College football set sail a day early in South Florida as the Miami Hurricanes christened a season of high hopes by hosting northern neighbor Florida Atlantic University for the first time on a special, emotional Friday night at Dolphins stadium.
A halftime ceremony honored UM’s 1983 team on the 30th anniversary of the school’s first of five national-championship seasons. It was an especially big night for Howard Schnellenberger, 79, who of course coached that ’83 team and went on to build the FAU program from scratch and coach it for 11 seasons though 2011.
Yes, Miami and FAU provided just about everything you’d want in a season opener, with the possible exception of a compelling or least-bit-competitive game.
I don’t wanna say FAU was overmatched, but I think the ’83 Canes — now middle-aged — could have gone out there in their wing-tips or flip-flops and beaten the Owls.
It was good reacquainting 30 years later with those old Canes, many of whom I covered when I was a young reporter. Brought back a lot of memories, including that one time I saw a then-14-year-old Nevin Shapiro offer the improper benefit of a used Rubik’s Cube and a free ride on his skateboard to Bernie Kosar.
“Scram, kid,” said Kosar.
And the rest is history.• NCAA and Texas A&M agreed Johnny Manziel would be suspended one half of a game for his role in that autographs-for-cash matter. One half! Not sure who Johnny’s lawyer is, but the Hurricanes need to hire him, fast.
• There were reports LeBron James, engaged to be married, had a relationship with a “bikini model,” Carmen Ortega. Know what that sounds like? Like the future Mrs. James just got a bigger wedding ring.
• Failing to come up with an even more unpopular stance, the NFLPA filed a grievance to help accused murderer Aaron Hernandez receive an $82,000 workout bonus.
• FIU football players keep getting arrested. What do they think this is, Gainesville?
• Hockey is almost here. The Panthers open training camp Sept. 12. That sneaked up on me. Startled me. Made me spill my coffee.
• Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer improved to 19-1. “Nice,” said Mercury Morris. “But not perfect!”
• Johnny Football (the horse) made its debut Saturday at Saratoga. I hear he finished last after stopping mid-race to sign autographs.
• Mark Sanchez held out hope that he might be ready for the start of the regular season. “NO!” cried Jets fans.
• A panel of ESPN experts has predicted a third consecutive NBA title for the Heat next season. The same experts boldly forecast the sun would rise tomorrow.
• Update: NCAA and Texas A&M decided Manziel’s suspension was too harsh. New punishment: Johnny may not sit near the window on the team bus to the stadium.
The Marlins suffered their 16th shutout loss. I know soccer teams that score more.• Miami’s Booker T. Washington High is ranked No. 1 nationally in some high school football polls. That’s the highest ranking for Booker T. since Booker T. & the M.G.’s reached No. 3 with Green Onions in 1962.
• I read in the Miami Herald about two women who hunt alligators to turn them into gator-skin rugs. It’s the only time I found myself rooting for the alligators.
• Mike Tyson revealed that he is a “vicious alcoholic.” Remember when personal problems were, well, personal?
• Only two races remain until NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup, with defending champion Brad Keselowski and four-time champ Jeff Gordon among those scrambling to make the cut. This year, the chase for the Chase might be more exciting than the Chase.
• Tiger Woods blamed his sore back on a hotel bed that was too soft. Wonder if there was a blonde in it. OY!
• The United States faces New Zealand in America’s Cup sailing next week, and my interest would fit in a thimble with room left over for the thumb.
• Update: NCAA and Texas A&M, after deciding Manziel’s suspension was too harsh, agree his new punishment will be tepid water, not hot, in postgame shower.
• Japan beat California to win the Little League World Series. First Pearl Harbor. Now this!
• Cypress Bay coach Mark Guandolo was suspended two weeks for slapping his quarterback’s helmet. Yes, we can’t have such things in a sport that abhors violence as much as football!
• Fading NBA star Lamar Odom was arrested for DUI. Not excusing it, but if I married into the Kardashian circus, I’d drink, too.
• Simona Halep
• Will the last Miami-Dade County mayor to not be arrested please turn out the light?
• Dolphins guard Richie Incognito reportedly got into a fight at a night club and also was in an altercation in a preseason game. I love it. A brawling 330-pound NFL player with a temper named “Incognito.”
• American 100-meter record holder Tyson Gay tested positive for PEDs, verifying the old Chinese proverb: “Even fastest man cannot outrun own urine.”
• NASCAR teamed with actress Alyssa Milano to create a line of fashionable apparel for women race fans. What, you’ve never seen a sequined Confederate flag before?
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: Update: NCAA and Texas A&M rescind Manziel’s suspension as too harsh, and rule instead that Johnny’s punishment will consist of arriving “slightly tardy” to the opening huddle.
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.