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January 21, 2013

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade sing, sort of (with video); plus Jeff Ireland's big plans, Bro Bowl v. Ray Lewis SB poll, the private Ron Fraser & more

1aa1fraserronRon Fraser: Great Coach, Better Man: Longtime former Hurricanes baseball coach, who passed away Sunday at 79, was known for 30 years of winning and for a promotional sense that changed his sport. But his family would like to give you a glimpse of the husband, father and grandfather. Click on Great Coach, Better Man for my latest column, a final tribute to Fraser. Funeral arrangements, events: Visitation will be Sunday Jan. 27 from 10 to 6 at Stanfill Funeral Home, 10545 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami. Funeral Mass will be Monday Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, 5601 S. Flamingo Rd., Southwest Ranches. Private burial will be in Fraser's hometown of Nutley, NJ. Celebration of the Life is scheduled Feb. 23 on campus; details to come. That night's baseball game will be in his honor, with proceeds to a fund to build a bronze statue of Fraser outside stadium. Click HERE to donate to fund. Email UM's Rick Remmert (r.remmert@mia.edu) for more info.

[1) It is WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23. New blogpost coming by midday today. Oh boy! 2) Marlins Park bypassed for 2015 All-Star Game. Gee, can't imagine why baseball wouldn't want to reward a sweet guy like Jeffrey Loria! 3) Fourth Dolphin, DT Randy Starks, added to Pro Bowl, following DT Cameron Wake, G Richie Incognito and long-snapper John Denney. Only Wake originally chosen. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

1aa1karaokeHEY! IT'S KARAOKE WITH LEBRON AND D-WADE!: This happened at Shane Battier's second annual "Battioke" fundraiser at the Eden Roc Monday night. Click RIGHT HERE for a video of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on-stage performing. A very rhythmic LeBron does a faithful and surprisingly passable version of Michael Jackson's "Rock With You," then LBJ and Wade duet on a massacred rendition of Shai's "If I Ever Fall In Love," sung to a woman yanked from the crowd. Pictured: A headless LeBron in foreground, Wade with mic and woman who appears to be covering her ears but isn't -- though we wouldn't blame her. The video is 6 minutes. Seems longer. Enjoy!

DOLPHINS' IRELAND: WE WANT PLAYMAKERS, DISRUPTERS: Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland spoke with media yesterday from Senior Bowl in Alabama and made clear what the club's emphasis will be in the draft and free agency. "There's a gap between one and two in our division," he said. "We've got to find guys that are scoring touchdowns, and disrupt the passer on defense." Ireland did not rule out trading out of the No. 12 draft slot, admitted he was "polarizing" to many fans, and said of himself and coach Joe Philbin, "This is a big offseason for us. We understand that. We look forward to making some exciting new before too long."

49ERS-RAVENS SUPER BOWL: RAY LEWIS! BRO BOWL!: Every Super Bowl presents its obvious storylines that the national media will beat to death explore fully, but few SBs offer up two as distinct -- 1aa1lewisrayand legit -- 1aa1harbaughsas 49ers vs. Ravens. One is the historic "Bro Bowl" -- Har-Bowl? Super Baugh? -- between coaching brothers Jim and John Harbaugh. The other is the sure to be over-the-top emotion of a retiring Ray Lewis in the final game of his Hall of Fame career. These two stories probably are why most of you voted for Niners-Ravens as your preferred matchup from four choices in a recent poll of ours, with 47.3 percent. (That, or a simple dislike of the Patriots). But which is the bigger story? Bro Bowl? Or Lewis? That's for you to decide, right here. It's a close call nationally, I'd say. In Greater Miami I'd give the edge to Lewis because he's a former Hurricane and arguably The U's greatest alum ever to play in the NFL. But try to step back and make your pick from a national vantage. Which story interest you most? Or, put another way: Which story will America be most sick of after two weeks of incessant repetitive over-saturation? OK let's go. Vote and say why.

Super Bowl odds: Our friends at Bovada have set 49ers as 4-point favorites over Ravens but say about 60 percent of early action is falling to Baltimore, meaning the line likely will shrink a bit. MVP favorites are Colin Kaepernick 7-4, Joe Flacco 5-2, Ray Lewis 6-1 and Frank Gore 17-2.

PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION / MLK DAY: A thought-provoking juxtaposition this week as the second 1aa1mlkdayinauguration of President Barack Obama occured on the day the nation annually honored its greatest civil-rights icon. Martin Luther King Jr. marched and spoke and fought for basic equality, or at least some humane semblance of it. The election of our first black president always will stand as a symbol of America's progress toward that equality, and by extension as a victory for the cause to which King devoted his life. By the way, visit Memphis not for the barbecue or music or Graceland, but for the National Civil Rights Museum beside the Lorraine Motel where King was assassinated in 1968. I toured the NCRM a few months ago was profoundly moved. It is worth the trip.

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

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