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17 posts from June 2007

June 29, 2007

Heat draft: Who? Huh! Whu?

Aaacook      Daequan Cook!? Really? Ted Ginn Jr. and now this? Must be something in the South Florida draft water.

     Seems questionable that the Heat would make a No. 1 pick of a guy (pictured) who plays the same position as young superstar Dwyane Wade.

     Seems questionable they'd pick a freshman -- another project in the Dorell Wright/Wayne Simien/maybe-he'll-be-something-in-three-years catgeory -- rather than a player with a chance to make the rotation this year.

     Not that any guarantees are ever attached to a 20th (or 21st) pick, but this one seemed quite a reach. I'll shout out how wrong I was if Cook becomes a major contributor for the Heat any time soon, but neither the "major contributor" part nor the "any time soon" look like a good bet today. Feel free to rave in disagreement.

     By the way, nobody earned the prize in our name-the-top-pick contest. I'd have given credit for either Jason Smith, the player Miami drafted and traded, or Cook, but no one guessed either. Thanks, anyway, to all who played).

June 28, 2007

CONTEST! Name Heat's top pick

     I am quite certain Heat coach/prez Pat Riley and GM Randy Pfund do not need or want our advice on what to do in tonight's NBA Draft. But why should that stop us!?

     Didn't stop me. I write in today's column that I'd like to see Miami try to trade up to draft point guard Acie Law if they think he's the answer. Miami has never traded up under Riley, but should consider it if they have a conviction on anyone at their position of greatest need.

Aaaky     Riley is pictured at left during his Kentucky playing days, already thinking ahead to tonight's draft.

     Now I invite your thoughts. Beyond that I invite your prediction.

     CONTEST: Who will be the Heat's first-round draft pick tonight? ONE ENTRY PER PERSON, PLEASE! (We'll cross-check IP addresses, Big Brother-like, and eliminate multiple entries). Only answers posted by 7 p.m. will be accepted! Prize: A 2007-08 Heat Media Guide when it comes out, that's 500 pages of biographies, photos, history and records to be cherished by any fan, or sold on eBay as the case may be.

     (The tiebreaker will be me drawing out of a hat. Say five people guess the right name. One will get the prize, and the other four will get to be mad and suspect I cheated).

On Kimbo, Paris, arthritic jaws and women's rights

     A Thursday ration of folderol...

Aaakimbo      Attended last night's 790/Le Batard festival at Muvico for the Die Hard screening. Kimbo Slice was there. I had to beat the crap out of him when he wouldn't give up his seat.

     Is there a parent in all of sports who needs to please be quiet more than tennis dad Richard Williams?

     DAaahiltonear Boss: I won't be producing a column for tomorrow's paper. I saw a headline about Paris Hilton and a strip search and ever since have been too distracted to concentrate on anything else.

    Competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi is sidelined with an arthritic jaw. What!? You mean repeatedly jackhammering 53 hot dogs into your maw in 12 minutes puts stress on one's facial hinge!?

    Incidentally, Paris Hilton has never suffered from an arthritic jaw, that we know of.

    Somebody needs to throw a seminar to teach the concept of the Home-Field Advantage, and invite the Marlins.

Aaared      Finally, in what some are heralding as a major advance in women's rights, Wimbledon officials have OK'd the wearing of red underwear by female players. The fight for equality is never easy, but this by any measure is progress.

June 24, 2007

On iffy rings, creepy marriages, OB petitions and more

     A little Sunday sermonette from South Florida, USA...    

     Three major, prominently displayed stories in my newspaper the past couple of days, and all of the local subjects were black. One was about an unwed young mother raising her baby alone. One was about female rappers. The other was about a guy who rose from poverty by beating up people. Are we perpetuating stereotypes here? Shouldn't we try harder to publicize the better role models who are surely out there in abundance? Hey, I'm just asking!

     This is a picture from this week (sorry about the poor reproducAaamatarano_3tion) of Shaquille O'Neal presenting a Heat championship ring to his friend Steve Martorano (far left), from Cafe Martorano. Now I like Shaq a lot; he's a delight. And I've loved Steve's restaurant every time I've been; it's unlike any other. But something about this underlines, for me, why The Sports Championship Ring has been devalued and lost its mystique over the years. Simply, too many people who haven't earned them, have them.

     Ah, the happy couple! At South Brunswick High in North CaroAaa4016lina, 40-year-old track coach Brenton Wuchuae has married one of his 16-year-old athletes. Her parents reluctantly signed the consent form, but it's the creepy groom we would excoriate. Dear Brent: Figure the over/under on the girl waking up and dumping your sorry ass is 12 months. Meantime the national reaction to you ranges from ridicule to contempt. Also wild-guessing that your bright future in teaching and youth coaching probably has seen rosier days. Otherwise ... Congratulations, dude!

     A few of you have passed along word of a Save the Orange Bowl petition (click on the phrase to find it). You know from a recent column that I support UM staying there so I'm happy to pass along the link to this worthy grass-roots effort, which was approaching 2,000 signatures and building steam when last I looked.

     For this we waited half a season, Josh Johnson?

     NBA draft no-brainer for the No. 1 pick: Gotta be Greg Oden. And that's not just because we Gregs have a secret society. Although we do.

Aaaozzie      Here's a link to today's Random Evidence of a Cluttered Mind wiseguy notes column (from which the name of this blog derived), should you wish to complain how unfunny or offensive it is. Get in line.

     Finally, another Headline You Thought You'd Never See, on in a series.

June 23, 2007

On NFL's get-tough policy

     [Bumping this back up today in the wake of the arrest of Dolphins DT Frederick Evans. Find the story here. Pretty serious allegations and charges. Dear Fred: What a dope. Evans faces a league suspension. Meantime, what if anything should Cam Cameron do?].

     The NFL's new personal conduct policy can mete out player suspensions (and has) based on serious or repeated run-ins with the laAaapacman2w, even if thoAaapacmanse incidents might not result in an arrest or conviction.

     The poster-child for the crackdown is the Titans' Adam "Pacman" Jones; click here for his latest troubles.

     You know if you my recent column on the topic (found here) that I agree with the tough policy, but plenty of others say the league is overstepping its bounds. How do you weigh-in on the topic?

June 21, 2007

Dolphins in London: Jolly good?

Aaabigben      Let's keep this is simple. Take a side.

      Bottom line, are you glad the Dolphins are playing a "home" game in London this season? (Because it's prestigious or exciting or whatever.)

     Or do you wish they weren't? (Because losing an actual home game may be a competitive disadvantage or cheats Dolfans etc.)

     You'd know how I feel by reading this column posted online now and appearing in tomorrow's paper. Now: How do you feel?  (Also interested in your thoughts on the league not allowing Dolphin season-ticket holders to obtain London game tickets and then re-sell them.)

June 19, 2007

Ask the Blogmaster General (June)

     [The Blogmaster General Q&A window for June has nicked shut. Decent response. Thanks to all. We'll do it again mid-July].

Aaaq6       Seems like we just did this, but it's time again for our somewhat semipopular mid-month feature, in which I directly answer any questions you may have.

     You know by now the daily give-and-take here is your forum. But once a month I invite and reply to your Q's on a variety of topics including but not limited to: Me, this blog, my columns, sports writing, The Miami Herald, other media, local teams, national stories, current events, pop culture, cooking, singing on the radio and narcissism.

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

June 18, 2007

Girardi to O's?, Miggy's weight, cigarettes and toplessness

     A few shots of miscellania to launch a new week on a slow June in South Florida...

     Spent the past weekend at a friend's daughter's wedding in Waldorf, Maryland. I don't know that I've ever seen such a pretty sight.  The bride, Jessica? Yes, she was lovely, too. But I meant the breathtaking panorama of that fully stocked open bar at the reception.

     The Orioles fired manager Sam Perlozzo today and, according to reports, hope to hire Joe Girardi. The onus is still on the Marlins (and Fredi Gonzalez) to prove that firing manager-of-the-year Girardi was the right thing. No doubt it made the front office's life easier. Probably it was popular with the players, too. But was it good for the team? Can't say yes yet.   

Aaamigthen       Criticism and easy jokes about Miguel Cabrera's weight Aaatwinkies(see then-and-now photos) continue. Dear Critics: Last tiAaamignowme I checked the guy was batting .332 and on pace for 37 homers and 118 RBIs. Keep that up and the next Twinkie's on me, Miggy!

     Seems as if Kobe Bryant has changed his mind again and now seeks a trade from the Lakers. Can only guess his advisor on resolute decision-making is Billy Donovan.

     I just looked up "Dumbass" in the dictionary and saw a picture of Pacman Jones involved in yet another police matter despite already being on a one-year NFL suspension.

     Right to next to Pacman was a picture of Redskins rookie LaRon Landry, out injured after being shot in the groin during a paintball game.

Aaaangel      Congrats to Angel Cabrera for edging Tiger Woods to win the U.S. Open. The unlikely triumph proves you can succeed in sports even if you are plump, smoke cigarettes and have no discernable neck.

Aaatopless      Finally, I Change My Mind. I Love New York, After All.

June 15, 2007

Who believes in the Dolphins?

Aaad_2      Answer: Not America at large, that's for sure. A new ESPN.com poll that invites fans nationwide to rank the 16 AFC teams dishes depressing news for Dolfans. I should note the poll was taken in the past week, after the acquisition of Trent Green.

     Best Offense: Miami was ranked 14th, with a negligible 0.9 percent. (Indianapolis led with 29.3%).

     Best Defense: Miami ranked only 10th, at 2.5%. (Baltimore led with 28.6%).

     AFC Super Bowl rep: Miami was again 14th, with 1.4%. (New England led with 29.9%).

     Question. Is the low regard for the Dolphins surprising? is it ridiculous? Or is it justified? Clearly NFL fans at large see Miami's playoff drought continuing for a sixth season. If you don't agree ... why do you think there is so little faith in Miami?

June 13, 2007

Kelly Downing's remedy for small Marlins crowds

     The winner of our recent Pet Peeves contest chose as her prize the chance to author an entry in our blog. Kelly Downing, 27, is a self-described mildly fanatical Marlins fan who lives in South Dade, and works as music director and afternoon-drive DJ for 91.9 The Call. Here is her column, with photos she also provided:


     Obviously, it takes more than America's favorite pastime to spark the interest of South Floridians. Good baseball just isn't enough to woo the most fickle, passionless "fans" on the planet, so the Marlins have to work a little harder to get our ungrateful butts into the orange seats.

     Enter Super Saturdays.

     For the price of a mere baseball ticket, fans can enjoy a concert, a fireworks spectacular, and heck—while they're at it, the Marlins will even throw in a ballgame.

     It's good. But it might not be good enough (we're dealing with Fish fans, after all). I've got a few ideas to kick the promotion up a notch:

     (*) Fight Night! Guarantee a benches-clearing brawl in the top of the sixth. (None of this shoving nonsense, though. We want to see the D-Train take somebody down.)

Gaynor      (*) Have Gloria Gaynor croon on the field during the game. Attendees can enjoy the concert without suffering through nine innings first, and Gloria can help our guys field ground balls.

     (*) Add 'foul poles' to the list of items the Mermaids dance on.

     (*) Weigh Miguel Cabrera live during the seventh inning stretch.

Superhero_amezaga      (*) Dress Alfredo Amezaga in tights and a cape for his superhuman escapades in center field.

     (*) Air footage of Scott Olsen's anger management therapy sessions on the Jumbotrons.

     (*) Let the audience vote a player off the team at the end of the game.

     (*) Whenever a Marlin strikes out or issues a free pass, make him doMermaid_leadoffwn a bowl of cockroach innards, Fear Factor style.

    (*) Bat a Mermaid in the leadoff spot.

     (*) And if you’re really interested in seeing attendance skyrocket ... make the Marlins wear Mets unis.

     [Thanks, Kelly. In the immortal words of Borat: "I like!" Check out her station by clicking here. The Marlins could use a few more mildly fanatical fans. And I'm always happy to provide a forum to reader/bloggers, especially those who manage to include the underutilized phrase, "cockroach innards"].