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Happy Fourth Weekend! Our most American sport (with poll); plus Iverson-Heat poll, epic Wimbledon final, Hanley & Josh, McNair


     "Celebrate Fourth of July Weekend with a Blog Double-Poll Extravaganza!"

1alleni      Iverson to Heat?: Pat Riley, looking for veteran help at bargain prices, put out feelers to Allen Iverson and Ron Artest. Artest is going to the Lakers (the rich get richer), but A.I. is still out there on the free-agent board. Iverson has some obvious baggage. He is 34, had back and groin injuries last season, and has suffered me-me-itis at times in his career. But he is a maniacal hustler on the floor and obviously has some game left, averaging 17.5 points last season. Iverson can play both guard positions, meaning he could lend the veteran experience Miami now lacks at the point. I say if the Heat can get him cheap, why not? Take a dip in our poll.

      Marlins Hanley, Double-J make all-star team: Baseball announced its all-star rosters today and Hanley Ramirez is voted an NL starter at shortstop, with pitcher Josh Johnson also selected to the team. Both designations are well-deserved. Can't really argue that any Marlin was unfairly omitted. (Although Ricky Nolasco sure has looked the part lately, hasn't he?)

1sam      Star-spangled Wimbledon: An All-American women's final Saturday with Serena Williams beating older sis Venus. Then it was American Andy Roddick reaching Sunday's men's final vs. Roger Federer -- an epic five-set final that ended with Federer prevailing 16-14 in the last set to capture his record 15th major. Roddick and his fans always will wonder what might have been if he hadn't blown a second set tiebreaker that would have put him up 2-0. A tennis weekend almost the way Uncle Sam would want it.

     McNair tragedy: Downer in the festive weekend, the news late yesterday that former NFL quarterback Steve McNair had been shot to death. It's still a mystery. Was it a murder-suicide involving a 20-year-old woman who reports are was in a relationship with the married McNair? Or was it made to look like that by the woman's boyfriend? No matter the particulars, yet another reminder that star athletes are not immune to life's tragedies.

     Our most American sport: Happy Fourth of July weekend everybody! We'll be celebrating with a group of friends on Fort Lauderdale Beach in an 18th annual Magical Wheel of Meat cookout extravaganza possibly involving limited amounts of beer. Do you have a special July 4 tradition? In honor of the holiday vote on what you think is the most American of all sports.

     [Poll observation: Can't believe, even in a Football Town, that more of you people aren't voting for baseball. I mean, hullo? Warts and all, it's AMERICA'S BLEEPIN' PASTIME!!]