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December 20, 2012

What feats most define Miami sports? (with poll) Vote now; plus trading Cam Wake?, NFL predix, Samson/790 parting, Polanco, Heat, preying on Newtown & more

1aa1ted[1) It is SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22. I know Dallas was Dirk-less and down, but very impressed by the Heat the other night, especially the defensive quickness that utterly repelled the Mavs. 2) Just watched the movie 'Ted.' Draggy, cliche ending but liked it overall. Anyone who loves 'Family Guy' would be predisposed in that direction. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Thought of the day: I bet $1, with billion-to-one odds, that the world really would end Friday as predicted. Had I win ... where would I have collected?

END OF THE WORLD POLL: WHAT DEFINES MIAMI SPORTS?: Two big things were to happen Friday. 1) It was winter solstice! 2) The world would end, or so said the Mayan calendar. It was amazing to me how the looming 1aa1dol 1aa1heat 1aa1hurr 1aa1marlapocalypse was so nonchalantly regarded. For example, the Dolphins never announced a ticket refund plan for the Sunday home game that obviously would have been lost -- not to the Bills, but to oblivion. Sure, the Y2K end-of-the-world never happened, but why assume this one wouldn't? In that spirit, and now to celebrate the globe's survival, our world-didn't-end poll aims to name what most defines sports in Greater Miami. The question is broad. We offer 1aa1endfour choices and you may pick your top two. (If we gave you three it'd be too easy, right?) Vote and say why, and if you chose "something else," what, pray tell? Then get on down into the bunker because, seriously, you never know.

NFL PREDIX: DOLPHINS GET EARLY CHRISTMAS GIFT: The gift is Buffalo and the Bills' fairly awful defense, the first in King Sport since 1986 to allow 45 or more points in four games. Like Jacksonville last week, this is a soft home opponent against whom the Dolphins cannot lose, and won't. Click on Week 16 Gems for all our latest NFL pix. And on Spinning The Records for our Friday Page NFL notes column leading with Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson chasing major season records.

Trading Cam Wake?: ESPN has crackpot speculation this week listing Dolphins sackman Cameron Wake among the NFL's top five most tradeable players. The logic: He's 30, and his backup, Olivier Vernon, is pretty good. My take: He is Miami's best defender and worth more to his team than you'd realistically get in return. And the club already has stockpiled draft picks. Keep him barring some silly-big offer.

Dolphins switch placekickers: Team signed longtime former Charger Nate Kaeding to work the final two games after placing Dan carpenter on injured reserve.

BLOG EXCLUSIVE!: WHY MARLINS' SAMSON NO LONGER ON 790 THE TICKET: The owner stepped in. Neither Marlins president David Samson nor 790 The Ticket wanted to end Samson's weekly show with Dan Le Batard in which Samson discussed movies along with baseball, but owner Jeffrey Loria didn't like the segment and finally exerted his authority. Add this to the view of Loria as a micro-manager to a fault. Another example: His hands-on editing of Showtime's The Franchise series starring the Marlins.

1aa1placidoOn Placido Polanco signing: Marlins announced they have signed veteran third baseman Placido Polanco (pictured) to a one-year deal. He spent last season with Phillies but battled back issues. He is 37 and past-prime but if healthy is a positive signing. He's a solid defender, a good clubhouse guy and a career .299 hitter.

RICK PITINO SCHOOLS HIS KID, FIU: No. 5 Louisville dreams of a men's basketball national 1aa1fatherchampionship. FIU dreams of mere respectability. It was a mismatch in L-ville this week and you know the final score could have been far worse than 79-55 if not for Daddy Rick Pitino showing paternal pity upon FIU rookie coach/famous offspring Richard Pitino. I'm not sure if the meeting was particularly meaningful outside the Pitino family, but it rates a mention here because the blog has always looked for -- and until now never found --  a reason to run a photo of Robert Young as wise Jim Anderson in the 1954-60 TV sitom, Father Knows Best.

The road to March Madness: Louisville, Kentucky and Michigan all have current 12-1 odds to win the national title, trailing only Indiana at 5-1, Duke 6-1 and Florida 10-1. Miami is 66-1 and running fifth for the ACC crown after Duke, N.C. State, North Carolina and Maryland.

VAN GUNDY'S HEAT WARNING: Stan Van Gundy said on 790 The Ticket that the Heat cannot repeat as champions playing defense the way they are now. To that I would add that Miami is presently last in the NBA in rebounding. But Heat has played D much better lately, including last night in Dallas. Heat is 17-6 and second in the conference after the Knicks right now, but the hand-wringing is for what waits beyond the East, in The Finals. Oklahoma City is looking better than last year, Memphis has showed it matches up well with Miami, and the L.A. Clippers are demanding to be taken seriously.

Poll result: Mixed feelings on Cowboy's barring Josh Brent: We asked in the previous blogpost if you agreed with the Cowboys and NFL banning player Josh Brent from the sideline because of his manslaughter-DUI charge even though the victim's mother asked for compassion. A plurality of 48.6 percent said yes. But, combined, a slight majority either said no (39.2%) or were undecided (12.2%).  

SHAME IN WAKE OF NEWTOWN TRAGEDY: I read that a scam website is soliciting donations in the 1aa1godname of one of the young victims, Noah Pozner. Even more galling, the outrageously infamous Westboro Baptist Church threatened to picket funerals and vigils associated with the murder of 26 at a Connecticut elementary school because, said a church spokeswomen, "God sent the shooter." And also because Connecticut legalized gay marriage. This is the same crackpot church that has protested at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Terrorism remains the most sinful misuse of the name of God, but right after terrorism I'd nominate the Westboro Baptist Church. I love free speech, but must doubt that this is what the framers had in mind. 

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...

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