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16 posts from January 2009

January 31, 2009

Super Blog Saturday: Derrick Thomas makes Hall of Fame, Kooch denied; plus video of banned PETA ad, Poll du Jour (on Hall) & more

     Update: Derrick Thomas, the native Miamian and Chiefs sackmaster whose career tragically ended in a fatal auto accident in 2000 at age 33, has made the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Other 2009 inductees are Bob Hayes, Randall McDaniel, Bruce Smith, Ralph Wilson Jr. and Rod Woodson. Not a good day for the three other candidates with So-Fla ties. Cris Carter made the cut from 17 to 10 but went no further. Bob Kuechenberg and Cortez Kennedy did not even make the cut to 10. 

     Original post:

     [Bulletin: The media is reporting exclusively that this has been a boring Super Bowl Week. By that we mean, no player was kind enough to either guarantee a victory, or to be arrested. Selfish players!].

     TAMPA -- Almost, finally. After a week of droning buildup, the Super Bowl is tomorrow. I feel like a kid on the next-to-last day of school. Maybe I'll be even luckier and have a substitute editor today!

Aaa1bobk     It's Pro Football Hall of Fame selection Saturday, otherwise known as Bob Kuechenberg Disappointment Day. Is that mean? It's just that Kooch (pictured), the stalwart old Dolphins guard, leads the league in being bypassed by Canton. This may be his last best shot. The 17-man field is fairly so-so, beyond Bruce Smith and Rod Woodson, the only two definites in my mind. There is also a big push for Der Koocher this year, with the Dolphins putting out a substantial clips package and Don Shula himself up here talking up his candicacy. Still don't think he'll get in. Hope I'm wrong. We'll update here after the mid-afternoon announcement.

     Meantime take our Hall-related Super Poll du Jour below.

Aaa1veggie      Click here -- but only if you're over 18, kids! -- to watch PETA's "Veggie Love" ad that was banned from airing during the Super Bowl because it was deemed too sexy, too risque. Personally, I have no problem with it. In fact I like it even more in slow motion. Just kidding. :)

Aaa1executioner Aaa1jordan      Click on Saturday's Super Bowl With a Smirk for the latest peck of folderol. Today's menu includes paying $10,000 for a really creepy old football helmet, and paying even more -- seven times more -- to not play golf with Michael Jordan.

     Click on Economical Super Bowl for today's column by me on the economy making this a (relatively speaking) understated week and game. OK I know, a boring topic. Assigned column. Tried to breathe some life into it, anyway.

     Here's our latest Super Poll du Jour, enhanced by a beautiful lime-green background. Weigh in and tell us why you voted as you did. Another point of Hall debate: What about Mark Clayton and/or Mark Duper? Huh?

     Click back later today for updates here. Seriously.

January 30, 2009

Super Blog Friday: Cards win in upset, The Boss speaks, Dee Dee the Orangutan, Poll du Jour (pick the winner) & more

     [Pardon this quick non-Super Bowl note, but ... anybody out there managing to feel much sympathy for Eddie Rios? Not me. Sorry].

     Hello, Sunday? Get here quick. Please? Because the only thing better than the week-long preamble to a Super Bowl is ... well, just about anything.

Aaa1ariz      My prediction for Sunday is in and it's Cardinals winning in an upset, 24-20. Why play the game? Click on Cardbirds Rule for the predix capsule. Then vote in the poll below to give us your pick.

     Aaa1bruce Aaa1orangutan Click on Friday's Super Bowl With a Smirk for the latest oddball stuff. Today's menu includes Bruce Springsteen's casual affront to the NFL, and Dee Dee the Indecisive Orangutan. Bruce is pictured at far right with a creepy bearded guy peering menacingly over his shoulder.

     Click on Larry Fitzgerald/Larry Fitzgerald for today's column by me on the best family story in this Super Bowl. (Columns. They're what I do when not blogging and Smirking).

Aaa1cactus      The mayors of Pittsburgh and Glendale, Ariz., have made a friendly wager. Either a tree native to Pennsylvania will be planted outside the Cardinals' stadium, or a cactus will be planted outside the Steelers' stadium. That is a tree or a cactus just waiting to be uprooted or vandalized by marauding, angry losing fans. 

     Well, now that you know my SB prediction it's your turn. Partake of our latest Super Poll du Jour and tell us why you voted as you did. And check back obsessively as results change by the minute.

     This is where I say click back later for more stuff I'll be adding here even though chances are I won't be. Although I might.

January 29, 2009

Super Blog Thursday: Tampa steals Miami's soul, dolphin with prosthetic tail handicaps Super Bowl, Poll du Jour & more

     TAMPA -- Back again, having failed in efforts to get a direct, non-stop flight to Sunday.

Aaa1ob Aaa1winter      Click on Thursday's Super Bowl With a Smirk for the latest stuff I make fun of, including scrap steel from the demolished Orange Bowl turning up as part of the festivities here. Also, Smirk has an exclusive interview with Winter the physically challenged dolphin, and the latest on how to avoid buying fake merchandise.

     [Note: Thursday early-evening update! To those who have asked, Winter the physically challenged dolphin arose with the Steelers ball. So bet the house. Assuming it hasn't been foreclosed].

     I think my paper had a story today saying the Dolphins should try to acquire Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin but probably won't be able to. No denyin' that! 

     Early last evening I saw Steve Mariucci being escorted from the Media Center by a security guard. Not because Steve had done anything wrong, but evidently to protect him from crazed fans, of which there were none.

Aaa1celine     Celine Dion had a concert last night at the adjacent St. Pete Times Forum. I now have an answer the next time anybody asks me my idea of what hell would be like.

     Today's Super Poll du Jour: Also, would you rather have Kurt or Big Ben pitching for you if your team were playing Sunday?

     Click back later for more stuff I might be adding. Just like yesterday! (Wink).

January 28, 2009

Super Blog Wednesday: Tampa in the nude, Edgerrin's race card, Poll du Jour & more

     Hello from Tampa as we launch Super Blog Week.

Aaa1mons     Today delve into Wednesday's Super Bowl With a Smirk column, where topics include strip clubs, security, God, titanium plates and 1968 Dick Van Dyke films.

Aaa1edge      I thought Tuesday's most interesting quote arising from the predictable blather of Media Day was by our own (ex-Cane) Edgerrin James, who, when asked if he felt like the underog in this game, said, "I'm an African-American. I'm always the underdog." Hmm. Granted I am speaking from the vantage of Middle-Aged White Guy, but does playing such a race card still fly in the Obama Epoch? Also, is it a bit disengenuous coming from an immensely successful, famous, rich athlete? Hey I'm just asking! What say ye?

     Click on Fantasy Football for an astounding YouTube video of some trick feats of NFL players including Chris Chambers. No Steelers or Cards; still, some of this stuff can't be real but seems to be. What Laurence Maroney does toward the end is just sick-good.

Aaa1blart     Belated Happy New Year to my Chinese readers, who no doubt celebrated Monday's dawn of Chinese Lunar Year 4707. My question: Are you mistakenly still writing 4706 on your checks? (An even better question: How on Earth is Paul Blart: Mall Cop the No. 1 movie in America?)

     Wednesday's Super Poll du Jour: Of this game's two generally acknowledged best players, who's better or would you rather have on your team? Why?

     Click back for updates and new stuff here later. Unless I'm just teasing to get you to click back. I could be. But I'm probably not.

January 26, 2009

Miami targets 2013 Super Bowl; plus Heat bombast, Mr. Whipple & more

     [Thanks to all who joined today between 1-2 p.m. for our live online chat. We do it every Monday. Click here to join live, to read past transcripts or to post a question at any time].

     A new lil' slew of miscellania, all free and just for you...

     Dolphin Stadium to bid for 2013 Super Bowl: The South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee and its chairman Rodney Barreto tell us the group is "preparing the bid" to host SB XLVII in 2013 -- the next year not yet assigned. After next Sunday's SB in Tampa, the 2010 game will be at Dolphin Stadium, the 2011 game will be at the new Cowboys stadium outside Dallas, and the 2012 game will be in Indianapolis.

     Basketball competes for attention at Heat home games: The wife and I attended the Aaa1heat_2Heat-Celtics game here the other night, and what struck me (in addition to the home team's stunningly uninspired performance) was how the game itself gets crowded and almost lost amid all the surrounding noise and nonsense. With a rapping DJ, booty-swinging, barely clad dancers and incessant loud music, it's almost as if they want to give the arena a South Beach club vibe. The noise doesn't even stop when the ball is bouncing. That and the overall bombastic, too-hip-for-its-own-good atmosphere disrespects the game. David Stern needs to rein in what the "NBA experience," at least in Miami, has come to mean. [I know the preceding sounds like something Puritan Grandpa might say, but, c'mon! Have you been to a Heat game lately? Young boy in Heat arena: "Mommy, where's the basketball game?" Mommy: "WHAT!? I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"]

Aaa1mrwhippler Mwhipple      Mr. Whipple rescues Canes offense: Philadelphia Eagles assistant Mark Whipple is UM's new offensive coordinator. Seems like a strong hire. While with the Steelers he helped develop Ben Roethlisberger, and Jacory Harris could use some of that guiding-hand stuff. We told you in this blog on Jan. 21 about Miami's strong interest in Whipple, at which time one of the dot-com Canes websites produced by some fan in Mom's basement blasted The Herald and said the Whipple thing was wrong. Gee. I guess it wasn't, huh? [Pictured here: Whipple and his alter ego, Mr. Whipple].

     Tuna hints he's staying: Bill Parcells implied to the New York Daily News this weekend that he intends to stay on as Dolphins VP. I say implied because his phraseology ("My intention is...") leaves wiggle room. He has 24 days left to decide yay or nay. It looks like yay, "looks like" being the key phrase there.

Aaa1ekaterina_7     Oops. Wardrobe malfunction: Russian skater Ekaterina Rubleva (pictured) showed somewhat more of her right breast than planned during a recent competition. An event spokesman called it an "unfortunate accident." I call it "the only reason on Earth to actually watch women's figure skating."

     FAU's basketball mess: The Owls' men's basketball team is 4-16 with 11 straight losses, and now coach Mike Jarvis is suspended after picking up three technical fouls in one game. Embarrassing. Two thoughts: 1) The Mike Jarvis Reclamation Project is failing. 2) Can Howard Schnellenberger coach basketball too?

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

January 23, 2009

Vegas not sold: Dolphins a 40-1 longshot for '09 (with poll)

     [Looking for our "Farewell Zo" blog post and poll? Find it in the post directly below this one].

     It's almost as if the Dolphins' miracle turnaround of 2008 -- an 11-5 record, AFC East title and playoff berth directly after that 1-15 debacle -- never happened. Oddsmakers are acting like it was a mirage. Like the Dolphins are back to square one as just another team that probably won't make the playoffs.

     So say the new odds out on the 2009 season that will culminate with Super Bowl XLIV being hosted next year by Dolphin Stadium. Most Las Vegas sports books won't have '09 odds out until after next week's Super Bowl, but you can expect them to be something like this:

     Miami is a 40-1 darkhorse to play in and win the game it will be hosting next year, according to BetUS.com. That's tied for the 20th longest odds in a 32-team lead, meaning the Dolphins aren't even judged mid-pack.

     The Steelers (7-1) and Patriots (8-1) are next season's early Super Bowl favorites, followed by the Cowboys, Colts and Giants at 10-1, and the Ravens, Panthers, Eagles, Chargers and Titans all 12-1.

     In the AFC East, after the Patriots, it's the Jets at 30-1, then the Dolphins and Bills both 40-1.

     The odds, reflecting public perception, amount to a sobering slap to the Dolphins and Dolfans. Part of it surely is the much, much, MUCH tougher schedule Miami faces, but I think part of it is indicative too of a notion that '08 was sort of a fluke year for Miami. Or perhaps that Chad Pennington won't play as well.

     Bottom line: the early odds set the early theme for 2009. Dolphins players can start banging the "no respect" drum now, because whatever they thought they'd earned in 2008 is nowhere to be found.

     Are the early odds harsh or realistic? Take a dip in our poll and let us know:

January 22, 2009

A giant retires: Farewell, Zo (with Hall of Fame poll)

Aaa1zo_4     I don't say "giant" because of Alonzo Mourning's physical stature, although the word fits there, too.   Mourning, retiring today from the NBA after 15 seasons -- 10-plus with the Miami Heat -- has been a giant off the court unlike most. He was an inspiration to many in coming back from a 2003 kidney transplant. He also has been a major community force in charitable works, a role we hope will continue and only be magnified now that his playing career has ebbed at age 38.

     Mourning is, right now, probably the greatest player in Heat history based on what he did in this uniform, although Dwyane Wade will likely surpass him if he hasn't already. A formula used by the respected website basketball-reference.com puts Zo's Hall of Fame likelihood at 88.5 percent. I don't put it as that much of a slam dunk, but I'd call it likely. He retires as an eight-time all-star and two-time defensive player of the year who averaged 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots.

     Take a dip into our poll on the Zo/Hall question and share your thoughts why you voted as you did:

     Hall of Famer or not, Zo's emotional, passionate style was remarkable, and will be memorable. His biceps-flexing and fierce scowl will be a necessary snapshot in any comprehensive photo album of sports in South Florida -- or Heat family album. Miami has missed his intimidating defensive presence in the paint this season, and missed that passion.

     His No. 33 will be retired by the club. Fortunately, he isn't retiring from the role he has accepted and embraced as an instigator of good in our community.

     THE SOUTH FLORIDA PRO SPORTS "TEN CLUB"

     It's an extremely rare club. Well, except for the Dolphins. Athletes who have appeared in 10 or more seasons with local pro teams:

     HEAT (1): Alonzo Mourning, 11 seasons.

     MARLINS (1): Luis Castillo, 10  seasons.

     PANTHERS: None.

     DOLPHINS (32): 17 seasons---Dan Marino. 15---Bob Kuechenberg. 14---Bob Griese, Don Strock. 13---Nat Moore. 12---Vern Den Herder, Bruce Hardy, Jim Jensen, Larry Little, Ed Newman, Zach Thomas. 11---Tim Bowens, Mark Duper, Tim Foley, Larry Seiple, Jason Taylor, Howard Twilley. 10---Dick Anderson, Bob Baumhower, Doug Betters, Mark Clayton, Jeff Dellenbach, Norm Evans, Jon Giesler, Jim Langer, Paul Lankford, Ronnie Lee, Olindo Mare, Don McNeal, Earnie Rhone, Reggie Roby, Tim Ruddy.

January 21, 2009

Dolphins change owners (with Huizenga poll) as Tuna teeters; plus Obama Day, UM likes Mr. Whipple & more

     New stuff for a Tuesday-int0-Wednesday, all free and just for you...

     Dolphins change hands: The long-anticipated sale of the Miami Dolphins became official Tuesday, with new owner Stephen Ross buying 95 percent of the franchise and stadium -- for about $1.1 billion -- and outgoing owner Wayne Huizenga, the boss since 1994, now owning only 5 percent. Click here for today's related column by me. I explore the future of Bill Parcells and the legacy of Huizenga. Meantime, you get the first word. Take a dip in a our poll and tell each other how you feel about Huizenga as he recedes from the stage.

     PrAaa1barackesident Barack Obama: It was Inauguration Day in America. It felt like Independence Day, too. In a way both symbolic and real, it must have felt like Emancipation Day as well for so many in this country who never thought they'd see the day, or feel the dream growing real. I don't mind all the money the government has spent on this, even in the context of a bad economy. I think this occasion and this man are special. I think America deserves to feel good about itself, and to be hopeful again. The new president's speech was stirring, as you knew it would be. I wish Barack Obama the greatness for which he seems destined. (Sorry for this brief foray into non-sports, but some things are even bigger than the Dolphins. No, really).

     UM losing another coordinator but ready to replace Nix?: First offensive chief Patrick Nix got canned. Now Hurricanes defensive coordinator Bill Young is leaving Miami after one season Aaa1whipple for the same job at Oklahoma State. UM reportedly might seek Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, an ex-Cane, to replace Young -- but now head coach Randy Shannon suggests he might handle defensive calls himself. On the offensive side, I have been told candidates to take over for Nix include Philadelphia Eagles assistant Mark Whipple, who previously coached Steelers QBs and is credited with helping develop Ben Roethlisberger. [Ignore any UM-related Internet sites being run by fans from their mother's basement that try to refute this. I know for certain Miami likes Whipple, who is pictured with Big Ben at right]. Hiring a veteran coach whose skills might include developing Jacory Harris seems smart, once one gets past the fact the UM offense would be run by, well, by Mr. Whipple.

     Boldin to Dolphins? Not!: Won't happen. Cannot imagine Team Tuna would give up the 1st-round draft pick (or two 2nds) it would likely take to pry trade-seeking Anquan Boldin from Arizona. Some team might. But not a team enamored of collecting picks and building through the draft.

     Click back. Might be adding more stuff here later.

January 19, 2009

Whoa on Cameron Wake; plus Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl (with poll) & more

Aaa1mlk_5     [Thanks to all who tapped into our live online chat today. We do it every Monday from 1-2 p.m. Click on Chatfest to join live on Mondays, to read transcripts of past chats, or to post a question at any time].

    For your Sunday-into-Monday consideration as we mull the greatness and impact of Martin Luther King Jr...

Aaa1cameron_2     The Cameron Wake Phenomenon: The Dolphins just signed an outside linebacker who is only 25 (26 next week) and has had 39 sacks the past two seasons in the Canadian league, including 23 this past season for the British Columbia Lions. Cameron Wake goes by Cam. We should welcome him, despite our lingering reservations about anyone named "Cam" or "Cameron," let alone Cam Cameron. And also despite (see right) that god-awful "Earthq'wake'" nickname. I sense electricity flying among Dolfans, which is fine. But hold on a second, please. Remind yourself how inferior the CFL is. Ask yourself why young Cam went undrafted out of Penn State in 2005. Wonder why he then signed with the Giants but couldn't stick. Or why he hasn't been cherry-picked by some other NFL team before now. This is a smart gamble by the Dolphins on a guy with potentially a huge upside, but we ought not assume his talent will translate across the border until we see evidence. This isn't Albert Haynesworth the Dolphins just landed. This is a hotshot minor-league player who now must prove he's ready for the bigs.

     Steelers-Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII: NFL's conference championship games Sunday had Cardinals over Eagles 32-25 and Steelers over Ravens 23-14. Oddsmakers said it would be Eagles-Steelers for a same-state final. I liked Cardinals-Steelers (Hallelujah!) No combination would have surprised me in a wide-open season and playoffs. The question now: How much does the SB matchup interest you? Take a dip in our poll and expound.

     [Click here for today's Super Bowl matchup column by me, with one caveat: I erred in stating Arizona (4th) was the lowest seed to reach a Super Bowl. The Giants came from 5th just last year, and the Steelers were 6th in 2005. Short-term memory loss is a scary thing]. 

     Dwyane Wade's marital mess: You are officially having an acrimonious divorce when your estranged Aaa1dwade_2 wife tells her lawyers to make the intimate details public and hang the dirty laundry in the media. Click on Accusing Flash for the story. In a nutshell, Wade's wife, Siohvaughn (pictured in happier times), is accusing South Florida's biggest sports star of being an adulterer, of abandoning their children, and of infecting her with an unspecified sexually trasmitted condition. She demands, in legal papers, that Dwyane identify "all of his sexual partners during the parties' marriage." She claims he has not seen their two children in six months. Wade's attorney claims these "malicious allegations" are false, and I don't wish to pass judgement here. But I do think it's fair to ask: Do you care? Should Heat fans care? Does an athlete's personal affairs (literally or figuratively) weigh on how you consider him? To what degree is Wade less a hero in your eyes if his wife's claims are true?

     UM men's hoops not top-tier yet: Caught much of last night's game at North Carolina, an 82-65 loss. Canes are getting close to where they want to be, but aren't there yet. Still think Frank Haith has himself an NCAA Tournament team.

     Michael Crabtree? Dream on: My newspaper had a Dolphin poll the other day and included Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabrtree among the options for Miami. Must have been a joke. If Crabtree is available to the Dolphins at No. 25, I'll parachute nude into Dolphin Stadium.

     What Were They Thinking, part 784: Anybody read about Jonathan Vilma's arrest? Click here. Apparently drugs and alcohol were not involved so there goes that excuse. What is it about high-profile athletes that causes such a propensity for dumbass behavior? Good lord!

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

January 15, 2009

NFL title-game picks; plus T.O. or Burress to Dolphins? (with poll), Miami named fattest city, Barbie dolls & more

     The latest pile of miscellania, all free and just for you...

     It's a Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl: [Friday update] Oddsmakers like Steelers-Eagles advancing in Sunday's conference championship games to make it an all-state Super Bowl. I like Arizona at home winning instead. Click on Championship-Round Gems for this week's picks. And on Playoff Potpourri for today's related NFL column.

     Owens or Burress to Dolphins?: There is reason to be believe two of the NFL's most controversial -- but productive -- veteran receivers may soon become available as the Cowboys ponder getting rid of Terrell Owens (click here) and the Giants wonder about having Plaxico Burress back (click here). That Miami could use an upgrade at wide receiver would surprise no Dolfan. So the question is natural. Take a dip into our poll and favor us with an elaboration.

    [Congrats again. The above is our 47th blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours. Keep 'em comin'!]

Aaa1fat_2    Miami, Hialeah slammed as fat and boring: The February issue of Men's Fitness magazine calls Miami the fattest city in America. ("We're No. 1!"). Click here for the sad list. Pictured at right, four supermodels on South Beach take angry exception to the magazine's unfair denigration. Hey so much for the "South Beach Diet," ay? What's hilarious about this fattest-city thing isn't whether it's true or not. It's that Miami -- with all its pretty boys and models and trendy-chic rep -- also leads the nation in narcissism and mirrors-per-capita. I love the idea of so many being so shocked and insulted by the fat label. Meantime Forbes designated Hialeah one of the 10 most boring cities in America. Dear Forbes: A city that majors in political corruption and animal sacrifice is a lot of things, boring not among them.

     NFL's Final Four: Excited? Not so much? Lots of divergent chatter about the NFL's final four (Ravens-Steelers, Eagles-Cardinals) toiling this Sunday to reach the Super Bowl. I sort of like the funky-fresh feel. I'm sure people from Pennsylvania do! Plenty of others find the finalists lacking. Take a dip in our poll and then tell us what possible Super Bowl matchup interests you the most -- or if any do.

      Answer Man speaketh! (Actually, writeth): My "Answer Man' column in Wednesday's paper (click here to read) included answers to several burning questions, such as whether the Dolphins will make the playoffs, whether Dwyane Wade will re-sign, if the Marlins' new stadium will succeed, and how long Randy Shannon will remain at UM. Concurrences and objections are invited here.

Aaa1brandonspikes       At No. 25, the Miami Dolphins select...: For your mulling purposes, here according to Scouts Inc., are the players ranked 20th through 30th in the upcoming draft including underclassmen who may come out: 20. Oklahoma State OT Russell Okung; 21. Florida ILB Brandon Spikes (pictured left); 22. LSU DE Tyson Jackson; 23. Ohio State ILB James Laurinaitis; 24. USC OLB Brian Cushing; 25. Mississippi OT Michael Ohler; 26. Ohio State RB Chris Wells; 27. Florida WR Percy Harvin; 28. Mississippi DE Greg Hardy; 29. Alabama DT Terrence Cody; and 30. Pitt RB LeSean McCoy.

     Dolphins sack line coach, hire replacement: Tony Sparano today hired Giants assistant offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo to replace fired offensive line coach Mike Maser. Quick work. The new guy has a lot to work with. I thought the OL performed OK this past season considering the injuries and shuffling.

Aaa1hookerbarbie      Lurid story behind Barbie doll: A new book, Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel, exposes the chief designer of the circa-1970s Barbie doll, Jack Ryan, as, well, as sexually deviant. Click here to learn more. I personally have not yet read the book, so cannot confirm speculation its main source on Ryan's exploits is (pictured at right) Hooker Barbie.

     The problem with American Idol: The musical-talent-search show began its 8th year last night. Have you noticed that all the seasons seems to run together Aaa1cowell almost indistinguishably? It's because the show is formulaic and predictable to a point you want to scream, especially early when the freaks are on parade strictly for laughs. Everything has echoes of past seasons, whether it's the Flaming Nerd with the voice that makes you want to sever his head, or the annual schmaltzy heartstrings story. (This year it's a blind guy, white cane and all!). I saw the young woman-with-attitude auditioning in the bikini last night and wondered which of the show's producers came up with that idea. By the way, the new, fourth judge is about as unnecessary as a third foot. Having said all that, I must admit with some hesitation that Idol remains a guilty pleasure in terms of TV that embarrasses me to watch -- but not so much that I don't watch.

     Your celebrity spotting goes here: My son, getting his hair cut at a local Hall of Fame clip shop recenty, saw Joey Porter a few chairs down. A friend said he saw Tony Romo playing poker at the Hard Rock a few nights ago. This morning my wife, on a business trip to Orlando, said Drew Rosenhaus was on the plane, nonstop jabbering on a cell phone. Who have you seen famous or semi-known while out and about? (This isn't a contest, so you're allowed to be truthful).

     Click back. Will be updating and adding to this blog post later.