[1) It is WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6. The new Sports Illustrated (right) has NFL commish Roger Goodell atop its list of 50 most powerful figures in sports off-the field. List here. No So-Fla folks on it. 2) R.I.P. Alvin Lee, guitarist from Ten Years After, dead at 68. 3) Happier musical news: Jack White, Brendan Benson and The Raconteurs are reuniting to record another album. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Laura Silberman, Heat 15th straight, UM falls to 6, Dolphins franchise Starks, A-Rod's girl, golf's surprise, Bar Eaters. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
Dolphins close to re-signing Hartline: Good news, Dolfans. Miami and pending free-agent wide receiver Brian Hartline are close to agreement on an extended contract averaging just over $6 million a year. Dolphins will continue to target outside help at the position, such as former Steeler Mike Wallace. Click on Greg Cote Talks Free-Agency to see and hear a video of, well, I guess that title about says it.
Heat win 16th in a row: LeBron James with a layup with three seconds left and Heat survive visiting Orlando 97-96 tonight. That was Miami's first field goal in final seven minutes. A fortunate win. Funny, though. Good teams seem to have a lot of those.
A WORD OR TWO FOR THE MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: During the Timberwolves' loss to Miami the other night the club released an official response video (click here) to the Heat's immensely popular (and well done) Harlem Shake video. Minnesota's version depicts a guy in a No. 6 Heat jersey (LeBron's number) being clubbed into submission bye the T-Wolves' mascot. Later, after the game, Minnesota's J.J. Barea blasted Ray Allen for "crying." I believe this merits a response. J.J., you're from Miami and I hate to pick on a homeboy, but you calling out Allen is like a flea calling out an elephant. It's comical. He's a hall of famer. You are a career backup. Shhh. As for that video, similar situation. Miami is reigning champion. You, Minnesota, have done nothing worth hanging from a rafter in 24 NBA seasons. Zero. This will be your ninth straight year out of the playoffs. Respect those who have earned it. Know your role.
FIRING ONLY FEATHERS SILEO'S CAREFULLY CULTIVATED PERSONA: WQAM-560 fired Dan Sileo, its 10 a.m.-to-1 p.m. radio host, and it's just about the best thing that could have happened to him and his career. Sileo being suspended or fired is sort of like a rapper being shot or arrested. What seems like bad news really isn't. Street cred is only enhanced. Reputations are only magnified. I have known Sileo since he played for the Miami Hurricanes in the mid-'80s, and credit him with creating for himself a career in radio. But the niche he has tried to carve and own is pretty clear by the self-description on his Twitter account: AMERICA'S MOST CONTROVERSIAL SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST. (The capital letters are his). The listener is left to discern whether Sileo is actually good at what he does, or simply loud. The listener is left to decide if Sileo's controversy is organic and natural or a manicured contrivance. The next station that hires him -- preparatory to firing him, and then acting like it didn't know what it was getting -- should know precisely what it is getting: a guy who is going to bang into a market shouting and ranting and hoping to make headlines. It might take cartoonishly sexist Twitter comments about Erin Andrews. It might take suggesting the Canes pull a knife on the opposing quarterback and gouge his eyes. Or it might take what led to his firing this time: Saying "that's the half Hebrew in me" regarding saving money. But he will make his headlines. Sileo's Tweet upon his dismissal: FIRED FOR SPEAKING MY MIND, BABY!!!! Love it!! And he does, too, and should. For him, it's good for business.
D-WADE'S SPECIAL DAY: Dwyane Wade scored 32 points with 10 assists and seven rebounds in a club-record 15th straight Heat win; his recent play has been vintage, pre-LeBron dominance. But what distinguished the trip to the Twin Cities was Wade making time for a Make-A-Wish fan, a 13-year-old girl, Tess Mountain, who suffers from a heart ailment that also affects her facial features. Click HERE for the story and video. Michael Jordan once told Wade to perform every night as if he were playing for the one fan in the arena who'd never seen him in person but always wished to. His making this girl's dream real was sort of the same thing. Only better.
CATS' WEISS OUT FOR SEASON: A bad hockey season got worse for the Florida Panthers with the news center and longest-tenured Cat Stephen Weiss would undergo wrist surgery and be done for the year. It lessens the team's already slim playoff hopes. And it eliminates Weiss, who is in the final year of his contract, as a trade option prior to the April NHL deadline.
DENNIS RODMAN: CLOWN DIPLOMAT: It's funny to me. Not quite a year ago Ozzie Guillen expressed admiration for Fidel Castro and Little Havana exploded in his face. But Dennis Rodman recently heaped effusive praise on North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un after a visit there and it's just sort of passed off as Dennis Being Dennis. I rip Rodman in my latest column. Click on Clown Diplomat to read.
WARNING: GOLFERS RAPPING: PGA Tour players Bubba Watson, Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan call themselves Golf Boys. Thankfully their schtick is a bit more inventive than their name. Click HERE for their latest faux-rap video, "2.Oh." It is wonderfully awful. If you think golfers are dull, consider this a prescribed antidote. I'd love to make fun of this project and snarkily suggest less-rapping-more-golfing -- except this is a pretty accomplished quarter in the sport. They have 14 PGA Tour titles among them; each has won. Fowler is an up-and-coming star and Watson is the reigning 2012 Master champion. Hard to imagine this video playing well -- or at all -- at staid Augusta. Which makes it that much better!
THE CURIOUS MAGNETICISM OF 'DOWNTON ABBEY': My wife has fallen in love with this show and so I have developed a residual interest. Sort of an osmosis thing. It's about an aristocratic British family, sub-royals but full of lords, ladies and servants. I love the time period, 1912-21, an era that fascinates me because it is out of personal reach but not prehistoric. (I love Boardwalk Empire for some of the same reasons). I love the costuming and sets of Downton Abbey as well; the series is stunningly luxurious visually, and, for me, wonderfully acted. There is also something about the British accent that is lilting and mesmerizing. Let's be honest. A Brit could say, "Pardon me but I must go take a giant crap" and it would sound like poetry.
Click back. As always, I'll be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...