January 31, 2015

SB Smirk V: Parties, Rihanna and potato gnocchi; plus Richard Sherman's dilemma. Bowl or baby: What would you do? New poll. Vote now!

1) It is SATURDAY, JANUARY 31. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Super Bowl With a Smirk IV, NFL-controversies-impact poll, Seattle weed-smokers & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

SUPER BOWL WITH A SMIRK V: HAND-ROLLED POTATO GNOCCHI. LET'S PARTY!: Today's fifth and final 1aa1arollingstoneSuper Bowl With a Smirk notes column leads with what this week is really all about when you get right down to it. The parties. There are 1aa1ajointsreferences to Rihanna, hand-rolled potato gnocchi and Chris Berman sweating. Pictured left is Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, who will perform at Saturday's Rolling Stone party, and who looks more and more like an unattrcative woman every time I see him. Click on 1aa1alombardiSmirk V for the full column. Also included today: Goodell, creepy coaches, ball security, Sherman's timing, 12,000 joints, "I Am Confetti," national anthem, a coin, griping golfers, rival do-gooders and Lombardi's remains. [Previously: Smirk IV, Smirk IIISmirk IISmirk I].

SMIRK V POLL: RICHARD SHERMAN'S DILEMMA: The Seahawks cornerback has a tough choice. Or maybe you think it shouldn't be tough. The Super Bowl is Sunday. His girlfriend could go into labor and deliver their first child on Sunday. He says he is debating what to do. What should he do? What would you do if you were Sherman?

Poll result: Love for NFL diminished but still strong: We asked if the various NFL controversies have made you watch or like the NFL less and it was "no" with 63.6 percent to 36.4% "yes."

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January 30, 2015

SB Smirk IV: Katy Perry promises your face will melt at halftime; plus, POLL: Do controversies make you like NFL less? Vote now!; also Kaaya and Heisman, Seattle fans 'n weed & more

1) It is FRIDAY, JANUARY 30. I'm embedded at Random Evidence Laboratories today dreaming up the Sunday notes-column package. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Super Bowl With a Smirk III, Villain Bowl poll, no-drone-zone, Wade injury, UM football schedule & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Kaaya on early Heisman watch list: Canes QB Brad Kaaya has early 33-1 odds to win the next Heisman Trophy, tied for 18th best in country as per Bovada. Favorite right now at 6-1 is Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott.

1aa1apickpats 1aa1acotepixSuper Bowl pick: Patriots, 27-23: It's official. (If only that meant it's sure to be right). I discuss the evenness of this game and why it looks like two great teams portending a classic-to-be Super Bowl. Also I detail the one edge that makes New England my pick. Click on SB Gem for the full prediction capsule.

SUPER BOWL WITH A SMIRK IV: KATY PERRY PROMISES TO MELT YOUR FACE. IS THAT A GOOD THING?: Today's fourth of our five daily Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns leads with the 1aa1akatyp 1aa1alionpickSunday halftime show featuring Katy Perry, who conducted a revealing press

conference on Thursday, wearing the outfit she'll have on at halftime (pictured right). I'M JUST KIDDIN'! She'll wear clothes. Who do you think she is, Miley 1aa1aguadalupeCyrus? Katy admitted some pre-recorded music would be used and said "faces
will melt" in reaction to a surprise female guest. Melting faces. Sounds creepy. (Word has since leaked that the "surprise" guest will be Missy Elliott, a rapper who was pretty big circa 1997-2005). Click on Smirk IV for the full column.
1aa1achickensAlso included today: Marshawn Lynch speaks (sort of), unlikable head coaches, Richard Sherman's baby, drones, Vulcan the lion, nuns, counterfeit merchandise and the National Chicken Council. [Previously: Smirk III, Smirk IISmirk I].

SMIRK IV POLL: IMPACT OF NFL CONTROVERSIES: The Ray Rice video, concussions, "Deflategate" -- controversies are nothing new in the NFL, and each of them spark outrage, and yet the NFL seems as popular as ever. Time for you to weigh in if you'd like:

Poll result: Pats the bad guy in Villain Bowl: Two black-hat teams here, both disliked beyond their fandoms, so we asked which makes the better villain. You said Patriots, 71.1 percent to Seahawks' 28.9%.

SUPER BOWL = BIG BUSINESS FOR SEATTLE POT INDUSTRY: Medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Washington State, and a retailer in Seattle called Solstice is rolling 12,000 joints for Sunday in anticipation of a spike in business. Cannot confirm that Seahawks fans, when asked what they are most looking forward to in Sunday's game, answered, "the snacks." [Note: So my boss doesn't get mad, this item and the following video are NOT an endorsement of marijuana, which sources tell me is evil and perhaps also wicked]. 


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January 29, 2015

SB Smirk III: NBC's plan to kill 6 hours when you're not looking; plus Villain Bowl poll, my SB pick, no-drone-zone, Wade's injury, '15 UM football sked & more

1aa1atannehillpick1) It is THURSDAY, JANUARY 29. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill makes his SB prediction known Thursday at the NFL Experience in Phoenix. Ryan and I disagree. Click on SB Gem for my call. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Super Bowl With a Smirk II, best-Super Bowl-in-Miami poll, banned-puppy video, Marlins farm rank & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Heat's Wade out indefinitely: Dwyane Wade's hamstring injury will keep him out indefinitely, he said today. Speculation is at least three weeks. Makes hanging onto a playoff spot tougher. And only aggravates Wade's rep as a high-maintenance machine prone to breakdowns. 

SUPER BOWL WITH A SMIRK III: NBC PREGAME SHOW. BECAUSE WHAT SAYS SEAHAWKS-PATRIOTS LIKE BRIAN WILLIAMS DRIVING A RACE CAR?: Today's third of our five daily Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns leads with NBC on Wednesday having a major media conference call to tout its six-hour Sunday pregame show, which includes (of course) NBC 1aa1abrianw 1aa1aecuadoranchorman Brian Williams as Mr. NASCAR on a racetrack, along with a bunch of other stuff not really related to the game such as a feature on "Super Bowl wives" and "flamboyant" ice skater Johnny Weir interviewing celebrities. (Weir is 1aa1ajohnnywpictured lower left; Williams is above left, evidently practicing). This is what happens when you try to kill six 1aa1agodaddypuppyhours. Click on Smirk III for the full column. Also included today: Tom
Brady's cold, security
measures, a pointless petition, Ecuador, Indians, Skittles, GoDaddy being mean to a puppy, a poor cow's ultimate sacrifice and more. [Previously: Smirk II, Smirk I].

SMIRK III POLL: NAME THAT VILLAIN: There is no Cinderella in this Super Bowl. There are two black hats. There is Darth Vader in a hoodie Bill Belichick and the cheating-marred Patriots on one side, and there is surly Marshawn Lynch, strutting Richard Sherman, preening Pete Carroll and the cocky Seahawks on the other. Which of the two hard-to-love teams do you find most unlikable? Which is better cast as the villain Sunday? Vote and say why.

Smirk II Poll result: Namath's guarantee, of course: We asked in the previous blogpost to name the best or most memorable of the 10 Super Bowls that have been played in Miami, and the Jets' 16-7 win over the Colts that Joe Namath guaranteed after the 1968 season won it with 40.9 percent. Also support for Steelers' 35-31 win over Dallas in 1978 (25.0%) and 49ers' 20-16 win over Cincy in 1988 (18.2%)





HURRICANES' 2015 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: It's officially out today via the ACC and UM. Not many soft spots after the first two games Here it is, with kickoff times to be determined:

Sept. 5 BETHUNE-COOKMAN Sun Life Stadium UM leads, 2-0 
Sept. 12 at FAU Boca Raton, Fla. UM leads, 1-0 
Sept. 19 NEBRASKA Sun Life Stadium NU leads 6-5 
Sept. 26 Bye Week    
Oct. 1 at Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio UM leads, 11-1 
Oct. 10 at Florida State* Tallahassee, Fla. UM leads, 31-28 
Oct. 17 VIRGINIA TECH* Sun Life Stadium UM leads, 19-13
Oct. 24 CLEMSON* Sun Life Stadium UM leads, 6-3 
Oct. 31 at Duke* Durham, N.C. UM leads, 10-2 
Nov. 7  VIRGINIA*  Sun Life Stadium  Series tied, 6-6 
Nov. 14  at North Carolina*  Chapel Hill, N.C. UM leads, 9-8  
Nov. 21 GEORGIA TECH* Sun Life Stadium GT leads, 11-9 
Nov. 27 at Pittsburgh* Pittsburgh, Pa. UM leads, 23-10-1 

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January 28, 2015

SB Smirk II: Gronk's buttchecks, which may be an upgrade from deflated balls; plus Dan Marino, GoDaddy's Puppygate, greatest-Super Bowl-in-Miami poll, Marlins farm system & more

1) It is WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Super Bowl With a Smirk debut, Marshawn Lynch poll, God press-conference video & more. 2) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

1aa1adanmarinoSI piece on Marino: Sports Illustrated has a lengthy new piece on Dan Marino (read it here) as part of a celebration of the sports year 1985 (which began with a Dolphins Super Bowl loss to the 49ers). Marino is pictured circa that era. I'm among the folks who were interviewed and are quoted in the story, but it's worth reading, anyway.

"Calm your asses down!" --Ex-Hurricanes great Michael Irvin, to perpetually dissatisfied, griping UM football fans.

SUPER BOWL WITH A SMIRK II: GRONK'S BUTTCHEEKS, AN UPGRADE FROM DEFLATED BALLS, AT LEAST: 1aa1agronkingToday's second of our five daily Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns
leads with Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski enlivening Media Day with a 1aa1afirereading from a new erotic novel about him (pictured right) called, "A Gronking to Remember" (subtitle: "It was a passion that could not be 1aa1akimkspiked"), by author Lacey Noonan. The passage Gronk read included the word "buttcheeks." (Tight end, indeed!) The X-rated "novel" is 66 pages long and, unfortunately, is the first in a planned series. Click on Smirk II for the full column. Also included: A fire alarm, a prediction, Jay Glazer, a woman in Hungary, Kim Kardashian (pictured left), Roman numerals, ticket prices and a Radio Row brawl. [Previously: Smirk I].

SMIRK II POLL: WHAT HAS BEEN BEST/MOST MEMORABLE SUPER BOWL PLAYED IN MIAMI?: We list all 10 in the poll, chronologically, with the game's MVP in parentheses to give you a one-word memory jog. You tell history which game should rank as the best or most memorable of all the SB 305s:

Smirk I Poll result: Sharp divide on Marshawn Lynch: We asked in the previous blogpost your impression of Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (the person, not the player), and it was 52.2 percent favorable, 47.8% unfavorable.

GODADDY PULLS SUPER BOWL AD AFTER OUTRAGE: GoDaddy, the website-building company pimped by Danica Patrick and no stranger to controversial ads, has pulled its planned Super Bowl commercial after an online preview sparked a backlash. The ad, entitled "Journey Home," features a lost puppy named Buddy who find his way home only to be quickly sold by his owner. Awwww. Folks, the puppy is JUST AN ACTOR! Anyway, enjoy. Or, be outraged:


RANKING MARLINS' FARM SYSTEM: ESPN's Keith Law ranks all 30 MLB farm systems and slots Miami's 24th. His description: "Their system rarely ranks high because they promote players to big league roles so quickly, but there's a solid group of very young arms in the system that will be on the list for a while, as well as a teenage position player or two with some real upside. There's very little in near-term talent here, however.". Elsewhere in NL East, Mets' farm is ranked fourth, Braves sixth, Nationals ninth and Phillies 25th.

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January 27, 2015

Super Bowl With a Smirk debut: Deflated balls, crotch grabs, killer Clydesdales, Marshawn Lynch poll, Q&A with God; plus Hassan Whiteside verdict & more

It's Radio Tuesday!: I'm back in-studio today with the Dan LeBatard Show, 3-7 on The Ticket Miami, 4-7 on ESPN Radio. Ears welcome.

"The first person to see Miko Grimes, would you tell her to please shut up? Thank you." --Greg Cote

1) It is TUESDAY, JANUARY 27. Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes column. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hassan Whiteside poll, Giancarlo's world, how close to contending are Dolphins & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

1aa1adeflated footballsSUPER BOWL WITH A SMIRK I: DEFLATED BALLS, CROTCH-GRABS AND KILLER CLYDESDALES: The first of our five daily Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns debuts today leading with an exclusive report detailing how the 1aa1aclydesdalePatriots may be under NFL scrutiny for apparently underinflating footballs -- which we haven't heard or read anywhere else. Pictured

right: The suspect footballs used in last week's AFC Championship Game. Also included in today's Smirk debut: God's will, Garo's rumination,
Pro Bowl, rabid Clydesdales, naughty Betty White, 1aa1agodfbsimulated arrests at NFL Experience, counterfeit tickets, F-16 fighter jets and (spoiler alert) solid information that New England will beat Seattle on Sunday, 28-24. Place bets now. Click
on Smirk I for today's complete debut column.

SMIRK POLL: LOVE/HATE ON MARSHAWN LYNCH: Seattle's running back rudely refuses to answer the simplest questions and grabs his crotch after touchdowns. Seahawks fans love him. But do most football fans? I don't mean as a player. I mean as a person. Let's find out.


Poll result: Caution, but excitement, about Hassan Whiteside: We asked how sure you are that 7-foot Heat sensation Hassan Whiteside would become an NBA all-star, and 59.6 percent were cautiously optimistic, 34.2% were very confident, and only 6.2 % were doubtful.

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February 01, 2014

Canton ballot. Here's yours. Vote who should get into Hall of Fame tonight; plus Smirk V, Pacers get Bynum, Incognito in a rout, Seinfeld & more

1) It is SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1. Happy new month, all. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Smirk IV (par-tay), Super Bowl prediction, Incognito-Martin poll & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.

1aa1abradshawSMIRK V: AMERICA THREATENED, CHALLENGED BY FOUR STRAIGHT HOURS OF TERRY BRADSHAW: Today's last of five Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns details Fox-TV's parade of scheduled pregame 1aa1ajimmyjshow features that have zero to do with a Broncos-Seahawks game -- what happens when you have four hours to kill. Supposedly one of the features will be Jimmy Johnson deep-sea fishing in the nude. (At least that's what I read). Also included in today's new Smirk: Partying Heat, Bison & Pistachio Sausage, a coin, brawling do-gooders, griping bowlers and Betty White nursing the E-Trade Baby. Click on Smirk V for the complete latest column. (Previously: Smirk IVSmirk IIISmirk IISmirk ISB Top 10 Storylines).

Poll result: Incognito routs Martin on sympathy scale: I asked previously where your sympathy lies in the Dolphins Bullygate mess, a wound reopened this week. A plurality of 47.2 percent said "neither player" and only 2.5% said "both." But of those who sided with player, Richie Incognito swamped Jonathan Martin by 44.0% to 6.3% -- the bully more sympathetic than the victim by a 7-to-1 margin.    

WORLD'S LONGEST POLL: WHO SHOULD GET INTO CANTON TONIGHT? VOTE YOUR TOP 5: Hey can I help it there are 17 finalists on the darned ballot? I'm a selective voter. I think the only three I'd vote in this year are Marvin Harrison, Derrick Brooks and Walter Jones. Warren Sapp's anti-Michael Strahan campaign should make that vote interesting. Anyway, here's the alphabetical lst of finalists. Vote for as many as five (5)!

PACERS, NOT HEAT, LAND BYNUM: Indiana signs Andrew Bynum for rest of NBA season, a backup center the Heat considered. This gives Pacers increased depth behind Roy Hibbert, and underlines the onus on Miami's Greg Oden to continue to develop in his comeback. If I didn't know any better I'd say it appears the Pacers are serious about dethroning Miami. The inevitable Eastern finals just got a little more interesting. 

SEINFELD STILL THE KING: We saw Jerry Seinfeld last night at the Hard Rock and I think it was the best 1aa1ajerrysstandup show I'd seen in a long time. Wife rermarked afterward how much I'd laughed. I mean big, out-loud laughter. Seinfeld didn't invent observational humor but owns the genre. Always amazes me he doesn't use his iconic, eponymous former sitcom as a crutch or fallback. Doesn't need to. The only vague reference to Seinfeld was him imagining some people coming to his show and saying, "Where are the other three people!?" Seinfeld, at 59, is at the top of his game. Absolutely terrific.

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January 31, 2014

Smirk IV and SB pick. Broncos win! (Sorry, Denver); plus Martin vs. Incognito The Poll (vote now) & more

1) It is FRIDAY, JANUARY 31. I'm up at Random Evidence Laboratories today birthing the latest Sunday notes-column package. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito please shut up, Smirk III (the dopest Super Bowl of all), SB who-you-hope-wins poll, Heat about June & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.

1aa1aleatherSMIRK IV: WEEKEND MEANS SUPER BOWL PARTYING (AND A GAME, TIME PERMITTING): Today's fourth of five daily Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns delves into the major parties 1aa1abermanassociated with Super Bowl Week, including the annual ESPN party at which a lurching, leering, perspiring Chris Berman inadvertantly drips sweat into other peoples' cocktails while falling over backbackbackbackbackward. Also included in today's new Smirk: Bruno Mars, Eli the orangutan, seasick Broncos, fake stuff, Peyton's ducks, God and ancient trophy-makers. Click on Smirk IV for the complete latest column. (Previously: Smirk IIISmirk IISmirk ISB Top 10 Storylines).

OFFICIAL SUPER BOWL PICK: BRONCOS, 24-20: Well, this is it. Based on the miserable season I've had 1aa1fripixwith my NFL picks, the hope of Seahawks fans is hereby fortified as Broncos fans dash for the Pepto Bismol. (Is Pepto Bismol even still a product?) There are reasons to like the slight-underdog Seahawks. One is that in previous No. 1 offense vs. No. 1 defense Super Bowls, the D-teams are 4-1. Another is Peyton Manning's spotty track record in cold weather. Nevertheless sometimes you go with your gut feeling and I think this is Peyton's year. His season. His Sunday. Click on Super Bowl Gem for the full predix capsule.

Poll result: Most want Broncos to win: In the last blogpost we asked not for a prediction but who you want to win Sunday, and 66.0 percent said Denver. That's less than the 72.4% who previously predicted Denver would win.

WHERE DOES YOUR SYMPATHY GO IN THE DOLPHINS' MARTIN-INCOGNITO BULLYGATE MESS?: The 1aa1abullywhole thing reared its homely head again this week as alleged victim Jonathan Martin did a TV interview and alleged bully Richie Incognito's lawyer fired back with stuff damning to Martin. I find it funny that both men are now publicly playing the sympathy card and that neither man -- at least to me -- is sympathetic. You may feel differently. We did three different Bullygate-related polls back in the fall when it was a national story but this is the first that essentially is One vs. Other. Take a dip in our poll and say why.

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January 30, 2014

Jonathan and Richie: Please just shut up and go away!; plus Smirk III: It's the dopest Super Bowl. Who you hope wins? Poll; vote!; also Heat about June & more

1) It is THURSDAY, JANUARY 30. I'm in the Dungeon today fashioning my Super Bowl prediction. It'll be online later today and in Friday's inky pulp editions. 2) Click on Kumbaya, Now Win for my column off this week's introduction of new Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat-Thunder and LeBron vs. Durant poll, Smirk II and Jersey's D-list celebs, Jonathan Martin speaks, Marlins farm system & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.

JONATHAN AND RICHIE: BOTH OF YOU PLEASE JUST SHUT UP AND GO AWAY!: The NFL/Ted Wells/Dolphins Bullygate report is coming out right after the Super Bowl, and that's probably why the prinicipals -- the supposedly bullied Jonathan Martin and alleged bully Richie Incognito -- have come out of hibernation this week. First Martin breaks silence with a sit-down interview with NBC's Tony Dungy and continues to portray himself the victim. Now it comes out that Incognito has hired a top PR firm, Sitrick & Co., to buff his image. Incognito's lawyer took the offensive today with information that Martin sent text messages to Incognito as rude and lewd as some Incognito sent. Oh, and Richie today started a Twitter campaign with #FREEINCOGNITO as a strike against Martin's latest interview-attacks. Here is my campaign: #WILLYOUPLEASEBOTHJUSTSHUTUPANDGOAWAY!? I mean, seriously. Is that too much to ask? Two things are self-evident by now. One is that Incognito was ringleader of an over-the-top lockerroom culture. The other is that the soft Martin was not built to man-up and stand up to it. So here we are. Both of them playing a sympathy card, and neither one of them sympathetic. Both of you, be gone!

Today's third of five daily Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns reports that the Marijuana Policy Project has paid to
1aa1billboards2erect several pro-pot billboards (one is pictured at right) all around the Super Bowl stadium. Which makes sense, since the Broncos and Seahawks come from the only two states (see left) to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Oy! Note: This item should not be construed as an endorsement of marijuana. Even if Dad offers to pass you his joint, don't do it, kids! Also included in today's new Smirk: Roman Numeral celebration, Chinese New Year, Cheerios, Lauren Tannehill's rifle and an old crone in Budapest. Click on Smirk III for the complete latest column. (Previously: Smirk IISmirk ISB Top 10 Storylines).

WHO DO YOU HOPE WINS THE SUPER BOWL?: We asked last week who you predicted would win (it was 72.4 percent Denver). This isn't about who you think will win or who you'd bet on. This is who you WANT to win. If you are not a fan of either the Broncos or Seahawks -- that would be about 95 percent of the country -- chances are you still have a rooting interest. Who? And why? Take a dip in our poll.

HEAT-THUNDER, LEBRON-DURANT: IT COUNTS LATER, NOT NOW: Oklahoma City Thunder won in Miami last night 112-105 and Kevin Durant (33 points) and LeBron James (34) put on the show you expected, and none of it really mattered. See, being a two-time defending champion means you are the only team in the NBA that can say the following and mean it, and suffer no rebuttal whatsoever: "It isn't about January. It's about June." Boo-ya!

Poll result: LeBron swamps Durant (of course): We asked in the last blogpost who you'd rather have on your team right now, and LeBron James beat Kevin Durant with 75.2 percent. (What else did you expect in a Miami-based poll?) 

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January 29, 2014

LeBron v. Durant. Poll. Vote!; plus Smirk II: D-list celebs rep Jersey at SB; also Dolphins/GM sing Kumbaya, J.Martin speaks, Marlins & more

1) It is WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29. Dolphins have mutually parted with personnel guy Brian Gaine, who was passed over for GM job. No surprise. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Super Bowl With a Smirk debuts, Super Brrr poll, indoor football, Pete Seeger & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.

Thunder spank Heat: LeBron James (34 points) and Kevin Durant (33) put on the show you expected tonight, but OKC's 112-05 win was sobering. Thunder is missing Russell Westbrook, remember. In the roller-coaster of a Heat fan's emotions, this had to indicate that the hurdle isn't just getting past Indiana in the East. The greater hurdle is beyond.

On new Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey: He brings peace and harmony and gets Miami's front-office back on that proverbial "same page." Now let's see if Hickey brings talent and winning. Click on Kumbaya, Now Win for my column off Tuesday's introduction of the new general manager. 

HEAT-THUNDER. LEBRON-DURANT. DELICIOUS!: People who keep saying there's nothing interesting about this Heat regular season (talking to you, Le Batard) might want to dial into tonight's visit by the 

1aa1alebdurOklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant at the bayside arena (won by OKC, 112-95). It was more than a rematch of the 2012 NBA Finals won by Miami. It was personal. You'll recall how Durant dissed Dwyane Wade by saying James Harden, not Wade, should have been included in a Sports Illustrated 10-best-players list. A frosty Twitter exchange ensued. Now, though more unspoken, is the rivalry between Durant and LeBron for the mountain top. An ESPN poll just this week had it Durant over James in the MVP race by 72-28 percent. And LeBron edged Durant by only 53-47 on the question, "Who would you choose to start a franchise?" I put the question, though slightly diferent, to you in this poll. Considering everything including their ages -- James just turned 29; Durant is 25 1/2 -- who would you rather have on your team right now? (No, the results thus far do not surprise me. Yes, of course a Miami-based poll skews the outcome. Yes, for sure the result would be different out of OKC. Relax. It's just a blog poll!)

SMIRK II: NEW JERSEY TROTS OUT ITS BEST D-LIST CELEBS FOR SUPER BOWL MEDIA DAY: Today's 1aa1amozartsecond of five daily Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns tries to figure out which was weirder about Media Day: The journalist dressed like Mozart, 1aa1aregisufcDeion Sanders' nonsensical questions, Regis Philbin with a UFC belt, or has-been celebs Dionne Warwick and Joe Piscopo greeting arriving media. Also included: DeMaryius Thomas' jailed family, Super Pope, an aging stripper, a dead camel and sacrificial cows. Click on Smirk II for the complete column. (Previously: Smirk ISB Top 10 Storylines).

British people explain Super Bowl, American football: Click here for a short, amusing video.

Poll result: Super Cold Bowl a bad idea: We asked in the last blogpost if you though playing a Super Bowl in freezing weather was great or ridiculous, and 83.1 percent said ridiculous.

JONATHAN MARTIN SPEAKS!: The most famous Bullying Victim in Dolphins history sang to priestly Tony 1aa1dungyjonDungy on NBC's Today Show, reiterating the "attacking nature" of taunts he endured. He said he "felt trapped, like I didn't have a way to make it right." The interview was not that illuminating, but I loved the mesmerizing backdrop of the set (pictured): A deep-hued, richly decorated den, almost a drawing room. I think Martin and Dungy should have done the interview wearing smoking jackets, a fine Montecristo in one hand, a snifter of Courvasier in the other.

JUDGING MARLINS' FARM SYSTEM: ESPN's annual ranks slots Miami 19th of 30 MLB farm systems in 1aa1amarlinsterms of rising available talent. But that's misleading because Marlins tend to call up young talent much sooner than most teams, with Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich prime examples. Miami has four guys among the top 100 prospects: LHP Andrew Heaney (34th), 3B Colin Moran (55th), CF Jake Marisnick (84th) and LHP Justin Nicolino (93rd).

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January 28, 2014

Super Bowl With a Smirk debuts with Jersey whine on menu; plus new Super Brrr poll (vote now), Dolphins' GM-hire brutalized by fans & more

1aa1algo1) It is TUESDAY, JANUARY 28. Seems today's Smirk debut is attracting lots of eyes in the Northeast. A friend in Alexandria, VA outside DC sent me this screengrab of an algorithm that determines popularity of news articles and weights them by size. Catch me right in the middle 2)  No radio for me today due to conflicting assignment. I'll be at Dolphins GM introductory news conference columnizing off that. 3) Blog will be Super Bowl-intensive this week but not forgetting Heat and other stuff. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins' GM Hire and poll, Heat-Spurs, Grammy Awards & more. 5) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.

Super Bowl Week Top 10 storylines: Here is my annual Super Bowl Week preview, in which an apparently self-loathing journalist pokes fun at the bombast of the Super Bowl and at the media driving the excess. I think the word "Peyton" may be mentioned a few times. Click on SB Top 10 Storylines for the column.

1aa1asbnj 1aa1asbnySUPER BOWL WITH A SMIRK I: JERSEY WHINE AND CHICKEN WINGS: The first of our five daily Super Bowl With a Smirk notes columns debuts today leading with New Jersey's pouting as New York gloms all the attention as host. Also included: Cheap tickets, Don Shula, Radio Row, child referees, National Chicken Council, a soprano and (spoiler alert!) solid information that Denver will win 31-28 in overtime. Click on Smirk I for today's complete debut column.

SUPER BRRR: OUTDOOR GAME IN FRIGID CLIMES: REFRESHING OR DUMB?: Chances are you think a NY/NJ Super Bowl is either a great idea or ridiculous. I suppose a few folks might be undecided. Another school of thought holds that where the game is played matters only to the host city; that fans not attending the game don't care. Today's poll offers no gray area, though, just a thumbs up or down. Vote and say why.

Poll result: Dolphins hiring Hickey as GM hugely unpopular: We asked if your initial reaction to Miami hiring the Bucs' Dennis Hickey as general manager was "pleased" or "disappointed," the poll drew our biggest response in awhile, and you trashed the choice. And even 86.0 percent were disappointed.

INDOOR FOOTBALL TEAM COMING TO MIAMI: It'll be called the Miami Inferno, will be coached by Pete Taylor and will play at UM's campus basketball arena. Officia announcement coming tomorrow.  

ON PETE SEEGER: Pete Seeger, the great folk singer and activist, died today at 94. I wonder if the 1aa1aseegerNY/NJ Super Bowl would pause for even a second to remember a New York City native who led a remarkable life? I wonder if any of the players have even herard of him? Seeger (along with Woody Guthrie) introduced America to its folk heritage, sang for migrant workers in the '40s and joined Occupy Wall Street protesters in his 90s. Folk music in not in my wheelhouse, but much respect for a passing icon of Americana.

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