GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It's MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5. The Dolfans in your life may not know it yet, but they need this. Click on Amazon or Barnes & Noble to check out Fins At 50, our ultimate franchise history book. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins QB Quandary/Tannehill vs. Cousins vs. Mayfield result, Super Bowl preview/pick/Smirk, your MLS in Miami verdict & more . 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.
Ouch. Early '19 Super Bowl odds throw shade on Dolphins: Despite Sunday's loss the Patriots are 2019 Super Bowl favorites at 9-2, via WestgateSuperBook odds newly out. Champions Eagles are next at 6-1, then Steelers 8-1 and Vikings and Packers both 12-1. The Dolphins are tied for 24th at 80-1. The only teams with longer odds are the Bears, Jets and Browns.
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY: EAGLES 41, PATRIOTS 33: It was King Sport Day in America! The much-anticipated TV commercials. The halftime show. The party you hosted. Even a Patriots-Eagles game squeezed in. And yet another reason to be thankful you don't live in Minneapolis:
Preview: NFL wins either way, but America wants only one team: History was in the offing. Patriots would win a record-tying sixth Super Bowl on Sunday, or Eagles would win their first championship since 1960 and end third-longest drought of any fan base in U.S. Either would suit the NFL, which needed the big finish after a beleaguered season, but only one result would make America smile. And did. Click The Historic Super Bowl the NFL Needs for my column.
Pick: The limb we're out on is creaking, but we can explain: New England was favored over Philadelphia by 4 1/2 points, but I saw it going differently. I saw an upset. Nailed it! Click Super Bowl Gem for my official SB 52 predix capsule.
Smirk: Super Bowl With a Smirk: Our five daily notes columns that merrily poked fun at the self-important NFL and the gravitas of its big game. Smirk V: Taste of the NFL Leads Party Parade / Smirk IV: Welcome Back, Mr. Wardrobe Malfunction! / Smirk III: Goodell's "All Is Well!" Address / Smirk II: TV Ads / Smirk I: Unlike-A-Bowl.
Our other most recent columns: Dolphins, Bob Rubin, MLS Miami: Exploring Dolphins' QB Quandary. Farewell, Rubin. Beckham's Dream Becomes A Team.
HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (UPDATED): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive every-Sunday feature, updated Mondays, is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, but from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:
1. NFL: Eagles upset Patriots to win Super Bowl: New England went in a solid favorite, but some (including myself) saw a Philadelphia upset and were rewarded. The 41-33 shootout set SB records for most totals yards in a Nick Foles/Tom Brady blitzkrieg. Justin Timberlake's halftime show was great. The game was better. BY the way, an estimated 1.35 billion chicken wings were eaten on Sunday. But enough about me.
2. HEAT: Dragic an All-Star as trade deadline looms: Thanks to injuries to others Goran Dragic finally was selected for the Feb. 18 NBA All-Star Game and scored 33 Saturday night but couldn't prevent Miami's third straight loss and a tumble to seventh place in the East -- though still just two games from third. This Thursday's trade deadline has rumors swirling that Hassan Whiteside may be dealt. (Best guess: He won't be). Meanwhile, Saturday made it 11 Heat roadies in past 14 games. Schedule by Marquis de Sade.
3. HURRICANES: UM football girds for National Signing Day: Wednesday is National Signing Day in college football, but it has become an anticlimactic afterthought to a large degree because the bear share of UM's and most other schools' recruits committed during the new early signing period. NSD used to be everything. Now it's just the finishing touch.
4. MARLINS: Loria's final middle finger to South Florida: Departed unpopular Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria signed a profit-sharing agreement with the city and county saying he'd give 5 percent of the sale proceeds to the public. Now the county is suing to get its share of that $1.2 billion. That's why Marlins fans loved you so much Jeffrey! Meanwhile catcher J.T. Realmuto lost in arbitration, unfortunately making his salary that much more appealing to the team that gets him in the Derek Jeter.
5. HALL OF FAME: Lewis, 4 others breeze into Canton: Former Hurricane Ray Lewis and flashy receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens lead a 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class that also includes more marginal choices in Brian Dawkins and Brian Urlacher. Urlacher getting in makes me get back up on the soapbox and say it again: Ex-Dolphin Zach Thomas is deserving!
6. SOCCER: Four years to get this far, now the hard part for MLS Miami: This week's official announcement that Miami will have a Major League Soccer team starting in 2020 culminated four years' effort by the David Beckham group. But, with, two years to assemble a front office, a roster and see a stadium built, getting to this point was the easy part.
7. OLYMPICS: Countdown 4 days 'til start of Winter Games: Winter Olympics run Feb. 9-25, a welcome return to competition after the Larry Nassar/USA Gymnastics scandal dragged the Five Rings through. But can we call these the South Korea Games, please? I'm tired of having to constantly look up the spelling of "PyeongChang."
8. PANTHERS: Hot Cats win third straight: Saturday's 3-2 home win over Detroit made it three straight victories and lifted Florida within seven points of playoff pace. Still a lot of teams to overcome, but Cats at least are showing some claw.
9. BOB RUBIN: R.I.P. to longtime Herald sports columnist: From 1976 until his retirement in 2002 Rubin was a Miami Herald sports fixture, mostly as a columnist whose droll humor distinguished him in tandem with the great Edwin Pope. Godspeed, Bob. He were a mentor, a friend, and a force in this market.
10. UM BASKETBALL: Looking to get on a run as March Madness nears: Canes men won at Virginia Tech Saturday but still are only 7-5 since that 10-0 start. UM women (16-7) also are looking to get back into the Top 25s and make sure the Madness is spelled NCAA, not NIT.
Missing the HB10 cut: Tiger Woods answered whether he can get healthy and make a PGA Tour cut again. Now he must answer whether he can win and be Tiger again ..... Chiefs trading Alex Smith to Redskins and freeing Kirk Cousins for free agency shakes up the NFL quarterback picture for needy teams. Let's see if the Dolphins think they're one of those ..... First a Boston radio jerk calls Tom Brady's 5-year-old daughter an "annoying pissant" and now there's controversy over a scene in the "Tom Vs. Time" documentary showing Brady kissing his 11-year-old son on the lips. Draw a line, people ..... Coach Steve Kerr says his Golden State Warriors are "mentally fried." Dear Steve: Your team has the best record in the league and is a prohibitive favorite to repeat as champion. Quiet, please ..... Oh, and now pending free agent LeBron James says he'd be opening to joining the Warriors. Christ! ..... The current betting co-favorites to win the Stanley Cup are Tampa Bay and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. Old-school hockey fans (and Canadians) must be thrilled! ..... That reminds me. Dear NHL: Somebody sign Jaromir Jagr, please. Don't let it end like this ..... Indians great Jim Thome doesn't want the Chief Wahoo logo to appear on his Hall of Fame plaque. I'd be more impressed if he'd spoken up at any point during his 12 years with the team ..... R.I.P. former Heat player Rasual Butler, and R.I.P. local prep baseball coach Paul Liotti. Too much dying.