Thanks for early treat of end to UM’s NCAA saga

10/27/2013 12:00 AM

10/27/2013 12:31 AM

Halloween is this week and Thanksgiving is in a month, but I can’t wait. With so many treats to enjoy and so many thanks to give, sports have me in a holiday mood early.

The three-year NCAA investigation of Miami is over and the Hurricanes charge on unthreatened and unshackled at last. UM fans should feel like the munchkins in Oz did as they watched that witch melt. (Come to think of it, that green witch bore an eerie facial resemblance to Nevin Shapiro.)

The Heat’s season opens in two days, meaning LeBron James and the greatest show in South Florida are back on stage. People are still doubting the Heat, which is half the fun.

The Dolphins are in New England on Sunday, and I don’t care if Miami has lost a few in a row or if Tom Brady is having an off year — it’s still Dolphins-Patriots.

The delightfully bearded World Series needs a bigger marquee and seems destined for seven games.

Did I mention Canes at Seminoles in six days?

College basketball tips off soon, too, and just after that Homestead hosts the race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

Forget Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Already feels like Christmas around here.

• The Dolphins traded for veteran tackle Bryant McKinnie, the 6-8, 360-pound former Hurricane. McKinnie has made only one Pro Bowl but six times has led the league in parties.
• The Rams inquired unsuccessfully about luring Brett Favre, 44, out of retirement. Somewhere, Joe Namath is loosening up.
• A neighbor of Redskins owner Dan Snyder registered the name “Washington Bravehearts,” fueling speculation of a possible name change. I’m not sure which is more embarrassing. Your team’s nickname demeaning American Indians, or your team being named after a Mel Gibson movie.
• Giants running back Brandon Jacobs received a Twitter death threat from a fantasy owner angry over his performance. Sir, if you are starting Brandon Jacobs, unless it’s, like, a 50-team league, your team stinks.
• The Jacksonville Jaguars are the home team for Sunday’s NFL game in London. So it’s official, then. The Jags are so bad, they’ve been deported.
•  Jim Leyland retired as Tigers manager. In his honor, throughout Detroit, cigarettes were being smoked at half mast.
• Answer: Same day the Panthers held an equality night honoring the local LGBT community, they had a pregame meet-and-greet with Amanda Zuckerman, the Big Brother reality star who made summer headlines for homophobic comments. Question: They say timing is everything, right?
• The San Jose Sharks, the last NHL team unbeaten in regulation, finally lost. “Knew it wouldn’t last!” crowed the ’72 Dolphins.
• The college football game at Marlins Park starting in 2014 was christened the Miami Beach Bowl. Hmm. I guess If LeBron can take his talents to South Beach, even though the Heat doesn’t play there, then there can be a Miami Beach Bowl not in Miami Beach.
• Almost time for college hoops. Canes men open their season Nov. 8, but low expectations were verified this week in an ESPN ranking of all 351 Division I teams. Anybody up for a “We’re No. 102!” chant?
• With only three NASCAR races left until the grand finale Nov. 17 at Homestead Nov. 17, frontrunners and friends Jimmie Johnson Matt Kenseth
•  Scott Dixon won racing’s IndyCar title. That’s sort of like a football player winning the Grey Cup.
• Aledo High, of Fort Worth, Texas, won a football game 91-0. Ah, sportsmanship!
• U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach just married partner and teammate Sarah Huffman with little fanfare. Does this speak of our increasingly enlightened view of gay marriage, or of a double standard? I’m sure two Yankees or Lakers teammates could marry and it’d be no big deal, right!?
•  Dwight Howard said his decision to leave the Lakers was inspired by a scene from the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises. Not sure what’s weirder. That it was. Or that he’d admit it.

Ex-Heat player Mike Miller lost $1.7 million in a scam and now might sue the Heat because a club employee recommended the man who swindled him. Dear Mike: You did business with a man who’d been indicted on 135 counts of fraud and money laundering. Blame your financial adviser, not the Heat.

• Sentences I Never Thought I’d Write (one in a series): Hall of Famer Bill Russell, 79, was arrested for carrying a loaded gun into the Seattle airport.
•  Bernard Hopkins fought Saturday night in Brooklyn, N.Y., at age 48. Never sure whether something like that says more about the conditioning of the boxer or the condition of his sport.
• The International Swimming Hall of Fame is leaving its longtime home in Fort Lauderdale. I know this because on the flagpole outside the hall, Johnny Weismuller’s swim trunks were flying at half mast.
• Some 3,000 are expected to compete Sunday in the Miami triathlon. Folks, the human body was not meant to exert itself to that degree. Then again, triathletes might look at me and note the human body was not meant to eat an entire bag of pork rinds, either.
•  Tiger Woods might sue Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee for implying Tiger cheats. Poor Brandel. Had he specified “in marriage,” he’d have had truth as a defense.
• Redefining “sad but true,” an ESPN survey of 1,000 fans named Alex Rodriguez

Mike Eruzione’s USA Miracle on Ice jersey and stick were up for auction. Something about the sign, Miracle For Sale, makes me sad.

•  Parting thought: New York’s Madison Square Garden unveiled its $1billion facelift. Amenities, as usual, do not include a Knicks championship.

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.

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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