Random Evidence of a Cluttered Mind

Nothing to see here in March (except everything)

 

Hot list

Today: Twitter. Top 10 Twitter accounts associated with American sports, based on most followers, in millions:

Person/entity Followers Description/handle
LeBron James7.552 Heat star @KingJames
Shaquille O’Neal6.806Retired star @SHAQ
NBA6.768Basketball league @NBA
ESPN6.125Sports network @espn
Chad Johnson4.818Free agent receiver @ochocinco

Note: Rounding out the top 10 are @SportsCenter (4.809 million), @nfl (4.433), @FloydMayweather (4.083), @lancearmstrong (3.982) and @DwyaneWade (3.971). Ex-UM football player/pro wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (4.188) is not included because he is now mostly known for acting. Miami Herald sports columnist Greg Cote has 7,749 followers — now barely 7.5 million behind LeBron.


What South Florida sports fans are talking about

1. HEAT

Red-hot champs carry 17-game streak into big Sunday test: Streak could be in jeopardy, though, with Indiana here Sunday. Pacers are 2-0 against Heat this season and were up 2-1 in last year’s physical playoff series before Miami rallied. Fair to say there is no love lost between these teams. The Pacers lead the NBA in both chippy and annoying.

2. DOLPHINS

Team hopes to hit big as free agency starts Tuesday: Miami so far has re-signed WR Brian Hartline and QB Matt Moore and kept DT Randy Starks via the franchise tag — now Dolphins can sign other teams’ free agents starting Tuesday. Main target is Steelers WR Mike Wallace. Unless they fail to land him, of course, in which case they’ll say he wasn’t.

3. UM BASKETBALL

ACC tournament on deck for Canes: Miami women were ousted by Florida State in second round of their conference tourney, now the guys are up. Canes men had lost three of four before ending regular season here Saturday against Clemson, so they’ll use the ACC tournament starting Thursday as a springboard to the NCAAs. Call it a refresh button.

4. GOLF

Tiger chasing title as play wraps up Sunday at Doral: PGA Tour’s World Golf Championships event ends Sunday at Doral with fan favorite Tiger Woods among leaders in the hunt entering the weekend. Tiger credited putting tips from fellow pro Steve Stricker. Coincidentally, Stricker also once gave me a golf tip. I believe it was, “Find a different sport.”

5. WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

Marlins Park hosts second-round games: Games will be Tuesday though Saturday featuring the top four teams from the two groups that included the United States, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Those teams are filled with major-league stars. So, Marlins fans, this will be your last chance this year to experience what that will look like.

gcote@miamiherald.com

A quick inventory as South Florida plows forward through its all-round busiest sports month:

LeBron James and the Heat steaming toward a second consecutive NBA championship.

Highly ranked Miami Hurricanes preparing for the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament then an NCAA run.

Marlins Park hosting World Baseball Classic games.

Tiger Woods and the rest of the PGA Tour prowling Doral’s Blue Monster.

The world’s top tennis stars headed to Key Biscayne.

Panthers hosting the Montreal Canadiens.

Dolphins poised to strike big in NFL free agency.

That’s not to mention Gulfstream Park preparing for the Florida Derby, spring training baseball, premier sailors racing on Biscayne Bay and the nation’s top amateur soccer tournament wrapping up in Hialeah.

I’m sorry. What? Were you talking? You’ll have to speak up. I think you were saying something about Miami being such a lousy sports town, but as usual, I couldn’t quite hear you on account of all the cheering.

• Dolphins officials decried the legitimacy of a mysterious local poll indicating 73 percent of voters oppose a tax break to help pay for $400 million in stadium improvements. A previous poll showed 100 percent opposition, but it turned out the only voter polled was Norman Braman.

• The NCAA’s handling of the Miami case got even more farcical with reports an enforcement official beseeched a judge for lenience in sentencing convicted Ponzi schemer/UM booster Nevin Shapiro. I think if we walked into NCAA headquarters right now, we’d see people in tiny Shriner cars riding in circles.

•  Roger Federer said he would not play in Key Biscayne next week, a blow to the annual tennis tournament. Couldn’t we save a bunch of time and effort by just handing the championship trophies now to Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams?

• New Doral owner Donald Trump said the Blue Monster course would undergo a complete makeover. “I was going to say it was going to get nuked, but I refuse to use that expression,” he said, apparently forgetting that he refuses to use that expression.

• Approved NHL realignment into four larger divisions will have Panthers in the Central division, not Atlantic. So, evidently, all the maps are wrong and South Florida is in fact not on the Atlantic seaboard!

• The Chicago Blackhawks were 21-0-3 with a point in every game entering Friday night, a streak as remarkable as the Heat’s. Dear Chicago: Could you spare a few points for the poor Panthers, please?

• The Minnesota Timberwolves mocked the Heat’s Harlem Shake video, and T’wolves guard J.J. Barea admonished Ray Allen to quit “crying.” Always so cute when the gnat picks a fight with the elephant!

• The UM baseball team started 10-0 before finally losing. Cannot confirm the ’72 Dolphins busted out the champagne.

• Kicker Lauren Silberman, 28, became the first woman to participate in an officially sanctioned NFL tryout, badly muffing two kickoffs, then quitting with a supposed injury. The NFL and women worldwide have agreed to pretend it never happened.

• Bacardi Miami Sailing Week has been going on. Event organizers tried something different this year, draining Biscayne Bay and filling it with rum.

• National Rifle Association will be the name sponsor of the April 13 NASCAR race in Fort Worth, Texas. It will be like any other race, other than all the racecars having gun racks stocked with fully loaded AK-47s.

•  Dennis Rodman, after meeting with Kim Jong Un, was kicked out of a Manhattan hotel bar for loudly and incessantly praising the North Korean dictator. Cannot confirm Kim then threatened the hotel with a missile attack.

• That reminds me. Another adversary of the United States, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, has died. So strike that name from Rodman’s Lunatic Diplomacy world tour.

WQAM fired Dan Sileo, who calls himself “America’s Most Controversial Sports Talk Radio Host.” Sileo getting suspended or fired is like a rapper getting arrested or shot. Image-enhancing!

• The latest legal challenge to the Washington Redskins nickname is under way in Alexandria, Va. Legal analysts refer to the case as “a royal waste of money and the court’s time.”

•  Todd McShay’s latest mock draft for ESPN indicated Miami will draft Cal receiver Keenan Allen 12th overall. Mark it down: McShay is McWrong.

• A pure-gold replica of soccer star Lionel Messi’s left foot valued at $5.25 million was unveiled in Tokyo. The gold foot went on to score three goals later that day.

• No plans for a Major League Soccer team at Dolphins stadium. Updates as warranted.

• Affirming that reality TV has run out of ideas, ABC has a new celebrity-diving series, Splash, hosted by Greg Louganis. Divers will include Detroit Lion Ndamukong Suh, who presumably will bring back the cannonball and rabbit-punch and kick other contestants.

Dolphins stadium hosted a bunch of lacrosse games. Cannot confirm the event was booked to make Dolphins home crowds seem bigger by comparison.

•  Parting thought: Michael Jordan applied for a license to marry Miami’s Yvette Prieto. It would be his second marriage. Jordan isn’t as good a husband as he was a player, but he is a better husband than he is an owner.

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

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