Big football weekend here, but Philbin can’t confirm

09/08/2013 12:00 AM

09/08/2013 12:30 AM

We have been savoring and anticipating this as one of the greatest football weekends in Miami history. After all, our biggest, best and brightest teams would be filling us with local civic pride and be on full display on a national stage.

But enough about Friday night’s Miami Central-Booker T. Washington game.

What? You thought I meant the Hurricanes and Gators game here Saturday and then the Dolphins season opener Sunday in Cleveland? Hmm. I guess those are big games, too, now that you mention it.

UM and Florida met for the first time since 2008, the 55th time overall and, sadly, perhaps the last time ever.

(The Canes and Gators first met in 1938. To put that in perspective, Nevin Shapiro wasn’t even born yet, although I hear his distant relative, Connivin Shapiro, was at that first game in an early-version zoot suit trying to entice players with free use of his Plymouth Roadking.)

The Central-Booker T. game for national high school supremacy and then Canes-Gators closing the book on that storied rivalry leave a tough act to follow for the Dolphins on Sunday as they launch their 48th season.

I should say the Dolphins “reportedly” open Sunday. Super-secretive coach Joe Philbin, who refuses to discuss injuries or most anything else about his team, declined to confirm that Miami would play Sunday, or where, or that he was involved with the Dolphins in any way.

Reporter: “Joe? Can you talk about McGillicutty’s injury?”

Coach: “I cannot.”

Reporter: “Cannot what? Talk about McGillicutty’s injury?”

Coach: “No, I cannot confirm that I am Joe Philbin.”

• In three days, America marks the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Never forget. OK, now back to the silly stuff.
•  Dennis Rodman reportedly has met yet again with the leader of North Korea. That man is crazy. But then, again, so is Kim Jong-un.

Diana Nyad, 64, became the first person to complete the swim from Cuba to Key West without a shark tank. Only an idiot boater who blasted by too close and intentionally created an enormous wake marred the historic journey. I was never caught.

• Hockey is close. The Panthers are hosting a four-team NHL Prospects Tournament at their Coral Springs practice rink this weekend. The fans there will be the only people in South Florida spending Saturday and Sunday not football-obsessed.
• The NFL was embarrassed its Thursday night opener was delayed by bad weather and lightning. “It’s because they cut Tebow,” explained God.
• The Jets say they will not pick on former cornerback Darrelle Revis in Sunday’s game, explaining, “We have no passing game.”
•  Ray Lewis suggested a conspiracy theory and said it was no accident the lights went out in the last Super Bowl. I can’t imagine why Ray would say such a thing, although there must be a leftover “deer antler spray” punch line around here somewhere.
•  Channing Crowder said on his WQAM radio show that Ricky Williams smoked pot the night before he ran for a Dolphins-record 228 yards in 2002, but later backtracked from the claim. I hear Ricky was livid over the lie, and that it was actually the morning of the game when he smoked.
• That reminds me. Former Heat player Michael Beasley was arrested for marijuana possession. Or, did that go without saying?
• Suspended Brewers star Ryan Braun reportedly is personally calling and apologizing to fans he betrayed by using performance-enhancing drugs. I take that to mean his publicist has Braun’s voice pretty much down pat.
• The NBA will have motion-tracking cameras in every arena starting this coming season to provide fans with reams of new, detailed data on player performance. The high-tech findings are expected to confirm that LeBron James is, like, really, really good.
• Not yet announced, the NBA also will place motion-tracking cameras in several unnamed arena rest rooms. OK, no they won’t. I made that up.
• By the way, LeBron is developing a TV sitcom for the Starz network. (Poor fella. Times are tough. Needs the outside income.)
•  Dan Le Batard wrote a farewell column in the Miami Herald but emphasized he isn’t going anywhere and will continue to write occasionally. He’ll be missed, should he ever actually leave.
• The field is finally set for NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup that ends Nov. 17 at Homestead. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in the field, meaning his legion of fans will be disappointed more gradually this year.
• Canes men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga’s contract was extended through 2022, when he’d be near his mid-70s. Cannot confirm that, asked his goals for the new contract, Larrañaga said, “To outlive it.”
•  Parting thought: A man claiming to be Lamar Odom’s drug dealer said in an interview that he gave cocaine to Odom. Friends, do not do drugs. But if you must, avoid dealers who give interviews.

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

About Greg Cote

Greg Cote


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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