The last time a Miami Beach-based homeless man made national news, it was as the victim a beatdown at the hands of The Real Housewives of Miami star Alexia Echevarria’s son.
This week national story about another local homeless man is a feel-good yarn, one that stars former Miami Dolphins receiver Chad Johnson and a street dweller nicknamed Porkchop.
For some reason, the loudmouth NFLer has taken Porkchop under his wing. And if he means his tweets about their relationship, Johnson is growing quite fond of his new friend.
They have things in common: Johnson remarked in one tweet they are both unemployed.
It was friendship at first sight Saturday in South Beach when Porkchop asked the ballplayer to buy him a beer.
Johnson obliged. They struck up a conversation, and the two have been tight since.
Johnson, who was kicked out of the Fins’ training camp after his arrest for allegedly beating his then-wife, took Porkchop clothes shopping at Urban Outfitters, gave him a watch and takes him along on his daily routine.
Johnson keeps his 4.5 million Twitter followers abreast of their every move, and now it seems that the followers have taken Porkchop as their own.
Example: Johnson couldn’t find Porkchop on Wednesday afternoon.
So fans tweeted that Porkchop was waiting for him at David’s Café on Collins Avenue.
Johnson picked him up, and the two went off to watch the Barcelona-Bayern soccer match on TV.
Fest in the sun
Between 16,000 and 20,000 music fans from Miami-Dade and Broward counties are expected to head north to West Palm Beach over the next four nights for the SunFest waterfront music festival.
The shindig, in its 31st year, started Wednesday night with 1990s grunge rock’s The Smashing Pumpkins. It continues through Sunday night with: rockers Train, Ed Sheeran, Cheap Trick, Barenaked Ladies and The Black Crowes; American Idol winner Phillip Phillips; reggae god Jimmy Cliff, rap’s Kendrick Lamar and many lesser-known acts.
SunFest spokeswoman Melissa Sullivan says ticket sales increased 15 percent over last year, with more requests coming from the 954 and 305 than ever before. In 2012, a total of 165,000 people attended.
“Pitbull was our headliner, and it showcased the festival up to a new audience from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. On Saturday, we have world-class ultra lounge music, which spurred some more interest from Miami,” Sullivan said.
Ex-NBA star Kenny Anderson was canned from his high school coaching gig in Broward County this week in the wake of his second arrest since he took over the David Posnack Jewish Day School’s Rams less than two years ago.
"Kenny Anderson will not be returning as head basketball coach next season," Athletic Director Danny Herz wrote in a statement. He declined to comment further.
Anderson, 42, a 14-year veteran who played for the New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics before retiring in 2006, took over the private Davie school’s team in September 2011 with great fanfare.
Since then, however, things have done downhill.
Anderson’s latest skirmish with the law came about 4:30 a.m. Saturday when he was nabbed on a DUI charge after cops allegedly saw him swerving on the road near his house in Pembroke Pines. He’s out on $500 bond.
Three months after he was hired, Anderson was picked up in Miramar and charged with leaving the scene of an accident. Cops at the time believed Anderson was drunk when he drove his SUV into two trees, but they could not charge the ballplayer with DUI because he was absent from the wreck for more than an hour.
A Broward judge withheld adjudication on the leaving the scene charge.