Seven days from now, we get to see for real if the Miami Dolphins can possibly be as bad as they looked during a winless preseason.
Wednesday’s rout at Dallas ended an unsettling week in which the team’s best player, tackle Jake Long, got injured and arguably the team’s best cornerback, Vontae Davis, was traded to the Colts. At deadline time for this column, the club was auditioning other teams’ discards, including receivers Donte’ Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney, desperately seeking help for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Fittingly, somehow, the Dolphins were delayed three hours leaving Dallas after Wednesday’s loss when the pilot of the team plane backed into another plane on the tarmac, necessitating a change of aircraft.
We offer two punch lines:
A) When did Jeff Ireland start drafting pilots?
B) Who let Rex Ryan in the cockpit?
Meantime, an ESPN.com panel of 16 NFL experts came out with its season predictions and none of them — zero — picked Miami to make the playoffs. A fan poll on the website had Miami winning the AFC East at 0.9 percent, lowest of any team in any division.
I don’t wanna say things are looking bleak, but driving on I-95 on Saturday, I swear I saw a bumper sticker with Cam Cameron’s picture that read, MISS ME YET?• Did you have a bad week? Hey, it could be worse. You could have been whomever it was with the Republican National Committee who booked Clint Eastwood to speak at the GOP convention.
• That reminds me: NFL season opens this Wednesday (Cowboys at Giants) to avoid conflict with President Obama’s Democratic convention speech Thursday. The league will use replacement officials. No word yet whether their bad calls will be booed by replacement fans.
• NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote an open letter to fans explaining the league’s strict anti-bounty policy. Bounties on opposing players are illegal. However, bounties on unpopular, autocratic commissioners are OK.
• Dumb and Dumber? As college football season kicked off, the first talked-about play was Kent State linebacker Andre Parker returning a fumble 58 yards, and it was hard to say what was more astounding: That Parker was running the wrong way; or that two opponents tackled him!
• University of Central Florida football coach George O’Leary proclaimed the Knights “are now Blake Bortles’ team,” sending analysts scrambling to find out who the heck Blake Bortles is.
Vin Scully, 84, will return as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ broadcaster next year. I don’t wanna say Scully is old, but he recalls Abner Doubleday as a “good kid.”• Tokyo routed Tennessee 12-2 in the Little League World Series championship game. I’m not saying that one Japanese player seemed overage, although it is somewhat unusual for a 12-year-old to leave a game because his wife went into labor.
• NASCAR, nearing its Chase for the Cup playoffs, announced a deal with Fox Deportes to carry races in Spanish next year. NASCAR races currently are broadcast in only two languages: English and Redneck.
• Lydia Ko, 15, became the youngest LPGA Tour winner in history. She plans to use her winnings to buy a few more letters for her last name.
• As negotiations stall, the Sept. 15 expiration of the NHL labor agreement — and a canceled season — draws near. Think of that date as a cliff, with owners and players skipping blindly toward it.
• The Fort Lauderdale Strikers are winding down their season still in the hunt for an NASL playoff spot, surprising analysts who were unaware the season had started.
• A Chicago man, Justin Howard, won the Air Guitar World Championship in Finland. He must be so proud. Nothing makes karaoke singers seem talented like somebody pretending to play a guitar.
• Big week in local sports-talk radio as 790 The Ticket began simulcasting on FM 104.3, and Jorge Sedano joined WQAM as afternoon drive-time host and program director. The news would have been even bigger except that most folks nowadays have TVs.
• The Red Sox’s Wally the Green Monster mascot costume briefly disappeared before being recovered. Many of the team’s good players also have disappeared but not been recovered.
• Parental Advisory: Dennis Rodman is writing a children’s book.
• The X Games happened in Los Angeles. This is where ESPN keeps trying to convince us that adults in their 30s skateboarding isn’t the least bit pathetic.
• UCLA has given a football scholarship to the son of rapper Snoop Dogg after earlier signing the son of Sean “Diddy” Combs. The school is now a betting favorite to lead the Pac-12 in postgame parties.
• All these lawsuits and outrage by ex-NFL players over concussions and long-term effect on the brain — um, did you guys not realize football was a physical, violent game?
• Those cars with the “26.2” window decals — why do people who run in marathons feel the need to brag like that? They might as well fly a bumper sticker that reads, “I’m More Fit Than You.”
• Hunters in Northern Florida are using helicopters to locate and kill wild pigs. Sounds less like hunting than warfare. What’s next, drones tracking quail? Deer targeted by smart bombs?
• Parting thought: The Marlins distributed 15,000 Giancarlo Stanton Bobbleheads dolls at a game this week. Here’s how much power Stanton has: His Bobblehead hit a 460-foot home run.
Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com, watch video at YouTube/TheGregCote and follow on Twitter @gregcote.