Miami’s three biggest teams had the biggest national stages in the past week, from the champion Heat’s banner-raising opening night Tuesday against Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls to the Dolphins in prime-time on a Halloween Thursday to the University of Miami at Florida State in a top-10 duel Saturday night.
Can’t remember a stretched-out tripleheader so compelling for so many reasons.
LeBron James and team setting sail in search of a three-peat and the UM-FSU matchup riveting college football were the bigger national stories, but it was the Dolphins in the middle who gave us the best local soap opera this week.
Any NFL team going from 3-0 to a four-game tailspin would be drama enough, but that was just the start of it here.
Mike Pouncey got served with a subpoena in the Aaron Hernandez murder case, and then fellow lineman Jonathan Martin abruptly left the team under emotional duress after angrily reacting to ribbing from teammates that had coach Joe Philbin answering questions about a “bullying” problem on his team.
(Dear Dolphins: You’re 4-4. Leave your teammates alone and try to do a better job of bullying your opponents.)
Reports of dissention in the locker room and even on the coaching staff arose.
Then, in an exquisite stroke of what-else-can-go-wrong, the Dolphins cheerleaders’ website was hacked by a porn site.
That, or the Dolphins cheerleaders’ website has pushed the boundaries on “premium content.”• FAU football coach Carl Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis abruptly resigned in shame this week after it was found they’d been smoking pot. Pelini’s staff had produced only a 2-6 record this season but led Conference USA in the munchies.
• The 100-day countdown to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is under way. Russia’s government is outrageously homophobic and the forecast is for a lack of snow. Otherwise, sounds like fun!
• Two new TV ads featuring James were shot in Miami and seem to show how much he loves living here. Means nothing in terms of what he might do next summer, but it keeps the tea-leaf readers busy.• I must admit this from Charles Barkley made me chuckle: “LeBron’s headband is so big, Spud Webb could use it as a shower curtain.”
• Dwyane Wade has a new designer line of 13 styles of “casual and gentlemen’s” socks. Dear Dwyane: Heat fans like you best in the socks that make your knees feel like you were 25 again.
• Former NBA player Bryon Russell, 42, said Michael Jordan, 50, “chickened out” of a one-on-one challenge. Enough, already! MJ has enough problems trying to eke 20 wins out of the Charlotte Bobcats.
• Serena Williams is the first WTA player since Martina Hingis in 1997 to win 11 tournaments in a season, prevailing last week despite fatigue. Said Serena: “I literally felt like I just hit a wall.” Said Greg Cote: “I literally am annoyed when people misuse the word ‘literally.’”
• Rob Gronkowski’s father is pitching an animated TV series called The Gronks. And we wonder why the rest of the world hates America.
• Rex Ryan’s Jets play Rob Ryan’s Saints on Sunday. I don’t wanna say the Ryan brothers are unlikable, but even Mom doesn’t care fore them.
• Lance Alworth’s stolen Super Bowl ring has been returned to him after 25 years. Yes. Yes I do regret taking it.
• Royals fan John Coomer is suing the club because a foil-wrapped hot dog thrown by the team mascot hit him in the eye. That’s the difference between me and Coomer. I’d be too embarrassed to sue.
• Despite the excitement of new ownership the Florida Panthers had won only three of their first 12 games and had the third-fewest points in the NHL entering the weekend. Buyer’s remorse, anyone?• Superstar heartthrob David Beckham continues in efforts to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami. Thus far, Beckham has failed to agree to one MLS demand: That he play all 11 positions.
• Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): The Cleveland Indians’ Double A team in Akron, Ohio, has changed its nickname from Aeros to RubberDucks.
• The 54th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is going on. I have nothing against boaters, but think every boat with one of those cute nautical-pun names should be torpedoed.
• Hard-hitting 49ers safety Donte Whitner is legally changing his surname to “Hitner.” Could have been worse. Could have also changed his first name to “Adolf.”
• On eBay, you can buy authenticated Jim Palmer-signed underwear that he modeled for Jockey in the 1970s. I can think of no worse job in America than being in charge of authenticating 40-year-old underwear.
• Parting thought: Cleveland Browns executive Jon Sandusky was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. He’s Jerry Sandusky’s son. You’d drink, too.
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.