Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Change in Subject (A homage to the Late Night king)

Letterman in 1982

After 33 years, 6,028 shows and almost 20,000 guests, comedic legend David Letterman retired from television this Wednesday. While this blog has strictly covered sports in Miami, there was not a chance that I would pass up the chance to honor the late night king. Born in Indiana, Letterman rose through the ranks of comedy shortly after his graduation from Ball State University, garnering appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Eventually, NBC offered Letterman the chance to have a morning comedy show, carrying a similar format to The Tonight Show.

Unfortunately, this show received poor ratings and got cancelled shortly after its 1980 inception. However, it all played well for Dave, as he was given the 12;30 time slot after Carson. There, Letterman thrived, displaying his original and Midwestern personality, not changed by show business. With the likes of close friend and musical conductor Paul Shaffer, the duo were able to succeed after Carson, until Johnny's retirement in 1982. Many thought that Letterman would become Carson's replacement, however NBC decided to go with stand up comedian Jay Leno as their guy, shocking Letterman, Carson, and America. He decided to move to CBS, where he started The Late Show with David Letterman, starting The Top Ten List and other fixtures on the show.

 Dave's appearance as a late night figure has always rivaled others, as he wears thick glasses and has gapped teeth. However, some have credited his imperfections as part of his glamour, as he never seems to fake emotions nor feelings on the show. Dave has undergone many stressful events throughout his time in Late Night, most notably receiving a quintuple bypass, causing him to miss the show for six weeks. Also, he was the first late night host to address the nation after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, demonstrating the grief that had embedded the population. However, Letterman has also made some mistakes, becoming engaged in an affair with several prominent women in the media, including Kathie Lee Gifford from the Today Show. Anyways, when its all said and done, David Letterman will be remembered as possibly the best host in Late Night history besides Johnny Carson.
The Tope Ten List eventually came synonymous with Dave.
 Despite being constantly beaten in the ratings by Jay Leno, Letterman's consistent following led many to declare his supremacy. On Letterman's last show, about 15 million viewers saw celebrities such as Bill Murray, Jerry Seinfeld, Barbara Walters and Tina Fey among others appear on the last Top Ten List. Letterman addressed the viewers one last time, before thanking his entire crew. His favorite band, The Foo Fighters would go on to sing his favorite song, Everlong, as highlights of his time in Late Night were remembered up to 17 minutes after the scheduled end time for the finale, with CBS refusing to cut it at any point.

Letterman's final goodbye.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Major League Corruption

After a 16-22 start, the Miami Marlins have fired manager Mike Redmond, deciding to make general manager Dan Jennings the sixth Marlins manager in as many years. In a shocking development, the team decided to ignore prime candidates such as Mr. Marlin, Jeff Conine and former manager Bobby Valentine among others, to hire a man that hasn't managed a baseball team since he did in 1985 for the Warriors of Davidson High School, in Mobile, Alabama.

The questionable moves that have become synonymous with Loria ownership date back to 2004; the year after the last Marlins World Series victory. That year, the Marlins got rid of integral pieces such as David Lee(1B), Juan Pierre(LF) and Ivan Rodriguez(C). In addition, the owner traded all-stars afterwards including Josh Johnson(SP), Ricky Nolasco(SP, Hanley Ramirez(SS), Dan Uggla(2B), Miguel Cabrera(3B), Josh Beckett(SP), Mike Lowell(3B), Jose Reyes(SS), Mark Buerhle(SP), DontrelleWillis(SP) among many others. 

"It is outside the box, I will not deny that," Jennings said at a news conference. "My mom, whom I love deeply, asked me, 'Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind?'"
The befuddled Marlins are notoriously led by the most infamous owner in sports, mentioned in several of my earlier articles. It seems as if Jeffrey Loria wants to close the gap between the owner and the manager, evident through his new manager being his right hand man. What this means is that Jennings reports only to Loria, giving the owner power via corruption. The man who made his millions through the art industry apparently believes that he can handle the baseball operations for a Major League Baseball team. 

Nonetheless, reminisces of the 2003 champions are somewhat noticeable in this team. Both teams fired their manager after a 16-22 start, with the 2003 team firing Jeff Tolberg, with 72 year old Jack Mckeon improbably taking over. With an inconsistent closer (Steve Cishek) and an ailing pitching rotation, the 2015 Miami Marlins will have to improve marginally if they hope to repeat the success of their predecessors. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The State of the Miami Hurricanes

Coming off of a dismal 6-7 season, the Miami Hurricanes are struggling to restore their legacy, trying to rebound from the aftermath of the Nevin Shapiro ponzi scheme scandal, the resignation of Donna Shalala, and the loss of key players such as Reggie "Duke" Johnson, Denzel Perryman and Phillip Dorsett. The identity of the program now seems unidentifiable, with the Hurricanes shedding its reputation as the pioneer Nike school, and becoming affiliated with Adidas. Moreover, in 2007 Miami-Dade County voted to demolish arguably one of the only landmarks in the City of Miami, the Orange Bowl. The decision to build the Marlins Park on the site made many Hurricanes fans vow to never go to a game again, and caused an outcry, as it would be reluctantly paid for by the county's taxpayers, even though it has been made known that the Marlins borderline fraud owner, Jeffry Loria, had the money to pay for the stadium that nobody wanted. 

Now, the Hurricanes have discontinued their matchups with the Gators and they haven't beaten the Seminoles since the days of Jacory Harris. If you know how bad Jacory was, it makes it seem depressing that Hurricane fans are hoping to slightly outdo a quarterback that only knew how to throw interceptions and couldn't make the roster of the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the CFL (Canadian Football League) as a backup more recently.
The Hurricanes won 58 home games in a row during their CFB domination period

It is a travesty that this city has given up on the team that essentially put it back on the map after the years of Miami Vice, winning an unprecedented five championships in 18 years, making Miami go from a town ravaged by race riots in the '80s, to a premier American city. However, now, the Hurricanes are losing to mediocre programs such as Pittsburgh and Louisville on a yearly basis. Long ago were the days when undisputed legends such as Michael Irvin, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Warren Sapp, Edgerin James, Jim Kelly, Devin Hester, Cortez Kennedy, Randal Hill and Sean Taylor dominated rival Florida and Florida State on a consistent basis.
miami hurricanes sparse crowd sun life stadium
The Hurricanes have had trouble exceeding 40,000 fans at Sun Life Stadium
In the upcoming 2015 season, the Canes will run out of the smoke, a different team. They will be led by rising sophomore's Brad Kaaya (QB), Joe Yearby (RB), Chad Thomas (DE) and Braxton Berrios (WR). Head Coach Al Golden is certainly on the hot seat, as he has seen no sucess at the 'U', and with a new president of the university (Dr. Julio Frenk) taking office September 1st, expectations for athletic sucess will undeniably exceed those of Donna Shalala, who essentially drove the program into a pit. She took over the university in 2001, the year of the greatest team in college football history, with the Canes dismantling the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Rose Bowl to win the National Championship. Out of the 54 players on that team, 37 made the NFL. 
Now, the Hurricane program has become basically a footnote in history and "that team from 30 for 30." It's going to be an uphill climb, but there will always be the possibility that the Miami Hurricances once again become the team that Miami once loved, and that everyone else hated out of jealousy. Shalala helped improve the University of Miami academically, making it the number 48 university in the nation. Now, let's see whether a new president will help bring the 'U' back to its rightful glory. 

Miami Hurricanes throwback highlights

Friday, May 1, 2015

Justice will be served

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will square off on May 2nd, at the MGM Grand Hotel, encouraging boxing fans to muster $99.95 in order to see a fight between a multitalented Filipino congressman and a convicted sexual offender. While it is a travesty that it took $300 million dollars for the men to agree to a fight, the truth of the matter is that the once great sport of boxing is becoming a decentralized, corrupted arena, with businessmen, such as Floyd Mayweather diminishing the grandiose of the once gladiator sport.

An innocent perception of Floyd Mayweather, coming from his son.
Floyd Mayweather is not only undefeated in the ring, that is 47-0, he is also undefeated with his lifestyle, utilizing his selfish, egotistic personality as a means for making millions. The "man" is easily the most hated person in sports, right up there with...himself. It is heartbreaking that he has only gone to jail once, for thirty days. He has been accused of sexual harassment five times, yet he seems to be innocent every time. Moreover, his own son wrote a letter a few years ago, detailing how his father beat his mother in a police report, and how nobody on the premises of the Mayweather estate seemed to have a problem with it. The sad truth is that "Money" Mayweather uses his millions of dollars to manipulate and control others, so the arrogant baby that he is, can have his every needs. 

While Floyd is a bad, horrible person, it is too late for people to boycott his actions. In the light of recent domestic abuse scandals revolving around other star athletes in America, many are jumping at the opportunity to bring Mayweather. However, his first suspicions of domestic abuse occurred over a decade ago, and after the fight comes May 2nd, the mainstream sports audience will shift to another headline. And he won't change.

Pacquiao will have the weight of the world on his shoulders,trying to prove his supremacy.
Mayweather will do a great job at gaining excess money from this fight, but all we can hope from this fight, is that he gets what’s coming for him. It might seem harsh to say that about anyone, but if Floyd Mayweather wasn't the celebrity that he is, he would most definitely be locked up in a maximum security prison by now. It's all good though, as Mr. Manny Pacquiao will put him on Death Row come Saturday.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Careful Optimism

The 2015 NFL season has officially begun, as optional workouts have commenced around the league, in preparation for training camp (one month away). The Miami Dolphins have disappointed over the last 15 years, having made the playoffs once. 

Image result for dolphins stadium renovation
The complete renovation will be in full effect, in time for the 2016 NFL season opener
However, this season, Miami's squad will field an experienced and talented roster this season, boasting game-changers such as Brent Grimes (cornerback), Ryan Tannehill (quarterback), and Ndamukong Suh (defensive linemen). Grimes is 5-10 generously, nonetheless, his athleticism makes up for his height disadvantage, most notable in his lock down coverage of Calvin Johnson Jr. last year, dominating the best wide out in the league. As for Tannehill, the three year veteran has improved every year, now being considered a borderline elite quarterback. And in Suh, the Dolphins have a defender that causes quarterbacks to reconsider their careers. 

And if that's not enough for optimism, the Dolphins have gotten rid of Mike Wallace, who was the most overpaid player in the NFL, being paid $60 million dollars to complain and play half-hardheartedly. They've replenished their wide receiving corp by signing efficient, hard working players with playoff experience, in Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings. 

While fans should be undeniably skeptical in mild mannered head coach Joe Philbin, they should also be excited to experience the modernization of Sun Life Stadium. The home of the Miami Dolphins has always been criticized for being too bland, too obsolete. 

The stadium that hasn't been upgraded since its inception in 1987 is in the midst of a $350 face-lift that will transform the stadium into a world class venue, which would possibly host future World Cup matches and Super Bowls. The renovations will include a deduction of 10,000 seats, closer seat options, and a canopy that will provide shade to 92% of the spectators. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Masterful Performance

 While this blog is meant to cover sports in Miami primarily, this week it was nearly impossible to ignore the performance of 21 year old Jordan Spieth in his first major win, at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia. The golf world was in awe as the sensation toyed with the most prestigious course in the world, tying for the best finish in Masters History at 18 under par, holding off proving winners, such as Phil Mickelson and Rory Mcilroy. While many marveled at the maturity and composure of the phenom, others drew parallels to a young Tiger Woods. In 1997, Tiger blew past the field, cruising to a 12 shot victory at Augusta. Although Jordan might draw comparisons to Tiger through his aggressive play, Spieth has an undeniably different personality, remaining calm on the course, unlike the fiery Woods. He credits his determination for success to his sister, Ellie, who is diagnosed with Autism. "I miss her a lot, and I wish she could have been here," he said in a CNN interview. "But I can't wait to get back to her and maybe let her try on the jacket." That is the green jacket, the prize for winning the Masters, which includes a membership to Augusta National and more importantly, being included along with the greats, such as Arnold Palmer(4), Jack Nicklaus(6), Gary Player(3),and, of course, Tiger Woods(4).As Jordan sank his final putt on the 18th hole to win the 79th Masters Tournament, his name became etched in the history books, becoming the number two player in the world at the age, in which most Americans would be seniors in college.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Sinking of the Marlins

This week, the 2015 Major League Baseball began in South Florida, with the Miami Marlins losing their first two games to date. With high hopes and playoff expectations circulating around the fan base after an off season full of all-star acquisitions, such as shortstop Dee Gordon and future Hall of Fame inductee Ichiro Suzuki, fans have been left to shake their heads in despair after two embarrassing losses.

On Opening Day, the Marlin franchise and the City of Miami was humiliated nationwide, as Marlins players produced humiliating gaffes. And worst of all, the controversial retractable-roof Marlins Park that was built from the pockets of county taxpayers on the former site of the iconic Miami Orange Bowl, had a 16 minute delay. This caused a sellout crowd 36,969 to evacuate to the concourses, giving another meaning to OPENING Day. To make the matters worse, the Marlins would go on to lose to the lowly Atlanta Braves by the score of 2-1.

The following day, Miami's finest found a way to outdo itself, making the Braves look like the defending World Series champion in a 12-2 execution of the Marlins. Atlanta scored an unprecedented seven runs off of recently acquired all-star Matt Latos, making his earned run average (era) to implode near 100.

Although Miami Marlins must fell most certainly discouraged through the teams first two games, optimism shouldn't be dismissed as there are still 160 games to make up for the team's early woes.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Opening Day of a blog for Miami sports

Over the following two months, I will provide information, opinions and insight towards the direction, in which professional sports of all sorts progress throughout their various seasons. Whether it be the Miami Marlins, or the Miami Heat, I will provide game analysis, and injury reports. I will also deliver news pertaining to the NFL draft that begins on April 30th, with the Dolphins obtaining the 14th overall pick. The information will help give a general understanding of the sports, using official statistics and player comments. I expect that some of you will come to enjoy the different athletics that take place in our wonderful city.