1) It is SATURDAY, MAY 3. I'm back at Random Evidence Laboratories luring Sunday's notes-column package. 2) R.I.P., Al Feldstein, 88, creative genius behind Mad magazine, one of the comedic mainstays of my early youth. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Silver hammer pounds Sterling with Heat reaction and poll result, Jameis Winston's purloined crabs, Bruce Springsteen concert & more. 4) Join us Twitter @gregcote.
Heat held hostage; wait continues: Brooklyn's win vs. Toronto last night forcing a Game 7 on Sunday continues the Heat's wait for its second-round foe. That second-round will begin Tuesday night in Miami vs. the Nets-Raptors winner. Click on Thrill Ride for my latest column, on the Heat waiting out the wild first round -- one that will feature a record five Game 7s.
"I'd like to announce that, effective immediately, Donald Sterling has been banned for life from reading this blog." --Greg Cote
ONE WEEK AWAY, WHAT PLAYER SHOULD DOLPHINS BE TARGETING FOR NO. 1 DRAFT PICK?: One week from today -- finally -- the pregnant NFL will be giving birth to its annual draft and Dolfans will be praising/bemoaning the team's top pick. The draft is two weeks later than usual, which means media blowhards have had more time to offer the incessant speculation known as Mock Drafts, and teams have had more time to overanalyze a process that, bottom line, remains a marriage of educated guess and fingers-crossed gamble. This draft more than most is an unsettled mystery, with the quarterback position a prime example. There also is mystery surrounding what the Dolphins will do with the 19th overall pick. Will the need on the offensive line yield to "best available talent"? Will there be a trade up or down? Only GM Dennis Hickey knows, and, one week out, maybe even he doesn't yet have a clue. I offer this poll as a pulse-read on how Dolfans are thinking one week away. The alphabetical list of seven candidates is culled from reasonable speculation based on position need, what we are seeing in major mocks, and what Herald sources are saying. Some on the list may be gone by 19 and could require a trade-up. This poll is not asking you to predict what Miami will do, but asking what player you'd most like to see Miami get, even if it meant a small trade-up. I'll reserve my specific thoughts for my annual Mock Draft coming next week. For now, it's your turn. Vote and say why.
Dolphins GM Hickey on draft: New Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey held a pre-draft news conference yesterday and skillfully told the media next to nothing, but verbosely. This showed he is adapting well to his job. "I'm not going to comment on specific positions." Alrighty then! Hickey did say they'll be "exploring all options" in terms of trades up or down, said "the draft day should be calm," and raved about the Canes on the team's UM Pro Day, saying, "We would love to keep a lot of that home-grown talent here in Miami." Hickey, the Silver Fox, also said he'd nominate Leslie Nielsen to portray him in a movie --problematic only because Neilsen died in 2010.
HEAT'S BIRDMAN RECYCLES 'BIRDZILLA': The Heat's human tattoo Chris Andersen announced the other day he wished to be called Birdzilla now, not Birdman, and of course the Heat media swooned with delight because Bird is a cartoon and because we are easily amused, especially by him. Should I rain on the aviary parade here by noting he also was called Birdzilla while playing in Denver? (See right). The phrase itself also is a recycle job. There is a Birdzilla.com devoted to birdwatching, and a BirdzillaStudios.com, too. A 2007 episode of Monsterquest was entitled Birdzilla, and that also was a character in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Oh, and the phrase is spoofed all over the Internet (see left). Sorry, Chris, but Birdzilla is sort of, well, taken.
ON STANTON AND FERNANDEZ'S APRIL: I like where the Marlins are entering May, even at 13-14 through April. Their run differential of +21 is fourth-best in the majors, and Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez had opening months worthy of the attention of MLB history. Stanton's 31 RBIs tie for 10th best ever in April; the record is 36. And Fernandez's 55 strikeouts rank 13th al-time for the starting month; the record is 65. If Miami can figure out how to win a road game once in a while, this could be a promising season.
AL TURNS DOWN GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Showtime wanted to do a 13-week reality-documentary on Hurricanes football this coming season a la HBO's Hard Knocks series but UM said no thanks, as first reported by TheBigLead.com. I get coach Al Golden's decision. A TV crew constantly around your program with special access can't help but be a distraction. Then again, Showtime is known for quality work and it might have been a great chance to grow The U brand, sort of a three-month free ad to attract recruits. Also, ex-Cane Ray Lewis would have been heavily involved, assuring a Cane-friendly rather than adversarial approach. While respecting Golden's decision, I think I'd have green-lighted this. You?
THANK YOU, JAMEIS WINSTON!: See, this is perfect. The rape allegation against him -- no, that was not proper fodder for mocking. It was too serious. There was a victim. But swiping 32 bucks worth of crab legs from a Publix? Sweeeet! Thank you, Jameis. I mean, if you're going to shoplift, don't make it a modest essential like rice 'n beans or toilet paper. No, make it a luxury item like crab legs! Your Friend The Internet has loved this, as illustrated by two of my favorite mockeries presented here.
RIHANNA'S PIERCED NIPPLES MUST BE FREE!: The singer Rihanna, whose affinity for nudity makes Miley Cyrus seem like a nun, posed topless on the cover of Lui, a French men's magazine, and is now at war with Instagram, which said they'd nix her account unless she removed the offending photos. I gratuitously share the magazine cover here, but with Rihanna's nipples pixilated so I don't get one of Those Calls from a nervous editor. By the way, have you ever had your nipples pixilated? Sounds like something that would tickle!
NEW KEITH RICHARDS: Anybody who loves reggae like me may enjoy this new long jam that starts with a new version of Keith Richards' 1992 song "Words of Wonder" and segues into the Marley/Tosh/Wailers classic "Get Up, Stand Up." It features musicians from around the globe for a new album that is a project of PlayersForChange.com. Enjoy.
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