Sunday, December 31, 2006

MSD Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006: 1.

Well, it’s late December which means it’s the time for television shows, magazines, websites and blogs to present their obligatory 2006 Best Of … lists. And the MSD is no exception. So, here is the Miami Sports Dude’s Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006. I’ll be counting down the top ten from 10 to 1 in the next two weeks. And remember, there is to be no wagering of any kind ... and now, on with the countdown ...

#1. Miami Heat, 2006 NBA Finals Champions

Looking back, 2006 for Miami sports was a debacle. The Ricky Williams suspension, the Culpepper disaster, the UM-FIU brawl, the Pata murder and the Marlins he said-she said between the owner and manager. Not to mention the Dolphins catastrophic season, the Marlins still without a stadium, the possibility that Nick Saban is going to Alabama, the Jason Taylor-Shawne Merriman confrontation, and the recent injuries to Shaq and Wade that has the Heat in a bit of a tail spin without them.

But one moment trumps them all. One moment takes all those bad events and tramples them into a fine powder like a thundering herd of wild buffalo. One moment engulfs and drowns those bad events like a crashing wall of water at the heart of a ferocious hurricane in the middle of the Atlantic.

And it is a glorious, magnificent, astonishing moment. A moment that thousands dream of but only a few get to experience.

Ladies and gentlemen … soak it in and drink of it deeply. Your Number 1 Miami Sports Moment of 2006:

Enjoy …

My Report From Game 3 Of The Finals
Redemption, Part III: The 2006 Heat Season Re-Cap
Final Thoughts For The Whiners And Haters

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MSD Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006: 2.

Well, it’s late December which means it’s the time for television shows, magazines, websites and blogs to present their obligatory 2006 Best Of … lists. And the MSD is no exception. So, here is the Miami Sports Dude’s Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006. I’ll be counting down the top ten from 10 to 1 in the next two weeks. And remember, there is to be no wagering of any kind ... and now, on with the countdown ...

#2. Brawl At The Orange Bowl

Every now and then there comes a time in Miami sports history that transcends an era. A moment that halts time and exceeds generational gaps with the brilliance that is sports performance and competition. A moment that encapsulates poetry in motion and the sheer determination of man’s ultimate test of strength and will.

This was not one of those times.

The on-field brawl that took place at the Orange Bowl between University of Miami and Florida International University football players was one of the darkest moments in Miami sports history. The darkness I’m talking about can be viewed two different ways – it can be darkly humiliating or darkly humorous. It all depends on your point of view.

I never wrote about it here because I wasn’t sure what to write. But the fact is, I was actually at that game. My girlfriend is a senior at FIU and she was able to get two tickets for us. We thought it would be cute to go as rival couples – her in her blue Golden Panthers shirt and me in my orange Canes jersey. Well, she thought it would be cute. I thought it was a quick and easy way to watch a Hurricanes football game at the Bowl for free and then get laid later that night. But I was also ready to kick some inferior ass and talk some serious shit afterwards at the risk of being dumped by a really hot chick with a fantastic set of cans.

But what was supposed to be a nice night out the old Orange Bowl to watch a friendly match between two schools that reside mere miles away from each other quickly turned into Thunderdome.

The one thing I remember was a bit of chippyness from the FIU players early on in the game. I remember laughing to myself and thinking: How cute. The FIU players are mad and trying to be all tough n’stuff. Tee hee.

Then I remember seeing our place holder being thrown backwards after we scored a TD. Then I remember seeing a throng of players from both sidelines rushing the field like those kilt wearing dudes in Braveheart.

Then I remember just watching it all unfold with slack jaw and wide eyes. When the fight didn’t subside, I knew we were witnessing something distinctive. Something infamous. I knew we were going to be the Sports Center headline and the first post on all the major sports news websites. And I remember just being embarrassed. I couldn’t help it. I was embarrassed. Embarrassed to be a Canes fan and embarrassed to be a Miami sports fan. For Miami sports fans, this was our version of the ‘hanging chad.’ A moment that will resonate over time and make us a laughing stock across America.

Son of a bitch!

It was amazing how the entire stadium seemed to buzz with bad blood as the fight spilled over on the field below. Fights began to spread among the fans and the stands literally began to tremble under our feet. People turned into animals. Of course, it doesn’t help when they’re all smashed. But it was like the crowd began to morph with the players and the stadium was one gigantic caged death-match. It had a very apocalyptic feel to it. This was what anarchy feels like. This is what animals do when they’re caged and riled up. It was a surreal scene.

As far as the incident was concerned -- I knew that, in the end, even though the fight was clearly started by the FIU players – it was the Hurricanes that were going to be crucified over this. After all, they’re the college football thugs. They’re the criminal punks. It was all at once embarrassing, infuriating and perplexing.

I have been to many historical sporting events in my life. I was at Joe Montana’s last game when the Chiefs visited the Dolphins in a playoff game in 1994. I was at the Canes-Gators game a couple of years ago when Brock Berlin led Miami to that great 4th quarter rally. I was at the Marlins-Yankees World Series game where Alex Gonzalez hit the walk off homerun in extra innings (the game where the phony Roger Clemens was given a premature curtain call). I was at Game 3 of the NBA Finals this year. But this game takes the cake as far as experiences. Only because if the sheer surrealness about it. It went from a sporting event to an all out brawl.

In the end, I guess I can look back on it with some humor. I think the whole Lamar Thomas fiasco is ridiculously hilarious. As is the Legend of Ned, the crutch wielding, one legged FIU warrior that braved the madness to swing a crutch upside someone’s skull, broken leg be damned. But the incident itself would be a huge black eye on the Hurricanes program, not to mention a dark foreshadowing of the tragic murder of Bryan Pata just a few weeks after. The fight seemed to be the culmination of what has been a terrible season for the U.

It is also one of the most popular viewed videos on YouTube this year.

Only in Miami does this happen.


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MSD Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006: 3.

Well, it’s late December which means it’s the time for television shows, magazines, websites and blogs to present their obligatory 2006 Best Of … lists. And the MSD is no exception. So, here is the Miami Sports Dude’s Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006. I’ll be counting down the top ten from 10 to 1 in the next two weeks. And remember, there is to be no wagering of any kind ... and now, on with the countdown ...

#3. Dolphins Trade For Culpepper

It was March 15th and it was a day that filled Dolphins fans hearts with hope and their heads with dreams. After all, this team had not had a quarterback – a real quarterback – since Number 13 hung em up and walked away into immortality. After that, it was a regurgitation of mediocre signal callers: Damon Huard, Jay Fiedler, Sage Rosenfels, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, AJ Feeley, Gus Frerotte.

Then, Nick Saban reaches a deal with the Minnesota Vikings. And suddenly, we have ourselves a real quarterback. His surgically repaired knee was a concern but not enough to squelch the fires of Super Bowl visions that burned in our souls. We had a great defense, we had solid receivers, and we had a solid running game. All we needed was a quarterback who can shred opposing defenses and lead us the way the Legend used to.

Daunte Culpepper was now going to be the quarterback of the Miami Dolphins. This town hadn’t felt this kind of buzz since the Heat traded for Shaquille O’Neal. But, somehow, this buzz was bigger. This is, after all, a football town first and foremost.

And, just like that, we went from bad memories of Jay Fiedler, to hopes and dreams of a quarterback who once rivaled Peyton Manning as the best in the game today.

Remember that one instance, when we read the papers and saw the ESPN reports that confirmed Daunte Culpepper was a Dolphin? Remember having that split second thought of, “Oh my God. This is happening. We’re Super Bowl contenders. We finally have a real quarterback!”

C’mon … you remember. You won’t admit it. But you remember.

I remember. I don’t want to remember. But I do.

Hey, I’m a Dolphins fan. I’m allowed to be stupid.

Remember our rationale?

Shredded knee? Pft. Who needs a knee to throw a football? Love Boat scandal? Puleeease … who among us has ever turned down a lap dance? Small hands? He’s not catching the balls. He’s throwing them. No Randy Moss? Well. Um. Well, okay, you got us there.

Point was, we had been so beaten down by bad quarterbacks, so used to seeing a rash of noodle armed, pea brained mamalooks rotate in and out of the lineup at QB for so long … we were just begging for someone, anyone, to come and save us. And we were willing to accept the first guy to walk in through the door. Shredded knee ligaments be damned! Modern science would fix that! Hell, I once saw Kriss Angel cut a chick in half. That’s got to be real! Imagine what a trained knee surgeon could do!

Well … in hindsight, I guess we all should’ve seen this coming. No matter how hopeful things can be for our Dolphins, the cruel bitch that is fate finds a way to fuck us over like the cheap slutty whore that she is. Cunt!

So we’re right back where we started. Losing season and without a real quarterback.

But for that one instance in March, we all felt that rare tinge – that dangerous little feeling that traps us Dolphins fans, enters our brains and turns us into mindless zombies. That thing called hope. And it once existed in the form of Daunte Culpepper in a Dolphins uniform.

What a bunch of fucking saps we all are.

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MPC Computers Bowl Kickoff: 7:30 PM

It's the granddaddy of all shitty college bowl games. The MPC Computers Bowl! Well, maybe not even the granddaddy. Let's say, the second cousin. The second cousin of all mediocre college bowl games. The kind of bowl that was originally designed with the Boise Community College Fightin' Muskrats in mind.
And the U will be playing for whatever shitty trophy they give out at the end of this incedious crapfest.
And if you plan to watch tonight (as I do, because by 7:00 tonight, the Colts would already have dismantled the Dolphins in Saban's last game as head coach of the Miami Dolphins) do not try to adjust your TV screen. The Bronco Stadium field is blue. Because the folks in Idaho figured, "What the hell. Let's make the goddamned field blue."

So it really comes down to either getting a headache from watching a blue football field for 3 and a half hours or getting a headache from the fact that the U is actually playing in the MPC Computers Bowl.

Oh and the U will be playing the Nevada Wolf Pack. It's the first time these two juggernauts meet.

Preview (seriously, if you click on this to read the game preview, you deserve Paul Dee's job because you are Mr. Cane. God bless you!)



MSD Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006: 4.

Well, it’s late December which means it’s the time for television shows, magazines, websites and blogs to present their obligatory 2006 Best Of … lists. And the MSD is no exception. So, here is the Miami Sports Dude’s Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006. I’ll be counting down the top ten from 10 to 1 in the next two weeks. And remember, there is to be no wagering of any kind ... and now, on with the countdown ...

#4. Dwyane Wade Super Star

Here’s a fact. Dwyane Wade is everywhere. And he’s all ours. Since leading the Miami Heat to championship glory and earning himself the Finals MVP, Dwyane Wade has been all over the place. You go to a book store or a CVS or an airport, and the entire magazine rack is just a collage of Dwyane Wade’s face. He’s been on the covers of GQ, Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, Men's Health, Dime, and Slam to name a few. And he's appeared on television shows like Live with Regis and Kelly and Late Night with David Letterman. He’s in those commercials with Charles Barkley as well as a star of shoe commercials directed by Spike Lee. He’s also in that ad where he shows up and gives a bunch of kids a new basketball rim, a coach a brand new SUV and then rides off on a squeaky bike.

The other day, my wife and I popped in our wedding video to re-live our magical day. And Dwyane Wade appeared during the reception and made a toast. I was looking at old photographs from my high school prom and found a picture of Dwyane Wade dancing with my date. Yesterday a breaking news alert announcing Sadam Hussein’s execution was interrupted by a Dwyane Wade commercial. The man is everywhere.

What we have in Dwyane Wade is something special. He’s an artist on the court. He transcends greatness. And he is slowly, but surely, growing into a sports icon and legend. What he did this past June was stuff of legend. And when all the bullshit about fouls and refs and too many trips to the foul-line dies down, only one thing remains. Dwyane Wade is a phenomenon. And he plays for your Miami Heat. And I hope we can take pause and appreciate that.

Michael Jordan perfected the art of marketing for professional athletes. And Wade is just following in that wake. He’s a model for Sean John and he’s a spokesman for cell phones. He’s also the antithesis of your typical professional super star athlete. Humble, grounded, classy.

What he does off the court is white noise. He’s a marketing machine, like Jordan. And that’s fine. But we Miami sports fans haven’t had a star amongst us like this since Dan Marino hawked Isotoner gloves and shattered every major NFL passing record in the 80’s and 90’s. And in the age of the Internet and 24 hour news and sports channels, Dwyane Wade is suddenly known by housewives and folks who couldn’t tell a basketball from a Buick. And that’s Dwyane Wade, the entertainer.

But on the basketball court, Dwyane Wade is a player. And a great one at that. A Great One. Dwyane Wade with a basketball is all at once precision, breathtaking and astounding. To his fans and teammates, he’s exquisiteness. To his rivals and competitors, he’s dread. The extraordinary beauty of Dwyane Wade’s basketball skills are what makes him what he truly is. A star. An icon. A growing legend. And he is the first player in the history of Miami sports to be named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. Not even Marino was ever given that honor.

And that’s the Dwyane Wade we Heat fans need to embrace.

My father always shares his memories of watching Muhammad Ali fight on TV. To me, Ali is The Greatest. He's a mythic figure that only exists in old boxing footage and photographs. To my father, as a young man, he was Ali, the boxer. Not yet the legend, but a legend in the making.

I like to think we’re seeing the same thing from Wade. And some day, I’ll be able to tell my own son that I watched Dwyane Wade play basketball.

So while his face is everywhere and while he’s swiftly becoming a household name, let’s not forget he plays for you, Heat fans. Let’s be entertained by Dwyane Wade, the face. The pitchman. The entertainer.
But … let’s appreciate and be grateful for Dwyane Wade, the basketball player.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Zach Fined

The NFL has fined Zach Thomas $7,500 for his hit on Jets receiver Laveranues Coles last Monday night.

Worth every damn penny.


Posey Suspended

Forward James Posey has been suspended one game, without pay, by the NBA for commiting a fragrant foul against Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng. Posey will serve the suspension tonight in New Jersey when the Heat take on the Nets.
The Bulls front office has been bitching and whining about Posey the last two seasons, making him out to be some sort of thug.
Bulls guard Kirk "Touchy-Feely-Grab-N-Pull" Hinrich chimed in on Posey as well, saying: "I don't know if it's something he sets out before the game to do or not."
Um, no Kirk -- if that is your real name -- Posey doesn't waste his time scheming on how to hurt you. You're pretty self-absorbed to think that. You see, Kirk, World Champions don't bother thinking about setting out to hurt people. World Champions just play basketball. Someday, maybe you'll know what I mean. But I doubt it.
It may bother some Heat fans that the Bulls keep crying about Posey's "thugness" and the refs' "favoritism" towards Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley's "posturing" (this coming from a franchise that once employed Dennis Rodman and Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson). But it doesn't bother me. As far as I'm concerned, all they're doing is bothering a sleeping giant. And when the giant wakes, it's ass kicking time.
Sort of like a kid that keeps poking a hornet's nest. Keep poking the nest, kid ... keep poking the nest ...


Thursday, December 28, 2006

MSD Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006: 5.

Well, it’s late December which means it’s the time for television shows, magazines, websites and blogs to present their obligatory 2006 Best Of … lists. And the MSD is no exception. So, here is the Miami Sports Dude’s Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006. I’ll be counting down the top ten from 10 to 1 in the next two weeks. And remember, there is to be no wagering of any kind ... and now, on with the countdown ...

#5. Hurricane Tragedy

Sports is where most of us go to escape our everyday lives. It’s a hobby for some, an obsession for others. But all in all, it’s a harmless getaway. A place to go and be entertained, a place to go and have our thoughts and opinions heard. A place that sometimes mirrors our lives – the hardships as well as the triumphs that encapsulate our existence. Sports is escape. When our world is all about our jobs, our bottom lines and the outside world is all about wars, killings and struggles, we go to sports to help us reconnect with ourselves – a reminder that there can be joy found in even the most mundane things like debating who is the best at a certain sport, or a bunch of men running around and throwing a leather ball into a cylinder, or tackling each other and going after an oval “pigskin,” all while wearing uniforms (or helmets) with our home town name on the front – an extension of who we are and what our community is all about. So when this story hit the air waives on a Tuesday night in November, it suddenly made the cruelness of the real world clash with the escapism that is sports.

It was the kind of story you pretty much hear every day. A senseless killing on the streets of Miami is not exactly all that shocking and rare. But this murder put a face to the tragedy. And the University of Miami football program will never be the same. It was truly the most senseless of all tragedies. A good kid, with a bright future – a kid who never got into any trouble and was known for his goodwill and friendliness – was gunned down and murdered. And just like that, a life was swept away forever. A mother lost her child. A father lost his son. A son lost his brother. And a community, an entire fan base, lost a friend.

University of Miami defensive end Bryan Pata, a popular figure on campus, practiced on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 7th and was shot and killed later that night at his apartment complex. He was 22 years old.

Miami police ruled the shooting a homicide. To this day, they’ve yet to name a suspect or have divulged any information about being close to finding a suspect.

All killings are tragic. But it’s especially tragic when the victim was someone who stayed out of trouble, was beloved by teammates, coaches and fans and came from a loving, supportive family. Pata was expected to enter this year’s NFL draft and become a ferocious pass rusher for an NFL team. But his future was snuffed out like a match drenched in water. Suddenly and without warning.

There were reports and rumors about an argument with another man outside his apartment complex, but police have continually denied that they have a suspect. The family also hired a private investigator.

And while the crime itself remains unsolved, Pata’s teammates were forced to move on without him. They played their final games in his honor and looked to pay homage to his memory at every opportunity. Even Pata’s own MySpace page has turned into an ongoing, living tribute.

Pata’s future seemed limitless and his ferocity on the field made him a popular and well loved player to UM fans. For them and the rest of the sports watching country, he was a football player who happened to be shot and killed. A promising NFL draft pick and future professional football star.

But he was much more than that.

Pata's mother, wearing her son's Number 95 jersey, arrived at the apartment complex, the scene of the crime, and collapsed. She said Pata was not only a promising NFL draft pick, but an honorable son.

"My son's a very good son (who) never had a problem with nobody," Jeanette Pata said.

Bryan Pata.

A warrior on the grid iron.

An honorable son to a grieving mother.

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"Damn I gotta take a shit!"
Actually, that picture is of Wade after he sprained his wrist in the first quarter of last night's match in Chicago. He had to leave the game and did not return. You can imagine what happened from that point.
The Bulls are a fiesty bunch. But I ain't worried.
X-Rays on Wade's wrist were negative and he's considered day-to-day.
SporTech has the full game coverage.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

JT Calls Out Merriman

During a conference call with reporters in Indianapolis, Jason Taylor said the candidacy of his likely chief rival for NFL defensive player of the year, Shawne Merriman, was tainted by a four-game steroid suspension in November.

"You really shouldn't be able to fail a test like that and play in this league, to begin with," Taylor said Wednesday. "To make the Pro Bowl and all the other awards, I think you're walking a fine line of sending the wrong message. You fail that test, I think it's not right, it's against the rules and ultimately I think it's sending the wrong message to the youth in America and the people who look at this game not only as entertainment but also to learn lessons from it."

When told of Taylor's comments, Merriman said he tries to be a good role model, adding he has taken his punishment for the positive drug test.

"If I wasn't having the kind of season I'm having, this wouldn't even be a conversation," Merriman said. "The NFL will always have the level of integrity. That's what makes the NFL. In my situation, everything happened in an appropriate way. I sat out my four games, my money was taken away from me, my four games were taken away from me, and I came back and played my rear off."

"He's always making plays," Taylor said. "He's one of the best young talents we have in this game right now as far as defensively, and he has had an unbelievable year. With that being said, there are certain rules and guidelines we have to abide by to play in this game."


Let's End This On A Sour Note ...

The Miami Dolphins started out their season with one lemon and will now finish it with another.

It's a final cruel, pitiless, malicious twist of irony, really.


MSD Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006: 6.

Well, it’s late December which means it’s the time for television shows, magazines, websites and blogs to present their obligatory 2006 Best Of … lists. And the MSD is no exception. So, here is the Miami Sports Dude’s Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006. I’ll be counting down the top ten from 10 to 1 in the next two weeks. And remember, there is to be no wagering of any kind ... and now, on with the countdown ...

#6. Ricky Gets The Boot From The NFL

The strange journey of running back Ricky Williams. It’s the kind of thing that can only happen to a “cursed” franchise like the Miami Dolphins. Sure, this sort of thing happens to other teams, like when Minnesota lost running back Onterrio Smith to suspension after he was busted at the airport with a product called The Original Wiz-O-Nator (I’m not making this up). Allegedly this product helps hide urine test results. But Smith was a backup, a guy the Vikings really wouldn’t miss all that much. Williams was our featured player, the kind of guy whose absence from the field makes something of a difference. So is the life of a Dolphins fan.

It was a new season and Dolphins fans were just getting over his betrayal of walking away from the team so he can spend his millions to smoke grass whenever he damn well pleased (somewhere, Dan Le Batard’s head just exploded). Then we woke up to the startling news that the NFL had decided to suspend him for … failing a drug test.

The initial response from Dolphins fans was of understanding and reason. No, wait, that’s not right. Dolphins fans were pissed. And that’s putting it mildly. Radio shows were inundated with angry calls, blogs went through the roof with piss and vinegar from furious commenters, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria! And the only people on the face of the earth who defended Ricky were Nick Saban, Le Batard and Ricky’s mom, who at the time said she “was willing to bet her life that Ricky was not smoking weed again.”

The following weeks were filled with confusion and conjecture. Ricky insisted that he was not smoking grass. He told Le Batard that he was in India learning some kind of Yoga and that his new discipline prohibited him from smoking ganja. His agent claimed that Ricky had taken some sort of supplement or vitamin that may have contained an ingredient that simulates an illegal substance in urine samples. I myself theorized that perhaps Williams had eaten a poppy seed muffin.

It was all very mystifying. ''This whole thing is a little confusing,'' said one NFL source when asked what substance was found in Williams. “I'll just leave it at that.''

The whole thing suddenly turned into the Kennedy assassination. Theories abounded. Magic bullets flew from every direction. Everyone had their own hypothesis. We were all half expecting Le Batard to come out and claim he had proof of Ricky’s innocence with some sort of Zapruder film type evidence. In the end, we were never really told what it was. So we accepted the bad supplement explanation. We all knew that NFL players are world class athletes in top physical shape who take their workouts very seriously and are meticulous about what they put into their bodies. But this was Ricky Williams we were talking about, so we all just accepted that he was not your every day NFL player. He’s a space cadet. Still, we did feel a tinge of anger. Not so much at Ricky – that eventually subsided – but at the fact that we Dolphins fans could not seem to catch a break. It’s the kind of anger you feel towards the monkey who throws shit at people at the zoo. It’s only funny and amusing when it doesn’t happen to you.

So it came down to this: In what was possibly the dumbest thing he could do for his career – aside from hiring Master P as his agent – Ricky Williams apparently took a supplement without checking its ingredients first.

He eventually filed an appeal and Dolphins fans had to wait to see what the NFL ruled. This waiting led to more fury, followed by acceptance, and ending with indifference. Dolphins fans were convinced that no matter what the NFL ruled, Ricky Williams was a space cadet and was destined to find a way to fuck things up again anyway.

The NFL upheld their suspension and Ricky was then allowed to go to play football in Canada’s CFL. The Williams thing eventually blew over what with the Dolphins finding a way to fuck things up without him. And he is expected to return to Miami for the 2007 season.

But for a moment, the whole sports viewing world was affixed on Miami and watched the latest chapter in Ricky Williams’ strange journey … as they dropped to their knees and thanked their Maker that he didn’t play for their team.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Day Recap

Dolphins Deliver Their Fans A Dick In A Box For X-Mas: Okay, so the season is in the shitter. Okay, so we might lose our coach to Alabama. Okay, so it's five years and running that we fail to make the post season. All we ask now from our Dolphins is that they deliver a win on Christmas night so that we can spoil the hated New York Jets' chances at getting into the playoffs. It's all we asked for now. Not much. Well, we Dolphins fans were told we'd get nothing and like it. I'm at a loss for what's become of this shit hole of an franchise. JD over at SporTech matter summed it up brilliantly. I'll have plenty to say about the 2006 Dolphins and the future. But I'll save it. I'm not going to say anything you already know and feel. I think MSD commenter Brigadier Pudding said it best in yesterday's comments. I'm just numb.

Moving on ...

D-Wade Delivers A Win! Wade Drops 40 on Mamba And The Giant-Freak: No matter now inconsistent this Heat team can get at times, Dwyane Wade once again proved that he can be The Man when playing before a national audience. Wade just flat out took over on both sides of the ball and dropped 40 points (while Kobe only managed 17) in addition to his 11 assists.

Phil Jackson himself conceded Wade’s brilliance, saying "We tried about four different things to try to stop Dwyane Wade, but none of them seemed to work."

He also accused Wade of traveling: "[Wade] travels on that spin move. He picks up that pivot foot … everybody knows it. Dwyane Wade can cover so much ground when he makes that move. As you know, he can go 20 feet with that spin move and get to the basket."

But no matter how much bullshit – err, sorry, I mean psychology – Phillip likes to play, he can’t change the fact that Dwyane Wade is now The Man and that he led his arch rival, Pat Riley, to another NBA title while Jackson is stuck with a selfish player and some dude named Smush on his team.

Really, some day we're all going to wake up to read that angry villagers with torches have chased Jackson into a windmill. "Fire bad!!!!"

Daunte Culpepper Wants To Fight Steve Young: If you were as brave and stupid enough to watch the entire Dolphins game last night as I was, you must have caught Steve Young in the booth with those three other douche bags. When they started to talk about the Dolphins' quarterback situation, Young said that Culpepper had failed to take hold of his role in Miami. And he accused Culpepper of missing team meetings.
Well, Culpepper was watching the game too, in a suite inside the Stadium. He no doubt said something like, "I don't miss meetings! I'm responsible!" while pushing the stripper off his lap and heading for the door. Anyway, Culpepper left the suite, limped his way down to the booth and waited for Young to come out. The two reportedly talked it out and somehow Joe Theisman got in on the conversation too. Theisman then cleared up Young's statement about Culpepper's missing meetings on the air.
Steve Young is just dumb. Perhaps he's had one too many concussions. Get your facts straight, Steve Young! Culpepper missing meetings is a bald face lie! And you know it! The truth -- the real truth -- is that Culpepper just sucks. If you had just said that on the air, then Culpepper wouldn't have dragged himself all over the stadium looking for you. He just would have sat there listenting to you say he sucks and would've said to himself, "Hmph. He's got me there."
Brigham Young educated my ass!
(Oh and, at one point Theisman commented on Joey Harrington's struggles. He said that the main culprit has been the receivers dropping passes. While I can't argue the fact that the receivers do drop passes, I can say with absolute certainty that Joe Theisman is a complete imbecile. Hey Joe, want to know the real culprit to Joey Harrington's struggles? You do? Okay ... listen closely. Ready? Here goes: He's Joey Harrington. Your welcome, Joe.)

Webb Gets His Due: In a final Merry Christmas to all us Dolphins fans -- Dan Marino's greatest pass protector, OT Richmon Webb, was honored with his name being inducted into the Dolphins Ring of Honor during half time of the Jets game last night. For 11 years (1990-2000), Webb protected Marino's blindside so capably that the Dolphins yielded an average of less than 27 sacks a year, including a low of 16 in 1990.
As a side note here -- I once met Richmond Webb at the Dolphins practice facility. He was very friendly, gave me an autograph and shot the breeze with me for a while. A true class act. Congrats, Richmond! Damn we wish we had you now!

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish you, dear MSD Readers, a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year. I hope you’re spending this time with the ones you love and that you have a safe and happy holiday week.

Merry Christmas to all and to all ... an AAAAAAntoooine WWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALKER!!!!!!!!!

Be safe and God bless.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

MSD Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006: 7.

Well, it’s late December which means it’s the time for television shows, magazines, websites and blogs to present their obligatory 2006 Best Of … lists. And the MSD is no exception. So, here is the Miami Sports Dude’s Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006. I’ll be counting down the top ten from 10 to 1 in the next two weeks. And remember, there is to be no wagering of any kind ... and now, on with the countdown ...

#7. Can’t Hit This
Al Leiter. Kevin Brown. AJ Burnett. All pitchers that threw no-hitters as members of the Florida Marlins.

And on a muggy September night in Miami, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, 22 year old Anibal Sanchez put his name on that historical list. Baseball fans had not seen a no-hitter since 2004, when Randy Johnson no-hit the Braves in a perfect game. Until September 6, 2006 -- when Anibal Sanchez no-hit the Diamondbacks.

So here was Sanchez, in just his 14th major league start, fresh out of the Red Sox farm system – a player who was a kind of afterthought in the Josh Beckett – Hanley Ramirez deal – standing like a giant on the pitcher’s mound at The Stadium with the whole country watching as ESPN began to broadcast the game. And not a single Arizona player was able to get a hit off him all night.

It was the embodiment of this Florida Marlins teams’ scrappiness. A team that no one gave a chance, a team that was the town’s embarrassment and a team that was dismissed as a AAA ball club. A team that had no business being on the same field as Big Leaguers.

The odds were against them all season. But nothing was going to prevent Sanchez from making history on this night. Not even ESPN -- who had jinxed no-hit bids by two other pitchers that same week, including the talented Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs -- was going to keep Sanchez from his date with destiny. Every time a pitcher was close to a no-hitter, the network would post it on their site and broadcast it to their television audience as it happened. Apparently the World Wide Leader in Sports doesn’t know about the rule of not mentioning a no-hitter while a possible no-hitter is in process, lest you jinx the pitcher. Douchebags.

In any event, Sanchez would not be denied. And he made history on that night of September the 6th. It was the team’s first no-hitter since 2001. And once the last out was recorded, we witnessed the magnificent moment as his teammates mobbed him and carried him on their shoulders, an emotionally spent Sanchez lifting his arms in triumph and exultation.

The next day the internet was abuzz over Sanchez’s no-hitter. Of course, the Herald, Sentinel and all other sites covered it. But no site epitomized the no-hitter, and the state of the Florida Marlins as a whole, better than SporTech Matter did. It was both funny and sad all at the same time.

Either way – it was a glorious night for Sanchez and Marlins fans everywhere. All 25 of us.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

MSD Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006: 8.

Well, it’s late December which means it’s the time for television shows, magazines, websites and blogs to present their obligatory 2006 Best Of … lists. And the MSD is no exception. So, here is the Miami Sports Dude’s Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006. I’ll be counting down the top ten from 10 to 1 in the next two weeks. And remember, there is to be no wagering of any kind ... and now, on with the countdown ...

#8. New Head Man At The U

2006 was an especially brutal one for the U football program. Head coach Larry Coker walked into the season with his job on the line. Once the season started to wind down, and the Canes were guaranteed to not be in any BCS Bowl game but, rather, were sentenced to play in the MPC Computers Bowl -- a virtual college football purgatory – it was officially time to can Coker and look for a fresh start. Coker was fired and talk of a new head man was in the works.

The Canes interviewed Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, the AP NCAA Coach of the Year. Schiano turned the Canes down and said he and his family would rather live in New Jersey and stay with Rutgers.

Yes you read that sentence correctly. He said he and his family would rather live in New Jersey and stay with Rutgers.

I’m liable to believe that we were all created by the galactic overlord Xenu and that body tethans were going to come for my soul in the middle of the night than to believe Schiano’s horseshit. The Jersey shore over Miami Beach? Rutgers University over the University of Miami? Mr. Cruise, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Truth is, Schiano demanded a bunch of shit -- perhaps too much shit the Canes were willing to give. So the Canes moved on -- much to many fans’ disappointment. Alas, Schiano was not meant to be.

Then there were rumors of former Gators head coach, the lipless Steve Spurrier coming to the U, which gave me dry heaves at the very thought. But that didn’t happen, mercifully. There was also talk of Texas Tech nut job Mike Leach as a possible candidate. But reports said his interview didn’t go too well. I’m assuming he entered Donna Shalala’s office in his Hawaiian shirt and shorts, smelling of grouper and decided to flip off his sandals and clip his toe nails while telling her that, in his inner most private moments, he likes to smear mayonnaise on his face. So, no Mike Leach.

The rest of the list of possible candidates looked like this: Barry Alvarez, Jeff Fisher, Steve Kragthorpe, Gary Patterson, Rich Rodriguez, Tommy Tuberville, Mike Mularkey, Billy Martin, Cam Cameron, Bobby Petrino, Billy Martin, Tom O’Brien, Jim Grobe, June Jones and Norm Chow (I threw in former Yankees manager Billy Martin in there twice, because, what the hell, right?). There was also a special double secret probation coach from the NFL who AD Paul Dee still refuses to name. If only the FBI and CIA worked as tightly as people who ran NFL and NCAA football programs. Perhaps the times would be different. But I digress…

So when it came to finally naming their man, the Canes went in-house and hired defensive coordinator Randy Shannon as the new head coach of the Miami Hurricanes. The only things I know about him are that he used to play for the U, has been the D-Coordinator since 2000 and was once Michael Irvin’s college roommate. Which blows my mind. Speaking of blow … I can just picture Shannon trying to study for a Physics exam on the top bunk while Irvin was on the bottom bunk doing lines off some stripper’s ass.

As a Canes fan, I’m mostly in wait-and-see mode with Shannon. Like most Canes fans, I wanted Schiano. And a part of me wanted Mike Leach – the Rain Man-like offensive genius who might’ve brought some wackiness to the offense and make things exciting again – and by exciting, I mean NCAA football exciting, not UFC championship bout exciting. But Shannon seems like a capable guy. His defenses have always been very good and his presence as a recruiter seems to be pretty solid. Resident Hurricanes blog Out Of Kilter disagrees … and they would certainly know more about it than I think I do. But, I hope they’re wrong about Shannon.

I’m not a big time coach worshiper. I do believe in the importance of good coaching but I also happen to believe that no coach, no matter how smart or motivated, can win without the proper talent. Some say Shannon’s recruiting skills are good – so that’s enough for me. Coker did a nice job here. He led the Canes to the 2001 National Championship title, was a terrible officiating call away from a second title, and was well liked by his players and the community. And he looked and acted like everyone’s favorite middle-school P.E./Social Studies teacher.

As for Shannon … I like the fact that this is the U’s first ever African American head coach. I think that’s important. And I think he’ll be fine. Now it’s up to him and his assistant coaches to recruit the right players, instill pride back into the Canes and do everything they can to help us forget most of the crappyness that was the 2006 season.

Shannon is the U’s new man. And so a new era begins … in the ever legendary, immortal, Lambeau Field-like football tundra of … Idaho?

Well, that’s where the MPC Computers Bowl will be held next month.

So, yea.


Because when I think football glory, football immortality, football greatness … I think Idaho.

Go Canes.

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... Arrested on DUI Charge in Miami Beach

Here's a real life scenario for you. Happened last night: A Miami sports figure stumbles out of his car in a druken haze, pisses on the sidewalk and is approached by a cop who then arrests him ...

Take one guess who said sports figure is.

Nope, not Marcus Vick.

Nope, not Antoine Walker (he just looks like he's drunk all the time. But he's not.)

Nope, not Nick Saban. (he just acts like a mean drunken old man.)

It's this guy of all people!


via SporTech Matter


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