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44 posts from July 2006

July 31, 2006

Nick nixes the president

Anick_5      Abush_1 Dolphins coach Nick Saban is getting an extraordinary amount of national attention today for declining President Bush's invitation to dinner at Jeb's I mean Joe's Stone Crab on Sunday night during W's South Florida visit.

     Saban said no-thanks because his training-camp obligations to the team came first. I'd have thought general principle in objection to Bush's politics might have been as good a reason. Or perhaps a fear that Bush might attempt a groping neck massage as he did recently with the female German chancellor. Or the mere fact that stone crabs are not in season.

     Dan Marino did accept Bush's invitation. Then again, Dan has no real job at the moment other than being rich and famous, which he does exceptionally well.

NFL 'patdowns' under fire

     A Tampa man backed by the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging, on Constitutional grounds, the NFL's right to conduct patdown searches of fans in the name of security. See the short CNN news video here (following a brief, annoying ad). I personally don't find patdowns a violation of my rights. However I do find patdowns at football games all but pointless because they are usually perfunctorily conducted by some pimply kid in a yellow windbreaker going through the motions while listening to Wu-Tang Clan on his iPod. One possible solution to appease disgruntled fans: Have patdowns conducted by members of the team's cheerleading squad.

Unsportsmanlike: Mon 7-31

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

     Mr. Unsportsmanlike returns today following his Caribbean holiday. The greatest thing about being on a cruise vacation is that when on board you eat as much and as often as you wish and all the food is, like, free. So the only things you have to pay for are the drinks; the off-ship excursions; the drinks; the tips to your excursion drivers and guides; the drinks; the chintzy souvenirs; the drinks; the casino losses; the drinks; the bingo; the drinks; the tips to your stateroom attendant, head waiter, waiter and assistant waiter; the drinks; and the pictures of you that professional photographers are incessantly snapping. Plus, the drinks.Amiamivice_1

     Miami Vice debuted with a $25.2 million take, which is OK but way off blockbuster levels. Predicting here that the film will fade faster than Philip Michael Thomas' career. On the scale of movie remakes of TV shows, Vice will be closer to The Mod Squad than Mission: Impossible.

     Reasons it's just as well your weren't in Cooperstown over the weekend: The big Hall of Fame induction included only one player. And it was Bruce Sutter.Ashiloh

     Pictured at left is the creepy wax likeness of Shiloh, the baby of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. My question: Does the baby poop candles?

     It's down to five finalists for NFL commissioner, with Roger Goodell, longtime No. 2 man to Paul Tagliabue, the clear favorite. Owners want the next commissioner to have Tagliabue's attributes, and Goodell is said to measure up in terms of overall dullness.Apam

     Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock got married over the weekend. The bride wore white. A white string bikini. By all accounts they made a lovely pair. But enough about Pam.

July 28, 2006

What a Dolfan is thinking

Anick_3 Aronnie_3Adaunte_5Ajason_1Azach_2



     Dolphins training camp opens this Saturday, July 29, and, a little over six months later, the Super Bowl will be played in Miami. Cut to the bottom line: Will the Dolphins be in it? How optimistic are you today that this season finally will end Miami's long Super Bowl drought? Expectations are high based largely on the six-game winning streak that ended last season and the signing of Daunte Culpepper. Are expectations too high?

     What excites you most and concerns you most right now? What would you call the team's expected strength and potential biggest weakness?

     We invite your comments below on the state of the team as Camp Saban gets underway.

Postcard from the long way home

     [Update: Thanks for the reminder. Final total weight gained on cruise from nonstop eating combined with no exercise other than walking to get food: 43 pounds. Actually seven. But it feels like 43].

     Spent yesterday in Cozumel, Mexico, where a round of golf with my son at Cozumel CC was highlighted by my usual ineptitude (a 94), by a crocodile sighting (retrieve ball at water's edge at your own risk), and by several five-foot iguanas slithering the course. Heading home as I type this. Terrific time. Even managed to defray the cost with some casino luck. I won a little at blackjack and a surprising bunch at slots, including a $1,000 jackpot. My eldest son (the one who routinely beats me at golf) also did well at blackjack, poker and craps. Speaking of crap, I'll be back on the job tomorrow and writing off the opening of Dolphins training camp. Carribbean vacation to Nick Saban = reality check.

July 26, 2006

Postcard from ... wherever I am now

     Spent yesterday in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where I continued in God-I'm-a-tourist! mode by inhaling jerk chicken and Red Stripe beer. The boys and I climbed the Dunns River waterfall (pre-beer), which is a terrific experience if you get a chance to try. Spent today in Grand Cayman, which is not as funky or interesting as Jamaica because it's more upscale. We did the stingray thing. I don't mean we went to a vintage Corvette museum; I mean we held stingrays. Pretty neat. Weight gained so far from nonstop eating: 43 pounds. Tomorrow: Cozumel. Eventually: Back home to the opening of Dolphins camp and reality. Gotta run. Another all-you-can-eat buffet is calling.

July 24, 2006

Postcard from ... where the heck am I?

     Left the Port of Miami Saturday on the Navigator of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean cruiseship; sorry, Micky Arison. Spent all of Sunday at sea (passing almost close enough by Cuba to see Castro giving us the finger) and today pulled into our first port o' call: Labadee, Haiti. Did the waverunner thing after signing 70 or 80 waiver forms. Kids went parasailing. Bought two Haitian paintings and a metal wall-hanging. God I'm a tourist! Loving the onboard casino, though it is taking my money. Estimated weight gained so far from nonstop eating: 13 pounds. Heading into Ocho Rios, Jamaica tomorrow. Looking forward to the second-hand smoke, mon.

July 22, 2006

Blogkeeping notes

    Acruise_1  I'll be on a Caribbean vacation cruise this coming week, hoping our ship doesn't suddenly and violently tilt and "getting away from it all" as much as one can while obsessively carrying a cell phone and a laptop on board and asking shipmates from Denmark and residents of Ocho Rios if they've heard a Marlins score.

     The blog's daily "Unsportsmanlike" feature will be on hiatus today through next Sunday (July 22-30) but will thereafter return, like it or not. However, the blog will not be on hiatus. This blog never sleeps. Which is why it has unbecoming dark circles under its eyes, like a heroin addict.

     We'll try to weigh in with a few missives from out at sea or from various ports o' call, and also post on anything major of a sporting nature. I'll be back in town for the opening of Dolphins camp, albeit an estimated 40 or 50 pounds heavier, because it's a cruise.

July 21, 2006

Hurricanes and guns

Awillie      University of Miami safety Willie Cooper (pictured), a bit player, got shot in the buttocks this morning when investigating a suspicion person outside the residence he shares with teammates Ryan Moore and Brandon Meriweather. Interestingly, a teammate, Meriweather, returned fire.

      Remember when you said your college team had lots of weapons and you meant on offense? Remember when you said your team was loaded and you meant with talent?

     If I am athletic director Paul Dee and coach Larry Coker today, I am wondering -- and aiming to find out -- how many of my football players have guns, legally or otherwise. And why. I suspect the number is the higher than we'd want to think, and that that's true with plenty of major-college football teams, by no means just this one.

Feeling bad for Barry Bonds?

Abarry_3      Don't get me wrong. I'm anything but a Bonds apologist. I believe he's a steroid cheat whose records are tainted, and a sour individual whose lousy public persona is of his own creation. Now, though, it looks like Bud Selig might suspend Bonds if the grand jury charges him with perjury and tax evasion, and that makes me a bit uneasy. Indictment and guilt are not the same. Let the guy play until the charges are proved.