Let’s talk about two rankings, one silly, the other sad.
Pro Football Focus, a formerly respected website, ranks the Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill as the NFL’s third-rated quarterback after two games entering Sunday’s game against the visiting Chiefs. I double-checked my calendar. It is not April1. So they’re serious.
I’m not exactly sure what criteria this grading site considers, but I am sure it should take that criteria, burn it, seal the ashes in a lock box, and drop it into the depths of the Indian Ocean.
Not even his coaches or Tannehill himself think he has played well thus far. I keep expecting a mea culpa statement from Pro Football Focus revealing that the man in charge of this week’s QB rankings had been drinking heavily and has since been suspended and remanded to the abyss of Roger Goodell’s exempt list.
OK, now the sad rankings:
ESPN’s annual “Ultimate Standings” are out for 2014, a ranking of every franchise in the Big Four sports based on eight criteria including success, ownership and fan experience … and South Florida teams don’t fare very well to say the least.
Of 122 franchises, only the Heat is respectable at 34th overall, but even that’s down from a year earlier. The Marlins rank 96th, the Panthers 102nd and the Dolphins 108th.
Two possible solutions to this sad showing:
The first is for the Marlins, Panthers and Dolphins to start winning and making the playoffs for a change.
Failing that, just put the Ultimate Standings ranking in the hands Pro Football Focus, where failures are lavishly rewarded.
▪ FSU suspended Jameis Winston from Saturday’s game after shouting a sexist vulgarity on campus. The original suspension was only a half game, because Clemson is pretty good.
▪ The Gators faced Nick Saban on Saturday, presenting to many Miami football fans a “lesser-of-two-evils” conundrum. Shouldn’t there be a special circumstance under which both teams can lose?
▪ UM parted ways with Kevin Olsen after his latest legal run-in, a DUI arrest involving a fake ID. Never a good sign when a quarterback leaves with more career police reports than touchdown passes.
▪ The White House advised the NFL to “get a handle” on its domestic-abuse problem, and major sponsor Anheuser-Busch publicly scolded the league for its eroding image. Always love it when Big Alcohol attempts the moral high ground!
▪ LeBron James revealed a new sneaker this week. Also, a new hairline. I’m not saying he’s had implants, but LeBron no longer leads the NBA in forehead.
▪ Team USA swept unbeaten to the FIBA World Cup basketball gold medal, winning every game by an average of 35 points. I’ve never been prouder, or more bored.
▪ The Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton showed his awful facial injuries on Instagram. They were so bad, I’ll be sidelined four to six weeks just from looking at them.
▪ As Derek Jeter plays his final Yankees homestand, Gatorade unveiled an emotional new farewell ad to the tune of Sinatra’s My Way. It brought a tear to my eye, automatically demoting my rank in Red Sox Nation.
▪ Humiliated Marlins rookies were made to wear embarrassing costumes on the streets of New York on a recent road trip in an annual hazing ritual. Who had that idea? Richie Incognito?
▪ The Phillies’ Jonathan Papelbon was suspended for a vulgar crotch grab. He claimed he was just adjusting his cup. Uh-huh. And the guy giving you the middle finger was just inspecting his digit.
▪ The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs were won by somebody named “Billy Horschel,” a strong indicator that whatever the the FedEx Cup playoffs are, they stink.
▪ Greg Norman sustained only minor injuries in a chainsaw accident. After a generally underachieving career, it figured the result would not have been associated with the word “major.”
▪ Local prep football power St. Thomas Aquinas lost to New Jersey’s Don Bosco. Anybody else think Don Bosco sounds like the name of a mob boss?
▪ Israel hosted a Davis Cup match in Sunrise because of security concerns in Tel Aviv, setting a sports record for farthest traveled to be the home team.
▪ Scotland’s famed Royal & Ancient Club, birthplace of golf, will admit women members for the first time in its history after surprised club administrators were informed it is, in fact, the 21st century.
▪ The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were sold to three Brazilian businessmen, surprising analysts who had forgotten the Strikers were still around.
▪ The Phoenix Mercury beat the Chicago Sky for the WNBA title. I won, too, after investing big in lame media references to, “Mercury rising.”
▪ Parting thought: Ron Washington revealed he abruptly resigned as Rangers manager because he admitted infidelity to his wife. He had earlier admitted to using cocaine. One or two more embarrassing off-field incidents and he might be ready for the NFL.
Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote and also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
Today: Heat, Panthers open camp. Hockey camp is under way and basketball starts this week. To whet the appetite, each club’s top five career scoring leaders:
Note: Points in hockey are combination of goals and assists.
What South Florida sports fans are talking about:
Fins host Chiefs in pivotal game: A third game of the season being called pivotal? Isn’t that hyperbole? Maybe. But a franchise whose last playoff win was in 2000, coming off a miserable effort at Buffalo, with a quarterback under fire, does not lose a home game to this opponent and still look its fans in the eye.
Miami, host Nebraska reprise classic series: Three of the Canes’ national championships came by beating Nebraska and one of the Cornhuskers’ came by beating UM. On Saturday night the old heavyweights met again in Lincoln, each fighting to get back to former glory. So who took the decision?
Team in final homestand as strange season wanes: Only four home dates are left in a season marked by flirtation with playoff contention into September despite serious injuries to stars Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton. The unfortunate thing about those injuries? Can’t blame owner Jeffrey Loria.
Post-LeBron Heat opens training camp in six days: Dwyane Wade and the downsized Heat open camp Saturday, starting anew following the departure of superstar LeBron James. The upside to LeBron leaving? Heat fans won’t be criticized as much for showing up late to games or leaving early.
New coach, hope as NHL club opens camp: Cats training camp is under way with new coach Gerard Gallant. Club owner Vinnie Viola quashed rumors by vowing to keep the team in South Florida. OK. But with no playoff series win since 1996, how about vowing to put a winning team on the ice?