[1) It is SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2. Have I mentioned that I, too, frequently go skeet-shooting? 2) Am thinking the Indiana Pacers now top the list of teams the Heat do NOT wish to face in the first round of the playoffs. Miami's rebounding weakness exposed again last night. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Marino scandal, Super Bowl pick, Smirk Friday, LeBron upset, the Lance Effect. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
Parcells, Sapp head new Hall class: Former Hurricane Warren Sapp, ex-Dolphins executive Bill Parcells and briefly-a-Dolphin Cris Carter among today's newly elected Pro football hall of Fame class, along with Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, plus old-timers Curley Culp and Dave Robinson. Thought Sapp was deserving but wasn't sure he was a first-ballot guy. Tuna? Um, let's just say he didn't get in for what he did in Miami. Good to see drafting Pat White didn't hold him back! Congrats to all.
UM men win again: Huge win today No. 19 North Carolina State for 14th-ranked Hurricanes, 79-78, on a last-second Reggie Johnson tip-in. Canes end on an 8-2 run, to go to 8-0 in the ACC.
CATCHING UP WITH DOLPHINS' OTHER (UNTARNISHED) ICON: DON SHULA: Strange the way it worked out this week. One day before the Dan Marino scandal broke open, I happened to have a long talk with the Dolphins' other towering icon, Don Shula. I wanted to use the Super Bowl as a launchpoint to seek some memories from the man who has head-coached in more SBs (six) than anybody else. We spoke about all of them, the good and the not so much. Click on History Lesson From A Legend for today's full column, the result of that conversation. Don spoke at length of what a burden his 0-2 Super Bowl record had been, and thus what a personal relief that Perfect Season was. I also asked Shula about a perception of mine that -- even with a record 347 career wins, two Super Bowl wins and the Perfect distinction, he does not get the respect nationally that is due him. He simply pointed to the bottom line, the victory record, and let that speak for him. Today, a new one-hour documnetary, Shula 347, premieres on CBS at 3 p.m.
THE FANS AND READERS SPEAK ON MARINO!: A poll in the previous blogpost (you may still vote) asked whether Dan Marino's love-child scandal made you think less of him, and more than 3,000 of you responded -- with clear if not overwhelming support for Marino. "No" brought 59.7 percent, "yes" brought 31.9% and another 8.4% were unsure. The topic also generated around 250 comments in that blogpost. And my Friday column on the scandal -- Marino Deserves Forgiveness -- inspired more than 100 emails, from oh-thank-you agreement to incredulous objection. I haven't done this before, but I wanted to share a couple of dozen of the emails below, a representative cross-section. Overall I'd estimate the response was pretty evenly split (moreso than the poll results) between those who appreciated the column/support Marino and the opposite. Here's some of the reaction, almost all of it condensed:
"Why would this revelation be made on the eve of his Super Bowl pregame gig? Whoever leaked this surely wants to harm Marino. No one wins here except the lowly NY Post." -- Robert A.
"Marino has been spending his time on the practice squad!!!" -- Marc S.
"He deserves the criticism that comes his way. Some of us believe having sexual relations outside the marriage is wrong and the person SHOULD take a lot of heat, no matter how iconic." -- Maffront
"Agree with your column 100%. He did the right thing after he made the mistake. Many don't." -- James H.
"It irks me the media has to dig into everyone's personal life. Yes he made a mistake, but I could have spent the rest of my life not knowing about it. He doesn't need absolution from us." -- Patricia M.
"You have GOT to be kidding me. Just because he 'nobly admitted' the affair that makes it OK? Just because he's famous he gets a pass?" -- Mike
"The final word belongs to Claire and nobody else." -- RLPerez
"Your hypocrite buddy deserves nothing more than an immediate firing by CBS." -- Robert R.
"Your commentary said it all and I only hope Miami and the country will allow Marino to get on with the life he earned and deserves." --Stan G.
"Marino pulled off the QB sneak for almost eight years. is that a new NFL record?" -- David B.
"He has the same responsibilities we all have, but he actually should be held more accountable. He should be the example." -- Spikefootball
"Thank your for your column. It is very humanistic." -- Ian N.
"The great publicity machine has ruined his life. The writing and reporting fraternity will never recover from this departure from common decency." -- Charlie S.
"We all have weaknesses. We all fall at one time. Dan will keep on doing the right and good things he has done in the past." -- Walter F.
"This changes nothing as far as I'm concerned other than he's a human being with flaws like all of us." -- Doug B.
"Football players are not heroes. Most of them cannot manage their own lives and Marino is one of them." -- JoAnn A.
"Another case of the media midning others' business. Does outing Marino somehow make you feel better?" -- DM
"OMG are you serious? I cannot believe your Editor had the guts to run your Marino column." -- Josie
"Sorry, Marino needs to go away. I find his recently discovered affair, love child and hush money payments appalling." -- Joseph B.
"He's only human and his misdeeds shouldn't diminish the importance of his charity work and his years of leadership." -- Asra
"Dan Marino is human. The good he has done far outweighs his fallability." -- Jonathan R.
"It's a very selfish act and dishonest. This just confirms more about him as a man." -- Mark E.
[Note: Thanks to all readers who take the time to write me. I try to respond to all of my emails, even if it sometimes take awhile].
Smirk Saturday: Super Bowl With a Smirk, sent here to tweak the self-imortant NFL and gravitas of its big game, offers its final edition today, with a menu including dueling parties, Roger Goodell, Crispy Blue Crab Gyoza, Hall of Fame, Queen, an orangutan and, as always, much more Click on Smirk Saturday for the full column.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...