March 12, 2008

Unsportsmanlike 3-12: Riley, Dolphs, pitching, Cats, Crystal, cheerleaders (with The Daily Poll) and more

     Another meandering mess o' miscellania...

     (*) Pat Riley has ID'd Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright, Daequan Cook and the likely upcoming top-three lottery pick (repeat after me: Michael Beasley) as the core around which he'll build a better Heat. Will Miami make the leap from worst in the league to the playoffs next season? Yes.

     (*) The Dolphins continue with their "disciplined spending philosophy" in free agency. Evidently what that means is, they're not spending enough to get anybody who's really good.

     (*) Marlins pitcher/phenom-designate Andrew Miller, 21, could be great someday, but this spring he's been erratic, with control issues. I have one word if he's the team's Opening Day starter as now seems likely: Uh-oh. (Or is that two words?)

     (*) New York, New York: Heat host Knicks tonight and Panthers Aaa1cab_2 host Islanders and the interest meter is barely a-wiggle. A once-fierce NBA rivalry finds the two teams a combined 29-97, while the hockey game matches two of the seven teams likely not to make the NHL playoffs. (Oops. Sorry. Are we still pretending the Cats aren't out of it?).

     (*) Speaking of New York: The Yankees "signing" Billy Crystal -- what a bunch of heartwarming crap! The Yankees ought to be getting serious and figuring out a way to beat the Red Sox instead of wasting spring at-bats on a fawning celebrity. What's next? Jimmy Buffett starting at short for the Marlins tomorrow?

Aaa1barry_2     (*) Spoke to UM basketball great Rick Barry (click here for today's column), tied to the Canes opening ACC tournament play Thursday vs. N.C. State up there.

    (*) Actress Dawn Wells, 69 -- Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island -- was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. Cops didn't buy her claim that it was planted there by Ginger.

      (*) Dan Patrick had me on his radio show yesterday talking about D-Wade and so forth. What I love about Patrick's on-air style: Calm, conversational, no histrionics. Such a pleasant change from most local sports-talk radio. Not to name names!

     (*) This just in. Geraldine Ferraro has announced she thinks I only got this blog because I'm white.

     (*) Today's Little-Known Fact (TLKF): The No. 1 boat name in the U.S. is Obsession. (I didn't say interesting fact. I said little-known).

     (*) The FHSAA held its first state cheerleading competition the other day, christening its elevation to varsity sport status. My question: Are there cheerleaders cheering for the varsity cheerleading teams?

     (*) Headlines You Probably Thought You'd Never See (one in a series): Me? I feel for the guy waiting outside the door who had to go really bad.

Aaa1addams_3     (*) Dear Greg: Your blog's OK, but it would be much better if occasionally you'd show a picture of a sullen model who looks like an Addams Family reject wearing a dress that no woman would ever actually wear in public.

     (*) Finally: Bad mortgage? Gas prices rising? Hate your boss? Look on the bright side. You could be Eliot Spitzer.

February 11, 2008

Unsportsmanlike 2-11: Dolph cuts, Marion, Zednik, PETA, Grammys, Knight poll and more

     Another pile of miscellania...

     (*) Dolphins today released veteran starters QB Trent Green, WR Marty Booker, OT L.J. Shelton and DT Keith Traylor among nine players cut. Find story here. No surprises among the departed. Obviously they couldn't get even a 7th-round pick for Booker. Can envision Green being re-signed as a backup for loose change. Who's another Dolphin veteran you'd most like to see gone? And who else do you imagine is on the cut-line? I worry for Zach Thomas.

     (*) Very impressed with Shawn Marion's Heat debut. Dwyane Wade, Marion and a (very) high No. 1 draft pick are three guys you can build a contender around. Liked the Shaq trade from the beginning. Like it even more after watching Marion's impressive all-round game. 

     (*) Best wishes to injured Panther Richard Zednik, who required life-saving surgery in Buffalo after his neck was accidentally sliced by the skate blade of teammate Olli Jokinen. The injury affected the player's carotid artery and nearly severed his jugular vein, which may have resulted in death. An early team quote from assistant GM Randy Sexton thanked people for their "condolences," as if he'd died. Ouch. Subsequent amended Sexton quote thanks people for their "thoughts and concerns." That's better.

     (*) Flummoxed over who to support for president? Click on Steer My Vote to answer a quick 10 questions and learn which candidate is most compatible with your views.

     (*) I'm catching Chris Rock at the Hard Rock tonight. I'll be the white guy. Just kidding. You going?


     (*) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is shown here protesting Kentucky Fried Chicken's treatment of chickens. I must be honest. If I owned a business, I might strongly consider a calculated, temporary mistreatment of animals for the expressed purpose of attracting naked PETA women. I'm not saying. I'm just saying!

     (*) I watched the Grammy Awards Sunday night; perhaps you did, too. Would it be unkind of me to mention, quite nuetrally, that Aretha Franklin appears to weigh approximately 400 pounds? Also, just curious: Could Kanye West be any more insufferable or Jerry Lee Lewis look more like death warmed over? On a positive note, good for Amy Winehouse.

Aaa1baby_2       (*) Dear Greg: Your blog's OK, but it would be better if occasionally you would show what appears to be an unsettlingly gigantic upside-down papier mache baby's head that may or may not be bleeding.

     (*) I don't see how Roger Clemens makes its out of this mess with his reputation and freedom both intact.

     (*) Here comes a poll on Bobby Knight. Resist your inclination to say "a combination of both" and make a bleepin' decision already!:

February 07, 2008

Unsportsmanlike 2-7: UM's bounty, Shaq, Dolphins, a presidential poll and more

     Unsportsmanlike is back! Sort of. Our longtime blogees may or may not be happy to see the return of this steaming pile of miscellania. Look for it on an occasional basis...

Aaahurr      (*) Congratulations to UM coach Randy Shannon on what calls the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, and a top-five class by consensus thanks in large part to dominating the backyard by keeping local stars. Question: If the 'Canes could only recruit South Florida but have anyone they wanted from down here every year, is that a deal you'd make?

     (*) Anybody excited about Dan Henning as the Dolphins' new offensive coordinator? He'll be only as good, or bad, as Miami's starting quarterback in '08, currently an unsettling mystery. Aaa1obama Aaa1dungy_2

   (*) Please help me spread a rumor that Barack Obama is the younger brother of Colts coach Tony Dungy. (It's the ears, I think). Thank you.

Aaa1mitt     (*) In other political news, Mitt (pictured) has dropped out of the Republican race.

     (*) Looks like UM will hire Ohio U's Kirby Hocutt, to replace Paul Dee, a good man, as athletic director. You know you're getting old when you hear Hocutt is 35 and you think, "Man, that's young!"

     (*) Click on Good Trade for today's column by me on the Shaquille O'Neal deal. Was I too rough on The Big Fella?

     (*) I like the Marlins signing Luis Gonzalez, even at 40. Baseball players age more gracefully, than (to use a random example) gigantic basketball centers. 

Aaa1tomjones       (*) Tom Jones (left), sporting suspiciously jet-black hair for a man of 67, has insured his chest hair for $7 million. My question: What exactly is the risk that imperils Tom's chest hair? Being pushed into a giant vat of Nair by a jealous Engelbert Humperdinck?

     (*) Cannot bring myself to make fun of Kevin Hart, the Nevada high-school player who faked his own recruitment to the point of announcing in a packed gymnasium he had chosen Cal. Very sad. Hope the kid is permitted to get over the embarrassment and move on.

     (*) Take two minutes to try this Marketing Quiz and see how brand-savvy you are. I got 17 out of 20. I'm not bragging.

Aaa1furcar_2       (*) Dear Greg: Your blog's OK, but why is it you never show a photo of a fur-covered car?

       (*) A poll on the presidential race follows. Hey we follow more than sports, right? Always curious on the politics of my readers/bloggers:

December 22, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Fri 12-22

     Occasional quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...Aadontrelle

      This was Marlin Dontrelle Willis' police booking photo from early this morning following his arrest on DUI charges outside a South Beach nightclub. Find the sad story here. Some will excoriate Willis, but he's done too much good on and off the field here to let one regrettable episode  redefine how we see him. In this case Willis' embarrassment is its own punishment, and a reminder that sometimes sports heroes aren't any more perfect than the rest of us. Trust D-Train to get back on track. Now let's move on.

     Nick Saban denying interest in the Alabama opening has become a ridiculous dance around semantics. Your Aanick_3Friend the Media saw suspicious vagueness in him saying he was happy in Miami and had no plans to leave, et cetera, so we demanded more. Finally Nick relented and stated flatly, "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach." But I guess that was insufficient, too, as a Herald headline today proclaims, 'Denials aren't enough to be convincing'. Cannot confirm the media is now demanding that Saban reiterate his intentions by ceremonially tearing to shreads a photo of Bear Bryant and having SWEET HOME, MIAMI tattooed on his forehead.

   Aadonald  Just in time for Christmas: Beauty Pageant Winners Gone Wild.

      Donald Trump, in his ongoing feud with Rosie O'Donnell, has resorted to calling her "an extremely unattractive woman." The funny part is somebody with Trump's hair calling anybody else unattractive.

     Headlines I Never Thought I'd See, another in a series.

Aatoast      Dear Greg: Your blog's OK, but I can promise you I'll never visit it again unless you show a picture of two men capering down a street dressed as giant pieces of toast.

December 13, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Wed 12-13

     Occasional quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...AaspyAaspy2

     More power to Dolphins coach Nick Saban (pictured) for getting any edge legally available to him over Tom Brady -- in this case by simply reviewing TV tapes to decipher some of the Patriot QB's cadences and pre-snap jargon. The story is here if you missed it. The NFL rightly ruled Miami violated no rules. Unfortunately, the Dolphins also have been studying another videotape entitled, How to Shut-out the Patriots, Beat the Bears in Chicago And Somehow Still Manage to Miss the Playoffs.

     Tough choice. I'm in the mood to suffer nausea but I can't decide whether to eat at Taco Bell or take a cruise.

     Some back the teacher, others think he's an ass.

     I do not believe all criminals are idiots, despite constant anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

     Reasons to Move out of Texas, No. 146.

     UM and FIU were right to not cancel their football series based on this season's brawl. Next year's meeting will be a love-in. Guys will be exchanging olive branches and saying "sorry" after tackles.

     Love that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen denies seeming to support an assassination attempt on Fidel Castro in an Aarosintervew she taped for a British documentary. Her denial would carry more weight if she were not heard saying, "I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro." C'mon, Ileana. You hate Castro. You want him dead. You said it. Admit it. Move on.

December 11, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Mon 12-11

     Occasional quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...Aaprince

     Prince, the Artist Formerly Known By A Symbol, will be the featured halftime performer at the Feb. 4 Super Bowl at Dolphin Stadium. He'll be easy to spot. He'll be the only man on the field smaller than the placekickers.

     Headlines I Never Thought I'd Read, one in a series. And another.

     In politics, Democrats are enlivened by the presidential prospects of party stars Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama while grinning Republicans engage in a lively debate over which of the two is less electable.

     Nicole Ritchie, the 85-pound television person, was arrested early this morning in Burbank for DUI. Cannot confirm that police found her hiding in the glove compartment.

     Why So Many People Want Nothing To Do With Organized Religion, Part 743: All nine Christmas trees have been removed from a display at the Seattle-Tacoma airport after a rabbi threatened a lawsuit over the absence of a menorah.Aagq_1   

     Anybody concerned by the Heat's slow (8-11) start? Me neither. Not yet. Not unless they're still struggling once everybody's healthy including Shaq. For now, though, understand Pat Riley's frustration when he looks at the players who are missing and sees reasons like "wisdom tooth" and "salmonella." Bizarre.Aaeel

     Dear Greg, your blog is OK, but it suffers from the continued absence of a picture of an underwater Santa wrestling a moray eel. Cancel my subscription.

     The good news? Eventually, this thins out the crowds at malls.

     Major South Florida Events That Interest Me Not a Bit, one in a series: Art Basel.

     Further indication that American newspapers truly have run out of interesting things to write about: Today, on page 7 of The Herald's Tropical Life section .. a Q&A interview with ... Hulk Hogan's daughter!

     Gotta run. Meeting my friend Art Basel for lunch.

December 04, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Mon 12-4

     Occasional quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...

     Aacrying_2 Can't confim it, but somebody told me they were driving west of Detroit earlier today and saw a city-limits sign that read: 'Welcome to Ann Arbor -- Unhappiest Place on Earth.'

     Try this game. It may become habit-forming and cause you to be fired from work, or divorced. I tried it eight or 10 times, didn't top 8.234 seconds, then ran screaming from the room. 

     I was tAanauseahinking of going on a cruise this coming spring, but I've decided to save the thousands of dollars by becoming nauseated from a stomach virus in my own home.

     UM athletic director Paul Dee is scheduled to speak with favored football-coach candidate Greg Schiano of Rutgers today. Of course, unless the money does most of the talking, Miami has no shot.

     Britney Spears, partying nonstop with Paris Hilton. Remember the good old days, back when we thought Britney was a bad mom just for driving with the baby on her lap?

     Headline: 'Bush Acknowledges Change In Iraq Strategy May Be Needed.' And the entire world shouted in unison: "No duh!"

     Paul A. Morin, national commander of the American Legion, is embroiled in controversy for calling himself a "Vietnam veteran" even though he served his Army time entirely at Fort Dix, N.J. Perhaps the fine print on his resume' explains that he is a veteran of several meals at a Vietnamese restaurant in Camden.

     You know, these potholes are getting ridiculous. We've just got to do something. But what!?

     Finally, in international news, Venezuelans re-elected Hugo Chavez as president, but only because there was no one crazier on the ballot.

November 29, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Wed 11-29

     Occasional quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...Tech_n9ne_1

     I like to think of myself as Hip Dad, betrayed first by the fact nobody says "hip" anymore except people old enough to remember "groovy," and further by the fact my 19-year-old son and some friends recently drove to Orlando to see the guy pictured at left. He's the rapper, Tech Nine. Sorry. Tech N9ne. If I were any older, my age would be traced by carbon dating.

     Has Iraq fallen into civil war? No. I look and look, but can't see anything civil about it.Aagoats

     Admit it. You thought you'd go your entire life without ever reading this headline.

    The main athletics facility at Broward's Sagemont School now has a corporate sponsor, Comerica Bank. Not sure who should be more ashamed, the school or the bank. My gawd. The principal might could use a lesson in principle.

     Quietly, NFL Europe has changed its name to NFL Europa, in a subtle nod to German and Dutch fans. Thought you should know that the league you'll continue to ignore had made that change.

     Is that a guitar in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?

     Things Of Which I Am Way Tired: The media acting as if Joey Harrington playing the piano is this bizarre, fascinating novelty. It's a common instrument. Millions play it. Are we so stuck in our stereotypes as to believe athletes have no artistic side? Haven't y'all seen Emmitt dance?Aaben

     Summarizing Ben Wallace and the headband brouhaha: Silly rule by the Bulls. But an even sillier look for Wallace.

     Fidel Castro is too ill to attend his 80th birthday celebration in Cuba. Cannot confirm that, in South Florida, Cubans are celebrating by taking bats to Fidel-shaped pinatas.

November 27, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Mon 11-27

     Occasional quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...

     A couple of my neighbors already have Christmas lights up, but the guy across the street is a bah-humbug type. In fact, he's out front right now, putting up a Negativity Scene.Aaturkey

     The turkeys, they do not go down without a fight.

     I've been wondering. If upbeat Caribbean music happens to be playing at the moment the world ends, will it be the Apocalypso? Aarichards

     Comic actor Michael Richards, embattled since a tirade of N-words during a standup comedy routine, sought damage control by meeting with Jesse Jackson. Analysts were saying Richards has no future is show business. Sort of like what they were also saying even before his racist rant.

     Yoko Ono, in a fulltime New York Times ad, has called for worldwide peace and healing. Cannot confirm the ad states "everyone deserves compassion, understanding and healing, except Michael Richards."

     Waiter, this soda tastes like pea.

     M'am, it may be time to get a different boyfriend.

     Three facts to tell others and seem smarter:

     1. Origin of the expression "rule of thumb" is that in the 1400s in Engand a man was allowed to beat his wife but only with a stick no thicker than his thumb.Aadog

     2. The average cost of raising a medium-sized dog to the age of 11 is $6,400.

     3. If you were to spell out numbers in order, you wouldn't find a number containing the letter "a" until you reached "one thousand."

November 20, 2006

Unsportsmanlike: Mon 11-20

     Occasional quick hits on topical oddities in pop culture, news and sometimes even sports...

     Aaoj_2 O.J. Simpon's forthcoming book, If I Did It, is, in the perfect description of Washington Post writer Eugene Robinson, an "abomination" that amounts to an "end zone dance on the graves of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman." Any thought of you gradually rehabilitating your scurrilous public image has been set back 10 years, O.J. You're dirt.

     The Carnival Liberty cruise ship on which almost 700 passengers suffered a stomach virus returned to port, greeted by hundreds of people waiting. Loved ones? Nah. Lawyers.

     Michigan remains No. 2 in the latest BCS poll despite its loss at Ohio State on Saturday. Turns out The Game of the Whatever amounted to ... nothing. Thinking fans of USC and Florida, especially, are wanting to drop a letter and call it the BS poll.

     Admit it. This is the headline from your nightmare, the thing we all fear most this time of year.

     I just looked up "get a life" in the dictionary and saw a picture of people waiting in long lines overnight to buy the new PlayStation.

     Colleague and friend Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel tracked down elusive former Dolphin Jake Scott and wrote an interesting piece, although I must say Scott -- like most mysteries -- was to me more interesting unsolved. He used to have this unique nobility about him, this impenetrable aura as a man steadfastly refusing attention. Turns out he's just a guy on a barstool, living life like a character in a Jimmy Buffett song.

     Note: The preceding paragraph has been immediately self-diagnosed as professional jealousy. Good get, Dave. Well done.