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All-Star Game, Brock Lesnar polls; plus We're No. 82!, Wade, Artest MJ song, Dolphins, Marlins, tattoos & more


     Bulletin: We're No. 82!: Miami is ranked the 82nd most sports-knowledgable city among 186, based on a nationwide NTN Buzztime trivia quiz that took place recently in sports bars and restaurants across the country. To the degree a city might be proud of its abject mediocrity ... congrats! Leading the sports-trivia smarty pantses: Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth. (LA? Really!?)  

1brock       Brock Lesnar's clown act hurts MMA: Brock Lesnar makes a perfect idiot, a perfect villain, a perfect idiot-villain. What he doesn't make, as we saw in UFC 100 the other night, is a very good frontman for Ultimate Fighting Championship or mixed-martials arts in general. At least not if MMA hopes to establish itself as a legitimate mainstream sport, which it still is not. Lesnar's actions blur the line between mixed martial arts and WWE, and make UFC seem like the bare-fisted cousin of pro wrestling, no better, and not to be taken seriously. (By the way, whatever happens to Kimbo Slice?)

     All-Star Game shouldn't weigh on October: Baseball did wrong a few years ago by deciding the All-Star Game -- won yet again by the AL last night -- should determine home-field advantage in the World Series. By choosing to make one game more important, it made 162 games less important. The WS team with the better record over 162 games should have home-field advantage. The All-Star Game is big enough on pomp, tradition and star-power to stand on its own as a ceremonial exhibition. But that's just me. What do you think?

1judas      Brett Favre backlash?: Hey! There's a Packers fan wearing a shirt that has 'JUDAS' over Favre's number! Maybe the fan's name is Judas. Maybe he thinks Favre is a traitor. Maybe he's into Judas Priest. How can we know, really?

     A personal plea to my media brethren: ENOUGH DWYANE WADE CONTRACT DRAMA AND DAILY WILL-HE-WON'T-HE-AND-WHEN UPDATES!! Pretty please? No more news stories with no news in them, no more reheated columns, no more blogoney. We get it, OK? Dwyane is eligible to sign a contract extension now, but is prudently waiting, but that implies not a bit that he won't eventually re-up long-term with Miami. So that's it. Now let's give this story the rest it so dearly needs.

1artestron      Ron Artest's Michael Jackson tribute song: NBA basketball fading-star Ron Artest (right) has cut a hip-hop tribute to Michael Jackson. No, seriously. Click on I Cry For Mike to listen. It's nothing special, although I have heard worse. WARNING: The song aims diligently for street-cred with requisite, repeated use of the N-word. That's the N-word rap-style, Whitey, ending in a soft 'a,' as in one brother to another. I believe the F-word also rears its head, so the easily offended ought not listen

     No Dolphins top-5's at any position: A small bit of anecdotal evidence furthering the perception that the Dolphins may be defending AFC East champs but hardly are considered division faves in '09. Bucky Brooks on NFL.com ranks his top five players at 10 positions -- quarterback, offensive line, wide receiver, tight end, running back, cornerback, safety, inside linebacker, edge rusher and defensive tackle -- and Miami is shut out. But there are two Patriots included (QB Tom Brady No. 1 and and WR Randy Moss No. 2), and also two Jets (CB Darrelle Revis and DT Kris Jenkins, both No. 4).

1bargains      Marlins No. 1 in bang-for-buck: Data-minded reader Dave Oliver computes that the Marlins rank No. 1 in all of baseball in wins-per-dollar, based on 2009 player payroll divided by victories at the All-Star Break. Florida is spending "only" $800,304 per W, followed by the Padres ($1.19 million) and Pirates ($1.28 mill). At the other extreme? New York, New York. Yankees ($3.95 million per win) and Mets ($3.23M) lead the majors in uneconomical spending, followed by Cubs at $3.14M. (Thanks for the number-crunching, Dave!)

  1tats2    TattooLaPalooza: Regarding that tattoo festival on Miami Beach, remember when tattoos were a statement that meant something? You were ID'd as a tough guy or a social iconoclast. You stood out. Now? Now it seems like everybody and their mother (and aunt, cousin, girlfriend and mailman) have tattoos. Yawn. It has reached a point where people who are inked up are the comformists, and people without tattoos are the rebels. I mean, c'mon Britney, yours is one of 63.8 million American female derrieres with artwork atop the great divide. How daring or special can you possibly feel? Popularity has killed the mystique of the tattoo in much the same way it ruined Harley-Davidson. Harleys and their riders used to be badass, but that was before the company marketed to Middle America and sold its soul in the name of Harley-Davidson Cafes and logoed coffee mugs, barstools and dog vests.

     That'll do it for now.