Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

#Finally! 2013 NFL season is finally here! My counter-intuitive predictions for the 2013 Miami Dolphins season is they stumble to 5-11; Over-valued, under-performing players plus a very tough early schedule may well render Dolphins winless by Bye week in Week 6; USA Today, Dan Patrick and Peter King's Super Bowl picks; Say hello again to our old friend, NFL East Coast/Cowboys bias!; @nfl, @SI_PeterKing, #Lombardi

Above, the scene on August 6th at my table at the Panera Bread in Hallandale Beach, FL, while sipping my Hazelnut coffee and munching on my Everything bagel. August 6, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.
The moment I spied this Miami Herald sports section with a cover photo showing Miami Dolphin QB Ryan Tannehill's poor footwork in throwing a pass -NOT properly planted, NOT properly using his hips to throw the ball, but instead, going with the sort of off-stride sidearm delivery you see from a shortstop moving to his right who fumbles the ball and who's then rushing a throw to try to catch a speedy runner at first- and then saw the a propos headline reading, "Critics pan Tannehill, Dolphins," I instantly knew this would be the photo that I used for my predictions for the 2013 Dolphins season.

Despite having a great arm, whether you call it a gun, a rifle or bazooka, last year Tannehill's consistently poor footwork (and plain awkwardness) and his failure to consistently follow through on his throws, led to far too many passes not being right where they need to be when his receivers were open, which is why I've chosen to use the photo at the top.

And since every fan and observer of the Dolphins has known that one of the big problems that has plagued their receiving corps for years has been their inability to create separation, when they DO have some separation, Tannehill needs to be MUCH MORE ACCURATE.

I saw far too many wasted opportunities last year in games when they were still competitive, but when you don't take advantage, those close games become two TD deficits.

Tannehill and the photo of him is the Dolphins in a nutshell from my vantage point -they have the obvious ability, but do they have the means and will to get noticeably better?
That's an open question.

The difference between a successful person and others isn't a lack of strength, a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. #Lombardi
— Krysta Bear (@KrystaBear95) September 2, 2013

It's great to hear he's showing improvement in practice, but late in a close game, will Tannehill revert back to bad habits? 

Especially against a team whose defensive linemen consistently raises its hands at the line of scrimmage, as the Texans did so successfully last year, when Tannehill never adjusted, to the dismay of fans watching at home, who thought it seemed so obvious?

But instead of having Tannehill roll-out on some passes to break that pattern, they just kept doing the same thing that never worked, extending their record of futility against the Texans, a team they've never beaten in a regular season game, an embarrassing fact considering they were an expansion team. 

And so, that idea about Tannehill from a month ago has become reality today on the blog as the Dolphins start their 47th season in Cleveland against a rapidly-improving Browns team -a team with a new offensive-minded head coach with U-M ties, Rob Chudzinski - that unlike the Dolphins in my opinion, have multiple playmakers on both sides of the ball.

*My last post on the Dolphins was my August 25th one here titled, Happy Miami Dolphins Anniversary; For some, the Dolphins' glory is like faded photographs in an album, but to me, it is as fresh in my mind as anything else in my memory. I only wish the people running and coaching the team now cared as much as I and some others do, who know what it's like to see and appreciate a thing of beauty -perfection- up-close and personal; Sports Fan in Chief Obama Honors Champion 1972 Miami Dolphins at White House

To quote myself above:
99% of anyone you see or speak to who is 27 or younger has NEVER BEEN ALIVE when the Dolphins were playing in a Super Bowl game.Now that's some perspective that really says something profound.
For the Jets, that's people who are 44-years old or younger.
Just saying...

The Herald photo and the headline fit everything I knew and have seen -and what most honest and discerning Dolphin fans and I have NOT seen- during the off-season and the five preseason games, which this year, included the Hall of Fame game in Canton against the Cowboys, who will likely share many of the Dolphin problems this year, namely, unrealized and unrealistic expectations for big improvement.

As regular readers of the blog and those who know the powers of the NFL's East Coast/
Cowboys bias, being bad will NOT prevent the Cowboys from being on national TV more than they should and even more than some of the better teams.
That's just how the NFL rolls.

The Cowboys get on high-profile TV times because... well just because its what the NFL and madison Avenue have been doing by rote for years, so they do it by default, despite the facts that the Cowboys last won a playoff game when?

Based on looking at the Cowboys schedule, it looks to me like 7 of their 16 games will be nationally-televised games, par for the course of late.

Why do you suppose tonight's NBC game is the Giants vs. the Cowboys instead of the 49ers and Packers, even though there's more interest in the latter game and not the former?
The same reason the NFL doesn't, hypothetically, have a Giants at Oakland game as the second part of the ESPN Monday Night doubleheader to start the year off.

There is no equality among the NFL's 32 teams as far as the NFL's TV folks are concerned, there's merely the illusion of equality.
To think otherwise is to publicly declare yourself naive.

And so begins another year of irrelevance for the Miami Dolphins, to join all the ones that have come before the past 15 years.

Based on what I have seen, I think Jeff Fisher was right to turn down the Dolphins job last year and go with Rams, as in 2nd year of Joe Philbin head coaching experiment in Miami, it's entirely possible that lackadaisical Dolphins, poised for what I believe could be a yet another completely inconsequential season, may also be winless by their Bye in Week 6, and only 1-6 going into a nationally-televised Thursday night home game on Halloween Night against the offensive-minded Bengals that could well turn into rout in second-half.

With the Dolphins given an extra week to practice and play because of their Hall of Fame game and yet with little to show for that extra week in terms of Ryan Tannehill to Mike Wallace synergy in evidence, I am ready to say that I'm completely underwhelmed by almost every aspect of the team  and its coaching staff I have observed, save their rookie kicker, Caleb Sturgiswho could well be their MVP if that tells you anything.

For me at least, it's been like watching kids playing on 75-pound Optimist teams: I see lots of players whom I've never heard of and who never seem to get better or learn from their mistakes -just repeat them in new and more frustrating ways
(Yes, like the Miami Herald and the City of Hallandale Beach and Broward County and...)

How many plays per games are their #1 and #2 draft picks of the past 5 years actually playing? It's embarrassing!
Who moves up to #3 in the entire draft to select someone -Dion Jordan- who, it was speculated, might not even play the season-opener?

1 SEP 8  1:00 PM EDT * AT   BROWNS 
2 SEP 15  1:00PM EDT * AT   COLTS 
3 SEP 22  4:05PM EDT )   FALCONS 
4 SEP 30  8:40PM EDT + AT   SAINTS 
5 OCT 6  1:00PM EDT *   RAVENS 
6 BYE 
7 OCT 20  1:00PM EDT *   BILLS 
8 OCT 27  1:00PM EDT * AT   PATRIOTS 
9 OCT 31  8:25PM EDT ,   BENGALS 
10 NOV 11  8:40PM EST + AT   BUCCANEERS 
11 NOV 17  1:00PM EST *   CHARGERS 
12 NOV 24  1:00PM EST    PANTHERS 
13 DEC 1  1:00PM EST * AT   JETS 
14 DEC 8  1:00PM EST * AT   STEELERS 
15 DEC 15  1:00PM EST *   PATRIOTS 
16 DEC 22  1:00PM EST * AT   BILLS 
17 DEC 29  1:00PM EST *   JETS

In the Historical Dept., I honestly think this Dolphins season may be the one where they travel west less than any regular season since I first started following them in 1970, as the farthest west they go is New Orleans. Weird.

Postcards from training camp: Miami Dolphins Source:SI The MMQB editor-in-chief Peter King discusses the loss of tight end Dustin Keller and the role rookie Dion Jordan is expected to play for the Dolphin's defense.

Veteran Sports Illustrated writer and frequent Dan Patrick Show guest Peter King sees them as a 6-10 team, while CBS Sports/nfl.com writer Pat Kirwan sees the Dolphins as slightly better at 7-9.
My friends, I think in mid-November, we'll all be thinking that a 7-9 record would be nothing short of a small miracle, with 5-11 my actual prediction, but 4-12 a real strong possibility, too.
Peter King @SI_PeterKing https://twitter.com/SI_PeterKing

There's still room for big improvement, but I can't help but wonder if a terrible start -as I expect- will tap the emotional resolve of many of the younger players who seem not quite as intense as players and teams of the past.
Yes, consistently inconsistent effort and serial under-performance in the clutch have been the hallmark of the Dolphins since I returned to South Florida almost ten years ago from the Washington D.C. area, where I probably saw about 70% of their games.   

I'm not a big believer in cautious optimism for NFL football teams, because at this level, with teams so even, I believe there has to be something that your team does well consistently that you can draw strength from when you get behind against better-quality teams.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, I see that being their kicking game.
That's why, unfortunately, a record of 5-11 sounds pretty accurate to me.

'GameDay': 2013 Bold Predictions 
Published: Sept. 4, 2013 at 11:25 p.m

USA TODAY Sports' 2013 NFL predictions 
Staff report, USA TODAY Sports

TheDanPatrickShow YouTube Channel video: Peter King on the Dan Patrick Show 9/3/13. Peter's Super Bowl prediction is Seattle vs. New England. Uploaded September 6, 2013. http://youtu.be/ayQPoUyVkU4

TheDanPatrickShow YouTube Channel video: Dan's Super Bowl Picks 9/4/13. 
Dan's prediction is Denver Broncos over Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on February 2nd in Super Bowl XLVIII, which everyone I know -plus me-hopes is a snowstorm. Uploaded September 4, 2013. http://youtu.be/ziuas6ZKKeU

TheDanPatrickShow YouTube Channel video: Rich Eisen on the Dan Patrick Show 9/6/13. Uploaded September 6, 2013. http://youtu.be/zFDuJJW9_zI

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display at the Apotek Hjärtat -Sweden's largest independent pharmacy chain- located at Ringvägen 113, near the Skanstull T-bana in Södermalm, Stockholm. Sign reads, "Årets nyhet: du! Ett helt nytt och obrukat år är här. Just nu känns det lite lättare att välja om, förändra vanor och bryta gamla mönster. Vi hjälper gärna till. Du vill, du kan, du törs!' (New this year: you! A brand new and unused year is here. Right now it feels a little easier to choose, change habits and break old patterns. We're happy to help. You want to, you can, you dare!) Sounds like good advice that I ought to be following, too! January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes
Palm tree obstructing the sun at Hallandale Beach City Hall, May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl


The welcoming party that greeted me at the luggage carousel at Arlanda Stockholm Airport in January of 2013 was... ABBA. As seen in my May 7, 2013 blog post. Click photo to see that post!

Congratulations Sweden - 200 years of peace! Solveig Rundquist (@RundquistS)


Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.