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UM football-expectations poll; plus D.Wade's nemesis, man named Gerald out to save Herald, Dolphins/Marlins needs, Strikers & more


     Dwyane Wade's dubious choice in business partners: Kudos to Miami New Times for a fascinating read on the estranged business partner who heaved bunches of accusations at the Heat's Dwyane Wade -- and whom Wade is suing for slander. Click here for the story.

     Herald's online sportscaster poll: The story introducing it begins, "The last time The Miami Herald conducted a sportscaster poll, Tony Segreto was anchoring local sports..." Hmm. Not to quibble, but our lil' ol' blog here conducted a major local sports-radio poll in January 2006 (Jim Mandich won) and a local TV-sportscasters poll in May 2008 (Joe Rose won). You could look it up, as the saying goes.

1herald      Inspirational dirge, man named Gerald out to save Miami Herald, newspaper industry: Click here for 4 minutes 53 seconds of the oddest song you have ever heard or ever will. The rumor that this is me singing -- you know, that rumor I just started with this unprompted denial? -- is false. I thought it was an unearthed demo from a 1970s promotional campaign that never aired. And with good reason. (The actual artist was a guy named Rochester Slim; click here for his website). The song probably is not Top 40 or dance-floor material. If only we could have found this in time to have Michael Jackson overdub a hiccup or a hee-hee. Nevertheless, remember that, although times may be dark for our industry and this song sounds oddly and perhaps presciently funereal, always, for God's sake always remember, no matter what: The Herald is your friend!

     [Miami Herald song update: "Rochester Slim" and I have been in touch via e-mail. He is Alan Donovan, brother of the late, great Herald research librarian Liz Donovan. Alan says he did the song purely for Liz's amusement on a cheap four-track cassette recorder around 1996].

1amiami      Set the bar on UM football expectations: Miami Hurricane football seniors wax optimistic about the coming season in a Herald piece (click here), saying, essentially, that the storm is past and happy days are here again. I'd say the program's rebound is headed right but is ongoing, not complete. I see improvement over last year's 7-6 record but probably not a BCS-bowl type of season, especially with that brutal stretch of @ FSU, Georgia Tech, @ Virginia Tech and Oklahoma opening the 12-game regular season. But that's just me. How about you? Take a dip in our poll and together you all, right here, right now, will set the bar on 2009 expectations:

     [Congrats, and thanks. You made the above our 66th blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes in its first day. Keep 'em coming!]

     Marlins need bat help, but mostly a closer: With the team seriously contending -- and how 'bout that comeback last night! -- this would be a good time for management to make a move and trade for a proven closer. Could use some lineup pop as well, but there are internal options there such as Cameron Maybin. Click on Saving Grace for today's/Friday's column by me on the Marlins' needs as the July 31 trade deadline looms.

1evian      Evian Roller Babies: Fans of adorable infants doing amazing stunts on roller skates, click here for a YouTube video. 

     On Steve McNair's legacy: We have seen, with Michael Jackson, what death can do for a man. It is the ultimate in accentuating the positive. So it was that thousands attended McNair's stadium service to say goodbye only to a great quarterback, family man and community good-doer -- not to the imperfect man whose philandering played a role in his own death in the murder-suicide inflicted by a girlfriend. The way it ended for McNair lends a posthumous stain to his reputation that is unfortunate but real. Doesn't overshadow all the good, but it doesn't go away either. Euologies get to omit all the bad. Legacies don't.

1strikers      Memories of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers: I was among a panel speaking to a sports-marketing class at Barry University this week. Topic: the curious, astounding, fleeting success of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers soccer team in the late 1970s and early '80s. I covered the team then. With me on the panel were former player Thomas Rongen (now coach of the U.S. national under-20 team) and former team marketing guy John Adams. Sweet memories of the special ambience around Lockhart Stadium in those halcyon days. Any old "Striker Likers" still out there? If so drop a favorite memory or two.

1allenwill      Dolphins must corner the market: The Dolphins could use a veteran cornerback. Right now Will Allen (pictured) is the only proven, starter-caliber corner. Vontae Davis might become that. Isn't now. But I'm not surprised the club isn't interested in considering the return of Patrick Surtain or Sam Madison, both available. Patrick is 33 and Sam 35, and both were banged-up reserves last year with the Chiefs and Giants, respectively. Miami can do better, and younger. But until it does, a reliable, ready-now complement to Will Allen trails only the lack of a proven, premier wide receiver among unmet Dolphin needs as training camp draws near.

1hankIII      Hank Williams III: Hank III and his band Assjack play downtown Fort Lauderdale tonight/Friday. An item in my paper's Weekend section is, alas, mistakenly accompanied by a photo of his daddy, Hank Williams Jr. Therefore I feel obliged to publish a photo (right) of Hank III, a blog favorite.  

1ladygaga      Women Who Have Managed to Create A Sexy Image Despite Being Generally Unattractive: Today, Lady Gaga.

     Fanning flames of Wade hysteria!: An unnamed South Florida publication that rhymes with "Un Entinel" includes a column fathoming the "devastation" of Dwyane Wade leaving the Heat in free agency. Good column, but for the fact it wouldn't happen for a year if it happened at all. Which it almost certainly won't.

     Funny Headlines With Sad Endings, one in a series: Click here.

1naked      Naked came the receptionist: A British marketing firm, in an effort to boost morale, has asked employees to work in the nude. Click here for the tail tale. As an experiment to see what it was like, I was nude while writing this blog item. I wish other people in The Miami Herald newsroom would quit staring.

     That'll do it for now.