Free advice: Which free agents-to-be should Dolphins most want back? Poll. Vote!; plus Heisman, NFL predix, wakeup call for embarrassed Heat & more
[1) It is SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8. A happy start of Hanukkah to our Jewish friends. And a fond appreciation of John Lennon, 32 years to the day since his murder. 2) Congrats to St. Thomas Aquinas, Miami Central and Cypress Bay for big football wins last night. 3) Did you remember to remember Pearl Harbor yesterday? 4) Have a feeling Marquez finally will beat Pacquiao tonight in Vegas. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
FREE ADVICE: TELL DOLPHINS WHICH OF THEIR BIG 7 FREE AGENTS YOU MOST WANT BACK: Seven prominent Dolphins starters (four on offense, three on D) will be free agents when their contracts expire after the season. Personnel lord Jeff Ireland is using the final month of the season to decide which if any he wants back, which if any he most wants to re-sign. Help him. Tell him. The team's Big 7 free agents-to-be are listed alphabetically in this poll. I know: It's tough to choose just three. For me, I'd count Clemons and Fasano at the bottom but consider all of the other five desirable to have back. How about you? Vote for the three (3) you most want back and say why.
YEAR OF THE WEIRD HEISMAN VOTE: The 78th Heisman Trophy is given tonight in New York and the three finalists -- Kansas State QB Collin Klein, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o -- make for a strange ballot and possible historic result. Klein, as a senior quarterback, would be the safest vote and most traditional winner, but he is seen as the underdog. The co-favorites would make history: Manziel as the first-ever freshman to win, and Te'o as the first linebacker to win and first defender of any kind since 1997. I'd like to see Te'o win but think Manziel will. But here is a real possibility: If enough voters can't bring themselves to vote for a defender or to anoint a freshman, Klein could win almost be default. Should make for a more interesting than usual Heisman announcement.
NFL PREDIX: TALLEST TEST YET FOR DOLPHINS: Sunday's game in San Francisco looks like the unlikeliest victory yet for Miami, exceeding even the opener at Houston. Cannot see a struggling Dolphins offense doing much against an excellent Niners D. Click on Week 14 Gems for all our latest NFL predictions. Click King Sport Three-Quarters Awards for our Friday Page column. Is it time to start thinking of Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck not just in the rookie of the year race but also as league MVP candidates? Getting there.
HEAT, THIS IS YOUR WAKEUP CALL: Interesting week for the Heat. First Miami becomes the first NBA defending champion to lose to a team with as awful a record as the Wizards. Then last night Miami suffers its worst home loss of the Big 3 era with all three playing, allowing the Knicks 18 3-point baskets. I think this twin embarrassment could be the double-slap this team needed. Coach Erik Spolestra admitted last night, "We need to address our defense." LeBron James (pictured) acknowledged, "We need more sense of urgency." They also need more D-Wade, more Chalmers and better defense -- perimeter to rim. Early December is way too early to panic, yes. But the national media is just waiting for the chance to portray the Big 3 Heat as a collapsing one-hit-wonder that won't repeat. More weeks like this one will open that floodgate.
MORE ON THE FIU/CRISTOBAL DEBACLE: Speculated frontrunner Butch Davis has indicated he is not interested in replacing wrongly fired Mario Cristobal at FIU. Just as well. Davis would be a recycled older coach who'd consider the school beneath him. What FIU needs is a young, talented, energetic coach who wants to be here, somebody like, well ... like Mario Cristobal! (I wonder if AD Pete Garcia is figuring out that he made a really bad mistake?)
Poll result: Go, Irish! (But not by a landslide): We asked in the previous blogpost if you are rooting for Alabama or Notre Dame in the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship in Miami, and the Fighting Irish won with 60.3 percent to the Tide's 39.7.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...