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November 23, 2012

NFL predix: Tough challenge awaits Dolphins, Tannehill; plus un-American NCAA, the shame of 138 points, Black Friday, Twinkie-stuffed bird & more

[1) It is FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23. Hope all of you had a happy Thanksgiving and that none of you are feeling as fat as I am today. 2) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

NFL PREDIX: TOUGH CHALLENGE FOR DOLPHINS, TANNEHILL: We're off the a good start, going 3-0 on our Thanksgiving Day picks (2-0-1 against the spread), including a bull's-eye on Redskins' upset in Dallas. Moving forward, 1aa1fripixthe 49ers, Bears, Steelers and (until recently) Texans get most of the credit for brutish defense, but the Seahawks have one of the toughest D's around, which I think Miami and rookie QB Ryan Tannehill will experience Sunday to their detriment, especially with Seattle coming off a bye. Make it Seabirds, 23-17, although I give Dolphins a big upset shot because the opponent has proven much better at home than away. Click on Week 12 Gems for all of our latest NFL picks. And on Patience, Please for our Friday Page column centered on the increasingly nervous riders on Ryan Tannehill's bandwagon.

NCAA'S UN-AMERICAN TACTIC IN CANES CASE: The NCAA telling players it will believe Nevin Shapiro's allegations against them unless those players agree to be interviewed is un-American. In this country -- 1aa1guiltlegally and, I think, morally -- we start from and hold to a presumption of innocence, not a presumption of guilt. Players not required to give tesimony have the right not to without that implying guilt in any way. It would be a travesty if the eventual punishment handed down to the University of Miami is worse than it otherwise might have because of this. The NCAA should renounce its own un-American stance.

1aa1blackfriON THE PHENOMENON OF 'BLACK FRIDAY': You could not pay me to enter a shopping mall today. I mean that quite literally. When anybody mentions the gullibility of the American people it conjures for me the marketing-created phenomenon called Black Friday (that's today), with shoppers lined up for what they are told (and believe, apparently) to be the official start of the Christmas buying season. Hordes of shoppers elbowing for position, sometimes coming to blows, to make a mad dash for a temporarily marked down TV. Store rage. Sad, sad.

THE OTHER SIDE OF JACK TAYLOR'S 138: LeBron James was amazed. Kobe Bryant was impressed. Doesn't 1aa1jacktanybody else but me have a problem with a small-college player scoring 138 points in a basketball game? That was Jack Taylor (pictured) of Division III Grinnell College of Iowa. He took 108 shots, 71 of them 3's. He averaged a shot every 20 seconds. When a player is allowed to redefine "ballhog" to that degree in his team's 75-point victory, I'm sorry, but what comes to my mind first is not that player's heroics, but rather the galling lack of sportsmanship.

A TWINKIE-STUFFED THANKSGIVING TURKEY: Click here. With video. God bless America!

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