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23 posts from September 2010

September 30, 2010

Here it comes. The Strongest Week Ever; plus Marlins' 2010 MVP vote (with poll), Tuna, LeBron playing race card, unfair shots at Brandon Marshall & more

[Note: Our Dolphins' Wildcat poll still accepting votes in blog post directly below this one].

THE STRONGEST WEEK EVER!: Hyperbole? Maybe. But I'll make the case that this coming week is the biggest, best and most interesting we have ever experienced for multiple local major sports. Top this:

1aabrady Monday Oct. 4---Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Dolphins in a major AFC East duel, marking the first time since December 2004 that Miami has had the NFL prime-stage on consecutive weeks.

1aabrady2 Tuesday Oct. 5---The dream (team) finally becomes real as LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh play an actual game together for the first time. Detroit at Heat is an exhibition, yeah. So why will the arena be full?

1aabrady3 Saturday Oct. 9---Hurricanes host rival Florida State in a major ACC battle.

(Dolphins-Pats, Heat debut, Canes-Noles. What if you could only watch one and had to choose. Which would you pick?)

Oh, and Sunday, Oct. 10, the Panthers play their NHL regular-season opener at Edmonton. OK, it's a distant fourth on the strong-week meter. But still! And imagine if the Marlins had done their part and been better. Their Sunday Oct. 3 season finale, here vs. Pittsburgh, might have kicked off the week with a game that determined the final playoff spot.

I smile when I hear complaints about what a lousy sports town this supposedly is. I sure don't agree as a sports columnist; I'm like a fat guy in an all-you-can-eat buffet line. Have to think most local fans are pretty happy as well with all we have on the plate down here.

Strongest Week Ever! (Patent pending on that phrase, by the way).

MARLINS MVP POLL: Only a few meaningless games remain so it's time to anoint the 2010 Marlins Most Valuable Player. I have included what I consider to be the six most legitimate candidates. Almost added Mike Stanton but didn't feel he played enough of the season. Have your say!

1aacinco WANT A LITTLE SEX WITH YOUR CEREAL?: We've mentioned before that Chad Ochocinco of the Bengals (and Miami) has his name on a cereal called Ochocincos. It's a fundraiser for a charity called Feed the Children. One small problem. Feed the Children's number is 1-888-HELP-FTC. The cereal box mistakenly lists an 800 number that directs callers to a phone-sex line. OY!

1aacartermav LEBRON PLAYS THE RACE CARD: LeBron James and his business manager Maverick Carter (pictured), told CNN they think race was a factor in how LeBron leaving Cleveland for Miami was portrayed in the media. "I think so at times," LeBron said. "It's always, you know, a race factor." Carter said he "definitely" thought that was so. Thursday, LBJ did not back down, saying, "I'm not going to go back on my words." Now, LeBron feels what he feels, but I find it hard to agree. I know some might -- sounds like a Le Batard column waiting to happen!  :)  :D  I just wish either man had elaborated or been specific, because to throw that out as an offhand generality is pretty shabby. Especially since the most notable critics of James' move (Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley) are black.

ON CRITICISM OF BRANDON MARSHALL: One fault I have of my own business (media) is that we sometimes make too much of stuff and give it weight it doesn't deserve. Latest example: A few rather benign comments on NFL Network suggest Brandon Marshall ran out of gas late in the Jets game and now Marshall must respond and it's a "story." Please. Two things. 1) This network is a 365/24/7 outfit doing nothing but talking about one league. Axiomatically it must fill and kill time and sometimes that includes blather and nonsense. 2) Marshall in that game caught 10 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. If that is running out of gas, may he remain on fumes all season!

AS THE TUNA TURNS: Dolphins roster-god-turned-consultant Bill Parcells, in a conference call related to his induction onto the Giants honor roll, hinted he isn't satisfied by his new consultants role and wants more. Hmm. Really. Wasn't this your idea, Tuna? I mean, what are you doing? Staying? Leaving? Content? Antsy? You have made yourself a distraction, Billy.

THE LIST: FOOTBALL'S FAMOUS NO. 12'S: Someone on my live chat this week asked who in the NFL popularized No. 12 as an iconic number for quarterbacks. I wasn't certain off the top of my head, but this list may be a decent answer. Quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who wore 12, chronologically:

Joe Namath, 1965-77 (Jets, Rams)

Bob Griese, 1967-80 (Dolphins)

Roger Staubach, 1969-79 (Cowboys)

Terry Bradshaw, 1970-83 (Steelers)

Jim Kelly, 1986-96 (Bills) 

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GREG COTE: READ columns and blog in Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

September 28, 2010

Time for Dolphins to kill the Wildcat? (with poll); plus Heat world domination, blood-sucking teenagers & more

 

IS DOLPHINS' 'WILDCAT' FORMATION WORTH SAVING? It failed the other night and in some ways contributed to Miami losing. It has seen diminishing returns since being introduced out of desperation in 2008 and enjoying the surprise element. Defenses seem to have caught up to it. Without a true passing threat/option it seems one-dimensional, predictable. And now -- with Brandon Marshall here and with Chad Henne developing -- it seems counter-productive, almost like a momentum killer. I'm not saying scrap it altogether, but without a passing element it just seems like a superfluous gimmick to me. I'd use it as a rare novelty, like and end-around, but never when the offense is clicking and Henne has a hot hand. ow do you feel about the Wildcat in 2010? Take a dip in our poll and say why.

1aaespn2 1aaespn SIGNS OF HEAT WORLD DOMINATION: With training camp underway up in the Panhandle, the Worldwide Leader, ESPN, has officially decided that the Heat, mainly because of LeBron James, is big. I mean ESPN-big. So its website will ramp it up and devote dedicated coverage to the Heat this season, and to help do so they have pilfered hired Michael Wallace, The Miami Herald's Heat expert. Mike will leave us in a couple weeks. Ouch. Guess my newspaper won't be covering the Heat this season. Just kidding. Click on Three-King Circus for my column off Monday's media day. And thanks to Tony Kornheiser for having us on his national radio show to discuss ... what else! Tony and many others are convinced Pat Riley is waiting/plotting/planning to swoop in and grab the coaching reins from Erik Spoelstra. I don't believe that. At all. I just don't.

[Heat addendum: Club announced that more than 20,000 individual-game tickets were sold Tuesday, the first day of such sales, a record number. Hottest sellers: Opening night Oct. 29 vs. Magic, and March 10 vs. Lakers].

NFL 18-GAME SEASON A DONE DEAL: So says Colts president Bill Polian. Let me ask you this: If your favorite running back or receiver runs or catches for 56 yards in a game, has he had a good day? Nah, pretty mediocre right? Average 56 YPG over 18 and you have your 1,000-yard season. So much for the fading glory of that defrocked standard of excellence.

FANTASY UPDATE: WIN, LOSE: Greg's Lobos (now 1-2) got off the schneid and won, 125-106, with Drew Brees, Cedric Benson and Rashard Mendenhall combining for 71 points. My other team, Bad Newz Fennelz (0-3) lost again, 114-85. Got buried nder the Austin Collie avalanche. Weak games from LeSean Jackson and Marques Colston didn't help.

QUICK QUESTION: How much of an a-hole do you have to be to refer to yourself as "The Situation"?

1aabobsegway SEGWAY OWNER DIES DRIVING SEGWAY OVER CLIFF: Click here if you don't believe me.

DIVORCE TRIAL UPDATE: Cannot confirm. But I just heard that, because of a weird mixup in the contentious divorce trial of Frank and Jamie McCourt, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been awarded to Elin Nordegren.

NEW YORK FOOTBALL COACH MOONS CROWD: I read this story and was shocked to learn the coach was not Rex Ryan!

1aabatman PARENTS, DOES YOUR TEENAGER SUCK?: Better be on the alert! Read this and shake your head at humankind's propensity for being really, really stupid.

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GREG COTE: READ columns and blog in Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

September 27, 2010

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 62.8%

[Main game post on Dolphins' Sunday loss to Jets may be found directly below this in blog. Click on Showcase Night Falls Short for my column off the game].

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: Welcome to the newest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll, and official results show 62.8 percent overall satisfaction following Sunday night's 31-23 loss to the visiting New York Jets, putting Miami's season record at 2-1. That's a high number following a loss, although less than a one-fifth slice of that number call themselves "very" satisfied.

1aadsmThe DSM is a continuous gauge of how fans are feeling about the team and its direction. Right after each game, I invite you to share your overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

Poll and comments section stay open; however, poll results are certified official on the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Previous DSM scores may be found beneath this latest poll:

DSM 2010 RESULTS:

Game 1: 76.1% satisfaction (9.8 very, 66.3 somewhat) following 15-10 victory at Buffalo.

Game 2: 96.7% satisfaction (52.4 very, 44.3 somewhat) following 14-10 victory at Minnesota.

Game 3: 62.8% satisfaction (11.8 very, 51.0 somewhat) following 31-23 loss vs. N.Y. Jets.

Next new poll: Oct. 4 following game vs. New England.

September 26, 2010

G3: New York Jets 31, Dolphins 23 (Final)

[Vote now in the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in a separate blog post just above this one!].

1aachadhenne3 1aachadhenne7 1aachadhenne4

1aachadhenne8



 

ORANGE CRUSHED

JETS 31, DOLPHINS 23. PRIME TIME. GREAT GAME. EVERYTHING BUT THE RESULT YOU PROBABLY WANTED...

The game had lots going for it for the Dolphins. Chad Henne passing for 363 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Marshall with a breakout 10 catches for 166 yards and his first Dolphins TD. Yeah, the night had everything you wanted. Unless you wanted a Miami win.

The Dolphins fell behind early, 14-0, battled back, but fell for good when Henne's fourth-down pass from the Jets' 5 was deflected at the goalline and intercepted in the closing seconds.

Bottom line: No panic needed. Miami is 2-1. But the next three games -- Patriots, Packers, Steelers -- will tell us again what Sunday night did. This ain't gonna be easy.

Click on Showcase Night Falls Short for my column off the game.

Original post: Dolphins in their special orange jerseys tonight, reflecting a special game and special night. The teams and their fans share a serious dislike for each other, and the bitter rivalry has only intensified since it added the bellicose Rex Ryan and since Jason Taylor has switched jerseys. Forget that nonsense about the rivalry becoming a lovefest just because there was no cartoonish back-and-forth this week. You and the rest of the country will see and feel the intensity on the field.

I picked the Dolphins to win 23-20, mainly because of the bump of a home opener and because the Jets are without three key injured defenders in Darrelle Revis, Kris Jenkins and Calvin Pace. That's a lot to be without. I'll be interested to see how well Miami can sustain a running game against this depleted NYJ defense. And of course Chad Henne vs. Mark Sanchez will be an inevitable comparison.

Curmudgeonly, veteran sports columnists don't get truly excited about every game they're at, but this one I've looked forward to for awhile. Expecting a kinetic, playoff atmosphere and one hell of a game. Let's go!

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GREG COTE: READ columns and blog in Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

September 24, 2010

Should Jason Taylor be cheered or booed? (with poll); plus NFL Week 3 pix, Arison out-$'s Ross, Muhammad Ali & more

[See the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll results in blog post directly below this].

1aajtjets CHEERING OR BOOING JASON TAYLOR'S RETURN?: Twelve-year Dolphin Jason Taylor, surely on the Mount Rushmore of all-time franchise defenders, returns for the first time as a member of the hated Jets on Sunday night. Reaction is bound to be mixed, with many showing love and thanking JT for the memories, and many others perhaps bitter he left or refusing to cheer for anyone in NYJ colors. I think Taylor deserves a positive, cheerful response but can hardly begrudge those Dolfans inclined to go the other way. What would your gut instinct be -- whether in the stadium, a sports bar or your living room -- as Taylor's name is introduced with the visiting defense? And why?

NFL WEEK 3 PICKS: DOLPHINS PREVAIL!: I see Miami surviving the Jets Sunday night, thanks largely to NYJ missing perhaps its three best defensive players to injury to Darrelle Revis, Kris Jenkins and Calvin Pace. That's a huge break Miami needs to take advanhtage of. Click on Week 3 Gems for all my latest picks. Click on Stinkin' Jets for my Friday-page column exploring the rivalry. I don't buy the lovesfest baloney just becase the week hasn't had any cartoonish bulletin-board fodder. The teams and fans dislike each other intensely and that'll be felt Sunday night. Big-time.

ARISON OUTBILLIONS ROSS: The annual Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America is out and Heat/Carnival Cruise Lines owner Micky Arison -- picture LeBron James on an oceanliner shouting, "I'm the King of the world!" -- checks in tied for 69th with $4.1 billion. Dolphins owner Stpehn Ross ties for 101st with $3.1 billion. To put that in perspective, Oprah Winfrey is worth $2.7B.

ON THE GREATEST OF ALL-TIME: A very nice, touching, recommended column by my colleague Linda Robertson today on Muhammad Ali's return to the reopened 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach. Read it here.

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GREG COTE: READ columns and blog in Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

September 23, 2010

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 83.8%

[Note: Main UM-Pitt gamepost may be found directly below this in blog. Also, thanks again to winning entrant Raul Pares for creating our new CSM logo].

1aacsm CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G3:

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter polls are our continuing weekly gauge of how Miami Hurricanes football fans are feeling about the team and the program's direction. A new poll appears in a separate blogpost soon after the conclusion of every Canes game.

This third poll of the season, following Thursday night's 31-3 victory at Pittsburgh, shows 83.8 percent overall satisfaction with the 2-1 Canes, although only 22.1% call themselves "very satisfied."

Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the program's direction, and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

Polls never close, but results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting, in this case around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Season results may be found beneath the latest poll.

CSM 2010 Season Results

Game 1: 95.0% satisfaction (69.8 very, 25.2 somewhat) following 45-0 victory vs. Florida A&M.

Game 2: 25.6% satisfaction (9.1 very, 16.5 somewhat) following 36-24 loss at Ohio State.

Game 3: 83.8% satisfaction (22.1 very, 61.7 somewhat) following 31-3 victory at Pittsburgh.

Next poll: Oct. 2 following game at Clemson.

Hurricanes 31, Pitt 3: Defense dominates as UM rebounds with big road win; plus FIU lets another one slip

1aabatum 1aabatpitt NO. 19 MIAMI HURRICANES 31, PITTSBURGH 3:

FINAL: Thought Jacory Harris rebounded well from those two early INTs to lead a pretty impressive road win, although Pitt was very, very bad, its offense utterly inept. A game like this shows how good UM is capable of being if they can play clean and erase the mistakes.

4Q: Lamar Miller short TD run makes it 31-3 in garbage time ..... Harris to Benjamin on another TD hookup ..... Wanny McStache on the board with a field goal. 3Q: Harris with a nicely lofted pass into the end zone into Leonard Hankerson's mitts for a 19-yard TD and 17-0 lead, early quarter. 2Q: Pitt wide-left on 52-yard FG try in closing seconds of half ..... Harris throws one into double coverage, is intercepted for second time -- and sixth time in less than the past six quarters ..... Quarter half done and Pitt STILL has no first down ..... Matt Bosher 28-yard FG for a 10-1 Canes lead, mid quarter, after long drive fizzles. 1Q: Penalties hurting UM after fast start as quarter ends ..... Benjamin's long punt-return TD for Miami is nullified when Allen Hurns and Tyrone Cornileus are guilty of illegal blocks ..... Harris intercepted in end zone by Pitt's Dom DeCicco on a slightly underthrown ball to a well-covered Benjamin .....Damien Berry 1-yard scoring run for 7-0 early lead. UM makes quick, impressive work of game's opening series, the big play a 39-yard Jacory Harris-Travis Benjamin hookup to the Wannstache 4. 

Original post: UM-Pitt kicks off Week 4 of the college season, and this should be the game where Miami and Jacory Harris get right and put the Ohio State loss behind them. Both teams are 1-1 but Randy Shannon's squad is bigger, faster and more talented than Dave Wannstedt's team. It won't be easy; Pitt lurks just outside the top 25s, and the road has had its potholes for UM. That's probably why The U is a modest 3 1/2-point favorite. But this is a prime-time test the Canes simply should and must win. They will. I'll be up there columnizing after a pregame lunch at -- where else? -- Primanti Brothers. Mmm.

1aabatdave Dave Wannstedt Fun Facts: Wannstedt, 58, is a Jimmy Johnson protege who was UM's defensive coordinator in 1986-88, Dolphins DC in 1999, and Dolphins head coach in 2000-04 before going to Pitt. He compiled an overall Dolphins record of 43-33 but stepped down at 1-8 in the midst of the '04 season. While with the Dolphins, the largely unpopular "Wanny" led all NFL coaches in thinking it was OK to punt and in struggling to remove his headset. Wannstedt currenty leads all Big East coaches in mustache.

1aa5th 1aa5th2 We're turning 5!: A personal aside. Our blog turns 5 today. Our very first blogpost was on Sept. 23, 2005. Time flies when you're making fun. Thanks to all -- especially to those who have been with us from the start. You are appreciated.  

Other state FBS games (all Saturday):

Maryland 42, FIU 28: Upset potential? I thought so. And sure enough, The Int'l had it 21-21 late in the third quarter before falling to 0-3. Second game in a row that FIU has had a favorite on the ropes before faltering late. Aside to T.Y. Hilton (122 total offensive yards, 0 TDs in three games): Time to pick it up, kid!

Kansas State 17, Central Florida 13: UCF's Knights led on road in fourth quarter but couldn't hold.

FSU 31, Wake Forest 0: ACC opener for Noles, and a big win that could get FSU (3-1) back in the top 25s.

No. 9 Florida 48, Kentucky 14: Second SEC game for The Gator, and an overwhelming win putting UF at 4-0. Freshman Trey Burton six TDs for the Urbanators.

North Texas 21, FAU 17: Sun Belt opener for Owls, now 1-2, and a very disappointing defeat for Team Howard, favored and at home. Owl Nation is crestfallen.

South Florida 24, Western Kentucky 12: Bulls now 2-1, win by rote over sadsack foe.

National Top 25 matchups (all Saturday): 1-Alabama d. 10-Arkansas, 24-20; 17-Auburn d. 12-South Carolina, 35-27; 3-Boise State d. 24-Oregon State @ 3-Boise State, 37-24; and 15-Louisiana State d. 22-West Virginia, 20-14.

COTE TOP 30

Our own cumulative ranking of the teams that have had the biggest impact on the 2010 season:

Rank-LW   Team   Points

1-1   Alabama   360

2-2   Ohio State   348

3-3   Boise State   334

4-5   Texas Christian   312

5-4   Texas   310

6-7   Oregon   285

7-6   FLORIDA   280

8-9   Nebraska   278

9-8   Oklahoma   274

10-10   Iowa   240

11-11   Wisconsin   235

12-13   Arkansas   206

13-12   MIAMI   197

14-15   Louisiana State   169

15-17   Auburn   149

16-18   Utah   148

17-16   Penn State   137

18-22   South Carolina   133

19-14   Virginia Tech   123

20-24t   Stanford   111

21-20   Southern Cal   109

22-21   FLORIDA STATE   100

23-27   Arizona   97

24-24t   West Virginia   93

25-19   Georgia Tech   91

26-26   Pittsburgh   71

27t-23   Georgia   66

27t-31   Michigan   66

29-28   Oregon State   56

30-29   Houston   40

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GREG COTE: READ columns and blog in Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

September 20, 2010

Let's move on from Jacory and racist Tweeter; plus why Sparano wears sunglasses, Dolphins-Jets Countdown Clock, NYJ-DUI bust & more

Note: Thanks to all who joined our live chat today. Do it each Wednesday, noon to 1. Click Live Chat to join then or to post questions any time].

1aatonys WHY TONY SPARANO WEARS SUNGLASSES IN A DAY-LIT DOME: I would address this blog item to CBS' Dan Dierdorf and Greg Gumbel, who had their fun Sunday with Dolphins coach Tony Sparano wearing sunglasses inside the Vikings' dome. I would address this to NFL Network's Deion Sanders, Rich Eisen and Steve Mariucci, who similarly kidded at Sparano's expense that night. And I would address this as a preemptive strike to any Jets writers who might find themselves desperate for material this week and looking to make fun of Sparano going all movie star with the shades look. Dear Media Colleagues: Sparano, while working in a Connecticut restaurant as a teen, lost his sight for nearly a month after hot grease from a deep-fryer accidentally splashed in his eyes. To this day his eyes water excessively and are extremely sensitive to light. That is why he often wears sunglasses when others might not. It is why lights are rarely on in his office. The look happens to fit rather nicely with South Beach chic, come to think of it. And makes for easy jokes. But the look also reminds that Sparano seeing at all might be what some would even consider a miracle.

[Dolphins-Jets ticket update: Sunday's game is one of two Dolphin home games (Steelers) already sold out. A mole at StubHub said MIA-NYJ is the third-hottest game at their site, with tickets -- they have about 1,900 available -- going for an average of $137 and as much as $700. Florida buyers outnumber NY/NJ buyers by a 3-1 ratio so far].

1aabraylon3 ON JACORY HARRIS AND THE RACIST TWEET: Let me say I think my own newspaper and other media made much too much of Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris (right) receiving a hateful Twitter message claiming fans don't want a black quarterback. I hate that one anonymous, pissant hater in effect makes national news -- it was on ESPN.com's homepage -- by spitting his vile bile. I hate that a cretin hiding in shadows gets to feel that kind of power. But I also understand it became news because Harris volunteered the information. I refuse to sit here -- as a white journalist -- and admonish Jacory for being too sensitive. He feels what he feels. But I will say he must make sure that what he feels channels not into self-doubt, but into fuel. Four picks at Ohio State and one idiotic Tweet should, in that order, combine to make Jacory Harris one highly motivated young man Thursday night at Pitt. [Update: Many of you know by now that the racist Tweeter has been ID'd as Douglas Diaz, aka motown305. Let's let this drop, OK? I don't know that he deserves anything more than his public shame. He has embarrassed his name. Now let's move on].  

FANTASY UPDATE: WOE (AND ZERO) IS ME: Tough, dispiriting losses this week left both my teams 0-2. My Bad Newz Fennelz fell 126-120 despite LeSean McCoy's 35. Needed a bigger Monday night from Brees/Colston, or a better Sunday from the Ravens' D. My other league's Greg's Lobos lost 112-100. Got steamrolled on MNF by Frank Gore. Gored!

1aabraylon 1aabraylon2 JET BRAYLON EDWARDS ARRESTED: Jet Week in South Florida blasts off with NYJ receiver Braylon Edwards (left) busted in New York early this week on DUI charges after blowing a .16, twice the legal max. Cops stopped him because his Range Rover's windows were overly tinted. Pictured right: A typical Dolfan reacts to the arrest news. [Update: Edwards will play Sunday but not start, a rather gutless slap on the wrist by Rex Ryan]. 

1aalskinner LEONARD SKINNER, R.I.P.: Leonard Skinner, a Jacksonville teacher who inspired a Southern rock band to call itself Lynyrd Skynyrd, died today in upstate Florida at age 77. Favorite Skynyrd song of the non-hits: "Down South Jukin'."

1aapubic OOPS!: The billboard at left, extolling the South Bend, Ind. public school system, got past four proofreaders, none of whom noticed the missing L in public.

Click back. Might be adding more stuff to this post later...

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GREG COTE: READ columns and blog in Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

September 19, 2010

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 96.7%

[Game post on Dolphins victory at Minnesota may be found directly below this in blog].

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: The latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll results are in, and overall satisfaction has soared to 96.7 percent following Sunday's 14-10 upset victory at Minnesota putting Miami's season record at 2-0. Interpretation: That's enormous approval, however a sizable number (44.3%) calling themselves only "somewhat" satisfied is a likely indication of concern over a lack of offense.1aadsm

The DSM is a continuous gauge of how fans are feeling about the team and its direction. Right after each game, I invite you to share your overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance, the season as a whole, the direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

Poll and comments section stay open; however, poll results are certified official on the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was this/Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Previous DSM scores may be found beneath this latest poll:

DSM 2010 RESULTS:

Game 1: 76.1% satisfaction (9.8 very, 66.3 somewhat) following 15-10 victory at Buffalo.

Game 2: 96.7% satisfaction (52.4 very, 44.3 somewhat) following 14-10 victory at Minnesota.

Next poll: Sept. 26 following game vs. New York Jets.

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GREG COTE WORLD: READ columns and blog in The Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and also Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

Dolphins 14, Minnesota 10 (Final); Stunner! Mighty defensive showing puts Miami at 2-0 for first time since 2002!

[Hear me, Eric Reed and Oronde Gadsden today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 790 The Ticket's Dolphins pregame show. Then join us right here for an Unofficial Live Boutique Blog. Follow on Twitter because we'll have some stuff on there as well].

1aadolvike 1aadolvike2 GIGANTIC DEFENSIVE SHOWING DOMINATES FAVRE!:

Watch for the newest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in a separate post beginning at 5:30 p.m. sharp.

FINAL: Man, what an enormously impressive showing by the Dolphins today in Minnesota, in a 14-10 triumph with so much to like in it. Miami now 2-0 for the first time in eight years, and, after beating a very good team on the road, it must be said: This looks like a playoff team. This looks like a team that has made dummies of every doubter including me. So many bigi plays today: Brandon Marshall's 46-yard catch. Vontae Davis' goalline interception. Ronnie Brown's 51-yard run. Koa Misi's fumble-recovery TD. Jason Allen's two picks including one on the goal. Karlos Danby's big tackel on a goalline stand. Huge day. Chad Henne: Good enough. Pass defense: Better than Favre. By a couple of miles.  

4Q: Miami holds Vikes on down in final minute. THIS GAME IS WON! ..... Dolphins goalline stand denies Vikes on Adrian Peterson's fourth-down run from the 1. Looks like a game-saver, a game-winner! ..... Jason Allen's second INT of the game with six minutes is the third pick of Favre -- but Ronnie Brown gives it right back with a fumble! ..... Vikings within 14-10, mid-quarter, on 29-yard FG. Two 12-men-on-field penalties vs. Miami in series.

3Q: Dolphins to punt as quarter ends. Should Miami somehow lose this game, that Ricky fumble will be seen as the turning point ..... Right after Allen pick, Ricky Williams loses fumble at Miami 2, Adrian Peterson quickly scores and Miami lead now 14-7. Ricky seemed awfully relaxed in protecting that ball. Too much yoga? ..... Jason Allen goalline interception -- and this one counts -- on a bad, forced ball by Favre. Miami defense is kicking Purple ass. Wow ..... Offsetting penalties erase a Jason Allen INT. Offside by ex-Vike Benny Sapp cost Miami the takeaway ..... Oh my! Cam Wake jars ball from Favre in end zone, and rookie Koa Misi recovers for TD and 14-0 Miami lead. Stunner in the making! ..... Vontae Davis leaves game with what could be shoulder injury. Didn't seem real serious ..... Dolphin punt opens half, but Miami running pretty effectively against the daunted Williams Wall. Healthy doses of Wildcat, too. Smart offensive game plan so far even if scoreboard mightn't reflect it. 

HALF: Immensely impressive first half by Miami, although that 7-0 lead is feeling mighty slim. Still say this will be a game in which much more offense will be needed in what I imagine will be a high-scoring second half. Say this: For now, the Dolphins have put themselves in position to achieve a very big upset. Count it a huge break if Percy Harvin doesn't return to game.

2Q: Three timeouts left with 45 seconds on the clock. Why not at least try to pinch a FG before the half? Could come back to haunt ..... Dolphins force another Minny punt inside the 1-minute mark ..... Series ends in punt, but Ronnie Brown busts a 51-yard run from the 1-yard line ..... Viking threat is rejected by Vontae Davis goalline interecption. Huge takeaway for Miami ..... Dolphins punt to begin second Q.

1Q: Starks and Cam Wake sack Brett favre to force punt. great start for Miami ..... Brian Hartline 5-yard TD catch from Chad Henne and Dolphins up 7-0. Very impressive drive, led by 46-yard first-play bomb to Brandon Marshall and also big doses of the Wildcat ..... Randy Starks bats 4th-down pass and Dolphins hold Vikes on game's first series. Minnesota eschewed a makeable field goal, which tells you how confident they are at home today .....Chad Pennington the third QB today ..... Hope some of you heard us on the pregame show. Trying to earn your ears, one at a time. Make that two at a time. 

Original post: A little offense was enough at bad Buffalo in last week's 15-10 season-opening win. Not today. Not against Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson. For a chance to win, Miami's offense will have to do something very well today, whether that's a big game from Ronnie Brown and/or Ricky Williams, or some fantasy-pleasing stats from Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall.

Minnesota is a very good team coming off an opening loss and with extra time to prepare (they opened last Thursday), beside this being Vikes' home opener and in a dome. So for many reasons I see this as a very, very tough matchup for Miami. Dolphins will have the league's attention -- not to mention that of the Patriots and Jets -- if they can manage an upset here.

Your Dolphs-Vikes thoughts welcome here before, during and of course after today's game.

THE LIST: FAVRE VS. DOLPHINS: Today marks only the eighth time in 20 years that Favre has faced Miami. Chronological list of seven previous meetings includes Favre's result and stats:

9-11-94   MIA @ GB   Loss   31-51, 362, 2-1

9-14-97   MIA @ GB   Win   24-37, 253, 2-0

10-29-00   GB @ MIA   Loss   21-34, 194, 0-1

11-4-02   MIA @ GB   Win   16-25, 187, 1-1

10-22-06   GB @ MIA   Win   19-35, 206, 2-0

9-7-08   NYJ @ MIA   Win   15-22, 194, 2-0

12-28-08   MIA @ NYJ   Loss   20-40, 233, 1-3

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GREG COTE WORLD: READ columns and blog in The Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and also Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat Wednesdays noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.