Spoof of Serena Williams: Racist or fun? (w/ poll, vid); plus Dolphins' No. 1 draft pick revealed (quack!), 12-12-12 concert, Heat critics, Golden angry, Herald building & more
[1) It is THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13. Hope y'all had a happy 12-12-12! 2) A high-school girls' basketball team, Bloomington South of Indiana, won a game, 107-2. Yes, one-hundred and seven to two. If coach Larry Winters also teaches at the school, I'm guessing what he teaches isn't sportsmanship. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
Dolphins-Jags on local TV: Club just announced, early evening today, that Sunday's Dolphins game here would be televised locally.
WOZNIACKI LAMPOONS SERENA'S FULL FIGURE: RACIST OR FUN?: I find this interesting. I find anything interesting when two people can view the same thing and see it so differently. Caroline Wozniacki, former world No. 1 tennis player, this week had some fun at the expense of reigning WTA player of the year Serena Williams during an exhibition match in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Wozniacki stuffed her shirt and skirt with towels (pictured) to impersonate the buxom figure of Williams. Click here for the video. Some in the Twitterverse are outraged; others see it as harmless fun. I lean toward the latter (hard to offend me), but also see the sensitivity. Does it matter that Wozniacki and Williams are friends? Does it matter how Serena reacts? (She has not commented). Should it be a factor that Williams herself makes frequent reference to her buxom top and full bottom? What if another black woman had done the spoof instead of Wozniacki? Part of my thought here is that Wozniacki was not making fun of a physical deformity but rather offering a caricature of a figure that many and perhaps most find quite appealing. Certainly debatable, though. Your thoughts welcome. Vote in our new poll and say why.
A FIERCE-DEFENDING LEBRON TELLS WADE'S DOUBTERS TO BE QUIET: [Heat lose last night at home to Golden State. Looks like it's going to be one of those seasons. Dramamine, please] Original post: Just two games ago Miami had embarrasingly lost at awful Washington then been routed at home by New York and the critics were out. They were personified by professional blowhard Charles Barkley broadcasting that Dwyane Wade is "starting to lose his talent." Well, two games later Miami has beaten New Orleans and then impressively whipped a strong Atlanta team, 101-92. Wade in those past two games has scored 52 points on lights-out 20-for-25 shooting. Asked what that says, James said last night, "It means Charles Barkley needs to shut up." Wade had pretty much said the same thing, but with his actions, not words. LeBron -- as good a teammate as he is a player -- may have meant that "shut up" to encompass the Heat's critics in general, all of the ones who cower as if the sky were falling with any defeat. Yes, Miami has defensive issues (being addressed) and, no, Wade, turning 31 next month, isn't as consistently explosive as he was a few years ago -- especially because he is not yet fully recovered from offseason knee surgery. But the past couple of redeeming games have reminded us anew that doubters shall dismiss the champion Heat -- and D-Wade -- at their own peril. It happened that Jay-Z and Beyonce and Floyd Mayweather Jr. were prominently among the Miami crowd the last game, a sign that this Heat team is built for the occasion and can rise up and put on a show when it needs to. For me, Miami continues the NBA favorite to repeat. And Wade, despite the occasional mortal night, continues an essential piston in the engine.
ON THE 12-12-12 BENEFIT CONCERT: A wonderful benefit, Sandy relief, and a starry lineup of acts. Thought it was mostly all good but the negative that stood out, for me, was that The Who and Kanye West were on stage for way, way too long. Get the hook!
GOLDEN FUMING OVER LATEST PLAYER ARREST: Cornerback Thomas Finnie's arrest in a campus laptop theft has left UM football coach Al Golden "very angry," we've been told by an associate who has spoken to Golden since the arrest. "Al understands that you lose some kids early [to the NFL], but he doesn't get that you lose other guys because of dumba-- stuff like this," said the source. "It's just ridiculous. Anytime. But especially now." The Hurricanes, of course, await an NCAA Notice of Allegations at any moment in the Nevin Shapiro case. UM's institutional control over its athletes (or lack thereof) is part of the case, which is probably why Finnie (pictured) was immediately and indefinitely suspended. His UM career may be over. (Ever notice that "Finnie" and "finished" are almost the same word?) Dear UM Athletes: This is a particularly bad time to act like a dumba--. Yours is not a coach in the mood. Behave, please. Go to class and do not get arrested. Too much to ask?
GOODELL'S EMBARRASSMENT: This week's overturn of those Saints players suspensions in the Bountygate matter socks NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with a major embarrassment. It also would clearly seem to strengthen Jonathan Vilma's defamation suit against Goodell. This whole issue is a permanent stain on the commissioner's reputation and resume.
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: Sort of positive news both ways... NFL predix: We went 11-5 overall and 8-6-2 against the spread last week, including an Upset of the Week bull's-eye with Vikings over Bears ("Aawwk!") and and other outright upset hit with Cowboys over Bengals. The two ties were a Packers push and Chargers-Steelers off the board when I played it. Greg's Lobos: My fantasy team ended a sad, 4-10 non-playoff season on the upbeat with a 98-88 win, though I had nobody top the critical 17 points I got from Andre Johnson Monday night. We'll get 'em next year. Well, probably not. But we'll say we will!
DOLPHINS' 2013 NO. 1 DRAFT PICK IS...: ... a Duck! Quack. Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan (pictured) will be the guy, according to ESPN's Todd McShay in his new Mock Draft 1.0, for what it's worth. McShay predicts Jordan goes to Miami 12th overall. I think Miami would prefer a receiver or cornerback but would look for a pass-rusher as the third option if no WR or CB of sufficient value is available.
Poll result: Starks, Hartline top Dolphins free agents fans most want back: We asked in a previous blogpost which of seven top Dolphins free agents-to-be you most want back, and the leaders were DT Randy Starks (26.6%), WR Brian Hartline (25.4) and CB Sean Smith (19.6). I was somewhat surprised RB Reggie Bush (13.5) and OT Jake Long (10.3) did not fare better. S Chris Clemons (2.7) and TE Anthony Fasano (2.0) trailed badly.
ON 1 HERALD PLAZA: Miami's historic preservation board voted 5-3 Monday to not designate the iconic Miami Herald building (pictured) as a protected landmark. That's too bad, but I say that mostly from a sentimental perspective, I suppose. I spent many a year on the fifth floor of that place, back before laptops made "going to the office" largely counter-productive. I don't know whether the preservation-board's decision is right or wrong. But I know this: It isn't the vote of those five people that doomed this building and will see it demolished. That implosion was set in motion the moment the Herald's parent company, McClatchy, sold the building and property to Malaysian casino operator Genting as the newspaper prepared to downsize to a smaller building elsewhere. If there is any decrying going on, it must start with McClatchy's sale to Genting, the major domino that tipped and led to Monday's vote.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...