July 02, 2012

Celebrate freedom: Vote Obama vs. Romney now (with poll); plus holiday video, Ray Allen, Andy Griffith, Marlins (WLY), loving Spo & more

1aa1flag 1aa1patrapHAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!: Hope you all had a happy Fourth of July, and happy 236th to the U.S.A. Celebrate freedom by voting in our Obama-Romney presidential poll below. Today is election day and it's too close to call. Also, click on PATRIOT RAP (see right) for our latest holiday video, starring myself and champion Heat architect Pat Riley along with George Washington, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. (The homies called him T-Jeff...).

[1) It is Thursday, July 5. R.I.P., Andy Griffith, gone at 86. He made 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'Mayberry RFD' a warmly remembered icons of my early youth. Click here for a 1950s stand-up comedy bit by Griffith. 2) Marlin Giancarlo Stanton is second betting fave at 4-1 in Home Run Derby, after Jose Bautista at 7-2. 3) My latest television love: HBO's 'The Newsroom.' 4) Dontrelle Willis announced his retirement. Marlins should sign him to 1-day contract and send him out with the team that saw his best days. A good guy, D-Train. May he find happiness in his next chapter. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

POLL: BARACK OBAMA VS. MITT ROMNEY: "WHAT THE...? WHAT THE  HELL!? I THOUGHT THIS WAS S'POSED TO BE A SPORTS BLOG!! STICK TO [BLEEP]IN' SPORTS YOU MORON!!! CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION!!! (Wait. The 1aa1obaromInternet doesn't have subscriptions). CANCEL MY INTERNET!!!" There. I figured I'd represent what will surely be the outraged reaction of some to this poll just to sort of get it out of the way. This blog constantly bets on the side of sports fans/readers having interests much broader than just games, and here is the latest example. 1aa1obarom2It's the Fourth of July, four months 'til presidential election day, and that sounds like a good time to me to take a straw poll on Obama vs. Romney. Vote for the man you currently most support, either strongly or leaning. Or don't vote at all. Ain't freedom great! I included only the two major candidates (sorry, Ralph Nader), because I'm trying to live in the real world here. All I ask is that we keep it civil in the Comments section. Both guys mean to do the best for America, so wouldn't it be neat if we could just be positive and support one without demonizing or disrespecting the other? I have a dream...

CAN HEAT TALK RAY ALLEN INTO THE DISCOUNT BIN?: Heat want top free-agent target Ray Allen for all they can afford to pay him: $3.1 million per season for three years. Others are offering much more, but Miami is offering the (very) good chance of another championship and the open looks that come with being on the same floor with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Some free agents (like Steve Nash) are overtly money-minded. Is Allen? We'll see. He visits here Thursday, and Pat Riley leads a pretty impressive, convincing sales team. In case they don't land Allen, Heat also are casting lines for size with Rashard Lewis and Marcus Camby.

Magic living a Dwightmare: Now that LeBron is enjoying an image makeover and making such a lousy bad guy, America needs a new villain. I nominate Orlando's Dwight Howard in my latest column; click on Dwightmare to read.

LeBron merch moving: Upper Deck marketing manager Chris Carlin says sales of LeBron James merchandise "saw the floodgates really, really open" after he won his first NBA championship.

MARLINS: WLY ... WORST LOSS OF YEAR!: Anybody figure out the Marlins yet? A wonderful May. An abysmal June. Now four wins in a row ... but then two losses in a row including the worst of the year yesterday. Trailing 9-2, rally to lead 12-11 in extra innings -- then lose when Heath Bell gives up a walkoff two-run homer. Heath Hell! Topsy turvy season. I need a Dramamine. This could have been such an uplifting win. Wow. Still think Miami has a decent shot at the playoffs. If they miss, though, we'll all look back at a loss like last night's.

CANES MUST CAPITALIZE ON OB/ACC MARRIAGE: Orange Bowl and ACC announce major extension, a 12-year football alliance for Jan. 1 games at 1 p.m. starting with 2014 season. That's a lot of opportunity for the Miami Hurricanes to earn a distinct home-field bowl advantage.

LIVE MUSIC VS. BIG SOCCER: People who know me well would tell you I'm not as big an overall sports fan as most readers might assume from my job (one of the reasons this blog often delves elsewhere), and

1aa1ikercasillas 1aa1corycso I had a tough decision to make Sunday. Spain-Italy was playing the Euro '12 final at 2:30, but Cory Chisel was playing a live set at Fort Lauderdale's Radioactive Records at 2. Cory and I are acquaintances (through Brendan Benson), so of course I had to go see him. Think I made a good call. Got back to watch the latter part of the game, but a 4-0 soccer match is nobody's idea of a great final ... well, except Spain's. I'd like to introduce you to Chisel's music. Click on Born Again for a video taste. He has a new CD out called "Old Believers" that I look forward to diving into. (Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Chisel are pictured. I'll let you figure out who's who).

1aa1bushsoccpixDOLPHIN AND BIG SOCCER: Dolphins RB Reggie Bush Tweeted a photo of himself, far left, hanging out yesterday with a few soccer stars including England's Wayne Rooney (the white guy). I'm not sure why. But I know this: HBO's Hard Knocks will enjoy that Bush has enough juice to hang with Rooney. Dolphins! Star-power!!

1aa1coachspoPHILLIPINES LOVES SPOELSTRA: Pictured is a banner currently flying in downtown San Pablo City in the Phillipines, where champion Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is popular -- not Manny Pacquiao national hero-popular, but popular. ("Mabuhay" is a Filipino/Tagalog exclamatory that means "Long live!") Though raised in Portland, Ore., Spoelstra is the first head coach of Asian/Filipino-American heritage in any of the four major American pro sports. MABUHAY!

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...

June 17, 2012

Finals G3: Heat 91, Thunder 85: LeBron leads way (again) as Miami gives itself big chance to win title on home floor; plus Father's Day video with D-Wade & more

[1) It is Tuesday, June 19. Hope y'all had a Happy Father's Day, fellow padres! 2) Click on Random Evidence for my Sunday notes column that led this week with the NBA Finals. (Warning: People from Oklahoma might want to skip the first part). 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Click on Heat's Big 3 (Players And Home Games) Have Thunder In Trouble for my column off last night's Game 3 win. Click The Unexpected Late Turn In Shane Battier's Journey for my earlier column. And check out our Father's Day video starring Dwyane Wade at the end of this blogpost...

NBA FINALS G3: HEAT 91, THUNDER 85: MIAMI SEIZES COMMAND OF SERIES: Miami's Big 3 scored the game's final 15 points for the Heat in a victory that puts Miami in charge, with a 2-1 series lead and then next two games back here at home. LeBron James' 29 points and 14 rebounds, Dwyane Wade's 25 points and Chris Bosh's 10 points and 11 rebounds led the Heat. So did aggressiveness reflected in Miami's 46 points in the paint and 35 free-throw attempts. The Heat shot only 37.8 percent from the field yet had the resourcefulnes to prevail. It was a victory more ugly than artful, but a beautiful thing for Heat fans. Original post: I'm no stat-nerd by nature but find it worth relaying that 85.3 percent of all NBA Finals that were tied 1-1 have seen the winner 1aa1heatokc1of Game 3 go on to be champion. And doesn't tonight feel about that important? If Miami takes care of home business for a 2-1 series lead the franchise's second NBA title trophy would begin to loom into realistic view. But an upset home loss 1aa1heatokc2would swing everything back to OKC's favor. Pictured left: LeBron James and Kevin Durant, both looking for a championship. Their duel has lived up to billing thus far and could turn epic, with Durant averaging 34 points and James 31 through two games. Now LeBron returns to the one arena that loves him: Miami's. Thunder crowds make their arena supposedly the loudest in the league. Heat fans have never enjoyed that reputation but can stake their claim beginning tonight. In Game 7 vs. Boston here in the Eastern finals every seat was filled by tip-off, a first, and the ambience was sonic, downright Thunder-ous. Time to kick it up a notch, Miami.

Share your thoughts here on the Finals and Game 3 before, during and especially after tonight's game.

THREE KEYS FOR HEAT IN GAME 3: 1) Withstand OKC's energy early. You'd think the visitors might be the ones to be concerned about Miami's energy out the gate given the venue and crowd, but -- after the 1aa1keys3Heat led by 11 in the first quarter of Game 1 and then burst to that 18-2 lead in Game 2 -- the Thunder's emphasis tonight will be an attacking, fast start. 2) Tell Shane Battier to please not wake up from his dream. Mr. 9-for-13 On 3s has provided the outside shooting that has really opened the floor for the other guys and been quietly instrumental in the Finals so far. 3) Continue to pound the paint. LeBron James especially and also Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh must continue to strive for points in Dunkville and Layupland. Miami's aggression inside was the big difference in the Game 2 win. When James turns brutish, is taking double-digit free throws and has the postgame bruises to show for it, good things usually happen for Miami. Hidden Bonus Key Just For You: Seize the mystical power of Game 3: In NBA history there have been 34 Finals that started 1-1, and 29 of them (85.3 percent) have been won by the team that took Game 3 for a 2-1 series lead. (Granted one of the exceptions was Miami last year ... but still!)

1aa1dwadedadFATHER'S DAY GREETING FROM ME TO YOU: Dwyane Wade just spent months writing a soul-searching book about the nourishing powers of fatherhood. I just spent about five minutes creating a short video "starring" Wade. Click here

Click back for our updated postgame commentary and analysis. Some day this blog will get back to stuff other than the Heat. I promise...

December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! Vote for biggest South Florida sports story of 2011 (with poll); plus New Year's video from me to you

[1) Our Random Evidence Sunday notes column returns today. Click here to read. 2) You can still vote in our Jason Taylor/greatest-Dolphins-defenders poll in blogpost directly below this one. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

1aa1gcnyeHAPPY NEW YEAR!: Wishing all our readers and blogites -- especially you long-time regulars -- a healthy, happy and preposterous prosperous 2012. Click on Resolutions for our latest holiday video from me to you. (Lowlight: Me with a fake British accent. Highlight: Cat plays guitar).

THE BIGGEST SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS STORY OF 2011 WAS...VOTE NOW: Nationally the top story was, by consensus, the Penn State scandal. As for the biggest story of the past calendar year with a Greater Miami focus, I rank the top 10 in the order appearing in the poll below. Your votes will set the real order, with the "something else" option if I've overlooked anything. ("Leo Nunez" turning out to be Juan Carlos Oviedo didn't quite make my cut, sorry). How'd I do on the list? Vote now.

You may vote for up to THREE (3)!

Click back. Might be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...

December 25, 2011

LeBron, D-Wade shine as Heat unwrap big win for Christmas!; plus holiday video greeting from me to you & more

[1. Merry Christmas, Christians! Happy Hanukkah, Jews! Joyous holidays, others! Plain regular old Sunday, faithless heathens! 2. See results of latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in blogpost directly below this. 3. Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Courtesy one of my musical heroes, Brian Wilson, we bring you the original 1963 version of "Little Saint Nick." It is nothing like the later version heard on radio. Click here. Enjoy.

1aa1christmasvidOUR CHRISTMAS VIDEO-GIFT FOR READERS WHO'VE BEEN GOOD: Recently I got together with the Heat's Big 3 -- Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh (thanks for the time, guys!) -- to record a video to the tune of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." The fifth man in the vid, upper right in the photo, is Dolphins interim coach Todd Bowles. The bad news here? The annoying helium singing of The Chipmunks. The good news? You get to see LeBron in an Alpine hat. Click HERE to watch and listen. And a serious thanks and Happy Holidays to all my loyal readers and blog family!

HEAT OPEN BIG IN DALLAS: One team raised the championship banner. and then the team that will do it next won, 105-94. Anybody who watched the game knows the final score flatters Dallas. Heat thoroughly dominated, led by as many as 35 points in the third quarter. LeBron James' 37 points and Dwyane wade's 26 led a free-flowing offensive effort. ..... Original post: What else is there to say? This: The Heat will watch the Mavericks and their fans celebrate the NBA championship won at Miami's expense last season, and then the Heat will whip the Mavs and verify where the best team in the league lives.  

1aa1ice-tTHE LIST: DOLPHINS' 10-LOSS SEASONS: Saturday's defeat at New England meant the eighth 10-loss season in 46 franchise years. Let's mark the seasons gone most to L, chronologically, with the accompaniment of a photo of Ice-T sitting on Santa's lap:

Year    Record

1966    3-11

1967    4-10

1969    3-10-1

1988    6-10

2004    4-12

2006    6-10

2007    1-15

2011    5-10*

*-With one game to play.

Click back. Might be adding more to this holiday blogpost...

November 24, 2011

G11: Dallas 20, Dolphins 19 (Final): Heartbreak, again. Last-second FG beats Miami; plus Happy Thanksgiving video from me to you, NFL bird-day predix

[Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Watch for latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in separate blogpost starting at 8:30 p.m. sharp!

G11: DALLAS 20, DOLPHINS 19 (Final): This was No. 4. The fourth game by my count that should-a/could-a been a win and that means a Dolphins team now 3-8 and thinking next year could be 7-4 and thinking playoffs. Realistically, I mean. Matt Moore was pretty good again. The defense was stout. That one turnover on the bad snap that got past Moore was a killer. Do I blame Tony Sparano for going for one not two on that one extra point? No. It was still the third quarter. the "book" says one on that. ..... Original post: Let the Leon Lett references fly! Dolphins try to make it four straight today against a hot Tony Romo in Dallas in the middle game of the NFL's Bird Day tripleheader starting at 4:15. I am told our Dolphins In Depth blog is napping all this week, therefore today we'll be hosting, right here, the official Miami Herald Dolphins game blog. Ooh, such pressure! This post will magically transmogrify into our Dolphins-at-Dallas post prior to kickoff and we hope you'll join us then. Meantime, eat, drink and be merry!

1aa1birddayHAPPY THANKSGIVING! A VIDEO GREETING FROM ME TO YOU...: You know me. I like to have fun. I lean to sarcasm. But I offer a heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving to all, and a thanks in general especially to all my long-time readers. OK now back to the fun. Click on PILGRIM DAY for my latest holiday video, this one staring me, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano, Heat star Dwyane Wade, dethroned Penn State king Joe Paterno, and Denver deity Tim Tebow. Enjoy!

1aa1fripixNFL PIX: UPSETS IN TWO OF THREE BIRD-DAY GAMES: Green Bay finally will lose in the first of today's tripleheader as the '72 Dolphins rejoice. San Francisco will upset Baltimore in the Bros Bowl tonight. Alas, in between, Miami will not partake of the upsetting. Click on Thanksgiving Day Gems for today's three complete predictions capsules.

October 31, 2011

Boo! Halloween special: Scary rap video from me to you (with Tony Sparano-led all-star cast), pumpkin gallery & more

1aa1hh 1aa1hh[See results  of latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in blogpost directly below this. The Suck For Luck factor continues, and is growing. Also, join us on Twitter @gregcote].

South Florida Dictionary: "Boo!" is a traditional, ghost-like utterance heard on Halloween. The elongated "Boooooooo!" is fans' natural reaction to the winless Miami Dolphins. 

Trick or Treat-o-Meter: We had 24 kids come to our house for candy last night (I counted), about 10 or 12 doorbell rings. Not bad considering the dicey weather. Actually a bump up from recent years. Halloween lives! 

1aa1meweenHAPPY HALLOWEEN! VIDEO FROM ME TO YOU: I am continually impressed by the generosity of people. I ask a few friends to make a Halloween rap video with me and -- smack dang! -- suddenly we're all in the studio. Pictured left to right are champion and newly retired Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, football coach/analyst Bill Cowher (whose "commitment" to TV will dissolve at the first coaching offer he can't refuse), myself, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano and NBA commissioner David Stern. Click HERE to watch, listen and endure enjoy.

ADVANCED PUMPKIN CARVING: You know the pumpkins mere mortals like you and I carve? With the triangle eyes? We're lame. What real pumpkin artists can do with this magical, ghoulish gourd is nearly limitless, and five examples are below in a vertical gallery. I saved what many of you will find the scariest pumpkin face of all for the bottom...  

1aa1pump 1aa1pump2 1aa1pump3 1aa1pump4 1aa1pump5

February 07, 2011

Debut of Virtual Tony Sparano (with video); plus Canes get transfer-QB from Michigan, judge rules in favor of Krop High, Dolphins' 2012 Super Bowl odds & more

[Thanks to today's live-chatters. Do it each Wednesday 1-2. Click right here to post questions any time].

BLOG DEBUT OF OCCASIONAL REALLY BAD, AMATEURISH MINI-MOVIES!: Me and a little technology is a potentially scary thing. Today, my first effort: "Virtual Tony Sparano Explains Himself." Click below or click here to see it on YouTube. I think it has a shot at a Golden Globe in the new category, Short-form Animation About Tony Sparano That Neither Looks Nor Sounds Anything Like Tony Sparano.  

1aa1forcier CANES GET TRANSFER-QB FROM MICHIGAN: May the Forcier be with them! QB Tate Forcier (left) is a Hurricane now after switching UM's. He lost his starting job at Michigan last season but in 20 career games passed for 2,647 yards, 17 TDs and 10 picks.

JUDGE OVERTURNS FHSAA PENALTY, RULES FOR KROP HIGH!: [Click on Reverse The Call for today's column by me on this. Can't claim what I wrote had any influence but am glad what I suggested happened: The judge overruling the FHSAA and allowing Bryan Delancy and Krop High's boys basketball team to participate in the playoffs]. Original post: Krop High in northeast Miami-Dade is being barred 1aa1briand from the boys' basketball playoffs and told to forfeit its season because of immigration issues involving senior player Bryan Delancy (pictured), who is from the Bahamas. This strikes us as unfair. The governing Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) claims the kid does not have the proper immigration paperwork, but even if true it could be argued that is beside the point. The point is that public schools are not allowed, by law, to ask a student about his or her immigration status. All that is required is to reside in the proper district and maintain an adequate grade point average, and Delancy fulfills both of those obligations. The sticking point is that Krop was supposed to have filed immigration papers for Delancy and did not. The school bears its share of responsibility here, yes. But, bottom line: What is fair? Is it right that the school's team forfeit its season because one of its players was a proper student but lacking in athletic paperwork? Lenience is called for. Sadly, the FHSAA had none.

PATS FAVORED FOR 2012 SUPER BOWL, DOLPHINS 40-1: Packers and Wisconsinites haven't even stopped partying yet, and already BetUS.com is posting odds for the lockout-threatened  2011 season. Patriots are favored to win it all at 9-2, followed by Packers 6-1, Steelers 7-1, and Colts and Jets 8-1. Next tier brings Falcons/Ravens/Chargers at 12-1, Bears/Saints/Giants/Eagles at 15-1, and Cowboys at 18-1. Buried deep in the mid-pack: Dolphins at 40-1, tied for 17th. Bodog.com has it slightly different, with Packers favored at 7-1, Pats 8-1, Steelers 10-1, Chargers 12-1, Colts/Saints/Ravens 14-1, and Falcons/Cowboys/Jets/Eagles all 16-1. Bodog puts Dolphins at 45-1, 20th overall.

LITTLE GUY CLEANS UP ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY: Well, OK, anybody who can afford to bet big isn't exactly a "little guy," but he is compared to the Las Vegas sports books. Better day for bettors than bookies, it says here.

HEAT KING-O-METER UPDATE: LEBRON STILL IN CHARGE: Latest update on our unpopular King-o-Meter, tracking 1aa1crown which of the Heat's would-be Kings is having the better overall season. This update is after 50 games, through last night's home win vs. Indy: LeBron James leading Dwyane Wade by 2,914.37 King points to 2,548.47 in our cumulative ranking factoring 10 statistical categories. The two are tied in games led, 25-25. Note, LeBron's recent 51-point game vs. Orlando equated to 107.24 King points, a season-high for either player. (Regular updates here in the blog whenever you see the crown symbol pictured.

1aa1arodcameron DEAR GREG...: ..."your blog is OK but would be better if you would show a picture of Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz frolicking last week in the Miami surf. Thank you."

CAN'T WIN A SUPER BOWL WITHOUT A GREAT QB?: The posit makes some sense. Then again, Jim McMahon, Doug Williams, Jeff Hostetler, Mark Rypien, Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson. Something to ponder for those dead-set on deciding there's a "formula" when there isn't.

LEBRON EDGES DURANT: Sports Illustrated polled 154 NBA players and asked whether they'd rather spend the next 10 seasons playing alongside LeBron James or Kevin Durant. LeBron: 58 percent. That's especially impressive considering LBJ is almost four years older.

THE LIST: HURRICANES IN THE DRAFT: A site called Draftmetrics.com analyzed the past 20 NFL drafts (1991-2010). Here are the top-10 schools based on most number of NFL games started by drafted players:

1. Miami Hurricanes   4,568 starts (117 players)

2. Florida State Seminoles   4,416 (114)

3. Ohio State Buckeyes   3,899 (115)

4. Tennessee Vols   3,778 (116)

5. Michigan Wolverines   3,588 (91)

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish   3,531 (105)

7. Florida Gators   3,343 (107)

8. Georgia Bulldogs   3,253 (90)

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers   3,132 (102)

10. Southern Cal Trojans   2,864 (110)

Others with 2,000-plus, in order: Penn State, Auburn, Louisiana State, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas A&M, California, Virginia, Washington, Michigan State, Arizona State and Alabama.