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58 posts from January 2006

January 31, 2006

VOTE: WQAM VS. 790 THE TICKET

  Orlandoalzugaray_1 Hankgoldberg_1 Danl_1 Jimmandich_1 Joerose Sidr Finalists for Favorite and/or Least Favorite South Florida sports-radio personality, alphabetically from left: Orlando Alzugaray, Hank Goldberg, Dan Le Batard, Jim Mandich, Joe Rose and Sid Rosenberg.

     Part I is done. The prelims, finished. More than 900 bloggers cast more than 3,100 votes in the first round of "South Florida Radio Wars" to determine which two favorite and least-favorite sports personalities from each rival station would move on to the championship-round finals.

     Now here we are. The finalists you selected, head-to-head. Ready, set ... vote!

Who is your favorite South Florida sports-radio personality?
Hank Goldberg (WQAM)
Dan Le Batard (790)
Jim Mandich (WQAM)
Joe Rose (790)
Who is your least-favorite South Florida sports-radio personality?
Orlando Alzugaray (WQAM)
Hank Goldberg (WQAM)
Dan Le Batard (790)
Sid Rosenberg (790)
Which of the 'big two' stations do your prefer for sports-radio?
WQAM
790 The Ticket

January 30, 2006

Might Vince Young fall far enough?

Vyoung      The rumor has been planted: that Texas QB Vince Young, heretofore a consensus top-five pick, is falling in the NFL Draft. The planter is ESPN's Merril Hoge, who Friday night said Young is a two- or three-year project with an overrated arm and without the Michael Vick-ian legs to outrun linebackers.

     If Hoge is right one might image Young falling into the low-top-10 range of Jay Cutler, a neighborhood into which the Dolphins might reasonably be able to trade up.

     Then again, it may bear noting that Hoge's own football career was cut short by repeated concussions.

Only two gimmies for Canton

Rwhite Taikman_1      Reggie White and Troy Aikman are the only two guys you'd bet big will get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this coming weekend. If either doesn't, launch an investigation, alert Michael Moore.

     Beyond that, though, very iffy. I'd vote in Michael Irvin, Bob Kuechenberg and Art Monk. Others mentioned as having a decent shot include Harry Carson, John Madden, Warren Moon, Derrick Thomas, Thurman Thomas and Rayfield Wright. Canton will take a maximum of six.

     Who'd be your picks?

Tiger is roaring, not boring

Twoods      A friend who loves watching golf far more than I insists that when Tiger Woods is dominant, it's bad for the sport in general and for interest in the PGA Tour in particular. Although I've heard others say it, I think the opposite is true.

     Tiger continues to be the best thing to hit golf since Arnold Palmer handed the baton to a chubby kid in funny pants named Jack Nicklaus. That Woods will in time surpass Nicklaus as the greatest ever seems a strong likelihood.

     I don't like the term "hater" and don't see racism around every corner, but how can anybody not have tremendous admiration for Woods? Lance Armstrong and Roger Federer are the only men of this era who are so outstanding in their field.

Favre among your all-time greats

Bfavre      Brett Favre said Sunday night that, right now, pending an always-possible change of heart, "I would say I'm not coming back."

     Marino. Montana. Unitas.

     Those are the only three QBs I'd rank above Favre, all things considered. How high would No. 4 rank on your all-time list of NFL quarterbacks?

Is SB missing superstars?

     My colleague Dan Le Batard had a column in Sunday's Herald headlined, 'Super Bowl is in dire need of superstars.' I read it and my initial reaction was, "This is why so many fans hate sports writers."

     Sometimes we know no limits in reaching for what's negative. I'm guilty at times.

     This looks like an interesting Super Bowl to me, a good matchup. In terms of individuals, Jerome Bettis is a terrific story, Shaun Alexander is the reigning league MVP, Matt Hasselbeck is a Pro Bowl QB, Ben Roethlisberger has a chance to reach superstardom, you've got two "name" coaches, and that's just a quick glance.

     Tom Brady is a superstar but him and the Patriots would have given the Super Bowl a sameness. Instead, XL is a fresh breeze. It feels good. 

January 29, 2006

Zo's place in history and hearts

Zo2 Zo Zo3_1      The Heat's Alonzo Mourning, turning 36 on Feb. 8, has had a remarkable career, whether your feelings toward him skew closer to love and admiration or something far less.

     Dispassionately you could argue that, after Dwyane Wade, he has been among Miami most valuable pieces this season, averaging 8.1 points and 6.3 boards in 22 minutes. Even as a role player he leads the NBA in blocked shots by far with 130; the next most is 101.

     Beyond numbers, though, Zo's place is tougher to gauge. He has worn many faces in what has been a borderline Hall of Fame career. He has agitated many emotions in South Florida.

     The angry scowling, biceps flexing and fist pumping that to some is passion personified is to other bloated ego and showboating.

     To some Zo is the medical marvel who overcame the serious kidney ailment that derailed his career earlier this decade.

     To some he is all about monster blocks and ferocious defense.

     To some he is the giving philanthropist, among our most generous athletes ever.

     To some he is still the ingrate who forsook the Heat in 2003 for the New Jersey Nets before returning.

     Who is Alonzo Mourning to you?

January 28, 2006

Is Heat a failed experiment?

    Pr_1  The home loss to Phoenix the other night leaves Miami 0-6 against the NBA's four best teams (Detroit, Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas) this season. A Heat championship seems ... what? Iffy at best? Laughably remote? Still possible?

     Pat Riley said it's time for the Heat to "make a move" and stop acting like a team that thinks it can wait and wait and finally turn a spigot and come together when it pleases. We are waiting.

     What has to happen for the Heat to bridge that gulf between where they are and where they need to be? Quick answer, broad strokes: Much more from Shaq, better team defense (oh would Ron Artest have helped!), and a healthy Jason Williams.

     I still think this team can reach the conference finals, but have zero confidence it can get past that. You?

January 27, 2006

Goldberg, Le Batard going for quiniela

     The voting booth shut tight at midnight tonight on Part I of our "South Florida Radio Wars" poll, and thanks to the 901 voters who cast 3,148 votes in the four categories -- favorite and least-favorite on-air sports personalities from rival sports-radio stations  WQAM and 790 The Ticket.

     Part II, the championship round pitting the top two finalists from each station, will be held next week here in the blog. The finalists you selected:

     FAVORITE: 'QAM's Hank Goldberg and Jim Mandich, 790's Dan Le Batard and Joe Rose.

     LEAST FAVORITE: 'QAM's Orlando Alzugaray and Goldberg, 790's Le Batard and Sid Rosenberg.

     Championship-round voting begins Tuesday, Jan. 31, right here.

January 26, 2006

Jerome Bettis an iffy Hall of Famer

Jbettis      Jerome Bettis is the face of this Super Bowl (better his than Bill Cowher's maniacal scowl), and also in many ways the story of this SB, considering Bettis is a born-and-raised Detroiter whose homecoming will mark his (supposedly) final game.

     But is the Bus a Hall of Famer? I'd say no. He's close enough that a heroic, triumphant Super Bowl might push him over the top. Right now, though? A hard sell.

     Don't throw a bunch of stats at me. I'm well aware he'll retire fifth in all-time rushing yards. (The guy just ahead of him, Curtis Martin, isn't a Canton guy either). I'm also well aware fellow Steeler Franco Harris got in with fewer yards.

     What should worry a Bettis fan is that he never won a rushing title, never was considered the best back of his era. Great stats often aren't enough at the skill positions, witness Art Monk still waiting with his 940 catches. Bettis runs the risk of being judged an all-time very good. No shame in that. But no Hall of Fame, either.