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Dolphins items; how Fins blackout got lifted; and media notes





So how did the Dolphins-Texans game go from having 10,000 tickets remaining at midday to being sold out in time to lift the blackout by 4:15 p.m.?

Three entities bought the 10,000 tickets, with the Dolphins making the biggest financial commitment, sponsor Anheuser-Busch the second largest and CBS-4 the third largest.

The CBS station in West Palm Beach gets the benefit of having the blackout lifted without paying a dime.

Even though the game has been declared a sellout, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said “a couple thousand seats” will be available for sale, including some tickets returned from by the Texans.

The Dolphins also will offer free seats to season-ticket holders: two for those with seats in the upper and lower bowls; four to club seat holders; and eight to suite holders.

Dee said owner Steve Ross “felt strongly that staying on local TV was important. He wanted to make sure this happened. To deprive fans who have traditionally watched the game at home of an opportunity to watch on television was short-sighted. These are challenging economic times.”

More than 10,000 tickets are available for home games against Washington, Oakland and Buffalo.

“I don’t know if this is sustainable over a longer period of time,” Dee said.



### To illustrate how much less the Dolphins are using a fullback (even more so with Charles Clay injured), consider that Lex Hilliard played only 10 of 77 offensive snaps Monday. Though Dante Rosario was second on the depth chart at tight end, he played only two; Jeron Mastrud played 13.

### Kendall Langford said progress is being made in his contract talks. “We’re moving forward, not backward.”

###   After watching Chad Henne rush for 59 yards on seven carries Monday, Brandon Marshall this week called him “the white [Michael Vick], as long as he doesn’t get hurt.”

### Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said using nose tackle Paul Soliai as a blocker on a goal-line play “didn’t work out too well. We’ll continue to work him” there.

### Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel underwent a procedure on his hand injury and could miss at least a couple of weeks.

### Asked about the team’s defensive deficiencies in the Patriots game on Monday, coordinator Mike Nolan said he was instructed (by Tony Sparano, presumably) not to discuss it.

### Though Vernon Carey gave up a sack Monday, Sparano said, “Vernon is starting to look a lot like a guard.”




Dolphins fans (and the CBS stations in Miami and West Palm Beach) aren’t the only ones who benefit from the lifting of the blackout. Jets fans do, too.

Because the Dolphins game will be televised locally, CBS-4 also will be permitted to carry the 1 p.m. Jets-Jaguars game, opposite the Bears-Saints game on Fox. If the Dolphins game had been blacked out, Miami-Fort Lauderdale viewers would have seen only two afternoon games: the Saints game early and the Patriots-Chargers at 4:15 p.m.

### Former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder agreed to do two shows a week for WQAM (at 6 p.m. Mondays and Fridays), plus have a role on the pregame show. “The Dolphins will feast or famine with Chad Henne,” Crowder said before the opener. “I wouldn’t have done it.”…

The Dolphins opener drew a 21.6 local rating – combining the ESPN and non-cable audiences – which was higher than Miami’s 18.3 average last season and 19.5 the previous two. But 28 teams drew higher ratings for their team than Miami did for the Dolphins last weekend -- including Boston, which had a 34.0…. CBS assigned Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts to Dolphins-Texans.

### Goof of Week 1: CBSSports.com fantasy football reporter Dave Richard incorrectly reporting Donovan McNabb would be inactive for the Vikings’ opener – news relayed by Jim Nantz on national TV shortly before kickoff.

### Overreactions of the week: 1) Warren Sapp, on the Steelers: “Old, slow. It’s over. Mercedes Sapp, my 13-year-old daughter, can cover Hines Ward right now.” 

2) Tedy Bruschi, who replaced Matt Millen on ESPN’s Monday Night Football postgame show, might be the best of the recent former players on NFL Live, but he was way over the top in blasting Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco for an innocuous comment after his team ran up 622 yards against the Dolphins. Ochocinco tweeted, “I’ve never seen a machine operate like that [in] person. To see video game numbers put up in person was wow!”

Said Bruschi, on Boston’s WEEI radio:  “Drop the awe factor, OK, Ocho! You’re not a fan, all right? You’re not someone who’s on another team or watching TV. You’re not an analyst. You’re a part of it. So get with the program because you’re obviously not getting it and you’re tweeting that it’s amazing to see. It’s amazing to see because you don’t understand it! Stop tweeting and get in your playbook. Wake up!”

NBC’s Rodney Harrison, Bruschi’s former teammate in New England, defended Bruschi on ESPN Radio Chicago: “He told him exactly right. You can’t be in awe of Tom Brady and these guys. Why are you in awe?”

### Tidbits: Versus, which will be renamed NBC Sports Network in January, is expanding it sports coverage by adding a football-heavy 6 p.m. studio show on weeknights. The Friday edition features NFL analyst Peter King…. Attorney Bruce Warner, a staple on WQAM’s UM coverage many years ago, has resurfaced as a co-host of “Talking Canes” at 7 p.m. Mondays on WFTL 640...

Former ESPN anchor Brian Kenny joined MLB Network as a host…. Unfortunately, UM-Ohio State and Oklahoma-FSU will overlap for the second consecutive year. But ESPN and ABC did that because it wants both games to be televised nationally and in prime time.