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25 posts from December 2008

December 30, 2008

Marve mad and outta here (with poll); plus Barkley cop mug, Nix nixed, Week 17 results & more

    The latest lil' slew o' miscellania, all free and just for you...

     What a shock (not)! Marve to transfer!: Breaks the news today that Miami Hurricanes QB Robert Marve has requested and been granted his release, meaning he is an ex-Cane as of today. I'd surmised initially that Marve after sitting out a year would end up in Florida Gator clothes -- but that was before the development that revealed stipulations limiting where he could transfer and preventing him from going to an ACC school, SEC school or anywhere else in Florida. The Marve family is angry about that and fighting those restrictions, with Marve's father charging they reflect Randy Shannon's "contempt for and arrogance toward" his son. Strong words. My take: The ACC restriction is perfectly reasonable. The others are not. What's your view?

     Take a dip in our Marve poll and elaborate if you'd like both on him leaving and on the controversy over UM's stipulations.

     [Blognote: Y'all have made the above our 44th blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours -- this one blasting past in just a few hours. En fuego. Keep 'em coming!]

Aaa1barkley_2     Barkley busted: Charles Barkley got popped for DUI (police mug at left, courtesy our pals at TheDirty.com). Cops must have detected Barkley slurring, and not been aware that's how he sounds even when sober.

     Pro Bowl in Miami. Yippee?: The NFL has confirmed reports the league is dumping Hawaii as its Pro Bowl site in favor of the Super Bowl city, beginning with the 2009-season game to be held Jan. 31, 2010 at Dolphin Stadium. Are we excited? The Pro Bowl has always struck me as something players are delighted to be chosen for but don't much care about playing in. And that fans don't much care to watch, either. Putting it under the Super Bowl Buildup umbrella will help, but probably just somewhat.

     Wrong mix: UM kix out Nix, seeks quick fix: I suppose congratulations are in order for Canes fans upon the firing of offensive coordinator Patrick Nix. That's based on a Dec. 9 poll in our blog that found 61 percent wanting Nix out, 27% with mixed feelings and only 12% support. I have no problem with this move. UM's offense needs a clear direction/identity, more invention and obviously sharper clock management. Nix didn't bring it. Here's hoping the yet-unnamed new guy will. By the way, Randy Shannon's many critics will be amazed how much better he'll seem as a head coach with an offense firing on all pistons. [Postscript: The Marve transfer is a blessing for the new OC. It will give him a freer hand and unburden him from the need to coddle two QBs and their fathers].

Aaa1obie       Countdown to the Orange Bowl (Not So) Classic: Cincinnati and Virginia Tech and their fans are in town readying for Thursday night's OB game and I could not be any less interested. Sorry, OB Committee. But with the Dolphins preparing for their first home playoff game in what seems like 48 years and us hosting the BCS National Championship game a few days later, Cincy and V-Tech could only be more overshadowed if the game were being played in a dark, empty stadium at an undisclosed location. Pictured at right: Obie, the game's mascot, laying down from exhaustion after having to spend an entire week feigning enthusiasm.

    Aaa1cotepix Week 17 results: Each Tuesday during NFL season I keep you posted on how I'm faring with my Miami Herald prognosticating and my two fantasy teams -- despite the public humiliation. FRIDAY PAGE: Closed the regular season with a solid 11-5 mark  overall and an 8-7-1 against the line. PIGSKIN CHALLENGE: I can't find the results anywhere online. Thank God for small favors. DOLPHINS: Misfired (again) on feeling Miami would lose at NYJ, leaving me 6-10 (holy crap!) predicting the Dolphin game in each Sunday's paper. FANTASY: Season has ended. Sweet  mercy.

     I'm either really old-fashioned or I'm right, but...: ...whatever happened when having a child out of wedlock was seen as, well, sort of a social disgrace? Now (thinking of Sarah Palin's daughter's kid) it is reported with the barest mention of marital status. I am not sure society at large benefits from this development. Am I being intolerant? Or am I right?

     Click back. Will be adding more stuff to this post later.

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 98.4

     [Thanks to all who joined in our live online chat yesterday. Click on Live Chat to read transcripts, to join live Mondays from 1-2 p.m., or to post a question at any time. Click on Chad's Revenge for my game column off Sunday's big, playoff-clinching Dolphins victory over the Jets]. 

     Dolphin fans' satisfaction is cresting at an all-time high, as you'd imagine, following Sunday's 24-17 win at the New York Jets that finished an 11-5 regular season and clinched Miami's first playoff berth since 2001.

     It is reflected in our latest and final Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll of the season, which shows a near-unanimous 98.4 percent overall satisfaction and a record 96.9% calling themselves "very satisfied."

     (I know some of you are distressed the poll consistently showed a negligible 1 percent and change as "very dissatisfied." Bear in mind this the World Wide Web. Not only Dolfans read this blog. I am surprised the negative figure wasn't higher. To me it is a tribute to honest voters. I think the 96.9 "very satisfied" number is legitimate and accurate. On the Internet, I could post a poll asking if people favored world peace and I doubt the yays would reach 96.9).

     New Aaa1dsmto the blog this season, the Dolfan Satisfaction Meter has been a continuous, weekly gauge of how fans are buying into the "New Beginning" and the club's direction. Right after each game, I invited fans to share their overall degree of satisfaction with the team.

     The criteria for voting was your own, but I suggested fans consider the most recent game's result and performance, the season as a whole, the direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

     The Comments section never closes. However, the poll itself is open only through midnight of the Monday following the game. (Votes cast after then continue to show in poll but are not counted in official results). Every Tuesday morning we then announce final results.

     A personal thanks to all who participated with honest judgements in our DSM poll experiment. Almost 20,000 of you did!

     The latest, final DSM poll, with complete week-by-week season results listed below it:

     [Blog note: The above was our 43rd blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours. Thank you.]    

     SEASON RESULTS:

     Week 1: 59.0% satisfaction (6.6 very, 52.4 somewhat), after loss vs. Jets.

     Week2: 5.4% satisfaction (2.1 very, 3.3 somewhat), after loss at Cardinals.

     Week 3: 98.4% satisfaction (74.8 very, 23.6 somewhat), after win at Patriots.

     Week 4: Bye week; no poll.

     Week 5: 99.3% satisfaction (86.8 very, 12.5 somewhat), after win vs. Chargers.

     Week 6: 80.3% satisfaction (30.2 very, 50.1 somewhat), after loss at Texans.

     Week 7: 49.0% satisfaction (8.9 very, 40.1 somewhat), after loss vs. Ravens.

     Week 8: 98.8% (67.1 very, 31.7 somewhat), after win vs. Bills.

     Week 9: 99.4% (84.6 very, 14.8 somewhat), after win at Broncos.

     Week 10: 96.6% (71.5 very, 25.1 somewhat), after win vs. Seahawks.

     Week 11: 96.6% (73.5 very, 23.1 somewhat), after win vs. Raiders.

     Week 12: 73.5% (38.0 very, 35.5 somewhat), after loss vs. Patriots.

     Week 13: 94.9% (67.6 very, 27.3 somewhat), after win at Rams.

     Week 14: 98.3% (90.7 very, 7.6 somewhat), after win at Bills.

     Week 15: 97.5% (80.6 very, 16.9 somewhat), after win vs. 49ers.

     Week 16: 98.3% (91.4 very, 6.9 somewhat), after win at Chiefs.

     Week 17: 98.4% (96.9 very. 1.5 somewhat), after win at Jets.

December 28, 2008

G16: Miami Dolphins 24, New York Jets 17 (Final) -- DOLPHINS IN THE PLAYOFFS! DOLPHINS IN THE PLAYOFFS!

Aaa1dol1 Aaa1dol2     It happened. It actually did. The Dolphins beat the Jets and made the playoffs. Celebrate, South Florida. Our long regional nightmare is over.

     Dolphins pooch-punt puts Jets at own 1-yard line. Ninety-nine yards to go, 17 seconds, no timeouts. I like Miami's chances.

     PenninAaa1dol3gton QB sneak for first down at Jets 38 at 2-minute warning. Game time! Playoff time.

     Andre Goodman's second pick of game effectively seals win for Miami, with under 5 minutes to go.

     Dan Carpenter clutch 48-yard FG gives Miami a big seven point lead at 24-17 with 9:20 to play.

     Charlie Anderson blocked punt gives Miami ball at Jets 49.

     Dolphins up by 4 entering fourth quarter, playoff spot on the line. Can they hold on?

     Miami back up 21-17 on Anthony Fasano 20-yard scoring toss from Pennington. Chad thoroughly outplaying Favre. Or did that go without saying?

     Dolphins threatening after 44-yard pass to Ted Ginn to Jets 36. Pennington underthrew it into double-coverage but Teddy Ballgame came back for it.

     Jets back up, capitalize on Miami's muffed punt. Leon Washington 10-yard scoring run and then a two-point pass gives NYJ a 17-14 lead, early 3Q.

     Second half starts with big break for Jets. Snap over head of Dolphins punter Brandon Fields set up NYJ with first down at Miami 28.

     Jay Feely (remember him?) 28-yard FG on last play of first half send Miami into lockerroom up by five.

     Miami now up 14-6 -- suddenly -- on Phillip Merling's pick-six interception return of a Favre pass. Wow. What a turnaround. From six points down to seven up in a matter of moments.

     Dolphins up 7-6 with 2:18 left in first half on 27-yard Ted Ginn TD pass from Chad Pennington -- Chad's 100th career scoring pass. Ginn beat CB Dwight Lowery 1-on-1.

     Baltimore leading its game 17-7. A Ravens win woulod eliminated Jets from playoff hunt, leaving NYJ to a spoilers' role. A role the Jets are playing quite well so far.

     Ronnie Brown misses a wide-open Joey Haynos on Wildcat pass. Pennington nearly intercepted by LB Eric Barton. Now a punt.

     Scoreless drought finally ends on Lavernues Coles 13-yard TD pass from Favre, mid-2Q. Favre big 3rd down completion of 26 yards to Miami 28 as he's being hit was big play. Extra-point blown on muffed snap.

     Now a huge break for Jets, with Pennington losing fumble off a sack. First lost fumble of year for Chad.

     Huge break for Miami, with Jets penalty negating a deflection-interception by Pennington.

     Penalties hurting the Dolphins, but big batted-down pass by Yeremiah Bell forces punt. Anybody wanna score here?

     Nervous game as it turns from first to second quarter. How we feeling, Dolfans?

     Man, what a missed opportunity! Miami should have been first and goal inside the Jets 10 but for that Ricky Williams dropped pass off a Wildcat throw by Pennington. Instead, a punt from near midfield. That's three blown points, at minimum.

     Dolphins first down on a pass, but TE David Martin down injured and motionless after his neck snapped back. Sitting up. Warm hand from crowd. Being helped off field; appears OK. Close call, though. Another inch or a couple of degrees of angle and paralysis, perhaps. Very scary.

     Andre Goodman picks off  Brett Favre deep!

     Jets driving, thanks in part to two early Dolphins penalties. Nerves? NYJ ends up punting.

     Game on!

     Weather gods are smiling, especially after last week in the freeze of Kansas City. It's 65 degrees here. Windy. Cloudy. But mild.

    Cyndi Lauper on the national anthem. A credible rendition, until she suddenly broke into "girls just wanna have fu-un."

     They were not showing score updates on Patriots-Bills game here at Giants Stadium, I guess for fear knowledge of a pending Pats win -- New England won 13-0 -- might drain the Jets of incentive. Isn't that cute! Like everybody in the building including players can't know the score if they want to? (For the record, Jets still have incentive. NYJ makes the playoff if Planes win and Baltimore loses).   

     Have recently arrived at The Meadowlands after a rather unique taxi experience geting here from my hotel near Newark airport. My driver had no idea where Giants Stadium is. Seriously. Asked me for the address! Asked me if it was in New York City! (I called for another taxi). Can you imagine a driver for a Newark cab company not remotely knowing how to get to a major sports stadium 15 minutes away? It'd be like a hack in Fort Lauderdale having no idea how to get to the beach.

     Original post:

     Dolphins at Jets, playoffs or bust. Today's late-afternoon game up in the Meadowlands is, simply, the Dolphins' biggest, most nationally significant game in many years -- the one that with a victory can lift Miami into the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

     I'm up the New Joisey among The Herald's coverage team, and invite you to join me here for a live blog during the game. Comments also welcome here before and of course afterward. This is one of those assignments that feels less like a job than a treat to cover.

      I'm on record hunching a 24-20 Jets win, simply based on the venue and recent series history, but see it as a coin-flip game in which a Miami win would not surprise. And as if the stakes weren't high enough, Chad Pennington vs. his ex-team (and vs. Brett Favre) is one of the season's most delicious subplots.

     Join us here for the game, and then later look for the year's final Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll publishing in a separate blog post soon after the game, probably around 8 p.m.

December 27, 2008

Cal 24, 'Canes 17 (Final); with rate-the-season poll

Aaa1emerald3 Aaa1emerald1 Aaa1emerald2    Fine effort by UM in tonight's bowl loss but a disappointment overall. Strange clock management at the end. Uneven performance by QB Jacory Harris including the big turnover that cost the game. More shaky run defense. Bottom line: Miami finishes 7-6, with progress over last season, but with much work left to do.

    Original Post:

    [I saw a headline, "Cal eager to test Miami mystique in Emerald Bowl." Does UM have any mystique left over from the better old days? Or is that something that must be regrown entirely?] 

     Miami Hurricanes (7-5) vs. Cal (8-4) in the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco tonight at 8, and I think for a lot of UM fans, how they'll regard this season teeters with the result.

     An 8-5 record looks a heck of a lot better than 7-6, especially because the latter would mean Miami would have ended the season with three straight losses. That is what is expected, with UM an 8 1/2-point underdog, but I have a hunch the 'Canes will win in an upset. They key is the run defense, battered in the past two games, containing Cal's Jahvid Best.

     Also looking for a stout performance by freshman QB Jacory Harris to ease the sting of what seems more and more likely: suspended QB Robert Marve's eventual transfer.

     Comments welcome here on how you think tonight's game will go and how the result will weigh on your feeling about the season. Take a dip in our poll and elaborate.

     Today's other important-to-South Florida bowl:

     FSU 42, Wisconsin 13 in Champs Sports Bowl, Orlando: Old Bobby's Seminoles were favored and showed why in bagging their first nine-win season since 2004.

December 26, 2008

Pennington vs. Favre (with poll); plus Week 17 picks (sorry Dolphins), Howard's Owls rev in Motor City & more

     [Looking for the "I Hate the Stinkin' J-E-T-S Week" poll? Find it in the post directly below this one].

     A whole new lil' slew of miscellania, gift-wrapped just for you...

     Dolphins-Jets: Sorry I hadn't blogged in a couple of days. Too busy jackhammering massive amounts of holiday food into my gaping maw. Sad news. The Dolphins lose Sunday at the Jets, 24-20. Well, that's according to me. Then again, based on my 2008 record, Miami's chances have never looked better. Click on Week 17 Gems for all my picks. Click on Miami vs. New York: It's Personal for the column.

     [Poll comment: You know what interests me in these results? If I had asked the question in July, before either guy had switched teams, I think the results would have been roughly the exact opposite].

     Sparano's perilous footing: The Herald reports today that Tony Sparano may have a tough time winning coach of the year honors. I agree. That's why I wrote the same thing on Dec. 12. :) Latest Bodog betting line has Atlanta's Mike Smith the favorite at -110, with Sparano the second pick at 6-5. Nevertheless, Sparano has my vote. 

     Holiday Greetings!: Merry Christmas once again and Happy Hannukah, Rockin' Kwanzaa and Funky Eid! Question for the day: What do atheists celebrate and do they exchange gifts? What were your favorite Christmas presents? Mine included an Odyssey putter and a box of Cuban Montecristos (unless the feds are reading this, in which case I'm just kidding).

Aaa1howard      Schnellenberger rocks Detroit: My FAU Owls were a one-touchdown underog but beat Central Michigan, 24-21, in the Motor City Bowl last night. (I watched some of it at the Hard Rock Casino, from which I emerged two Benjamins better than I arrived). Wise Old Owl Howard Schnellenberger improved to 6-0 in bowls thanks largely to Rusty Smith's 307 yards passing. This was the first of five college football bowls South Florida should care about. Up next: Miami-Cal in the Emerald and FSU-Wisconsin in the Champs Sports, both Saturday. A poem for my Owls: "Let's go Howard, let's reach for the jewels. To hell with Wannstedt, your 'stache still rules!"

     Tom Brady engaged: On a private jet, he popped the question to supermodel gal Gisele Bundchen. Cannot confirm she had to tell poor Tom she'd already said yes to Matt Cassel.

     Eartha Kitt, dead: Sultry singer, gone at 81. She accomplished much, but ultimately failed in her lifelong desire to spark a surge in popularity for the name, "Eartha."

     Sammy Sosa plots comeback: The 40-year-old former slugger is believed to lack only one thing in his efforts to play again: An interested team.

     Thank you. I am humbled: Annual year-end Gallup Poll for "Most Admired American" had president-elect Barack Obama winning easily, followed by Miami Herald sports columnist Greg Cote. Geez I don't know what to say.

     Personal notes: Our Monday live online chat, which has been off the past couple of weeks for scheduling reasons, will return this coming Monday from 1-2 p.m. Click here to join live or to post a question at any time. Also, for the many e-mailers who have asked: Our Sunday "Random Evidence of a Cluttered Mind" notes column is on brief hiatus but hsall return sometime in January.

     Click back. May be adding more folderol here later.

December 23, 2008

It's "I Hate the Stinkin' J-E-T-S Week!" (with poll); plus Week 16 results, Throw-a-Shoe-at-Bush game & more

     [Ho ho ho ho! That's an extra ho, just for you. Merry Christmas to all of our readers! Also Happy Hannukah, Rockin' Kwanzaa, Funky Eid and happy anything else you're celebrating].

     What is about about New York sports fans in general and perhaps Jets fans in particular? With the Dolphins traveling up there this week needing a victory to make the playoffs, it's time to get a handle on this Dolphins-Jets rivalry. Is it the best and most bitter in South Florida sports? Take a dip in our poll and expound with a comment.

     [Click on Something Yet to Prove for today's column by me on the Dolphins as they enter the season finale. I contend we still don't really know how good this team is. Close wins over bad teams don't tell us. On Sunday, we'll begin to know for sure].

     Week 16 results: Each Tuesday during NFL season I keep you posted on how I'm faring with my Miami Herald prognosticating and my two fantasy teams -- despite the public humiliation. FRIDAY PAGE: Had a miserable 7-9 mark overall and a relatively buoyant 8-8 against the line including a couple of nice outright-upset calls in Seahawks over Jets and Bengals over Browns. PIGSKIN CHALLENGE: My lousiness ranks 217th of some 950 players, and last on the misnamed "experts" panel. DOLPHINS: Misfired on thinking Miami would lose at KC, leaving me 6-9 (oy!) predicting the Dolphin game in each Sunday's paper. FANTASY: Both my teams won again, albeit in "consolation" games. But still! The Bad News Fennelz won 98-86, riding 26 points from Matt Cassel and 24 from Marques Colston. The Isle of Cotea Lobos won 150-146 led by 36 from Drew Brees, although I needed 9 points from Donald Driver Monday night for the difference.

     Annoying law: A city in Michigan (click here) has made it illegal to be annoying in public. I'm glad I don' live there. I'd need bail.

     Throw a Shoe at Bush -- The Game: Click here to give it a try. Warning. Not that easy. I tried it three times before I scored a hit. My personal best score: 6. (I'm so proud).

     Click back. Will be adding more stuff here later today.

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 98.3%

     [Click on The Greatest Turnaround for my game column Sunday's win].

     Dolphins fans' satisfaction with the team is at a season high, by one measure, as Miami --10-5 after winning sat Kansas City Sunday -- prepares to face the Jets with a playoff berth at stake. The 98.3 percent overall number in the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll is not quite a record, but the 91.4% calling themsleves "very satisfied" is a season high.

     New Aaa1dsmto the blog this season, the Dolfan Satisfaction Meter is a continuous, weekly gauge of how fans are buying into the "New Beginning" and the club's direction. Right after each game, I invite fans to share their overall degree of satisfaction with the team.

     The criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's result and performance, the season as a whole, the direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

     The Comments section never closes. However, the poll itself is open only through midnight of the Monday following the game. (Votes cast after then may continue to show in poll but are not counted in official results). Every Tuesday morning we then announce final results.

     The latest DSM poll, with complete season results listed below it:

     SEASON RESULTS:

     Week 1: 59.0% satisfaction (6.6 very, 52.4 somewhat), after loss vs. Jets.

     Week2: 5.4% satisfaction (2.1 very, 3.3 somewhat), after loss at Cardinals.

     Week 3: 98.4% satisfaction (74.8 very, 23.6 somewhat), after win at Patriots.

     Week 4: Bye week; no poll.

     Week 5: 99.3% satisfaction (86.8 very, 12.5 somewhat), after win vs. Chargers.

     Week 6: 80.3% satisfaction (30.2 very, 50.1 somewhat), after loss at Texans.

     Week 7: 49.0% satisfaction (8.9 very, 40.1 somewhat), after loss vs. Ravens.

     Week 8: 98.8% (67.1 very, 31.7 somewhat), after win vs. Bills.

     Week 9: 99.4% (84.6 very, 14.8 somewhat), after win at Broncos.

     Week 10: 96.6% (71.5 very, 25.1 somewhat), after win vs. Seahawks.

     Week 11: 96.6% (73.5 very, 23.1 somewhat), after win vs. Raiders.

     Week 12: 73.5% (38.0 very, 35.5 somewhat), after loss vs. Patriots.

     Week 13: 94.9% (67.6 very, 27.3 somewhat), after win at Rams.

     Week 14: 98.3% (90.7 very, 7.6 somewhat), after win at Bills.

     Week 15: 97.5% (80.6 very, 16.9 somewhat), after win vs. 49ers.

     Week 16: 98.3% (91.4 very, 6.9 somewhat), after win at Chiefs.

December 21, 2008

G15: Miami Dolphins 38, Kansas City 31 (Final)

Aaa1dolkcAaa1dolcold     (Note: Ready to cast your vote? Look for the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll  publishing in a separate blog post at approximately 5:30 p.m.).

     Final: Dolphins win wild shootout in Kansas City, 38-31. Comments on today's victory are invited.

     In-game chatter:

     Renaldo Hill interception for Miami returned to KC 3 with 52 seconds to play. Game time.

     Ricky Williams fumbles away ball at Chiefs 7-yard line, giving Chiefs one last shot, with 1:45 to play.

     Anthony Fasano's second TD catch of game, this from 14 out, gives Miami a 38-31 lead with 4:08 to play.

     Mid-4Q, still 31-31. No touchdowns for several minutes. What the hell is going on!?

     Nathan Jones interception for Miami snuffs another promising KC drive. 

     Ricky Williams 4-yard TD run, after Patrick Cobbs' 44-yard gallop on reverse from Wildcat formation. Tie game!

     Third Q underway and Chiefs immediately driving. Miami's defensive and sub-zero temperatures apparently are not conducive. A 27-yard FG ends drive and puts KC up by 7.

     Halftime. KC 28, Miami 24, both defenses crappy.

     Chad Pennington a rare interception (only his 7th of year) 16 seconds before half.

     KC's Tyler Thigpen 8-yard scoring run on QB draw. Chiefs back up 28-24 with 50 seconds left in second quarter. Whatever happened to Miami's defense? Anybody know where it went? 

     Miami going for it on 4th and 1 from KC 5. Smart call. Even a short FG try into this wind would be a crapshoot. Plus, the Chiefs defense stinks. But no! Ball back to KC after incomplete fade pattern. Good they went for it, but an odd play call.

     Dolphins timeout from KC 14, 4:33 left in first half.

     Miami recovers Chiefs fumbled kick return, 1st and 10 at KC 32.  Time to split a close game open.

     Anthony Fasano TD catch and a flip-flopping game goes back to Miami, 24-21. Everybody scores! Any defense out here? Punters, take the day off.

     Larry Johnson in from the 2 after Chief Jamaal Charles loped 75 yards with a pass to the Dolphin 2. KC back up 21-17. So much for that defensive no-TD streak by Miami, huh?

     David Martin nice catch in end zone for 11-yard score. Dolphs back up 17-14. Here's hoping you bettors out there have the 'over.' Not liking my pick again.

     Chiefs up 14-10 early 2Q on Tony Gonzalez 8-yard TD catch capping a monstrous 17-play, 80-yard drive. I'm liking my pick again.

     Dwayne Bowe 4th-and-5 catch keeps KC drive alive. Injuns threatening as game turns to 2Q.

     Late 1Q now and Chiefs driving. Most all of that good, fast momentum Miami had has dissipated. What's even worse, the press box has no hot chocolate.

     A Chief named "Devard Darling" just caught a yard 33-yard TD pass to pare the Dolphins lead to 10-7 -- the game still less than five minutes old. There goes Miami's three-plus-games no-TD streak defensively.

     Welcome back the Official Dolphin Live Blog Written By Someone Actually at the Game. :) By the way, sparse crowd, maybe half full. A combination of sub-freezing cold and 2-12 will do that. 

     Dan Carpenter cashes a 34-yard FG for a 10-nil Miami lead after an Andre Goodman interception and 55-yard return to the KC 18. I am not liking my prediction right now, by the way.

     Perfectly sunny today but minus-12 with the wind chill -- second-coldest game in Arrowhead Stadium history. How can people live here. The only creature physiologically designed to live here is the wooly mammoth.

     Wow. A huge Patrick Cobbs kick return and then a 31-yard end-around scoring run by Ted Ginn Jr. Dolphs, 7-0, seconds into the game.

     Original post: 

     The savvy reader knows I predicted a 19-17 win by the Chiefs today, but also knows that said forecast should not be misconstrued to mean I wish for such a result. (Well, beyond naturally rooting for my picks, I mean). I feel like the wind and wintry elements will make it tough on Miami, and also that the Dolphins are due a stubbed toe after having not put together a truly impressive all-round performance since Nov. 2 at Denver.

     Then again, I am occasionally wrong. How do you see today's game going and why?

     The result figures to be huge in the playoff chase, of course, particulary if the stinkin' Jets win at Seattle today.

     Comments welcome here before the game, during our live blog from Arrowhead Stadium, and of course afterward.

December 19, 2008

2008 Lions would beat '72 Dolphins?; plus BK cologne, Week 16 pix, Hitler's parents, Andy Alleman's good heart & more

     [Looking for the post and POLL on UM's Robert Marve suspension? It's directly below this post].

     A little holiday gift basket of new miscellania, just for you...

     2008 Lions would "crush" 1972 Dolphins...: ...according to a supposition put newly forth on an AOL site. Click here to read and be annoyed (and thanks to reader Mike for the tip). The theory is that athletes Aaa1csonka today are so much bigger, stronger and faster that even today's winless buffoons would beat yesteryear's greatest champs if time-travel permitted a fantasy matchup. I am not convinced it's true in this extreme case but that it certainly is true generally, almost to a degree it goes without saying. I absolutely hate arguments like this because (no duh) they apply across all forms of physical endeavor and all sports. Today's average NBA center might manhandle Bill Russell. So what? Today's average major-league pitcher might overpower the 1927 Yankees. What's it prove? Is Ben Hogan less a golf great because Tiger outdrives him by 80 yards? Gee, should the Dolphins' Perfect Season be rescinded because their heaviest lineman didn't weigh much more than Tim Tebow? Get real. Be fair. You cannot compare athletes across generations. You judge athletes and teams by how they dominated in their time. Last I checked the 1972 Dolphins were 17-0 and the Lions are 0-14. Period.

Aaa1bk2_2      Smell like a Whopper: Ladies, are you stumped for the perfect last-minute Christmas gift? Give your man the scent of flame-broiled beef! Talk about a turn-on! "Flame by BK" is a new spray cologne from Burger King. Click on Mmm, Honey, You Smell Like Meat for proof. Chicks dig it, as you can see at right.

     Week 16 NFL picks: Sorry, friends, but the Dolphins are upset losers Sunday in Kansas City. However I offer this consolation: The Jets lose, too, in Seattle. Oh, and the Lions finally win. Click on Week 16 Gems for all the picks, and on 5,084 for our Friday NFL column.

     How to spend an extra second: Have you heard? This calendar year will be one second longer, with an added beat just prior to 7 p.m. on Dec. 31. Click here if you don't believe me. How do you plan to spend your extra second? I think I'll probably take a short nap.

Aaa1hitler

     "Mommy, Adolf Hitler is at the door. Can I go play?": There is a 3-year-old in Easton, Pa. named Adolf Hitler Campbell. Seriously. Click here. I am arranging a posse to go up there and beat the holy crap out of his parents. Who's in?Aaa1andy_3

    Andy Alleman's good heart: A serious note. Cheers to Dolphins guard Andy Alleman (right), who donated $5,000 so underprivleged school children in Newton Falls, Ohio, might have toys and a holiday party for Christmas. Andy grew up in nearby Green Township and heard of the Newton Falls community project through relatives. Initially the committee asked Alleman to donate an autographed picture. He did more. Much.

     Click back. Will be adding more stuff here later.

December 18, 2008

Is UM driving Marve to transfer? (with poll)

     Today breaks the news that University of Miami quarterback Robert Marve is suspended from next Aaa1marve week's Emerald Bowl game for violating a team rule. Click here for the news story.

     Marve's father acknowledges the rule involves a player being ineligible if he misses four or more classes. Fine. Fair rule. But it gets murky from there. Marve apparently did not miss the English class in question; rather, he was 15 minutes late because he was speaking with another teacher, which is verified. As excuses/reasons go, that's not a bad one. He then showed up for the class, albeit tardy.

     An appeal of his suspension from the bowl game was denied. This strikes me as harsh. If indeed he is being suspended from his first bowl game essentially not because he missed a class but because he was late, it seems as if UM's strictest possible interpretation of its rule will do nothing but encourage Marve -- already not thrilled to share time with Jacory Harris -- to consider transferring from UM.

     Take a dip in our poll and expound with a comment.

     [Congrats! You all made this our 39th blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours. Keep 'em coming!]