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Shula 5th greatest coach ever; plus Heat/Lamar Odom (with poll), D.Wade raps (with video), Phils trade puts heat on Marlins, & more

     [Join the rollicking bandwagon at Twitter.com/gregcote. By the way, I cry your pardon for being AWOL from the Wednesday live chat today. My fault, 100 percent. A pure mental hiccup by me after two weeks not doing it while on vacation. Anyway, we'll pick it back up next Wednesday, Aug. 5. Click on ChatCity to post questions at any time].

     [Michael Vick update: Voluminous email on my Wednesday column saying the Dolphins missed a big opportunity by saying no to Vick. Fairly evenly split, although people proposing either that I am an idiot or that Vick is the devil may be a slight majority thus far. Column link is here in case anybody wants to continue the palaver in this blogpost...]

1dons      Shula scores big in greatest-coaches poll: The Sporting News anoints Dolphins legend Don Shula the fifth greatest coach of all time in any sport, in a new survey of 118 Hall of Famers across all sports. Ahead of him: UCLA icon John Wooden, hat-wearing Packers great Vince Lombardi, hat-wearing Alabama god Bear Bryant, and Lakers Zen-master Phil Jackson. Hard to argue. I was half-expecting the list to diss Shula, but fifth seems fair. At least he rightly whupped the Pats' Bill Belichick, who is 20th. Other notables include Bobby Bowden 24th; Pat Riley 30th; and Bill Parcells 33rd. The complete Top 50 follows, with your impressions welome. Anything strike you as out of whack?

1. John Wooden, college basketball
2. Vince Lombardi, NFL
3. Bear Bryant, college football
4. Phil Jackson, NBA
5. Don Shula, NFL
6. Red Auerbach, NBA
7. Scotty Bowman, NHL
8. Dean Smith, college basketball
9. Casey Stengel, MLB
10. Knute Rockne, college football
11. Pat Summitt, women’s college basketball
12. Paul Brown, NFL
13. Joe Paterno, college football
14. George Halas, NFL
15. Chuck Noll, NFL
16. Bob Knight, college basketball
17. Joe Gibbs, NFL
18. Tom Landry, NFL
19. Mike Krzyzewski, college basketball
20. Bill Belichick, NFL
21. Adolph Rupp, college basketball
22. Joe McCarthy, MLB
23. Eddie Robinson, college football
24. Bobby Bowden, college football
25. John McGraw, MLB
26. Bill Walsh, NFL
27. Woody Hayes, college football
28. Connie Mack, MLB
29. Bud Wilkinson, college football
30. Pat Riley, NBA
31. Pete Newell, college basketball
32. Joe Torre, MLB
33. Bill Parcells, NFL
34. Tom Osborne, college football
35. Walter Alston, MLB
36. Bo Schembechler, college football
37. Toe Blake, NHL
38. Sparky Anderson, MLB
39. Al Arbour, NHL
40. Amos Alonzo Stagg, college football
41. Tony La Russa, MLB
42. Geno Auriemma, women’s college basketball
43. Dick Irvin, NHL
44. Ara Parseghian, college football
45. Chuck Daly, NBA
46. Bobby Cox, MLB
47. Hank Iba, college basketball
48. Tommy Lasorda, MLB
49. Gregg Popovich, NBA
50. Herb Brooks, NHL

     [Ranking postscript: Dolphin Chad Pennington is rated the 6th-best active quarterback in a "Great 8" list by the website Cold, Hard Football Facts, which admits that's a surprise. The Eight in order: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, The Chad, Drew Brees and Donovan McNabb].  

1odom      Heat's pursuit of Lamar Odom: Miami's 2009 free-agent pursuit seems to have focused on a Back to the Future reacquisition of former Heatnik Lamar Odom. What say ye? I like it. He's 6-10 and about as versatile as you could find.


1clifflee      Phils turn up heat on Marlins: The pressure is now squarely on the Marlins to make a significant deal by Friday's trade deadline, after division rival Philly on Wednesday worked a pending major deal to acquire Cleveland ace Cliff Lee (pictured), the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. How will Florida counter? The Phillies may now be impossible to catch in the NL East, but a wild-card spot remains very much in play. What is the Marlins' biggest need? I still say a closer, although if they traded for Roy Halladay I suppose that'd be OK, too (!). Another big bat wouldn't hurt, either. Does reacquiring Josh Willingham excite anybody? Click here for my Marlins column, online now and in today's/Thursday's paper.

     Dwyane Wade raps! Sort of: Click here for a slow, mercifully brief a-capella rap by Dwyane Wade. No, seriously. 

1breesmina      Drew Brees' mother apparently loony: Bizarre story involving Mina Brees (pictured), the estranged mother of the Saints quarterback. Seems as if she was trying to extort money from Houston restaurants. Click here for the odd tale.

     Fantasy baseball kicking my a--: I would like to announce that I suck at fantasy baseball. I am the Manny Acta of fantasy managers. My Adler's Marlsox have fallen to 8th place in a 10-team league, and some of that is my own doing, such as when I started two players who were on the 15-day DL because I forgot to update my roster. Fantasy football: Simpler. Better.

     That'll do it for now. Check back. It says here I'll be adding more stuff.