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15 posts from February 2009

February 26, 2009

Source: Hurricanes out of running for Bryce Brown; plus Wade Band-Aid sweeps nation, Dolphin No. 1 pick revealed & more

     A new torrent of stuff, all free and just for you...

Bryce      Blog exclusive: UM no longer a player in Bryce Brown soap opera: The Kansas running back who is the nation's No. 1 prep football recruit has eliminated the University of Miami from contention barring a dramatic change of mind, a source familiar with the decision process told us this (Thursday) morning. The source, who is close to the family, said Oregon and now hometown Kansas State look like the finalists, although Brown (pictured) will visit LSU in a few days prior to announcing his decision. A UM source confirmed what I'd heard, saying, "We're out of it." Miami had grown tired of waiting on Brown's decision but had not, contrary to reports, rescinded its offer. Brown is a sizable loss to what looks otherwise like an excellent recruiting class, although the loss is mitigated by UM having recruited three highly recruited backs earlier this month. [Note: Am aware the Brown family is denying this report. I stand by it].

Add_3     "Wade Band-Aid" sweepKateadds nation: It Barackaddstarted out simply as a stylish way for Dwyane Wade to cover a few stitches under his left eye. But now the wound has healed and the Heat star continues to wear the "Band-Wade" as more of a fashion accoutrement. Now the decoration seems to be catching on and spreading to all wHowardadd2_3alks of life.Tunaadd_2QueenaddPillsburyadd

    

 

    

     Dolphins' No.1 draft pick revealed!: Latest AOL.com mock draft has wide receiver Hakeem NickHakeems (pictured) as the No. 25 overall pick by Miami, by way of Butch Davis' North Carolina. It's as good a guess as any for a late February, pending whatever Miami might do in free agency such as sign Laveranues Coles or maybe make a bigger play for T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Nicks caught 68 balls for 1,222 yards (18-yard average) and 12 TDs as a junior last season. Click here for a YouTube video of some Nicks acrobatics. Less-than-ideal height (6-1) makes his fall to Miami's drafting neighborhood possible. Other than top-10-lock Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech and probably Missouri's Jeremy Maclin, Miami figures to have its choice of 1R-mentioned wideouts, including not only Nicks but Gator Percy Harvin, Ohio State's Brian Robiskie and Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey.

     Dolphins re-sign LB Channing Crowder: It's important, and somewhat surprising. Not as important as when they re-signed OT Vernon Carey. And not as important as when they re-sign S Yeremiah Bell (if they do*). But important. Carey/Crowder re-upping is an early indication that guys like the direction, and like the leadership of Parcells/Sparano. *-Re-signing Bell became less likely today when the club signed free agent Gibril Wilson. Good signing. Can play both safety positions, is in his prime, and has been pretty productive.

     Tiger returns to save golf: Caught some of Tiger Woods' match-play return and didn't detect much rust from the eight-month layoff. To the rest of y'all on the PGA Tour: Vacation's over, boys!

Aaa1officelb_3     'Office Linebacker' body-slams Sarah Palin: This is funny on its own, and even funnier if you remember the Terry Tate/Office Linebacker TV commercials. Click here.

     Daddy Pudge: Saw free-agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez watching his son play ball for Chaminade-Madonna Tuesday. Pudge would love to sign with the Marlins, who could use him, but the money isn't right yet. Chaminade, by the way, lost to South Plantation, 1-0, on Kevin Troonin's 2-hit gem and Cody Phelps' homer. (I announce South's home baseball games; thus the plug).

     Don Rickles' Obama joke: On Jimmy Kimmel, Rickles made a joke that referred to the president "tap dancing." I was shocked. Not over the joke. I was shocked that Don Rickles is still aliveAaa1drunk

     Drunkest states: Montana is the worst state for drunk driving based on DUI fatalities per capita, according to Forbes, followed by South Carolina and Mississippi. Surprised Florida was not in the top 10, despite Jim Leyritz.

     Let's play Jeopardy!: Answer: Fabolous, whose tour bus was impounded after it was found to contain 500 pounds of marijuana. Question: Who is Michael Phelps' favorite rapper?

     Harris most-admired poll: The latest Harris Poll on America's most-admired people is topped in order by Barack Obama, Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King, followed immediately by Miami Herald sports columnist Greg Cote.

     Puerto Rico belatedly joins war on terror: Click here for the shocking headline.

     [Still can't get enough Tagliabue-to-Dolphins speculation and Fredi Gonzalez poll? Check the post right below this one].

February 24, 2009

Paul Tagliabue to Dolphins?; plus Marlins open spring (with Fredi Gonzalez poll), UM's righteous stand on Honduras & more

     A new little ration, all free and just for you...

Aaa1tags      Dolphins wooing ex-commish Paul Tagliabue?: Seriously. This is neither a joke, nor the latest reason to start a rumor about Bill Parcells leaving. A Sports Business Journal report indicates that retired NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has been "informally advising" new Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, and that Ross seeks to hire Tags as the club's "vice chairman." The crane-like ex-commish would be in charge of the business side, leaving team decisions to El Grande Tuna, Parcells. No display of interest or otherwise yet from Tagliabue. I'd feel bad if able club president Bryan Weidmeier turned out to be a casualty of all of this, but give Ross credit for aiming high. Your club is filling up the executive marquee probably better than any team in the league when its two halves are overseen by Parcells and Tagliabue. Thoughts?

     Marlins open spring schedule: Spring is about to officially be sprung as the Marlins play their first game of spring training Wednesday up in Jupiter. Inviting Marlins fans to weigh in here on their realistic expectations for this season. Also curious: Who'd be third as most popular player after obvious picks Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla? Finally, take a dip in our poll and tell each other what you think of manager Fredi Gonzalez.

     University of Miami's noble gesture: This hasn't gotten much local attention that I've seen, but our blog has learned that UM is among 12 universities so far (Michigan the latest) to end apparel licensing agreements with Russell Athletic over that company's decision to close a union factory in Honduras. The closing has been found in violation of several colleges' code of conduct requiring licensees to guarantee basic rights of workers. Nice that Miami is among them.Aaa1phoenixAaa1benstiller_2

    No text, really: Just two photos.

    Hey, look at this!: I'm experimenting with different-colored text! It's like a damned kaleidescope in here! Woo. Getting dizzy!

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

February 23, 2009

Wade our greatest athlete?; plus: UM mishandling Bryce Brown, Slumdog scandal, Marvin Harrison & more

     [Thanks to all who joined us today for our live online chat in the Q&A Forum. We do it every Monday from 1-2 p.m. Click HERE to join live, to read transcripts of past chats, or to post a question/comment at any time].

     (Update: The Colts agreed to release WR Marvin Harrison, who used to be pretty great. The Dolphins still need a big upgrade at the position. But let's not go there, OK!? Harrison will be 37 when the '09 season starts, coming off two bad seasons in a row).

    Another brand new dose, all free and just for you...

Aaa1danm    Wade drops 50, invites taboo question: The Heat's Aaa1dwadeDwyane Wade, fresh off a 50-point night and gunning with LeBron James for the NBA scoring title, is better than ever in a still-budding Hall of Fame career. Here's the taboo question: Will Wade retire seen nationally as South Florida's greatest sports star ever? Dan Marino has owned the title. But I am beginning to think that Wade -- if he re-ups with Miami in 2010 and ends his career here -- has a definite chance to surpass Danny Boy. D-Wade might never top Marino in local popularity, this being a football town, but in terms of national stature, the battle is on. Finally: If you agree Marino-Wade would be 1-2 ... who'd be third? The Marlins' Haney Ramirez is a solid choice based on logical projections. Anybody else in play?

Aaa1bryce      Is UM mishandling Bryce Brown?: The latest in the winding saga is that the nation's top football recruit may switch his last official visit from Miami to LSU because UM reps have expressed concern to the Brown family about the "media circus" his recruitment has become. Why would the Canes say that? Why would they risk losing a potentially championship-caliber running back just because he is exercising his right to delay his decision? Some may say good riddance if Brown ends up elsewhere. But I'll be wondering if a mishandling of the situation needlessly cost the Canes a prized five-star recruit.

Aaa1zainverjee_2      Northwest Airlines serving penis I mean peanuts: CNN anchor Zain Verjee (pictured) not once but twice said "penis" instead of "peanuts" during a recent report on a change in Northwest snacks. Click on Oops! for a YouTube video. Could have been worse. Zain could have bee reporting on peanut farming in Virginia.         

     Talking up Canes' NCAA Tournament shot: It astounds me to hear some analysts suggest the Miami Hurricanes men's team should not get invited to March Madness on account of their ACC record. If the goal is to at least pretend to invite the 65 best teams in the country, there is no way UM should be left out. This is the most dangerous double-digit-loss team in the country, capable of beating anybody when Jack McClinton is on.

Slumdog 'SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE' EMBROILED IN SCANDAL

     Faked-Up News (FUN) -- Jamal Malik, the 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai who won 20 million rupees on a game show in India and inspired the Oscar-winning feelgood movie Slumdog Millionaire, apparently has lost his entire fortune to a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by disgraced Indian financial adviser Bashir Madoff. Also, Malik (pictured) reportedly is implicated in a steroids scandal in a forthcoming book by disgraced Indian cricket star Jograj Canseco.

     Our latest round of thanks...: ...for featuring us go out to Kim Bokamper and CBS4's Saturday Sportszone, Gary Williams and Sirius XM radio, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Regina (Saskatchewan) Leader-Post, Sauk Valley (Ill.) Newspapers, and Seattle Times. Oh, and 790 The Ticket, as always, for the regular Tuesday 4:20 p.m. slot.

Aaa1dan_3     Dan Le Balookalike: ESPN radio guy Mike Golic + Sopranos actor Michael Imperioli = Dan Le Batard.    

     Click back. Will be adding lots more stuff later, including Dolphins, bass fishing and nonsense.

February 19, 2009

Bryce Brown drama (with poll); plus Dolphins sign Carey, International Aroid Society, racist cartoon, baby sandwich & more

     [Bulletin: Cote on TV ... run for your lives! I sincerely believe Marconi invented the radio 100 years ago as a preemptive strike to lessen the chances my mug would ever appear on TV. But I'll be on WFOR (CBS4) tonight/Saturday from 7-7:30 on Kim Bokamper's Sportszone. Watch if you dare].

     New stuff, all free and just for you...

     Carey re-ups with Dolphins: The Dolphins signed right tackle Vernon Carey to a contract extension. I'd written what a strange decision it was to not to use the franchise tag by this week's deadline to assure keeping either the ex-Cane Carey or safety Yeremiah Bell. Now at least Carey is tied down, while Bell still could be lost to free agency. Offensive line and secondary are not areas where this team would be wise to pinch pennies.   

     Calling cousin Yuri!: So that's it, huh media? We locate Alex Rodriguez's mysterious, steroids-Aaa1arod_2 injecting cousin in Miami, identify him as one Yuri Sucart, and now what? Hound the guy? Chase him down? Force his public confession? Give him a book deal? Guess what, fellow journalists. Leave him alone. It wasn't his fault. A-Rod (pictured) has made two mis-plays since being forced to admit he used steroids. One was to claim he never knew they were steroids. (Hee haw!) The other was to blame his youth and naivete. Aaa1aroid_4 C'mon! Alex was born and raised in this country and was 26 and entering his eighth major-league season when he started using. Maybe you play the young-and-naive card if you're 18 and fresh from the Dominican speaking no English. But that excuse don't play for A-Rod. Sorry. [Bonus fact exclusive to this blog: There is a family of plants commonly called Aroids. Seriously. Learn more by visiting the website of the International Aroid Society].

     UM should bite bullet and show Bryce Brown patience: So far there is no verification of reports that coach Randy Shannon imposed a Wednesday deadline and now will not renew Miami's scholarship offer to the nation's No. 1 running back recruit over concerns Brown is being arrogant or selfish. Which is good. UM could use Brown and should be willing to indulge some of his drama. Agreed? Or are you fed up? Take a dip in our poll:

    

     [Thanks once more. The above is our 52nd blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes].

     D-Wade strikes back: Dwyane Wade is suing his estranged wife and her two lawyers over their claims he infected her with a sexually transmitted disease from an extramarital affair. Sounds like a righteous suit if the charges were false. I have a feeling Wade is going to weather this off-court personal storm and come out OK.

     Broward jury loses mind, awards $8 million: A Broward County jury has ruled against Philip Morris USA and awarded $8 million to the family of a man who died from lung cancer after 40 years of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. The suit alleged the tobacco-maker concealed the health effects and addictive nature of cigarettes. ARE YOU [BLEEPIN'] KIDDING ME!?!? Man, do I want THAT jury if I ever sue anybody! I mean, seriously, OK? I am sorry for the family's loss, but you smoke cigs for 40 years and then blame the cigarette? There's a little concept called "personal responsibility." There's also a little thing on every pack of cigarettes called a health-warning label.

     Women's tennis blows it: The WTA erred big-time by continuing to play a tournament in Dubai after Israeli player Shahar Peer was denied entry because of her nationality. That's outrageous. It's the equivalent of a country denying entry to Serena and Venus because they are black and the WTA playing there anyway.

Aaa1baby_6

OUTRAGE OVER CONTROVERSIAL SANDWICH SHUTS RESTAURANT

     Faked-Up News (FUN) -- A restaurant has been forced to close after several customer complaints about a sandwich on the menu called "Baby on 'Weck." Said one outraged diner: "I don't come to a restaurant to be bothered by all that crying." The establishment's owner defended the sandwich and further denied allegations that babies also are utilized in helping produce the restaurant's popular microbrew, Pale Tinkle.

Aaa1cartoon2_2      Racist cartoon: You may have noticed. I am not easily offended. I tend to offend more than take offense. (See 'Baby on 'Weck). But I must say I think the New York Post owes an explanation and an apology for the racist cartoon pictured here. It is difficult to read or see the cartoon and not think President Obama is being compared to a chimpanzee. Awful.

Aaa1oval_4      Dear Pep Boys...: Have you heard the new Pep Boys radio ad for their tire sale? It makes a presidential play on words and refers to "Oval Offers." Hmm. Do you think the ad guy who dreamed up that one realizes that an "oval" shape (pictured) is not the same as a "round" shape (like a tire)? I tried oval tires on my car once and the ride was nauseous.

     Check back. Adding more stuff later. Maybe even Dolphins and sports stuff!

February 17, 2009

Vote for your favorite sport (with poll); plus A-Rod's latest mis-play, Dolphin tickets, Shawn Johnson dancing, Bimini bread & more

     A brand new ration, all free and just for you...

Aaa1skeet_4 IOC APPROVES CONTROVERSIAL NEW WINTER OLYMPICS SPORT

     Faked-Up News (FUN) -- The International Olympic Committee today approved a controversial new winter sport, Skeet Jumping, that combines elements of skeet shooting and ski jumping. Thus far, the sport, pictured at right, is said to be attracting more shooters than skiiers.

     Name your favorite as the sports intersect: Marlins open full spring training today. (Click on Fredi's Ready for a related column by me). Heat and Panthers are in their stretch runs toward the playoffs. And Dolphins are never out of season as free agency and the draft loom. So I thought it would be a good time for this favorite-sport poll. If you're like me you closely follow several, but what if you had to choose just one? I think I know how the results will come in. But maybe we'll both be surprised. Take a dip in the poll and tell us why. (Note: Our format only allowed us to list 10 sports, so apologies to any fans of boxing/MMA, curling, fencing or competitive eating if we missed your favorite).

     [Gratuitous aside: I mention in today's column that the Marlins should extend Fredi Gonzalez's contract. Minutes ago the club announced it has done just that. I am hereby taking full credit for this even though none is warranted. Thank you].

     A-Rod's logic-defying revelation: Alex Rodriguez stood at a nationally televised news conference in Tampa today and said the steroids he used in 2001-03, well, he said he didn't think they were steroids. Good lord, Alex. You were injected with something for three years and never bothered to find out what it was? Pleading ignorance does not speed the rehab process A-Man. Even if it's the truth, incredulous as it is, saying it aloud was not a smart play.

     Dolphins tickets going on sale: Dolphin season tickets go on sale Wednesday at 9 a.m. This commences the annual NFL robbery in which fans must pay full price for an entire package of home games including the preseason games most people don't wish to attend. Although I will say two non-division games in particular -- the champion Steelers and Peyton's Colts -- gives Miami a sexier-than usual regular season home schedule.

   Aaa1shawnj Pixie Shawn Johnson, cokie L.T. next on dancefloor: Dancing With the Stars season No. 8 is coming up and the pairs have been announced and the celebrity sports figures of note are Olympic cutie Shawn Johnson (pictured here in her all-growed-up incarnation), the Beijing gold-medal gymnast; and former New York Giant Lawrence Taylor, the supposedly reformed cokehead. I don't wanna say DWTS has become something of a jinx for celeb-sporties. All I can tell you is Jason Taylor went on to get traded and injured and Helio Castroneves went on to get busted for tax fraud.

     Wade, Heat betting odds: NBA post all-star-break betting odds have Dwyane Wade 10-1 for MVP, behind prohibitive favorites LeBron James (1-3) and Kobe Bryant (1-1). Michael Beasley is a 15-1 darkhorse for rookie of the year, well back of favorites Derrick Rose (1-2) and O.J. Mayo (6-5). The Heat is a 70-1 longshot to win it all. Picks are the Lakers at 2-1, Celtics 5-2 and Cavaliers 4-1.

     Somebody stole Lance Armstrong's bike: I'm not sure why I find that funny. Maybe it's the whole idea of a grown man making his living riding a bike.Aaa1small_2

     Dear Greg, Your blog's OK, but...: ...how come you never show a picture of the world's smallest man sitting next to the world's tallest man?

     Minding the Dolphins' business: I bring you the bad stuff athletes do in this blog so I like to share the positive stuff, too. For example, four Dolphins are taking business-school workshops this offseason: linebacker Reggie Torbor at Harvard, and safety Courtney Bryan, long-snapper John Denney and punter Brandon Fields at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. There is life after sports. Nice to reminded some athletes actually know it.

     Brett Favre's admission: The retired QB now admits he made a comeback with the Jets last season mostly to spite the Packers for not wanting him back. Brett, please be quiet now. Shhh. Go away and do not be heard from again until promoting the inevitable bad, ghost-written autobiography. 

Aaa1ernie      Bimini bread, anybody?: Hey does anybody know of anyplace in Broward County that sells Bimini bread? If so please let me know in a comment or better yet email me at gcote@miamiherald.com. Thanks! (I am in the process of inventing a sandwich that begs for this slightly sweet delicacy...) I know it can be purchased to go from Ernie's on Federal or from Bimini Boatyard but am looking for someplace closer.

     Click back. Will be updating and adding more crap later.

February 15, 2009

Live from the Daytona 500: Chaos, mayhem and Chef Tony Sparano! No, seriously; plus Heatisms & more

     Reporting live from Sunday's Daytona 500 for the handful or perhaps even dozens of readers who care!

     Summary: Matt Kenseth wins by default after crazy Dale Earnhardt Jr. wreaks havoc with Kyle Busch's day.

     Update: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s bump of Brian Vickers caused a pileup involving eight other cars with 75 laps to go, erasing from the race Kyle Busch, who'd led the most laps. The villain? Hard to say. Vickers may have been blocking Junior, but Little E went low, below the yellow line, and caused the spinout.

     Update: A wall of rain is on the way. Looks like they'll get past the halfway mark and make it an official race, but major delays are ahead. A very decent hamburger here, by the way. Very decent, indeed. ..... Nearing the race's halfway point, Kyle Busch leads. Unless somebody else overtook him while I was in the cheeseburger line.

Aaa1chef_2      [Bulletin: Dolphins coach Tony Sparano (pictured in an artist rendering at right) is attending the Daytona 500, "just hanging out," and revealed he used to work as a chef at a Days Inn restaurant across the street from the track while briefly commuting while a University of Central Florida student. Who knew Days Inns even had chefs? By the way, Sparano is wearing success well. On his left wrist is a new diamond bejeweled watch Serious bling. Looks like it weighs five pounds. A guy wearing a Rolex walked past Sparano, and the Rolex was weeping. I asked Tony if the Dolphins might have any interest in Michael Vick and he dodged the question as if it were a live grenade].

Aaa1urban      Country music star Keith Urban, the pre-race concert, performed two songs for the media at a press conference just now, crooning America's "Sister Golden Hair" and a song of his own that I think was called "Sweet Thing." Urban is pictured here looking pensive and star-like. (If Keith Urban had to bow out of the pre-race concert, would his substitute be referred to as Keith Sub-Urban? I'm just asking).

     Today's pace car will be driven by actor/aging pretty boy Tom Cruise. Cruise used to be married to Nicole Kidman. Keith Urban is presently married to Kidman, who is here at the race. The prospect of an Urban/Cruise brawl has me interested.

     Sparano, by the way, has never been married to Nicole Kidman, to my knowledge.

     Also here: Florida Governor George Hamilton. Gator QB Tim Tebow, talking to Steve Spurrier. And actor Gene Hackman. Along with about 65,000 people I've never heard of.

     By the way, 80 percent chance of afternoon and evening rain here, meaning a strong chance the Daytona 500 will be delayed, perhaps run tonight or even postponed until tomorrow. Welcome to my nightmare.

Aaa1sally      Quick Heat ramble: Anybody catch Miami's Daequan Cook winning the all-star break three-point contest last night? Cook looking less and less like a qausi-draft bust and more and more like a valuable sixth (or seventh) man who may yet find a starting niche. One comment on three-point-contest spectator Dwyane Wade: What was with those red eyeglasses! Who's dressing him, Sally Jesse Raphael?

     Miami among most "miserable" cities: List-obsessed Forbes ranks Miami No. 9 among America's top 10 most miserable cities based on a number of factors such as public corruption, crime, taxes, unemployment and so forth. No. 1 is Stockton, Calif. Miami would have been ranked even worse, but one of the fcators considered was not "abject failure to get a [bleeping] baseball stadium approved and [bleeping] built."

February 13, 2009

Heat wins Marion-O'Neal swap (with poll); plus Miami mucks up Marlins stadium vote yet again

     Aaa1jo_3[Click HERE for my column on today's Heat trade, online now and shipping to Saturday's paper].

     Seems like the Heat has been pregnant with a Shawn Marion trade for months. Today, finally, the delivery: Marion and Marcus Banks to Toronto in exchange for Jermaine O'Neal (pictured) and Jamario Moon.

     I like the trade presuming O'Neal's knee remains healthy. He is not the player he was four or five years ago with Indiana but at age 30 still has productivity left. At 6-11 he's a center/big-forward hybrid who is a solid rebounder, a very good shot-blocker and a stout all-round defender. And he'll give Miami an offensive post-up presence it hasn't consistently had this season.

     O'Neal is past his stardom days, perhaps; he isn't Amare Stoudemire. But I absolutely hated the idea of giving up Michael Beasley in a trade. I think Miami is a better team right now than it was before this deal. Also think Miami wins big on the secondary players in this trade, because Moon is better with more upside than the departing Banks. (Plus it launches a thousand lame "Moon over Miami" media references, starting with this one).

     The deal also leaves Miami positioned to be a major player in 2010 free agency, most likely targeting Chris Bosh.

     Take a dip in our poll and share your thoughts on this trade:

     [Man, you all are the best. The above is our 51st blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours. Thanks again!]

      Marlins stadium deal postponed. Or, did that go without saying?: This would by now be somewhere between unbelievable and laughably pathetic if it weren't Miami we were talking about. So it's merely expected -- that today's supposedly final, FINAL vote on the Marlins' new ballpark was delayed until March 12. (At which time we shall presume a further delay). Hey, the Marlins have been trying to get a needed new stadium for almost 12 years so what's another delay among friends, huh? The cause of the latest impediment to progress? Well, one city commissioner, Michelle Spence-Jones, wasn't even there to vote. But the big issue was another commissioner, Marc Sarnoff, demanding major modifications in the deal in exchange for his support. Whose idea was that? Norman Braman's? C'mon, Sarnoff! You don't try to rewrite a contract months in the planning on the day of the vote. That's grandstanding. That's just the latest reason why Miami is its own worst enemy in terms of acting and being big-league. So now it's March 12, right? You know what? If the new stadium is not approved then -- finally, formally and 100 percent -- I wouldn't blame Marlins ownership if it reached frustration overload and dumped Miami for an actual major-league city.

      Then again, that's just me. Your thoughts invited as always.

February 12, 2009

Rank Favre, Marino among all-time QBs (with poll); plus sexiest sportscaster, Strawberry stirs it, dog scandal & more

Aaa1erinandrews      [Bulletin: ESPN's Erin Andrews today was named the winner in Playboy's annual "Sexiest Sportscaster" readers poll. At right, as a service of this blog, you will find a brief profile of Andrews].

     Hey, here's more stuff, all free and just for you...

     Favre's place among the greats vs. Marino's: Brett Favre retires with a bunch of career statistical records, but does he retire regarded as the greatest quarterback in NFL history? Why or why not? I thought about not including Dan Marino in this poll to make it competitive, but then I remembered this is an unabashedly pandering blog that worships to its demographic. Take a dip in our poll and elaborate by making the case for or against Miami's No. 13.

     The Straw that stirs the s---: OK, allegations about Dwyane Wade having sex parties with women Aaa1straw_2 (see below post) don't seem so bad anymore. Perhaps D-Wade should send a nice thank-you note to Darryl Strawberry. In April the former ballplayer has an autobiography coming out call Straw: Finding My Way, and part of the pimping process is that juicy stuff about the book gets "leaked" in advance. So now we learn that "Straw" in effect throws all of his 1980s Mets teammates under a bus by basically claiming that those teams were a traveling frat-house obsessed with "drinking, drugs, fights, gambling and groupies." He even speaks about himself and others occasionally summoning women from the stands for blo--I mean oral sex during games. Let me ask you something. Strawberry: Did it take 20 years for your conscience to finally kick into gear, or are you that pathetically hard-up for money? What a waste of talent. This was a Hall of Famer who wasn't because he was more beholden to his cocaine than to his career. Strawberry: Reminding us it doesn't take a test-positive for steroids to be an embarrassment to baseball. Loser!

     Don the asbestos coaching suit, Randy Shannon: How do we feel about UM opening the 2009 football season at Florida State on Sept. 7? Pretty brutal, considering major programs normally open with Southwestern Llama Academy or somebody like that before building up to the conference games and tougher opponents. This year's front-loaded schedule -- FSU followed by Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma before the first breather -- means the possibility of early losses and early heat. The anti-Randy Shannon wing hasn't been this happy since, well, since late last season.

Aaa1bong_2     South Carolina applies the heat; Phelps next?: The Richland County Sherrifs Office in Columbia, S.C. has made two arrests stemming from the party at which Michael Phelps was photographed smoking from a marijuana bong, and now is said to be building a case to possiblly charge the Olympic swimming champ, too. Looks like they're tackling crime from the bottom up in Columbia. Guess all of the city's jaywalkers and litterbugs have already been rounded up.

     Shocking Jacko development: Michael Jackson reportedly has a skin infection that could turn into a flesh-eating virus. Or, did that go without saying?

Aaa1stump_2

CHAMPION WESTMINSTER DOG LINKED TO STEROIDS!

     Faked-Up News (FUN) -- Stump, the 10-year-old Sussex spaniel who delighted dog-lovers this week by becoming the oldest Best in Show champion in the 133-year history of the Westminster Kennel Club show, tested positive for steroids in 2003, according to allegations in a forthcoming book by Jose Canineseco.

     Super Bowl redux: NFL Network is replaying the Super Bowl in its entirety tonight at 8, including pregame and halftime shows. Not to spoil it for you, but ... pssst, the Steelers won!

     Hey, thanks, by the way...: I think every once in a while in the blog, when I think of it, I'll shout out thanks to the various other publications that have run my stuff lately. Thanks today to Belleville (Ill.) News Democrat, Kamloops (British Columbia) This Week, Los Angeles Times, Regina (Saskatchewan) Leader-Post and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I'm big in Kamloops. Don't ask me why.

February 11, 2009

Tarnished images: Dwyane Wade linked to sex parties, pot smoking (with poll); Brett Favre retires year too late

     A former business partner in Dwyane Wade's failed eponymous-restaurant venture is accusing D-Wade Aaa1dwadepartner of having sex parties with women in a rented Miami Beach apartment and says he has witnessed Wade smoking pot. The allegations by estranged associate Richard Von Houtman appear in the Palm Beach Post in Jose Lambiet's Page 2 Live, a column geared to celebrity gossip. Click here for the column. Pictured here: Wade and Von Houtman in less contentious times.

     It must be noted Von Houtman is suing Wade for breach of contract related to their business dealings, so he may well be, as Wade's publicist claims, simply a disgruntled former associate spreading "fairy tales." On the other hand, would Von Houtman go public with made-up detailed allegations and risk being sued for slander?

     I must say the latest allegations sort of dovetail with the accusations of Wade's estranged wife in divorce proceedings to paint a portrait of Dwyane Wade that is somewhat different than what his public persona has been. His wife alleges infidelity and also says Wade abandoned their two young children and gave her a sexually transmitted medical condition.

     (What's remarkable is that Wade is having such a terrific season on the court despite all the surrounding static in his personal life).

     The ponderables here:

     When you factor in the claims of an estranged wife and now whatever you believe about the latest accusations of his former business partner, has the way you see Wade changed at all?

     Do you believe No. 3 is the philandering hound he's being made out to be? Do you care?

     One more: Where does Wade fit on a scale of Michael Phelps to Alex Rodriguez in terms of prominent athletes battling tarnished images?

     Take a dip in our poll and elaborate with a cogent remark or two:

     [Note: Yippee! Woo hoo! The above is our historic 50th blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes its first day of release -- this one a locomotive that did so quickly. Hot topic. Keep those votes and comments coming. And thanks, as always].

     Favre retires, for real this time. Probably: Predictably and a year too late, Brett Favre is retiring. Again. This time from the New York Jets. Speaking of tarnished images, Favre's is on the field. Favre going out in a Jets uniform, and badly, may be remembered in the same way we recall the once-great Willie Mays muffing fly balls for the Mets, or Joe Namath going out a Ram. I've always thought that athletes know when to quit, they just don't know how.

     [Looking for the Michael Vick/Dolphins poll? Find it in the blog one spot below this post].

February 09, 2009

Michael Vick in Dolphins' Wildcat (with poll); plus SI skin, A-Rod admits it, UM's new hire, Serial Mom & more

     The newest load of ponderables...

     Michael Vick to Dolphins?: OK, OK. Relax. I'm not saying. I'm just saying! The defrocked prince of pit bulls and dog-fightin' impressario is expected to be done serving his time ("Bad dog!") and be out of stir by this summer -- just in time to perhaps launch his football comeback for whatever NFL team is ballsy enough to give him a look. Why not Miami? Not much risk beyond the initial public-relations storm. Vick will be 29 in June, motivated to mend his name through football, and come cheap. More than that, he would be very intriguing as a possible ideal fit in Miami's Wildcat offense. We have already told you the Dolphins are considering drafting West Virginia QB Pat White as a Wildcat specialist. Well, Vick is in the same mold, only better, and more proven. This is a passer with a cannon-arm who also rushed for 1,039 yards his last season in 2006.

     Take a dip in our poll and elaborate with a comment. Because, if you are aghast at the very idea of Vick in Miami, is it for football reasons or moral/ethical reasons?

     [Note: The above was our 49th blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes its first day out. Thanks again!]

Aaa1brooklyn_2     Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue: Busy few days for S.I., huh? First, on Saturday, they bury A-Rod's reputation. Now, tomorrow, the annual swimsuit issue -- the scourge of conservative prudes everywhere. ("Cancel my subscription!") This used to be the favorite week of the year for adolescent boys who plucked the mag from the mailbox, sped with it to the bathroom and quickly dog-eared the pages in a flurry of bliss. That was before a little thing called the Internet. Ah, innocence! Anyway, an acquaintance of mine who works marketing at the mag tells me he's been told the top-secret cover girl will be Brooklyn Decker (pictured right), the fiancee of Andy Roddick. I promise I will never, ever again accuse Roddick of having a bad year. (Also in the issue: Heat dancer Ashley).

Aaa1arod      A-Rod begins repair, comes clean: Alex Rodriguez today spilled to ESPN, admitting he used steroids in 2001-03 while with the Rangers and saying, "For that I'm very sorry and deeply regretful." OK, so the rep rehab has officially begun. That's the good news. The bad news news? The truth hurts. The truth is this wasn't a single mistake, a one-time thing. This was three years during which he clubbed 159 homers. And it begs the question: If Mark McGwire is being shunned by Hall of Fame voters because of steroids, should and will A-Rod be treated differently? A-Rod is pictured here lighting a cigar, which is OK compared to steroids or Michael Phelps' bong. [Vote in our blog's A-Rod/UM poll one post below this one].

     Why do you think they call it the 'Idiot Tube'?: Have you ever dreamed of doing something really dumb to set a world record? Apparently, so did this guy.

Aaa1lovett_3 Aaa1lovett_2       UM's defensive coordinator choice. Do you Lovett?: From Butch Davis' North Carolina staff the Canes pluck John Lovett, 58 (pictured left), to replace departed Bill Young as D-chief. He's been mainly a special-teams guy at UNC but defense is all over his resume'. Don't know if the guy will be good or bad, but have a strong suspicion Randy Shannon will have a short leash on him and be more involved in the defense in '09. [Note: There also happens to be a John Lovett (no relation) who is an Australian artist. Pictured at right is one of his works -- a Random Evidence blog exclusive!

     Bumper Stickers I'd Like to See: 'Honk If You're Sick of Heat Trade Rumors and Don't Want to Hear Another [Bleeping] Word Until Something Happens.'   

     Welcome Tiger's new cub: Tiger Woods is  new daddy again, this time to a boy. E-mails reader Gene Laiken of Miami: "Is the new kid the overwhleming favorite for the 2031 Masters?" Probably, Gene. The kid isn't even 2 days old and I hear he's already longer off the tee than me.

Aaa1octuplet      Meet the Serial Mom: What do we think of babymaking machine Nadya Suleman (pictured), the 33-year-old California woman who now has 14 children -- all under age 7 and all by in vitro fertilization -- after having octuplets last week? For me the words irresponsible, selfish and insane come to mind. Somebody stop this woman, please!! Although I suppose we can hope the inevitable welfare and medical drain to be paid by you and I may be offset somewhat by the equally inevitable pathetic book and made-for-TV deals. Can a reality show be far behind? "Coming this fall on Fox, Nadya Suleman in Crackpot Mom!"