets, for example. Doesn't seem unreasonable that pies and cakes might join the no-buy list.
PUSSY RIOT SENT TO JAIL: You thought Russia had softened its intolerance of dissent? It hasn't. A Moscow judge has sentenced the three members of Russian female punk band Pussy Riot each to two years in prison on "hooliganism" charges stemming from a cathedral protest against Vladimir Putin. Click here for the story. The case has drawn much attention because of the band's support from human rights groups and from major music artists including Paul McCartney.
HEADLINES YOU THOUGHT YOU'D NEVER SEE: Click here. (It's the parents who named him who should be arrested).
DAVID BECKHAM, LARGER THAN LIFE: Ten-foot almost-nude statues (pictured) of soccer star/underwear model/apparent heartthrob David Beckham will soon appear all over the United States in an ad campaign for his "underwear collection." For some reason this makes me sad. But I am thankful at least that the woman in the photo isn't doing to the Beckham statue what she might have been. (Use your imagination...)
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