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December 14, 2012

SI's disservice to UM, Al Golden and truth; plus NFL predix (Dolphins roll), Heat Big 5 @ 20, RG3's blackness, Dog Court & more

[1) It is SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15. Condolences for the victims and loved ones of the awful Connecticut elementary-school shootings yesterday. So, so sad. Click here for Pres. Obama's statement from the White House. 2) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Aquinas rules state: Congrats to St. Thomas Aquinas for bring the state title home to the 954. Love the name of quarterback John O'Korn. O'Korn! Now it's your turn, Miami Central and Cypress Bay. Love the local schools.

Dolphins rule 2 prominent starters out injured: WR Davone Bess (back) and LB Koa Misi (ankle) will miss Sunday's game, the team announced.

REMEMBER WHEN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED WAS ABOVE RUMOR-MONGERING?: I always hesitate to comment negatively on fellow media, and so rarely do. But all of us (me included) have had instances worthy of dubious scrutiny, and that transparency -- the idea that we are not above a microscope -- is a foundation of building trust with readers. In that spirit I would lambast what happened with Sports 1aa1algoldenIllustrated senior college football writer Pete Thamel and Twitter. He wrote that Hurricanes coach Al Golden had "emerged heavily" at Wisconsin and was "mulling a decision today." The strong implication was that Wisconsin was trying to lure Golden from UM and imminently might succeed. Thirty minutes later a second Thamel Tweet read, "Just got word that Golden is flattered [by the interest] but staying at Miami." A UM spokesman called the Tweets and what they implied "preposterous." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Golden was never a candidate at Wisconsin. Golden has said repeatedly he is staying at Miami. He faces legitimate brush fires, such as guys leaving early for the draft and a player's arrest this week in a laptop theft. And he faces a full-out blaze in the coming NCAA sanctions in the Nevin Shapiro mess. It's enough he must recruit against this stuff. Must he also recruit against continued rumors and speculation when all he has said is that he's staying? Here is all I ask both as a journalist and as a reader: Next time some media outlet leads me to believe Golden may be leaving, it had better be something that once was the media's strock-in-trade but increasingly feels quaint: Facts. The truth.

NFL PREDIX: DOLPHINS WILL (HAD BETTER) TOP HENNE, SAD JAGS: Not too many Sundays lately find 1aa1fripixMiami a clear favorite in the NFL. This is one. Dolphins should beat Jacksonville with some ease. An interesting subtext will be the QB duel between ex-Dolphin Chad Henne and rookie Ryan Tannehill. Click on Week 15 Gems for all of our latest NFL predictions. And on The Darkest December for our Friday Page column leading with the league's roughest two weeks in memory.

DEATH, TAXES, LEBRON AND KOBE: Predictable as sunrise, the NBA announced that LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are running 1-2 in early fan voting for the NBA all-star game. It is yet another sign that the post-"Decision" backlash against James from 2010 continues to fade by degrees to nonexistence except perhaps in stubborn rogue outposts in and around Cleveland.

HEAT BIG 5 @ 20: The blog loves bells 'n whistles especially of the nerdy-stat variety and so this sason 1aa1heat5we started this new one we are running throughout Heat season at five-game intervals. It's a top-five cumulative ranking of the players having the biggest overall impact this season based on eight statistical categories. We continue with The Big 5 @ 20 Games (14-6):

Rank (@15)   Player   Total

1 (1)   LeBron James   731.9

2 (2)   Chris Bosh   539.5

3 (3)   Dwyane Wade   432.7

4 (4)   Ray Allen   345.9

5 (5)   Mario Chalmers   293.7

Bubble: Shane Battier, 195.7

LET RG3 BE HIMSELF. PLEASE?: [Update: Parker has been suspended by ESPN] Rob Parker, black sports columnist for ESPNNY.com appearing on ESPN's First Take, said of Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III: "He's black, he does his thing, but he's really not down with the cause. He's not one of us." Really? What cause is that, Rob? Because I sort of think he's doing quite well with the cause of helping the Redskins win and turning around a franchise. What must he do to suit your view of blackness, Rob? Adopt hip-hop slang? Wear a dashiki over his uniform? Even Stephen A. Smith was taken aback, saying Parker's comments made him uncomfortable. Let RG3 be himself because that, by most accounts, seems like a pretty wonderful thing.

Poll result: Spoof on Serena Williams was harmless fun: Caroline Wozniacki stuffed her shirt and skirt with towels to mimic Serena's full, buxom figure during a recent exhibition in Brazil. Some saw it as racist. But our readers sure  didn't. We asked in the previous blogpopst and 88.9 percent called it harmless fun. Only 6.0% called it racist or poor taste,with another 5.1 % undecided.

1aa1dog1IF I WERE A CANINE COURT JUDGE...: We recently lost our great dog of almost 16 years, Sandy. She led a wonderful life and made ours better. I love dogs, know dogs, and therefore I would make a good Canine Court judge. I realize that dogs have a capacity for shame and embarrassment, and that is why the "punishment" pictured struck me as funny and earned a pass-along.

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

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