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Happy birthday, Miami Marlins! (Won't you join us at the party, Albert?); plus NFL predix, Al Golden/Penn State odds, Joe Pa news & more

1aa1dayvets["Happy" Veterans Day never sounds quite right to me, since so much of what we are honoring is ultimate sacrifice. So just make it a day of appreciation, respect ... and thanks! Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

DEAR ALBERT: JOIN US IN THE NEW BALLPARK, WON'T YOU?: Welcome Miami Marlins! It's 11-11-11, the day the Marlins officially and ceremonially transmogrify (love that word ) from Florida to 1aa1albertpMiami and introduce new uniforms, colors, logo and so forth preparatory to moving into the new ballpark in the spring. Happy birthday, sort of. It's a complete re-branding for our baseball club but the best part is the fatter team wallet, the increased payroll. Miami already has made overtures in free agency to shortstop Jose Reyes, pitcher Mark Beuhrle and prized Cuban CF Yoenis Cespedes. Now comes word the Marlins are speaking with the mighty and mighty expensive Albert Pujols (pictured), squiring him, wooing him. He is 31 but still in his late-prime. Last season he hit .299 with 37 homers and 99 RBIs. It was an off-year. Hopefully this isn't mostly for show. Hopefully the Marlins, to augment the signing of "name" manager Ozzie Guillen, are prepared to pay big for at least one or two impact free agents. Pujols would be as about as impact-big as they get. (Aside to team: Prince Fielder's still out there, too).

1aa1fripixNFL PREDIX: DOLPHINS FACE OVERCONFIDENCE. NO, SERIOUSLY: It's the damnedest thing. For the first time all season the Dolphins approach a game threatened by overconfidence, by taking an opponent lightly. They should beat Washington anyway, ending a full year's home losing streak. Click on Week 10 Gems for all my latest NFL predictions. And click on Halftime Awards for our Friday Page column, my midseason picks for individual honors in several categories. 

EXCLUSIVE: JOE PA SNUBBED SANDUSKY RETIREMENT PARTY: Random Evidence has learned that Joe Paterno was conspicuously absent at Jerry Sandusky's retirement party in 1999 and declined an offer to reschedule the event so he could attend. That is an indication, to me, that Joe Pa felt in his heart even then that Sandusky was guilty of assaulting young boys. Also that he has held his secret since then -- that Sandusky's indictment last week was no surprise. My source for this info: A Pittsburgh attorney who is closely tapped in to Penn State football. Postscript: Mike McQueary, the receivers coach who eye-witnessed an alleged Sandusky assault but did not intervene to stop it, should be fired, too.

UPDATED ODDS FOR SUPER BOWL, NO. 1 PICK, MORE: From Bodog, Packers have distanced themselves as 5-2 faves for Super Bowl title, with Patriots 7-1 and Saints next at 11-1. For No. 1 draft pick, Colts a prohibitive 1-2, then Dolphins 9-2, Jaguars 13-2, Rams 10-1. Packers are 9-2 to finish 16-0. More likely: 15-1 at 3-2, 14-2 at 11-4.

UPDATED ODDS FOR NEXT PENN STATE COACH, BCS TITLE, MORE: From Bodog again, Urban Meyer is a 2-1 pick to be the next Penn State coach starting in 2012, with UM's Al Golden at 9-2, Mike London 5-1, Kevin Sumlin 11-2 and Pat Fitzgerald 6-1. BCS-title odds have LSU 1-2, Alabama 5-2, Oklahoma State 17-4 and Stanford 5-1. Heisman Trophy? Andrew Luck a prohibitive 1-5, followed by Trent Richardson at 19-4 and Kellen Moore 6-1.

Click back. Will be adding much more to this latest blogpost...