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January 01, 2013

Happy New Year! Heat championship named 2012 Miami sports story of year, but Nos. 2-3-4 a dead heat

1aa1hap13 1aa1hap13[1) It is TUESDAY, JANUARY 1. Happy New Year, everybody! 2) Find results of season-final Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in blogpost directly below this. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

HEAT CHAMPIONSHIP DOMINATES AS 2012 MIAMI SPORTS STORY OF YEAR: We asked you previously to name the year's top national sports story and you did (results at bottom of this blogpost). Now we asked you to select the 2012 Miami 1aa1guillencastro 1aa1tanndraft 1aa1lebronwinsports story of the year, and of 16 choices the Heat's LeBron James-led NBA title won clearly with 22.3 percent. I personally chose the Top 16 local stories of the year and invited you to pick your top five (5). The consensus of all of you would shape what the biggest or most significant story was and set the order. I had an order in mind but our list below and in the poll is chronological so you won't be unduly influenced by somebody else's ranking. The real race was for second place, with the opening of the Marlins' new ballpark (12.6%) edging the Dolphins drafting Ryan Tannehill and the Marlins' latest fire sale (both 12.5%). Here is a brief synopsis of the contenders, followed by the poll...

Orange Bowl Game Sets Records (January): Miramar's Geno Smith leads West Virginia past Clemson, 70-33, record for points in bowl game.

Dolphins Hire Joe Philbin (January): Miami hires Green Bay's offensive coordinator, never before a head coach, to lead its new era.

Dolphins Trade Brandon Marshall (March): Team trades talented but mercurial receiver to Bears for two third-round draft picks.

WGC Golf At Doral (March): England's Justin Rose wins annual World Golf Championship event on Doral's Blue Monster course.

Peyton Manning Turns Down Dolphins (March): Miami seeks Manning in free agency, is seen as early frontrunner, but loses him to Denver.

Sony Ericcson Tennis (March): Novak Djokovic and Agnieszka Radwanska win title in sport's "fifth major" on Key Biscayne. 

Miami Hosts Wrestlemania (April): WWE's 28th Wrestlemania is hosted by South Florida for first time, held at Dolphins stadium.

Marlins New Stadium Debuts (April): Opening night had glitches, but team finally had new downtown ballpark after years of failed efforts.

Guillen/Castro Controversy (April): Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen compliments Fidel Castro, enrages Cuban Miami, gets 5-game ban.

Panthers Make NHL Playoffs (April): Hockey club ends league's longest drought, qualifies for Stanley Cup playoffs for first time since 2000. 

Dolphins Draft Ryan Tannehill (April): Miami spends first-round draft pick (8th overall) on a quarterback for first time since Dan Marino in '83.

Heat Wins NBA Championship (June): MVP LeBron James leads Miami past Oklahoma City for his elusive first NBA title, city's second.

Guillen Fired After Nightmare Year (October): Marlins fire manager, hire Mike Redmond, after big payroll and high hopes end in last place.

Marlins' Latest Fire Sale (November): Stars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and others shipped to Toronto in a blatant cost-cutting that angers fans. 

Homestead Ends NASCAR Year (November): Star Jeff Gordon wins race but Brad Keselowski owns day, capturing first NASCAR season title.

Hurricanes Self-Impose Bowl Ban (November): UM removes self from second straight bowl, awaits NCAA sanctions in Nevin Shapiro probe.

Postscript: No, I didn't forget about Marlins on The Franchise or Dolphins on Hard Knocks; those made-for-TV dramas just didn't make the cut. (This was going to be a Top 15, but I decided to include Wrestlemania for a bit of serendipity!). Did I leave anything out? Should I have included FIU firing Mario Cristobal?

Vote-percentage explainer: We invite readers to vote for as many as five choices in the above poll. If all voters cast the maximum five votes, the highest overall percentage for any one story would be 20 percent. The Heat-championship count of more than 20 percent means that story is being included in a vast majority of top fives and also garnering votes of those who opt to choose fewer than five stories.

Poll result: Penn State scandal named 2012's top national story: In the previous blogpost I let you vote on The Associated Press list of the year's Top 10 national sports stories (you may still vote), and the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal was named the biggest with 31.3 percent, followed by the London Olympics with 16.8% and Lance Armstrong's fall from grace with 11.8%. Rounding out the top five were Peyton Manning's resurgence (9.2) and Saints' Bountygate (8.5).

Check back often to monitor evolving results in our year-end Miami poll...


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Voted the Heat winning the NBA title, nothing bigger than that.

its hard to believe that tomorrow is the last game of the NFL regular season, man that went by quickly..

Miami sports story of the year: Marlins are a stinky organization.

Heat win NBA title. Nothing is more elusive than that.

The sports story of the 21st century is how that bitch Shalala is still UM pres.

Not a great bunch of choices, with 7 of them bad news. Orange Bowl score just reflects what a bad mismatch that game was-- itself the 8th bad-news story.


Yup, FIU firing Mario should have been a top 15 considering some of your other choices. However, there will be no hiding FIU from your top 15 for 2013 when FIU announces Butch Davis as its next head coach. Lots of haters saying it won't happen, but Pete Garcia is working hard to make it happen.

Orange Bowl Game Sets Records (January): Miramar's Geno Smith leads West Virginia past Clemson, 70-33, record for points in bowl game

Wait till the Noles take on NIU, Talk about a high scoring game, Noles might just hit the 50 Point mark before halftime..IMHO.

Great article by Lebatard, having the worst GM in the country won't matter if Ryan Tannehill's a star quarterback.

Cut Josh Harrellson, sign Derek Fisher.

Yup, FIU firing Mario should have been a top 15 considering some of your other choices. However, there will be no hiding FIU from your top 15 for 2013 when FIU announces Butch Davis as its next head coach.

Posted by: Day Goose (Quijote) | December 29, 2012 at 09:53 PM

a cowardly, oxyMORONic f-i-u-don't-matter fan assumes various aliases to conceal obsession ...


Yup, FIU firing Mario should have been a top 15 considering some of your other choices. However, there will be no hiding FIU from your top 15 for 2013 when FIU announces Butch Davis as its next head coach.

Posted by: Day Goose (Quijote) | December 29, 2012 at 09:53 PM


minor-league college athletics with a make-believe fan base subsidized by the strong-arm of an unsuspecting student body warrants scant attention from a major-league metropolitan newspaper ...
you are what you is ...


Lots of haters saying it won't happen, but Pete Garcia is working hard to make it happen.

Posted by: Day Goose (Quijote) | December 29, 2012 at 09:53 PM

Butch Davis will be the head coach for football and all this non sense about the contract/snag is just a dog and pony show for Pete Garcia to look like a hero for getting the deal done.

It still appears that the announcement will take place between the OB game and BCS game while the national media is camped out in South Florida.

Earlier this week the Miami Herald reported that former North Carolina football coach Butch Davis had been hired to lead the program at Florida International. The news was quickly dismissed as "totally false" by the school’s athletic director.

Thursday night, FoxSports.com added to the narrative by publishing a report stating that Davis’ hiring at FIU was being held up by a “contract squabble” with UNC.

If it’s true that Davis has actually been offered the FIU job, the only one keeping him from taking it is Davis himself.

That’s because by accepting the position – or any other in coaching, for that matter – he would have to forfeit the rest of the severance money UNC owes him as part of the buyout agreement he signed after being fired by the Tar Heels in July 2010.

According to the contract, the former coach is due the sum of $590,000 each January 15 until 2015.

Given those financial considerations and the fact that Davis and FIU AD Pete Garcia have worked together previously at Miami and with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, there’s a good chance the current “contract squabble” will resolved as soon as next year’s check clears on or around January 16.
-- Star-News ACC


However, there will be no hiding FIU from your top 15 for 2013 when FIU announces Butch Davis as its next head coach.

Posted by: Day Goose (Quijote) | December 29, 2012 at 09:53 PM


NCAA investigators initially were focused on improper benefits connected to defensive tackle Marvin Austin and receiver Greg Little, but the probe steadily expanded to include potential academic violations. In all, 14 players missed at least one game and seven were forced to sit the entire season.

The allegations included unethical conduct by former associate head coach John Blake. The NCAA said Blake worked to steer players to late NFL agent Gary Wichard and reported Blake had received more than $31,000 from Wichard, though Blake's attorneys had previously described the transactions as loans from one friend to another during financial troubles. Butch Davis had said he knew nothing of the loans and that he was "sorry" he trusted Blake, a longtime friend who resigned in September.

There were also numerous issues connected to tutor Jennifer Wiley, who had tutored Davis' teenage son, and improper assistance given to players on school work – including some after she had graduated and no longer worked for the school.
-- huffington post

Since the firing ... the NCAA imposed a one-year bowl ban and additional scholarship reductions (15 total) on top of self-imposed school penalties that included 16 vacated wins from 2008 and 2009, and probation.
-- espn.com


However, there will be no hiding FIU from your top 15 for 2013 when FIU announces Butch Davis as its next head coach.

Posted by: Day Goose (Quijote) | December 29, 2012 at 09:53 PM


So tell me, why should our next 4 star recruit pick us over UCF, USF, Miami, Louisville, or anyone else for that matter? What makes us special? What is our selling point, our advantage over all these other schools? Ir's not facilities, university prestge, history and tradition, fan base, crowd size, opportunity to be seen on TV, or chance to go to the NFL. So what is it?
-- FIU2011?

the more things change ...


However, there will be no hiding FIU from your top 15 for 2013 when FIU announces Butch Davis as its next head coach.

Posted by: Day Goose (Quijote) | December 29, 2012 at 09:53 PM


Forget about Bucs Spc. Asst. Butch Davis going to FIU. That will not be happening, per his attorney, Jon Sasser
-- RCummingsTBO

If you were going to collect a $590,000 severance check from UNC on 1/15, would your attorney say "He is going to FIU" on 12/30?
-- Andy Slater



as Big Baby noted, you must be a real youngster in order to have never heard of elvin (the big E) hayes. he and KAJ put college basketball on the map in their meting in the astrodome KAJ's junior year, when houston beat the bruins 71-69 during the season, only to get walloped 101-69 in the MCAA semifinal held in that grey whale called the "los angeles sports arena", where the lakers played before jack kent cooke built his "fabulous forum" in inglewood. elvin hayes is one of the 10 best college players ever, and in the HOF, which coversall of basketball. the NBA doesn't have its own HOF- an amazing situation.

i see that david lee is barely above the 20 point/game average; if he falls below and kevin love doesn't add a few more points, the league will have nobody at 20/10, which is beyond belief.

how are the heat managing to lose road games to bad teams such as detroit and milwaukee? one indicator is that the heat had three scorers in double figures against the bucks, who had five guys in double figures. it seems to me that a telling stat is how many guys in double figures one team has versus an opponent, the same way that an advantage in rushing yards generally (brady excluded) indicates a winning side, even in today's 50-60 pass/game NFL.

82 games.

Kaz, I hope Lebatard at least footnoted you sir.

Yah know my dearly departed grandmamma had a nickname for the Fins. You see like OC, FZB and Mr. Woodcock she got to experience Dolphin Dynasty virtually first hand living just North of Miami for much of her Sainted life. Following only Dolphin failures to recapture Vinny Loving Cup she had a cute little saying for her beloved team. "The Dolphins sink on ice." And you know she was pretty much right on the $$$$$...

Sorry Sainted beloved Grandmamma. The Dolphins STINK on ice. There that's better...

Duke, it sounds like your grand-mamma was a great gal...

Who can't wait for tonite's Orange Bowl Classic....

Northern Illinois vs Florida State/


The BCS has made a joke of the Orange Bowl. What once was the best of the best New Year's Day games is no. longer. Now it would not even rate TV time on ESPNU if it were a regular season matchup.

The new agreement needs to eliminate guaranteed BCS games for all these conferences and also eliminate the max # of teams from a conference that can play in a BCS game. Better yet, all of the bowls except the national championship game should be removed from the BCS system. Let it go back to the way it used to be. The bowls made bids to teams to create great matchups.

That way the best teams that people want to see will be matched in the biggest bowl games. And instead of watching a rerun of The Sopranos tonite I would be watching the Orange Bowl Classic.

Tom, fair point; OB definitely got the short end of the stick being locked into all those ACC v. BigEast matchups. I guess a regional thing?


i believe that northern illinois will be competetive against FSU tonight. while i agree that the orange bowl had some incredible games in its early years as the lone night game on new years day, i also agree that of late it hasn't been what it was when the big eight champion was one of the participants natched against whichever team the committee could come up with. texas/alabama, miami/nebraska, fsu/nebraska, and the game where arkansas under lou holtz suspended his top two runners and demolished oklahoma and brian bosworth (as i recall) 31-6 rushing for over 200 yards with his subs, methinks a fellow named roland sales was the star forthe hogs in that game. the rose bowl>the orange bowl was always a treat in the day when the cotton, sugar, rose and orange were the only jan 1 games. the fiesta bowl was contrived in order to get arizona state, then an independent coached by the brutal disciplinarian frank kush couldn't get into one of the big games so they created the fiesta bowl as an outlet for the sun devils to play in a "major" game. ASU played in 5 of the first 7 games, and the fiesta bowl was played on jan 1 for the first time in 81, when penn state beat marcus allen in his heisman season.

Great recounting of history shadow. I remember when the Orange Bowl game used to matter. When it was really a classic. When you wanted to be at the game even if your team was not playing in the game. Oh the memories...

Texas v Alabama 1965 ... Alabama goes undefeated wins the regular season AP and UPI National Championships. Texas comes into the game 9-1 and ranked #3. Joe Namath is injured so Steve Sloan starts the game, the first ever OB Classic televised at night. Texas gets up 21-7 early and Joe Namath comes off the bench in 2nd half and almost brings Alabama all the way back (Bama fans say they were robbed as Namath actually scored on a 4th and 1 QB sneak near the end of the game). WHAT A GAME.

I was there.

Tom - unlucky this year, the Orange Bowl is pretty much fixed now that they dropped the Big East champion, it's ACC champ vs. best available at large now.

Orange Bowl picked last this year because we get the championship game, unfortunate that the MAC champion was ranked high enough to get a BCS bid, doesn't happen every year. OB is going to be one of the better bowl games at least 3 out of 4 years now, and it's not every year that a crappy conference champion gets a bid.

First OB game I've skipped in at least 10 years, no interest in watching that mess with a bunch of FSU fans.

Still interest out there though, I sold my tickets quickly.

Yep, now it's a freaking joke. Has been since they moved it to that dump in the swamp. I hate that bitch Donna Shalala.

State sucks. Geez, they're playing something called Northern Illinois and it's 7-3. Just a complete and total embarrassment for the ACC. If they were playing a real team they would be getting worked. Not just is this Orange Bowl game a total loser but the freaking Noles are performing as well as the Indian that traded Manhattan to the Dutch for a few pots and blankets. Hell, they might as well put Chief Wahoo on their helmets. This game is an abomination.

The Orange Bowl moved in 1996.

UM has never had any ownership or control over the Orange Bowl game.

I hate that bitch Shalala. Everything Hurricane went down the tubes when she got here. Just horrible. Because of this bitch there's a leaking spaceship looking thing where they play freaking baseball on the holy ground of the Orange Bowl Stadium. The only difference between Shalala and a bucket of shit is the bucket.

Gezis, they just showed the stands at JRS and there are less people there than when the Marlins played there. Even Trust Fund who gets free tickets skipped this fiasco. Just a sad sad day to see the once proud Orange Bowl game being reduced to this horse hack.

I will be laughing for a week if the Noles get beat by these stiffs.

Hey Limpdick - you can thank Miami commissioners for picking the Marlins stadium project over renovating the Orange Bowl.

Kaz, the following represents Jeffy Ireland's dad trying to get him to search for work of which he is capable...



i remember watching that night game between alabama and texas. while the tide fans may claim they got gipped, it was a great goal line stand by tommy nobis (another guy who belomgs in canton) and his tev=xas teammmates.

Haha, his fair ginger skin would melt off picking strawberries!


NIU was still somewhat in the game through the 3rd quarter. despite some bad plays they hung in until the second FSU run bomb. smaller, slower usually gets obliterated, but a couple of trick plays kept em in till the 4th quarter. there QB has a lousy day, but they out up a fight, at least to my opinion.

Kaz, "Bend and scoop boy, bend and scoop! Then one day you might be able to work your way up to those goddamn bananas!" lol


jero,e whitehead palyed for marquette the year the won the NCAA basketball title, but was more important in the semifinal victiry over NC-charlotte, which had cornbread maxwell and a very good bunch of smallish players. marquette kept the final from being a NC-charlotte/UNC (chapel hill) final, and i don't think we've ever witnessed an intra-state national championship. jerome whitehead was too much for the smaller charlotte bunch, and died as a result of years of drinking. sad. RIP, jerome whitehead.


now at 19.1 pts/game on some really bad shooting- 36%; however he will undoubtedly wind up the the season avging 20 points and 10 rebounds, a rare achievement these days. at this point only david lee of the warriors ai at 20/10, which doesn' say much about the quality of the big men of today's NBA.

Ireland would trade the bananas for banana peels and two future Chiquita stickers.

The Chiquita stickers would wind up being knockoff 'Doles'.

Trust Fund, if Shalala had stepped up to the plate and agreed to renovate the OB they would still be playing there and maybe the Marlins would have an ocean front stadium where it belonged at the Bicentennial Park location. Geez Trust, the first real work day of 2013 and you're already screwing up.

Wow, what a nerd!

Here dipshit, read this about the fabulous OB game last night. How come you didn't use your free tickets to go to the game, fish?


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