November 04, 2016

Our NFL Week 9 picks for Dolphins-Jets, top game, upset special; plus King Sport Halftime Awards, why Harvard University has never stood taller, The Luddite's Heat MVP & more


1) It is FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4. Miami Herald's new book on Dolphins' first half century is now available, just in time for the holidays! Click on Fins At 50 for more info or to order through Amazon. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Cubs win World Series with history of Game 7s, Wade and LeBron's bet, your Dolphins/London verdict & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, InstagramVine, Periscope and Snapchat.

A few recent columns: World Series, NFL, Jose Fernandez, Heat, Dolphins: There's Hope For Us All (on Cubs' World Series win) and A Needed Slap In Face (on NFL's declining TV ratings), our two newest columns. Also: Jose Tragedy Couldn't Get Worse, But Then It Did. The Whiteside Project. What Took You So Long? (on Dolphins' running-game epiphany). Heat's System Reboot. And The 200-Yard Man (Jay Ajayi).

FripixIT'S UPSET BIRD DAY / WEEK 9: OUR PICKS FOR DOLPHINS-JETS, REST OF NFL: Time to reclaim our mojo in Week 9 of our 26th season of Friday Page NFL predictions in the Miami Herald, one of our best, after last week's stumble. We were 6-6-1 overall and a miserable 3-9-1 against the spread last week, our worst showing of the season by far. And yet we are now a big 22 games over .500 ATS for the year (70-48-3) after a good start to our week last night. We correctly had Falcons covering a 4-point line at Tampa Bay; click Thursday Gem for that pick. For all our latest selections click on Week 9 Gems as myself and the Upset BIrd ("Aawwwk!") bring you our latest predictions for Dolphins-Jets, our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week and more. We also offer our accompanying NFL notes column today that leads with our midseason trophy choices in seven categories including league and Dolphins MVP. Click on King Sport Halftime Awards to read.

WHY HARVARD UNIVERSITY HAS NEVER STOOD TALLER: The word "Harvard" always has connoted top-tier academia, but today we applaud not its brainpower but its Harvardmoral stand. The Harvard men's soccer team, leading the Ivy League, was just suspended immediately for the rest of its season by the university, all remaining game forfeited, all postseason hopes erased. Why? Because that men's team was found to have continued a disgusting practice in which the male players offer explicit, lewd, sexually charged "scouting reports" on Harvard's women's team. Is this 2016? Or 1956? Is this the highest level of academia? Or middle school? For better or ill, this proves the men of Harvard, ostensibly smart, can be as misogynistic, boorish, juvenile and crude as anybody else. Note that the Harvard crest includes the word "veritas." In Roman myth, Veritas was the goddess of truth. So here's some truth: the offending Harvard men's soccer players are a bunch of idiots! Click here for the background story, and here for the women's team's response. Good for Harvard for its actions, although, considering there were indications of this happening as far back as 2012, you wonder if this little cancer should have been addressed sooner. There should be mutual respect between men and women athletes. Wait. Better yet: How's this for a concept? There should be mutual respect between men and women.

LudditeINTRODUCING: "THE LUDDITE'S ANTI-ANALYTICS HEAT MVP STANDINGS": Points. Rebounds. Assists. That's it. With tongue partly in cheek, we go old-school, strip it down, combine the Original Big Three statistical categories, and introduce a running, cumulative race for Heat team MVP. We'll bring you updates every five games. Miami's fifth game is tonight. So look for The Luddite's debut Heat MVP standings here in the blog Saturday morning.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

January 27, 2016

Bulletin: '72 Dolphins just lost!; plus Canes' 2016 football schedule, predicted season record; also, UM baseball, 'WomenNotObjects', fun activities for Satanic kids, your verdicts on Super Bowl 50, Whiteside Dilemma & more


Showkiller1) It is WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27. ICYMI, click on Making a Showkiller for Fusion TV's spoof (starring me) of Making a Murderer. 2) In The Previous Blogpost: Panthers-Broncos Super Bowl 50 polls, Canes' and Heat's big night, Heat's Whiteside Dilemma poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 3) For those who care (both of you), I went 1-1 straight-up and against the spread on my NFL Championship Sunday picks. Did not see Broncos beating Patriots. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, InstagramVine and Periscope.

"Some headlines could not be more ridiculous if you made them up. Are you ready? 'John Rocker Endorses Trump.' Seriously." --Greg Cote

UM baseball picked to win its ACC division: The upcoming college baseball season is expected to be a big one for the Hurricanes, who are No. 5 in the preseason polls and now selected to win the ACC Coastal Division in a preseason poll of coaches. Louisville is forecast to win the Atlantic Division and overall conference title. Other strong ACC baseball schools include Virginia and Florida State.

Larranaga's vision, crystallized in one night: The ranked Hurricanes beating Duke in front of a packed house -- this is what Jim Larranaga imagined when he took this job in 2011. Click on Coach L's Vision for my column off Monday night's game.

'72 PERFECT SEASON DOLPHINS LOSE!: Oh my but Don Shula, Mercury Morris and those fellas won't like this one bit. CBS Sports and Strat-O-Matic are playing the 49 Super Bowl winners head to head in simulated games to name the ultimate all-time champion, and the '72 Dolphins, a No. 1 seed, just lost in the round of 16 to the 17th-seeded 1992 Cowboys. The recap from CBS: "Garo Yepremian's missed 44-yard field goal with 30 seconds left in regulation ended the '72 Dolphins' dreams and enabled the '92 Cowboys to advance to the Elite 8."

HURRICANES FOOTBALL SCHEDULE LOOKING LIKE 9-3 SEASON, BUT...: The ACC released its 2016 schedules today and Miami's soft non-conference opening portends a 3-0 start and gives the Canes' a leg up on a strong season under new coach Mark Richt. Initially I'm thinking 9-3 (see below) two of those projected losses could be wins: Florida State, here, and North Carolina, also here. Only the game at Notre Dame feels like a good-bet loss. Our quick thoughts:

MarkrichtG1: vs. Florida A&M Sept. 3 -- Division 1AA Rattlers finished 1-10 in the MEAC. Season opener and Mark Richt debut should be a breeze for Canes. W, 1-0 

G2: vs. Florida Atlantic Sept. 10 -- Owls were a disappointing 3-9 in Conference USA including a 44-20 loss to UM, but recall that FAU pushed then-No. 8 Florida to overtime in a 20-14 loss in the Swamp. Should be a sure Canes win, but Owls could put up some fight. W, 2-0

G3: at Appalachian State Sept. 17 -- The Mountaineers were 11-2 in the Sun Belt and gave Clemson a better game (a 41-10 loss) than Miami did last year. Miami should win without much trouble, but it's no pushover, plus it is UM's first road game. W, 3-0

G4: at Georgia Tech Oct. 1 -- UM's ACC opener is vs. a Yellow Jackets squad that will be trying to rebound from a 3-9 season that included a 38-21 loss to Miami. Liking Miami to win this and make it 4-0, especially coming off bye week, but conference games on the road seldom are easy. W, 4-0

G5: vs. Florida State Oct. 8 -- FSU finished 10-3 and only beat Miami 29-24 last year, but figures to be favored, even on the road. The Seminoles have become a nemesis and conference roadblock. Al Golden couldn't beat them. Richt must prove he can. L, 4-1

G6: vs. North Carolina Oct. 15 -- The Tar Heels whipped Miami last year 59-21 en route to an 11-3 season and only lost 45-37 to Clemson. UNC could be favored here. It's one of those swing games that will determine whether Richt's first season is seen as a success. L, 4-2

G7: at Virginia Tech Oct. 20 -- Hokies finished 7-6 including a 30-20 loss to Miami, but this is a tough place to play. Another swing game. W, 5-2 

G8: at Notre Dame Oct. 29 -- Fighting Irish were 10-1 before losing their last two, and South Bend can be a madhouse. A likely loss ... or a signature win. L, 5-3

G9: vs. Pittsburgh Nov. 5 -- Panthers were 8-5 and lost to Miami 29-24. Another competitive game is likely, but UM should prevail at home. W, 6-3

G10: at Virginia Nov.12 -- Cavaliers were 5-8 but gave Miami a fight, losing 27-21. Could be tough as a road game but count it a Canes win. W, 7-3

G11: at North Carolina State Nov. 19 -- Wolfpack were 4-0 before fading to 7-6 and did not face UM last year. The road makes it dicey, but it feels winnable for UM. W, 8-3

G12: vs. Duke Nov. 26 -- Blue Devils finished 8-5 including a 30-27 loss to UM. Home and regular finale should find Canes favored. W, 9-3 

#WOMENNOTOBJECTS: Ad executve Madonna Badger, tired of how her own industry objectifies women as sexual playthings, produced a short video skewering the advertising game. Background story here. The video is below, and it's pretty powerful stuff. Quick aside to fashion designer Tom Ford: I'm sure you are a nice guy, maybe, but your ad agency appears to be run by misogynistic idiots.


SatanicFUN ACTIVITIES FOR SATANIC CHILDREN. NO, SERIOUSLY: There are fervent believers in God. There are those who want to believe. There are agnostics. There are atheists. And, yes, there are Satanists. This past summer hundreds gathered at a Satanic temple in Detroit for the unveiling of a large bronze statue of Baphomet, the goat-headed creature who has come to represent a totem of modern Satanism. Whatever, right? Free country and so forth. But what I find both a little frightening and oddly hilarious is the book pictured. I don't wanna know what those fun activities involve. Animal sacrifice? Crafting papier mache goat horns? Nor do I want my kid having a play-date with the tall, sullen Satanic Frankenstein kid on the far right.

Poll results: Thinking Panthers, but wanting Broncos: We asked your early Super Bowl 50 picks, and 81.6 percent predicted the Carolina Panthers would win, but 59.1% want the Denver Broncos to win.

Poll results: You're torn on the Whiteside Dilemma, too: We asked you what the Heat should do this summer, and it was 42.0% for making a free-agent play for Kevin Durant, 31.7% for signing Hassan Whiteside long-term instead, and 26.3% undecided.

Revisit our blog a lot because we constantly update and add to our latest posts...

Twitter @gregcote

August 18, 2010

The death of women's sports (with poll); plus Favre's return, Dolphin injuries, inappropriate politics & more

[Thanks to all our live-chatters today. We do it every Wednesday from noon to 1. Click HERE to join us then or to post questions any time. Also, follow along at Note: Our Udonis Haslem/pot-bust poll is still accepting your votes in blog post directly below this].

1aagalball THE DEATH OF  WOMEN'S SPORTS: A new study of gender in televised sports by Southern Cal's Center for Feminist Research finds that women's sports are being shown on TV less than at any point in the past 20 years. The center's Michael Messner calls it "simply intolerable." I call it "simply understandable." Women's sports that should be staples, such as the WNBA and LPGA, are stagnant and struggling. The latest attempt at women's professional soccer has folded. And TV is the great, inarguable barometer: It's all about the ratings. Women's Olympic sports such as figure skating, the WTA (women's tennis) and to some degree women's major-college basketball are consistently the only female sports that draw interest (ratings). You can debate the moral ethics of Title IX, but you can't argue facts such as TV ratings or this, as an example: the NBA attendance share relative to the WNBA was 92.3 percent last season. Title IX gives women's sports a free pass, a fair chance, but women need to earn their place on TV by providing a product that is attractive. At the root of this is the reality that the WNBA and women's golf simply are not sports that enough people (men or women) care to watch. But that's just my take. What's yours? Take a dip in our poll and weigh in.

FAVRE RETURNING STEEPENS DOLPHINS' CLIMB: Looks like quarterback Brett Favre will return to the Minnesota Vikings instead of retiring, thanks in part to a $3.5 million bribe raise. The biggest impact of that is to the Green Bay Packers, whose path to a division title adds a huge roadblock. But Miami takes a hit, too. Dolphins are at Minnesota in Week 2 and will go there now as a considerably bigger underdog. The Vikes would have pretty good even with Tarvaris Jackson. With Favre they're a top-five squad and a Super Bowl contender.

GOTTA LOVE THE MEDIA: Talking about today's headline, 'No hand-wringing needed about [Brandon] Marshall drops.' I am not singling out the writer because we all do it; I've done it. Essentially we write "no need to panic" but in devoting coverage to the subject we lend credence to and in effect contribute to the panic. It's mindful of the annual barrage of Super Bowl columns bemoaning the excess while contributing to it. Marshall continues the least of your worries, Dolfans. Now if you'd like to start worrying about the rash of injuries (the latest to guard Nate Garner), then I think you're on to something!

1aajamesl YET MORE LEBRON: Click here for excerpts from GQ's September cover story on LeBron James in which he mentions maybe ending his career back in Cleveland, if Cavs fans would have him. That should be fine. We'll allow it. Don't be greedy, Heat fans. Five years of LBJ and a few championships should sate us well.

LET'S GET ALL POLITICAL!: I know, I know. "That's inappropriate for a sports blog!" I can hear you now. I stretch the bounds of the blog partly for the hell of it, but largely because I give sports fans and my readers credit for having a brain beyond games. So I say this:

1. DR. LAURA: I don't listen to Dr. Laura Schlessinger's syndicated radio show but have explored the issue of her using the N-word on the air and basically being forced into retirement for it. Click here for an audio and transcript of what she said. In context, she used the word in reference to how black comics say "n--, n--, n--" all the time, with impunity. (She might have added black rappers). It strikes me the firestorm is much ado about very little. But there's a lesson here: Apparently it is that White Folk may not use the N-word even when quoting Black Folk using the N-word.

2. GROUND ZERO MOSQUE: I guess we have to define the boundaries of what constitutes Sacred Ground, considering the mosque site is a couple of blocks from where the World Trade Centers went down, in an area that used to be a Burlington Coat Factory. Anybody else think it's strange that in this case a prayer center seems less fitting for Sacred Ground than a coat factory?

3. ROD BLAGOJEVICH: A jury convicted the disgraced Illinois governor on only one of 24 corruption counts. Who knew the O.J. Jury was still together?

Don't even get me started on Jeff Greene.

1aashaqrun SHAQ VS. TYSON GAY: Click here for the full episode of the Shaq Vs. reality show when he races 60 meters against Tyson Gay. Well, except that Tyson is running 60 meters and Shaq only 30. There is a word for that type of head start. I think the word is "cheating."

HIP-HOP MONEY-MAKERS: Forbes list the top 20 hip-hop profiteers and the top 10 is Jay-Z, Diddy, Akon, Lil Wayne and Dr. Dre, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West. Did you ever notice that all Forbes seems to do now is rank people by how much money they make.

Click back. Be adding updates and more new stuff to this post later...