1) It is FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13. Paraskevidekatriaphobes (those of you with a specific fear of Friday the 13th), please stay indoors, because you are not crazy. Mayhem and dread really DO await your venturing outside today. 2) I'm in the prestigious Random Evidence Laboratories today crafting Sunday's notes-column package. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat reacquire Beasley, Redskins nickname and poll, LeBron and '14, U.S. soccer, 9/11, Miley Cyrus nude vid, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, SOPY rankings, Mike Wallace, Mayweather fight & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird) and Vine (Greg Cote).
U.S. men No. 13: USA men's soccer, fresh from qualifying for the World Cup with a 2-0 victory over Mexico, is No. 13 in the new FIFA World Rankings. That's America's highest spot since July 2010.
LEBRON WEDDING DETAILS REVEALED! YOU'RE NOT INVITED!: The New York Post has the dish -- that's how we refer to celebrity gossip -- and it is that Heat megastar LeBron James will marry high-school sweetheart Savannah Brinson this weekend in San Diego. The happy couple is pictured. (Not everyone can wear a red tuxedo...) The three-day affair will include a Friday barbecue, Saturday nuptials and a Sunday "farewell brunch" for a guest list said to be in the hundreds, not thousands. The wedding is to be either at the Grand Del Mar or Hotel Del Coronado. So Del is the word. LeBron is staying in room 1156. (Just kidding on that). Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony are among a guest list that notably excludes both myself and you. Best guess: The cake will cost more than I make in a year, possibly because the cake had a better year than me. More wedding details here.
UPSET BIRD DAY: WEEK 2 PREDIX FOR DOLPHINS, NFL: The Dolphins will upset the Colts Sunday in Indy, 24-23. There. You happy? Also, the 49ers will upset the Seahawks and Big Bro will win the Manning Bowl. Click on Week 2 Gems for the details and full capsules on these and all NFL games. And click on King Sport's Kings for my categories and rank of all 32 starting quarterbacks. I split on last night's game. Had the Patriots covering; they won but didn't cover. The 13-10 eke past the Jets was a draedful game, but it's always delightful seeing Tom Brady lose his cool over dropped passes. Fun! The game bode well for Miami, I thought. I did not see a New Engand team that should scare the Dolphins. Return of Rob Gronkowski will be huge; still, the AFC East looks wide open to me.
THE GROSS OVERREACTION TO JOSE FERNANDEZ'S IMMATURITY: I saw Fernandez's final start of the season in Wednesday's win and wrote on it from the ballpark; click on Jose's Wild Night for my full column. It bears amplification here, because Jose's breach of baseball's sacred unwritten rules may have been wrong, but the Marlins overreaction to it was worse -- almost comically so. In synopsis, Fernandez hit his first career home run and pimped out his trot, admiring his shot, then walking a couple of steps before jogging. He then spit vaguely in the direction of the third baseman's feet as he headed for home. Tempers rose, benches cleared. No punches, but much posturing. The crowd loved it. Mike Redmond, not so much. Miami's young but old-school manager publicly excoriated his 21-year-old pitcher afterward. I mean, blasted him. "I'm not happy. It really ruined the night for me," he said. "Showing another team up is not what we're doing here. We don't have the right." On and on Redmond went, his visage funereal, a manager doing the opposite of having his player's back. The admonished pitcher had little choice but to adopt the company line. "I feel embarrassed," said Jose. Well, by my view, Jose embarrassed himself, a little, but his own manager embarrassed him, a lot. Give the kid a small, break, OK? He's 21. He was making his final start. He'd just hit his first home run. He was amped. So was the crowd. He made a small mistake by enjoying his moment a tad too much. But based on the postgame reaction and somber, almost grave tone, you'd have thought Fernandez had shot two or three Braves with a handgun as he circled the bases. Fernandez had just completed an exceptional season: 12-6 record, 187 strikeouts, 2.19 ERA. He should be NL Rookie of the Year. He was 9-0 with a 1.19 ERA at home. He should be this team's face and star for years. He can be the Loria Antidote and win back fans. It was a shame the grand finale of his very special rookie year was spoiled not so much by his own youthful actions as by the absurd overreaction to them.
Marlins announce 2014 home schedule: Team will open season March 31 vs. Colorado. Home interleague opponents will be Seattle, Oakland, Texas and Tampa Bay.
ARE YOU PLEASED THE HEAT RE-SIGNED BEASLEY?: I've said I think it's a low- to no-risk move, signing a 24-year-old guy with a 14.1 career average to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. But there is a contrary view. I'm sure plenty think the Heat simply don't need Beasley, or that Miami doesn't need a guy with a repeated marijuana problem as part of its organization. Disagreement, of course, is the petri dish for a blog poll! Vote and say why.
OBITUARY FROM HELL: I found this story half sad, half hilarious. It's about an obituary that appeared briefly in the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal before being pulled. It was writen by children not exactly mourning the death of their 78-year-old mother. An excerpt: "On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure." Alrighty, then. Love ya, Mom!
Poll result: Redskins nickname not offensive, though many disagree: We asked, and 63.6 percent said Washington's Redskins nickname is not offensive and should stay. However 26.5% found it offensive and said it should go, and another 9.9% were undecided.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...