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17 posts from May 2009

May 29, 2009

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]

1brownronnie      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. 

1mannymanny      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

1kavya      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.



May 28, 2009

Dogs, hot dogs, aces or bees? (with poll); plus Heat fomenting chaos, repeat repeat finals, JJ parties & more


     Choosing your least unfavorite televised non-sport: The Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee puts a bunch of brainy/nerdy 9- to-14-year-olds in the national TV spotlight tonight. Recently there was the Westminster Kennel Club show getting similar treatment. Soon will come the also-televised World Series of Poker and the Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest. 'Tis the season for ESPN to broaden the parameters of what "sports programming" means. Am I missing anything? Any chess tournaments coming up? Which of the four events mentioned would you be most likely to watch if you had a free hour and had to watch one of them? Take a dip in our poll.


1arena3      Heat unveils major initiative to distract drivers, cause mayhem: The Heat's downtown bayside arena has unveiled a 3,400-square-foot LED digital motion-picture display that will constantly emit messages and images (including advertising) from the arena's western front facing Biscayne Boulevard. Great. Because, you know, Miami didn't have enough traffic congestion, bad drivers and road rage as it was, so offering careening, text-messaging motorists an additional three-story-high, major distraction probably was a smart idea.

     List of repeat title games, list of repeat title games: The upcoming Detroit Red Wings-Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Finals rings familiar because it is a repeat of last year's NHL championship series. Got us to wondering how often that happens in the big-four pro leagues. Cue research. Answer: Not very. This is the NHL's 12th repeat in 91 years. NBA has had 12 in 62 years, NFL 9 in 76 years, and MLB 9 in 106 years. That's a total of 42 in 335 combined years, or an average of once every eight years. More recently, since 1970, it has averaged only once every 14 years. The three most recent championship rematches in each sport:

     NHL: 2008/09---Detroit Red Wings-Pittsburgh Penguins; 1983/84---Edmonton Oilers-New York Islanders; 1977/78---Boston Bruins-Montreal Canadiens.

     NBA: 1997/98---Chicago Bulls-Utah Jazz; 1988/89---Detroit Pistons-Los Angeles Lakers; 1984/85---Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers.

     NFL: 1992/93---Buffalo Bills-Dallas Cowboys; 1961/62---Green Bay Packers-New York Giants; 1958/59---Baltimore Colts-New York Giants.

     MLB: 1977/78---Los Angeles Dodgers-New York Yankees; 1957/58---Milwaukee Braves-New York Yankees; 1955/56---Brooklyn Dodgers-New York Yankees.

     The only occurences of three championship matchups in a row have been once each in the NFL (Cleveland Browns-Detroit Lions, 1952-54) and MLB (New York Giants-New York Yankees, 1921-23).

1jjhat1jj2         JJ in party mode: Former UM football coach Jimmy Johnson -- imprimatur of ebullience, benefactor of Heinekin -- parties in a sombrero at the recent grand opening of his JJ's Big Chill restaurant/tiki bar in the Upper Keys. Reveling attendees included current Canes coach Randy Shannon, TV yukmate Terry Bradshaw, Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach and several women who appeared to be surgically augmented not that there's anything wrong with that.

     Soccer briefly rears head: Barcelona defeated Manchester United 2-0 to win the European soccer championship. From what I saw of the match it wasn't so much the Spaniards' brilliance as it was Wayne Rooney and Man U disappearing. Guessing at least one of the British tabs offered -- or should have -- the headline MAN BLEW.

1halep      Tennis star weighs pair of big decisions: Young Romanian tennis star Simona Halep (pictured) reportedly is considering having breast-reduction surgery because she worries her chestiness is an impediment to her game. I say don't do it, Simona! If Serena Williams can reach the top despite some decided topsy-ness, so can you!

     Down year for local baseball prospects: The only three guys from So-Fla schools in Baseball America's latest Top 100 Draft Prospects list for 2009 are No. 68 Archbishop McCarthy High pitcher Dane Williams, No. 75 Ferguson High catcher Steven Baron, and No. 80 UM shortstop Ryan Jackson. A year ago there were seven locals in the Top 100 including No. 7 Eric Hosmer of American Heritage and No. 12 Yonder Alonso of UM.

1finaltable      Poker news: Attended the monthly 790 The Ticket poker tournament at Dania Jai-Alai last night, drawn not so much by the chance to hang out with Dan LeBatard as by the dollar beers. The final table of 10 (pictured above) agreed to split the pot. Which is lame, by the way. Play it out for chri'sakes! What's next? The two Super Bowl teams agreeing pregame to be declared co-champions? Highlight of the photo? For me it's the guy inspecting his Coors Light bottle obliterating the view of LeBatard. 

Ways That Dwyane Wade Is Not Like Us (one in a series)



May 26, 2009

What should Dolphins do with Randy Starks? (with poll); plus Anquan Boldin development, surprising NBA, horrific toilet paper & more


1birdman2 1birdman1     A Nuggets-Magic Finals?: The Lakers and their fans should be very concerned today that Carmelo Anthony felt and played like [bleep] last night and still the Denver Nuggets beat L.A. pretty convincingly. Likewise, over in the East, Orlando is giving every indication it may be a better team than Cleveland. You know that Kobe Bryant-LeBron James duel in the Finals that seemed so inevitable? Looking more like a Denver-Orlando Finals at the moment. Quick aside to TV: Enough with the Chris "Birdman" Andersen (left) fascination, already! Also, I must say the rapper Birdman (right) does not appear very happy about his name being appropriated.

1freightliner 1starkpolice       Sports' latest dumbass: Dolphin Randy Starks: [Click here for new column by me on athletes behaving badly]. At some point over the long Memorial Day Weekend, marginal young Dolphins defensive end Randy Starks (pictured in Miami Beach police portait) apparently thought to himself it would be a good idea to drive the Freightliner (an example of which is pictured) in bumper-to-bumper traffic around midnight on South Beach. With 13 people jammed into a truck cab designed to hold four. Including a woman on his lap. Further it would be neat, thought Randy, apparently, to ignore a policeman's instruction to stop and then to veer into said cop, bringing about a charge of aggravated battery. Did I mention the truck's license plate was not registered to that vehicle? It is difficult to conclude that Randy's only crime was Driving While Black. Although we might agree on Driving The World's Most Conspicuous And Overcrowded Vehicle With A Woman On Your Lap While Black. Professional athletes' capacity for dumbassosity just never ceases to amaze.


     [Note: The above is our 63rd blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first day. Thanks as always!]

     Anquan Boldin getting antsy: Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed today he has been fired by Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin, an obvious sign that Boldin either wants an extended contract or a trade and wants it soon. Me speculating: The change in agents can't but help to rekindle interest in teams that could use Boldin but had hit roadblocks. I would very much include the team from South Florida.  

     Jose Canseco continues quiet, uneventful retirement: Jose Canseco lost his mixed martial arts debut, losing in 1:17 of the first round in Japan to a 7-2, 330-pound South Korean man. Canseco is why bad reality TV was invented. (That was not a compliment). 

1anaconda      Marlsox lurking in weeds: My Adler's Marlsox fantasy baseball team stands fifth of 10 teams with 57.5 points, but that's a mere three points from second place. The key: Finally benching Ricky Nolasco, albeit a few weeks too late. I am an anaconda, lurking in the weeds. That's if  anacondas lurk in weeds. Otherwise. I am whatever lurks in weeds.

1paris      Paris Hilton pays quick visit to blog: Gossip writers falsely reported that Paris Hilton had been kicked off a yacht owned by Elton John partner David Furnish for having sex in a bathroom. Two thoughts: 1) It's sad day when you can't trust gossip writers. 2) If you're Paris Hilton, isn't such a report considered a career enhancement? (Pictured at right: Paris expresses concern in officially condemning North Korea's continued defiant nuclear missile-testing).

     Latest thanks...: ...to some of the outlets that have run my stuff lately, including Boston Herald, Detroit Free-Press, Merced (CA) Sun-Star, Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and San Antonio Express. Was interviewed at length by author Jeff Carroll for his upcoming book on the UM-Notre Dame 1980s football rivalry. Also thanks as always to 790 The Ticket (Tuesdays 4:20ish).

1horror      An idea either brilliant, or full of crap: A Japanese company has taken to a new level the concept of reading while on the toilet, publishing a horror story by Koji Suzuki on rolls of toilet paper. Somewhere in America, Stephen King is saying, "Why didn't I think of that!"

1snails      Utah boy keeps feet on ground, reaches for snails: An 11-year-old Utah boy allowed 43 live snails to crawl on his face in an effort to set a Guinness world record. Dream big, lad. Dream big.

May 24, 2009

Marlins drowning; plus LeBatard returns (with poll), LeBron & more

     NO LIVE CHAT TODAY! Your Monday live chat is taking off for the Memorial Day holidayu today. We'll be back chatting next Monday as usual...


 1fredi    Sinking Marlins disheveled, desperate:  The Marlins are an absymal 8-24 since their 11-1 start after consecutive embarrassing home losses to the Tampa Bay Rays. And now opening-day starter Ricky Nolasco -- who has personally ruined my fantasy team's season, thank you -- is demoted to the minors. What a train wreck. I feel for Fredi Gonzalez, but much more of this and I'll begin to think he may not survive the season. Much more of this and it will be time to scrap the season, trade Dan Uggla and get back to the damned drawing board. 

1james       The reign of King James: Did you see LeBron James' miracle Game 2 buzzer-beater? Somewhere in Akron, Coach Bro was hollerin' in his chair. Pictured left: Has the NBA given birth to its greatest player ever? I Twittered right after the game that King James has a chance to be the first player since Michael Jordan to have a career that out-Jordans Jordan. Kobe Bryant is falling just short. Does LBJ have a shot? (Realistically, I wouldn't bet on it. Too many championships are required. But otherwise he has a chance, yes).

     Welcome back, Dan: 790 the Ticket radio host Dan Le Batard dips back into sportswriting Sunday, ending a year's sabbatical from The Herald. Dan returns with what a poignant, sympathetic piece on former Yankee-turned-accused-DUI-manslaughter driver Jim Leyritz. My newspaper has missed Dan. I presume readers have, too? Take a dip in our poll and drop Dan a comment letting him know how you feel about his return.

     Canes get spanked: Sorry, Jim Morris, but your Miami Hurricanes -- a mediocre-for-UM 36-20 after a disappointing ACC tournament showing -- do not deserve to host an NCAA baseball regional.

     Click back. May be updating/adding more stuff to this post through the weekend.

May 21, 2009

Racist joke and video, or OK?; plus Jay Brophy, Hanley Ramirez, high-tech Dolphins & more

     [Click on Twitter.com/gregcote, where randomly selected followers are winning Ford Fusions, kitchen makeovers and trips to Cancun! Not really. But sign up anyway. Looking for the Chad Henne poll? It's in the post just below this one].

     [New column by me and it's the most read sports piece on MiamiHerald.com today: Former Hurricane and Dolphin LB Jay Brophy, now an Ohio high-school coach, recalls coaching his favorite wide receiver: LeBron James. Click here]. 

     Blog annoys sports fans, takes brief but jarring foray into social commentary: I have discovered over the years that I am not easily offended. Maybe it's that the job I do required me to develop crocodile-thick skin. Maybe it's that white guys like me usually are not the subject of stereotyping or jokes. In any case a friend e-mailed me a joke and a video and I found both funny -- but also wondered if either had crossed a line for people perhaps more sensitive than myself. Is it OK to laugh at either or both? Are they benign or perfectly acceptable? Or are either or both in poor taste or even racist? 

1barack      The questionable joke/one-liner: "I always heard a black man would be president when pigs fly. Sure enough, 100 days into the Obama presidency: Swine flu!"

1barack2      The questionable video: Click on Sneak into America for a well-done video to the tune of Neil Diamond's "Coming to America," this one making critical fun of Mexicans crossing the border illegally.

1barack3      One more while I'm at it: Have railed about this before, but, I'll be at a Benihana's tonight, and I want my chef/entertainer to be a Japanese guy, dammit, not a lady named Sarah from Jersey! Is that socially or politically incorrect? Do I have the right to request a native chef at a restaurant selling a Japanese experience?

     Blog returns to sports with Hanley Ramirez note!: The Sporting News polled dozens of baseball hall of famers and experts for a "50 best current players" list and Marlin Hanley Ramirez checked in No. 5, after Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Johan Santana and Manny Ramirez. But no other Marlin made the top 50 and I doubt any would have made a top 100. That's the problem. After Hanley, who's the best Marlin? Jorge Cantu? Josh Johnson?

     Dolphins enhance fan experience, according to Dolphins: Dolphin games at BadBeer Stadium this fall will find 5,000 hand-held wireless devices in the hands of certain premium-seat holders on the club and suite levels. The devices will offer instant replay, different camera angles, field-level audio and split-screen video and stats. In other words, while at the game, device-holders will now be able to experience watching it at home, but on a really, really small TV.

     NBA semis unexpectedly competitive: Still think it'll be Kobe vs. LeBron in the Finals. But after one game Lakers and Cavs sure look vulnerable. If somehowit ends up Denver-Orlando, TV will sell Carmelo Anthony vs. Dwight Howard. Which is like Kobe-LeBron Lite.

     Latest round of thanks...: ...to some of the outlets running my stuff or having me on include American Chronicle (Beverly Hills), Anchorage Daily News, Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star, Kamloops This Week (British Columbia), Regina (Saskatchewan) Leader-Post, Seattle Times, USA Today and as always 790 The Ticket.

     Depressing Places" list snubs Miami: The Business Insider lists America's Most Depressing Places, with Detroit predictably No. 1 and West Palm Beach checking in No. 7 as Florida's only entry. Click on Prozacville for the list. I hear Miamians are extremely depressed about being left off, all but assuring we'll make the next list.

     Congratulations to new American Idol: Kris Allen may now be expected to put out one or two bad singles preparatory to losing his record deal and fading slowly from public view. "Hey, it worked for me!" said that gray-haired "Soul Patrol" guy whose name I've already forgotten.

May 19, 2009

How good do you expect Chad Henne to be? (with poll); plus Jason Taylor stuff

     [Twitter.com/gregcote. Click to follow and win fabulous prizes! Not really].

1henne      Went to Dolphins camp yesterday and wrote a Chad Henne column, in part because I didn't want to join all the other media lemmings in automatically flocking to Jason Taylor. I have a JT thought or two below, but I find the Henne situation intriguing. Click on Heir to the Air for my column, which -- Gratuitous Plug Alert -- is the most viewed single piece on MiamiHerald.com today. So much of the Dolphins' success beyond this season depends on how Henne turns out. Will he be Dan Marino? John Beck? What do you think? I don't mean your best hopes. I mean what your gut tells you. None of us can realistically know, but looking here for a sense of Dolfans' expectations of and confidence in The Next QB. Take a dip in our poll:

     Two thoughts Jason Taylor's return: 1) I find it hard to believe he'll be a "situational player" coming off the bench. I'd bet he starts and that his role is similar to the JT of past Miami years. 2) Taylor was asked point-blank Tuesday about the possibility he might have ended up in New England. He could have deflected the question or said it was all a media contrivance. "We talked," he said instead. "There was talk." I got beat up for a column on that last week, but, bottom line: If Miami hadn't finally shown interest and signed JT, he'd have been wearing Patriots colors in 2009. Bank on it.

     (NFL snubs Miami, picks New Orleans to host 2013 Super Bowl. I blame Land Shark beer).

May 18, 2009

Can anything stop Kobe vs. LeBron? (with poll); plus trading Dan Uggla, Brian Grant, MNF booth, James Harrison & more

     [Three notes: 1. Thanks to all who joined our live online chat today. We do it every Monday from 1-2 p.m. To join then or post questions any time click on Chatty Chatty Bang Bang. 2. We have reached the 300 follower mark on Twitter. If this were bowling, that'd be quite an accomplishment! Follow for free by clicking on Twitter.com/gregcote. 3. Looking for 'Boldin to Dolphins?' poll? It's in the blogpost directly below this one].

1kobe 1lebron      No stopping LeBron vs. Kobe inevitability: NBA conference-championship round underway Tuesday, and I give the Magic against Cleveland a slightly better chance than I give the Nuggets against L.A. -- but only slightly. Both series could be routs; neither will go seven. Orlando and Stan Van Lucky were fortunate to face Boston without Kevin Garnett. I cannot envision any realistic way the NBA and TV won't get itheir wish for a LeBron James-Kobe Bryant duel in The Finals. Can you? Take a dip in our poll:


1pedrom 1duggla3      On Marlins and Dan Uggla, Pedro Martinez: The Marlins' extended slump since the 11-1 start has made me begin to think two things I did not think a couple of months ago: 1. Trading Dan Uggla would not be such a bad thing; that's if his sub-.200 average has plundered all his market value. (Although I am enocouraged to see Uggla eating spinach at left. Otherwise before long he will have to go on a crash diet to continue hitting his weight. 2. If the Marlins think unsigned veteran Pedro Martinez (pictured right) has any arm left and he'd come cheap, it might be worth considering.

     Best wishes, Brian: Sad, the news that former Heat player Brian Grant is in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Click here for ther ESPN.com piece that revealed the story. Grant, 37, is one of the more interesting, generous athletes I've run across, and our best hopes are with him.

1jong 1coveredwh      Monday booth gets latest makeover: Jon "Chucky" Gruden (left) replacing Tony Kornheiser alongside Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski in the Monday Night Football booth. TK leaving of his own volition after three years due to a fear of flying, the same phobia that beset John Madden. I'm not making fun, though. We all have our travel pecadillos. For example, I am afraid of jostling over the plain in a covered wagon.

     Steelers' James Harrison identified as un-American rat: The NFL's reigning defensive player of the year won't join his champion Pittsburgh teammates Thursday at the White House to be honored by President Obama. Why? "If you want to see the Pittsbuurgh Steelers," he said, "invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl." Lord, what a moron.

     This just in. Canada sucks: Pittsburgh vs. Carolina and Detroit vs. Chicago in the hockey semifinals reminds us of one thing: Canada sucks. What I mean is, this season will extend the ignominous streak of the country that invented ice hockey failing to see one of its owns teams raise the Stanley Cup. You are an admirably knowledgable hockey fan or a weeping Canadian if you know the last north-of-border team to win it all was  Montreal in 1993.

1anna      Makeover for Anna Kournikova: Tennis hottie Anna Kournikova, competing again for the first time in almost a year, has refashioned her image. She used to be known mostly for her sex appeal (see left). Now she is known mostly for her sex appeal but also for claiming she doesn't want to be known for that.

     Mom draws attention to daughter's ... oh never mind: A Florida mom is demanding her daughter's Citrus Park high school re-do its yearbook because the original yearbook shows a photo suggesting her daughter is (ahem) not wearing underwear. Click on Oops! for more. Hey thanks, Mom! Your demand has assured that your daughter's embarrassment has gone from local to national.

     Adler's Marlsox movin' on up like Jeffersons:  Weekly fantasy baseball update. My team up to 3rd place in 10-team league with 58 points. David Wright en fuego, Johan Santana and Zack Greinke kings of my hill.

1bunny      Dear Greg...: ...your blog's OK but would be better if ocasionally you'd show a photo of a family that thought it would be cute to pose for a picture all wearing rabbit ears. Thank you.

     Virgin Mary appears on window pane: A Massachusetts hospital doesn't know what to do with a window that enraptured Catholics claim holds the likeness of the Virgin Mary. Click on Ubiquitous Mary for the tale. Cannot confirm reports that a man resembling Satan was seen lurking around the hospital with a bottle of Windex.

     Tourist attraction news: Two employees of Yellowstone National Park have been fired for (click on Streams of Stupidity for the story) urinating on Old Faithful. Yellowstone, indeed.

1mannequin2      Busty the Mannequin: Referencing our recent "sexy mannequin" blognote, a reader (with our thanks) offers this photo of a mannequin he spotted in a shop window on South Beach. I do not know this woman. But I am guessing her breasts may not be real.

May 15, 2009

Boldin to Dolphins for No. 1 pick? (with poll); plus Marlins ballnapper, sexy mannequin, 790, running nun & more

     LIVE ONLINE CHAT TODAY/MONDAY 1-2 P.M! Click here to join live or to post a question at any time...

     [Click on Twitter.com/gregcote to join the following at no charge. We hold monthly meetings where there's free beer. Not really].

     Anquan Boldin worth a No. 1 draft pick?: Now that Jason Taylor is back in the fold we turn attention to the one piece still missing from the Dolphins offense: A premier, No. 1-caliber wide receiver. Arizona's Anquan Boldin is available in trade, although it likely would take a first-round draft pick and maybe a little more to pry him from Arizona. Should the Dolphins do it if they can? Take a dip in our poll:

1happy     [You did it again. The above was our 62nd blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours and has since jetted past the 2,000-mark. Keep 'em coming!]

     Coghlan-gate exposed!: We are the Official Blog of Ridiculous Things, and so we have details on the Brewers fan who caught Marlin Chris Coghlan's first career home run ball the other night and then held it hostage. The fan is Nick Yohanek (pictured right), and you'd click on The Happy Youngster (the name of his blog) for his version of the way things transpired. Coghlan said it was a shakedown. This is the fan's perspective.

1joakimnoah      Joakim Noah finds it hard getting over Bulls' playoff ouster: At least we're guessing so by this photo at left, courtesy of TMZ.


1dariusmiles      My car? Why it's a 1997 Chevrolet Copmagnet: Not as lucky as Joakim Noah, Memphis Grizzlies forward Darius Miles was busted for pot possession after a traffic stop. Miles was driving the vehicle pictured at left. Yeah, always a good idea, while smoking pot, to be driving the most inconspicuous car possible. Also, a pot-smoking athlete who happens to be black certainly wouldn't want to be driving a car that might fit a policeman's idea of racial profiling or anything!

1barbe     Female mannequin found too titillating: A scantily clad mannequin posed outside a Cincinnati-area barbecue joint has been made to cover up after complaints. A long T-shirt now covers the dummy's offending attire: a bikini top and short-shorts. Pictured: the restaurant's owner (in ballcap) attends a commission meeting in a failed effort. The mannequin, named BarBe, is in the foreground. Looks like they keep it pretty cold in those commission meetings. The owner complains that, since the mandated cover-up, business is down 40 percent among once-loyal mannequin customers.

1krystalfernandez      790 adds hottie host, even though nobody can see her: Local 790 The Ticket sports-talk radio has paired morning host Jorge Sedano with a new sidekick, Krystal Fernandez (pictured left). Krystal was not hired for her looks, because it's radio. However, there already are unfounded rumors circulating of a budding off-air romance between the two co-hosts. Cannot confirm that most of those rumors were started by Sedano.

1nun      Nun runs just for the hell of it: An area nun, Sister Mary Elizabeth Lloyd, 60, plans to compete this weekend, in full flowing nun regalia, in a 100-mile run along the Florida Keys. She calls running a good habit. Pictured at right: A blog rendition of what Sister Mary Beth would look like if she looked like this and, instead of running, were dancing a jig.

1abs2      Killer abs save woman: Click on Life-Saving Abs to find out how this woman's fitness saved her in a time of great duress.

1girl      Ronald McDonald left crimson-faced: McDonald's is pulling the plug on a Kidz Bop 6 CD giveaway in some Happy Meals because parents have complained one of the songs, by Gavin DeGraw, includes the f-word. And I don't mean "fries."

1barbe3      Dear Greg...: ...your blog's OK, but would be much better if you'd show one more picture of that hot mannequin.

     (I just realized that for some reason there are mostly good-looking women pictured in this blogpost, counting the nun and the mannequin).

May 13, 2009

Jason Taylor signs with Dolphins!; plus tabloid outs Michael Phelps' sex life & much more

     [Click on Twitter.com/gregcote to sign up because it's fast, free and every once in a while we have a drawing and award a randomly chosen follower a big boat. Not really].

1jt      Dolphins re-acquire Jason Taylor: Two days ago it seemed the Dolphins were going to let Jason Taylor slip away to rival New England, as I wrote in a column in which I called signing Taylor or not a litmus test for whether Miami was aiming to win now or continue rebuilding. Not sure whether my column was premature or prescient, but today, Miami passed that litmus test. I may be a genius. Or not. This is a great move because it addresses immediate needs and speaks to this season, not three years from now. But more work is left. Anquan Boldin is still out there, if the Dolphins are REALLY serious about getting from good to great. Click on Taylor Big, Boldin Bigger for my new column online now and shipping to Thursday's paper.

1mphelps2     Michael Phelps' latest tabloid tawdriness: The British tabloid News of the World has a story in which a stripper named Theresa White (pictured) blabs about Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps' sexual prowess. Michael's previous tabloid scandal centered around a bong. This one centers around a "boiinng!" (Sorry). News of the World may or may not be a reputable publication. I think the same issue included an exclusive report on Queen Elizabeth sunbathing nude with Martians. 

     Miami Herald expands coverage area to Pittsburgh, D.C.: Strangest thing happened to me this morning. I woke up, ambled oustide, unsheathed the Miami Herald from its yellow plastic bag -- only to find the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette inside! Or was it the Washington Post? Yeah, tonight's Penguins-Capitals Game 7 was the main display splashed all across the front of the Sports section. I blinked hard only to learn it was indeed my Herald. Who says the newspaper industry is cutting back? We're expanding coverage into the Northeast! Would love to have heard the budget-meeting discussion on that yesterday. First editor: "Hey, it's been a terrific series, plus it includes superstars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin." Second editor: "Umm, but this is not by any stretch a hockey town and the local TV rating for that game will be just below that of a ShamWow infomercial airing at 4 a.m." First editor: "Yeah but still. Slow news day."

1clemens      Bulletin: Roger Clemens still lying: In the face of a damaging new book out this week Roger Clemens has broken a year's silence to continue denying he has ever used performance-enhancing drugs. In response, the American people issued a statement that read, "Yeah, right!" (Clemens is pictured left in happier times, preparing to punch singer Emmy Lou Harris).

1svg      Dwight Howard blames SVG: Magic star Dwight Howard questioned coach Stan Van Gundy's late-game strategy after last night's blown-lead loss in Boston. Club management reacted by quietly demoting Van Gundy (pictured right) from head coach to school crossing guard.

     Kimbo Slice tries carving new niche: Fading mixed-martials arts novelty Kimbo Slice has decided to try boxing and will debut this summer. Zzzz. Aside to kimbo: Your 15 minutes almost up. Tick-tock.

     Roger Goodell showing signs of early senility: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told a Charlotte Touchdown Club meeting this week that the league may expand from one to two regular-season games in London as early as 2010. Goodell also has declined to expressly say no to speculation that even a Super Bowl may be played in London some day. Hey, Tagliabue. Go slap some sense into your replacement, will ya!? How about we suggest that NFL fans in London fly over here to watch games?

     Cote's 'American Idol' odds: Idolheads (and I am one; sorry, guilty pleasure) know it pares from 3 to 2 tonight, and the way I see it is, Adam Lambert has a 49 percent overall likelihood of winning, Kris Allen is at 38% and Danny Gokey is 13%.

     Latest round of thanks*...: go out to Miami New Times, PhinPhinatic, Sacramento Bee, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Seattle Times, Tampabay.com, Wall Street Journal, and of course as always 790 The Ticket. (*-Every once in awhile in the blog I shout gracias to a sampling of the outlets that have most recently published or referenced my writing).

May 11, 2009

Are Dolphins conceding 2009 as lost cause? (with poll)

     [Click on Twitter.com/gregcote to join the following. Looking for the Michael Vick poll? It's in the blogpost just below this one].

1dolphs      Are the Dolphins acting like a confident, reigning division champion intent on getting better in the short term ... or like a team locked in rebuilding mode and conceding 2009? HEY I'M JUST ASKING!

     It seems to me the Dolphins are sort of waving a white flag and conceding '09 as a lost cause by some of their actions -- or inactions. I explain in a column (click here) that is newly online and shipping to Tuesday's newspaper.

     Miami is not behaving like an 11-5 team, a confident, reigning division titleist trying to take the next step to contention. Instead Miami behaves like a team conceding today for tomorrow, a team still in full rebuilding mode. Major examples include not taking aim at an available premier receiver such as Anquan Boldin and watching as a needed sacker like Jason Taylor is about the sign with the Patriots. 

     I propose the Dolphins should have been more aggressive and more in a win-now mode. I know there is a contrary opinion out there. I find it an interesting discussion in any case. Weigh in. Take a dip in our poll and expound.