Tell Ronnie Brown how good he is (with poll); plus Canes win, Manny's semi-suspension, NBA, laodicean & more
[A new report by the Surgeon General today indicates the five biggest factors in avoiding a heart attack are family history, regular checkups, not smoking, exercise and heathy diet, and signing up for free to follow along at Twitter.com/gregcote]
The referendum on Ronnie Brown: OK we know by now that Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown offers pretty standard athlete confidence when he is asked by reporters if he is an elite back and he essentially says well-yeah-sure-I-mean-you-have-think-like-that. Saying, "I want my name to be in that group" and "My goal is to be the best I can be" ain't exactly plowing new ground in bragadoccio. So I would put it to readers and Dolfans: How good is Ronnie? How has drafting him worked out for Miami on a scale of superstar to bust? A back entering his fifth pro year may fairly be judged, and I'd say Brown (click here for his career stats) clearly is not in the elite category if you define that by what LaDainian Tomlinson has been and what Adrian Peterson is. But he has been pretty solid, pretty good -- maybe not enough yet to justify being drafted No.2 overall, but closer to a strong pick than a bust. What do you say? Take a dip in our poll.
UM wins to launch regional play: It was Canes beating Jacksonville 9-4 this afternoon up in G'ville, putting UM in winner's bracket entering Saturday action. Miami, with a so-so 36-21 record and coming off a disappointing ACC tournament, needs to advance to the super-regional round to begin to put a smile on this season.
When suspended doesn't actually mean suspended: Much is being made of the idea that suspended Dodger Manny Ramirez (currently fourth in voting) could be elected to start in the All-Star Game, which is played 11 days after his suspension ends July 3. A bigger embarrassment less known: Manny is about to join one of L.A.'s minor-league teams for a couple of weeks of games. Apparently suspensions don't cover the minors. Dumb. Manny should not be playing, period, until after July 3. Not in the minors. Not in the all-star game.
Hope for LeBron v. Kobe yet: Much to the delight of the NBA, TV and Nike, that once-expected Lakers-Cavaliers championship series is looking better now than it did a couple of days ago. L.A. closed out Denver tonight/Friday night 4-2. And Cleveland drew within 3-2 with last night's must-win led by LeBron James' monstah triple-double. Afterward you saw LeBron and Jay-Z courtside, and it was Jay-Z with the awe-struck smile. I was rooting for underdog Denver and am still for Orlando and my boy Stan Van Frumpy. Hey how about a list! Orlando is trying to join this chronological list of 13 teams from the state of Florida that have been in a championship game in the big-four pro leagues:
1971 Dolphins Lost Super Bowl to Dallas
1972 Dolphins Won Super Bowl over Washington
1973 Dolphins Won Super Bowl over Minnesota
1982 Dolphins Lost Super Bowl to Washington
1984 Dolphins Lost Super Bowl to San Francisco
1995 Magic Lost NBA Finals to Houston
1996 Panthers Lost Stanley Cup to Colorado
1997 Marlins Won World Series over Cleveland
2002 Buccaneers Won Super Bowl over Oakland
2003 Marlins Won World Series over New York
2004 Lightning Won Stanley Cup over Calgary
2006 Heat Won NBA Finals over Dallas
2008 Rays Lost World Series to Philadelphia
Indian-American rules spelling bee as usual: Kavya Shivashankar, 13 (pictured), last night became the seventh Indian-American in the past 11 years to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She correctly spelled "laodicean," which means indifference in religion or politics. I'd be more impressed if Kavya was smart enough to explain to the rest of us why Brooke Hogan is putting out another album.
Failing with its own players, NFL trying to develop character in youth: The Dolphins and their Davie HQ will be a host site this summer for one of the sessions in the NFL's High-School Player Development Program, in which local prep players are taught character devlopment and life skills. Taking a wild guess and imagining Randy Starks will not be one of the Dolphins offering the kids his guidance. Thinking the NFL needs to develop character in too many of its own miscreant players before getting around to the preppies.
Bumper stickers I'd like to see: Honk If You've Taken the SAT For Derrick Rose.