Let college football begin and NCAA torture end

08/25/2013 12:01 AM

08/25/2013 1:05 AM

The Dodgers announced that legendary broadcaster Vin Scully would return next year for a 65th season. To put that in perspective, Scully’s career has lasted almost as long as the NCAA’s investigation of Miami.

That reminds me. It’s college football season! Week 1 kicks off Thursday for some schools, and the Miami Hurricanes open Friday night at home against FAU. Then on Saturday it’s FIU at Maryland and Florida at home against Toledo, with FSU opening Monday night at Pitt.

Nationally, the big story in college football is the reign of two-time defending champion and preseason favorite Alabama, a dynasty that has coach Nick Saban so proud he feels 5-feet tall.

Another big story line is the turmoil surrounding Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, under investigation for reportedly being paid for autographs. He now goes by the nickname Johnny Signed Football.

Of course, the major story locally continues to be that the bumbling NCAA continues to delay a verdict in its probe of UM in the case of renegade booster Nevin Shapiro.

I don’t wanna say this investigation has been going on an absurdly long time now, but the improper benefits Shapiro is alleged to have provided Canes players included bootleg booze during Prohibition, parties with flappers and free use of his Model T.

• The Little League World Series championship game is Sunday on national TV. History indicates that 1 percent of all boys who reach this stage go on to big-league careers, while the other 99 percent find it’s all downhill from here and spiral into unfulfilled lives of broken relationships, dead-end jobs and alcoholism.
• I truly enjoyed accompanying the 1972 Dolphins on last week’s White House visit. And everything would have gone fine if I hadn’t been swarmed by Secret Service after playfully blindsiding the president.
• The Dolphins lose tight end Dustin Keller to an injury and there is wailing about how crushing that is. The Patriots lose one tight end to an injury and another to a murder charge, and they’re still a Super Bowl contender. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
• As a security measure, NFL stadiums now require bags carried by fans to be of the clear plastic variety. Officials worry bad guys will in turn develop guns that look like ham sandwiches.
• We don’t look very good, apparently. ESPN’s 2013 Uni Watch, a ranking of the 122 team uniforms in the Big Four sports based on aesthetics, has the Heat ranked 26th, the Panthers 58th, the Dolphins 70th and the Marlins 110th.
• Ryan Fraud I mean Braun finally admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during his 2011 MVP season. His MVP award will now be called the MVPED.
• Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): Marlins rookie reliever Arquimedes Euclides Caminero was named after the Greek mathematicians Archimedes and Euclid.
• An ESPN poll of NBA experts named the Heat the best team in the Eastern Conference entering the coming season. “No duh,” said the rest of the country.
• Heat coach Erik Spoelstra gave a pep talk to the Tennessee Vols football team coached by friend Butch Jones. I hear Spo said the keys to a great season were hard work, dedication and LeBron James.
• That reminds me. The Miami-Dade policeman who gave LeBron an unauthorized escort to JayZ/ Justin Timberlake concert will undergo “informal counseling” as his only discipline. Counselor: “Next time, ask LeBron to please not post a video about it on Instagram.” Cop: “Good idea. We done?”
•  Allen Iverson plans to formally announce his retirement. Dear A.I.: You last played in 2010. I think the NBA already made that decision for you.

Dolphins guard Richie Incognito

• The NFL denied it pressured broadcast partner ESPN to cease involvement in a documentary that portrays the league as slow to address head injuries. “Yeah, right,” said America.

Ex-Patriot Aaron Hernandez and South African blade runner Oscar Pistorius both were formally charged this week with first-degree murder and impersonating a role model.

• Someone told me Brian Wilson debuted with the Dodgers last week. I’m glad they specified it was the pitcher with the black beard. I was picturing a 71-year-old Beach Boy taking the mound.
• Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is teaching a “general principles of coaching” course at Akron. Lesson 1: Embrace the nerd look with a closet full of sweater vests.
• The Arizona Rattlers won a second consecutive Arena Football League title, surprising analysts who were unaware the arena league still existed.
• In women’s golf, Europe retained the Solheim Cup, and even Solheim barely cared.
• American 100-meter record holder Tyson Gay
• NASCAR teamed with actress Alyssa Milano to create a line of fashionable apparel for women race fans. I am picturing a tastefully sequined Confederate flag.
• I read that Calder and Gulfstream are at war, running concurrent dates and fighting for bettors. And it’s true. The other day I saw armies of jockeys from both tracks on horseback, jousting.

The Harlem Globetrotters exhibition basketball franchise is for sale. Assets include a pail that you think is full of water but actually only contains confetti!

• The Association of Nigerian Prostitutes has offered free sex to the national soccer team for winning the African Cup. I feel like that association would have interesting board meetings.
• NFL plans to place cameras inside locker rooms and start airing video to fans inside stadiums. It will be a good idea until the moment a horrified crowd is accidentally shown a 365-pound guard with no pants.
•  Parting thought: You’ve heard of NFL fantasy drafts? I plan to hold an NFL reality draft. In my league, you select players and score points based on how often they test positive or get arrested, suspended or fined.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote, on Instagram/upsetbird and on Vine/Greg Cote.

About Greg Cote

Greg Cote

@gregcote

Greg Cote has been a Miami Herald sports columnist since 1995 and also writes the Random Evidence blog and NFL predictions along with his notorious sidekick the Upset Bird. He has covered Hurricanes football (1984-88), the Dolphins (1990-91) and major events including Super Bowls, NBA Finals, World Series, Stanley Cup, Olympics and World Cup.

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