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20 posts from December 2010

December 31, 2010

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter -- Final season results: 4.2%

[Main game post on Hurricanes-Notre Dame Sun Bowl may be found directly below in blog. Click on Loss Through Golden's Eyes for my column from El Paso off the game].

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: UM-NOTRE DAME in SUN BOWL: Final results are in on the Canesfan Satisfaction Meter, and they show 4.2 percent overall approval for the Hurricanes' 2010 season in the wake of Friday's 33-17 Sun Bowl loss to Notre Dame in El Paso, Tex. That left Miami's final season record at 7-6. The positive approval rating is even more negligible when you consider many of the "satisfied" votes likely came from UM haters. The most significant subtotal: 88.9 percent calling themselves "very dissatisfied."

The CSM -- completing its second season -- is 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.

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 that was around 9 a.m. Sunday.

Season results may be found beneath the latest, final poll. Thanks to the thousands of voters and we'll see you again next season!:

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.

Game 4: 88.3% satisfaction (26.3 very, 62.0 somewhat) following 30-21 victory game at Clemson.

Game 5: 5.6% satisfaction (3.5 very, 2.1 somewhat) following 45-17 loss vs. Florida State.

Game 6: 22.6% satisfaction (2.6 very, 20.0 somewhat) following 28-13 victory at Duke.

Game 7: 81.2% satisfaction (32.4 very, 48.8 somewhat) following 33-10 victory vs. North Carolina.

Game 8: 11.3% satisfaction (8.2 very, 3.1 somewhat) following 24-19 loss at Virginia.

Game 9: 50.9% satisfaction (9.9 very, 41.0 somewhat) following 26-20 victory vs. Maryland.

Game 10: 76.2% satisfaction (36.1 very, 40.1 somewhat) following 35-10 victory at Georgia Tech.

Game 11: 8.2% satisfaction (3.5 very, 4.7 somewhat) following 31-17 loss vs. Virginia Tech.

Game 12: 3.4% satisfaction (2.5 very, 0.9 somewhat) following 23-20 loss vs. South Florida.

Game 13/Final: 4.2% satisfaction (2.8 very, 1.4 somewhat) following 33-17 loss vs. Notre Dame.

Final 2010 (7-6): 4.2% satisfaction (2.8 very, 1.4 somewhat)

Final 2009 (9-4): 41.7% satisfaction (7.5 very, 34.2 somewhat) 

Sun Bowl: Notre Dame 33, Hurricanes 17 (Final); Stephen Morris a positive in a disappointing finale

[Vote in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll -- the final one of the season -- in a separate blogpost right below this. Click on Loss Through Golden's Eyes for my column off the game].

1aa1snow 1aa1um MIAMI TRIES TO END SEASON ON THE UPBEAT, FAILS:

Final: Miami transitions to the Al Golden era off a 7-6 season after this disappointing  bowl effort. The shining positive: Young QB Stephen Morris came off bench to complete 22 of 33 passes for 283 yards and two TDs.

4Q: Miami 17-30: Tommy Streeter 42-yard TD pass from Stephen Morris with 4:01 to play ..... Just had a chat with new UM coach Al Golden, who confirmed to me Mark Whipple won't return ass offensive coordinator and that the new OC is expected to be from the NFL ..... Miami 10-30: Leonard Hankerson 6-yard TD pass from Stephen Morris with 10:36 to play.

3Q: Irish miss a FG! Something goes wrong for Notre Dame! ..... Notre Dame 30-3: Leprechauns add a 19-yard FG. Somewhere Randy Shannon is thinking, "See. It wasn't just me."

Half: All you can look for now is the no-quit aspect. You know that's what Al Golden will be watching for. Does Miami lay down and lose an embarrassing rout? Or do they stand up and fight?

2Q: Miami 3-27: Canes on board with Matt Bosher 47-yard FG on last play of half ..... Notre Dame 27-0: It's a 50-yard FG in final minute. Everything going right for Irish, nada for Canes ..... Notre Dame 24-0: Irish add a 40-yard FG ..... Oy. Now Stephen Morris is intercepted. This is getting beyond awful ..... They listened! Stephen Morris in at QB ..... Jacory Harris intercepted yet again, his third. If Stephen Morris is healthy enough to play, they need to make the switch ..... Notre Dame 21-0: Irish parlay Jacory Harris' second INT into a 34-yard Cierre Wood scoring run. Harris floated a ball he needed to be a fastball. And this is getting embarrassing for The U. 

1Q: And a depressing first quarter ends for Miami ..... Jacory Harris throws deep for Leonard Hankerson, into coverage, and is intercepted ..... Notre Dame 14-0: It's a rout early after Michael Floyd's second scoring pass of game, this one a 35-yard strike from Tommy Rees that saw DB Brandon Harris stumbling in coverage ..... Notre Dame 7-0: Michael Floyd 3-yard TD pass from Tommy Rees .... Temperature 34 at kickoff, overcast but not snowing.

Original post: Surreal scene. See right; a photo I took at around 11:30 a.m. Miami time. Sitting here in the Sun Bowl press box on the UTEP campus carved into the base of the Franklin Mountains on the border between El Paso, Texas and 1aa1nd Juarez, Mexico -- and the field is covered with snow. It's the first snowy Sun Bowl in 23 years. Isn't snowing right now, but the field is white. It'll be cleared by kickoff, of course, but freezing cold and wind are bound to play a role today, and it's hard to imagine the elements would work in UM's favor.

For me Miami vs. Notre Dame is as intriguing as any bowl other than the BCS Championship. It's two fallen national powers trying to get their mojo back, both coming in 7-5. For UM the added intrigue is that incoming new coach Al Golden will be watching from on-high as interim guy Jeff Stoutland coaches the game. Canes, trying to impress the new boss, starting with QB Jacory Harris.

Prediction? Notre Dame's 7-5 came against a much tougher overall schedule than Miami's. For that reason, plus the conditions, I'd say Irish win, 24-20. Reminder: Predicting is not the same as wishin' and hopin'.

Your thoughts on today's matchup are invited.

December 27, 2010

Defending Chad Henne (with poll); plus Kye Allums, Pro Bowl Dolphins, F-I-Wooooo!, King-o-Meter (updated) & more

[LIVE CHAT TODAY/WEDNESDAY NOON TO 1 P.M! (It isn't 1-2. I swear). Click HERE to join us at noon or to post quiestions early. Also, see results of latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in post directly below this].

1aa1chadh YES, IT' STILL TOO SOON TO QUIT ON HENNE: My column off yesterday's Dolphins loss -- click on Defending Chad Henne -- is generating an extraordinary volume of emails, most of them negative but peppered with a few "right ons." I could have pandered to the masses with the expected Henne-must-go outrage, but I'm a believer in independent thought. Sorry. Anyway, the response is so great I decided to dedicate a poll solely to how fans feel about Henne. Again, timing is everything and bear in mind this poll comes in the wake of (another) bad home loss, and Henne's two late interceptions, so a negative response is to be expected. But I also invite you to weigh all you have seen of Henne, including the upside, and to also consider the alternatives before voting. Henne supporters, this is your chance to raise your voices against the kill-the-bum mentality. Or not. Vote and share why you feel as you do.

FIU'S SHINING NIGHT: I was up past midnight watching FIU's 34-32 bowl win over Toledo in Detroit, and 1aa1fiu feeling really good the Panthers (have they dropped the Golden in deference to UM's new coach?) won. And what a finish! Staying alive with a hook-and-ladder play on 4th and 17? A last-second field goal? Good stuff. It was a welcome reminder that even smaller bowls have their place, their worth and value. Congrats to coach Mario Cristobal and the Super Mario Brothers! [Update: The news today of the recent arrest of FIU baseball star Garrett Wittels on rape charges is awfully timed for the school, taking away from the good feel of the bowl win. Charged does not mean guilty, but in either case the timing sucks. "Record-chasing FIU infielder faces rape charge," is the ESPN.com front-page headline. Attention that might have been paid the football win goes to the controversy instead. Sad.].

1aa1allums ON KYE ALLUMS: My latest column (click here) is an unusual one. It's on Kye Allums (right), the transgender George Washington University basketball player who faced UM last night. A born female, identifying herself as a man, playing on a women's team. Another thing I love about my job: Just when you think you've seen/written everything ... you haven't.

WAKE, LONG MAKE PRO BOWL: Tackle Jake Long and sack-man Cameron Wake were the only Dolphins to make the Pro Bowl, unsurprisingly. Best bets to be added on as subs when others bow out with fake injuries: LB Karlos Dansby, PK Dan Carpenter.

1aa1feet JETS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT: Also like to congratulate the New York Jets for making the playoffs. The photo at right is dedicated to Rex Ryan, the only coach who believe it's not a game of inches, but a game of feet. Ahhh. Mmmm.

1aaking KING-O-METER UPDATE: Our unpopular King-o-Meter, tracking which of the Heat's would-be Kings is having the better overall season, shows this after 33 games through last night's Knicks game: LeBron James leading Dwyane Wade by 1,866.56 King points to 1,653.21 in our cumulative ranking factoring 10 statistical categories. LeBron also leads in games led, 17-16. Last night's 84.82 King points by Wade were a season-best for either player. (Regular updates here in the blog whenever you see the crown symbol pictured).

THE LIST: WORST DOLPHINS HOME SEASONS: The only seven years in 45 seasons when the Dolphins have had a losing record at home:

2010   .125   1-7

2007   .125   1-7 (see note below)

1968   .167   1-5-1

1966   .286   2-5

2004   .375   3-5

1969   .400   2-3-1

1976   .429   3-4

Note: The 2007 record included a "home" game in London, meaning 2010 stands alone as club's worst home season ever in terms of most losses and worst record in Miami, in actual home stadium.

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GREG COTE: 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 appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and most Tuesdays at 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chatWednesdays 1 to 2 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

December 26, 2010

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 4.8%

[Main game post on Dolphins-Lions is directly below this in blog].

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: LIONS @ DOLPHINS: Results are certified in the latest edition of the Dolfan Satisfaction Meter and they show a 4.8 percent overall approval rating in the wake of Sunday's 34-27 home loss to the Detroit Lions, putting Miami's season record 7-8 -- and a final 1-7 at home.

1aadsmThe DSM is a continuous gauge of how fans feel 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 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.

Game 4: 7.0% satisfaction (4.5 very, 2.5 somewhat) following 41-14 loss vs. New England.

Game 5: 82.7% satisfaction (17.4 very, 65.3 somewhat) following 23-20 victory (OT) at Green Bay.

Game 6: 40.9% satisfaction (8.3 very, 32.6 somewhat) following 23-22 loss vs. Pittsburgh.

Game 7: 77.9% satisfaction (21.2 very, 56.7 somewhat) following 22-14 victory at Cincinnati.

Game 8: 7.8% satisfaction (1.9 very, 5.9 somewhat) following 26-10 loss at Baltimore.

Game 9: 58.3% satisfaction (18.3 very, 40.0 somewhat) following 29-17 victory vs. Tennessee.

Game 10: 6.9% satisfaction (4.4 very, 2.5 somewhat) following 16-0 loss vs. Chicago.

Game 11: 70.3% satisfaction (23.8 very, 46.5 somewhat) following 33-17 victory at Oakland.

Game 12: 2.4% satisfaction (1.6 very, 0.8 somewhat) following game 13-10 loss vs. Cleveland.

Game 13: 46.1% satisfaction (8.1 very, 38.0 somewhat) following 10-6 victory at New York Jets.

Game 14: 4.3% satisfaction (3.4 very, 0.9 somewhat) following 17-14 loss vs. Buffalo.

Game 15: 4.8% satisfaction (4.6 very, 0.2 somewhat) following 34-27 loss vs. Detroit.

Next poll: Jan. 2 following game at New England. That will be final poll of season.

G15: Detroit 34, Dolphins 27 (Final): Miami blows lead, ends 1-7 at home

[Watch for our latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in a separate post beginning right at 5:30 p.m.]. 

1aaz1det 1aa1bills2 G15: DETROIT AT DOLPHINS: COULD BE HOME FINALE FOR SOME:

Final: Chad Henne's two fourth-quarter interceptions and a defensive letdown doom Dolphins, who finish 1-7 at home.  

4Q: Oh my -- AGAIN! Henne's second INT is returned 30 yards for a TD by DeAndre Levy and Detroit leads 34-27 just oustide the 2-minute warning ..... Oh my again. Chad Henne interception gives Detroit ball at Miami 36, and turnover leads to tying 47-yard FG with 2:44 to play in regulation ..... Oh my. Dolphins defense beaten for 53-yard yard screen pass catch and run by Jahvid Best from Shaun Hill. And just like that, we got us a game again, with 4:37 to play ..... Ricky Williams 28-yard run has Miami in 1st-and-goal situation, but team settles for Dan Carpenter 28-yard FG and 27-17 lead.

3Q: Miami up 24-17 in last seconds of quarter on Ronnie Brown 1-yard run. Sharp drive that include 28-yard henne pass to TE Mickey Shuler to the 1 ..... Patrick Cobbs loses ball on kick return but Dolphins' Jonathan Amaya recovers ..... Maurice Morris 5-yard TD run caps 86-yard drive and Lions tie it 17-17 with 5:49 left ..... Miami challenges 16-yard catch by Calvin Johnson, loses challenge, burns timeout ..... Nolan Carroll, concussion, out rest of game ..... Brandon Marshall dropped pass leads to Dolphin punt to begin second half. 

Half: Miami dominating beyond the seven-point edge, leading big in first downs (14-5), yards (209-91) and time of possession (17:34 to 12:26). Defense making a non-factor of Calvin Johnson (1-6). Chad Henne a sharp 15 of 21 for 145 yards, one TD.

2Q: Chad Henne 13-yard scoring pass to Davone Bess has Miami up 17-10 just before halftime. Bess' 25-yard punt return had helped set up score. Luck involved. Lions CB Tye Hill might have intercepted, but ball glanced off Hill's hands into Bess' ..... Think Miami should have gone for it 4th-and-11 from Detroit 32, but punt downed at 2 justified the caution ..... Chris Clemons' sack forced Lions punt ..... Miami 10-10 with 6:13 left in half after fullback Lousaka Polite bulls 4 yards up middle. First NFL TD for Miss Manner's favorite player ..... Detroit up 10-3 early in quarter after 20-yard Shaun Hill scoring pass to TE Brandon Pettigrew. Miami's defense certainly has not been the problem this season, but tight ends continue to be its weak spot.

1Q: Surprised crowd is as big as it is today ..... Miami ties it on Dan Carpenter 40-yard FG ..... Down 3-0 early after Detroit turns Davone Bess fumbled punt into points, Dolphins driving, have 3rd-and-10 at Detroit 29, then muff snap for sack and forced to punt. August mistake. Preseason stuff.

Original post: As Heat fever revs up after yesterday's win in L.A., the Dolphin season winds down much too quietly with this afternoon's home finale vs. Detroit. Miami is out of the playoff hunt at 7-7 and trying to put an ending smile on a horrible 1-6 home season. This game also could mark a home farewell for the likes of Tony Sparano, Chad Henne and Ronnie Brown. It isn't known what owner Stephen Ross is thinking but a coaching change would only mildly surprise. Henne has only two games left to win over increasing doubters and show he's the QB for the future. And Brown, the running back fixture, might not be re-signed. So this is a game with no playoff stakes but much at stake otherwise.

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from me to you! (with annual video); plus Canes gunning for Aquinas QB, Heat-Lakers, FIU bowl, Dolphin/NFL picks & more

1aa1holiday MY ANNUAL HOLIDAY VIDEO TO YOU!: I'd like to wish a Merry Christmas to all of you, except those not celebrating Christmas, who get a belated Happy Hannukah or a generic Hey How's It Goin'. This year's brief holiday video -- click on FELIZ NAVIDAD to watch and listen -- stars myself, Heat star LeBron James, Dolphins QB Chad Henne, Jets coach Rex "Feet" Ryan and new UM coach Al Golden. It's a wonder I could get all of them together for the video shoot, as busy as everyone is. This year's video theme is on honor of the Hurricanes' upcoming bowl game in El Paso near the Mexican border, and is dedicated to the best readers and bloggers anywhere -- mine. Enjoy!

1aa1neil NEIL ROGERS, R.I.P.: Neil Rogers (left), legend of South Florida radio and a true original, passed away yesterday at age 68. What a talent. He mattered. He will be missed.   

1aa1jaker NEW CANES REGIME COVETS ST. THOMAS AQUINAS QB: Sources of mine at both the high-school and college levels tell me new University of Miami coach Al Golden covets St. Thomas Aquinas QB Jake Rudock (pictured), whose senior season was just minted with a national championship. Rudock has made an early committment to Iowa, but I hear the Golden regime is making a late push to keep the 6-3, 190-pound pro-style passer at home. The UM staff likens Rudock's qualities, including smarts, to Ken Dorsey. Stay tuned. (I am also told Golden was not the least bit disappointed that Northwestern QB Teddy Bridgewater changed his mind and is headed elsewhere).

THE GIFT OF HEAT-LAKERS: I'm not a big fan of games on Christmas. I admit that. But Heat at Lakers on Christmas Day sure feels like a gift worth unwrapping, doesn't it? Both teams (especially the losing team) will emphasize afterward that it was just a regular-season game, but make no mistake this one has the heft and feel of an NBA Finals preview. Delicious. (By the way, a new anti-LeBron James documentary is being made called Losing LeBron, chronicling his first Heat season through the eyes of Cavaliers fans. Click here for the promo video. Geez, can't these people get over it already! Move on, Cleveland).

FIU GOES BOWLING: Best of luck to coach Mario Cristobal and his FIU Golden Panthers vs. Toledo on Sunday in the Little Caesar's Bowl in Detroit. A big year for FIU, with a first piece of the Sun Belt title, a first bowl appearance and, maybe, a first bowl win.

DOLPHINS, NFL PICKS: Dolphins will beat Detroit Sunday, but close. Click on Week 16 Gems for all this week's picks. And click here for Friday Page NFL column, which asks the question: What's stranger: Rex Ryan's wife's foot fetish? Or Miami's 1-6 home record?

Well, Merry Christmas once again! We'll be back with a new Dolphins-Lions blogpost on Sunday morning.

December 20, 2010

Dolphins: Fire everybody! Or fire judiciously? (with poll); plus Dolphins Christmas Carol from The Singing Sportswriter, UM, Heat, Rex Ryan's wife's feet, Cup Size Choir & more

Greg_Cote-_Dolphins_Gone_To_Hell_Song

[Click link above to hear "Gone to Hell: A Dolphins Christmas Carol" from The Singing Sportswriter that debuted yesterday on 790 The Ticket. The bad news: I can't sing. The good news: It's only 48 seconds long. Also, no live online chat today. Chat returns next Wednesday].

[Click on Sparano OK, Cowher Better for today's column by me on Dolphins coaching situation].

1aa1chadh 1aa1doltony DAYS OF RECKONING FOR DOLPHINS: Miami is out of the playoff chase, yet the next few weeks could be very eventful as coach Tony Sparano mulls the future of quarterback Chad Henne and owner Stephen Ross mulls the future of Sparano. Adding intrigue to what could happen is a report that Bill Cowher would think highly of the Dolphins job if there were an opening, along with the likely availablility of veteran QB Donovan McNabb. I chew all of this over in this column off Sunday's latest home loss. Oh, almost forgot: I also call for the firing or immediate retiring of offensive coordinator Dan Henning. But enough of my opinions. Have your say on Sparano, Henne and Henning in this brand new poll. Remember you can vote for the THREE statements you most agree with. Tough choices or no?

UM'S NEXT OFFENSIVE CHIEF SHOULD BE RALPH FRIEDGEN: Pretty sure new UM coach Al Golden will 1aa1ralphf bring in a new offensive coordinator, and if I were Goldie I'd be on the phone pronto gauging the interest of Ralph Friedgen (right), the reigning ACC Coach of the Year who is being unwisely fired by Maryland. Big Ralph probably has his seights on another head-coach job, but running UM's offense might intrigue him as a stopgap. Before his 10-year run at Maryland he was an O.C. for the Terps, Georgia Tech and San Diego Chargers. The man knows offense, and the conference. 

1aa1acup CUP SIZE CHOIR: May I present you an early little Christmas gift? Click here for a brief performance video by the Cup Size Choir, consisting of seven supine young women (cup sizes A-G) making nice holidayish sounds. Warning: If you're really easily offended, don't watch.

REX RYAN'S WIFE'S FEET: Deadspin breaks the news (click here) that Jets coach Rex Ryan's wife evidently has a foot fetish that Rex Ryan rather enjoys as well. Actuially I am not sure if this is news at all. But it's interesting. Plus it nourishes one of my hobbies, which is making fun of Rex. The club issued a statement calling this a personal matter, which is pretty much confirming it is true. What a bizarre season for the Jets. Also, what nice feet!   

HEAT DENIED 13TH STRAIGHT: Easy to beam ahead to the Christmas Day showdown in L.A. -- a very possible NBA Finals preview -- but that was a tasty one too vs. Dallas, featuring the season debut of Miami 3-point ace Mike Miller. Dirk Nowitzki presented a tough matchup. King-o-Meter 1aaking update: Our unpopular King-o-Meter, tracking which of the Heat's would-be Kings is having the better overall season, shows this after 30 games through the Mavs game: LeBron James leading Dwyane Wade by 1,675.00 King points to 1,524.78 in our cumulative ranking factoring 10 statistical categories. It's tied 15-15 in games led. (Regular updates here in the blog whenever you see the crown symbol pictured).

1aa1break THE SINGING SPORTSWRITER RETURNS!: This afternoon The Singing Sportswriter (that's me) returned with a special song, "Gone to Hell: A Dolphins Christmas Carol," on 790 The Ticket with Le Batard and Stugotz. Hear it at the top of this post. Also, effective this week, our Wednesday live chats return permanently to 1-2 p.m.

Click back. Probably adding more stuff to this post later...

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GREG COTE: 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 appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and most Tuesdays at 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chatWednesdays 1 to 2 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

[You can still vote in the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in the post directly below this].

December 19, 2010

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 4.3%

[Main game post on Dolphins-Bills is directly below this in blog].

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: BILLS @ DOLPHINS: Results are certified on the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter, and as expected they show a low 4.3 percent overall approval in the wake of Sunday's 17-14 home loss to the Buffalo Bills putting Miami's season record at 7-7, including 1-6 at home. This is the second-lowest reading of the season.

1aadsmThe DSM is a continuous gauge of how fans feel 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 a.m. today/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.

Game 4: 7.0% satisfaction (4.5 very, 2.5 somewhat) following 41-14 loss vs. New England.

Game 5: 82.7% satisfaction (17.4 very, 65.3 somewhat) following 23-20 victory (OT) at Green Bay.

Game 6: 40.9% satisfaction (8.3 very, 32.6 somewhat) following 23-22 loss vs. Pittsburgh.

Game 7: 77.9% satisfaction (21.2 very, 56.7 somewhat) following 22-14 victory at Cincinnati.

Game 8: 7.8% satisfaction (1.9 very, 5.9 somewhat) following 26-10 loss at Baltimore.

Game 9: 58.3% satisfaction (18.3 very, 40.0 somewhat) following 29-17 victory vs. Tennessee.

Game 10: 6.9% satisfaction (4.4 very, 2.5 somewhat) following 16-0 loss vs. Chicago.

Game 11: 70.3% satisfaction (23.8 very, 46.5 somewhat) following 33-17 victory at Oakland.

Game 12: 2.4% satisfaction (1.6 very, 0.8 somewhat) following game 13-10 loss vs. Cleveland.

Game 13: 46.1% satisfaction (8.1 very, 38.0 somewhat) following 10-6 victory at New York Jets.

Game 14: 4.3% satisfaction (3.4 very, 0.9 somewhat) following 17-14 loss vs. Buffalo.

Next poll: Dec. 26 following game vs. Detroit.

G14: Buffalo 17, Dolphins 14 (Final); Miami falls to 1-6 at home, is eliminated from playoff race

[Watch for latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in separate post beginning right at 5:30 p.m.].

1aa1bills 1aa1bills2 BUFFALO @ DOLPHINS: NO MAGIC, NO MIRACLES:

Final: No team in NFL history with a 1-6 home record -- let alone one including consecutive losses to the Browns and Bills -- has deserved to make the playoffs. Embarrassment. Booing? Absolutely justified.  

4Q: Oh my. Dan Carpenter, so stout all year, misses a 48-yard FG wide right with 1:48 to play -- a kick that would have tied the game 17-17 ..... MIA 14-17: They're aliiivvve! Henne 9-yard TD strike to Brandon Marshall draws Miami within three with 7:02 to play. A dull game just got a little bit exciting. 

3Q: Offense booed again, and then Carpenter wide left on 53-yard FG try with 1:58 left in third ..... BUF 17-7: Bils cash an 86-yard drive with a 17-yard Fitzpatrick scoring pass to Steve Johnson. Offense bad for Miami, but defense not so special either today ..... The O-line is giving up too many sacks or Henne is taking too many, depending on your view ..... Sean Smith nearly an excellent pick for Miami. Can't call that one a drop.

Half: Miami offense struggling yet again, with only 124 total yards and 1-for-6 conversion rate on 3rd downs. Not much on the ground (12-42) vs. Bills run-D ranked last in league. Henne pretty accurate (13-for-18), but mostly short stuff, and with the one boo-getting INT.

2Q: Dan Carpenter well short on 61-yard FG try as half ends ..... Benny Sapp interception (upheld by review) gives Miami ball near midfield 33 seconds before halftime ..... MIA 7-10: Ronnie Brown 6-yard scoring run to the right on direct snap out of Wildcat formation just before 2-minute warning. Crowd alive again ..... BUF 10-0: Bills add 29-yard FG. Only Miami's struggling offense could make a 10-0 second quarter hole seem so steep and treacherous ..... Sack leads to Dolphins punt, and offense getting booed ..... BUF 7-0: Henne interception precedes a Bills scoring drive cluminated by an 18-yard Ryan Fitzpatrick scoring toss to David Nelson.

1Q: An otherwise uneventful first quarter gets exciting for the wrong reasons in final seconds when Chad Henne is intercepted by Buffalo's George Wilson (no relation to the long-deceased 1960s Dolphins expansion head coach) ..... Here at the stadium it is cool, overcast and so far one heck of an offensively dull football game.

Original post: take close to that for Miami to sneak into the playoffs. Running the table from here to finish 10-6 is the prerequisite for even a chance. That part is doable. Consecutive home games against Buffalo today and then Detroit should be wins. And the finale at New England could be, too, mainly because by then the Pats will likely have clinched the No. 1 seed and maybe rest regulars including Tom Brady. But Miami even finishing 10-6 must hope the stinkin' 1aa1buffs3 1aa1buffs4 Jets lose two of their last three games. That, too, is not far-fetched. Today at Pittsburgh and next week at Chicago couold well be NYJ losses before the Planes finish at home vs. these same Bills. I like Miami today, 27-20. Think the Buffs are better than their record, but also think Dolphins can dominate the ground and clock against Williams' 32nd-ranked run defense. As usual the game will also continue the referendum on QB Chad Henne, who is fighting to solidify his very fragile grasp on his future as the starter. Your thoughts on today's game and playoff hopes are welcome here.

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GREG COTE: 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 most Tuesdays at 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat Wednesdays noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com

December 17, 2010

LeBron answers New York arrogance with brilliance; plus Tull, Bodine wage fierce battle in Greatest Jethro poll (vote now), Al Golden's moves, Dolphins/NFL picks & more

[Note: You can still fire Sal Alosi in the blog post directly below this].

1aa1beachbum NEW YORK PLANS TYPICALLY GRACIOUS WELCOME FOR LEBRON: [Update: LeBron with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a Heat rout of the Knicks last night at MSG. They said he could have been the King of New York. Um, I think he just was!] It is no coincidence the New York Jets are the most hated team in South Florida, that Marlins fans most dislike the Mets, that Heat-Knicks once percolated as a top-tier rivalry, and that of course we hate the Yankees on general principle. Our animus toward New York teams at large is often rooted in the teams and their personalities (Rex Ryan, et al), but more often rooted in the obnoxiousness of those teams' fans, way too many of whom live down here because they love New York but evidently not enough to bleepin' stay there. And we are reminded by today's NY tabloids of the contributing arrogance of the New York media, too. The Daily 1aa1lechicken2 News has LeBron as a BEACH BUM! (To me their cartoon looks more like Dennis Rodman, but I digress). The Post labels the man who dared say no to their city as LECHICKEN, complete with a ridiculous photoshop. Ah, journalism! I wonder if, in between the "LeBron sucks!" chants, classy New Yorkers will toss a vintage "Pat the Rat" chant Riley's way. In recent days the Miami vs. New York animus has ratcheted higher with Tripgate involving Jets coach Sal Alosi. Now, tonight, the rivalry enflames even further as "spurned" Knicks fans prepare a Cleveland-esque boofest for the Heat and especially for LeBron James, who had the audacity to favor Miami over New York in free agency. This, you see, is incomprehensible to self-centered New Yorkers, who quite literally think the world revolves around them. Which is why we hate them. Ain't sports great! By the way, I hope security at Madison Square Garden is extra tight tonight and that LeBron watches his step. I hear the Knicks have arranged a courtside seat for Sal Alosi.

1aa1jethrob 1aa1jethrof AL GOLDEN SHAKES UP CANES COACHING STAFF: New UM football coach Al Golden is bringing from Temple with him defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, line coach Jethro Franklin (pictured near right) and DBs coach Paul Williams. Gone after the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl vs. Notre Dame will be the three they'll replace, including defensive coordinator John Lovett. Hard to argue the changes. It's what new coaches do. Plus, I thought Miami's defense has generally underachieved. Franklin, by the way, has recently been voted the second-greatest Jethro of all time, trailing only Jethro Bodine (pictured far right) from the Beverly Hillbillies. (Jethro Tull must have been bitterly disappointed!) OK, there has been no such vote. But there should be. And so now there is, right here!

NFL WEEK 15 PICKS: DOLPHINS WIN: Spoiler alert! Dolphins beat visiting Bills on Sunday, 27-20. Click on Week 15 Gems for all this week's picks. (Off to a good start last night). Also click on Trippin' for this week's Friday Page column. Involves Tripgate. I'm catching a little flak for saying Sal Alosi "sounds like he should be working the ovens at a pizzeria." Oops! Nothing personal, my Italian friends. I make fun of everybody.

1aa1mavcarter 1aa1amberrose LEBRON PARTIES IN NY: Lebron James hosted a party last night in New York's Chelsea area at the trendy 10ak club. Dwyane Wade was there with girlfriend Gabrielle Union. So was the Knicks' Amare Stoudemire with model/gf Amber Rose. Jet Braylon Edwards, too, along with some B-list actors (think Jersey Shore). Pictured from last night: Amber Rose, and LeBron with manager Maverick Carter.

Click back. Adding more stuff to this post later today...

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GREG COTE: 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 most Tuesdays at 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat Wednesdays noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.