Me and Dwyane Wade, Twitter and wine; plus our Falcons-Patriots prediction, the new Super Bowl With a Smirk & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It is FRIDAY, February 3. A Herald Sports Facebook page has debuted. Click HERE. 2) Shameless Plug Alert! Our new Miami Dolphins book on the club's first half-century makes the perfect shoulda-bought-it-for-Christmas-but-it-isn't-too-late gift for every Dolfan you know. Click on Fins At 50 to order. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hurricanes' recruiting bounty, latest Super Bowl With a Smirk, The Luddite's Anti-Analytics Heat MVP Standings (50 games), your Barkley-LeBron beef verdict & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.
ME AND DWYANE WADE, TWITTER AND WINE: I love Twitter. I do. One of the reasons why metastasized yesterday with my Tweet shown below and Dwyane Wade's response right below it. What I Tweeted was admittedly snarky. Dwyane didn't like it. His NBA prime was defined by greatness. He still is very good, but very good isn't great. From a basketball standpoint, I'll defend that Tweet all day. But from a personal standpoint? The Tweet was a bit mean-spirited, which I don't like to be. I felt bad I may have hurt Wade's feelings, so after his Tweet I Tweeted: "Love @DwyaneWade & always been big supporter as he knows. Just havin' a lil' fun. Very nice wine btw. Blend, but w/ mouthfeel of smooth cab." And of course I got beat up for that because it was seen as a retreat from my initial Tweet. Bottom line? I do not regret the initial Tweet but I do regret that Wade -- whom I like and respect very much -- took it as a cheap shot at sort of a fragile point in his career. Postscript: The wine really was pretty good. God bless Twitter.
Was given bottle of Dwyane Wade wine & we're about to taste. It's a 2014 so I guess we're toasting last year of his prime. Ouch. Too soon? pic.twitter.com/lnvgHU1x0b— Greg Cote (@gregcote) February 2, 2017
Be prepared for my comeback sir. Don't get in your feelings. https://t.co/JZBOtZ48IN— DWade (@DwyaneWade) February 2, 2017
OUR OFFICIAL SUPER BOWL PREDICTION (SORRY, ROGER GOODELL): Sunday’s game in Houston marks only the sixth time in 51 Super Bowls that the matchup has been the team that led the NFL in scoring (Falcons) vs. the team that allowed the fewest points (Patriots). A key difference is, New England is as mighty on offense as it is stingy on D, while Atlanta’s defense, though better than it was, cannot claim to be the equal of what Matt Ryan gets done. As a writer, I think I subconsciously root not for a particular team but for the best story to tell. Here, Super Bowl LI wins no matter the result. Either Atlanta reigns as champion for the first time in its 51-year history. Or we get a trophy presentation that might be even more riveting than the game if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is handing the Vince Lombardi Trophy to a New England franchise he socked so hard over Deflategate — a franchise feeling it was wronged. So "best story" is a tie here. But "best team" is not. As mentioned, Bill Belichick has a complete team that can beat you with or without the ball, while the big-scoring but more lopsided Falcons have a young, somewhat unreliable defense that savvy old Tom Brady will find a way to pick apart. Intangibles also tend to come into play on this biggest stage, and the contrast there greatly favors New England as well. The been-there/won-that Patriots have built a modern dynasty on this stage, while Atlanta — its only other Super Bowl appearance in 1998 and last in the playoffs in 2012 — cannot know they’ll be ready for this. The game might swing importantly very early. Atlanta has scored a touchdown on its first possession in eight games in a row. Keeping that streak alive will give the Birds instant confidence, but if it ends there could be a fast feeling of "uh oh." Ryan is used to leading. He isn’t used to trailing. And certainly not against Belichick and Brady. In a Super Bowl. I think he’ll have that feeling on Sunday. And I think I’m looking forward to the awkward drama of the postgame trophy presentation a lot more than Roger Goodell is. My pick: New England 31, Atlanta 23. Click on Super Bowl Gem for the full predictions capsule.
SUPER BOWL WITH A SMIRK: PATRIOTS TRADEMARK FRAUDULENCE, GAGA'S SHOE, MORTARS, FAKE MERCHANDISE: Super Bowl With a Smirk is back with our fourth of five daily columns needling the self-important NFL and the excess and gravitas of its big game.
It's an outrage -- the most egregious "alternative fact" yet. It would be like Greg Cote trademarking the phrase "Pulitzer Winner."
Smirk today is calling upon Don Shula and the 1972 Miami Dolphins -- the only team that did have a perfect season -- to foment into an angry if aging mob and picket outside Sunday's Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl in Houston.
The Patriots were undefeated and untied before losing the Super Bowl nine years ago. They deserve a trademark on "Almost Perfect Season." Or perhaps on "Almost Perfect Cheaters."
Instead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in December granted the Patriots-owning Kraft Group legal rights to the phrases "Perfect Season" and "19-0," ESPN's Darren Rovell reports.
It took eight years for the Kraft Group's petition to finally be approved. The loophole the Pats used to justify deserving Perfect Season was to license the phrase to a Massachusetts high-school football association to commemorate Xaverian High's 24 straight wins.
The Dolphins once filed to trademark "17-0" and "Perfectville" but eventually gave up the fight.
Now New England legally owns what Miami earned on the field, but, galling and absurd as that is, we all know better, and about this I'm not Smirking:
Perfect Season belongs to only one team in NFL history, and it sure ain't the Patriots.
(*) Lady Gaga met the media Thursday in Houston, and declined to pick a winning team, saying, "I'm going to write it down and put it in my shoe." Gaga is headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show Sponsored by Smirk's Second-Favorite Cola.
(*) National-anthem singer Luke Bryan also met the media. The Falcons fan from Leesburg, Ga., blatantly did the limbo to compliment the Patriots so as not to hurt his sales in the Northeast.
(*) Spoiler alert! The Patriots will beat the Falcons 27-24 on Sunday. Book it. Bank it. Because EA Sports' Madden 17 video game played it and says it. The Madden game is 9-4 on previous SB picks, which strikes Smirk as decent, not great.
(*) The group MVPindex took umbrage at Smirk's Wednesday suggestion they might have been drunk when ranking Julian Edelman's social media impact greater than Tom Brady's. Based on criteria including how many times followers engage with a post, "Edelman does it better," said spokesperson Amber Moore. "So we aren't drunk."
(*) Stadium security precautions will be tight Sunday. Prohibited items that fans may not carry in include umbrellas, lasers, signs and 60-millimeter hand-held mortars.
(*) Two notable Houstonians, former president George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara, ages 92 and 91, will conduct the pregame coin toss. There's a joke there somewhere, but some things are out of bounds even for Smirk.
(*) Counterfeit merchandise update: If that pricey Super Bowl jacket you bought has no logos whatsoever and looks eerily like a 1980s Members Only jacket, it might not be official Super Bowl apparel.
HOT BUTTON DAILY / 2-3-17: What events on the Friday, Feb. 3 sports calendar interest South Florida fans most:
1. Anaheim at Panthers, 7:30 p.m.: Cats chasing eighth seed and playoffs.
2. U.S. soccer vs. Jamaica, 7 p.m.: Last friendly before men's World Cup qualifying.
3. Might be time to retire this short-lived new blog feature after a second straight slowwwww day in sports.
Select recent columns: Greatness Times Four, on Lebron, Brady, Serena and Tiger. Miami In the Super Bowl, on the Miami-tie guys playing in this one. Home Run For Montoya, Miami, from the Race of Champions here. Thank You, Edwin Pope, on the death of a friend, mentor and Miami Herald icon. Also: Is Tannehill Close Enough to Great? When Playoffs Become the Norm Again. A Year Of Heartache, But Then A Smile. An Orange Bowl Classic. Road Back Starts With Bowl Win. Missing Dwyane Wade.
Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.