February 19, 2015

How do you feel about Heat's trade for Goran Dragic? Poll. Vote now!; plus ominous Bosh news (updated), athlete-media relationship poll (it's close!), sign-spinners, Mount Rushmore/QBs result & more

1aa1asheep1) It is FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20. I'm holed up at Random Evidence Laboratories today pulling from nonexistence the Sunday notes-column package. 2) Thursday was the Chinese New Year, year of the sheep. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Mount Rushmore of QBs poll, Westminster dog show, Tiger verdict, false racism, Lesley Gore & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

1aa1aboshcOn Dragic trade, Bosh medical update: A strange Thursday night-into-Friday to be a Heat fan. You are elated (most likely) over the Goran Dragic trade but also holding your breath over Chris Bosh's medical situation. Click on Riley Wins Again for my latest column. It's on the big trade but touches on Bosh, too. Bosh is hospitalized for tests and, as I was first to report last night via Twitter, initial concerns centered on the lungs and a possible blood clot. We await official word from the club today but now have heard there are believed to be clots in both lungs. We wish Bosh the best and hope for the most positive news possible but fear the news may instead be that Bosh will miss the reminder of this NBA season.

1aa1adragicHEAT ACQUIRE GORAN DRAGIC FOR PICKS, PLAYERS: The Heat on Thursday acquired elite point guard Goran Dragic (and his brother Zoran) from Phoenix while giving up reserves Norris Cole, Danny Granger, Shawne Williams and Justin Hamilton and two first-round draft picks. I love the deal and you'd click on Riley Wins Again to read my latest column. But enough of me. Your opinion of the trade is welcomed here. Vote in the poll below and say why you feel as you do in the Comments section.

SHOULD PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES BE REQUIRED TO DEAL WITH THE MEDIA?: That wasn't even a question, once. They did and that was that. But the relationship is becoming more and more adversarial

1aa1amediaml 1aa1amediakdand there may be no turning back. We have seen the actions of Seahawk Marshawn Lynch, grudgingly making himself available to avoid fines but hardly cooperating. More recently we have seen the Thunder's Kevin Durant express frustration with the media and his obligations. Many players, especially superstars, can get their message out via personal websites or social media and feel they don't need the mainstream/traditional media. Predictably, as a member of the latter, I don't feel it is too much of an obligation or burden for leagues and teams to expect that players would make themselves available to the reporters who cover them regularly. I think a mutually respectful, working relationship continues to benefit both sides. You may agree, or not. Let's find out. Take a dip in our poll and say why in the Comments section.

Poll result: It's Montana, Brady, Marino and Unitas on your QBs Mount Rushmore: We gave you 12 choices and four votes, and your mountain-worthy quartet were Joe Montana with 20.2 percent, Tom Brady with 16.7%, Dan Marino with 16.3% and Johnny Unitas with 12.3%. Great response, and solid results! Close but no mountain to Peyton Manning with 9.9%. (The maximum percentage was 25, so that means Montana, if everyone cast all four votes, was named on 80.8% of all ballots).



        Faked-up News Network (FUNN) -- Sign-spinners have begun to flex their muscle. The Laborers International Union of North America has agreed to represent the estimated 60,000 American street-corner 1aa1asignspinnersworkers whose job is to hold, point and spin mostly arrow-shaped signs that aim to direct motorists to local stores but have the opposite effect as annoyed drivers barrel past shaking their heads at the aesthetic blight on their communities. "These beacons of business are doing essential work for chump pay," explained LIUNA communications laision Veronica Forkenplatter. "While it is true most of our spinners are inebriated homeless folks posing a traffic hazard or disinterested college kids listening to ear-buds or on cell phones, many of our other spinners are former Broadway dancers or other defrocked entertainers looking for a creative outlet. In fact we are trying to confirm -- there is national-spokesman potential in this -- that Joel Grey is currently soft-shoe spinning in New York at age 82."

Check back a lot because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

February 17, 2015

Do you root for or against Tiger Woods? New poll. Vote now!; plus pro-rating Miami's all-time pro coaches, Heat career ASG leaders, Marlins outlook, saving newspaper industry & more

It's Radio Tuesday!: I'm back in-studio with the Dan LeBatard Show today, 3-7 on The Ticket Miami, 4-7 on ESPN Radio. Ears welcome.

1) It is TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17. Hope y'all had a lovely Presidents' Day. 2) Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package. 3) 
In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Loria verdict, thank you Dr. J & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Heat in Haiti: Heat stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade (and wives) are in Haiti post All-Star Game and before the NBA season resumes. Click here for more.  

Marlins outlook: Buzz not so loud nationally: Local buzz about the Marlins is not reflected so much in national expectations based on new Bovada win over/unders that have Miami at 81.5 -- right about .500. Nationals top NL East at a majors-leading 92.5, with Fish and Mets both 81.5, Braves 73.5 and Phillies an MLB-worst 68.5.

TAKING SIDES ON TIGER WOODS: I explore the Tiger Woods phenomenon in today's latest column; click on Can't Stop Watching to read in full. It's timely because Woods is taking an indefinite break and 1aa1atigerwoodsunlikely to play the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens later this month, which in turn means he wouldn't qualify to compete in the WGC event at Doral. We followed Woods through his era of excellence and aura. We watched during the infidelity scandal that rocked his golf career. Now we watch as he struggles, at 39, to come back and win again. Well, I do, anyway. And I think many do. But you may not. I see Woods as polarizing so I think most have an opinion. Like him or don't like him? Still interested or past him? Root for him or against him? I think Tiger Woods not playing is still more interesting than anyone who is (a problem for the PGA Tour), but I could be wrong. Take a dip in our poll and share your thoughts.

PRO-RATING SOUTH FLORIDA'S ALL-TIME WINNINGEST PRO COACHES: Jack McKeon won more games in Miami than Don Shula. Huh. What? Of course he did. Because baseball (162) plays 10 times more 1aa1adonshulagames in a season than football (16). Basketball and hockey (82) in turn play five times more games than football but half as many as baseball. So just for fun I did the math on all-time wins in each sport, with baseball managers holding at one point per victory, hockey and basketball coaches having their win totals doubled, and football coaches seeing their wins multiplied by 10. We included regular season and playoff wins. Here, pro-rated for the first time, measuring both success and longevity, are South Florida's all-time winningest coaches in a way that allows the comparison of each relative to each other. The Top 15:

Coach, Team                            Win value    Duration

1. Don Shula, Dolphins                2,740        1970-95

2. Pat Riley, Heat                           960        1995-03, '05-08

3. Erik Spoelstra, Heat                   798        2008-current

4. Dave Wannstedt, Dolphins         430        2000-04

5. Jimmy Johnson, Dolphins          380         1996-99

6. Jack McKeon, Marlins                292         2003-05, '11

7. Tony Sparano, Dolphins             290         2008-11

8. Fredi Gonzalez, Marlins             276         2007-10

9. Kevin Loughery, Heat                270         1991-95

10. Stan Van Gundy, Heat             258         2003-05

11. Joe Philbin, Dolphins               230          2012-current

12. Rene Lachemann, Marlins       221         1993-96

13. Jacques Martin, Panthers        220          2005-08

14. Peter DeBoer, Panthers          206          2008-11

15. John Boles, Marlins                 205         1996, '99-01

Note -- Others active (along with Spoelstra and Philbin): Marlins' Mike Redmond (139) and Panthers' Gerard Gallant (48). Spoelstra and Gallant are in-season, with totals updated through Sunday.

HEAT ALL-TIME ALL-STAR GAME SCORING: Only seven Heat players in franchise history have played in an NBA All-Star Game, encompassing 28 appearances. That includes Chris Bosh on Sunday. The seven listed in order of ASG points scored:

Player                            Pts.-Games    Avg.

Dwyane Wade                 173-10          17.3

LeBron James                 106-4            26.5

Chris Bosh                        42-5              8.4

Shaquille O'Neal               39-3            13.0

Alonzo Mourning              30-3            10.0

Tom Hardaway                18-2              9.0

Anthony Mason                  0-1              0.0

1aa1afloridiansNote -- The Miami Floridians (later The Floridians) played four seasons in the ABA, 1968-72. Their six players who appeared in an all-star game were: Donnie Freeman 31-2, Mack Calvin 18-2, Les Hunter 12-1, Larry Jones 6-1, Warren Jabali 4-1 and Skip Thoren 2-1.



    Faked-Up News Network (FUNN) -- The Association of American Newspapers, desperate to reverse years of declining circulation and advertising revenue, is expected to soon unveil a major national multi-platform 1aa1anewspapersad
campaign embodying a bold new strategy: Shame Americans by making them feel guilty for being too cheap to buy a paper. "Nothing else has worked because of the damned Internet so we're going the guilt-trip route," confirmed AAN president Mort Eppermeier. "I mean, seriously, you'll pay $2 for a cup of coffee but you won't spend 50 cents for a paper? How cheap are you!?" The media group considered an alternate ad campaign centered on Thomas Jefferson's famous words said in 1787: "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter" -- but that was shouted down as too high-minded. The group also considered a campaign emphasizing alternate uses for old newspapers, such as packing material and weed retardant, but that too was rejected. The rollout of the new ad campaign -- 'BUY A PAPER, CHEAPSKATE!' -- is expected later this summer.

Check back often because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

February 09, 2012

How confident are you Heat will win title this year? (with poll); plus Hanley's revenge, Manningphins, Vick, Yoenis, panhandling, infant sumo wrestling & more

[1) R.I.P. Whitney Houston. 2) Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" album was released this week in 1964. 3) You can still vote in our Ricky Williams/Dolphins Honor Roll poll in blogpost directly below this newest one. 4) I'm not sure. Is this the proper time to reveal that I once had an affair with Mimi Alford? 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

THE WAVERING CONFIDENCE OF HEAT FANS (OR NOT...): I hear regularly from many Heat fans when you couple my own circle of friends and acquaintances with readers, and a general consensus seems to be that fans 1aa1champsare hopeful Miami can win the NBA championship this year more than confident Miami will. Then I again I may hear from a curmudgeonly crowd. A poll to get a better, broader read on this had been clanging around in my thoughts for awhile and sort of got birthed into the blog by last night's 102-89 loss in Orlando that maybe reawakened doubts. That the Heat is better than last season is a presumption, but is it true? Miami in Year 1 of the Big 3 was 58-24 (.707) in the regular season and right now the record is 19-7 (.731), but a game like last night's makes you wonder. Me, anyway. Maybe not you? I do think the Heat is better in Year 2 and I'd still call Miami a title favorite, but that status to me falls somewhere between shaky and slight. Take a dip in our poll, be honest as you can, and say where your confidence is at. 

#ThingsBlamedOnLeBron: To that hashtag Twitter discussion I contributed: Wreck of the Costa Concordia, global warming and the mild headache for which I just popped an Advil.

Another thing on LeBron...: Is it me, or is the media fascination with the Kendrick Perkins/LeBron Tweet-war much ado about very, very little?

HANLEY RAMIREZ IS TAKING NAMES: LeBron-like, Marlins star Hanley Ramirez is keeping a list of all those who doubted him or Tweeted ill of him and writing their names on his bat. Well, at least that is the premise of a new 30-second Spanish language Powerade commercial starring Hanley. Click here for the YouTube vid.  

1aa1manningfaceTHE MIAMI MANNINGPHINS: Pictured is a conception by this artist of what the Dolphins logo would look like if the dolphin's face subtly and somewhat resembled the high-forehead profile of Peyton Manning.

LET IT GO, AMERICA, ON MICHAEL VICK: A new national survey by Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research indicates the following are the 10 most disliked athletes in America, with my parenthetical guess on the root of the dislike: 1. Michael Vick 1aa1mvick(dog killing), 2. Tiger Woods (infidelity), 3. Plaxico Burress (gun toting), 4. Ndamukong Suh (opponent stomping), 5. Kris Humphries (Kardashian dumping), 6. LeBron James (Cleveland jilting), 7. Kobe Bryant (just being Kobe), 8. Terrell Owens (just being T.O.), 9. Alex Rodriguez (steroids/wealth) and 10. Kurt Busch (cantankerousness). First, congrats to the Heat's own LeBron for continuing to slide down these unpopularity lists. General dislike of LeBron (at least outside of Cleveland) is less and less over "The Decision" and increasingly settling on simply the King James Factor, the perceived arrogance. Now to my main point. I am well aware from past emails that one is not allowed to support or defend Vick in any way without being labeled an advocate of puppy torture, but I must say -- again -- that Vick (pictured) served some pretty serious time for his dog-fighting operation and has shown proper regret, enough time served and contrition that we should lay down the MURDERER! placards and let it go. I'm an animal lover (have two pets), and I think breeding dogs to fight at their great and sometimes deadly peril is an awful and rightly punishable thing. But it isn't homicide or child rape, either.

MORE ON YOENIS CESPEDES: My newest column, on the Marlins' pursuit of Cuban-defector slugger Yoenis Cespedes (click here for the column), was, surprisingly to me, the most-read thing on all of MiamiHerald.com. That says two things: 1) Interest in the Marlins is increasing exponentially, and 2) the club's belief that signing Cespedes would be a huge hit with Cubans in Miami is on the mark.

HERALD NEWS: We don't have a sports ombudsman to pass along internal news, so I adopt the task and tell you that Israel Gutierrez is soon leaving the mothership to become an NBA writer for ESPN.com and also do stuff for other World Wide Leader entities. Good luck, Iz.

PANHANDLER TIPS (one in a series): The thought that a surprisingly high percentage of my blog readers are homeless or destitute may not be accurate. In any case if you can't personally relate to this 1aa1homelessPanhandler Tip, surely you can pass it along to someone you see haunting an intersection, cardboard sign in hand: Panhandler, do not beg help with a cigarette dangling from your maw. It suggests you will take my hard-earned offering and use it not for food or baby diapers, but for yet another pack of cancer herb. Smoking while panhandling is akin to waving a HOMELESS AND HUNGRY sign while the neck of a Jim Beam pint juts from your dungaree pocket. Or bumming coins while on your iPhone. It just isn't good for business!

WORLD RECORD FOR DUMB WORLD RECORDS: Guinness the beer, I like. Guinness the world-records people, not so much.If you don't agree there are too many asinine world-record categories you will after clicking here. (Somewhere, Gene Simmons and his own famous tongue has never felt more like a has-been).


     BEIJING (Faked-Up News) -- The Chinese government is under fire from global women's rights groups for chemically encouraging the birth of gigantic babies in order to promote a national league of infant sumo wrestling.

1aa1ochocincoWe leave you for now with the Twitter icon (left) of Chad Ochocinco @ochocinco: "Relax: It's just egg shells." Of course it is egg shells. Click on image to enlarge and see for yourself. (Man, some of y'all got a dirty mind!) Visit us again. Will be adding more stuff to this latest blogpost...