The NFLs 94th season and the Dolphins 48th are let loose Sunday like balloons into the air as Miami and the Dallas Cowboys meet in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
The preseason opener follows the earlier induction of the seven latest men to don the mustard-colored jacket that would be so unspeakably hideous if it didnt represent the pinnacle of football achievement. Those men included the old Miami Hurricane Warren Sapp, of course, although the weekends star inductee seemed to be Bill Parcells.
I find that funny, given the two teams playing in the Hall of Fame Game.
Suffice to say the impressive achievements that got Parcells elected to Canton did not include his late-career stops in Dallas (as coach from 2003 to 06) or in Miami (as executive overseeing personnel from 2008 to 10).
Neither Dallas nor Miami fans are leading any Tuna! chants.
Parcells failed to bring Dallas a playoff victory in four years there and was a postseason zero here as well. Combined, the Cowboys and Dolphins squads under his aegis were 59-56, with neither franchise seeming the better off because he passed through.
In Miami, Tuna was the guy who brought in Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano one hire still dubious, the other long gone and who released Zach Thomas and sent Jason Taylor packing. Oh yeah: And he drafted Jake Long over Matt Ryan.
So please let us not hear the TV announcers try to describe the Cowboys-Dolphins game as an appropriate example of the triumphs that led Parcells to Canton.
His résumé survived his time in Dallas and Miami, thats all.
He got to Canton despite those two late stops, in no way because of them.
• San Antonios University of the Incarnate Word football team is in talks to hire Ricky Williams as its running backs coach. I guess a team simply being called Incarnate Word wasnt strange enough.
• NFL is revamping its Pro Bowl, eliminating the AFC vs. NFC format and instead separating voted-in players between teams via a fantasy-league-type draft. This wont change, though: End result will be a game players dont want to play in and fans dont want to watch.
• The Giants minor-league team in Richmond, Va., had a Salute to Scandal Night with $1 hot dogs in honor of New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. A bigger draw would have been free admission to any women who have gotten naughty text messages from Weiner.
• LeBron James was named to the 74th annual International Best-Dressed List as rumors swirled that he might run for president of the NBA players association. Geez, even this guys slow weeks are exciting.
• The Cowboys Dez Bryant said he thinks LeBron would be a beast playing football. Not sure how many NFL teams agree, but I can think of 29 other NBA teams that would like to find out.
• Dolphins left tackle Jonathan Martin, protector of Ryan Tannehills blind side, appears to be a lineup weakness as the season nears. I dont wanna says its a bad situation, but I hear the teams solution is to quietly teach Tannehill to throw left-handed.
• Tannehill and wife Lauren, by the way, spent some of their offseason taking shooting lessons at a gun range. That sounds like yet another reason Martin had better not give up too many sacks.
• There is talk the Dolphins could use top draft pick Dion Jordan on special teams. Risky. I say that now to set up my told-ya-so column later should he be injured.
• Saints quarterback Drew Brees was ridiculed for tipping $3 on a $74 takeout order, but was incredulous why. Dear Drew: You signed a $100 million contract. You really want to be the worlds richest cheapskate?
• Aaron Hernandez, the ex-Patriot, claimed his innocence in a letter to a pen pal, thus becoming the millionth accused murderer to tell a crazed admirer he was framed.
• Quotes I Never Imagined Reading (one in a series): From Bears tight end Marcellus Martellus Bennett
• Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson says Alex Smith is the best quarterback in the NFL. A Breathalyzer for Dougie, please.
• Acting Mariners manager Robby Thompson blew a game by mixing up his right and left arms when signaling from the mound for a reliever. Give him a break. Thats a lot to keep track of!
• Inbee Park chased a fourth consecutive golf major in the Womens British Open this week, and America was as thrilled as it could be not watching a South Korean dominate a sport it barely follows.
• New Orleans NBA team unveiled new uniforms that are blue, red and gold, and yet boring, answering the question, The new look cant possibly be worse than the Pelicans nickname, can it?
Still trying to confirm rumors the WNBA played an all-star game in Connecticut last week. Stay tuned.
• NASCARs most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
• U.S. mens soccer team has rolled to American-record 11 international wins in a row. (Is this where we pretend were now on World Cup footing with Brazil and Spain even though none of us believes it?)
• The 2014 Winter Olympics will go on in Sochi, Russia, despite that nations rampant homophobia. Am guessing the Russians will particularly enjoy mens figure skating.
• American 100-meter record holder Tyson Gay tested positive for PEDs, verifying the old Chinese proverb: Even fastest man cannot outrun own urine sample.
• Lionel Messi was a no-show in Chicago for 75 fans who paid $2,500 to meet him. No big loss, fans. Out of uniform and off the soccer field, Lionel pretty much just looks like a really short dark-haired guy.
• Ray Lewis had to cancel his plan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because of a foot injury. Mount Kilimanjaro did the Squirrel Dance to mock Lewis.
• I read that Calder and Gulfstream are at war. And its true. The other day I saw armies of jockeys from both tracks on horseback, jousting.
• Parting thought: Eagles receiver Riley Cooper, who is white, is in trouble for being caught on video using the N-word. He might have ruined his NFL future. The good news? He can always find work in Paula Deens kitchen.
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