1) It is FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20. Today I am at Random Evidence Laboratories birthing the Sunday notes-column package. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Me-on-Le Batard-show poll, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, Dolphins ranking, prep pipeline to pros, latest SOPY rankings & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).
Updated Super Bowl odds: From Bovada entering NFL Week 3, we see Broncos (4-1) and Seahawks (11-2) separating themselves, with 49ers now third at 8-1. Dolphins title odds have improved to 33-1, from 40-1.
Ryan Tannehill's increasing challenges: Beating Brandon Weeden's Browns was nothing. Beating Andrew Luck's Colts was bigger. Now, with the Falcons on deck and then the Saints, QB Ryan Tannheill has a chance to establish himself further while also chasing away two old Dolphins ghosts. Matt Ryan and Drew Brees were the two guys Miami could have had. Now Tannehill faces both for the first time, back to back. Click on Tannehill's Climb for my column.
UPSET BIRD DAY: WEEK 3 PREDIX FOR DOLPHINS, NFL: The Dolphins will raise smiles in Sunday's home opener by beating Atlanta, presuming Tannehill (sore shoulder) is good to go. This feels like an upset but isn't. But this is: Pittsburgh over Chicago in my "Aawwk!" Click on Week 3 Gems for the details and full prediction capsules on these and all NFL games. And click on Building A Home-Field Advantage for my Friday Page column on the Dolphins' attempts to make home games special again. I blew last night's game. Had Eagles covering but they got run over by Andy Reid.
WADE ON LENO TALKS TITLE, GABRIELLE, LEBRON WEDDING: Heat's Dwyane Wade on Jay Leno last night (click HERE for the video) talked about the repeat championship, about fatherhood, and (without much info) about attending LeBron's wedding. Most interesting was his admitting he and girlfriend/actress Gabrielle Union "kind of took a step back" in their relationshiop but have gotten back together and, "We're going strong now." Leno never would have asked about that without Wade approving or perhaps even suggesting it, so it tells you Dwyane wanted it out there.
YO, VINNIE! NHL PANTHERS CHANGING OWNERS: Interesting dynamic with our four major pro-sports owners down here. Heat's Micky Arison, Dolphins' Steve Ross and Marlins' Jeffrey Loria all are very high profile -- Arison for success, Loria for notoriety and Ross somewhere in between. The hockey Panthers' various owners have barely had any local Q rating at all. I'd like to help change that with the Cats' pending new owner, Vinnie Viola, because I love his name. Vinnie is pictured. (Oh come on, play along!) I think a team with an owner named Vinnie Viola should adopt a "family" atmosphere. I suggest a Machine Gun Night, although, for propriety's sake, no bullets, please. Red Wings fans threw octupi on the ice; Cats fans could throw horse's heads. The new marketing theme: "Buy Season Tickets ... Or Else!" I like Florida's chances to get back in the playoffs under this new owner, especially because the opposing teams' leading scorer and goalie keep mysteriously incurring broken limbs just before the puck drops. [Note: The preceding exploits ethnic stereotypes and therefore may be in poor taste. The good news? It's no worse than when I did something similar when the Dolphins hired Tony Sparano].
BETTING CANES THIS WEEK? UM TRAILS BY 60 POINTS AT KICKOFF. YES, 60!: The little Savannah State Tigers have a habit of giving up tons of points. They mustn't recruit defensive players. They have already given up 77 and 66 in games this season. Oklahoma State rang up 84 on 'em last year. So Saturday's game at Miami finds the line galloping from an opening 55 points to a current 60 -- third-biggest college line ever, says Pregame.com. The game is mostly off the board, meaning no bets at major Las Vegas sports books. But where you do find it playable, UM is giving more than eight TDs. Wagering rule of thumb: Take the 60 points, take any opponent getting 60, I don't care if it's my mother's Mah Jongg group (pictured). Aside to NCAA: Big programs should be allowed their cupcake or two, sure, but mismatches of this degree embarrass the sport. On a brighter note, things look up for Savannah State after UM. In their next game they are only an early 11-point underog to mom's Mah Jongg ladies.
Poll result: You love me! Well, OK, you sort of like me...: I asked in the previous blogpost if you thought I should continue as a part of the Le Batard radio show when it goes national. Extracting the 13.6 percent who don't listen, my rating was running about 4-to-1 favorable, with 69.6% saying yes (enjoy my appearances) and 16.8% saying no (think I'm not very good at radio). Thanks to all!
KERR DOUBTS HEAT: Analyst Steve Kerr predicts Miami will not win a third straight NBA championship, which might merit points for boldness except that hardly anybody wins three straight titles. Kerr, of course, is most noted for spending his NBA career riding Michael Jordan's coattails and devaluing the championship ring by having five of them (3 Bulls, 2 Spurs) but being an incidental passenger on all of them. If Kerr's current voice were commensurate with his playing career he would not be allowed to have opinions, let alone share them aloud.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...