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13 posts from August 2010

August 09, 2010

Tiger Woods: Rooting for him or glad he's struggling? (with poll); plus Isiah Thomas (duct-taped), LeBron on his "sidekick," J.J./Survivor update, Broncos sign Friar Tuck & more

[Note: Thought it a bit wimpy of the Dolphins to move last night's practice from open-at-stadium to closed-in-bubble on account of the threat of rain. Tens of thousands of fans were disappointed. Note II: Thanks to ESPN's "Outside the Lines" for having us on. Also, join us at Twitter.com/gregcote, where every ten-thousandth follower is automatically entered into a drawing for fabulous cash prizes!]

ROOTING FOR TIGER? OR CHEERING HIS DECLINE?: Once-dominant Tiger Woods suffered his worst-ever PGA Tour event over the weekend, shooting a 298, and now must regather his game for next week's major PGA Championship. Woods surpassing Jack Nicklaus for all-time major wins once seemed certain. Now (he trails 18-14) it seems in doubt if not outright unlikely. Even though Woods slimed himself with his notorious inability keep keep his club in the bag, I still feel badly for him and root for his career rally. Meantime his slide and struggle is the most compelling thing in golf. Do you root for Tiger or cheer his decline? Take a dip in our poll and tell us why.

1aajamesleb NO WEDDING PLANS FOR LEBRON, "SIDEKICK": The latest Harper's Bazaar has a story (click here) with LeBron James' longtime girlfriend, Savannah Brinson (pictured), the mother of his two sons ages 5 and 3. She wants to get married but won't hurry him. He is quoted: "A person like myself always needs a great sidekick and a person you can rely on no matter the circumstances. And she's that. She's got my back, and I love her for that." A great sidekick? I thought that was D-Wade's role!

MORE WAYS THAT LEBRON AND DWYANE ARE NOT LIKE YOU AND I: How about that the Heat's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade played basketball with President Obama over the weekend? Did you? Did I? (Can't speak for you. I did not). The game, also including Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and other current and ex-stars, took place in a gym near the White House, for the entertainment of wounded veterans. No media, and thus no photos. Obama is pretty good, but I'm guessing he gets some breaks, too. Picture defenders parting like the Red Sea when the Prez is driving the lane.

1aatebowhair EVEN GOD MOCKS TEBOW'S NEW HAIRCUT: Ex-Gators QB Tim Tebow sports a Friar Tuck-style haircut (left) as part of the Denver Broncos' rookie hazing. Is there a pithy Biblical scripture offering solace, wisdom or strength as one confronts a truly horrific haircut?

1aacastaways JIMMY JOHNSON/SURVIVOR UPDATE: We've blogged before about our J.J., of Islamorada, being on Survivor: Nicaragua this fall. Well, the cast of 20 has been announced and includes one other local, Brenda Lowe, 27, of Miami, who owns a paddleboard company. Here is the official castaways photo. J.J.'s rockin' the Tommy Bamaha look at lower right.

APOLOGETIC REF JUSTIFIES SEAHAWKS FANS' WHINING: NFL referee Bill Leavy admitted to Seattle media that his missed calls contributed to Pittsburgh's 21-10 victory five Super Bowls ago. "I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game," he said. "I'll go to my grave wishing I'd been better." The city of Pittsburgh responded by issuing a statement that read, "Ha ha. Too late!"

1aashanna PLAYMATE INFILTRATES LOCKERROOM!: University of Central Florida recoils, retreats and apologizes because Playboy's Miss July used the Knights' football lockerroom for a photo shoot for the August issue of Axis magazine -- granted access by someone not authorized to do so. Click on Sexy Knights for the resulting YouTube vid starring Playmate Shanna McLaughlin (right). Don't worry. It's only PG-rated. A teasing glimpse of underboob is about as risque as it gets. But can you imagine if this happened involving not a second-tier program prominent only in and around Orlando but, say, the Hurricanes? Oh my.

1aaisiahnoh8 ISIAH THOMAS, DUCT-TAPED: FIU basketball coach and Knicks consultant Isiah Thomas and his son (left) appeared duct-taped in an ad for the NOH8 (No Hate) campaign, whose causes include support for gay marriage.

MEN'S TENNIS: WE STINK: This week, for the first time since the computer ratings began in 1973, no American man is in the top 10 in the ATP rankings. That's after flag-bearing Andy Roddick fell to 11th. Also it has been 27 consecutive Grand Slam events since a U.S. male won a tennis major. (And the women's side wouldn't be much better for the States if not for the Williams sisters gettin' it done).

1aajrice RICE-STUFFED BIRD: Newly minted Hall of Famer Jerry Rice inexplicably offers an obscene gesture (right) while being interviewed during last night's Hall of Fame game by a person resembling 1aabutt-head Beavis' friend, Butt-Head (left). Rice and Emmitt Smith were inducted along with a handful of immensely less-deserving fellows, a group I'll summarize with the following two-word question: Floyd Little!?

CLEVELAND CONFIRMED AS CRAPPY PLACE TO LIVE: Yet another survey of Worst Places to Live in America (click here) dubiously cites the city forsaken by LeBron James, the city LeBron renamed Leaveland. This survey has Cleveland rated No. 2, behind El Centro, Calif. I am duty-bound to mention Miami makes the list at No. 9 having something to do with crime, foreclosures and maniacal drivers -- nuisances all rendered minor by the fact we have a kick-ass basketball team. WOOOOO!

DUMB WAYS TO DIE: Another in a series. I mean, I'm sorry but people who die jumping out of airplanes or cliff diving or things like that simply do not engender the sympathy of, say, murder victims. With all due respect I'd nominate this man for that had-a-hand-in-his-own-demise category.

SO I'M READING...: ...this headline and I'm thinking, "That's one more reason you'll never find Greg Cote moving to Germany!"

Click back. Probably will have upates and new stuff later on...

August 06, 2010

A-Rod: Cheater or hero? (with poll); plus Jacory Harris, NBA security concerns for LeBron, American Idol looks to Dolphins, Shaq, Iran & more

[Join us at Twitter.com/gregcote, where every ten-thousandth follower is automatically entered into a drawing for fabulous cash prizes!]

[Friday update: Click on Canes Confident, But Quietly for today's column by me on the Miami Hurricanes' and Jacory Harris' approach to this football season. It's different than a year ago, and for the better. By the way, the USA Today coaches' poll is out today -- the first major preseason poll released -- and it has Florida 3rd, UM 13th and FSU 20th. 'Bama and Ohio State 1-2 as expected.

[Thursday update: Chad Pennington: Somebody in the local media suggests the Dolphins trade Pennington to the Vikings for a second-round draft pick. Love the idea but for three minor matters: 1) Strong likelihood that Brett Favre won't retire probably makes whole thing moot. 2) No team in its right mind will give a 2R pick for a 34-year-old QB coming off injury and seen, at this point, as a hat-and-clipboard guy. 3) With Chad Henne still unproven (not to mention injury factor), Pennington is the perfect backup/insurance and more valuable in Miami than elsewhere. Questions?]  

1aaarod A-ROD HITS 600TH. BUT IS HE A HERO OR CHEATER?: Yankee Alex Rodriguez, Miami-bred and a Canes baseball benefactor, today became the seventh man to hit 600 career home runs. But the achievement is at least somewhat tainted, considering he admitted (after being exposed by Sports Illustrated) to using performance-enhancing drugs for three years while a Texas Ranger. That in turn invites one to wonder if the PED use was confined to just those seasons. Opinions differ on A-Rod. Give us yours. Take a dip in our poll and also consider this: If you had a Hall of Fame vote, does A-Rod get in on the first ballot, eventually ... or never?

SOURCE: NBA TAKING OVER SECURITY FOR LEBRON @ CAVS: Reports say the Heat will play at Cleveland on Dec. 2 (the full schedule is out next week), and a source of mine in the league office tells me the NBA is very concerned about LeBron James' safety in an arena full of angry Cavaliers fans. The NBA in fact plans to oversee security operations for that game as it would during an NBA Finals. Am told the Heat also is considering plans to bring additional security personnel beyond what normally travels with the team.

1aaheatscarface HEAT's NEW 'SCARFACE' SHIRT: Love the Heat's newest line of T-shirts (see right) featuring the Big Three. The line at the bottom: "Say hello to my little friends." I think this will be a big seller in South Florida. In Cleveland, not so much.

RESPECT YOUR ELDERS: ON FAVRE AND SHAQ: Notable how the wavering futures of Brett Favre and Shaquille O'Neal should be of such sudden inetrest to Dolphins and Heat fans. The Dolphins' second game of the regular season is at Minnesota, so whether or not Favre is retired or playing will haver a huge impact on that result. And Shaq? Well, him signing Wednesday with the Celtics means the Heat's Oct. 26 season opener at Boston has one more layer of intrigue. (Like it needed one!) By the way, Boston adding Shaq means the Celtics are so old they are now being covered not by sportswriters but by archaelogists.

DOLPHIN INJURIES MOUNT: Training camp isn't a week old and Miami has lost three players for the season to injuries: Defenders Phillip Merling and rookie A.J. Edds, and now RB Kory Sheets. I can just imagine what Dolfans must be thinking: "Let's hope the next one isn't somebody important!"

1aajlo 'AMERICAN IDOL' TAPPING DOLPHINS' J-LO?: It says here that so many preferred stars have declined the chance that American Idol is now settling for has now asked Jennifer Lopez to be one of its new judges. I know J-Lo is not technically among the Dolphins' cadre of celebrity part-owners, but her husband Marc Anthony is, and as long as there exists the photo at right I'll continue to include her. Dammit. Upside: Maybe one of AI's theme nights will see all contestants singing the Dolphin Fight Song. Or is that a downside?

1aaalbert ALBERT HAYNESWORTH: Malcontent 350-pound Redskin Albert Haynesworth (pictured), who is to team chemistry what muriatic acid is to iced tea, failed a conditioning test that requires a player to run a 300-yard shuttle in less than 70 seconds, then (after a 3 1/2-minute break), run it again in less than 73 seconds. D.C.-area journalists have been scrambling to try it themselves in a (somewhat) clever and (not so) unique way to shame Fat Albert. I figured it's too hot in South Florida to try that. So I localized the story and, in an homage to the Marlins' Chris Coghlan, attempted to throw a shaving-cream pie in someone's face without injuring my knee. (Postscript: I did it, then ran 300 yards in 44 seconds escaping the enraged burly stranger I'd pied).

1aadolphlottery DOLPHINS BED-UP WITH LOTTERY: Florida Lottery announces a new Dolphin Scratch-Off game (pictured), where for a meager $5 investment you could win $100,000! I think it should be a Scratch-and-Sniff game, offering the fragrant scent of the inside of a helmet following a practice in 95-degree heat. I love how the NFL (wink, wink) officially detests gambling, even though betting on games, in Vegas and illegally, clearly drives interest and TV ratings. I also love how the NFL conveniently acts as if playing the lottery isn't really gambling in allowing its teams to partner up with state lotteries. Tell it to the middle-class-and-lower schmoes who can least afford to play the lottery but flock to it like crack addicts.

"HEY, AYATOLLAH, LEAVE THOSE KIDS ALONE!": This I find interesting. Pink Floyd has green-lighted its classic anthem, "Another Brick in the Wall," to be rewritten as a protest song for the Iranian resistance nmovement. Click here for the resulting YouTube video. What's notable, to me, is that, in the Internet age, President Obama sternly admonishing Iran's government probably has less power to foment change than viral grass-roots stuff like this.

UNDER THE DOME: Just finished Stephen King's thousand-pages-plus opus, Under the Dome. I'm one of King's "constant readers" and love most of his stuff, but this one is especially good. No writer makes small towns and plain folks come to life more compellingly. Highly recommended.

THE DEATH OF BILL COSBY DEATH RUMOR: Heyheyhey Bill Cosby isn't happy about an Internet hoax saying he'd died. I think whomever started the hoax meant to say that Cosby is alive but that his career died around 1993, shortly after Claire Huxtable kicked him out of the house.

Click back. Adding more stuff to this post later tonight and into Thursday...

August 02, 2010

On Miami Herald coverage of FIU vs. UM (with poll); plus Dolphins hazing, my Caribbean furlough, Marlins, LeBron story ESPN killed & more

[Thanks to today's live-chatters. Sorry we started late. Click HERE to read transcripts or to post questions any time. Also, join the following at Twitter.com/gregcote]

[Wednesday update: Click on Waving Goodbye on today's column from me off last night's Marlins game].

[Tuesday update: Click on Feed the Wolf, Save a Starving Dolfan for that day's column by me from Dolphins training camp].  

1aahurrs2 1aahurrs MIAMI HERALD'S COVERAGE OF FIU VS. UM: A lot of clanging and clamoring about this lately, after defrocked Herald FIU beat-guy Pete Pelegrin quit the paper after firing off a bitter 'n sour departing-shot blogpost about how the Golden Panthers supposedly got short-changed in coverage compared to UM's Hurricanes. Yesterday the paper's ombudsman found Pelegrin's rant to be unprofessional and pointed out that the success of UM and far-greater reader interest in the Canes justified the coverage disparity. I certainly agree. Especially as relates to football, Miami is simply an enormously bigger program than FIU and should be covered as such. You may not agree. Take a dip in our poll and say why.


Spent the past week of glorious unpaid furlough vacation with the fam aboard the Liberty of the Seas on a seven-day Caribbean cruise. (Sorry Mr. Carnival, Micky Arison, but we're Royal Caribbean people. Nothing personal). We stopped in St. Maarten's, Puerto Rico and Haiti. Quick observations: St. Maarten's (half French, half Dutch) was funky and interesting. San Juan I'd gladly skip. Haiti was gorgeous; then again, we tourists were in Labadee, far from the poverty and earthquake's effects. My two sons and I were jet-skiing and nowhere near the misery, to the party tune of a steel-drum band. Sort of bizarre, but what can I say? There are humanitarian missions, and there are unpaid furloughs vacations. Can't do everything. My time away was relaxing, and nourishing. Pounding about 75 Red Stripes might have helped. Did OK in the casinos, which is gamblespeak for not losing much on balance. The poker and roulette tables and slot machines were generally not my friends, but the blackjack table was! (Pictured here: Terrified tourists on a jet ski attempt to outpace a rogue cruiseliner aiming to run them down. I might post an actual vacation photo or two when I divine how to get something from a digital camera into a blog, a method likely simple but presently as mysterious to me as Chinese).


Pictured left is Dolphins rookie Travis Ivey wearing way too many shoulder pads Sunday as part of the team's standard rookie hazing ritual. Hmm. It's about 95 degrees with scorching humidity during these training-camp practices. Am I being overly cautious to think the hazing probably should not involve extra equipment or anything apt to increase the likelihood a player might collapse of heat stroke? I'm just sayin'. Coach Tony Sparano on Monday said rookie hazing "at times is good fun and good for [team] chemistry," but he also allowed that at times it goes overboard and is "ridiculous." I think the picture at left, in sauna conditions, qualifies as the latter. I'd expect Sparano to step in and remind his troops that hazing should not involve any health risk in any way.

SPEAKING OF DUBIOUS RITUALS...: Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan, injured while pieing a teammate. Good gawd. Now the routine of the postgame pie in the face has been at least temporarily suspended. How can fine-tuned athletes find such ridiculous ways to get injured? Must make a note to ask that of Padres pitcher Mat Latos, who injured himself withholding a sneeze. (Speaking of Marlins: Sorry to see Jorge Cantu traded, but glad to see the team resisted all offers to deal Dan Uggla or Ricky Nolasco. Also glad Cody Ross is still around). 


Aalebronfan CLEVELAND STILL CAN'T GET PAST IT: The other day a young man with cojones the size of grapefruits wearing a LeBron James/Heat jersey was heckled and then escorted out of an Indians game in Cleveland (see photo). Evidently Clevelanders' elongated mourning of James' departure has included a selective abolition of Constitutional rights. Or maybe this was seen as yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater; in this case, sort of yelling "Ha ha ha!" in a crowded baseball stadium. Click here for some Joe Posnanski on Cleveland's continuing cartoon anger toward LeBron. I believe Cavaliers fans will be seen less and less sympathetically and more and more as pathetic, or perhaps as raving lunatics, the longer their can't-get-past-it venom continues.

DEATH BY VANITY: You know how you feel less bad about some deaths than others? Like when a guy walking along railroad tracks is struck by a train? I mean, you feel bad, sure, but at the same time you're also thinking, "Dumbass." Well, when I read this headline I though "Dumbass" was particularly apropos.

LINDSAY LOHAN UPDATE: Celebrity-for-no-apparent-reason Lindsay Lohan has been released from jail after serving 13 days of a 90-day sentence for probation voliation stemming from a 2007 DUI arrest. She'll now spend 90 days in rehab and be on probation again until August 2011. Lohan's next probation violation and arrest has been tentatively scheduled for early December.  

OZZIE GUILLEN RECORDS 1,000TH CAREER RANT: The White Sox manager blasts MLB, saying the sport treats Asian players better than Latino players. Guillen now leads all professonal sports in being enchanted by the sound of his own voice and offering opinions about everything. He had previously been tied for first with Stan Van Gundy.

Click back. Will be adding more stuff to this post throughout the day...