1) It is SATURDAY, AUGUST 17. Our new Dolphins @ Houston blogpost will publish here today at 2 p.m. sharp. Watch for it. 2) Wanna feel old? Woodstock (right) was going on 44 years ago this week, and Elvis Presley (left) died 36 years ago yesterday. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): LeBron's-future poll, '72 Dolphins to White House, college football mascots, 2014 NFL draft & more. 4) Join us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird) and Vine (Greg Cote).
Click on The Perfectos & The President for my latest column, on the upcoming White House visit by the 1972 Dolphins. I explore why, even 41 years late, the honor is due a team that did not get sufficient credit in its time, because that time was so different.
"WORLDWIDE LEADER" ESPN GIRDS FOR ITS LATEST ATTACKER: Fox Sports 1, billing itself "America's New 24-Hour Sports Network," launched today at 6 a.m. as the latest major cable challenger to ESPN's throne. (NBC and CBS previously rolled out cable sports networks as well, in case you haven't noticed). The Fox challenge seems better organized, or at least better promoted, and appears to have caught the attention of ESPN in a way the others did not. "We've always had competition," ESPN president John Skipper said recently of the 30-year-old mothership he steers. "But there's a little more overt strategy from our competitors to look a little more like ESPN than they have in the past." I am told that ESPN is taking the Fox threat seriously enough that it has planned several programming announcements for Saturday, including one involving Dan Le Batard's Miami-based radio show going national. Fox says its "pillar" sports will be college basketball and football, NFL, MLB (starting in 2014), NASCAR, soccer and UFC. The latter two may offer the best chance for Fox to distinguish itself. A nightly 11 p.m. "Fox Sports Live" show will be their version of ESPN SportsCenter. Andy Roddick will co-host Fox's news show. (Hmm. Let's wait and see on that one). Other programming will include a sports/entertainment show called Crowd Goes Wild hosted by Regis Philbin. (Hmm again. Not sure the wisdom of having a host who turns 82 this month if you're trying to be the hip new flavor). By pure numbers, ESPN is available in roughly 100 million homes and Fox projects a startup of about 90 million. NBC Sports Network is in roughly 80 million homes, but ratings have been very spotty. CBS has around 48 million homes. I'm not sure ESPN should be worried about any one threat, although it seems the aggregate challenge can't but eventually eat into the Worldwide Leader's audience and therefore its influence. Right? Give us a pulse-read on ESPN and how vulnerable you think it is, or isn't. Vote and say why.
ON OFFERDAHL JOINING DOLPHINS HONOR ROLL: Injuries limited linebacker John Offerdahl's Dolphins career to eight years (1986-93), but in five of those seasons he made the Pro Bowl. He was Zach Thomas before Zach Thomas, only for not nearly as long. I'm glad to see Offerdahl, whom I covered, announced as the 26th member of the club's Honor Roll. He is not "first ballot" caliber on the Larry Csonka/Dan Marino/Jason Taylor echelon, no. But he is deserving.
Poll result: LeBron will stay, re-up with Heat: We asked what you predict LeBron James will do after this coming NBA season, and 81.98 percent said "re-sign with Miami" vs. only 18.02% voting "go elsewhere in free agency." We can't say how much of that is Heat fans' wishful-thinking, but we can tell you the "stay" vote spiked to 85.98% in Florida, vs. 78.01% everywhere else.
SPOILER ALERT! HERE'S HOW THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WILL TURN OUT: PredictionMachine.com's computer played the coming college football season 50,000 times and here are the win totals forecast for the seven state FBS schools (all based on a 12-game regular season): Florida State 9.9 wins, Miami 8.8, Florida 8.3, UCF 7.4, South Florida 5.6, FIU 3.2 and FAU 2.6. SPOILER ALERT!: Alabama wins a third straight national title; FSU beats Miami in the ACC title game then beats Oklahoma State in the Orange Bowl; LSU beats Miami in the Chick-fil-A Bowl; Florida beats Michigan State in the Gator Bowl; and Maryland beats UCF in the Belk Bowl. I have two words: Belk Bowl!?
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