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58 posts from September 2006

September 30, 2006

Hurricanes 14, Cougars 13

     [Updated late Saturday, 9-30, after UM's 14-13 home victory over Houston...]. 

     Back in the not-too-distant day, the line on a Houston at UM football game would have been an old wax-record number: 33 to 45. Tonight the 'Canes were favored by a modest 16. And even that must have seemed high to some considering Miami's 1-2 record going in vs. Houston's 4-0.Acanes_3 Ahouston

     The question to Hurricane fans going in was: Are you nervous?

     A convincing, old-school blowout probably got UM back into the lower Top 25 and relieved some heat from Larry Coker. But a struggling/barely win like this? Hmm.

     Comments are welcome below on this game and where it leaves the 'Canes season. Did this game "begin the healing" (this week's UM catchphrase) or did it leave you doubting the direction of the program?

September 29, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Fri 9-29

     Daily (well, OK, Monday-through-Friday) quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...

     ThAcokerwifee Miami Herald is reporting today that the wife of embattled Miami Hurricanes football coach Larry Coker supports her husband. However, should the 'Canes somehow lose at home Saturday to Houston, we'll get back to her. 

     Two Roman Catholic priests from Delray Beach have been accused of stealing or misappropriating $8.6 million in offerings and gifts to their parish. Cannot confirm their defense will be, "It was that or pedophilia; we chose the high road."

     ThAfeude U.S. crisis in Iraq continues to deteriorate with the spread of insurgents tossing the country ever closer to civil war. The good news? Christina Aguilera apparently has ended her feud with Britney Spears.

     AOL.com had an article about the 10 biggest wastes of money (find it here) and the two sports-related things listed were sports memorabilia and gambling. Still trying to confirm that, just off the list at No. 11 was "Spending 25 Cents to Read Greg Cote." 

September 28, 2006

Ask the Blogmaster General (September)

   Aq_7[Updated: The window for question has quietly nicked shut. Better than average response. We'll do it again in a couple of week. Try to get back on the mid-month schedule].

     We're back with another episode of our incredibly semipopular mid-month (or usually later) feature, in which I answer any questions you may have for me.

     The daily give-and-take in this blog is your forum. I read all comments and appreciate the participation, but want the last word to be yours. However, once a month, I invite and directly answer your Q's on a variety of topics including but not limited to: Me, this blog, my columns, sports writing, The Miami Herald, the competition, local teams, national stories, singing on the radio, Bob Dylan's new CD or the best place for chicken wings.

     Any questions you've posted to me in the daily blogs that have gone unanswered -- now is the time and this is the place. I'll check back periodically throughout the next couple of days and reply with exactitude and alacrity, as you'd expect.

Unsportsmanlike: Thu 9-28

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

     A U.S. government report declassified this week points to a grim future in the war on terrorism, noting that jihadist groups are spreading, expanding and intensifying. To make matters worse, the Dolphins offensive line can't protect Daunte Culpepper.Astjoe_1

     Facing a bad housing market, a growing number of South Florida realtors are burying small St. Joseph's statuettes in front of houses they are trying to sell, for good luck. Most amazing of all, the realtors are willing to admit it. (St. Joseph is seen here trying to entice a potential buyer by pointing out the new laminate flooring).

     Crime does not pay. Moreover, it can be unpleasant to look at.

     Paris Hilton faces a court hearing after being stopped for DUI. However her arraignment was postponed until December after her attorney noted a scheduling conflict, arguing Hilton would be busy the next two months being photographed while partying.

     Gotta go now. Feeling groggy. Not sure why. Could it have been the 35 pain pills?

September 27, 2006

T.O.'s latest chapter

    Aowens_1  Leave it to Terrell Owens to be sidelined with a broken hand -- and somehow still be the most talked-about player in the NFL. A cynic might even suspect it's all by design.

     This morning news broke out of Dallas that police were saying T.O., claiming depression, had tried to committ suicide with an overdose of pills. It was a stunner. No matter how much you may dislike the self-aggrandizing Owens, you had to wish him well.

     Now, this afternoon, he holds a news conference, seems amused, says the report was wrong, says a mixture of painkillers and nutritional supplements made him groggy, that's all.

     It's weird to wonder and not be certain if Owens is a truly troubled young man worthy of sympathy, an egofied moron meriting ridicule, or maybe a volatile cocktail of both.

Unsportsmanlike: Wed 9-27

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

     The Associated Press is reporting that Dallas police say Terrell Owens, admitting depression, intentionally tried to overdose on pain pills. The story is here. This is no joke. We needle T.O. all the time, but in this case obviously wish him well. 

     Now on to the wiseass stuff...

  Apiazza2 Miami's lavish new downtown Center for the Performing Arts Apiazzaopened last night with A Light in the Piazza, the Tony Award-winning musical about the redemption of a baseball catcher disgraced by steroids.

     Fine-arts patrons at the grand opening were bedecked in tuxedos, designer evening gowns and other finery, except for the crackheads urinating on the side of the building.

     Shaquille O'Neal says, "I will shoot negative-30 percent before I'll shoot underhanded," rebuffing Rick Barry's free-throw advice. Shaq obviously is using an extreme example, since last season his foul-shot percentage was only negative-10 percent.

     By the way, does anyone care that Citgo is run by U.S.-hating Venezuela and its presidente loco Hugo Chavez? Didn't think so.

     Martha Stewart wants Eminem to appear on her TV show. A spokesman for Eminem said the rapper appreciates the offer but would prefer to not end his career in that manner.

     [Warning! The final item in today's Unsportsmanlike may be in questionable taste and may offend the easily offended. I wouldn't read it if I were you].

     R.I.P. to golfing legend Byron Nelson, who has died, at age 94, of natural causes. For some reason, though, when a golfer dies, don't you always assume it was by a stroke?

Today's Column: Marlins' fun ride, NL rookie race

     Most days that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.

     Today's column: Find it here. We write, off last night's opener of the Marlins' final homestand, how even official elimination from the playoff chase should not prevent us appreciating the larger joy of this season -- how a bunch of rookies expected to be awful overachieved like no other team in baseball.

     As a subtheme we delve into the tight NL Rookie of the Year race. For my BBWAA vote I think I have narrowed to three finalists, listed alphabetically below with key stats.

     Who would you support? Can't promise you'll influence my vote, but give it a try if you'd like:

     (*) Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez: .289-15-57; 115 runs, 45 doubles, 10 triples, 51 steals, .820 OPS.

     (*) Marlins 2B Dan Uggla: .283-26-89; 103 runs, .821 OPS.

     (*) Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman: .286-19-107; 47 doubles, .819 OPS.

September 26, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Tue 9-26

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

    AAyoutube Herald feature story today reports that vomiting your awful home videos onto YouTube.com "can lead to instant stardom." If so, it may be the greatest devaluing of "stardom" since Paris Hilton.

     Andre Agassi's retirement at the U.S. Open. Darren Clarke's personal triumph at the Ryder Cup. Last night's Saints return to New Orleans. Geez, when did it become that you can't watch sports without a box of Kleenex?

     It is reported that Keith Richards showed up drunk on the set during filming of the Pirates of the Carribean sequel. How that qualified as news is the mystery.

     Juvenile offenders in Broward no longer will be walked past adult inmates en route to court or be shackled while in court. Evidently some judges have decided that was wrong, although the guess here is that that wasn't quite as wrong as whatever those kids did to get themselves arrested.

     Spike Lee is directing Dwyane Wade in a sneaker commercial. Didn't Spike Lee used to rail against other people selling out?

     It's a teddy bear. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!

   Acry  The Transportation Security Administration says we may now carry "travel size" toiletries such as toothpaste on board airplanes. However, (in my dreams), the TSA now says passengers no longer will be permitted to carry bawling infants on board.

September 25, 2006

Today's Column: Ronnie Brown

     Most days that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.Aronnie_5

     Today's column: Find it here. We write, off Sunday's Dolphins-Titans game, about the underachieving Ronnie Brown. It comes on a day when a late 27-yard run gave Brown a decent 90 yards rushing, but his season and career thus far have not seen the consistent impact or production expected of an overall No. 2 draft pick.

     It is much too soon to call him a bust -- and I'm not. But it is not too soon to wonder if he is an elite back in a manner suggested by his draft status. Your thoughts welcome.

Unsportsmanlike: Mon 9-25

     Daily quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...Aunclesam_2

     Europe beat the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf this weekend and Russia ousted the U.S. in Davis Cup tennis, on top of recent disappointing American results in international basketball. Analysts blame Uncle Sam, who doesn't give a crap because he spends all his time pleasure-boating.

     The Giants' Jeremy Shockey said his team was "outcoached" Sunday, the latest in a long line of outspoken, attention-getting behavior by former Miami Hurricanes players. They call themselves "The U." Shouldn't it be "The Me?"

     Plantation police want a pay raise and one of their threats to get it is to boycott the city's new golf course. Dear Plantation police: When asking for more money because you work so hard, probably not a good idea to remind people that you don't work so hard as to prevent you from playing lots of golf.

     This man may suffer from dementia, but he knows what he likes.

     Researchers are strongly denying a claim by Republican candidate for governor Charlie Crist that, while attorney general, he solved the 55-year-old murder of a civil-rights activist. Crist presses on, now claiming he knows and will reveal the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden if elected.

     Jackass opened at No. 1 at the box office, becoming the first movie in modern history in which the film's title also describes its audience.Astraws

     The man pictured at left, from Switzerland, set a world record by holding 264 drinking straws in his mouth. And then went to see Jackass.