[1) It is WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28. See results of latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in blogpost directly below this newest one. 2) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
R.I.P., Sean Taylor: Remembering the former Hurricanes and Redskins safety on this week's fifth anniversary of his murder, Nov. 27, 2007.
WHAT SHOULD A MARLINS FAN DO?: It has been two weeks now since the Marlins' latest big salary-dump/sell-off, the one that felt like a betrayal and seemed to be the last straw for so many angry fans. Sports-talk phone lines and Internet comments bulged with outrage. Threats of boycotts were floated. A hilarious local poll found club owner Jeffrey Loria only slightly more popular in Miami than long-standing diablo Fidel Castro. We can all agree that Loria has earned his unpopularity with a history of ownership that suggests his own pocket has clear priority over his team or its fans. Two weeks later, though, as we reflect, how should disappointed Marlins fans move forward? What is the right course of action for someone who might both despise Loria and yet wish to support the hometown team? Is it right or even possible to separate the two -- to continue to cheer for the Marlins without feeling hyprocritical for, in effect, supporting Loria? I personally feel the Marlins are bigger than the current owner and that fans can support a team while simultaneously abhorring the way it is being run. But I may be wrong. Difficult questions. So let's take a shot at some answers. Vote and say why you feel as you do.
"Q-U-I-T, QUIT!": FIREMAN ED QUITS THE J-E-T-S, JETS!: Jets superfan Edwin Anzalone, best known as "Fireman Ed," has hung up his helmet, and I'm not sure what makes this story more ludicrous: That it would somehow be national news. Or that it's so predictable that this dude's "retirement" will be temporary. "I will attend games as usual, just not as Fireman Ed," he said. OK, whatever. Meantime we shall miss your angry face and abject sadness as an iconic, Dolfan-delighting symbol of Jet futility. Hey, maybe Tim Tebow can put on the helmet and become Fireman Tim! He isn't doing much else.
HOW GOOD ARE THE HEAT?: Seems like a dumb question, right? They're the NBA champs. They're 10-3. Of course they're good. Very. But are they repeat-champion good? There is not early unanimity on that. Miami is 23rd in defense, allowing 100.3 points per game. They are only fourth (for what it's worth) in the latest ESPN power rankings, after Memphis, the Knicks and Oklahoma City. So the next two games could be telling for the Heat -- an opportunity to reiterate their champ's standing, or feed the quiet doubts. San Antonio is here Thursday and then Brooklyn Saturday, two teams a combined 21-7.
UM'S GOLDEN ADMITS FRUSTRATION OVER POSTSEASON BAN: Canes coach Al Golden admitted to WQAM's Joe Rose that frustration over the university's self-imposed postseason ban related to the NCAA investigation was at its worst in the lockerroom after the victory over Duke, describing the team's attitude thusly: "We should be getting ready to play Florida State in Charlotte [in Saturday's ACC championship game]. We've got one of the hottest quarterbacks in America and we can't got to the championship game. It's disappointing." Golden also again brushed aside speculation he might leave, and voiced support for embattled defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. (For more on what Golden meant by "one of the hottest quarterbacks in America," see below...)
CANES' MORRIS WINS 2012 SOPY AWARD, THE "STATE HEISMAN": This year our blog debuted the State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) standings, a weekly updated list of the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven FBS schools: Miami, FSU and Florida, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. We declare Canes QB Stephen Morris (pictured) the 2012 winner because the two teams with one regular-season game left (South Florida, FAU) have no one within range. Our formula awards a half-point for every passing yard and one point for every rushing or receiving yard, with six points for every TD scored or thrown. We'll present our final top 20 next week. For now, the SOPY Top 10 entering Week 14:
Rank (LW) Player, Team-pos. SOPY Pts. Week=Year
1 (2) Stephen Morris, Miami-qb 194.5 = 1,900.5
2 (1) E.J. Manuel, FSU-qb 163 = 1,868.5
3 (4) Blake Bortles, UCF-qb 145.5 = 1,597.5
4 (3) B.J. Daniels, South Florida-qb DNP = 1,585.5
5 (5) Jake Medlock, FIU-qb DNP = 1,395.5
6 (6) Graham Wilbert, FAU-qb BYE = 1,392.5
7 (8) Mike Gillislee, Florida-rb 174 = 1,316
8 (10) Duke Johnson, Miami-rb 206 = 1,244
9 (9) Latavius Murray, UCF-rb 111 = 1,233
10 (7) Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb 59.5 = 1,229.5
Bubble: Mike James, Miami-rb, 1,119.
State of the State rankings: 1. Florida (11-1); 2. FSU (10-2); 3. Miami (7-5); 4. UCF (9-3); 5. South Florida (3-8); 6. FIU (3-9); 7. FAU (3-8).
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: A double dose of bad. NFL predix: Went 8-8 straight-up last week (awful) despite nailing two outright upset picks on Redskins over Cowboys and Jaguars over Titans. Was 4-6-6 against the spread; two winners pushed (Texans, Falcons) and four games were off-the-board when I picked them. Fantasy: Greg's Lobos lost 124-104 despite 27 from Andre Johnson, fell to a dismal 3-9 and were eliminated from playoff contention. Otherwise a good week!
MOST-SEARCHED ATHLETES OF 2012: The top 10, in order, according to Bing: Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, Tim Tebow, Maria Sharapova, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams, Lamar Odom (assist to Khloe Kardashian), LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo and Terrell Owens.
VENDING-MACHINE CAVIAR: Three Beverly Hills-area malls now have vending machines (pictured) that dispense ultra-gourmet items including caviar -- some $500 an ounce -- escargot and truffles. Hmm. Would you think less of me if I just stuck with a Cinnabon?
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...