ESPN this week revealed its 10th annual Ultimate Standings, a yearly ranking of all 122 teams in the big four American sports, based on eight criteria including recent success, fan experience and so forth.
The NBAs Oklahoma City Thunder topped the rankings and the NHLs Toronto Maple Leafs were dead last, with a mixed bag in between for South Floridas four pro teams.
The Heat at 31st and Panthers at 33rd fared reasonably well, but the Marlins at 67th did not except, perhaps, compared to the Dolphins at 110th. That left the Dolphins in the lowest 10percent overall and 31st of 32 NFL teams, ahead of only the St. Louis Rams.
The poor Dolphins. They rated poorly in every category except one: Orange Carpets.
A quick example of the Dolphins flux might be represented in quarterback David Garrard, who was named the starter, got injured, got healthy, then got cut.
Owner Stephen Ross said he was optimistic Miami would make the playoffs. The percentage of experts who agree resembles Mitt Romenys polling among black voters.
Guard Richie Incognito went on Twitter to playfully recruit a comeback from Jason Taylor. I, too, might welcome it , particularly if Taylor could be quickly taught to play wide receiver.
Embittered former Dolphin Channing Crowder, on WQAM, blasted what he called new coach Joe Philbins micromanaging, saying, Theyre worried about rat poop when elephant crap is everywhere.
I personally think that a metaphor likening the Dolphins situation to elephant crap is a real insult, although it remains to be seen whom the comparison insults more: the Dolphins, or the elephant.
• An arbitration panel overturned NFL commissioner Roger Goodells player suspensions in the Saints Bountygate matter, freeing Jonathan Vilma and three others to play. An angry Goodell immediately suspended the arbitration panel.
• The champion Heat opens training camp in 20 days. Hey, I figured with Dolphins expectations so low, the Marlins stinking and Panthers season threatened by cancellation, you could use a little good news.
• Dwyane Wade is on a media tour plugging his new book on fatherhood, and it is refreshing that he embraces his role as a dad. To too many NBA players, fatherhood is a claim pending a paternity suit.
• LeBron James, part owner of Liverpool soccer club, promised a party in Las Vegas hosted by Kanye West if it wins the English Premier League. Based on early results (winless in three games), theyre headed to a party at Chuck E. Cheeses.
• Well, the field is set for NASCARs Chase for the Cup starting next Sunday in Chicago. Almost time for the classic call, Gentleman, start your getting out of the way so Dale Earnhardt Jr. can win the whole thing like you know NASCAR and most fans really want.
• Ratings indicate more people watched Bill Clintons Democratic convention speech Wednesday night than the NFLs season-opening, Cowboys-Giants game. Thank you, said the Giants.
• In other TV news, ESPN extended the contract of Chris Berman, and nobody could figure out why.
• Googled bad idea and saw the Browns will honor the late Art Modell at Sundays home opener. What, they think fans forgot Modell was the owner who moved the team from Cleveland to Baltimore?