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July 29, 2014

Miracle Marlins!; plus Arison's open letter (no thanks for LeBron), Canes odds, support for Tannehill rising, naked-TV trend & more

1) It is WEDNEDSDAY, JULY 30. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Faith-in-Tannehill poll, Joe Philbin, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 2) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

"The Dolphins signed rookie QB Seth Lobato from Northern Colorado. If he made the team and won the starting job, would that mean the offense had undergone a Lobatomy?" --Greg Cote

MARLINS FANS: DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?: You saw one two nights ago against rival Washington,
1aa1abillymwith Miami turning a 6-0 deficit into a 7-6 walkoff win. Last night it was a 3-0 whitewash win. Now the Marlins have won six straight games and nine of the past 10. The team has now crept back up to a .500 record and is within five games of the NL East lead and, as important, within four games of a wild-card spot. This is still the periphery of playoff contention, but Miami has put itself in the conversation, given itself a chance. The team should now be buyers, not sellers, if there is any movement before Thursday's MLB trade deadline looms. On my count, 1-2-3 ... "Everybody's doin' the Fish! Yeah yeah yeah!" It would be a sporting miracle if Miami, sans Jose Fernandez, came from where they were to make the playoffs. They have a fighting shot.

ON MICKY ARISON'S OPEN LETTER TO HEAT FANS: 'WE ARE NOT DONE': The Heat's owner linked to his upbeat message from his Twitter account. Back in the day, he'd have taken out a full page ad in 1aa1amickyx3the Miami Herald. (Why do I think of everything in the context of the Newspaper Deathbed?) Anyway, Arison didn't go all Dan Gilbert and rail against LeBron James for the way he left. He went high-road, extolling the franchise's great accomplishments and expressing optimism moving forward. The letter appeared beneath the photo shown here. The key points, to me: After spending the first half of the letter bragging up all the club has done, and won, he wrote, "I’m here to tell you something else: we are not done; not even close." And, "We are laser-focused on the present and the task at hand of defending our Eastern Conference championship ... while also positioning ourselves for maximum flexibility and maneuverability in the future." And, "Our roster is comprised of players capable of versatility and who are out to prove something to the rest of the league." Finally, a plea to fans: "Like Dwyane [Wade] said when he announced his return to the Heat, I am a #HeatLifer. That’s how I want you to feel about your role as a Miami Heat fan -- that you are a #HeatLifer –- 'all in' with us." I found it interesting that Arison neither mentioned LeBron's departure nor thanked him for his time here. The underlying tone was very much that losing LeBron is a hiccup that this championship-pedigree club will overcome.

CANES CONFERENCE ODDS: ACC media recently voted Miami as the favorite to win the Coastal Division this season. Professional oddsmakers do not agree. New Bovada lines out today have North Carolina the Coastal pick at 8-5 odds, followed by UM and Virginia Tech at 3-1 each. 

POLL RESULT: SUPPORT FOR TANNEHILL SHOWS MODEST RISE: "What will Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill be three years from now?" We asked the poll question during last season and again as this training camp opened to gauge any change in support, and we saw a modest rise in faith. The comparative results:

Poll Answer                2013        Now

A star                        8.2          13.5

A solid starter            39.1        41.4  

A marginal starter      30.4        21.8

A reserve                   7.5         7.1

Gone                         8.4         10.4

Too soon to say          6.4         5.8

In sum, Tannehill's plus-rating in the two most positive categories -- star or solid starter -- rose from 47.3 percent to 54.9%. Tannehill generally has rising support, but it isn't broad, and doubters remain.

MEET TV'S LATEST DUMB NAKED SHOW: It is called Dating Naked and it airs Thursdays on VH1. The title is fairly self-explanatory; see photos. This in many ways is a golden age for television, with terrific shows such 1aa1adatingnaked 1aa1adatingnaked2as Shameless, Boardwalk Empire, Ray Donovan, Girls and many more. However all is not gold. There is still plenty of tin. TV executives out of fresh ideas tend to cannibalize each other, and this element has collectively decided that nudity is trend-worthy -- Fleshtone is the New Orange -- and so Dating Naked might call itself the illicit child of Discovery's Naked and Afraid and TLC's Buying Naked. Bulletin: Most people look much better clothed. (If you don't believe me, take an eye-opening stroll along the textile-optional stretch of Haulover Beach in north Miami). The "naked" shows also are fraudulent or at least misleading, sort of like ESPN The Magazine's annual "Body" issue that pictures athletes artfully nude but not really, their private parts tastefully covered. Dating Naked is a similar big tease of false advertising, with the frontal stuff obscured and viewers left with small doses of butt crack. I watched some of one episode on VH1's website in order to write this item. The show is not daring enough to be revolutionary, and somehow manages to make nakedness boring.

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