It's Indiana! Heat-Pacers in East finals; plus Heat bigger faves than ever to repeat, D-Wade prom video, Oxbow, Sad-O-Meter & more
1) It is SATURDAY, MAY 18. Sesame Street is introducing a new character named Armando or "Mando," which may or may not be an homage to Herald sports writer Armando Salguero. Mando is pictured at right. (Is it me or do half of the Sesame Street characters sort of look like this?) 2) Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle dead at 71 of reported suicide. Sad story. All-time great name, Dick Trickle, but a sad story. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat Game 5 win, Wade health poll, LeBron No. 2 in money, most disappointing hotel, catchers' fake fingernails, Sad-O-Meter. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote.
Another year, another horse fails to win Triple Crown: Affirmed in 1978 remains the last to do it after Kentucky Derby winner Orb finished a disappointing fourth in today's Preakness Stakes, won by Oxbow with ancient Gary Stevens aboard. Orb started on the rail and really struggled to extricate himself from traffic.
Hit Wade Strikes Back for my column off Wednesday's Heat win.
"David Beckham is retiring? What a big, big loss for the sport of underwear endorsing." --Greg Cote
UPDATED: HEAT CRAZY-BIG FAVES TO REPEATS AS CHAMPS: If you want the other side you stand to make some big bucks. Are you that daring? New from Bovada, championship odds on the five teams still alive show Heat at 1-3, Spurs 5-1, Grizzlies 6-1, Pacers 20-1 and Knicks 40-1. Miami odds to win East and get to Finals: 1-9. Man! Based on the public perception that sets the odds, let's just go ahead and plan that parade right now. I'm just sayin'.
EASTERN FINALS SET: HEAT VS. PACERS: Indiana beat visiting New York 106-99 tonight to win the series 4 games to 2. Miami will host Eastern finals Game 1 vs. Pacers on Wednesday night. The series suggests Pacers are a better team, although that is debatable. Both teams fared well against Miami this season, Indy going 2-1 against the Heat and the Knickerbockers 3-1. The other factor in answering the poll question below was the vantage point of your vote. It might have been based on which team you think would be an easier draw for the Heat. Or you might have voted for what you think the more exciting series would be. On the latter criteria the clear preference would seem to have been New York, a bigger rival with more starpower and boorish fans in constant need of shutting up. Based on results, your choice was pretty clear. Enjoys the Eastern finals anyway.
UPDATE: HEAT MIDDLE-FINGER LADY: South Florida's most famous birder is keeping sharp between playoff series. After honing her skills against the Bulls' Joakim Noah, Middle-Finger Lady now prepares for Indiana or New York in the next round. Pictured left, MFL transmogrifies into a clownishly grinning LeBron James in a final, parting-shot farewell to Noah. At right, Middle-Finger Lady inexplicably proffers the Flying Digit to an adorably dumbfounded polar bear.
DWYANE WADE: PROM DATE: What cute story. Archbishop Coleman Carroll senior Nicole Muxo posts a YouTube video asking Heat star Dwyane Wade to be her prom date. He calls her cell phone with his regrets, then moments later walks into the Friday ight event in Coral Gables, shocking her. Later Wade Tweeted, 'I had a blast at Prom. Never be 2 scared to ask.' The couple is pictured on the dance floor. This, among a million other reasons, is why South Florida loves Dwyane Wade.
Click HERE for a 3-minute video on how Wade pulled off his big prom surprise. Good stuff.
LATEST TRAVAILS OF CHAD JOHNSON: Free-agent receiver Chad (nee Ochocinco) Johnson lessens his chances of ever playing again with a warrant for his arrest for failing to report to his probation officer stemming from the domestic violence issue that got him cut by the Dolphins. The latest misstep is indicative of Johnson perhaps suffering from DAS, Dumbass Athlete Syndrome. There is no known cure.
UPDATED! MARLINS' SAD-O-METER: We have this new blog feature we update as long as Marlins' winning percentage is under .300 -- as long as the New York Mets' infamous 1962 record of 40-120 (.250) is within dubious reach. Well, six straight losses with last night's have brought the S-O-M roaring back as the season inches past the one-quarter mark. Updated Sad-O-Meter: Current record, 11-31 (.262). Season projection, 42.43 wins, 119.57 losses.
BACKSTORY: COMPANY NAMES: Took this pic on my phone camera as proof there is a baked-goods company operating in South Florida under the name Bimbo. (Primary dictionary definition: "A foolish, stupid or inept person.") I am envisioning the initial meeting of company investors. "OK, first things first," says the boss. "We need a name that represents who we are. Thoughts?"
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...