1) It is SUNDAY, JULY 28. Click on Random Evidence for today's latest Sunday notes column. 2) Played golf yesterday at Sunrise but rained out on 17th hole. Was headed to the usual low-90s purgatory. 3) Rick Norton, expansion-era Dolphins quarterback, died in Louisville at age 69. Our condolences. 4) Heat announced its season opener/banner-raising will be Oct. 29 here vs. Bulls. Miami will play at Lakers on Christmas Day, with full 2013-14 NBA schedule yet to come. 5) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Ryan Braun's naivete, D-Wade's ex, Marlins fast-forward, While I Was Away, Favorite-team poll result, My vacation & more. 5b) You are invited to follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird) and Vine (Greg Cote).
R.I.P., Molli Serrano: I mentioned my neighbor Molli in the blog months ago when she was to compete in Hawaii's Ironman Triathlon despite battling pancreatic cancer. (She did, and finished 49th in her age group). Well, I'm sorry to say Molli has passed away; her funeral was this week. She leaves a husband and 9-year-old twins. She was 40.
PREDICT HOW GOOD RYAN TANNEHILL WILL BE: Thirty years ago Dan Marino found great, enduring motivation in being the sixth quarterback chosen in the 1983 NFL draft. I suggest in today's latest column that Ryan Tannehill should have the same good-anger and drive at being so quickly judged as only the fourth-best QB (at best) from his draft class. Click on Concede Nothing to read the full column (and thanks for making it the most-read of anything on MiamiHerald.com today). Nobody seems to put Tannehill in the same conversation with Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson, but that doesn't mean he won't still get there. What do you see as Tannehill's long-term Dolphins future in terms of how good he'll be? Marino-esque? A bust? There are miles of middle ground between those extremes. Try to be dispassionate and go with honest gut feeling over wishful thinking. Vote now, say why and check back often to monitor evolving results.
ONCE VILIFIED, LEBRON NOW MR. POPULARITY: ESPN says it, so it must be so: LeBron James is now the most popular player in the NBA, a perch he last held in the 2008-09 season, dethroning Kobe Bryant. It's further anecdotal evidence that his PR recovery from The Decision is complete. The ESPN poll found LeBron the favorite of 12.9 percent, edging Kobe's 12.5. The top five was completed by Kevin Durant (3.6), Derrick Rose (2.8) and Dwyane Wade (2.5).
CANES FOOTBALL OVER/UNDER SET AT 8 1/2 WINS: Updated betting over/under for season victories for the seven state FBS college teams, courtesy Bovada, are Florida State 10, Florida 9, Miami 8.5, UCF 8, South Florida 5.5, FIU 3 and FAU 2.5. Of course 8.5 does not mean they're predicting a tie; it means you must bet on UM either finishing 8-4 or worse in the regular season, or a 9-3 or better. For coach Al Golden (pictured) and the Canes, the most lose-able games, in order of peril, look to be Nov. 2 at FSU, Oct. 17 at North Carolina, Sept. 7 vs. Florida, Nov. 9 vs. Virginia Tech and Oct. 5 vs. Georgia Tech. Each of those opponents has an over/under of at least 8 wins. Miami is a favorite to reach the Dec. 7 ACC Championship Game, pending any additional sanctions by the NCAA. Season soft-opens Aug. 30 vs. FAU.
THE HEAT AND GREG ODEN: Oden last played in an NBA game in December 2009 in a career made chaotic by three knee surgeries, but the Heat want to sign him and should. So do a bunch of other teams. He'll make his decision next week, and the possibility far outweighs the risk. I fully explore in this column: Click on The Oden Factor to read.
And in other Heat news...: LeBron wore an AKRON cap on his current Nike business trip to China, the latest indication he'll dump Miami and return to Cleveland after next season, according to baseless speculation. Did I mention LeBron also has his own personal 24/7 DJ with him in China?
SUDDENLY, TIM DUNCAN DOESN'T SEEM QUITE AS BORING AS HE USED TO: Dwyane Wade thought his divorce was messy? It was. But not like this. Spurs star Tim Duncan and wife Amy (pictured in laughier times) are divorcing, and various media reports suggest the main reason is their mutual infidelity -- including Tim's alleged past affair with a male friend. You know how Duncan used to be the most boring man in the NBA? Maybe he wasn't quite as boring as we thought.
MEET THE DUMBEST MAN IN AMERICA: New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has admitted to more lewd online sexting with women - the same offense that got him shame-nounced from Congress two years ago. Weiner, pictured, has declined thus far to drop out of the race despite plummeting approval ratings in polls across the Big Apple. The good news? His poll numbers have risen sharply in the boroughs of Sodom and Gomorrah.
IN SEARCH OF OUR OWN KING GEORGE: In honor of the Royal Baby (pictured left) being named George Alexander Louis -- henceforth His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge -- I set out to find the Greatest George in South Florida pro sports history. It was intended to be a List, but there weren't enough qualified Georges after our anointed king: Original Dolphins coach George Wilson (pictured right). Only nine Dolphins players have been named George, and none of reknown. The longest-tenured were punter Roberts (1978-80) and defensive end Little (1985-87), although I'd toss a shoutout to single-season QBs Wilson Jr. (1966) and Mira (1971). The Panthers' lone George was Parros, who played here last season but was traded earlier this month. The Heat and Marlins have never had a George. (Sorry, but the Spanish version isn't included here, until which time the Royal Baby starts going by Prince Jorge).
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