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59 posts from May 2006

May 31, 2006

Heat-Pistons G5: Not so fast...

     [Thursday morning wee hours, 6-1, following the Heat's 91-78 loss in Detroit that narrowed Miami's series lead to 3-2].

     The Heat aimed to be celebrating on the Pistons' home court late Wednesday. Instead, a bit of pressure swings onto Miami to now win at home Friday night to avoid a Game 7 back up there.

     We invite your comments below on what you saw as the keys to Game 5, what the Heat need to do differently Friday, and on the series now as a whole. Oh, and let's hold off on that Dallas-or-Phoenix thing, the very mention of which here undoubtedly jinxed and doomed Miami in Game 5, along with a free-throw performance (6-for-20) that smelled like wet socks.

Ask the Blogmaster General (May)

Aquestions_1     [Updated Thursday, 6-1: We finally solved our glitch and were able to finish answering all the questions below. Sorry about the delay. We'll get back to mid-month on this feature and do it again in a couple weeks. For now, Billy below slipped in just scant seconds before the question window nicked shut. The Blogmaster General will invite your questions again in mid-June.].

     We're back (tardily, sorry) with our regular, modestly successful mid-month feature, in which I answer any questions you may have for me.

     You know by now that I consider the daily give-and-take to be your forum. I read all comments you post and truly appreciate the participation, but want the last word to be yours. However, once a month, I turn into Dear Abby and invite your queries on a variety of topics including but not limited to this blog, my columns, sports writing, The Miami Herald, the competition, local teams, singing on the radio and the new CD by The Raconteurs.

     I'll answer all questions posted by tomorrow/Friday at midnight, but ask you to understand that because of tonight's Heat game and my return-travel from Detroit, I may not get to most of them until Friday afternoon. Ready, set ...ask!

Unsportsmanlike: Wed 5-31

     Daily quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...Akatie_1

     Woke up to find my wife weeping inconsolably this morning. Everything was OK, though. It was just Princess of Perky Katie Couric's farewell show on NBC. Haven't heard that many violins and soft pianos since any network's last up-close-and-personal Olympic feature.

     Joe Theismann railed against Ricky Williams ("Embarrassment to the game!") in an ESPN Radio diatribe that reminded listeners that Theismann is, to perhaps an even greater degree, insufferably a "blowhard to the game."

     Gwen Stefani had a baby and named him Kingston, continuing a fine tradition of celebrities wanting their kids to lead normal lives by giving them look-at-me names. One question: Whatever happened to Bob and Fred?

     When did you know Roger Clemens' unretirement and return to the Astros was certain? The moment you read the Astros and Clemens' agent denying it.

     Sometimes real life is its own punchline. This story lead directly from today's Herald: A man wearing a purple woman's bathing suit and carrying a flare gun was arrested after ... [threatening to] "get rid of all the dirt bags in Key West."

May 30, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Tue 5-30

     Daily quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...

     Lester Clancy, 52, an inventor from of Mansfield, Ohio, has received a patent on a "cordless jump-rope." You heard right: A jump rope without the rope. Just two handles. What you do is, you pretend there's a rope. If you're really good at pretending, maybe you even trip once in a while to enhance the illusion. Or, better yet: Just pretend you're exercising while sitting on your couch like Jabba the Hut eating Haagen-Dazs.Aclay2

     Former American Idol fave Clay Aiken (shown in his boy-next-door days at far left) has adopted a new, trendier look seen near right. There is no phrase for his new look, exactly. until there is, we'll go with "fey grunge."

     Interesting Herald article today ("Women gamers on the rise") on how girls and women are of increasing prominence in the realm of male-dominated video game playing. Thatta way, gals. Fight for your equal rights. Why should us guys be the only ones to let a remote control us as we spend untold wasted hours staring wide-eyed at cartoon images?

     The Marlins drew 7,683 fans for Barry Bonds' first game since hitting his historic 715th career home run. Meaning the crowd and Bonds' steroid stain tied on the embarrassment meter.

     In Puerto Rico, a popular TV show called SuperXclusivo features a gossip-mongering puppet named La Comay, whose success has spawned a proliferation of televised gossip on the island. However, La Comay has lost a slander suit filed by an ex-governor's ex-husband, portending a chilling effect on the broadcasting of rumor and innuendo. Speaking of which, I heard La Comay is a puppet for the government.

     Suspended Dolphin Ricky Williams participated in his first practice with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts, then said, "The talent here is comparable to the NFL." The statement led some to fear Ricky may be smoking again.

     Paris Hilton's upcoming album will be a mix of reggae, pop and hip-hop. Music industry officials say they are looking forward to hearing how Hilton, on one CD, manages to massacre three separate genres.

May 29, 2006

Heat-Pistons G4: Miami, Wade in control

     [Updated Tuesday wee hours 5-30 following the Heat's victory over visiting Detroit for a 3-1 series lead].

     The winner of tonight's game wins this series. I thought so beforehand and think so now. Agreed?

     Miami now needs only win one of the final three games. That no longer seems a huge task. The Pistons are done. Especially the way Dwyane Wade has proven he can take over fourth quarters, and games, and this series.

     Bumped into Dan Marino (appropriately clad in white) at the arena before the game and I must say, Wade is the first athlete we've had since who is capable of becoming what Dan was: a South Florida-grown Hall of Famer thought among the all-time greats. Wade is that extraordinary, and (who knows) might even deliver the championship Marino could not.

     We invite your comments here on Game 4, on the Marino-Wade comparison, and on how the series looks to you as it heads back to Auburn Hills.

Unsportsmanlike: Mon 5-29

     Daily quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...

     Happy Memorial Day, everybody! Wait. That doesn't sound right. Somber Memorial Day, everybody?

     Scientists are close to developing "invisibility cloaks" designed for use by the military. Analysts say the invisibility cloaks could serve a broader beneficial purpose if used, for example, on comedians Carrot Top and Gilbert Gottfried.Abank_1

     Trying to thwart robbery attempts, some South Florida banks have begun posting signs requiring customers to remove their hats and sunglasses, so that their identity will not be concealed from video cameras. However, the signs do not request that you remove your ski mask. Or your invisibility cloak.

     A new survey indicates an impatient American populace, with 25 percent indicating their patience is most tested in a grocery line. Another 22 percent indicate their patience is most tested by non-sports items turning up in what ostensibly is a sports blog.

     San Franciscan Andrew Morbitzer, 38, inadvertantly grabbed Barry Bonds' 715th home run ball while waitiing at a concession stand to buy beer. Morbitzer planned to celebrate his good fortune by getting all jacked up on steroids.

     Betting on when and where hurricanes will hit has become the latest offering in online gambling. Analysts are calling it a further indication that people, generally speaking, are idiots.

May 28, 2006

Bonds hit 715th: Your reaction?

Abarry_2 Ababe     [Updated Sunday afternoon, 5-28].

     Barry Bonds hit his 715th career home run today in San Francisco, denying Marlins fans -- the Giants play here Monday through Wednesday -- a chance to catch the historic ball.

     The question here:

     Say you were at the ballpark when he hit number 715 today. Weighing both Bonds' greatness and accomplishment with the taint of steroid allegations, what is your emotion? Your response? Do you cheer or boo or somewhere in between?

Ricky's run to Canada official

Aricky_1 Acanada     [Updated Sunday afternoon, 5-28: What's been in the works for weeks became official today. The Toronto Argonauts signed suspended Dolphins running back Ricky Williams].

     Should the Dolphins have allowed NFL-suspended back Ricky Williams to play this season for the CFL's Toronto Argonauts? A difficult choice.

     Pro -- Structured environment. Stays in football shape. Con -- Risk of injury. One more reason to grow tired of football again. One more season closer to high mileage on carries and wear and tear.

     Tough call, but I'd have said no on Canada. You?

Unsportsmanlike: Sun 5-28

     Daily quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...

     Barry Bonds' 715th home run ball did not splash into McCovey Cove or sail into the stands Sunday; it caromed to a concession stand and was apparently grabbed by a guy waiting to buy a hot dog. Perfect, right? That an historic homer by a guy who used steroids because he was jealous of others' attention would somehow have something to do with a hot dog.

     Tampa area evangelist Bill Keller speaks out against abortion rights and gays on late night TV. Given his expertise, you'd think he'd speak out against his own questionable morals and ethics given the time he served for insider trading.Aoprah_1

     Hip-hop figures including 50 Cent, Ice Cube and Ludacris have spoken out against Oprah Winfrey, saying she has too few personalities from that genre on her show. Winfrey responded by buying the contracts of the entire hip-hop community and assigning all of its stars to record polka albums.

     Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's new baby has been named Shiloh Nouvel, continuing a proud tradition of celebrities trying to raise normal, unaffected children by giving them ridiculous names.

     Michael Jackson, acquitted last year of child-molestation charges, has visited a Japanese orphanage. Cannot confirm speculation that Jackson was visiting in hopes of "making new friends."

May 27, 2006

Heat-Pistons G3: Big Two dominance

     [Updated Sunday morning wee hours, 5-28, following Miami's 98-83 victory for a 2-1 series lead].

     Pat Riley said his players weren't motivated enough in their Game 2 loss in Detroit that had tied this series 1-1. Dwyane Wade said the effort wasn't there. Huh? Hullo? Silly me, I thought an NBA championship ranked among the better motivations in the NBA.

     Saturday night, the Heat played like it.

     Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal were as superb as two teammates in a playoff game can be, combining for 62 points and an almost unreal 75 percent from the field. Don't even try with the fancy adjectives. "Wow" will suffice.

     We invite your comments on Game 3 and on the series as a whole now. Miami led 2-1 vs. Detroit a year ago, too. Why is this time different?