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13 posts from August 2009

August 31, 2009

Brandon Marshall to Dolphins? (with poll); plus which-opener-excites-you-most poll, flopping Marlins, Canes 26-1 for title, when you'll die & more

IT'S LIVE CHAT WEDNESDAY! Click here to join us live from 1-2 p.m. OR to post questions early!

[Back at you after a few days R&R over at Blogaholics Anonymous. Join us at Twitter.com/gregcote if you haven't already, and get your questions in early for the Wednesday live chat].

1brandon BRANDON MARSHALL: YES, NO OR MAYBE: In a new column online now and shipping to Tuesday's paper (click here), I propose the Dolphins should be exploring interest in disgruntled Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall, who, for all his baggage, is a 25-year-old Pro Bowl guy with 206 catches the past two seasons. What if Miami could get him for a first-round pick? Take a dip in our poll and weigh in on why or why not.

[Blognote: The above poll, and the one below it in this post, are our 72nd and 73rd blogpolls to blast past 1,000 votes. Keep 'em coming! And thanks].

WHAT LOCAL FOOTBALL OPENER ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT: Getting close now. Like a locomotive that has rounded the bend and is in view. Getting bigger and bigger, louder and louder. FOOTBALL SEASON! FAU opens in five days and UM in seven and soon after that comes FIU and the Dolphins. Which opener (oddly, all four are away) are you most looking forward to? Take a dip in our poll and share why.

1rocky WIN OR BUST FOR MARLINS IN CRUCIAL STRETCH: Cue the theme from Rocky because the Marlins, against all odds, are about to pick themslves up off the canvas and start throwing leather. Or not. Alas, the "or not" is looking more and more likey, with two straight losses at home to begin the crucial four-game series with Atlanta. Click on Tres Fantastico! for my column off Sunday's win; it explores what a shame it would be if the superb seasons of Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson and Chris Coghlan are, in effect, wasted by a failed playoff run. Huge uphill climb now.

WILLIE WILLIAMS ARRESTED AGAIN: This story really saddens me. I wrote last year about Willie's latest second chance (with Union College) and he'd seemed to have a finally turned a corner. What a shame. 

BODOG COLLEGE FOOTBALL ODDS: Gators favored at 2-1 to win the national title, with FSU at 21-1 (10th best) and UM at 26-1 (12th best). Over/under on Canes wins is 8, but Miami is picked only fourth in the ACC Coastal division at 7-2, after Virginia Tech (3-2), Georgia Tech (5-2) and North Carolina (3-1). 

1death WHEN YOU'LL DIE: An interesting (if macabre and depressing) new website allows you to enter various information so that a computer can tell you'll when you die. Click on Grim Reaper for the site. I think most of us would be happy as long as the answer is, "After the Dolphins win another [bleepin'] Super Bowl!" 

DOLPHINS SACK BOKAMPER: Duffy's Sports Grills have been named the official sports bars of the Dolphins. Take that, former Dolphin Kim Bokamper of Bokamper's. Slap!

PANTHERS FANS CHANT, "WE'RE NO. 28!": The moribund, playoff-drought-stricken Panthers franchise has spawned the 28th-ranked fans in the NHL, its says here.

BEES SWARM BORAS SUITE: A suite at Angel Stadium owned by baseball superagent Scott Boras was swarmed by bees Sunday. I can think of a couple of dozen team GMs who probably got a smile out of that.

HIP-HOP NEWS: The Brooklyn rapper Uncle Murda has changed his named to Uncle M in an attempt to broaden his appeal and not alienate people. He settled on Uncle M after being talked out of the more cumbersome Uncle Manslaughter.

1mirvin NFL NETWORK ADDS MICHAEL IRVIN: A no-brainer, Michael is great on TV. As long as fights the propensity for mustard-yellow suits or outfits that look like this.

1giantcocroach GIANT COCKROACH: A burrowing cockroach found in Australia is thought to be the world's heaviest insect. The roach menacing an infant too infantile to be afraid. [This is for those who have been complaining the blog doesn't have enough stuff on giant insects].


Click back. Will be adding more stuff here shortly.

August 27, 2009

PS3: Dolphins 10, Tampa Bay 6; Miami 3-0 but how you feelin'? (with receivers poll)

[Haven't had enough Hurricane QBs or Michael Beasley? That post, including polls, is just below this one. Love, Twitter.com/gregcote].


FINAL THOUGHTS: Not sure how impressed I was with last night's win. How about you? When your best receiver looks like rookie Brian Hartline ... is this a problem?

4TH QUARTER: Ugh! Bad pick by Chad Henne. Miami was looking at a safe 17-6 lead; now it's still a four-point prayer with six minutes left. ..... Dolphins close to putting game away after 52-yard pass play, Chad Henne-to-Greg Camarillo. Faster receiver takes it all the way. But 52 is 52 ..... Tony Sparano getting some love from TV for his sideline intensity. Yo. Tony! ..... Lex Hilliard sloppy fumble loss and Tony Sparano in his ear.

3RD QUARTER: Quarter finished. Game now projected to end early Saturday morning. ..... Josh Freeman bringing back the 'fro! ..... Chad Henne in. And 3-and-out ..... TB misses long FG. The good news? Immediately after game ends, breakfast will be served ..... Miami first lead at 10-6 with 12 minutes left in quarter, on short Chad Pennington flip to TE Anthony Fasano. Was set up by Brian Hartline 55-yard reception from Pennington. Something about this Hartline kid. Remember he had a 39-yazd catch nullified by penalty earlier.

HALFTIME THOUGHT: If you were judging only by tonight's game so far -- negligible running game, popgun passing, three points -- you would think Miami still is an offense depending heavily on the Wildcat variation to make up for shortcomings elsewhere.

2ND QUARTER: Miami on the board, finally, down 6-3, after 34-yard Dan Carpenter FG in last seconds of lightning-delayed first half. ..... Dolphins offense doing next to nothing. ..... Game on! Dolphs punt. Pennington floated that 3rd down pass. ..... Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, in a lightning delay, talking about their fantasy draft picks -- it just gets better and better! ..... Has Pam Oliver gained much weight? Or am I being catty? ..... Joe Buck and Troy Aikman,  the most charisma-challenged broadcast team in football, in a lightning delay! Sweet. ..... Game temporarily suspended by lightning in area of stadium (chased by heavy rain), in a concerted effort by NFL to cause the ruination of deadline-addled Miami Herald writers. I think this is where I make a bad joke about all the lightning being outside the stadium and none of it being in the Dolphins' offense. ..... Miami defense aided by the fact Byron Leftwich is to accuracy what Carrot Top is to standup. ..... Dolphin offense doing nada. My kingdom for a first down! ..... Tampa 38-yard FG on first play of quarter for 6-0 lead.

1ST QUARTER: Bucs knockin' on Dolphin door as quarter ends. Coupel of nice defensive plays in quarter by Kendall Langford, but pass defense has been insufficient. ..... Miami punts on first possession (with bad coverage) after 39-yard completion to Brian Hartline wiped out by offensive pass int; good call ..... TB 3-0 on 29-yard FG, mid1Q. Need more pass rush. Like that Sean Smith finger-wagging attitude. Nice blocked punt by Patrick Cobbs but Miami has to recover that! Gave Tampa new life. Geez.

Pam Oliver got some major teeth workin'!

Troy Aikman part of the FOX national broadcast team. Or, as The Onion said of Aikman, "Robot inducted into Hall of Fame."

Semi-live blog!

Rookie Brian Hartline starting at WR over Davone Bess. 

Original post:

[JOIN US DURING TONIGHT'S GAME FOR A SEMI-LIVE BLOG! Semi-live means we won't be chattering incessantly about every little meaningless thing ("Ooh! Decent block by Throckmorton!") but will have instant score updates and running commentary on stuff of significance].

1dolphins 1bucs Miami brings a shiny 2-0 record into tonight's preseason game at Tampa Bay, but this result figures to better reflect the 2009 Dolphins than the first two exhibitions combined. That's because fake-game No. 3 usually is a more serious dress rehearsal in which starters play more. The Buccaneers are supposed to be pretty lousy this year, so a Dolphins loss would serve as sort of a slap, a reality check, whereas another win would further the notion that Miami might just be better than the doubters think.

Of course that notion remains mostly among Dolfan diehards, not in broad perception. Latest example: ESPN The Magazine thuds into my mailbox today (its NFL preview issue) and the pick for Miami is 6-10. Oy! That seems harsh to me, even given the schedule. What say ye? The gist of the mag's brief synopsis: That Miami doesn't have the DBs to stop Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, et al.

Areas of concern looking for progress tonight, by my eye, are at wide receiver (see poll below), on special teams in general, and, yeah, in the secondary.

Take a dip in our poll and share your thoughts before, during and of course after tonight's game. (I'll be interested to see how WR performances tonight might affect the ongoing poll). What will you be looking for in PS3? Tell us who impressed you or didn't.

August 24, 2009

Do Canes have a QB crisis? (with poll); plus Wade on Beasley, Marlins, Dolphins, wax Castro & more

[Twitter.com/gregcote One of my latest followers happens to be none other than Ricky Williams with an interesting project of his in support of our military called Fantasy4Charity. Check it out].

[Note: Look for our "PS3: Dolphins @ Tampa  Bay" post to be up by mid-afternoon today/Thursday].

D-WADE ON BEASLEY: Dwyane Wade's first comment, via Twitter, brought to you here verbatim: Everyone say a prayer for our lil brother,but please don't judge the man. we all make mistakes,beas i'm here if you need anything fam

1wms HONK IF YOU ARE A DOLPHINS PART-OWNER: Good lord but does any owner in any professional sport love celebrity and thrill to align himself with it more than the Dolphins' Stephen Ross? At least Ross' shenanigans and the football side have been kept separate. Well, I mean other than plans for Serena and Venus both to quarterback one series for the Dolphins at Tampa Bay Thursday night.

CANES LEFT WITH ZERO BACKUP EXPERIENCE AT QB: [Click here for my column on this, online now and shipping to Wednesday's paper]. UM losing QBs Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith, one of whom would have been the No. 2, to transfer on the same day. That leaves true freshman A.J. Highsmith as the backup. None of this is a huge issue if starter Jacory Harris stays healthy and plays well. But if Harris were to be injured, the Canes would have less experience at QB than just about any team in the nation. I'll have a column on this later today. For now, take a dip in our poll -- which is blazin' and shot past 1,000 votes in just a couple of hours -- and share your thoughts.

1beasley2 HEAT'S BEASLEY CRISIS: News broke today that young Heat star Michael Beasley is in a Houston rehab center for substance abuse and emotional issues. Click here for my new column on this, online and in Tuesday's paper (and a national top-10 column today on USSportspages.com). Beasley recently showed this picture of himself on his Twitter site, showing off his new, wing festooned, back spanning 'SupercoolBeas' tattoo. The controversy arose because of an interpretation that, below right in the photo, between the 7-Up bottle and the TV remote, is what when blown up appears to possibly be a baggy of weed. Even more curious: Beasley has since closed his Twitter site, and the photo has been removed. Would he have done that if the object lower-right in the photo wasn't what it seemed? Hmm. Anyway, I have heard a myriad of emotions expressed about Beasley today and wanted to invite your opinion with a new poll. Should a Heat fan be feeling anger? Disappointment? Sympathy? What? Vote and expound!

1naked NUDE WOMAN ON SUBWAY: Only in New York, right? An actress, nude on a subway (left), being photographed. Either that or it's a city of New York stun to increase subway ridership.

EDGERRIN FINDS WORK: Ex-Cane RB Edgerrin James is back in the NFL for probably his last shot, a Seattle Seahawk.

1ernest THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST: To the Dolphins, apparently, the importance was minimal. His agent Drew Rosenhaus Tweeted this morning -- and we were the first at The Miami Herald to bring it to you -- that Miami has released Ernest Wilford. A bit of a surprise if only because Wilford caught a touchdown pass in the first preseason game, but not a surprise overall. When you fail at your chosen craft (wide receiver) and you are undersized and don't block well enough to make it as a tight end, you are certifiably a man without a position. (Ernest is pictured here with his wife. Too bad he never looked that good on the field).

MARLINS WIN SECOND STRAIGHT OVER SAD METS: The Marlins, stumbling in the playoff chase, snared another big win here last night, 5-3 over the semi-Mets. Fla's playoff shot has inched up to 8.8 percent, according to the coolstandings site I like. That's 3.5% for the division title and 5.3% for the wild card. If you figure Florida needs 90 wins for a decent chance at the postseason, that would mean a 23-13 record  from here. At least. Hey maybe they can figure out a way for Josh Johnson to pitch on one days' rest!

SUEY!: The LeBatard show on sports-radio 790 The Ticket has its annual "Suey Awards" today. Does that have anything to do with the Dolphins' swine flu scare? I'm just asking!

1brooklyndecker BROOKLYN. WHERE YOU WANNA BE: Here is a photo of Brooklyn Decker, Andy Roddick's wife. I figure Roddick could fail to win a single tennis tournament all season and he's still having a great year.

GET OFF VICK'S BACK: Michael Vick is photographed sipping a vodka with pineapple juice and the condemners come out again? Please. The Eagles say alcohol by itself is not prohibited in Vick's reinstatement terms. That's good enough for me. If he's arrested or is photographed kicking a dog, then we can all start hating again, how's that?

1kim SHOW OF PERSONALITY THREATENS LPGA: LPGA golfer Christina Kim (pictured showing emotion) raised eyebrows during the recent Solheim Cup with her somewhat Happy Gilmoresque displays of exuberance. You know, what? Let her go nuts. Women's golf is in such a black hole in terms of fan and media attention, I'd be all for the LPGA'ers stripping down to bra and panties and cartwheeling down the fairway.

1castro HEALTHY-APPEARING CASTRO MAY BE WAX STATUE: Said not too long ago to be on his death-bed, an apparently healthy looking Cuban leader Fidel Castro is seen here photographed Friday with Ecuador president Rafael Correa. However, the Castro in the photo is believed to be a wax figure, according to totally unfounded speculation in Greg Cote's blog.

"DOLPHINS VOICES": Hey who says the Dolphins are going all hip-hop with their T-Pain song and Flo Rida on the sideline! The team wants to prove it can still be square as Granpappy by forming what amounts to a barbershop quartet times two. "Dolphins Voices" will be an eight-person a capella group that will perform the nartional anthem at home games. Open tryouts will be from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday/tomorrow at the Hard Rock Paradise Live and Thursday at Bongos Cuban Cafe.

1tebow TEBOW VIRGINITY CONTINUES: Pictured are a few more of the young women, perhaps potentially willing participants, with whom Gators quarterback Tim Tebow steadfastly has refused to have sex.

LATEST ROUND OF THANKS...: ...for running my stuff include Belleville (Ill.) News Democrat, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, San Antonio Express, Seattle Times, SportsBusiness Daily and Wall Street Journal.

[Know any Brendan Benson fans? Be sure to check out my new side project at Twitter.com/Brendan_News]. 

August 22, 2009

PS2: Dolphins 27, Carolina 17; the 'Cat strikes back!


1miami 1carolina"Super Bowl. Super Bowl. SUPER BOWL! SUPER BOWL!!!"

Sorry. Getting a bit lightheaded. OK we officially don't care about the preseason record (right?) and are not getting carried away by 2-0 in fake games (right?). Or are we beginning to think Miami is, well, pretty good?

We must admit the exhibition games get incrementally more important, and more valid as a gauge. Besides that, the Carolina Panthers, in the defrocked Joe Robbie Stadium for exhibition dos last night, clearly are better than the Jax Jags that Miami got past 12-9 last Monday. And so Miami's 27-17 win last night has its respect. 

This was against the backdrop of the swine flu development, with cornerbacks Sean Smith and Jason Allen missing the game while it was determined if they had that ailment.

The story was Chad Pennington looking very sharp including a 28-yard TD pass to Ronnie Brown and a 35-yard strike to Patrick Cobbs out of the Wildcat formation. (The 'Cats' back!) Every time I start to think of the Wildcat as a crutch, something to disguise other shortcomings, the damn things beats somebody!

Your thoughts on the game welcomed here. What most impressed or disappointed you?

[Note: Sorry I wasn't blogging during the game. I was off and out with the spouse for her birthday. I have found that live-blogging during a romantic dinner does not work to my long-term benefit].

August 21, 2009

Dolphins' Matt Roth problem (with poll); plus games-as-circuses, Project Runway, Zo High, gender-bending, Marlins take a hit, Shaq's steal, Plaxico & more

[Twitter.com/gregcote. It's fast. It's free. And it will help you lose weight while eating all you want!]

1mattrothMATT ROTH'S GROIN A GROWING PROBLEM FOR DOLPHINS: Bill Parcells has visited The Tuna Frown upon starting outside linebacker Matt Roth, who, claiming a mysterious groin injury, has sat himself out this entire training camp and preseason. (Click here for the latest in the odd tale). I say mysterious because Roth was sent to a specialist who detected no real issue. Roth had five sacks last year and hardly is indispensable, but he is a young, in-his prime starter being counted on. Is his injury that serious as indicated by his Cub Scout honesty at right? Is he a faker being lazy? Or do we not care all that much either way because we'd rather have Jason Taylor starting anyway? Take a cool dip in our poll and tell Matt what you think of him.

1heatoldies  TURNING GAMES INTO CIRCUSES: I have a column today (click here) poking fun at the ridiculous excesses that have infected professional sports, using as a launch-point the celebrity obsession of new Dolphins owner Stephen Ross but also including the Heat and more. As Peter Griffin would say, "That really grinds my gears." Remember when the game itself was the star of the show on stage by itself? That was before the exploding fireballs, dancers, acrobats, T-shirt cannons, jiggling Mermaids and sidelines haunted by Flo Rida. Another thing: I am the only one not laughing at the Heat's "Golden Oldies" or the Marlins' fat-guy "Manatees"? Just give me the [bleep, beep-bleep] game, please!

1saban  NICK SABAN SIGNS INFANT!: What else needs be said, really?

1gunntim  GUILTY PLEASURE: PROJECT RUNWAY: I admit it. Points for honesty? In fact my wife and I attended  a watch party last night for the season premiere of the TV reality show about fashion. Think American Idol except instead of singing people make dresses. I know, I know. To paraphrase a favorite line, the show couldn't be gayer if Liza were mayor. Makes for great TV, though, partly because my man Tim Gunn (pictured), impeccably steals every scene he's in. Anybody else admit to liking Runway

 MOURNING HIGH: (Mourning High. Sounds like Cheech getting baked in the a.m, at which point he is Zo High. Sorry). The new Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School is about to open. I think cities should think twice before they name schools and streets et cetera after living persons. For example, what if Zo and Tracy get divorced. Who'd get the school?

 MARLINS' PLAYOFF SHOT TAKES BIG HIT: The Marlins' loss last night coupled with other results sent the Fish's playoff chances reeling. The postseason likelihood is now 9.9 percent (after being 22.7 two games ago), according to the coolstandings site with which I've become smitten. It's 4.6% to win the division, 5.3% for the wild card. Still 41 games left, yeah. But a mountain to climb.

 SHAQ WITH THE STEAL!: Former teammate Steve Nash accuses Shaquille O'Neal of ripping off his idea withe Shaq's new "Vs." TV show in which he competes against other athletes in their sports. It is believed to be the first steal of Shaq's career. Dear Big Fella: Next time you pilfer somebody's idea, make it a better idea than "Vs."

 MIAMI AND WORLD CUP: City of Miami announces it has made the first cut and is one of 27 cities still being considered to host World Cup soccer matches in 2018 or 2022. This alone is not so impressive. I think to have not survived the first cut, a city has to have stated it planned to replace the Opening Ceremony with a casual barbecue. 

1caster 1katherineheigl  HE SAID, SHE SAID: Usain Bolt is setting records, sure, but the biggest news arising from track's world championships in Berlin is the outcry after South African teen Caster Semenya (pictured left) won the women's 800 meters at the world championships in Berlin. The problem is that a lot of people seem to think Caster isn't, well, female. In a related story, actress Katherine Heigl (right) evidently is a man.

 PLAXICO'S RAW DEAL: I'm no apologist for athlete misbehavior (quite the opposite), but I must say I think Plaxico Burress serving 20 months in prison for shooting himself in the thigh seems very harsh. Especially in the context of Donte Stallworth serving 24 days for DUI manslaughter.

1courtneylove  DEAR GREG...: ..."your blog's OK, but would be better if occasionally you would show a picture of Courtney Love with a turtle on her head. Thank you." 

 Leaving you with a quick reminder: Our friend Brendan Benson plays David Letterman tonight. Check out Twitter.com/Brendan_News 

August 18, 2009

Venus, Serena join Dolphins!; plus Dolphins QB of future poll, Marlins at 15%, Wade leaving?, Favre, Irvin-Iverson-Iggy & more

     [Good Thursday to ya. Thanks to all of yesterday's Chatters! We do it every Wednesday from 1-2. Click on Chat to join us live at that time or to post questions any time. Also, click on Twitter.com/gregcote to join the following there].

     Bulletin: Dolphins cut cornerback Eric Green. Retrospective/highlights of his Dolphins career airing in a special tonight on Channel 4 from 8 p.m. to 8:01.

     Venus, Serena Williams joining Dolphins: It'll be formally announced early next week that the famous tennis sisters are the latest celebrities with a small ownership stake in the Dolphins. Stephen Ross Gone Wild! Love, set, match! Henceforth when a Dolphin accidentally steps out of bounds it will be called a foot-fault.

     The Dolphins' starting QB in 2012 will be...: In my column off Monday night's Dolphins preseason-opening win (click on column), I discuss the quarterback situation and the imperative to find out whether Chad Henne is indeed the QB of the future. I know many of you are more in a what's-the-hurry mindset and think Chad Pennington might have a few more good years left. Take a dip in our poll and discuss. I'd steer general comments on last night's result to the separate game post just below this one, and steer QB-related palaver here.

1brett      Brett Favre: He's baa-aa-aack!: The once-twice-thrice retired Brett Favre signed with the Minnesota Vikings. No, seriously. And he says he isn't changing his mind again! He upgrades the Vikes at quarterback, I suppose, maybe, but how much, really? He is 39. And if you recall the way it ended for him with the Jets last season, you have to wonder. Also mulling whether this totally ruins his legacy in Green Bay and the way Packers fans will regard him. Circle Oct. 5 (Pack at Minny) and especially Nov. 1 (Favre at Lambeau). UPDATE: Betting-line people believe the public believes the Vikes are better with Favre. At Bodog.com, Minny's over/under on wins since the signing has gone from 9 to 9.5, and its Super Bowl odds from 18-1 to 12-1. And the over/unders on his passing yards and TDs are a fairly hefty 3,250 and 21.5.

     Miami gets a double-dose in new SI: The new Sports Illustrated in my mailbox this week has a cover story on Miami Project hero Marc Buoniconti by the excellent writer (and Miami Herald alum) S.L. Price. I had the pleasure of writing a big piece on Marc and his father Nick in 2006. SI's back page column, by Selena Roberts, focuses on FIU's summer decision to eliminate its marching band. (No, seriously). Oom-pa-pa! Suffice to say Roberts, who broke the A-Rod/steroids story, has chosen a somewhat less weighty subject this time.

     People think Wade will ditch Heat: In one of those ESPN "SportsNation" polls, 64 percent say Dwyane Wade will opt out and leave the Heat after this coming season. I am more optimistic D-Wade will re-sign long-term next summer, but don't think it's a slam dunk.

     Marlins bats stay hot, but in loss: Marlins last night increased to 15 their extraordinary streak of games with 10-plus hits, but in a loss. And the team's playoff shot took a mathematical hit, sinking from 22.7 percent to only 14.9, according to the coolstandings site I've told you about. It's  now only 7.8% for the division title and 7.1% for the wild card.

     Vick's expected impact: It's minimal. Bodog.com's betting over/under on Vick's season passing yards for the Eagles this year is 160.

     Allen Iverson all a-Twitter: He Tweet-ed yesterday that his people tell him they're "close" to a deal with an NBA team. I do not expect that team to be Miami.

     Bryce Brown investigated? Shock!: The NCAA investigating Bryce Brown and his "adviser" Brian Butler should shock nobody who has followed college football in the past year. Brown is the star running back who leaned to UM before siginig with Tennessee, and whose decision seems more and more like a win not a loss for the Canes. Click here for my February signing-day column on Butler's shady dealings.   

     Sid Rosenberg returning to local air: WQAM announcing that beginning Sept. 7 its on-air stable will add Sid Rosenberg, the fomer 790 The Ticket host, in the 10-2 slot. In a subtle dig at his ex- on the dial, "This is a tremendous opportunity to work with the best South Florida has to offer!" said Sid. Meeoowww! Good get for 'QAM. Sid is a real pro at what he does. He'll go up against two 790 shows. Colin  Cowherd (10-1) should do OK, but I might be worried if I were "Steve and Brandon" (1-3).

1irvin      Michael Irvin, dancing fool?: Hurricane Mike (pictured looking partner-ready) is among 16 celeb-dancers for upcoming season nine of Dancing With the Stars. He's one of four sporties in it along with fighter Chuck Liddell, Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin and pro skateboarder Louie Vito. I'll be watching just on the off-chance Lidell picks a fight with Donny Osmond.

1petawhale      PETA targets fat women: Let me ask you something, fatties (I don't mean to offend), but are you offended by the new PETA billboard pictured here at left? You'd think with Michael Vick back in the NFL they'd have more pressing things to worry about than women being overweight. It strikes that the people over at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are somewhat judgemental. Also they appear to be branching out into PITH, People for the Intolerant Treatment of Humans. Personally I have nothing against fat women, unless they take the seat next to me on a plane. Then again, they are thinking that I'm fat, so we're even.

1iggy      Iggy Pop fans: Alert!: Detroit legend Iggy Pop, now of Miami, will make a rare appearance this Saturday night hosted by Miami indie music store Sweat Records. It'll be at The Awarehouse, 550 NW 29 Street in Wynwood. Event is to launch a new Iggy T-shirt, whose design is pictured here. If ya don't know, now ya know, bloggaz.

     Click back. Might be adding more stuff.

August 17, 2009

PS1: Dolphins 12, Jacksonville 9; who most impressed?

     [OK self-appointed fantasy football experts. Tell me whether my first three draft picks were brilliant or stunk. Vote in the blogpoll one post below this one].

1mia 1jax    Click on Chad Henne for my column off last night's game. This preseason will have been a success if the Dolphins emerge from it with a better sense of whether Henne is their quarterback of the future.

     In-game chatter: 

     Dolphins win preseason opener over Jacksonviller, 12-9, on a pair of field goals and Chad Henne's 33-yard scoring pass to Ernest Wilford. Impressed? Thoughts welcome.

     4Q: Dolphins defense denies Jax at the Miami 5 with 2:47, preserving late lead.

     3Q: Chad Henne to Ernest Wilford, 33 yards for the TD and Miami back up 12-9 after missed extra point kick.

     3Q: Another Josh Scobee FG, this from 43, has Jax up 9-6, after a TD pass was nullified by penalty. An interception by Chad Henne helped lead to the points.

     Halftime: Various team mascots part of the halftime show. Keep waiting for the local mascots to start beating the crap out of the Florida Gator. Must start writing my column now to stave off an insane deadline. Column writing: It's what we did before blogging and Tweeting. 

     2Q: Josh Scobee 36-yard FG for J-Ville knots it 6-6, eight seconds before halftime.

     2Q: Connor Barth 27-yard FG puts Miami up 6-3, with 2:09 left in first half. Miami should have had six, but Ricky Williams dropped a would-be Chad Henne TD pass in end zone. T-Pain again on the song; tradition taking a hit.

     2Q: Jax ties it 3-3 on 43-yard FG by Josh Scobee. Would it be untoward of me to mention here that this is a game in desperate need of a highlight? I'll take a mediumlight. (And there is rookie Chris Williams obliging with a 37-yard punt return!)

     1Q: Dolphins, 3-0, on Dan Carpenter 48-yard FG, a told-ya-so to young Dan's early camp critics. Chad Pennington 4-for-4 on drive. T-Pain's reworked Dolphin fight song gets play over the original.

     7:35 p.m.: You know it's the preseason.  No military flyover. No gigantic flag. (Looks like rain here at Joe's Place).

     7:30 p.m.: Dolphins taking the field, with defense intro'd and biggest hand for Jason Taylor. Crowd filling in. Still a Marlins crowd, but now it's Marlins-Mets, at least.

     7:15 p.m.: I think I am at a Marlins game. Not just because of the dirt infield, but because the "crowd" is an expanse of mostly empty orange seats. Welcome to exhibition football! I am here so you don't have to be!

     6:30 p.m.: I walk into stadium past a Dan Marino character with a giant papier mache head. This is an apparent hallmark of new Stephen Ross administration: Your gameday experience enhanced not only by actual celebrities, but also by celebrities with giant papier mache heads.

     Original post:

     Dolphins play their first 2009 dress rehearsal tonight at Joe Robbie's place vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars. I like to call any NFL team's first preseason game the most anticipated event that means absolutely nothing in all of sports. Then again, of course, it means plenty to young or borderline players trying to wedge onto the final roster.

     I'll instantly update all score changes in the headline to this post and have occasional updates witin the text here, too. Share your thoughts before, during and of course after the game. Who wins doesn't much matter but who performs well or doesn't matter more. So who impressed you most or didn't? Did anything that happened change the way you feel about the team?

     I'll have a particular eye out for how QB Chad Henne looks in what should be a good amount of action. Also wondering how the stadium atmosphere may be different as Stephen Ross' celebrity-oriented ownership regime begins. Let's see how the T-Pain version of the old fight song goes over.

     By the way, our very popular "Dolfan Satisfaction Meter" weekly polls return to the blog this year, but starting with the regular season, not these pretend games.

     [Click on Twitter.com/gregcote to join the following and click on Chattapalooza to post your questions, comments, love letters or hatred to our live online chat. We do it every Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m.].

     [Any Brendan Benson fans out there? If so check out the brand new Twitter.com/Brendan_News, something I have undertaken just for grins].

August 13, 2009

Fantasy-football top trio (with poll); plus Tiger Woods, Marlins at 22%, Vick poll, Stewie & more


     [Hey it's another another recent, semi-creepy, mildly annoying pic of Greg Cote! Click Twitter.com/gregcote to follow. Click Chat to post questions any time for Wednesday's 1-2 pm live gab].

     Fantasy football poll: I'm in a little six-team league that held its draft Sunday (yeah, already). In this poll I list each team's 1-2-3 picks in order; however, the order in the poll is alphabetical based on the first pick. Vote and tell us which of these threesomes make the best foundation for a team, and why. Which three would you least like to have? Later today after results begin to gel I'll tell you which threesome is mine.

     [Blogpoll note: Promised to tell you so I am: My team is the squad with Turner/Manning/Moss, second place in the voting. The winning Adrian Peterson team is that of my son, Chris. HE'S GROUNDED!!!]

1tiger      OMG! Tiger is human: Tiger Woods is no longer perfect when entering the final day of a major with the lead. Little-known Y.E. Yang knocked him out Sunday in the PGA Championship, thanks in part to Tiger looking like me on too many makeable putts. (That ain't good. I generally shoot in the low 90s and invented the three-putt). Today, for the first time, I am beginning to think that Woods catching and surpassing Jack Nicklaus for all-time major wins isn't a given or inevitable. I'd still bet he does it, but don;t think it's anutomatic any more. You?

     Michael Vick back in NFL: Who let the dog in!? (Sorry). Out of football since 2006 after serving a federal sentence for his dog-fighting operation, Michael Vick is back in the NFL after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. I think it is notable Vick was signed by a very good team. I think it begs the question, "He was good enough for arguably the NFC's best team but he wasn't good enough for [your team]?" Y'all know I think Vick would have been a perfect fit for the Dolphins' Wildcat offense, so I won't belabor that. But I would ask: How do you feel about Vick being back? Take a dip in our poll and elaborate.

     Marlins take two of three from Rockies: Disappointing to drop the second game of Sunday's doubleheader but still 2-1 in huge series vs Rockies. The Marlins' playoff likelihood has now crept up to 22.2 percent, according to the coolstandings site I've told you about. The division title shot is put at 12.6% and the wild-card shot at 9.6%.

     Olympics gone weird: Women's boxing will be in the 2012 Summer Olympics, and golf and rugby have been officially recommended for the 2016 Olympics. Women's boxing. Golf. Rugby. I think the common denominator here is the question, "HAS THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE GONE [BLEEPIN'] NUTS OR WHAT!?!"

     If Greg Cote Ruled the World, one in a series: "Jon & Kate" would drop off the face of the Earth and their eight kids would be adopted by parents more interested in quietly raising kids right than in whoring themselves out as spotlight-loving reality-show cretins.

1bar      A woman named Bar: I am proposing that this (pictured left) may be most every man's perfect woman: Someone who looks like this and answers when you say, "Bar!" (Bar Refaeli). A suppose a woman named Bar must like sports, too. 

     Any John Daly fans out there like me?: Click on I Found It for a music video of his that I enjoyed, relatively speaking. Guy has a new CD coming out soon. He ain't bad. More important, he's interesting.

     Time-warp: Music: A new Pew Research Center study surveyed Americans 15 and older about their favorite music acts both past and current, and the Beatles (81%) and Elvis Presley (79%) had the highest overall "like" rating. Contemporary acts fared worse, including Coldplay (39%), dead last among 20 acts.

1howard2      Time-warp: College football: A reader in response to my recent Howard Schnellenberger column Twitpic'd the vintage Schnellenberger-Bowden cartoon (left) that I pass along here for your nostalgic pleasure.

1stewie     OMG! Stewie is gay!: One of the masterminds of the brilliant cartoon Family Guy has come out (so to speak) and revealed that Stewie is a gay baby.  Click here for the tale. Well. Anyone who is an FG devotee (like me) might not see this as a startling revelation. Revealing that Stewie is gay is about as shocking as announcing that Brian is pretty erudite for a dog.

      Brand new Twitter site, Twitter.com/Brendan_News, highly recommended for fans of singer Brendan Benson, who breaks from The Raconteurs to drop a new CD, "My Old, Familiar Friend" on Tuesday.

August 12, 2009

So Fla's next big star (with poll); plus UM to go 7-5, Marlins, soccer, Pitino, PETA, Tiger, topless Miss U & more

      [Mad thanks to all who joined our live online chat this week; maybe a record response. We do it every DSC01093_0355    Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. and you'd click on Chat to join live or to post a question at any time. We also invite you to join the growing army at Twitter.com/gregcote. Granted, we're like the Canadian army on a scale of armies, but still. This message was brought to you by the photo of me at left, which was taken a few weeks ago and accentuates both my big, crooked nose and also my industrial-strength eyebrows].

     Name South Florida's next big star: Here is the premise. It is two years from now, 2011. Which of these possibilities do we have the best chance of seeing: 1) Heat's Michael Beasley, after his third season, has blossomed into the huge star Pat Riley dreamed of; 2) Hurricanes' Jacory Harris, as a senior, is a big-time college QB going to the Heisman ceremony (pink suit or not); 3) Dolphins QB Chad Henne is firmly entrenched and looking like a long-term solution; or 4) Marlins centerfielder Cameron Maybin, after a false start or two, finally is established as the five-tool star they imagined. Vote in our poll and drop a comment on your logic. (Or if you think our next big star will be none of these four).

     No love for Canes in SI college football preview: UM is predicted to go 7-5 overall, 4-4 in the ACC and return to the Emerald Bowl (vs. UCLA) in the Sports Illustrated collball preview issue that hit my mailbox Wednesday. Mammoth Hurricanes OT Jason Fox is listed among ACC top performers and S RayRay Armstrong gets a shoutout as a true freshman to watch. SI sees FAU 7-5 overall in the Sun Belt and playing in the GMAC Bowl vs. Ohio (not be confused with Ohio State). The mag has FIU being Belted with a 3-9 season. (Sorry, Mario). UPDATE: ESPN The Magazine likes The U a bit more. In the new college preview issue Miami is ranked No. 22 In Bruce Feldman's T25 and picked for second in the ACC Coastal, with Jacory Harris likened to "a more mobile Ken Dorsey."

     Bumper Stickers I'd Love to See, one in a series: 'Honk If Reggie Miller Has Flirted With Your Wife.' 

     'Skateboarding pioneer Andy Kessler dead at 48': That was an actual headline I saw today. I am imagining a man darkly embittered over his 'pioneer' status doing nothing to help him escape a life lost in the inescapable shadow of Tony Hawk, the very mention of whose name was apt to drive the underappreciated pioneer into a deep, sodden funk. Or maybe they were best friends I dunno.

1nialong      PETA, bad. PETA ads, good: You might know from my various Michael Vick-related columns and blog items that I don't much like the zealots at publicity-craving PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. However, I very much do like some of their ads, including the latest pictured here featuring actress Nia Long. I have never heard of Nia Long but appreciate her work. The ad is supposed to make me not want to wear fur. Instead, its primary effect is to make me want to ride a subway much more often.

     NFL suspends Donte Stallworth for season: Announced this morning. In effect, what the Miami-Dade courts didn't get done in terms of punishment, Roger Goodell did.

     "U-S-A! U-S-Awww." Mexico wins: Another close-don't-count, we're-beyond-moral-victories day for U.S. soccer. The Americanos now a ridiculous 0-23-1 at nemesis Azteca Stadium vs. Mexico after today's 2-1 loss. We led 1-nil but there was no comfort there and the Mexicans then crossed the U.S. border I mean goal line twice. Still like the U.S. chances to qualify for the World Cup. Meantime imagine if soccer announcers started working for NBA teams and we heard those calls about 50 or 60 times a game. "Dwyane Wade for the 20-foot jumper ... FIELD GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!"

1chrisc     Streaking Marlins finally lose: The Marlins' five-game winning streak ended tonight at home. The streak had raised the team's playoffs chances to 23.3 percent, according to the website I discovered (click here) that calculates and continually updates each team's postseason shot. Now, with the loss, it's down to a 15.5 percent likelihood -- 9.9% for the division title and 5.6% for the wild card. Aside to Houston manager Cecil Cooper: Intentionally walking anybody to get to Hanley Ramirez is the worst idea since New Coke. Meanwhile, Chris Coghlan (pictured) lately has been the hottest thing in America not being chased by a fire truck.

1pitino      Pitino's rep takes a hit, but job is safe: There is speculation (click here) that Rick Pitino's Louisville basketball job is in jeopardy over his "sex scandal" because of a moral-depravity clause in his contract. Let me make this clear: I will walk from Miami to Kentucky wearing a pink pimp suit if Louisville fires Pitino over this. Not gonna happen. First, this occured in August 2003. Second, it was an apparent one-time-only thing, and I have to think marital infidelity ranks pretty low on the "moral depravity" totem pole, especially when it happened six years earlier. This only became news at all because Pitino had the great misfortune to apparently choose a nutcase for his fleeting affair, a woman, Karen Sypher, who is accused of lying to the FBI and trying to extort $10 million from Pitino. The lovely couple is pictured.

     Latest evidence of Panthers' NHL woe: You want to know why your Florida Panthers haven't made the NHL playoffs since the Zamboni machine was a mastadon? The latest evidence: AOL.com lists the league's top 50 players (click here) and zero Cats make the list. However we do see former Panthers Roberto Luongo at No. 6, Jay Bouwmeester at No. 37, and Olli Jokinen probably just missing the top fitty.  

  1dolcheercalendar    Bulletin: Dolphins 2010 Cheerleader Calendar now available: How would you ever keep track of time without help from this parade of perky? The calendar includes the quartet pictured left. Not seen here but just off-camera, to the right of the blond: a leering Rick Pitino. Also, come to think of it, didn't I see one of these women partying with Josh Hamilton? No? Maybe not.

     Smart coddling by PGA Tour: Well Tiger Woods wasn't fined by the PGA Tour after all for his criticism of rules officials. There's a shock, huh? The tour understands that a farmer does not scold or upset his cash cow. The farmer feeds well his prize, coos in its ear and offers a massage.

     "Would I like your autograph? Ah, no, not really": It has been announced that former Mets first baseman Ed Kranepool and former Yankees pitcher Stan Bahnsen will sign free autographs Aug. 28 at Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek, because evidently all of the players whose autographs people might actually want already were booked.

1dayana     Oops. Miss Universe forgets clothing: Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza from Venezuela, will appear topless in Maxim days after relinquishing her crown. Evidently Miss Universe is taking on a new title, Miss Globes. The visual evidence at right strongly suggests the Maxim spread shan't be the first time the young Miss has favored a photographer with her buffosity.

August 10, 2009

Dolphin Fight Song v. Challengers (with poll); plus Schnellenberger, Miami World Cup bid, Marlins at 21.4%, Vick, Britto/Lebo & more

     [Join the parade at Twitter.com/gregcote and click on Chat to post a question early for our Wednesday 1-2 p.m. live online chat]

     Battle of the bands, Dolphin-style!: You know the original classic Dolphin Fight Song. Now there is a new, hip-hoppier version of that song by T-Pain. There also is Jimmy Buffett's song Fins with special Dolphinized lyrics. Below we offer you all three songs and a poll on which you like most or hate least.

1fight1      1. Original old-school version: Click on Old Classic for the original version of the Dolphin Fight Song, the one you hear ad nauseum at the home stadium after every Miami score. The one with the lyrics ("Miami has the Dolphins, the greatest football team...") that haven't been accurate for 35 years but who cares!

1fight2      2. New hip-hop version: Click on T-Painful (aw, that was mean) for the full version of the newly updated Dolphin Fight Song by T-Pain, featuring Miami rapper Pitbull. Warning: The video is just a bunch of Dolfans dancing badly. Click on Shorty for a snippet that is only 30 seconds but was recorded live Friday night at the old Versace Mansion during the cheerleader calendar party. The T-Pain version is surprisingly faithful to the original, hardly crunkified at all. (I want to be the guy on the hip-hop stage doing nothing more than occasionally shouting, "HEYYY!")

1fight3      3. Jimmy Buffettized version: Click on Parrotheads for the Buffett song "Fins" with lyrics rewritten to make it a song you'll hear at games, guaranteed, with a live performance video. Note: The song starts at 1:45 mark.


1howard      Howard Schnellenberger at age 75: I spent an interesting afternoon today soaking up some South Florida history with 1983 UM football champion and current FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger as he set out on his 25th season as a college head coach and (hard to believe) ninth season with the Owls. Click here for the resulting column, online now and shipping to Tuesday's paper.

1awc     Goooaaaaalllll! Miami bidding for 2018 World Cup: Miami has established a bid committee with the goal of being a host city for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, or failing that, the one in 2022. Miami-Dade Commissiooner Pepe Diaz chairs the committee, whose members include former Fort Lauderdale Striker Nene Cubillas, Emilio Estefan, Alonzo Mourning, and spotlight-adoring Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. This is a good thing, and good luck to the bid-men. I'm as about excited I can be about something that might or not be happening in nine years.

     Who let the dogs out?: CBS announced today that Michael Vick will appear on 60 Minutes this coming Sunday Aug. 16, interviewed by a James Brown. A nice get for the network. If you can't get Erin Andrews, Steve Bartman or Jimmy Hoffa, Vick may be the next best thing. (PS: A Washington Post blog says "at least five teams" in the NFL are interested in Vick. I still say Miami shoulda been one of 'em!)

1broom      Marlins' improved playoff chances: The Marlins' four straight wins have improved their postseason chances to 21.4 percent, according to an interesting website, coolstandings.com, that calculates and constantly updates playoff odds. Click here for the website. They now put Florida's division-title shot at 16.3% and the wild-card shot at 5.1%.

     Dolphins diss Le Batard! This is a major controversy that I am contriving here in the blog. It is a 1britto 1lebo complete non-issue and yet here I am, plowing forth. The Miami Dolphins are dissing the Le Batard family, and I cannot sit idly by and allow that to happen without commentary. The club announced it has aligned with the local Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto to paint artwork outside the stadium. Well it so happens that Britto's arch rival is the local Cuban pop artist Lebo, who happens to be colleague Dan Le Batard's exceptionally talented younger brother. The two men have similar styles -- I mean Britto and Lebo -- although either would cringe at the comparison. Arch rivals, remember? An example of Britto's art is pictured left, and Lebo's right. This blog is a Lebo friend and fan all the way. "Lebo! Lebo! LEBO!!" (As a matter of fact, Lebo was kind enough to donate the artwork for our original Upset Bird bumper stickers. I think we'll be giving away a bunch more of those oddities this coming football season. Stay tuned).

1sauna      World Sauna Championships: Yeah, they were held this past weekend in Finland (story here), and pictured at right is the man who won, Timo Kaukonen, a Finn. Would it be untoward of me to mention that, based on visual evidence, spending a lot of time in the sauna apparently is of limited use in the eradication of man-boobs?

     In yo' Face(book)!: A new study (click here to read) suggests that Facebook can be dangerous to relationships. However, another study -- I forget whose it was -- indicated that readers of Greg Cote's Random Evidence blog enjoyed five times more sex on average than other people.

1buffettbeer      Tip for running a successful business: When delivering a large quantity of beer, especially when the beer is going to a celebrity, and especially when said beer is closely affiliated with said celebrity, might be a good idea to spell Jimmy [Bleepin'] Buffett's last name right, moron! Thank you.

1deville      R.I.P., Willy DeVille: Gone too soon, the too-little-known frontman for the forever-underrated group, Mink DeVille.