What South Florida sports fans are talking about

 

1. NFL

Ready, set … snow! Super Bowl Week begins! You like a sharp contrast? It isn’t just Denver’s top-ranked offense vs. Seattle’s No. 1 defense next Sunday in frigid East Rutherford, N.J. It’s that the contrast is personified by the Broncos’ sainted Peyton Manning and Seahawks’ vilified Richard Sherman. America’s favorite in one word: “Omaha!”

2. HEAT

Big test as champs host Spurs, Thunder: NBA Finals in late January, anyone? Feels like that in Miami right now as the Heat hosts the Spurs on Sunday and then the Thunder on Wednesday — the two teams Miami beat to win its consecutive titles. Aside to Dwyane Wade: Be a good week for your knees to reward you for those four games off in a row!

3. DOLPHINS

Patriots latest target in Miami’s GM search: The Dolphins’ general manager search took some weird turns as Browns assistant GM Ray Farmer, a front-runner, abruptly withdrew and then Miami interviewed Patriots personnel chief Nick Caserio. I think I’d be more excited about Caserio if he said he’d bring Bill Belichick and Tom Brady with him.

4. HURRICANES

UM men lose to No. 2 Syracuse: Jim Larrañaga’s guys lost 64-52 to mighty Syracuse at home on Saturday afternoon, with a 21-point loss to No. 18 Duke three days earlier. The Canes are scrappy and play good defense but don’t score enough. Kobe Bryant sat in on a UM marketing class this week. Pity that didn’t make him eligible to suit up.

5. TENNIS

Australian Open upsets lead to unexpected finales: Rafael Nadal was the only superstar in the finals of the year’s first major. He’ll face somebody named Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday, after Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova played Saturday. I always complain tennis is too predictable. Comes to mind the phrase, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Read more Greg Cote stories from the Miami Herald

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In this May 5, 2013 photo, Miami Heat team president Pat Riley, left, coach Erik Spoelstra, and LeBron James, right, poses in Miami after James won the NBA Most Valuable Player award.

    IN MY OPINION

    Greg Cote: LeBron-Heat saga unfolds, and it’s stranger than first thought

    It is three weeks later, and LeBron James’ departure from the Heat and Miami continues to occupy a murky space somewhere in the gray between amicable parting and bitter divorce. There is rancor unspoken, bad blood wrapped in outward civility. Everyone is trying to play nice, maintain the high road, but it feels disingenuous.

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Washington Nationals pinch runner Nate McLouth is safe at home plate in the eighth inning as Miami Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis applies the tag at Marlins Park on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

    In My Opinion

    Greg Cote: Just call the Miami Marlins the Merlins because they’re magic

    It’s funny how in sports there are varying ways to see Fortune .500. The Dolphins go 8-8 and it’s unfortunate. It gets the general manager gone and leaves fans empty. It feels like losing. But the Marlins get back up to even and fans feel as if they’ve hit the lottery. The climb is fulfilling. It feels like winning.

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Head Coach Joe Philbin, at center, during Miami Dolphins practice at Dolphin Camp on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

    In My Opinion

    Greg Cote: Signs suggest Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin is on the hot seat

    There are new windscreens on the fences surrounding the Dolphins’ practice facility at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. They bear a new message this season, one written unmistakably in 6-foot tall white, block letters against a turquoise background:

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