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Return of sports promises historic TV smorgasbord in fall. New column; plus Homestead is NASCAR test lab for fans again, revealing chat with Ron Magill in latest Greg Cote Show podcast, R.I.P. Kurt Thomas, our George Floyd-related columns & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JUNE 13. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 15 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 15 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and Episode 15 is out now! Find a new episode out every Monday morning on Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find the new episode and all 15 we've done so far right here. They're free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 15 you'll get to know Zoo Miami's Ron Magill beyond just animals as he shares stories about his difficult childhood, how he met his wife, his emotional and controversial first trip to Cuba and much more. Also, Greg speaks from the heart about the killing of George Floyd and its aftermath. That and more in Ep15! Find every podcast we've done so far HERE.

My Shula tribute columns: DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P. and WHAT SHULA MEANT TO A FATHER & SON. THE BOY WAS ME

My George Floyd-related columns: Sports' Gradual Return Offers America Relief, a Respite We Desperately Need  It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America  /  Goodell's NFL Response to George Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic  /  and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

ReturnofsportsNEED GOOD NEWS? WE ARE HEADED FOR AN HISTORIC TV SMORGASBORD OF MAJOR SPORTS! (MAYBE): Into the Great Unknown: America, 2020. As summer turns into autumn and winter, what will life be like and what part will sports play? The "unknown" right now is far more certain than the "great." Pandemic. Protests. Politics. Sports must find a way to matter amid all of the stuff far more important. Or is it that sports matters expressly because of everything else weighing on us? Save us, sports? It is something to look forward to — that feeling in and of itself a valuable commodity in 2020. Imagine. Playoffs leading to the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final, MLS Cup and World Series, all being contested in the midst of NFL and college football seasons. It can’t be known yet, because end dates for basketball, hockey, soccer and baseball restarts haven’t been set. But it’s possible, even likely. Then you mix in the delayed Kentucky Derby, the Masters and U.S. Open golf, tennis majors and more. Imagine. LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Alex Ovechkin, Carlos Vela, Mike Trout, Justin Verlander, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods — everybody, all at once. It could be an unprecedented TV smorgasbord ahead, with week after week of major sports and the biggest stars to watch almost every night as leagues finish truncated seasons with asterisk champions while football plows on, unstoppable as time. Might be nobody there cheering at any of the games. Just us in our living rooms. But we will take what we can get. We’ll hope the coronavirus doesn’t rise up and shut everything down again, and that our sports smorgasbord actually happens. More of that Great Unknown. To read our full most recent column, please visit Return Of Sports Promises Historic TV Smorgasbord.

NascarnofansHOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY WILL BE TEST LAB SUNDAY AS NASCAR GRADUALLY WELCOMES BACK FANS: This racetrack in the middle of farmland 30 miles south of Miami helped us heal and get back to a sense of normalcy once before. Fate and the most unforeseen circumstances imaginable have cast Homestead-Miami Speedway in that role once again, 25 years later. The motorsports mecca was born of the ashes and rubble of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, rising like a phoenix to open in ’95 as a symbol that one far-flung agricultural community would survive its deadly devastation. Now it is amid the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic that South Florida’s major racetrack embraces its role. "We were a sign of hope three years after a catastrophic force of nature," said track president Al Garcia this week. "Now, we again feel a lot of pride, but a lot of responsibility, to be another sign of hope, a step to whatever the new normal will be." Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 culminating race weekend in Homestead will be the first major professional league sporting event since the pandemic to welcome fans in the stands. Not a full crowd of paying customers, as caution continues to prevail, but up to 1,000 guests. "Putting our toe in the water," as Garcia put it. For our full recent column, please visit Homestead Is Test Lab As NASCAR Gradually Welcomes Back Fans.

KthomasAMERICAN GYMNASTICS LOSES HISTORY-MAKING PIONEER WITH DEATH OF MIAMI-BOEN KURT THOMAS: In Strasbourg, France, in 1978, at the gymnastics world championships, the medal ceremony for the floor exercise was delayed before starting. Nobody knew why. It was because The Star-Spangled Banner had not been queued up to play. That was because organizers never thought they would need it. With good reason, they never thought an American man would medal — let alone win gold.Kurt Thomas changed all of that. To read my recent column in full, please visit R.I.P. Kurt Thomas, an American Gymnastics Pioneer.

Other featured recent columns: MLB Players Demanding More Millions, Right Now, Is A Bad Look / and Amid a Pandemic, An Outrage in Alamance County

Other recent columns: How Can A Man 6-7 Seem So Small? That's Pierce On LeBron / No Controversy Here. Dolphins Have Ideal QB Situation / Welcome to Sports Without Fans, the New Normal / As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More Trivial / Anticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami / Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19 / Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped / and Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

AlsoDolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in No-Fans Florida Derby / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

Select columns from earlier in 2020Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

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Revisit this blog often because it is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category in 2018. Greg is also a regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Book: Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go (video) and The Ballad Of 1440 (audio).

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