Spectacle of L.A. wreck keeps Lakers-Heat on marquee

Miami-Fort Lauderdale had the second-lowest Super Bowl television rating of 57 major U.S. markets, ranking above only Los Angeles. Both cities had a good excuse. Ours is that because the Dolphins haven’t been to a Super Bowl in almost 30 years, we have pretty much blocked out that the game is still even played as a defense mechanism against civic depression. L.A. doesn’t even have a football team, which narrowly edges having a team that never goes to the Super Bowl on the disinterest scale.

Los Angeles had an additional excuse that we didn’t for not watching the Super Bowl:

Residents are so upset about the Lakers they can’t see straight, which renders watching TV both difficult and highly unpleasant.

Now, on Sunday, the Lakers visit the Heat in what before the season seemed a likely NBA Finals preview. Instead, the L.A. Clippers, who were here Friday, are better poised to challenge a Heat repeat come June.

Lakers-Heat remains a marquee matchup — at least according to ABC, which is televising the game — but that is partly because of the dysfunctional soap opera the Lakers have become as the team still percolates under .500 and off the playoff grid.

Watching the Lakers feels more like rubbernecking this season. Like slowing down to watch wrecked cars on the soft shoulder.

Speaking of soft shoulders, Dwight Howard says his shoulder still isn’t just right, Kobe Bryant suggested Dwight play through the pain, and Dwight responded by saying of Kobe, “He’s no doctor.” Add Pau Gasol’s injury and poor Steve Nash must be wondering what he got himself into.

Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen all have been battling flu-like symptoms as the bug races through the Miami locker room.

Like Kobe, I’m no doctor, but I have three words for the ailing Heat:

Deer antler spray.

Mike Wallace 60 Minutes

Broward Health made Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill an honorary physician as the new face of the hospital’s orthopedic and sports medicine division. We may now conclude that Tannehill, by aligning himself with a program that performs knee surgeries and injury rehab, is not the least bit superstitious.

Brent Musberger

Jim Morris’

Blake James

The Heat’s Rashard Lewis, commenting on LeBron James and Wade’s joking relationship, called them “Frick and Frack.” Lewis is thus thought to be the first athlete in 50 years to make reference to the Swiss comic skaters who joined the original Ice Follies in the late 1930s.

Chris “Birdman” Andersen’s

Jeb Bush Jeffrey Loria

Jerry Sandusky Joe Pa

An 18-month investigation found hundreds of international soccer matches including some in the World Cup were fixed or subject to fixing by organized crime gangs. Sort of puts a controversy over deer antler spray in perspective, doesn’t it?

Tony Casillas

Rafael Nadal

Mike Tyson Lance Armstrong

Parting thought: Jon Rauch Erik Spoelstra’s

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