GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It is SATURDAY, February 4. A Herald Sports Facebook page has debuted. Click HERE. 2) Shameless Plug Alert! Our new Miami Dolphins book on the club's first half-century makes the perfect shoulda-bought-it-for-Christmas-but-it-isn't-too-late gift for every Dolfan you know. Click on Fins At 50 to order. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Me and Dwyane Wade and Twitter and wine, the fourth Super Bowl With a Smirk, our Falcons-Patriots SB prediction & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.
BREAKING: Jason Taylor voted into Canton: Ex-Dolphins great Jason Taylor has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Also elected" LaDanian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis, Kurt Warner, Morten Andersen, Jerry Jones and Kenny Easley. That's seven in all. How's I do on my predictions? (See below). Six of the guys I had with a 50 percent chance or better got in. I thought John Lynch and Terrell Owens would, but they didn't. I thought Andersen wouldn't make it, but he did. Overall, not too bad on my guesswork. My original post is below:
CANTON CALLING: HANDICAPPING HALL OF FAME LIKELIHOOD FOR JASON TAYLOR, OTHER 17 FINALISTS: Pro Football Hall Fame does the Big Reveal tonight at 8 on Fox, and what's intriguing is that only RB LaDainian Tomlinson is an absolute, you'd-bet-your-life lock to get in. There is big, wide debate on whether the Dolphins' contender, DE Jason Taylor, is likely to make it or has no real shot. I rank the 15 finalists and three senior/contributor nominees by likelihood of induction, with my betting odds on each:
RB LaDainian Tomlinson (99% percent likely / 1-100 odds): Bet the house, the car and your entire family.
QB Kurt Warner (75% / 1-2): God's will?
S Kenny Easley (70% / 1-2): Just watch. At least one Senior nominee has gotten in every year since 1997.
S John Lynch (65% / 2-3): State of the art
Owner Jerry Jones (60% / 1-1): And Jimmy Johnson didn't make it to finalist round. Ouch.
RB Terrell Davis (60% / 1-1): Fairly short career could hurt.
OT Joe Jacoby (60% / 1-1): Boss Hog.
WR Terrell Owens (60% / 1-1): Controversial. Media didn't like him. So what!
DE Jason Taylor (50% / 5-4): Most experts call him a longshot in first year of eligibility, but he's sixth all-time in sacks, returned more fumbles for TDs than anybody, won a Defensive Player of the Year award and is only pass rusher on the ballot, which helps. Don't be surprised if he gets in this time, or if he doesn't, but I absolutely think Taylor is a certain future Hall of Famer (eventually) and has a big chance right now time.
PK Morten Andersen (35% / 8-1): Punter Ray Guy remains only specialist/foot-man in Hall.
G Alan Faneca (30% / 10-1): Maybe someday.
OT Tony Boselli (30% / 10-1): Maybe someday II.
Coach Don Coryell (25% / 15-1): No Super Bowls, .572 win percentage. Meh.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (25% / 15-1): If he didn't get in immediately, probably never happen.
WR Isaac Bruce (20% / 20-1): Big numbers, but Fort Lauderdale native and Dillard High alum spent much of pro career overshadowed on own team by Torry Holt.
C Kevin Mawae (15% / 25-1): Hall of Very Good.
S Brian Dawkins (15% / 25-1): Hurts him that Lynch and Easley are both on ballot.
CB Ty Law (10% / 30-1): No ugly mustard-yellow jacket for you!
SUPER BOWL WITH A SMIRK: BIDDING ADIEU FOR WEEK WITH AGRODOLCE, TAYLOR SWIFT, 22 COWS, 1.7 MILLION POUNDS OF CHICKEN WINGS AND ONE ORANGUTAN: Super Bowl With a Smirk bids farewell with our last of five daily columns needling the self-important NFL and the excess and gravitas of its big game:
You know Super Bowl Week is winding down and the game is finally near when the official parties kick in.
The 26th annual Taste of the NFL, a "Party With a Purpose" fundraiser, happens Saturday night at the University of Houston with dishes by chefs representing every league city.
Featured on the tony menu this year: Atlanta’s Roasted Quail, Parsnips, Onion Soubise and Cranberry Agrodolce vs. New England’s Cavatelli, Housemade Sausage, Butternut Squash and Shaved Truffle Butter.
Obvious edge there to Atlanta. I mean, who doesn’t love soubise and agrodolce!?
In case you wondered, Miami, last in a Super Bowl 32 years ago, will be represented on the menu by Stone Crab Bisque and Rum-Glazed Bacon with a Glaze of Dolfan Tears.
Let’s hope there is no controversy at Saturday’s Taste of the NFL like there was last year, when the chef representing the Patriots was kicked out for intentionally deflating other chefs’ souffles.
(*) Maxim, Rolling Stone and Playboy will be among other major party hosts as a bevy of rented women and once-famous hip-hop stars make the rounds. Taylor Swift is hosting a "Super Saturday Night" party and can be expected to act all surprised to be there.
(*) Smirk culled through a stack of his exclusive A-list invites to celebrity soirees and chose to attend a Super Bowl party being hosted by the estranged second cousin of Gloria Estefan’s former gardener.
(*) Hall of Fame voters met Friday in the Bob Kuechenberg Disappointment Room to decide which new inductees will be announced Saturday. LaDainian Tomlinson is the only absolute for Canton, but ex-Dolphin Jason Taylor has a good shot. Should we expect a Tweet from President Trump that the election was rigged?
(*) Keegan-Michael Key (of Comedy Central’s "Key & Peele") hosts the NFL Honors awards show Saturday, with winners announced in 16 categories including league MVP — likely Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Could be a shutout for Dolphins, although Cam Wake has a shot at Comeback Player of the Year. Miami also is a finalist for the Kaepernick Cup for anthem kneeling.
(*) Fox, ESPN and NFL Network are girding for pregame shows that will last longer than the game itself. ESPN’s pregame will include a 13-minute segment on how Wilson footballs are made. No, seriously. What they might not tell you: all of the footballs to be used on Sunday required the hides of 22 cows, one of them a cherished doe-eyed Guernsey named Lulu.
(*) ESPN’s pregame also will feature a tribute to Chris Berman on his final major workday before the network shoves him unceremoniously into awkward semi-retirement.
(*) The National Chicken Council says the estimated 1.3 billion chicken wings eaten on Sunday will weigh 1.7 million pounds or 300 times the combined weight of the 32 NFL teams, surprising analysts who were unaware there was a National Chicken Council.
(*) The annual NFL Foundation Super Bowl golf tournament was held Friday as dozens of former players drove the course loudly griping about their various ailments and lack of benefits.
(*) Acara, an orangutan at Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, has predicted a Falcons victory.
(*) There was a brawl on Sad, Sad Radio Row at the SB Media Center on Friday when producers for rival Bangor, Maine, radio stations got into a kickfight over first dibs on Patriots backup long-snapper Tug McGillicutty.
(*) Finally, our parting Super Bowl Party Tip du Jour: Why do what every other party in America is doing? As the Falcons and Patriots are lining up for the opening kickoff and the din of your guests reaches an excited pitch, abruptly switch the channel from the game to "A Madea Christmas" airing on BET.
Click Smirk I, Smirk II, Smirk III and Smirk IV for this week's previous Smirks.
HOT BUTTON DAILY / 2-4-17: What events on the Saturday, Feb. 4 sports calendar interest South Florida fans most:
1. Philadelphia at Heat, 7:30 p.m.: Miami favored to bag its 10th straight win.
2. Hall of Fame announcement, 8 p.m.: Canton's big reveal could include Jason Taylor.
3. Hurricanes at North Carolina State, 3 p.m.: UM men, 3-5 since start of year, seek spark.
4. Kentucky at Florida, 8:15 p.m.: No. 8 Wildcat men a big test for No. 24 Gators.
5. Cleveland at New York, 8:30: Because LeBron James at Carmelo Anthony is still a show.
Select recent columns: Greatness Times Four, on Lebron, Brady, Serena and Tiger. Miami In the Super Bowl, on the Miami-tie guys playing in this one. Home Run For Montoya, Miami, from the Race of Champions here. Thank You, Edwin Pope, on the death of a friend, mentor and Miami Herald icon. Also: Is Tannehill Close Enough to Great? When Playoffs Become the Norm Again. A Year Of Heartache, But Then A Smile. An Orange Bowl Classic. Road Back Starts With Bowl Win. Missing Dwyane Wade.
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