1) It is WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27. Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish friends. 2) I am shocked and dismayed that TV's Family Guy would kill Brian the Dog (pictured), my favorite erudite cartoon animal of all-time. Still hoping it's a Beatles/Paul-is-dead styled hoax. 3 In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall to Carolina, DSM & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).
"What the hell!? I thought this was supposed to be a sports blog!" Well, it is. Mostly. And usually. But occasionally real life intervenes...
A REFERENDUM ON RYAN TANNEHILL: The Dolphins' young quarterback is now 27 games into his NFL career. This might be too soon for hard conclusions, but it is not too soon for opinions to be forming, and setting, like wet cement turning by degrees to stone. You know the Dolphins' offense has struggled, but how much of that is on Tannehill? What is your faith in him moving forward? This poll may provide a glimpse of our collective opinion. Vote and say why.
AWFUL 'KNOCKOUT GAME' AN EXTENSION OF AMERICA'S GLORIFYING OF VIOLENCE: If you haven't yet heard of the so-called "Knockout Game," it will disturb you. Or should, anyway. In the "game,"
someone comes up to an innocent, unsuspecting victim and sucker-punches him or her with the violent intention of knocking them unconcious -- just for fun. For fun. Victims have included the elderly. Deaths have been reported. It is an awful, sub-human trend in crime. Click here for a general backgrounder, and here for the perspective of BlackAmericaWeb.com, which says the "game" has its roots among urban African-American youth. I read this quote from Chuck Williams, a Drexel University psychology professor and expert on youth crime: "We market violence to our children and we wonder why they're violent." He's so right, of course. There are video games that outrageously make sport of violence and killing. There are sports themselves -- I'm thinking UFC -- that are just short of barbaric. Am I blaming mixed martials arts for the Knockout Game? No. But there is at least a subliminal link between a society that cheers UFC and a society whose children make a sport of punching someone into submission. What's the point of even denying it?
'Knockout Game' news update: I have been made aware, because of this blog item, that a class-action lawsuit is pending against the makers of the video game Grand Theft Auto V, over claims the video depicts and encourages 'knockout' crimes. (Click here for a GTAV tutorial on how game players can best utilize a knockout punch).
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY / WEEK 12: LOBOS WIN! LOBOS WIN!: Been a long season, folks, so yes is I do exaggerate the good news. NFL predix: Went only 7-6-1 overall but a solid 8-5-1 against the spread, including outright upset calls on Pats over Broncos ("Aawwk!"), Titans over Raiders and Steelers over Browns, plus Bucs and Chargers with points. Why can't I do that every week! Fantasy: Greg's Lobos finally won again! It was 151-128 with five guys scoring in the 20s to end a Texans-esque nine-game losing streak and improve to 2-10.
FAST FORWARD TO HEAT-PACERS, PLEASE: With Chicago's Derrick Rose out for the season (again) and Brooklyn a shambles, can we just fast-forward to a Heat-Pacers Eastern finals, please? A lot of air just went out of this NBA regular season for me. The only question is who gets the No. 1 seed, and right now Indiana seems hell-bent to have it. (Apropos of nothing, click HERE for a well-made Samsung video on LeBron James. I say well-made because it starts out with some nice publicity for the Miami Herald. Yee-uhh.
AN HOMAGE TO THE EAGLES: We saw the Eagles perform the other night at the Heat arena (Pat Riley was there), and I'm happy to say the name of their latest tour, The History of the Eagles, is apt. Anyone who has followed this band since its 1970s heydays will enjoy the chronology of the concert. It begins with just co-founders Don Henley and Glenn Frey on stage, acoustically recalling the band's origin. The stage is gradually populated in order, ending with crowd favorite Joe Walsh. There were a few lesser-known cuts but mostly the show sticks to the greatest hits. The sold-out crowd ate it up. For me, any discussion of Greatest American Bands must start with the Beach Boys, Eagles and Springsteen's E Street Band. Then I might swoop in with the Greateful Dead and Pearl Jam. Who'd make your top five in the category?
SOPY RANKINGS: WEEK 13: 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. Canes QB Stephen Morris won the 2012 season title with 1,900.5 points. The current leader, FSU QB Jameis Winston, already has surpassed that total. 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 14:
Rk (LW) Player, Team-pos. SOPY Pts. Wk13=Year
1 (1) Jameis Winston, FSU-qb 117.5 = 1,917.5
2 (2) Blake Bortles, UCF-qb 181.5 = 1,709.5
3 (3) Jaquez Johnson, FAU-qb 257.5 = 1,641
4 (4) Stephen Morris, Miami-qb 119 = 1,394
5 (5) Storm Johnson, UCF-rb 99 = 1,220
6 (7) Devonta Freeman, FSU-rb 141 = 1,104
7 (6) Duke Johnson, Miami-rb DNP = 1,051
8 (9) Allen Hurns, Miami-wr 132 = 1,014
9 (8) Rashad Greene, FSU-wr 29 = 952
10 (--) Kenny Shaw, FSU-wr 119 = 858
Bubble: Rannell Hall, UCF-wr, 822. Other team leaders: USF--Marcus Shaw-rb, 770; Florida--Tyler Murphy-qb, 723; FIU--Lamarq Caldwell-rb, 603. Note: UCF and USF have played 10 games, all others 11 each.
Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. FSU (11-0); 2. UCF (9-1); 3. Miami (8-3); 4. FAU (5-6); 5. Florida (4-7); 6. USF (2-8); 7. FIU (1-10).
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...