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1) Hope all our Chinese readers had a Happy New Year this week, and that all our American friends enjoyed a happy National Pie Day! 2) Who'll win Super Bowl? Vote in our poll in blogpost directly below this latest one. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote.
DOLPHINS CHECKLIST: NEW COACH? DONE. NEW QB? HMM...: Dolphins management and new coach Joe Philbin face very interesting decisions in the coming weeks if Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn become free agents as expected. To me the ideal scenario would be to acquire Manning -- if the price is right and in his case if his health is sound -- and then have a few years to develop his eventual replacement. But options abound, all of them pretty good. Take a dip in our poll and tell the Dolphins what you would like to see as their QB strategy. Weigh each man's positives and negatives below (listed alphabetically), then cast your vote and say why.
Sign Matt Flynn: Packers' backup will be free agent unless Green Bay applies its franchise tag, which is unlikely. Positives -- Flynn is only 26, has worked closely with Philbin, and in two career NFL starts has passed for 731 yards and nine TDs. Negatives -- "In two career NFL starts." Flynn was a 7th-round draft pick. Could be a leap of faith based on little evidence that he'll be a franchise-type QB.
Trade-up to draft Robert Griffin III: Miami won't get the Baylor star sticking with the 8th or 9th pick and might have to trade all the way to No. 2. Positives -- Griffin is a dual-threat Heisman winner who could be to his team what Cam Newton is in Carolina, a true franchise cornerstone. Negatives -- It would cost a ton to trade up that far, and no rookie QB comes with a guarantee.
Sign Peyton Manning: Speculation is Manning will become free agent before March 8, when Indianapolis would owe him a $28 million roster bonus. Positives -- Where to begin? Manning is one of greatest, most prolific passers of all time and if healthy could have at least a few prime seasons left. Negatives -- Turns 36 in March and is coming off a season missed due to neck surgery.
Stick with Matt Moore: Dolphins' incumbent starter went 6-6 with solid 87.1 passer rating in 12 starts. Positives -- Moore is only 27, had 16 TDs vs. only nine picks in 2011 and his rating ranked fifth in the AFC. Negatives -- Is Moore good enough to carry a team or is he better suited as a solid backup or stopgap starter?
Something else...: This category could include giving Chad Henne another shot, signing a free agent less costly than Manning or Flynn, or drafting a QB who is more of a developmental guy like Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill or Arizona's Nick Foles.
JOE PHILBIN: LARRY COKER 2.0?: Has anyone else noticed an eerie resemblance between the new Dolphins coach, Philbin, and former Miami Hurricanes coach Larry Coker? Look and decide. The similarity had not occurred to me but was mentioned in an email by Jim Martz. Longtime readers may recall that name. Jim was an excellent Herald sports writer for years (covering UM, tennis and more) and actually was my first boss and the man who hired me. (So blame him!) Philbin is at left and Coker in the middle here. I added Dolphins CEO Mike Dee, far right, just because.
LOMO BEING LOMO: Logan Morrison is pictured here, far right, enjoying a glass of wine in a hot tub with fellow Marlins outfielder Bryan Peterson. The men appear to be naked. The hot tub appears to be small. I don't even wanna know where Morrison's left foot is going. Morrison later Tweeted, "nohomojustlomo." Evidently Morrison is such an established "free spirit" that he can say "homo" and everybody just grins and says with a wink, "That's Lomo!"
ROMNEY VS. GINGRICH IN FLORIDA: Mitt vs. Newt. Whatever happened to guys named John and Ed? (Or Joe and Larry?)
STINKING HEAT: The Heat stunk last night about as badly as the Heat can stink. Pinch your nose and move one. Return of D-Wade imminent.
THE NIGHTMARE SUPER BOWL: From a Dolfan perspective the worst would be the Jets in the Super Bowl. But Patriots vs. Giants is pretty close. You have the rival/nemesis Patriots of pretty boy Tom Brady and scowling Bill Belichick reminding Miami how steep the climb is in the AFC East. And you have the Giants allowing the transplanted New York fans among us to be even cockier and more obnoxious than usual. The good news? It beats a Ravens-49ers matchup in terms of overall interest and also to prevent two weeks of nonstop feel-good media schmaltz about brothers Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh in the "HarBowl." Both bros were denied and I have one word for that: Harbaawww.
ON STEVEN TYLER: I like Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith) and that great rock voice of his. I love my country and its national anthem. May the two of them never, ever intersect again. Please? Seriously. Tyler (pictured here screeching the anthem Sunday) was no match for the song's high notes prior to the Ravens-at-Patriots game. I don't think he was disrespecting the song; he just wasn't up to its challenges. One other thing about Tyler. I watch American Idol (guilty pleasure) and Tyler -- a judge along with Randy Jackson and Dolphins part owner Jennifer Lopez -- is taking the rock-star/sex-symbol persona to cartoonish extremes. Dude, you'll be 64 in March. Dial it back a notch.
PATERNO AND MIAMI: The great, late Joe Paterno didn't impact the University of Miami much over the years but did profoundly, once. It was Penn State's 14-10 victory over the Canes in the 1986 Fiesta Bowl -- the game for the national championship -- on Jan. 2, 1987. I was there. And a quarter century later I still have never seen any coach in any sport as devastated by any loss as Jimmy Johnson was then.
HERMAIN CAIN, SINGING: I guess the headline about says it all. Click here. The defrocked Republican presidential candidate start crooning at about the 1:45 mark.
COULD I SAY IT IF IT WEREN'T TRUE? (One in a series): Iran seeks to recover Saddam Hussein's bronzed ass cheek.
ONLY IN MIAMI... (One in a series): Click here. Yet more from real-life Miami that reads like a chapter in a zany Carl Hiaasen novel. The difference: Hiaasen's bats would have been bred and colonized by the deranged homeowner.
Click back. Will be adding more stuff to this latest blogpost...