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37 posts from November 2006

November 30, 2006

UM goes bowling: Oh Boise!

Aapotatoes     [Updated Thursday morning, 11-30].

     The Hurricanes accepted an invitation to face Nevada on Dec. 31 in the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise, Idaho.

     Are we excited?

     Things to do on New Year's Eve in Boise:

     + Enjoy the unexpected solitude, as the entire city will be headed to watch Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.

     + Plan your future in a city the Wall Street Journal has called an "Oasis for Retirees."Aaboisezoo

     + Visit Zoo Boise and what the city website boasts are its "over 201 animals" (as opposed to over 200).

     + Revel in the area's seasonal average tempurature range of 22 to 36 degrees. Aablankets_1

     + Take in the Marie Watt exhibit at the Boise Art Museum. Pictured here is a Watt piece made of discarded blankets. (Seriously).

     + Finally, perturb the locals by asking everybody you meet: "Y'all got anything to eat around here besides potatoes?"

UM's football coach in 2007 will be...

     [Updated Thursday morning, 11-30: Bumping this up for awhile to give those who haven't chimed in yet or who have changed their minds a chance to tell UM's decision-makers who the next head coach to be...]

     UM is gathering a list of potential replacements for Larry Coker and is to begin making contacts after this weekend's games. Who should the 'Canes next coach be?

     UM's football coach in 2007 will be...Aaschiano

     Greg Schiano of Rutgers, the rising star and ex-UM assistant...

Aaalvarez     Or Barry Alvarez, the Wisconsin AD and ex-coach who is tight with Donna Shalala...

Aaspurrier_1     Or Steve Spurrier, because we don't believe anybody's early denials and his ego knows The U still carries more national sizzle than South Carolina...Aarodriguez

     Or West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez, although he's probably waiting for Bobby Bowden's chair to empty...

Aashannon     Or Randy Shannon, UM's defensive coordinator, if the school wants to stay in-house and save bucks...

     Or Jimmy Johnson, just because we want to throw his Aajohnsonname in there for fun...

     Or Louisville's Bobby Petrino or Tulsa's Steve Kragthorpe or Texas Christian's Gary Patterson or free-agent Mike Shula, or, or...

          You make the call. Predict who think will end up as coach, or nominate who you hope does end up as coach.

November 29, 2006

The death of sportsmanship

     Two local girls' high-school basketball scores: Fort Lauderdale's Dillard beat Miami Edison this week, 96-1. A week earlier Hollywood Christian beat Davie's Westlake Prep, 99-0.

     Are you kidding me!? These schools should be embarrassed, and of course I mean the winning schools.

     If the disparity is such that winning coaches and players can't prevent brutal scores like this even if they try (and you wonder how much they tried), then the School Board should insist on a "mercy rule" such as exists in some prep sports including baseball.

     No high-school athlete deserves to be humiliated with scores such as 96-1.

Unsportsmanlike: Wed 11-29

     Occasional quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...Tech_n9ne_1

     I like to think of myself as Hip Dad, betrayed first by the fact nobody says "hip" anymore except people old enough to remember "groovy," and further by the fact my 19-year-old son and some friends recently drove to Orlando to see the guy pictured at left. He's the rapper, Tech Nine. Sorry. Tech N9ne. If I were any older, my age would be traced by carbon dating.

     Has Iraq fallen into civil war? No. I look and look, but can't see anything civil about it.Aagoats

     Admit it. You thought you'd go your entire life without ever reading this headline.

    The main athletics facility at Broward's Sagemont School now has a corporate sponsor, Comerica Bank. Not sure who should be more ashamed, the school or the bank. My gawd. The principal might could use a lesson in principle.

     Quietly, NFL Europe has changed its name to NFL Europa, in a subtle nod to German and Dutch fans. Thought you should know that the league you'll continue to ignore had made that change.

     Is that a guitar in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?

     Things Of Which I Am Way Tired: The media acting as if Joey Harrington playing the piano is this bizarre, fascinating novelty. It's a common instrument. Millions play it. Are we so stuck in our stereotypes as to believe athletes have no artistic side? Haven't y'all seen Emmitt dance?Aaben

     Summarizing Ben Wallace and the headband brouhaha: Silly rule by the Bulls. But an even sillier look for Wallace.

     Fidel Castro is too ill to attend his 80th birthday celebration in Cuba. Cannot confirm that, in South Florida, Cubans are celebrating by taking bats to Fidel-shaped pinatas.

We'll miss you, Rick Shaw

Aarick2      I avoid the word "legend," even diffused as "local legend," because it rarely is earned. But it is in the case of radio personality Rick Shaw, who has announced he is retiring after 46 years in the South Florida market -- currently mornings on Majic 102.7.

     Shaw, 68, raised me and I'm sure thousands of others in terms of local radio. He introduced me to the Beatles back in the old WQAM "Tiger Beat" days. His voice was a constant across personal timelines. People down here grew up with him a part of the soundtrack of their lives. He was, to many of us, musically, as much a giant as Don Shula was in sports. Class. Constancy.

     You'll be missed, Rick. You done good, sir.

November 27, 2006

On Shula/Saban; on Schiano; on Gators; on McGwire; on Vick

     Got everything here but "on Donner, on Blitzen," a little Monday smorgasbord to kick the week off...Aamike_1

     1. Shula/Saban. Alabama cans Mike Shula. Big Daddy Don not real happy, but the kid is young and bright. He'll turn up in another A-list job. I heard one is open in Coral Gables. HEY, I'M JUST SAYING! UM could do much worse than to give Mikey a call and at least explore the possibility. As for Nick Saban leaving the Dolphins for the C-Tide, I'd doubt it a lot.

     2. Schiano. I wouldn't read much into ol' Greg's standard-issue rap out of New Jersey about being "happy there" and having "no plans" to leave. If UM wants him badly enough ($$$) as Larry Coker's replacement, I'd bet he is obtainable.

     3. Gators. Not liking an Ohio State-Michigan rematch for the national title; sorry, Wolves, y'all had your chance. But failing to see how anybody not wearing an orange and blue sweater-vest can seriously believe Florida deserves the title shot over USC. No way.Aamark

     4. McGwire. Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn are the lock-picks for 2007 induction to Cooperstown from the new candidates list out, but Mark McGwire is the name drawing the chatter. He has Hall-worthy numbers but will not get in because of the steroids cloud and the way he has mishandled it. I believe voters will require serious contrition or at least truth from Big Mac -- or leave him commiserating on a barstool next to Pete Rose for all eternity.Aavick

     5. Vick. Forget Mike giving Atlanta fans the finger (talk about a Dirty Bird!). He was frustrated, reacted stupidly and apologized. Done. What isn't done but rather really just beginning is the growing notion that the NFL's Mr. Excitement just isn't a very good quarterback. Vick (shown here waving goodbye to his unearned reputation as a great QB), simply isn't a passer. He is inaccurate. He is Kordell Stewart with a better agent. Time the Falcons found a better role for Vick's undeniable talents and got themselves a real QB.

Unsportsmanlike: Mon 11-27

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

     A couple of my neighbors already have Christmas lights up, but the guy across the street is a bah-humbug type. In fact, he's out front right now, putting up a Negativity Scene.Aaturkey

     The turkeys, they do not go down without a fight.

     I've been wondering. If upbeat Caribbean music happens to be playing at the moment the world ends, will it be the Apocalypso? Aarichards

     Comic actor Michael Richards, embattled since a tirade of N-words during a standup comedy routine, sought damage control by meeting with Jesse Jackson. Analysts were saying Richards has no future is show business. Sort of like what they were also saying even before his racist rant.

     Yoko Ono, in a fulltime New York Times ad, has called for worldwide peace and healing. Cannot confirm the ad states "everyone deserves compassion, understanding and healing, except Michael Richards."

     Waiter, this soda tastes like pea.

     M'am, it may be time to get a different boyfriend.

     Three facts to tell others and seem smarter:

     1. Origin of the expression "rule of thumb" is that in the 1400s in Engand a man was allowed to beat his wife but only with a stick no thicker than his thumb.Aadog

     2. The average cost of raising a medium-sized dog to the age of 11 is $6,400.

     3. If you were to spell out numbers in order, you wouldn't find a number containing the letter "a" until you reached "one thousand."

November 24, 2006

UM FIRES LARRY COKER!

     UM President Donna Shalala and her Board of Trustees met this morning and soon after announced the dismissal of football head coach Larry Coker after six seasons. The news was not a surprise.

     Coker had a 59-15 UM record and one national championship, but fortunes had eroded streadily the past three seasons, including this year's 6-6 mark after last night's home upset of Boston College.

     I would not have objected -- unlike most strongly anti-Coker 'Canes fans -- if he had been invited back for one more chance to take advantage of 19 returning starters in 2007. But neither do I disagree with the change.

     Comments are invited below on initial reactions to the firing.

     What do you feel Coker's legacy will be? How will he be remembered? Where will history place him in the modern run of Schnellenberger-Johnson-Erickson-Davis-Coker?

     [Immediately below is a blog inviting speculation on who the next coach will or should be...]

November 23, 2006

Hurricanes 17, BC 14

Aabc Aaaum     [Updated late Thursday night, 11-23, following UM's 17-14 upset of visiting, 18th-ranked Boston College].

     The Hurricanes ended a tumultuous, emotional football season at 6-6 tonight at the OB, needing and getting a victory to qualify for a bowl game. Afterward a stirring scene: 'Canes players kneeling at midfield around a large poster honoring slain senior Bryan Pata.

     Overshadowing the game, of course, was the fate of coach Larry Coker. It is widely expected that he will be dismissed, but in the TV interview immediately after the game he seemed resolute that he would remain coach.

     I must say I was happy for a UM team that has been thorugh an awful lot this season. The players and, yes, Coker, deserved to feel what they did as time expired.

     Comments invited on tonight's game. Specifically on the importance (or not) of qualifying for a bowl. On Kirby Freeman not showing a whole lot or making a real statement about his deserving the QB job more than Kyle Wright. And on whether this win may have somehow spared Coker or if his fate should be determined.

G11: Dolphins 27, Lions 10

    [Updated Thursday evening, 11-23, after the Dolphins' 27-10 win at Detroit for a fourth straight victory].Aajoey Aalions_1 Aaturkey_1

    Eating way too much food and watching way too much football -- is this is a great country or what!?

     Here came the Dolphins gunning for a fourth straight win and trying to keep faint playoff hopes alive today in Detroit, in the opener of the NFL's holiday tripleheader. The game turned out to be something out of a Joey Harrington daydream.

     Comments welcome here on the game, on playoff hopes in the wake of it, and on whether you have seen enough of either Harrington or Daunte Culpepper to have a feel for who should be starting QB in 2007.

     By the way, some of you probably are aware I thought the Lions would win. It may have been my worst prediction since back in the '70s when I said, "Personal computers!? Never catch on."