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:
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?
(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!
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!
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.