Sports Agenda for Monday (3/19/12)

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Matt Flynn

GREEN BAY, WI – JANUARY 01: Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packers rolls out to look for a receiver against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on January 1, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 45-41. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Miami Dolphins
Miami Heat

Big Story:
Well, based on this weekend’s developments, I think it’s safe to say that the Miami Dolphins have supplanted the Cincinnati Bengals as being the absolute worst team in the National Football League. Plus, the Heat put some black magic on Orlando and Florida is pulling away in first place.
Dropping knowledge like the Dolphins drop games, here we go.
Lyrics of the day:
“They’ve been going in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to raise a smile, so may I introduce to you, the act you’ve known all these years.”

Miami Dolphins:
Well, if the chorus to fire Jeff Ireland, and possibly Stephen Ross, wasn’t loud already, it’s going to be deafening shortly.
Last night the Dolphins lost out on Matt Flynn, just days after losing out on Peyton Manning, just months after losing out on Jeff Fisher.
Matt Flynn, yes a backup quarterback, ditched the Dolphins and his former coach for the Seattle Seahawks.
Why?
Because he said the Seahawks coaches and staff had a better vibe about them.
Wow, just wow.
He like the vibe in their facility better.
Well, not to point out the obvious, but eventually you reap what you sow.
From paranoid management under Jeff Ireland to god awful media management under Harvey Greene, the Dolphins are about as bad as it gets in the NFL.
It makes me think back to when Ireland was questioning Dez Bryant and asked if his mother was a whore.
Trust me, things like that stick to you in the NFL, which is just about a completely closed society.
People don’t want to work for people like that. Players don’t want to be involved with people like that.
And it’s not like Ireland has exactly shown a penchant for putting together a good team on the field.
Want evidence?
Okay, the Dolphins are smashed up against the salary cap and haven’t had a winning record in three years.
Any other questions?
It’s almost comical at this point.
For years the Fins have tried to keep everyone at arm’s length, media and fans. Now, they are in deep, deep trouble.
It was smart making season ticket holders reup before free agency and the draft huh?
Probably the only smart thing they’ve done this offseason.
Think about it, they gave a big contract to Paul Soliai.
Don’t get me wrong, in a 3-4 defense he’s solid, but not as solid as the money they gave him.
They could have used that money better on a quarterback and drafted Dontari Poe in the first round and locked him up for less money and more years.
But therein lies the Fins’ problem, no ability to see the forest for the trees.
Now, the Dolphins are scrambling to sign a quarterback like Alex Smith.
Again, a decent quarterback, but DEFINITELY not worth the 8 million they’re going to have to give him.
Look, if the 49ers aren’t willing to give him a big contract and he just led them to a 14-3 record, what does that tell you about him?
It’s possibly the same story if the Fins weren’t willing to give Flynn big money, because theoretically Philbin should know the most about him.
But the Fins were willing to give Flynn big money, he just chose to go to a better run franchise.
Look, all of us in the media have seen this coming for several years now.
The Dolphins, and their fans, have coasted along for too many years grasping at straws of the past whether it be a season 40 years ago or Dan Marino.
Fans, and Stephen Ross, need to understand a few things:
The 1972 Dolphins aren’t walking through that tunnel. Don Shula isn’t walking through that tunnel. Dan Marino isn’t coming through that tunnel.
Once you stop setting impossible standards, like saying you want the next Don Shula, things will start to change slowly.
It would help if you didn’t go celebrity bonkers and build clubs in a stadium, but that’s a discussion for another time.
It’s strikingly similar to what the University of Alabama went through for decades.
No one could coach at the school without a direct tie to Bear Bryant. Finally, the streak was broken when they went all-in on Satan, I mean Saban.
Look what’s happened since, two national championships.
While that’s easier to do in college football, it can happen quickly in the pros as well.
The Dolphins have to start some house cleaning starting with Jeff “I don’t know football” Ireland and his entire staff.
When you’ve backed yourself into a corner of Alex Smith or bust, you don’t know how to manage a football team.
Steelers safety Ryan Clark said it best…. “NO ONE wants to go to the Dolphins! No one! To believe I almost went there but it was easy decision not to.”
“It’s my honest opinion. Not a good guy making decisions”
ZING JEFF IRELAND
But, on the bright side….
Great seats will be available for next year’s Fins games. And you’ll have to go, because they’ll all likely be blacked out…unless Budweiser and other sponsors will fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars per week to keep the games on the air.

Miami Heat: (off Monday, vs. Phoenix Tuesday)
Well, well, well, el Heat got back into the win column last night.
Amazing how that happens isn’t it.
31 points from D-Wade helps, along with 14 and 12 from LeBron and 23 and 7 from Bosh.
Wait, Bosh showed up last night?
Holy Big Man sighting Batman!
Next thing you know, Joel Anthony will grab more than 3 rebounds…oh wait, nevermind.
The Heat still look like they’re coasting to me and haven’t regained that pre-All Star game form when they were making opponents look like the Dolphins.
(Sorry, at this point it’s just too easy.
But, at least they didn’t let D-12 get 25-25 again last night.
So they improved that aspect from the last Magic game.
Next up for the Heat is the Phoenix Suns and then a west coast road trip.
The Suns shouldn’t give the Heat much problems, especially if Steve Nash doesn’t play.
But a lot of teams shouldn’t give the Heat much problems, but end up giving them a bigger headache than I have right now.
And that’s saying something!

Panthers: (off Monday, @Philadelphia Tuesday)
Don’t look now, but for the first time since 2008, the Panthers have won four games in a row.
It’s funny, I was speaking with Peter D’Oench the other day and opined that the Panthers have a very favorable schedule down the stretch.
Knocking off Buffalo on Saturday helped extends the Cats’ lead in the Southeast to five points.
They currently have 83 points to Washington’s 78 points.
Florida is 6-3-1 in their last ten games as well.
If you didn’t see the shootout Saturday night, you missed a doozy.
I think it went seven rounds, if memory serves me, and Florida won on a slick backhanded goal.
Both goalies put on a display and when the Sabres player tried to go five-hole on Theodore, he was stoned to give the Cats the victory.
The next few games will determine Florida’s post-season fate.
They have a tough Philadelphia team Tuesday, followed by a bad Carolina team, an awful Edmonton team, a bad Islanders team, a bad Canadiens team, a bad Minnesota Wild team, and a bad Columbus team.
I think the Cats can win at least four of those games, if not more.
Probably get points in at least six of the games.
Do that, and it’s time to go after Lord Stanley’s Cup in the playoffs come April.
How about that?

Marlins: (vs. Houston Astros, 1:05 p.m.)
The Fish lost every game from Friday through Sunday, but there are still lots of reasons for hope.
The main one being the development of Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes.
Ramirez is batting .409 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI’s in spring ball this year, 22 at bats.
Reyes is struggling at .182, but his fielding has been stellar.
Both players are said to be developing a bond, which is great news for a $25 million left side of the infield.
If Hanley comes back strong this year, and Reyes can play even close the level he played last year, look out wildcard.
Still, the team will go as far as Josh Johnson can carry them.
He’s 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts this spring.
Not bad, not bad at all.
He’s only thrown 7 innings though, so they need to bring that up soon.
Opponents are hitting .286 against Johnson and his WHIP is 1.57.
Those are high for the Marlins ace, but he’s still working his way back from shoulder problems last year.
It could be worse too….Mark Buehrle’s ERA in Spring Ball?
9.95. OUCH!

That’s it for today.
I’ll keep an eye out for which retread the Dolphins eventually sign to man the Titanic.
The schedule for this weekend’s Sweet 16 and Elite 8 Games should be out as well today.
Keep it on CBSMIami.com/sports for all the latest news.
Or follow me on Twitter: @timkephart33

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