Local fans hope Bama and Notre Dame both lose

Finally! After a seemingly endless marathon of dozens of college football bowl games, our long wait is almost over. After weeks of excited anticipation and breathless buildup, we arrive at last at the threshold of the one game — the only game — that really matters:

Kent State vs. Arkansas State in Sunday’s Bowl!

Wait. What?

Oh, you thought I meant Notre Dame vs. Alabama? Come to think of it, the No. 1 Fighting Irish and No. 2 Crimson Tide playing in the BCS National Championship Game at Dolphins stadium on Monday night could be a fairly good game, too.

I just hope it doesn’t prove anticlimactic and get overshadowed by the penultimate bowl as the Golden Flashes and Red Wolves clash at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile.

That reminds me. Alabama coach Nick Saban played at Kent State in the early 1970s. Wonder if he’ll watch his alma mater play Sunday night or accompany his team as it watches a private screening of Zero Dark Thirty.

Saban, of course, is despised by Miami Dolphins fans for lying before he left for Alabama, and Notre Dame is despised by Miami Hurricanes fans.

That sound you hear Monday night will be Irish and Tide fans cheering for their team, and South Floridians angrily booing both on general principle.

• Hope you all had a safe and happy New Year’s. New Year’s Eve is the only time you hear people scream, “The ball is dropping!” Well, other than when the New York Jets are on offense.

• The New York Daily News reported that Jets coach

Rex Ryan

has a tattoo of his wife wearing nuthin’ but a

Mark Sanchez


• Seven NFL coaches were fired, including the Eagles’

Andy Reid

and Bears’

Lovie Smith

. Reid quickly signed with the Chiefs, and Oregon’s

Chip Kelly

reportedly might sign with the Browns. Apparently, both men are tired of winning.

• Old Cane

Ray Lewis

of the Ravens announced he would retire after these playoffs. Son

Ray Lewis III

will be a UM football freshman next season. Not sure of his chances of making the NFL, but about 90 percent sure of the chances his nickname will become RL3.

• Suspended Saints coach

Sean Payton

was given a contract extension. Not sure the amount, but I bet it was bounteous.

• Louisville upset Florida in the Sugar Bowl, and in the Orange Bowl, Florida State answered whether Northern Illinois belonged. The answer was 31-10.

• UM football nervously awaits its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. It’ll be the last bowl game of the season: Canes, bowled over.


Charles Barkley

said fans should not be allowed to vote for NBA all-stars. I disagreed. Until I saw that

Chris Bosh

was trailing the human remains of

Kevin Garnett

in fan voting.

• ESPN’s

Tom Haberstroh

wrote a story headlined, “Are We Bored With LeBron?” The theory was that James’ excellence has become routine, such as his 31 consecutive games with 20-plus points to start a season, the second-longest streak ever. Dear Tom: You might be bored. But Miami isn’t.

LeBron explained the Heat’s well-documented rebounding woes by simply saying the team doesn’t have the “knack.” (Your punch line goes here and must include the word “Sharona.”)


Amare Stoudemire

returned from injury for New York, where Knicks fans are still trying to decide if that was a good thing.

• Hurricanes men’s basketball has begun Atlantic Coast Conference play without center

Reggie Johnson

, who will miss at least six weeks with a broken thumb. Reggie is 6-10, 300 pounds. Call it a big loss. Very big.

• Sunday is Day 113 of the NHL lockout. In most of America, that’s known as I No Longer Give A Crap Day.

• Miami Jai-Alai opened its 86th season. Roster is again led by top player


, who is best known for constantly having his name misspelled.

• Disgraced

Lance Armstrong

reportedly is considering coming clean and admitting his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Might as well, Lance. It’s not like anybody still believes you, anyway.

• The Senior Bowl announced that the Lions and Raiders staffs would coach the North and South teams. Apparently, they want a chaotic, penalty strewn game.

• ESPN’s

Buster Olney

listed baseball’s top 10 teams, lineups, infields, outfields and rotations, and the Marlins were nowhere in any. If only Buster had listed baseball’s top 10 infuriating owners.

• Baseball’s hall of fame reveals its latest inductees next week, otherwise known as

Barry Bonds


Roger Clemens

Payback Day.

The Junior Orange Bowl Championships ended in tennis. The most extraordinary performance that really stood apart was by that one parent who did not berate his losing child.

• Indiana’s Bloomington South High won a girls basketball game, 107-2. Not sure what coach Larry Winters teaches at the school, but guessing it isn’t sportsmanship.


Parting thought: Victoria Azarenka

withdrew from a tennis tournament this week with an infected big toe she blamed on a pedicure. So now I really


heard everything: A professional athlete injured by pampering.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at and follow on Twitter @gregcote.