The new Hot Button Top 10: What South Florida sports fans are talking about; plus grading Dolphins draft. How'd Miami do? New poll. Vote now!; also, complete history of South Florida Game 7's & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It is SATURDAY, APRIL 30. Fare thee well, April. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): South Florida's Wildest 24 Hours: Heat survive on Wade Heroics, Dolphins draft with Tunsil poll, Marlins' Gordon suspended and UM/Fins draft lists & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Periscope and now Snapchat, too.
The Last 3: My three most recent columns, ICYMI or thought them so wonderful they deserved another look: Curious Pick, Major Gamble, on Dolphins making Laremy Tunsil their No. 1 draft pick. Heat Has Bigger Concerns Than #BringBoshBack, off Miami's damaging Game 5 home playoff loss. Keep It Simple, Dolphins: 2 Names, on what Fins should have been thinking for their top draft pick.
Notes: Heat-Hornets Game 7 preview will appear here momentarily. Grade Dolphins draft poll is right belwo the new Hot Button.
HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 1): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive every-Sunday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:
1. HEAT: Miami survives on Wade heroics to reach Sunday home Game 7: The Heat faced first-round playoff elimination on the road Friday in a last-gasp Game 6, but Dwyane Wade saved the day and season with late heroics to lift Miami into a Game 7 vs. Charlotte here this afternoon. Wade hadn't made a 3-point shot since December before improbably hitting two late ones Friday. No. 3, indeed.
2. DOLPHINS: Gamblin' Fins are talk of first round after taking Laremy Tunsil: Dolphins did not shy away from risk, or offense, in their three-day draft. I think it’s the unpredictability of sports that we love the most, right? For example: The Dolphins’ first-round pick being pictured on draft-night inhaling marijuana smoke from a bong while wearing a gas mask -- who could have predicted that!
3. MARLINS: Big win streak offset by Gordon's 80-game suspension for PEDs: Fish, who are back home Tuesday, have won seven in a row on the road but the news ofthe week was popular batting and steals champ Dee Gordon being suspended for half a season in midst of club feeling better about itself than it has all year. Weird. Gordon out for PEDs while team's winning streak is on steroids.
4. NFL: The 81st NFL Draft wraps up in Chicago: Three days, seven rounds, 253 players, and if you paid much attention beyond your favorite team's selection in the first round, please have yourself evaluated by a mental-health professional. Somewhere, the first 2017 Mock Draft is now out. Oh how I wish I were kidding.
5. NBA: Two Sunday Game 7s will complete final eight and second-round pairings: Three matchups are set: Spurs-Thunder, Warriors-Trail Blazers and Cavaliers-Hawks. The fourth pairing will be the two winners of today's Game 7s: Hornets at Heat and Pacers at Raptors. There is nothing better in sports than a Game 7. But only if your team wins, of course.
6. TOM BRADY: Appeals court upholds Brady suspension, a break for Miami: Patriots already were only team without a first-round draft pick, forfeited because of Deflategate. Then a court upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, so Miami won’t face the star QB in Week 2. It's a strange, unfamiliar feeling for Pats fans. It’s called "losing."
7. NHL: Hockey playoffs down to final eight into second round: Florida Panthers were unexpectedly among teams eliminated in the first round, but the NHL's eight surviving teams forge into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, otherwise known as “Mourning in Canada.”
8. HORSES: Countdown six days until thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown season: The 142nd Kentucky Derby starts it off next Saturday at Churchill Downs. Admit it, though. It was a lot more fun wondering if some horse would finally end the long Triple Crown drought than wondering if some horse will win it a second straight year.
9. RUNNING: Latest MIami Corporate Run draws more than 26,000 runners: Thursday's two winners? Two people who should have been at work. Doesn't it seem like there are an awful lot of these corporate runs? If all these employees would spend less time running and more time working, their companies might be more profitable.
10. SPORTS TV: ESPN losing more of its on-air talent: Exodus may be too strong a word but now Skip Bayless (for FOX) and Mike Tirico (for NBC) are the latest to leave ESPN. Bottom line? How can Bayless being heard by far fewer people possibly be a bad thing for America?
Missing the cut: Floyd Mayweather Jr. hints at coming out of retirement. The national group, People Surprised By That, is meeting tonight, corner phone booth ..... Hurricanes and Gators will open 2019 football season with nuetral-site game in Orlando. So you're down to 40 months to plan that tailgate party ..... Marlins reveal plan to boost attendance, announce postgame concert every game by Beyonce ..... Dolphins' two best defensive players, Ndamukong Suh and Reshad Jones, both skipped the team's three-day voluntary veterans camp. Which passed for controversy until that gas-mask bong ..... Bernice Brunson has begun spring practice at Miami Jackson as the state's first female high-school head football coach. From this point forward, equal rights will mean she gets second-guessed and booed and eventually fired just like the men ..... UM baseball falls from 1 to 3 in polls ..... I just had the sweetest dream. I dreamed that, somehow, Udonis Haslem found himself alone in a dark alley for 10 minutes with the Charlotte Hornets' Purple Shirt Guy fan ..... That reminds me. The #BringBoshBack social-media hashtag needs an update: #BringBoshBackEventually ..... The Cubs have ace pitcher Jake Arrieta and the majors' best record. Still, betting that for every Cubs fans thinking this is finally the year, there are a hundred thinking they've thought that before ..... The Indianapolis 500 (coming up May 29) has named an official poet laureate. OK, what rhymes with carbeurator? ..... Johnny Manziel was indicted. My question: What with all that partying, how does he find the time for domestic assault?
HOW'D THE DOLPHINS DO? GRADING MIAMI's 2016 DRAFT: Is this poll wildly premature? Of course! But think of it this way: Somewhere, somebody is already putting together a 2017 Mock Draft. The world moves fast. What can I say? So. You've heard or read all the opinions of the media blowhards, local and national. You've seen all the data spewed rat-a-tat-tat by the Mel Kipers. You've mulled over all of the instant grades the analysts have given. You've heard the Dolphins -- and 31 other teams -- rave about how wonderfully the past three days worked out and how they loovvve their draft. And you've listened to your neighbors and friends -- every one of them an expert, no doubt. My opinion? Maybe a B. For me, a little too much bust-potential on Tunsil. And three WRs for a team strong at that position? But now it's your turn. How'd the Dolphins do? Again, I know. Can't really know for a year or three. But I'm writing a daily blog here, not a set of encyclopedias, so this can't wait. I'm curious your gut feeling on the entirety of the Miami draft. Were the "need" positions properly addressed? Was there too much emphasis on offense with six of eight picks including three wide receivers? Were there players available at 13 in the first round you'd have rather seen drafted? Consider all eight Dolphins picks (listed here below the poll) and render an overall gut-feeling grade. Vote and then check back often to monitor evolving results.
Dolphins 2016 Draft:
1r (13) -- Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
2r (38) -- Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
3r (73) -- Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama
3r (86) -- Leonte Caroo, WR, Rutgers
6r (186) -- Jakeem Grant, WR, Texas tech
6r (204) -- Jordan Lucas, S, Penn State
7r (231) -- Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky
7r (250) -- Thomas Duarte, WR, UCLA
Poll result: Dolfans really like the Tunsil pick in first round: The gas-mask bong did not dissuade you. We asked how you felt about Miami drafting Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil 13th overall, and it was 54.7 percent "love it" and 23.8% "like" -- a favorable rating of more than 78%. Naysayers were 8.6% "don't like" and 6.2% "hate," with the remaining 6.7% undecided.
First round May 1, 2016 at home TBD vs Hornets
NBA Finals June 20, 2013 at home Won 95-88 vs Spurs
East finals June 3, 2013 at home Won 99-76 vs Pacers
East finals June 9, 2012 at home Won 101-88 vs Celtics
First round May 3, 2009 in Atlanta Lost 91-78 vs Hawks
East finals June 6, 2005 at home Lost 88-82 vs Pistons
First round May 4, 2004 at home Won 85-77 vs Hornets
East semis May 21, 2000 at home Lost 83-82 vs Knicks
East semis May 18, 1997 at home Won 101-90 vs Knicks
First round Apr. 26, 2012 at home Lost 3-2 vs Devils
East finals June 1, 1996 in Pittsburgh Won 3-1 vs Penguins
NLCS Oct. 15, 2003 in Chicago Won 9-6 vs Cubs
World Series Oct. 26, 1997 at home Won 3-2 vs Indians