Random Evidence of a Cluttered Mind

Heat trying our patience in early stretch of season


Hot list

Today: Dolphins at San Francisco. Sunday marks a rare road trip for Miami, only the sixth in franchise history. Dolphins regular-season games at San Francisco:

Year Result Winning quarterback
2004Dolphins, 24-17A.J. Feeley
200149ers, 21-10 Jeff Garcia
199249ers, 27-3Steve Young
1983Dolphins, 20-17 Dan Marino
1977Dolphins, 19-16Bob Griese

Note: Teams also have played five times in Miami and met once in postseason: the 1984-season Super Bowl won 38-16 by 49ers in Palo Alto, Calif.

What South Florida sports fans are talking about:


Long road trip, long odds for Miami at 49ers on Sunday: After losing to the Pats, QB Ryan Tannehill and Miami’s offense — averaging only 15 points in its 1-4 slide — seek a cure against a 49ers team that leads the NFL in defense. I can think of cities more likely than San Fran to offer an ailing offense a get-well card. About 31 one of them.


Defending champs rocked by consecutive embarrassing losses: The same week LeBron James is named Sports Illustrated’s 2012 Sportsman of the Year, Heat loses to the awful Wizards, then tries to make fans stop thinking about that embarrassment by coming up with another embarrassment just as bad: a 20-point home loss to the Knicks.

3. FIU

School fires football coach Cristobal in surprising move: Mario Cristobal led FIU to winning records and bowl games in 2010-11, but was fired after this season’s 3-9 mark. FIU needs a bright, young coach who wants to be here. Someone like, well … like the guy they just fired! (Wonder if AD Pete Garcia realizes yet what a dumb mistake he made.)


Selection had a two-thirds shot at making history: The 78th Heisman was given Saturday, and either cofavorite would make history — Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel as the first freshman to win or Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o as the first linebacker. And if voters were too afraid, Kansas State senior QB Collin Klein was playing the fallback option.


Pacquiao-Marquez take to the ring for Round 4 in Vegas: Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez fought Saturday for the fourth time over nine years, after PacMan had been 2-0-1 in three decisions that could have gone either way. Four times is a lot. I think most fans would have preferred Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr., even just once.


Certain things we come to expect in local sports. They are not surprises. We brace ourselves. We expect and accept them. Dolphins out of the playoffs. Marlins leading the league in cheapness and outrage. Panthers idled by an NHL lockout. A Hurricanes bowl ban. Not surprising.

The Heat is supposed to be our antidote — not surprising, but in the opposite direction. Uninterrupted excellence to offset the disappointment elsewhere.

This isn’t supposed to happen: The Heat surprising us with fallibility. With nights that make you wonder if the guys secretly agreed that winning another championship would be unbecoming, indicative of greed.

A loss to a Wizards team that was 1-13? Seriously? No defending champion ever has lost to a team with that bad a record. Then a 20-point home loss to the Knicks? Really? Miami in its Big 3 era has never been so humbled (read: embarrassed) on its own floor.

I swear. If you tell me the Heat lost Saturday night to 5-12 New Orleans, that might just send me over the cliff like Thelma and Louise. I mean, the Hornets are not only bad, they’re changing their nickname to Pelicans. What, Dodo Birds was taken? When you lose to a team called the Pelicans, it’s time to quit.

So enough with this mortality, Heat. No more surprises of the negative sort.

Don’t make me unretire that rumor about Pat Riley getting the coaching itch and Erik Spoelstra wanting to spend more time with his family. You push me and I will!

• Miami hosts the Jan. 7 BCS Nationals Championship Game after the Jan. 1 Orange Bowl, and three out of four (teams) ain’t bad, right? Alabama-Notre Dame is perfect for the title game, and FSU is as good as the OB could expect. But Northern Illinois? From the Mid-American Conference? Seriously!? What, Ball State was busy?

• This is Day 85 of the NHL lockout and talks apparently have stalled again, but commissioner Gary Bettman said he was “pleased with the process.” Thus redefining the phrase, “Easily pleased.”

• The prestigious annual Orange Bowl International Championship of junior tennis ends Sunday in Plantation. Some of the best young players in the world competed and were berated loudly by their boorish, abusive, domineering, jerk parents.

• 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh played a football player in a 1996 episode of NBC’s Saved By the Bell. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, in his current role he plays a very good coach with an awesome defense.

• Aside to Dolphins coach Joe Philbin: If Sunday’s game comes down to Miami having to stop a late drive by the 49ers, you might consider putting Cameron Wake in the game. Just a thought.

• San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick is covered in tattoos. Usually, Wake’s uniform shows grass stains after a game. On Sunday, it might show ink stains.

•  Ryan Tannehill? Sure, I’d say that other than having a spotty running game, no premier receivers and now Jake Long on injured reserve, he’s getting all the help he needs. Absolutely!

• The Heat’s Chris Bosh told a local film festival he does not want his name associated with a short animated film in which he is portrayed as an intergalactic time traveler. I get his point. What basketball player wants to be associated with traveling?

• The Lakers saw the movie Lincoln as a team Thursday night and Kobe Bryant kidded that half his teammates were surprised by the ending because they didn’t know Lincoln had died. I don’t wanna say the Lakers are dumb, but the other half wondered if he was named after the car.

• The Marlins announced their first spring-training game is Feb. 23. So you have only 11 more weeks to create those angry, vitriol-filled signs that the club will order confiscated.

• The baseball winter meetings ended in Nashville without much happening of note other than all of the other club owners getting together and agreeing none of them liked Jeffrey Loria.

• Yankee Alex Rodriguez will miss the start of the MLB season and teammate Derek Jeter could, too. Both are trying to recover from being really old.

• Canes women’s basketball was 6-1 and No. 23 before Saturday, and men’s team is 5-1. It isn’t enough to make a UM fan forget about that self-imposed football bowl ban, but it’s a noble effort.

• Answer: The Ravens’ Terrell Suggs was ordered to turn in his seven guns, including an AK-47, after a domestic-abuse complaint filed by his wife. Question: You don’t think the murder-suicide involving the Chiefs’ Jovan Belcher hints at a dangerous gun culture among athletes, do you?

• NBC’s Bob Costas preached for gun control following the Belcher tragedy, then a day later said it was a mistake to do so. That-a-way to be righteously wishy-washy, Bob!

• The NFL is considering abolishing kickoffs. Evidently the question in the room was, “What’s the silliest, most extreme thing we can do to make it seem like we care about players’ safety and health?”

• FIU football coach Mario Cristobal turned down overtures from Pitt and Rutgers before being fired this week by athletic director Pete Garcia, who never got the memo about loyalty being a reciprocal thing.

• Local thoroughbred racing has moved from Calder to Gulfstream. You can always tell because the casino is full of horses playing the slots between races.

• NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers want a new soccer stadium. They averaged 3,615 fans in the old stadium. Sounds like the Strikers don’t need a new stadium as much as they need new fans.

• Someone told me John Huh

• Cubs manager Dale Sveum was accidentally shot with pellets by Robin Yount on a hunting trip. [Your dusted-off Dick Cheney punchline goes here].

• Dennis Rodman was ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support. If only he’d swayed the court with a better excuse than the exorbitant cost of tattoos and body piercing.

•  Parting thought: The Marlins traded shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Rays for a minor leaguer in yet another payroll cut, but don’t think the club isn’t in the holiday spirit. I hear they’re having an employee turkey giveaway. Each Marlins employee must bring in a turkey to give to the owner, Ebenezer Loria.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote.

Read more Sports stories from the Miami Herald

  • High Schools roundup

    Dade Christian boys’ track relay teams qualifiy for states

    The Dade Christian boys’ track 4x100 relay team will head to the State Championship for its second year in a row. Abigael Neus, Sam Mompremier, Jeanmaxon Adrien, and Cameron Floyd. Darwin Abreu qualified fourth overall in the mile. The 4x400 relay team, Torrian Wallace, Jovyn Pierre, Andrew Dodds, and Jonathan Gill needed to finish fourth out of 16 teams and run under a 3:42 to qualify for states. Freshman Jonathan Gill lead the team to a time of 3:36, awarding them fourth place to also qualify them for states.

FIU assistant baseball coach Rolando Casanova is pictured. Casanova lost his fight with prostate cancer last weekend.


    Former FIU assistant baseball coach loses battle with prostate cancer

    Rolando Casanova, a former assistant baseball coach at FIU, passed away last weekend, losing a long fight with prostate cancer.

From left: Heat players Mario Chalmers, Rashard Lewis, Chris Andersen and Michael Beasley horse around on the bench during the regular-season finale between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at AmericanAirlines Arena.

    In My Opinion

    David J. Neal: Role players hold key to Miami Heat title hopes

    No matter what media blowhards like me say, individuals don’t win championships, even in the NBA. Not Wilt Chamberlain. Not Magic Johnson, Larry Bird or LeBron James. No, not even Michael Jordan.

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