The beards are alive!
I don’t mean insects are crawling in them, although that might be true, too. I mean the wonderfully hirsute Boston Red Sox are still alive in baseball’s postseason, still chasing a World Series championship.
And that means the best, funkiest story in sports right now is still alive, too.
There is even a local South Florida angle, because the good-luck beards are unquestionably led by the luxurious chin appendage of Mike Napoli, who was born in Hollywood and went to Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines.
Napoli, 31, looked normal, once. Now he looks like a 19th Century U.S. president. (Thinking Rutherford B. Hayes, or perhaps James Garfield.) Teammates tug his beard to celebrate runs, or summon luck, or just because.
Beantown has become Beardtown. Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline should be augmented as a Fenway park anthem by anything from ZZ Top.
The dozen most prominent Bosox beards have names, led by Napoli’s “The Siesta.”
The Red Sox are the greatest bearded baseball team since The House of David, a 20th Century religious society that spawned a barnstorming team that toured rural America from the 1920s into the 50s.
Come to think of it, today’s Red Sox are the House of David. You can call him David Ortiz, although Big Papi will do.
Fear the Beard!
• Random Evidence is thrilled to be back after a one-week hiatus spent at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios learning how to twerk.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has been turned down by coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher, by Peyton Manning, by Tallahassee legislators and most recently by the Super Bowl selection committee — three times. Ross now leads all NFL owners in rejection.• NCAA named a 13-person selection committee for College Football Playoffs beginning next year, including former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. I just hope Condi has better luck finding the four best teams than she did finding those weapons of mass destruction while pushing for the 2003 Iraq invasion.
• Meanwhile, the NCAA continues to delay a final decision in the UM case. I don’t wanna say this has been going on a while, but when the investigation began, cars had hand-cranks.
• I must admit I was rooting for the Canes on Thursday night. North Carolina’s coach is Larry Fedora, and you never want to lose to a man named after a 1950s men’s hat.
• The slumping Florida Panthers entered Saturday’s hockey game with a 2-6 record, having been outscored 31-18. New owner Vincent Viola said, “We will win here.” He didn’t say what year.
• While in St. Louis recently, Panthers players took in a Rams-Jaguars NFL game. I think the Panthers are better than the Jaguars. I mean at football.
• Ex-Dolphin Ricky Williams defended his former marijuana use, saying for him it was “like spinach for Popeye.” (Historical aside: Popeye and Olive Oyl were big dope smokers. So was Wimpy, who ate all those hamburgers because weed gave him the munchies.)
• Coral Springs’ Lexi Thompson won her second career LPGA golf title last week at age 18. My biggest accomplishment at 18 was balancing on one foot and pulling a sock onto the other without falling.
• Manning makes his long-awaited return to Indianapolis on Sunday. Based on what I’ve seen in the media, I think that’s the only game in the NFL this week.
• I didn’t think it was that weird the Tigers had a reliever named Al Alburquerque. Until that one pitching change when they brought in Sam Santa Fe.
• Rick’s Cabaret, a New York strip club, stopped showing Giants games because it was depressing the customers. You know what was depressing the strippers? That men surrounded by naked women were watching football.
• The Lions’ Ndamukong Suh was fined again by the NFL. Or, did that go without saying?
• I know Tim Hardaway Jr. is an NBA rookie in New York now, but I still can’t get used to seeing his father cheering for the Knicks. It’s like watching Red Sox and Yankees fans get along.
• Allen Iverson will officially retire Oct.30 at the 76ers’ home opener, surprising analysts who thought he’d retired years ago.
• Golfer Rory McIroy dumped tennis star-girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki because she tweeted a photo of him asleep with his mouth agape. Dear Rory: Why so serious? Seriously.
• Curt Schilling held an estate sale, which is what rich people call a yard sale. I assume there was a preemptive sign that read, “No, Bloody Sock Is NOT For Sale!”
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ locker room victory song is Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop. Not sure what’s more surprising: That they’d choose that song. Or that they’d admit it.• Happy 10th anniversary, Steve Bartman. Was going to write you a poem, but couldn’t think of anything that rhymed with “Alou.”
• The Minnesota Lynx won the WNBA championship, so congratulations to [look up name of coach or players to insert here].
• Intentional crashes affecting race outcomes have plagued NASCAR as its Chase for the Cup continues Sunday in Talladega, Ala. Makes sense, though. If there were a recipe for road rage, I’d make it a bunch of macho men who don’t like each other tailgating at 180 mph.
• 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!
• Parting thought: Marlins Park will host a college bowl game starting next year. That’ll be weird. I don’t mean seeing football there. I mean seeing a big crowd there.
Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote, Instagram/upsetbird, Vine/Greg Cote and Facebook/Greg Cote.