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On holiday until August 20; plus Dolphins drop preseason opener, sharing news about my health scare & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) The blog's on holiday. We'll see you back here on Monday, August 20. 2) Football's back so it's the perfect time to delight the Dolfans in your life with the surprise of our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out here on Amazon. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): One Hurricane in college football Top 50, Cassius Clay at 19, Tannehill in PFF QB ranking & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

Personal note 1: Health scare: I shared the news on my Twitter feed (see below) last evening. If this encourages even one person to get a checkup or not ignore something that doesn't feel quite right in their body, it will have been worth it. Take care of yourselves.

Personal note 2: Vacation: I'm on vacation last week and this one so you'll see less of me in the newspaper (online and print), and in this blog. I've also not be on the LeBatard Show on ESPN Radio as usual. I'll have  new column this Monday and be back on-air Tuesday. Meantime here are a few select recent columns: NFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireGore Back In Miami Is The Perfect End RunDolphins Need a Better Tannehill, Not Just A Healthy OneTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The Shades (on death of Tony Sparano). Dolphins Results Will Exceed Brutal OffseasonSoccer Stadium Progress, But Much Work LeftReasons For Hope As Jeter Plan Takes RootTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

PS1: TAMPA BAY 26, DOLPHINS 24: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME (SORT OF/ALMOST) FOOTBALL!?: My entire deposition on the significance of who wins a preseason opener is as follows: "Miami's 1972 DoltbPerfect Season began with a loss in the first exhibition game. The 2007 team that went 1-15 began the preseason with a win." In other words, whether the Dolphins win by 20 or lose by 20 tonight vs. Tampa Bay in Fake Game 1 at Hard Rock Stadium won't matter much in the big picture. It's a dress rehearsal. Starters likely will play only the first half. The final score will matter less than Adam Gase shaking out his entire roster with future cuts in mind, and seeing how young guys perform under (compared to practices) a facsimile of game pressure. For rookies like tight end Mike Gesicki, tonight is big. "It’s exciting. It’s something that I have been working for and waiting for for a long, long time," he said Wednesday. "Getting off this practice field, going and playing a different team, lining up against a different color, just all of that stuff. It’s going to be exciting." A few things I was watching for: Ryan Tannehill looking sharp (and healthy) after missing the past 24 consecutive games injured including preseason. Who's going to step up and seize the open starting cornerback role opposite Xavien Howard? Minkah Fitzpatrick making the plays that made you nod and know why he was a first-round pick. P.S., Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the anthem.

OUR APSE-HONORED COLUMNSThe Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 writing awards ranked me a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Thanks, APSE. Here are the nominated columns that earned the honor: At Doral, an annual tradition since 1962 is replaced by silence, and by what's missing  /  Marlins' Jose Fernandez statue is divisive yet has a chance to serve a greater purpose  /  NFL has moral obligation to help Buonicontis and Kiicks while it limits future suffering  /  What led to El Clasico Miami began with Joe Robbie's unlikely, accidental love of soccer  / With 59 home runs, Stanton still had a magic season. Just hope this wasn't goodbye.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

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