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February 27, 2013

Do you root for Tiger Woods? Poll. Vote!; plus LeBron saves the dunk!, Jared Odrick goes Hollywood, Tony Bennett, Loria's poll record & more

1aa1coteotlESPN's OTL on Loria: Thanks again to ESPN for having us on Outside The Lines for yesterday's segment on Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. (I'm second-from-left on the screengrab here -- the guy who looks like he doesn't belong on TV). Behind-curtain tidbit: Club president David Samson also was a guest and we taped at same studio in different rooms, and spoke cordially before and after. He doesn't take personally my professional criticism, which I respect.

[1) It is THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28. Always a test to see how teams respond after loss, and No. 5-ranked Hurricanes men did it very well last night in beating Virginia Tech. 2) I am now following my latest crush @emmyrossum. I get to admit that because my wife doesn't read anything I write, which has its advantages. 3) Can you imagine being next Pope and having Benedict still living in the Vatican? Be like if Barack refused to leave White House. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Loria letter/outtakes/poll, Heat hit stride, Canes football/hoops, Oscars, celeb diving, giant prosthetic feet. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Click on Fabulous February for today's latest column by me, on the huge month for the Heat, for LeBron James and, less noticed, for a revitalized Dwyane Wade.

TIGER IS AMONG US. ARE WE ROOTING FOR HIM AGAIN?: A little over three years ago, late November 2009, Tiger Woods' world blew up when the expose of his serial infidelity ruined his marriage and 1aa1tigerjackimage. It may have contributed to seriously damaging his career, too, considering his career majors have been stuck at 14 since the 2008 U.S. Open. Once he seemed a cinch to surpass Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors, now there are doubts whether Woods, now 37, ever will. The kings of golf's zoo, the Golden Bear and Tiger, are pictured. Are you rooting for Tiger to pass Jack? I sort of am. His post-scandal contrition was a model for guys like Lance Armstrong, anyone caught in a lie, to follow. I think his image is largely repaired and that, in the midst of his majors slump, he has become what he never was before: an underdog. A comeback story. Tiger begins play today/Thursday in the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens as the PGA Tour's So-Fla swing begins. His next majors shot, The Masters, is fast approaching. Share your thoughts on Tiger in this poll, and say why you feel as you.

DOLPHINS' ODRICK GOES HOLLYWOOD: Dolphins defender Jared Odrick is one of 22 current and ex-1aa1jodrickplayers enrolled in second annual "NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp" taking place March 11-15 at Universal Studios in L.A. It's a league initiative designed to offer a crash course for players pondering post-football career related to film industry. Odrick is pictured looking camera-ready.

LEBRON: PREGAME SHOWTIME WILL GO ON!: [Thursday update: LeBron announces detractors will not deter his pregame dunks. OHTHANKGOD!] Original post: LeBron James' pregame dunking during warmups have 1aa1dunkbecome must-see for Heat fans; click HERE to watch one of Tuesday night's. James had enough energy left over to score 40 points and lead Miami's double-OT win over Sacramento for a 12th straight victory. (Dwyane Wade added 39 points). But LeBron now is threatening to quit his pregame throwdowns because many on Twitter are slamming him for doing this yet declining to participate in the NBA All-Star dunk contest. "Maybe I should stop because it's making a lot of people mad," he said after last night's game. "They're like, well, if you can do it in warmups why don't you be in the dunk contest. Stop it." Yes, stop it, please. And enjoy.

HEAT BIG 5 @ 55: The blog loves bells 'n whistles especially the nerdy-stat variety and so we started this one we are running throughout Heat season at five-game intervals. It's top-five cumulative 1aa1heat5ranking of players having the biggest overall impact based on eight statistical categories. The numbers themselves might not mean much but the numbers relative to each other give an indication of the contribution players are making. The Big 5 @ 55 Games (41-14):

Rank (@50)   Player   Total

1 (1)   LeBron James   2,123.6

2 (2)   Dwyane Wade   1,476.6

3 (3)   Chris Bosh   1,272.8

4 (4)   Mario Chalmers   832.0

5 (5)   Ray Allen   817.2

Bubble: Udonis Haslem, 554.3

Poll result: Anti-Loria sentiment sets record: You know our blog loves polls. Done hundreds of them. But none quite like this. We asked if you wished Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would sell the team -- yes or no (you may still vote in blogpost directly below this) -- and 97.6 percent said yes. No other question we have ever posed has gotten such a landslide.

ON THE LEGENDARY TONY BENNETT: Wife and I saw crooner Tony Bennett at the Broward Center for the Perfoming Arts last night, and he was great. I'm grading somewhat on the curve. He's 86, after all. But he was still great, in some ways all the more impressive because of his age, not despite it. I love 1aa1bennettseeing aging, legendary music artists I have not seen before, and am happy to have added Bennett to a long list that includes Count Basie, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. Bennett was in such fine voice that even showed it off by setting down his mic and singing half a song a capella. He'd just bragged about the acoustics of the hall, and sure enough his unamplified voice was strong and carried. I do have a few nitpicks (or it wouldn't be me). The opening act was Bennett's middle-aged adult daughter (groan), and she performed six songs, which was about three too many. (They later dueted on one). l don't mind a father showcasing his daughter, but too much of her meant tnot enough him; Bennett himself performed only about 50 minutes. I also wished he hadn't abbreviated just about every song including his signature tune, I Left My Heart in San Francisco. He omitted the entire preamble that leads into the title words, on the one song most in the audience wished was longer, not shorter. Afterward, Bennett came out for a few curtain calls but did not play an encore. Despite the minor disappointments it was a great show by a true American original -- after Frank Sinatra probably the greatest singer of his generation and genre.

TEEN EATS DEODORANT: A 19-year-old young woman revealed on the "My Strange Addiction" TV show that she eats deodorant. I have nothing to add but this link.

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

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