August 25, 2014

New survey slams Joe Philbin; plus SNL's all-time best cast members poll; also Upset Bird Countdown, Stanton's chilling words, Marino, Kaaya & more

1) It is TUESDAY, AUGUST 26. Not one of today's Dolphins cuts -- not one -- is surprising or a big deal except to those being cut. 2) No radio again today. We're back in-studio with the Dan Le Batard Show next Tuesday, Sept. 2. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes name Brad Kaaya QB, Knowshon Moreno propels Dolphins win, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

1aa1ahecklejeckleUPSET BIRD COUNTDOWN: 10 DAYS: The Upset Bird and I launch our 24th season of NFL
1aa1atenFriday Page predictions in the Miami Herald in 10 days, on Sept. 5. To celebrate we begin a daily countdown honoring notable fictional birds of different species. To start us off, today please welcome Heckle & Jeckle, the mischievous magpies who spread their merry mayhew for Terrytoons from 1946 to 1981.

State of the Quarterbacks: In today's latest column I scan the QB situations of the state's 10 big football teams (3 NFL, 7 FBS) on the eve of the season, and find all involve questions or doubts -- with one notable exception. Click on State of the QBs to read.

"Enough with Jim Parsons already! William H. Macy should-a won that Emmy." --Greg Cote

1aa1ajoepNEW EXPERTS SURVEY SLAMS JOE PHILBIN: Dolphin Joe Philbin is ranked 29th of 32 NFL head coaches in a new ESPN survey of 30 anonymous league "insiders." (Story and list here). Experts were asked to rate each coach from 1st through 5th tier. Patriots' Bill Belichick was No. 1 overall with an average tier rating of 1.07. Also from the AFC East, the Jets' Rex Ryan ranked 17th at 2.73, and the Bills' Doug Marrone was 28th at 3.53, just ahead of Philbin's 3.63. The 30 voters gave Philbin one 2nd-tier vote, nine 3rd-tier votes and 20 4th-tier votes.

1aa1agstantonSTANTON'S SIX CHILLING WORDS: "Five months doesn't change five years." Marlin Giancarlo Stanton said that in Anaheim yesterday when asked by Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown (story here) if Miami's unexpected playoff contention this season has altered his view of the future in terms of his re-signing long term. That's a bit ominous. It means the club and Jeffrey Loria still have much work to do to keep him and that the odds may still be long. Stanton last night hit his 33rd homer and ran his RBI count to 97 to lead a big win that drew the Fish within three games in the wild-card race, as if we needed a reminder why keeping him is such a gargantuan deal.

WE RIP OFF GRANTLAND FOR AN 'SNL' 40TH ANNIVERSARY POLL: ESPN's Grantland is running a bracket-style vote to name the greatest Saturday Night Live cast members as NBC's SNL marks its 40th 1aa1aSNLanniversary season. They're down to the final 16, and our poll features those 16, alphabetically. It's a very strong list considering the finalists do not include the likes of Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, Jon Lovitz, Seth Meyers, Tracy Morgan, Gilda Radner, Adam Sandler or Martin Short. You may vote here for up to five (5), and there also is a "somebody else" category if this top 16 excludes one of your favorites. Vote and say why your all-time No. 1 is who it  is.

VOTE FOR AS MANY AS FIVE (5):

ON MARINO, KAAYA, INCOGNITO, LLWS AND TIGER: Some quick scattershot thoughts across sports for an early week...

1aa1adanmDolphins' Marino hire much ado about very little for now: "Special adviser" is one of those weightless, amorphous titles that sound mostly ceremonial. What I'm hearing from two club sources is that Dan Marino will have owner Stephen Ross' ear to offer opinions on personnel but that he'll mostly be a figurehead, a familiar face out front. Club also wants him to mentor Ryan Tannehill.

Canes right to go with Kid Kaaya: I'd not hand the reins to a 23-year-old transfer -- a stopgap solution -- unless he clearly proved himself better. Jake Heaps did not. So Al Golden was smart to opt for true freshman Brad Kaaya. Fast-forward the future. If Kaaya is the next great UM QB, find out now and have him for four seasons instead of three.

Defrocked bully Incognito gets another shot: Tampa Bay Bucs have ousted Dolphins bully Richie Incognito in for a look. Glad Miami has sanitized itself of Incognito, but I don't begrudge him another chance elsewhere. To the Bucs: Bully for you!

1aa1amoneyPaying Little Leaguers. No, seriously. Somebody said that: So evidently Mo'ne Davis being on national TV and the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 13 isn't enough, and she should get a cut of the profits. Gawd. Somewhere, the dollar-struck father of a 6-year-old T-ball phenom is trying to reach Drew Rosenhaus.

Tiger, your desperation is showing: Tiger Woods has parted ways with swing coach Sean Foley. Coach-changing and swing-tinkering are sure signs a golfer is desperate. So is this: Bearing down on age 39, struggling to stay healthy, and not having won a major since 2008.

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February 01, 2014

Canton ballot. Here's yours. Vote who should get into Hall of Fame tonight; plus Smirk V, Pacers get Bynum, Incognito in a rout, Seinfeld & more

1) It is SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1. Happy new month, all. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Smirk IV (par-tay), Super Bowl prediction, Incognito-Martin poll & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.

1aa1abradshawSMIRK V: AMERICA THREATENED, CHALLENGED BY FOUR STRAIGHT HOURS OF TERRY BRADSHAW: Today's last of five Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns details Fox-TV's parade of scheduled pregame 1aa1ajimmyjshow features that have zero to do with a Broncos-Seahawks game -- what happens when you have four hours to kill. Supposedly one of the features will be Jimmy Johnson deep-sea fishing in the nude. (At least that's what I read). Also included in today's new Smirk: Partying Heat, Bison & Pistachio Sausage, a coin, brawling do-gooders, griping bowlers and Betty White nursing the E-Trade Baby. Click on Smirk V for the complete latest column. (Previously: Smirk IVSmirk IIISmirk IISmirk ISB Top 10 Storylines).

Poll result: Incognito routs Martin on sympathy scale: I asked previously where your sympathy lies in the Dolphins Bullygate mess, a wound reopened this week. A plurality of 47.2 percent said "neither player" and only 2.5% said "both." But of those who sided with player, Richie Incognito swamped Jonathan Martin by 44.0% to 6.3% -- the bully more sympathetic than the victim by a 7-to-1 margin.    

WORLD'S LONGEST POLL: WHO SHOULD GET INTO CANTON TONIGHT? VOTE YOUR TOP 5: Hey can I help it there are 17 finalists on the darned ballot? I'm a selective voter. I think the only three I'd vote in this year are Marvin Harrison, Derrick Brooks and Walter Jones. Warren Sapp's anti-Michael Strahan campaign should make that vote interesting. Anyway, here's the alphabetical lst of finalists. Vote for as many as five (5)!

PACERS, NOT HEAT, LAND BYNUM: Indiana signs Andrew Bynum for rest of NBA season, a backup center the Heat considered. This gives Pacers increased depth behind Roy Hibbert, and underlines the onus on Miami's Greg Oden to continue to develop in his comeback. If I didn't know any better I'd say it appears the Pacers are serious about dethroning Miami. The inevitable Eastern finals just got a little more interesting. 

SEINFELD STILL THE KING: We saw Jerry Seinfeld last night at the Hard Rock and I think it was the best 1aa1ajerrysstandup show I'd seen in a long time. Wife rermarked afterward how much I'd laughed. I mean big, out-loud laughter. Seinfeld didn't invent observational humor but owns the genre. Always amazes me he doesn't use his iconic, eponymous former sitcom as a crutch or fallback. Doesn't need to. The only vague reference to Seinfeld was him imagining some people coming to his show and saying, "Where are the other three people!?" Seinfeld, at 59, is at the top of his game. Absolutely terrific.

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