January 06, 2015

Dolphins hire Tannenbaum; plus my Hall of Fame ballot and, yes, it includes Bonds and Clemens. Would your's? New poll. Vote now!; also gay marriage, fake Beach Boys & more

RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND. 

It's Radio Tuesday: I'm back in-studio with the Dan LeBatard Show today after a two-week holiday hiatus, 3-7 on The Ticket Miami, 4-7 on ESPN Radio. A new "Back In My Day" segment is in hand. Ears welcome.

1) It is TUESDAY, JANUARY 6. Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package after a two-week holiday hiatus. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins-draft-needs poll, happy birthday Shula, R.I.P. Stuart Scott, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

DOLPHINS HIRE TANNENBAUM AS DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL OPS: The Dolphins today hired Mike Tannenbaum, formerly of the Jets, as executive vice president of pro football operations -- the old Bill Parcells role. He reportedly will oversee (and have firing power over) GM Dennis Hickey but not over coach Joe Philbin. Hickey can't be happy, although he reportedly maintains final say over the 53-man roster. What this means: Owner Stephen Ross doesn't quite trust Philbin or Hickey. Dolphins in flux. Again.

On Heat, Panthers: Click on Falling, Rising for today's column by me. It's on how the Heat and Panthers both are headed for a fight just to make the playoffs, and how that's an indignity for one club but a triumph for the other.

MY HALL OF FAME BALLOT INCLUDES BONDS, CLEMENS THIS YEAR: Update: Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz and Biggio elected. I voted for all four. Update 30 minutes before vote announced: The website baseballthinkfactory.org, based on a screening of voters, projects the five inductees today will be, in order of support: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio and (narrowly) Mike Piazza. Original post: The latest inductees into Cooperstown are to be announced today at 2 p.m. I became a Baseball Hall of Fame voter for the first time a year ago, and did not include any "Steroids Era" guys on my ballot. It was personal. I felt my first- 1aa1abondsclemsnsever ballot should be as "clean" as the sport aspires to be. This year, however, I voted for both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens (pictured). My 10 votes in all went to, alphabetically: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Nomar Garciaparra, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Mike Mussina, Gary Sheffield and John Smoltz. For the record I think Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz will get in. I think Sheffield has a good chance. I think Carlos Delgado and Mike Piazza have a shot. I do not think a sufficient 75 percent of my BBWAA brethren are ready yet to join me on Bonds and Clemens. My thinking on those two: Their career numbers are so extraordinary, so enormous, that they would have been Cooperstown-worthy even without PEDs. (I am much less sure on Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and others). I also believe the Hall of Fame is not the Hall of Sainthood. I further believe that guys like Bonds and Clemens (yes, and Pete Rose) have been punished enough by their previous barring from Cooperstown and by their public shaming. Of course all of that is moot as I fully expect both men to fall well short of the Hall again today. I respect my colleagues who continue take the highest moral ground on this. Hopefully they in turn respect those of us who have come to think otherwise -- at least on Bonds and Clemens. Here's a poll inviting your thoughts on this. Vote and say why you feel as you do.

Poll result: Guard, linebacker top Dolphin draft needs: We asked what position the Dolphins should target with the top pick in next NFL Draft, and among eight choice offensive guard (34.9 percent) and linebacker (27.0%) dominated. Defensive tackle (15.9%) and cornerback (12.6%) were next.

1aa1agaymarriageIT'S ABOUT TIME, FLORIDA: Congratulations to my home state for stepping gingerly into the 21st Century in becoming the 36th state to legalize same-sex marriage. And to Floridian gay couples for finally gaining their equal rights. Who are you, I or the government to tell any loving couple they are second-class citizens? Of course, with gay marriages inevitably will come gay divorces and the spawn of gay-divorce lawyers as a specialty practice. Oh how I wish I were kidding.     

BOYCOTT THE SEMI-BEACH BOYS!: The Beach Boys (sort of) play Thursday night in West Palm Beach, but, if you have tickets, beware. You are getting half the product. I'd ask for my money back. This is the version 1aa1amloveof the Beach Boys hijacked by frontman Mike Love (pictured), who unfortunately owns the group name. He is touring with only one other original Beach Boy, Bruce Johnstone. The group toured last year with all its original living members -- including Al Jardine, David Marks and, of course, the irreplacable Brian Wilson -- but Love essentially fired the other three. Boycott Mike Love. Boycott the fake, sort of, semi-Beach Boys. (Or at least smuggle in a 'WE WANT BRIAN WILSON!' sign).

Check back regularly because we update and add to our latest blogposts often...

November 07, 2014

College footbowl! Here are bowl projections for Hurricanes, Gators, OB and others; plus A-Rod's latest shame & more

1) It is THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6. I'm bunkered down at Friday Page HQ today inventing this week's NFL predictions. Click on Thursday Gem for tonight's Browns-Bengals pick. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Happy Days for Miami sports (with poll), NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, SOPY rankings, Florida governor's race & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

On Heat's first loss: Click on Reality Hasn't Changed for my column from the arena off the Heat's first loss. Losing to very good Houston (and then at Charlotte last night) wasn't a reality check for Miami because the reality is the same now as it was at 3-0. Heat is competitive, not a contender, and the moving on from LeBron James will be a season-long challenge.

1aa1acollfbowlCOLLEGE FOOTBOWL: LET'S GO BOWLING!: The sport's focus funnels to the debut of the historic four-team College Football Playoff, but lest we forget there will be a long parade of 38 bowl games leading up to the Jan. 12 championship game in Arlington, Tex., here are the latest bowl projections involving either state of Florida teams or South Florida-based bowls. They are in chronological order, via ESPN:

1aa1amiabchbowlMiami Beach Bowl -- Brigham Young vs. Cincinnati is today the consensus best guess for the inaugural Dec. 22 game to be played at Marlins Park.

1aa1abocabowlBoca Raton Bowl -- Bowling Green vs. Middle Tennessee or Louisiana Tech vs. Western Michigan are the current projections for the inaugural Dec. 23 game at FAU Stadium.

UCF Knights -- Central Florida is presently predicted to face California or North Carolina in the Dec. 26 St. Petersburg Bowl.

Miami Hurricanes -- UM's current forecast is either to face Utah in the Dec. 27 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Tex., or to face Louisiana State in the Jan. 2 TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville. 

Florida Gators -- UF is seen at the moment as facing either Boston College or Maryland in the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl in Nashville.

1aa1aorangebowlOrange Bowl Classic -- The Miami landmark, Dec. 31 at Dolphins stadium, is projected to be Clemson vs. either Notre Dame or Alabama, based on the current College Football Playoff rankings.

Florida State Seminoles -- FSU would face Auburn Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl, in the CFP's 2 vs. 3 semifinal, based on current rankings.

A-ROD'S LATEST SHAME: LIAR, LIAR,REP ON FIRE: Expert reporting this week by Herald colleague Jay Weaver reveals that Yankee Alex Rodriguez, in an under-oath January meeting with DEA agents, 1aa1aarodadmitted his PED involvement with the Coral Gables Biogenesis clinic and Anthony Bosch -- even as he continued his vehement public denials of any wrongdoing. Click here for the story. As always, the indignant, two-faced lying is in some ways worse than the deed itself. The truth, owning up, can be so cleansing for both soul and reputation, and yet A-Rod continued to accuse MLB of a "witch hunt" even after he'd spilled his guts to federal agents, admitting everything and even implicating his own cousin. The indignant, lying A-Rod said he would continue to try to clear his name. Well, that train has left the station, pal. It's too late.  

Poll result: Dolphins in playoffs given best shot: We asked in the previous blogpost which of three things is most likely, and you voted Dolphins make playoffs at 39.1 percent, Canes beat Florida State at 32.1% and Heat reach Eastern finals at 17.7%. The other 11.1% said none of those would happen.

Check back often because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

January 15, 2014

Dolphins' new O.C. hire Lazor: Like or no like? Poll. Vote!; plus Lauren Tannegun, Heat lose 3rd straight, 'LeBroning' video & more

1) It is THURSDAY, JANUARY 16. I'm back down in the Friday Page Dungeon today summoning this week's NFL playoff picks. Is that the Upset Bird I see? What is he smoking? 2) Mel Kiper Jr. in his first Mock Draft has Miami selecting Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio 19th overall. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): The A-Rod mess with poll, D.Wade's birthday yacht, NFL Final Four, Golden Globes & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.

1aa1laurenshootsLauren's got a gun...: In the news, Lauren Tannehill, hottie wife of Dolphins QB, leaves an AR-15 rifle in a rental car. (Not that there's anything wrong with that). Only readers of this blog know the backstory! We told you on Aug. 1, under the headline, 'Mr. & Mrs. Tannehill are locked and loaded,' that the couple occasionally shoots at a gun range. The Riflewoman is pictured.

PANIC! PANIC? Heat lose 3rd straight, debut Oden, trade Anthony:  Big, weird Wednesday for the Heat. Miami loses third straight game (at Washington) for first time in two years -- all three to teams with losing records. Greg Oden makes long-awaited debut, scores six points in eight minutes. And Heat trade reserve center Joel Anthony and conditional, lottery-protected draft pick for veteran point guard Toney Douglas in three-team deal with Boston/Golden State. LeBron James said, of the three straight L's, "Defensively, we're just not very good right now." No panic, though. The opposite. "We love adversity more than anything, " noteth the King.

DOLPHINS MAKE PROMISING O.C. HIRE IN LAZOR, BUT G.M. SEARCH LAGS: Bill Lazor (pictured) is the 1aa1billlazorDolphins' new offensive coordinator. He'd been the Eagles' quarterbacks coach last season credited with developing Nick Foles, and has a pretty solid coaching tree, having worked under Dan Reeves, Joe Gibbs, Mike Holmgren and Chip Kelly. (If only Miami's search for a general manager were going as well). Lazor said he's "extremely excited." He was noncomittal on the offense he'll run or his staff plans, but did say he'd call plays. He said Miami has a "strong nucleus" in place toward a wnning team, and said he's excited to work with Ryan Tannehill, saying he has "a lot of ability." Lazor spoke highly of coach Joe Philbin, crediting him as why he accepted the job. Click on Lazor Focus for my column on the hiring. Meantime what are your initial thoughts? You'll note the poll has no option for "too soon to say"; that goes without saying. None of us knows if this is a great hire. We're just looking for a gut feel based on what you know or have heard of the new guy. Vote and say why.

1aa1alebroning'LEBRONING' SWEEPS NATION IN 'HONOR' OF KING JAMES' FLOPPING: Remembering "planking"? Golf fans may recall "Dufnering." Surely most know of "Tebowing." Well, welcome "LeBroning" into the world of

1aa1alebroningleb 1aa1alebroningtInternet memes. Spawned in high-school hallways by bored teens whose life's goal is to do something that might go viral, #LeBroning is the act of intentionally flopping to the ground after barely being touched. Click HERE for a short compilation video. This may be the ultimate in James' career. Sure he's won MVP awards. Yeah he's won champioonships. But is there a greater honor -- a greater indication of worldwide celebrity -- than being mocked on the Internet?

1aa1heatwh14ON HEAT'S WHITE HOUSE VISIT: You may have heard by now that the Heat was honored at the White House on Tuesday for its 2013 NBA championship. Pictured at right: The most powerful man in the world, standing next to President Barack Obama. I watched the ceremony and wasn't even sure Obama was the most powerful president in the room. That was just before Pat Riley issued an executive order 1aa1dwadesneaksauthorizing missile strikes on Iranian nuclear plants. Pictured left: The sneakers Dwayne Wade wore to the White house, because nobody had the nerve to tell him not to.

POOR 'CLARK THE CUB': Chicago Cubs fans, last happy in 1908, are piling on against the club's new 1aa1clarkmascot, Clark the Cub (pictured). A Chicago Tribune poll finds 74 percent against the poor young fella. Little-known fact: Clark the Cub was named after longtime Miami Herald baseball writer Clark Spencer. Unconfirmed speculation: Clark (the Cub, not Spencer) is the illegitimate son resulting from a one-night stand between a sexually freewheeling Billy the Marlin and Cindy Bear, Yogi's ex. Suggested new marketing theme for the unpopular mascot: "At Least He's Better Than Steve Bartman!"

Poll result: Little support for A-Rod: We asked in the last blogpost how you feel about Alex Rodriguez 's fight against baseball, and 71.7 percent said they did not believe A-Rod and supported his full-season suspension. Only 15.6% believed A-Rod and felt MLB was out to get him. Another 12.7% were undeciced.

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...

January 13, 2014

A-Rod poll: What do you believe? Vote now!; plus D.Wade's b-day yacht, radio, NFL Final Four's quiet Cinderella-ness, "Who are you wearing?" & more

It's Radio Tuesday!: I'm back-in studio today for my ninth national appearance on the Dan Le Batard Show, airing on 790 & 104.3 The Ticket from 3-7 p,.m. and on ESPN from 4-7. Ears welcome.

1aa1heat13wh1) It is TUESDAY, JANUARY 14. Heat visit the White House later today. Wonder if Obama will remark how he wishes he'd had as good a year as Miami? Photo is from last year's WH visit. 2) Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package, leading with the merry lunacy of Le Batard's Ballotgate. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Divisional Round playoffs, Super Bowl rooting-interest poll & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.

Click on Damage Is Done for today's latest column by me, on Alex Rodriguez's fight against baseball, a fight Quixotic but for its lack of nobility. The stain of steroids is not something A-Rod, or his sport, will ever be past. 

TAKING SIDES IN THE ALEX RODRIGUEZ MESS: Sunday night's 60 Minutes interview with Anthony Bosch, the Biogenesis clinic founder, was damning to Alex Rodriguez as you knew it would be. If you beieve 1aa1arodBosch, who is cooperating with Major League Baseball's investigation, then chances are you have little or no doubt A-Rod used various performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and that that his resulting 162-game suspension (reduced from 212 by an arbitrator) is justified. If your sympathies instead are pro A-Rod, then chances are you think Bosch is a lying snitch and that MLB is pursuing a vendetta against Rodriguez, who has denied the allegations and may sue to have his suspension overturned. Chances are, either Bosch or A-Rod is the liar here, without a lot of gray area in between. Maybe our poll question should simply have been "Who do you believe?," although I think the poll choices pretty much cut to that chase. Vote and say why.

D.WADE'S BIRTHDAY YACHT: One of the many ways Heat stars and celeb-athletes in general are
1aa1dwadebdaydifferent than the rest of us is that they throw themselves lavish 1aa1dwadebdaygroupbirthday parties, calling to mind the brilliant two-syllable Muhammad

Ali poem; "Me? Wheee!" Don't get me wrong. I'm not just buying Publix ice-cream cakes over here. I have spent big for a party or two, such as the time I rented out an out an oceanfront hotel ballroom and complained about the cost for a year. But Heat players -- they do it up. Chris Bosh once touted his own birthday with live camels in a Sahara motif. Yesterday, Dwyane Wade topped 1aa1dwadebdayboshhim with a three-story yacht custom-wrapped in his personal logo. Dwyane turns 32 this coming Friday but celebrated early. Pictured are the yacht, Wade and teammates, and in a photo pretty much epitomiziing The Good Life: Bosh in a tux, aboard a yacht, drawing on a fine cigar against the Miami skyline.

 

NFL FINAL FOUR: GLAMOUR QUARTET, BUT UNDERDOG QUALITY, TOO: Patriots at Broncos and 49ers at Seahawks bring a legit, heavyweight quality to the AFC and NFC Championship Games. The NFL and 1aa1bradymanning 1aa1bradymanning2TV networks undoubtedly are thrilled, and so should fans be. Ten Super Bowl championships are represented by the Final Four. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning (pictured left) is about as good as it gets for an individual duel, and San Fran-Seattle (right) probably is the league's fiercest team rivalry at the moment. Peel back a layer and see an underdog aspect here too, though. Seattle has never won a Super Bowl in its 38 seasons, and its only SB appearance (2005) saw 'Hawks fans bitterly feeling robbed by the officiating. The other three teams in the Final Four are pedigreed, but with a film of dust on their shine. The Patriots last won it all in 2004, the Broncos in 1998 and the 49ers in 1994. Their fans aren't starving like Dolfans are, no, but it's been awhile for each. That makes this a power Final Four but with an underlying shade of Cinderella. By the way, I went 3-1 overall on my Divisional Round picks (missed on Carolina), and 1-2-1 against the spread (had San Diego with points; Seattle game pushed).

Poll result: You want a Denver-Seattle Super Bowl, and a Broncos win: We aked in the last blogpost who you're rooting for of the final eight NFL playoff teams. Extracting the surviving Final Four it's Broncos 29.9 percent, Seahawks 19.0, Patriots 9.9 and 49ers 7.4. (The now-ousted teams were Panthers 21.7%, Chargers 6.5, Colts 3.2 and Saints 2.7).

Updated Super Bowl odds: Via Bovada, it's Seahawks a slight fave at 19-10, with Broncos 2-1, 49ers 3-1 and Patriots 9-2. Early lines look like Seahawks over Broncos by 2.5; Broncos over 49ers by 2.5; 49ers over Patriots by 3; and Seahawks over Patriots by 6.

"WHO ARE YOU WEARING!?": Golden Globes co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler had a funny line Sunday night, thanking "all the women and gay men who are watching." Awards show audiences I guess skew like that, at least by broad stereotype. They might have added, "...and married men whose wives control the 1aa1bissetremote." That'd be me. My wife informed me last night we have entered "awards season." (I did not know there was such a thing, but have a feeling it's going to be a lonng season). The Globes combine film and television. The TV people are identifiable by their bad seats; some of the TV winners are still making their way to the stage. Highlight of the evening for me: an apparently drunk or stoned Jacqueline Bisset (pictured) floating onstage in a trance, in an appearance that answered the question whether she is still alive. (Answer: barely). The only household rule when I watch an awards show with my wife is I can't constantly make fun of the red-carpet preamble and "Who are you wearing?" -- maybe the most absurd question ever invented. So I vent in my blog instead. "Who are you wearing!?" In other words, give [Your Designer Here] a goose of free national advertising. "Who are you wearing!?" In other words, let's shamelessly promote the idea that beauty and high fashion are above all, even though the cost of it makes them beyond most. "Who are you wearing!?" I don't give a crap, because I'd just as soon see you in a T-shirt, jeans and no makeup. Bulletin: About one-third of the the dresses look halfway to hideous, and all tuxedos pretty much look alike.

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...

January 01, 2014

What was biggest Miami/South Florida sports story of 2013? New poll. Vote now!; plus Jeff Fireland, Cote's Top 10 New Year's resolutions & more

1aa1a20141) It is THURSDAY, JANUARY 2. I'm back in the Friday Page Dungeon today divining my NFL first-round playoff predictions. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins who-to-fire poll, D.Wade's surprise child & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).

A message from me to you: To all our readers, longtime and recent, print and online, to our Blog Family, radio listeners and followers on Twitter, Instagram and Vine ... thank you! You made it a great past year and make me look forward to 2014.

WHAT WAS MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA'S BIGGEST SPORTS STORY OF 2013?: We asked you previously to name the past year's top national sports story and you did (results below). Now we invite you to select the 2013 Miami/South Florida sports story of the year, from an alphabetically presented top 10 of my choosing. You may vote for your top three (3). I offer no synopsis beyond what's in the poll, because if it needs further explaining, it obviously wasn't that big/impactful/important to you. Remember, you can choose your top three. Ready? Vote!

Mea culpa: One glaring poll omission: As many of you are pointing out, the above poll is missing UM's ACC championship and NCAA Tournament run in men's basketball. That's my fault all the way; it just slipped between the cracks. Doubt it would have threatened the top vote-getters here, but it absolutely should have been in the poll. Sorry, Jim Larranaga! (I also could well have included either of two international soccer matches that drew huge crowds to Dolphins stadium).

MARATHON BOMBINGS TOP NATIONAL STORY: You voted from a list of The Associated Press' top 10 national sports stories of 2013, and your clear top three were the Boston Marathon bombings (30.9%), the Heat's second straight NBA title (19.6%) and the Aaron Hernandez arrest (15.8%). (I had the same top three). Others in order were Lance Armstrong admits to doping; NFL $765 million concussion settlement; Red Sox win World Series; Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax; Baseball/A-Rod PED scandal; Ravens win Super Bowl; and Auburn football resurgence.

1aa1fripixNFL PIX / WEEK 16: ENDING STRONG: Hectic holiday time to blame (again) for posting this a couple of days later than usual... NFL predix: Went a nifty 13-3 overall and a just-as-buoyant 10-5-1 against the spread to end our regular season. Where was this all year? On to the playoffs with a tailwind of mo'!

Poll result: Ireland, Sherman bear brunt of Dolfan frustration: Dolfans want change in the wake of the late-season collapse and I asked in the previous blogpost who they'd most like to fire (if anyone). The bull's-eye was on GM Jeff Ireland (53.6%) and offensive chief Mike Sherman (23.6%). Objection was mild toward coach Joe Philbin (9.8%) and owner Stpehen Ross (9.3%), and negligible toward defensive chief Kevin Coyle (2.2%) and QB Ryan Tannehill (1.5%).

GREG COTE'S TOP 10 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2014:

1aa1a2014resolutions1. Lose 145 pounds.

2. Cut down on cigars by smoking only one at a time.

3. Admit that being Platinum Member of Functional Alcoholics Society may not be good thing.

4. Redouble efforts to recycle. Not cans and bottles. Column ideas.

5. Curb temper issues; limit road-rage incidents to one a month.

6. Do as credit-card machines rightly suggest and Remove Card Quickly.

7. Stop answering Jeff Ireland's frantic draft-day phone calls.

8. Increase blog readership with daily $100,000 giveaways.

9. Engage Le Batard in profanity-laced on-air brawl.

10. Tackle terrorism.

What y'all got planned?

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost....

August 07, 2013

Dolphins fantasy rankings offer glum outlook; plus Ronaldo!, D-Wade's politics, Ross speaks, Mannings rap vid, Hugh Douglas & more

New blogpost featuring 'PS2: Dolphins at Jaguars' coming later today. Watch for it!

1) It is FRIDAY, AUGUST 9. LeBron James reported for jury duty yesterday in his hometown of Akron, Ohio (Summit County) but was not called. Updates as needed. Also, Heat officially signed Greg Oden. Let the waiting begin! 2) So much for deference to the champs. New NBA schedule does Heat no favors. Players not thrilled to be away for both Thanksgiving (at Cleveland day before, at Toronto day after) and at the Lakers on Christmas Day. 3) Great show the other night by Jacksonville indie-electronica band T3AM at Lucky's. Not my favorite genre of music but they win you over. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): MLB drops hammer on A-Rod, the other Cris Carter & more. 5) Join us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird) and Vine (Greg Cote).

"Does Michael Beasley being caught with pot even qualify as news? It's like me me being caught with a donut." --Greg Cote

WHY NFL FANTASY DRAFTS ARE UNLIKELY TO BE DOLPHINS-HEAVY: Sports Illustrated has trotted out its 2013 NFL Fantasy Top 300 and from a Miami perspective, for what it's worth, the rankings are pretty 1aa1fantasybleak. The eight Dolphins to make it, in order: 58th overall--Mike Wallace, pictured (23rd among WRs); 67th--Lamar Miller (26th RB); 140th-1aa1mikew-Brian Hartline (56th WR); 159th--Daniel Thomas (53rd RB); 191st--Dustin Keller (16th TE); 196th--Ryan Tannehill (25th QB); 266th--Brandon Gibson (86th WR); and 292nd--Dan Carpenter (25th PK). Four bad signs: 1) Your big off-season acquisition, a supposedly an elite receiver, projected as a mid-round pick in an eight-team league. 2) Your top running back, in a competition that generally puts a premium on RBs, ranks 26th in a 32-team league. 3) Your rising young QB, even with receiving help, ranks 25th. 4) And your defense, supposedly a team strength, is -- rather stunningly, I'd say -- not among the 20 defense/special-teams to make the top 300. We'll see how this fantasy compares with the reality ahead. For now, suffice to say you'll have your pick of Dolphins in most rounds come draft day. Results of ESPN's latest mock-fantasy draft also are Dolphins-shy. It's a 16-round draft for a 10-team PPR league, meaning 260 selections, and the only Dolphins picked were RB Miller (4th round, 35th overall); WR Wallace (5th/47th) and WR Hartline (13th/127th).

1aa1dwadetrayvonWADE, SONS ADORN EBONY'S TRAYVON COVER: Heat star Dwyane Wade and his two young sons Zaire and Zion -- both wearing hoodies -- adorn the regional cover (pictured) of Ebony magazine's new Trayvon Martin issue. Wade has been outspoken in seeking justice for Martin, the Florida teen killed by neighborhood-watch person George Zimmerman, who recently was acquitted.

STEPHEN ROSS SPEAKS: Dolphins owner held a (fairly) rare news conference yesterday. Rather than a tedious transcript here are a few highlights. On Ryan Tannehill: "We believe and hope we've selected the right quarterback. I love the guy." On his GM: "I think he's doing a good job. I'm committed to Jeff Ireland." On Mike Pouncey's 'Free Hernandez' hat: "Obviously I don't condone it." Ross also said the club could return to Tallahassee in 2014 for another attempt at stadium-renovation funds, and that he plans to name a new club president/CEO by next month.

FABULOUS RONALDO LEADS REAL MADRID TO MIAMI TITLE: The sublime Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice Wednesday night and Real Madrid beats Chelsea 3-1 to win the inaugural International Champions Cup at Dolphins stadium. I felt watching Ronaldo like I do watching LeBron: There is only one best player in the game, and everybody knows who it is. Including that that player. Click on Joe's Vision for my column from the game. ..... Original post: We tend to be myopic. Jingoistic. We Americans tend to think that "sports" means the NFL or baseball or NBA. Locally it's all about the 1aa1chelsea 1aa1madridDolphins, Heat and Canes. Well, no it isn't. Not in America, and not locally. There is more. We are bigger that that. Comes a refreshing reminder tonight, when Dolphins stadium will fill with soccer fans for the conclusion of the first Guinness International Champions Cup, with Spain's Real Madrid vs. England's Chelsea for the title. (After a third-place match between U.S. club L.A. Galaxy and Italy's AC Milan). I'll happily be there, watching, enjoying and columnizing. This eight-team tournament has arguably been the most impressive collection of soccer talent ever seen in America, and, yes, I say that having covered the 1994 U.S. World Cup. It's big that Miami got the final games. Tonight's match will makes headlines across Europe and the world.

1aa1manningsrapON THE MANNINGS' RAP VIDEO: Peyton and Eli Manning sort-of rapping in a spoof video called "Football On Your Phone" may be the worst performance by NFL white players since Riley Cooper at a Kenny Chesney concert. The Mannings are pictured, looking about as gangsta as they possibly can. The vid is a pimp for DirecTV, designed-to-go-viral advertising, making it worse. Click HERE to watch and listen, both of which are a chore.

ON HUGH DOUGLAS' TIRADE: Hugh Douglas, the former Eagle now of ESPN's Numbers Never Lie, spewed racially at show colleague Michael Smith (also African-American) at a House of Blues in Orlando while in town for a National Association of Black Journalists convention. Called him "Uncle Tom" and a "house [N-word]." (How to embarrass your association in one easy step!) Hugh apparently doesn't think Michael is black enough. Well, who on Earth thinks Hugh Douglas, whom I'd call an Uncle Dumb, is a journalist? Throw him off the air permanently. While you're at it, ESPN, cancel Numbers Never Lie. It sucks.

Poll result: Serious split on A-Rod's punishment: We asked about Alex Rodriguez's 211-game suspension for PEDs in the Biogenesis case, and 37.7 percent called that too harsh while 31.9% said too lenient. Another 26.3% called the punishment about right and 4.1% weren't sure.

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...