Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Ricky Violates Update
"After testing positive for marijuana in three previous NFL drug tests, Dolphins running back Ricky Williams tested positive again, but this time the banned substance is not marijuana, according to sources ...
... "Even if that is true and Williams has not been using street drugs, it would not preclude him testing positive for a banned substance. The NFL has a list of nearly a dozen so-called supplements that are banned. Even too much water in a urine sample can trigger a positive test result because it can be deemed a masking agent for drugs.
''This whole thing is a little confusing,'' said one source when asked what substance was found in Williams. ``I'll just leave it at that.'' "
Ricky's positive test is not for pot
Labels: Miami Dolphins
Monday, February 20, 2006
Yoga Farms, Skillz Competions, Shaq & T.O. Go To Church ... It must be the MSD Daily Dose!
MAN ... I was beginning to get ready to coast into the football off-season & 2nd half of the NBA season like a carefree Lindsey Jacobellis but, instead, the Ricky Williams story has reached up and grabbed my snowboard and now ... there’s actual work to be done and serious things to write about. Crap.
“Oh well, it happens.”
Here we go ...
Ricky Williams’ mom said she’s “betting her life” that Ricky's not smoking the doobie. Betting her life? That’s quite the Janet Jones Gretzky gamble. Moms are the best.
I’ve gotten what would amount to two tons of paper in e-mails all day today from MSD readers wondering where I’m at with this whole Ricky thing. So here’s where I’m at:
The Miami Herald reportedly tried to contact Ricky via e-mail and got no response. I’ve got a friend (no, it’s not me) that smokes a gargantuan amount of the herb. The guy can hardly say two coherent words when he’s sober, let alone work a computer or the internet. (Besides that, isn’t Ricky like on a yoga-transcendental-meditation-no-eating-food-with eyeballs-alpacas farm somewhere in India?) Doesn’t Dan Le Batard have his private cell number? Our other favorite SoFla media (big) head, Hank Goldberg, has been all over this story. I’d like to see Le Batard and Goldberg go twelve rounds of bare-knuckle boxing. Twelve full rounds. That would be cool ... But I digress ...
Secondly, whether guilty or not (let’s just say, for argument’s sake, Ms. Williams turns out to be a helluva gambler and is right about her son), this officially ends the Ricky-As-Trade-Bait scenario we’ve all been gunning for. Shut down all the Ricky to the Denver Broncos, Ricky to the Houston Texans, Ricky to the Austin Wranglers talk. Whatever Nick Saban’s plans were concerning Ricky and improvements to the Dolphins, they're now officially up in smoke (I know, I know.). Seriously, though, we had a real nice bargaining chip here and now we’re just like everybody else – stuck at the 16th position in the draft and forced to have to look elsewhere for our QB of the future. Now no one’s going to touch Ricky even if he does somehow wriggle out of this. Well, no one except maybe Matt Millen.
Thirdly, damn I’m glad we went with Ronnie Brown in last season's draft.
Leave it to us already having a stud runningback on our team to give us all some perspective on this whole thing. All we’ve heard today from Dolfans are emblematic, insipid reflections and opinions on the matter, as opposed to two years ago when Dolphin fans were stalking the streets like an endless hoard of zombies from Night of the Living Dead, looking to eat Chris Mortensen’s brains and smash walls with their fists and wreak general Fight-Club-like havoc when Ricky announced his retirement just days before training camp. Now with Ronnie as our primary runningback? We’re treating this whole story with an “easy-going, herb toatin’, space-meditatin’, everytings gonna be awright, mon” mentality. Ironic, isn’t it?
Fourth, I guess I’m waiting for the rest of the story to come out. But while we do, the fish-wrap vultures will be all over this and Saban will have to deal with the same old tired questions dealing with this story all the way up until Draft Day and beyond.
Can’t wait to hear Coach’s tirade when he finally snaps and goes postal at a press conference. Cannot wait for that. We love it when Saban scolds the local media like an aggravated father with his bratty, noisy kids. It’s why guys like Henry Goldberg dislike Saban and this New Dolphins Regime so much. And why Dudes Like Us love the Coach.
Finally, let me leave you with this: Does anyone else find it a bit too coincidental that a Denver TV station broke this story? Don't call Oliver Stone just yet, but I've got this thing in the back of my mind that is trying to tell me the Denver media wasn't too crazy about Mike Shanahan coming after Ricky. Maybe it's just me. Then again, Big Tobbaco swore that cigarrettes were never injected with addictive chemicals ... ... ... ...
I’m sure I’ll have more on all this as the story breaks, so stay tuned to the blogs and feel free to send us some of your own thoughts on this. Discuss Amongst Yourselves
Now … on to today’s Random Thoughts …
- Did anyone else notice that Dwayne Wade hit the game-winning shot in last night’s All Star game? Sure Bron-Bron won the MVP, Vince Carter missed 85 dunks, and Detroit's 4 best players single handedly defeated the entire Western Conference -- still, D-Wade's game winner should be getting more air time.
- Did anyone else notice that Wade won the Skills Competition? Well, it is an arbitrary, silly little competition. But still. It’s D-Wade! And he beat out King James and Steve The Canadian Kelly Leak Nash!
- Did anyone else notice that Terrell Owens and Shaq were sitting together during the Slam Dunk contest? Was the Diesel recruiting T.O.? Hope so!!!
- Did anyone else notice that they were wearing the same suit? Maybe they were going to Church after the festivities. What else is there to do in Houston? Seriously.
Looking forward to reading your e-mails. No, really. I am.
Until then …
Labels: Miami Dolphins
Thursday, February 16, 2006
The Top Five (2/16)
1.) Greg Cote Is Not A Real Blogger!
The Herald’s Greg Cote wrote a blog yesterday saying that D-Wade could surpass Dan Marino as Miami’s Sports King (Cote). In my blog from Sunday night, I merely stated that Wade is just beginning to approach Marino’s stratosphere as a Great Player. But never did I say Wade would end up bigger than Danny. For that to be the case, I’d say Wade would have to win five to six championships, ala Michael Jordan, just to enter the debate. That’s just the way it is. This is a football town and it will take a whole-heck-of-a-lot to dethrone Marino as South Florida’s Greatest Athlete. Cote is WAY off base here. And judging from the reader comments, I’m not the only one who feels this way. (That’s why blogging should be left to the bloggers and not to professional columnists … you just know Cote and dudes of his ilk hate websites like the MSD. Hey, Cote, get off of my cloud!).
2.) Trade For Culpepper?
No, I don’t want the Dolphins to trade for Daunte Culpepper. Not only did Pep have a horrendous season last year, but he completely blew out and shredded his knee and will enter training camp a gimpy QB, which is the last thing we need. I’d rather we made an aggressive push for Brett Favre than bring Culpepper down here. Besides, you just know Minnesota is going to ask for way too much and, frankly, Pep is not worth anything beyond a 2nd round pick right now. Is he an improvement over Gus? Of course! But he's not worth what the Vikings will in all likelihood ask for in return.
3.) Go After The BIG Guy
I’d love to see Ty Law down here. BUT, you know he’s going to cost too much. Instead, as the Jets begin to release top players to free up cap space, we should go after the best center in the NFL – Kevin Mawae. Not only would he be a top-notch anchor for the offensive line, giving whoever is at center down here plenty of time to throw, but he would also give the Fins the flexibility to go another way in the draft. Ask Zach Thomas how he feels about Mawae. No one else would give Nick Saban a better scouting report.
Incidentally, did you read Law’s comments on how he feels about the Dolphins? This is what he said, “ … if the Dolphins get a quarterback, they're a real contender for the Super Bowl. That's what it's all about for me right now. I need to win another title." We even got Ty hatin on Gus Frerotte (just hope Mrs. Frerotte doesn’t get wind of that comment). Boom Goes The Dynamite!
4.) WARNING: Band Wagoners Ahead!
The Heat start the second half of the season with a pretty cake-walk schedule (New York, Seattle, Toronto, Boston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, to name a few). I bring this up because they should start off the second half of the season red hot – which will bring the band-wagoner Heat fans out of the wood works, which is always a lot of fun to watch. Of course, the band wagon will crash, explode and burn in a massive ball of fire and carnage should they lose at Detroit on March 22nd. Ya gotta love this town!
5.) MSD's Dolphins Off-Season Coverage
Be on the lookout for our Dolphins Off-Season coverage starting in early March. We will be covering everything we possibly can when it comes to Free Agency, Roster Cuts and, the Big One – the NFL Draft. And much, much more! We hope you’ll dig in and read our stuff as our staff will be working hard to keep the buzz rollin and we hope to inspire some healthy debates on The Forum.
Catch You On the Flip Side ...
Labels: Miami Dolphins
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Daily Quickie (2/15)
Heat Travels To The Sam Waterson Center, Escape A Furious Magic 4th Quarter
The Heat met the Magic again, this time at the T.D. Waterhouse Center in Orlando. Miami went into the 4th with a 29 point lead only to watch it dwindle down to 8 after Riles sat Shaq and Wade. Big surprise there! But with about 1:50 left, Wade was sent back in for damage control and got two key assists as Gary the Glove knocked down two consecutive threes to ice the deal. Final score: Miami 110, Orlando 100. Whew!
Speaking of threes -- our boy 'Toine went bananas tonight! He finished the night 10 for 17 for 26 points, including six trays. Six! That's four shy of the Heat record. Way to go Antoine! Now if you could start doing that against the elite teams, we'll be good to go. I abuse Employee Number 8 a lot here, but I'll give it up tonight. Nice last two games to finish the first half of the season, 'Toine. Now improve on that 2.2 assist average and stop turning over the ball (5 tonight) you numb skull!!
Final Analysis: Nice finish before the All Star Break for our boys. The down hill portion of the season starts next Wednesday againt the Isaiah Thomas Project (otherwise known as the New York Knickerbockers). To quote the Mandlebaum's: "It's Go Time!"
P.S. Since when did Heat color-man Tony Fiorentino start these New York Yankees pep rallies during Heat telecasts? I heard he also did it during yesterday's game. Hey, Coach, it's the NBA. And, oh yea -- it's the MIAMI Heat. Miami.
Zach Thomas Says He'd Welcome T.O. To The Dolphins
Zach Thomas joins the T.O. bandwagon, along with Chris Chambers, when asked if he's okay with Owens coming to Miami. I have a theory why guys like Randy McMichael don't want T.O. here and why guys like Thomas would "welcome" him. McMichael is a young guy with a nice furture ahead of him but is concerned with his personal stats. Thomas is entering his mid-30's and is approaching that "my career might end without me ever playing in a Super Bowl" stage. So, Thomas would welcome a "troubled" player if it will greatly enhance his chances of being in a Super Bowl. Zach is subscribing to the MSD theory here: Gamble on T.O. and the payoff will be huge!!
Just remember -- the MSD started this whole T.O. to the Dolphins thing way back in October of last year! If T.O. does in fact sign with Miami, we want a piece of that pie. Nothing big. Just something. A free plug to the site from Super Drew would be just fine.
All in all, it's up to Nick Saban now. But the media won't know anything until the actual day the Owens' signing happens. Much to the chagrin of one Hank Goldberg.
Hit y'all back real soon ...
Labels: Miami Heat
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Heat 107 - Magic 93
Heat answered all my questions (from today's previous blog -- see below) with a nice 14 point victory:
1.) No, Shaq did not proceed to fall asleep after the tip off. In fact, he went on to end the night with a double-double (25 pts./11 rebounds) and, apparently has been reading my blogs because he seems more committed to the 'dunk' than ever.
2.) D-Wade came out smokin, just as I predicted: 38 points.
3.) Oddly enough, Keyon Dooling seemed to give us the most trouble (15 points). But when Dooling is the one giving you trouble, that's awright mama ...
4.) Antoine looked pretty good at times tonight. That is, until Riley asked him to dribble down court on the in-bounds. Comedy. High Comedy. 'Toine's final stats: 5-8, 12 points. Not too shabby.
5.) As I suspected ... many, many, many empty seats at the AAA tonight. Still, I'll take tonight's crowd over those so-called Heat fans who only show up to the "important" games and pretend to care, any time. You hear me, you trend-mongers??? You make me sick! Sick I say!
Random Thoughts From Tonight's Victory:
- With 2:50 left, Riles sat down his starters. Good stuff. A Michael Doleac sighting can be many things, but when it's during the 4th with 2:50 left to play, it is a good thing.
- With 4 1/2 left, the crowd started an M-V-P chant as Wade went to the free throw line. And you know what? Why the hell not???
- At half time, former Heat player Billy Thompson, now an ordained minister, performed wedding services for five couples down on the court. I didn't know what to make of this being that it's Valentines Day and all. Then my wife said, "That's lame." And that's when I knew how I should feel about it. But secretly, I was wishing I was married during the half-time of a Heat game. Damn.
- Unintentional Brokeback Mountain Moment of the Night: Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter were at the game. Together. Funny thing is, they just sat and watched the game and hardly said two words to each other all night. Not only did it look like they were on a date, but it looked like they had a lover's spat in the car before coming into the arena. A friend of mine tells me they're here to film a Gatorade commercial. Okay.
- The Heat's next opponent? The Orlando Magic. The old home & home game, like an NCAA matchup or something. "Diaper Dandys and the Diesel baby!!!"
- Finally, does anyone else think the Magic play in the lamest of the corporate sponsored arenas? The TD Waterhouse Center? A friggin brokerage firm endorsed by Sam Waterson? Orlando, home of Mickey Mouse, Universal Studios and ... that dude from Law & Order. O-Town Rocks!!!
Hit you all tomorrow...
Labels: Miami Heat
Valentine's Day Massacre?
The Heat faces Orlando tonight (7:30, Sun Sports Network).
Now here's the question: Can we put away the weaker teams by the half/3rd quarter? Sure, we beat Detroit and seemingly turned the tide in 2006 ... but our boys have had a hard time putting away the mediocre teams, which the elite teams are supposed to do!
Put the Magic away early, rest the stars during the 4th and make a statement: Sunday was not a fluke!
Five Questions Going Into Tonight:
1.) Will Shaq play like The Diesel or fall asleep after the opening tip as he has grown accustomed to doing this year against teams not named 'Pistons.'
2.) How will D-Wade come out at the opening tip? (my guess: hotter than hotter than hot)
3.) Which obscure Magic player will be the Crazy X-Factor that will give us fits tonight?
4.) What will Antoine's final numbers be?
5.) How many empty seats will we be able to count at the AAA?
And One ...
The rumor mill is spinning as the trade deadline approaches. Kenyan Martin for Posey and Walker seems to be the hottest rumor (which doesn't say much about the rumor-mill, does it?)
Here are my two cents for players we need to trade for/add:
1.) Bring back Number TWO!!! Rory Sparrow, baby!
2.) Jimmy Chipwood ("I'll make it.")
In otherwords, Heat-o-feliacs ... don't hold your breath for a trade. It ain't happenin' ...
But, feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves: http://www.miamisportsdudes.com/page/page/2897188.htm
Labels: Miami Heat
Friday, February 10, 2006
MSD Exclusive: CANES Recruiting
Jorge Lauzardo, MSD Contributor
Editor's Note: A day after we posted this article, the Herald released their own column on this subject. Just thought it was worth mentioning. Besides, while it is an excellent article, it seems it took two people to write that column and only one Godfather to write this one. Big ups to Don Lauzardo. Kiss The Ring ...
-Chris J, Editor-In-Chief, The MiamiSportsDudes.com
The Big Day
Feb. 1st. 2006, National Signing Day for high School football recruits to sign on the dotted line. Once the dust has settled, UM will probably do quite well. Miami will again finish in the top 20 schools this year as decided by Scout.com & Rivals.com, the top two recruiting Internet information sources.
Which, when you think about it, is pretty good considering what has come to be known in Coral Gables as "Black Monday." That's the day Coach Larry Coker fired four top, and heralded assistants. Actually, Coker has fired 5 assistants since the start of this past season if you include defensive line coach Greg Mark on October 17th.
And this is where our story becomes a tangled web. You see this story is not about this year’s pimply faced bunch of newcomers; sure they have what it takes to win the Heisman as freshmen.
No, the story is about firing the defensive line coach in mid-season. The defensive line coach. Not the ball boy for promoting milk. Not the assistant, to the assistant, of the assistant punting instructor.
THE defensive line coach.
Does that sound strange to no one but me? Surely not.
Now, mind you, we are talking about firing a coach whose defensive line happens to have been ranked in the top 10 in the country in rushing defense at the time. And who coached a line which was part of the top 3 total defense teams in the Country.
Why was he fired? The truth, well, "we can't handle the truth." At least we may never know the truth. But after my investigation, and follow up, I think I have a pretty good idea. But the answer will be simple to see at the end of the story.
Let me piece this all together for you and see what drops from the roof shall we?
A Troubling Trend
It is early spring 2005, and Kevin Perez, 6-4 282, Senior OL from Killian High is taking in the UM Spring football practices. As a Junior Kevin, considered one of the top O-Linemen in the State, visited the UM practices regularly. In an interview he admitted he had been a lifelong "Canes fan!"
Yet on May 15th, in an article on Dawg Post, the official Georgia web site for Scout.Com, we find this quote: “...Early in the process Perez mentioned to us (Dawg Post) that UM was his favorite school. Why the change? ‘I have not heard from UM at all, [Perez said].’ ‘Since they invited me to their spring practices they have not written or called this spring.’ ”
Again does this sound strange to you? Oh, old Kevin was probably a non-qualifier academically, you say? Wrong, parchment breath! Not only was he qualified, he was so far ahead academically that, according to reports, he is already enrolled at Georgia, a full 4 months before his graduating class accepts their pieces of paper.
"I have not heard from UM at all." This has been a common line repeated by Dade & Broward County recruits this football season. So what gives? Remember when Howard Schnellenberger said everything South of Orlando was "the State of Miami" and claimed it for UM?
George Smith, head coach of Broward County power house St. Thomas Aquinas, said recently, "UM has had their issues recently recruiting local kids, but it seems they have identified the problems and have corrected them. I just sat down with Randy Shannon (Def. Coordinator), and everything is fine."
By the way, Smith Coached 3 All-State O-Linemen this year. Including All American 1st Team, Sam Young, 6-5 315, who had UM initially as his leader, and when he committed to Notre Dame last week, didn't have UM in his top 3.
Issues – yes, I'll say. Have the "problems" been corrected? I believe most of the problems were corrected on Black Monday and October 17, 2005.
Here's another example, Anthony Leon, 6-3, 209. Rated the number 10 Safety/WR in the Country from Gulliver Prep, and originally committed to FSU. Oh, you say, Gulliver Prep rings a bell, yes the same school that produced Sean Taylor. Oh, and PS ... Anthony Leon is Taylor's cousin.
Here is a quote from Leon recently from Warchant.com, the FSU Internet site: "Warchant.com caught up with the talented Safety/WR to find out what the offer from Miami means to him and if he is still firm in his commitment to FSU.Q: How excited are you [Anthony Leon] to get the recent scholarship offer from Miami? A: “I was more surprised than excited because I was wondering why it took them so long to offer."
Leon, a Hurricane fan for years, was looking forward to following in his cousin’s footsteps. What happened to the UM offer? Why was it so late in coming? Why wasn't there any communication?
Remember the FSU - UM game last year (Miami driving inside the FSU 15 yd. line with a few minutes left and Kyle Wright gets sacked)? The next play is a botched field goal attempt. Does anyone remember who sacked Wright?
The young man's name is Neefy Moffit. True freshman, 6-1 216, outside LB/DE, from Palm Beach. Moffit grew up bleeding Orange n' Green. He practically begged UM for a scholarship. But for some unknown reason, the call never came. Near the end of the recruiting process, UM finally told Moffit that if he waited until signing day and they had an extra scholarship, he "might" get it. By the way, Moffit was an All-State player, and named one of the top 50 players in Florida.
John Mosure, 5-11 204, 4.5 in the 40, the top running back in Dade County this year, Mosure was the leading rusher in Dade County with 1,542 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was selected 1st Team All-Dade running back, and All-State but he never received an offer from UM. PS... In case you forgot, UM didn't sign a running back last year.
These examples are but the tip of the recruiting ice berg.
Righting The Ship
I believe it is pretty obvious why there was a Black Monday, and why Greg Mark was fired. And why Pete Garcia, Butch Davis' Recruiting Coordinator, was hired again by UM recently, and placed "in charge of Football operations."
This isn't the NFL kids. Football Operations means recruiting. And specifically recruiting the Tar out of Dade, Broward & Palm Beach. Which Garcia was famous for.
Larry Coker is still "Master & Commander” of the ship, so he has to answer to why this disorganization was allowed to occur in the first place. But at least he recognized the severity of the problem and was not afraid to pull the trigger.
Or could it be that he was indeed afraid, but not in terms of firing his assistants, but afraid of the fact that Butch Davis is still unemployed as a coach?
Stay tuned ... and let's hope that Dade, Broward & Palm Beach again become THE STATE OF MIAMI.
Labels: Miami Hurricanes