Miami named nation's lousiest sports town: Men's Health magazine, which I personally don't read because it disrespects my dedicated beer-and-no-exercise lifestyle, ranks 100 American cities for "sports obsession" in its July/August issue and Miami ranks No. 100. Dead last, fans! How does that make you feel? Do we deserve this dubious title? Click here for the mag website. Arlington, Tex., ranks first overall on the list, which is based largely on attendance at events. Jacksonville does well (sixth), but otherwise Florida cities are royally dissed, with Tampa rated 87th, St. Pete 89th, Orlando 96th and, of course, Miami pulling up the sagging rear. I take it the magazine's research was confined to attending a midweek Marlins game during a rain delay? This is an outrage! Even if it's accurate, it's still an outrage! I feel like suing somebody.
Speaking of rankings...: ESPN's 2009 "Ultimate Standings" are out, a ranking of the 122 Big Four sports teams based on how much they give back to fans. Our teams still rank pretty low, but all four have improved over a year ago, with the Heat ranked No. 55 (up from 87), the Dolphins at No. 61 (up from 108), the Marlins at No. 77 (up from 99) and the Panthers at No. 90 (up from 98).
Most Worrisome Coach poll: OK, here's the idea. Y'all love Tony Sparano. Swoooooning! And don't much care about the Panthers' Peter DeBoer. That leaves it a three-way race among Fredi Gonzalez, Randy Shannon and Erik Spoelestra among the major local coaches in whom you have the LEAST confidence. Who is it? Take a dip in our poll.
Dolphins third-likeliest of nine state pro teams to win title next: Our friends at BetUS.com list odds on the next state pro team to win a championship: Rays 2-2, Magic 3-2, Dolphins 5-2, Jaguars 3-1, Buccaneers 11-2, Heat 6-1, Marlins 12-1, Panthers 15-1, Lightning 20-1. First manager/coach to be fired? It's Marlin Fredi Gonzalez first at 3-2 and then Heat's Erik Spoelstra 7-4. Joey Porter over/under on sacks: 12.5. Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams over/under on combined rushing yards: 1,699. Likelihood of Dwyane Wade re-signing with Heat in 2010: 1-2. First Marlin to be traded: Jorge Cantu 2-1, Jeremy Hermida 5-2, Cody Ross 9-4, Dan Uggla 3-1.
Obligatory Michael Vick mention: I have a column (click here) reacting to ex-NFL coach Dennis Green predicting Michael Vick will end up with the Dolphins. I wish, but don't hold your breath, kids. I had a poll on this recently and 59.5% of y'all said no-way and 40.5% said Miami should be interested. Still feel the same?
Alexis Arguello, R.I.P.: Man, the celebrity deaths just keep coming don't they? Sad to hear Arguello, the former terrific boxer with Miami ties, died suddenly and apparently of his own hand. Sympathy to his family and fans. (I was a part of The Herald's coverage of that 1982 Arguello-Aaron Pryor bout at the Orange Bowl early in my career. My biggest memory is being at Pryor's winning post-fight party and seeing all of his handlers and sycophants in a loosely formed Conga line chanting, "HAWK TIME! HAWK TIME! HAWK TIME!")
Bulletin: Panthers do something right!: Our mostly hapless Florida Panthers today buttoned up left wing David Booth with a six-year contract. That's great. He is young (24) and could blossom into a 40-goal scorer (had 31 last season including two hat tricks). I also find myself rooting for any NHL'er not from Eastern Europe or Canada (David's from Detroit).
About this Honduras thing...: All I can tell you is that I have a friend who is Honduran and he supports the military coup because he says the overthrown president wanted to illegally reconfigure the Constitution to position himself as a ruler for life along the lines of the megalomaniacs who have ruined Venezula and Cuba and other places in the region. So there.
Square watermelons: Japanese farmers have developed square watermelons by growing them inside the vine in square containers. I don't know that this ranks with the automobile or computer among inventions, but a pretty neat idea nonetheless. Inspired, I myself am in the early stages of planning to develop a square bowling ball.
Swimsuit malfunction: Italian Olympian swimmer Flavia Zoccari was disqualified from a race when her swimsuit was torn asunder in the rear. I don't find this particularly newsworthy; however, I do find it an opportunity to see if I can get away with posting this photo -- oopsies! -- in my family-values blog. As for being DQ'd? Heck, I think as an incentive women should automatically win when this kind of thing happens!
That'll do it for now, unless I add more stuff later.