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August 10, 2014

Dolphins' predicted win %'s in every game; plus Brady Quinn, RIP Robin Williams, Wade's jab at LeBron, Hot Button Top 10, Le Batard & more

1aa1arobinw1) It is MONDAY, AUGUST 11. R.I.P., Robin Williams, 63, one of our great comic actors, dead of an apparent suicide. Shocking. So, so sad. 2) Peyton and Eli Manning have a new hip-hop video (sort of) for DirecTV. It is splendidly awful. Click here to cringe or enjoy. In case you missed it, click here for my Saturday column on Alonzo Mourning's hall of fame induction. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Tannehill sharp in preseaon-opener loss, Reshad Jones suspended, Dolphins-newcomer poll, Zo's big night, my 50 yards from glory & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

1aa1adwadejabD. Wade's gentle jab at LeBron?: Dwyane Wade's latest Instagram post today, unexplained, is this quotation: "Loyalty Is Rare, If You Find, Keep It." Interpret as you will.

Le Batard explains himself: Dan Le Batard reacts to his recent two-day ESPN suspension today in a new column for ESPN.com. Click here to read it.    

"Cleveland is ecstatic. Because of LeBron James and Johnny Manziel? Well, yeah, that too I suppose, now that you mention it. But I meant because the city is hosting the International Gay Games this week." --Greg Cote

HERE ARE WIN-LIKELIHOOD PERCENTAGES FOR EVERY DOLPHINS GAME: PredictionMachine.com computers replayed the 2014 season 50,000 times and spit out an average of 7.4 victories for the
1aa1apredictionDolphins -- foretelling the typical competitive-but-no-playoffs season. Miami is given a 12.2 percent chance to win the AFC East 1aa1adol0.4and a 13.9% shot at a wild card -- a combined postseason likelihood of 26.1%. The Dolphins are given a 0.4% chance -- less than half of 1 percent -- to win the Super Bowl. Here are game-by-game win percentages, from likeliest victory to unlikeliest: 60.2% vs. Bills (Game 10); 58.5% @ Jaguars (7); 55.0% vs. Jets (16); 54.2% @ Raiders (4); 54.1 @ Jets (12); 53.8% vs. Chiefs (3); 52.5% vs. Vikings (15); 50.8% @ Bills (2); 49.7% vs. Ravens (13); 43.7% vs. Chargers (8); 42.3% @ Bears (6); 39.3% vs. Packers (5); 38.5% vs. Patriots (1); 36.6% @ Lions (9); 29.3% @ Patriots (14); and 17.2% @ Broncos (11). PredictionMachine says the six AFC playoff teams in order will be Broncos, Patriots, Colts, Bengals, Chargers and Texans. For the NFC it's Saints, Seahawks, Giants, Packers, 49ers and Eagles. Most likely Super Bowl champions are the Broncos (25.1%), Seahawks to repeat (22.1%), Saints (15.8%) and Patriots (8.8%).

The Dolphins recycle: Quinn tops Grossman, Skelton in QB audition: Dolphins worked out
1aa1abradybodyquarterbacks Rex Grossman, Brady Quinn (pictured lookin' all sexy) and John Skelton today, with Quinn signed. This was because team's QB situation after starter Ryan Tannehill seemed in flux, with backup Matt Moore and third-string Pat Devlin both sitting out preseason opener injured, and Moore a pricey backup with a $4 million salary. Quinn of course is the guy many Dolfans hoped team drafted in 2007 (instead of Ted Ginn), but he has done little in NFL. Coach Joe Philbin was typically say-nothing on the auditions today: "We’ve had workouts almost every single day and it’s no different. We’re always evaluating different people that are out there." To me it felt like flying in these guys was mostly a message to Moore and Devlin; now it seems Quinn will supplant Devlin as the No. 3. Hey, now let's start a Tim Tebow rumor and really make this fun. Wait. Vince Young!

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1aa1afrankmaloneyFAMED BOXING PROMOTER BECOMES WOMAN:
You don't see this every day. It turns out famed British boxing promoter and manager Frank Maloney, now 61, who shepherded Lennox Lewis to the heavweight title in the '90s, is now a woman named Kellie. Click here for the story out of the UK. Frank and his female transmogrification are pictured.

1aa1afacekiniFASHION TREND: THE 'FACEKINI': Beachgores in China have popularized a bizarre head-covering designed to both protect the face from the sun's harmful rays and also to scare the living s--- out of children imagining an alien attack. Click here for thre backstory. This is a blog, so I couldn't say it if it weren't true.

HOT BUTTON: TOP 10 THINGS SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Hot Button is an added Sunday feature of the blog because our Sunday notes-column package in the print edition has been on summer hiatus, scheduled to return to the newspaper on Aug. 24. Hot Button means what's on our minds as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead:

1aa1ahotbutton1. Dolphins: Tannehill shines in preseason opener: Safety Reshad Jones was socked with four-game NFL suspension for PEDs. Better news: Ryan Tannehill was 6-for-6 on opening drive and new offense looked good early in 16-10 fake-game loss in Atanta.

2. UM football: Golden plays mind games: Coach Al Golden has his Hurricanes undergoing "mindfulness" sessions with neuroscientist Amishi Jha. UM fans hope that what players are most mindful of is blocking and tackling. 

3. Marlins: Huge homestand needed: Brad Penny won in first game back with Fish, but team is still 4.5 games back in wild-card chase entering Sunday. Miami will need a big showing in a nine-game homestand starting Monday to have a chance.

4. Dan Le Batard: LeBron prank leads to suspension: ESPN suspended Le Batard for two days from his TV and radio shows after he paid for billboards that read, "You're Welcome, LeBron. Love, Miami," to coincide with James' Akron homecoming. The billboards: $5,000. The publicity: Priceless.

5. Alonzo Mourning: Zo joins hall of fame: The Heat's first big star was among 10 newest members of the basketball hall of fame Friday night in Springfield, Mass. To say the inductees spoke a little long would be understating it. I think Nolan Richardson might still be talking.

6. Heat: Riley's well-timed shot: speaks: Pat Riley's ill feelings about how LeBron left the Heat continue to seep through. On Friday, the same day Akron officially welcomed James home, Riley released to "Heat Lifers" a forward-looking video full of optimism. Meanwhile James assured Cavs fans, "I don't plan on going nowhere" -- and was suspended four games for a grammatical double-negative.

7. Golf: Rory leads PGA Championship: Red-hot Rory McIlroy took a one-shot lead into Sunday's final round of the season's fourth and final major. Tiger Woods missed the cut. Rory insists the"next Tiger" talk is premature. Win today and the insisting will be harder.

8. Biogenesis: Charges filed: One year after the story first broke, the feds arrested Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch and others connected to the Coral Gables steroids mill that implicated Alex Rodrguez and others in MLB. Just when you think baseball's "Steroids Era" is over, it isn't.

9. NASCAR: Stewart involved in tragedy: Tony Stewart withdrew from Sunday's NASCAR race after accidentally striking and killing another driver in a Saturday dirt-track race.

10. NCAA: O'Bannon ruling: NCAA said it will appeal after judge ruled against it in landmark case that would open door for college athletes to receive some of the money they generate in major college sports. The way the legal system works, I wonder if Ed O'Bannon, 41, will still be alive to someday collect.

1aa1ablazorPoll result: Lazor, Albert and Landry lead Dolphins newcomers: In the previous blogpost we gave you 12 choices for the Dolphins' top newcomer/biggest addition (you may still vote), and three men dominated: Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor (pictured) with 27.4 percent, OT Branden Albert with 25.6% and WR Jarvis Landry with 22.2%. On a distant second tier were CB Cortland Finnegan (7.0%) and OT Ja'Wuan James (6.6%). Showing minor support were RB Knowshon Moreno (3.1%) and S Louis Delmas (2.9%). The five others mopped up with negligible votes.

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THE TICKET CAPITALIZES ON LE BATARD SUSPENSION:
Radio station 104.3 & 790 The Ticket bought this full-page ad in the Miami Herald on Sunday to welcome back Dan today/Monday following his two-day ESPN suspension for those tweaking-LeBron billboards in Akron. Nice touch to show the "offending" billboard on the bottom of the ad. Take that, ESPN!

50 YARDS FROM GLORY: THE LATEST: My bet with Le Batard that I can make a 50-yard field goal (an unadulterated radio-show gimmick) is not looking good. I worked out Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas High with kicking coach Tim Conrad and did not top 30 yards before a strained quad muscle cut short the session. Stugotz was there; if only his moral support translated to added yardage. Have I given up? No. But the injury will force me to postpone my live-on-the-air attempt that had been planned for Tuesday. Meantime a video of me kicking on Saturday is posted on my Instagram account @ upsetbird. Updates to come.

1aa1adolcheercoverDOLPHIN CHEERLEADERS UPDATE: The Dolphins cheerleaders have revealed their 2015 calendar and the suspense has ended. Now, at long last, we can tell you that Monica (pictured) is the cover girl. Was she the betting favorite? Not sure. One more question. Why can't the Dolphins ever look as good on the field as the cheerleaders do in a calendar?

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