Heat (re)sign Michael Beasley; plus Redskins nickname poll (vote now), 9/11, U.S. soccer, Miley bares all (video), UM's Duke, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy & more
1) It is WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11. On the 12th anniversary of 9/11 ... Never Forget! I'm Proud To BeAn American. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins win opener, DSM poll & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird) and Vine (Greg Cote).
U-S-A! U-S-A!: I think it's the right day to be patriotic, so here's a shoutout to the U.S. men's soccer team for whipping Mexico 2-0 last night and qualifying for a seventh straight trip to the World Cup. Not saying the Spains and Brazils should be quaking, but Jurgen Klinsmann has a very good, confident American team. Go U-S-A!
We're football-happy!: The first Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll result rolled in at a solid 86.5 percent, one day after the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter showed a euphoric 96.7% following the Gator beating. Can't recall another week when both results were so favorable.
HEAT REACQUIRE POT SMOKIN' MICHAEL BEASLEY: I jacked "pot smokin'" into the headline to make it clear I am quite aware of all the risks/baggage that comes with signing Michael Beasley. And, yes, it's still a smart signing. It's low risk. He comes cheap. Heck, a one-year, non-guaranteed deal is no-risk. If he decides weed is more important than his career and gets bounced, what has the Heat lost? Meanwhile, if he gets straight and gets serious, well, he is still only 24 years old. He's a career 14.1-point, 5.2-rebound guy. He's a flexible 6-9 forward. The upside is still way up. Besides, this orgnaization, and its leader Pat Riley have earned benefit of doubt on any signing, even or especially this one.
ON THE GROWING ISSUE WITH THE 'REDSKINS' NICKNAME: Washington's NFL team is standing firm on not changing it, and the NFL has not stepped in, but something close to a media boycott of the nickname has begun. Several outlets including Mother Jones, Slate, Washington City Paper and New Republic now no longer use the name. And prominent sportswriters Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Bill Simmons of Grantland also have erased it. I support their doing so; it is their right. For years I have not referred to corporate names of stadiums and arenas as my own little moral stand, so I can't criticize someone else's. The thinking is that if the boycott grows -- if, for instance ESPN and the Washington Post stopped referring to Redskins or showing the logo/image pictured -- the weight for change might become too heavy to ignore. Imagine if a national TV broadcast of a Washington game purposely did not mention the word? I find this subject interesting but also personally conflicting. I'll admit that. I respect both the team and its fans wishing to protect what they consider a traditional nickname, but I also respect groups such as the American Indian Movement that consider "Redskins" to be offensive. It is one of the few topics on which I'm torn. That is why I have not columnized on this. Because "I see both sides" is a lousy starting point for any column. Do you have a stronger opinion than I do? That's what this poll is for. Vote and say why.
ESPN, ENOUGH WITH THE LEBRON NON-NEWS ON 2014!: Geez, are we facing almost a year of this non-stop? Of LeBron James being asked about next summer, essentially saying who-knows and having that fashioned as news? Headline today on ESPN.com's front: "LeBron has 'no idea' about '14 free agency." The implication is a questionable committment to Miami, or at least doubt. But in the story, right after he says he has "absolutely no idea" what might happen, he says: "I would love to spend the rest of my career in Miami with this great team and great organization as we continue to compete for championships. That's ideal." LeBron is smart and prudent to A) say he's happy here, but also to B) leave his options open. He doesn't know what will happen in 2014, OK!? Let's leave it at that, play a season and then all find out together. And in the meantime let's quit acting as if "I have no idea" constitutes news or the slightest tilting in any direction. Pictured: LeBron at age 6, offering only a coy, noncommittal smile as he is probed about his intentions in 2014.
OH MY MILEY OH MY: Miley Cyrus, fresh from her tawdry twerking at the VMA's, has a new video out for her song Wrecking Ball, in which she swings on said wrecking ball while clothing-less. She also seems to be in love with a sledgehammer. Hey, this is a blog ... could I say it if it weren't true? ADVISORY: Do NOT click on the link if you are easily offended.
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY / WEEK 1: Ouch. Rough start against the point spread, and in fantasy. NFL predix: We went a solid 11-5 overall on our Week 1 Friday Page predictions, but we were a dismal 4-11-1 (the Bears pushed) vs. the spread. The wrong side of too many 3-to-4 point lines leaves us some early digging to do. Had a great shot on our Upset of the Week call ("Aawwk!"), but Carolina gave it up in the fourth Q. Fantasy: Greg's Lobos lost 177-111, led by Larry Fitzgerald's 28 points. Remember in our poll you all made a clear favorite of the team in my league led by Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning? Good call. They combined for 80 points and that team won its opener, 205-105.
CANES' DUKE STILL NO. 2 BUT NEW LEADER IN OUR SOPY 'STATE HEISMAN' RANKINGS: This is the second season of our blog-exclusive State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings, a weekly updated list of the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven FBS schools: Miami, FSU and Florida, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. Miami's Duke Johnson (pictured) remains second despite a relatively quiet game vs. the Gators. Canes QB Stephen Morris won the 2012 season title with 1,900.5 points, edging FSU QB E.J. Manuel. Our simple formula awards a half-point for every passing yard and one point for every rushing or receiving yard, with six points for every TD scored or thrown. Our 2013 standings entering Week 3:
Rk (LW) Player, Team-pos. SOPY Pts. Wk2=Year
1 (4) Blake Bortles, UCF-qb 141 = 318
2 (2) Duke Johnson, Miami-rb 77 = 307
3 (3) Marcus Shaw, USF-rb 94 = 292
4 (10t) Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb 176.5 = 278
5 (9) Storm Johnson, UCF-rb 146 = 259
6 (1) Jameis Winston, FSU-qb-* BYE = 233
7 (--) Rannell Hall, UCF-wr 127 = 191
8 (--) Stephen Morris, Miami-qb 84 = 186
9 (--) Solomon Patton, Florida-wr 128 = 166
10 (6) Mack Brown, Florida-rb 29 = 153
Bubble: Jaquez Johnson, FAU-qb, 141.5 FIU leader: Lamarq Caldwell, rb, 119. *-Note, FSU (Winston) has played one fewer game than others listed.
Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. FSU (1-0); 2. Miami (2-0); 3. Florida (1-1); 4. UCF (2-0); 5. USF (0-2); 6. FAU (0-2); 7. FIU (0-2).
WELL PLAYED, MIKE WALLACE. NOW PLAY WELL!: Dolphin Mike Wallace's so-predictable day-after response to his postgame diva act was to say he was mad at himself, not at the coaches or play-calling. That's smart P.R. No team needs this kind of controversy, not this early, and especially not after a win. Click HERE for my column from the game on Wallace catching only one pass and then reacting as he did. He'll be a happier man this week. Indianapolis won't have a cornerback for him as good as Joe Haden, and the play-calling will attempt to make amends. Miami needs its $60 Million Man heavily involved ... and happy.
ON MAYWEATHER-ALVAREZ: No surprise, but Floyd Mayweather is a prohibitive betting favorite at 5-14 over Canelo Alvarez in next week's fight, a line designed to stem the flow of money on Money. A Mayweather win by decision is the result of choice at 10-19, and the over/under on pay-per-view buys is 1.75 million. Signs you may be a degenerate gambler: Betting the over/under on the PPV.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...