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9 posts from April 2021

April 29, 2021

Dolphins take Waddle, UM's Phillips. My column; pIus our Mock Draft scorecard and poll on Dolphins' first pick; also, Le Batard's $50 million deal with DraftKings, ESPN's Mina Kimes talks draft and Fins in new Greg Cote Show podcast & more

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

1) It's FRIDAY, APRIL 30. I was back on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz yesterday. Check out that day's show podcasts. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast with ESPN's Mina Kimes talking NFL Draft out now & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowMinaGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: ESPN'S  MINA KIMES TALKS NFL DRAFT IN NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new episode, out now, features special guest Mina Kimes of ESPN (pictured) to talk NFL Draft and Miami Dolphins. Also, Mina and Greg face off in a geography quiz. This is our 16th episode of 2021 and 58th overall. A new pod drops Mondays at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 58 we've done HERE for free. In our new Ep16, along with Mina, in a Big Reveal we introduce a third member of our podcast team joining Greg and Chris. Also, wait, is that Joe Biden on the phone? Bonus: The Mount Gregmore of Dolphins' all-time worst first round draft picks. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

VOTE IN DOLPHINS DRAFT POLL NOW: It's on Twitter @gregcote. Vote now!

READ THE FULL MOCK DRAFT ONLINE HERE.

NEW COLUMN ON WADDLE PICK HERE.

MockIT'S OUR 30TH ANNUAL NFL MOCK DRAFT, AND THE DOLPHINS GET LUCKY ... TWICE: By the numbers, this is the NFL’s 86th draft, the Miami Dolphins’ 56th, and my 30th annual Miami Herald mock draft. (Does Hallmark make an anniversary card for that?) This also is the 48th draft since the Dolphins last won a Super Bowl, which is why the onus grows ever-heavier on Miami to hit big with its picks and finally end that ponderous drought. This year the Dolphins are one of four teams with two first round picks, and if my 2021 mock is right, coach Brian Flores and Fins fans will be feeling quite giddy come late Thursday. That is because I have Miami landing the draft’s top wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase, with the sixth overall pick and getting the highest-ranked defensive end/edge rusher, Kwity Paye, with the 18th selection. Both might take some luck, as I explain below. I figure a fandom waiting 48 years for another parade is due some of that. The past four years my mocks have featured 22 bull’s-eyes (exact player to exact team), including seven last year — one better than ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. That’s pretty good considering our mocking is a brief flurry of tea leaves and tarot cards, not the year-round cottage industry it is for the Kipers. Closest I get to film study is rewatching the “Wizard Of Oz.” I simply cross-reference every team’s needs with best available players and let the darts fly. We do one mock draft only. We also do not assume any draft-night trades, although we mention what’s likely. My only guarantee is that, for the 30th straight year, I will correctly get every first-round pick in exact numerical order, 1 through 32. Ready? Let’s rock. Let’s mock!

Follow along tonight as I live-grade my Mock Draft with these three symbols:

BULLSEYE Bulls-eye indicates a coveted Exacto -- right player to right team. 

 

Checkmark Check-mark indicates I had player in first round, but not to right team.

 

X An 'X' means the player actually drafted was nowhere in my first round.

 

My mock pick / Actual pick / Quick comment:

BULLSEYE1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson / PICK: Trevor Lawrence / Well, no duh. Surest thing in this draft. Maybe in years.

BULLSEYE2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU/ PICK: Zach Wilson / If he's as good as division rival NYJ thinks, it's more pressure on Tua to be the same in Miami. 

Checkmark3. San Francisco 49ers: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama [Pick from Miami via Houston] / PICK: Trey Lance / First pick with slight amount of doubt.

BULLSEYE4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida / PICK: Kyle Pitts / Miami needed a miracle here. Didn't get one.

Checkmark5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon / PICK: Ja'Marr Chase / Since 'Gals took Chase, Miami gets Penei Sewell or DeVonta Smith.

Jamarrchase Checkmark6. MIAMI DOLPHINS: JA’MARR CHASE, WR, LSU — [Pick from Philadelphia] Fins already have had a busy draft, yo-yo’ing from third to 12th to sixth with two major trades. They could do it yet again and trade up with Atlanta to get Pitts. I also hear whispers a trade-down with a QB-hungry team might be a possibility if Dolphins felt a top receiver would still be there. But in my scenario, no way Miami bypasses Chase, the draft’s No. 1 wide receiver, if he’s there. Also in this scenario, if Cincy were to snatch Chase (a real possibility), Fins would then have their choice of reuniting Tua Tagovailoa with either of his former Alabama teammates, DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle (and I would give Waddle the edge there). Clearly, Dolphins need to spend this top pick on a weapon for Tua, and Chase would be just that alongside DeVante Parker, Will Fuller and Mike Gesicki. Miami’s recent signing of veteran tackle D.J. Fluker was an indication Fins plan to resist the temptation to select Sewell even if he were to fall to them. We nailed Miami top-drafting Tagovailoa last year even as many other mocks thought otherwise. Let’s see if we’re right again / PICK: Jaylen Waddle / A mild surprise. Column coming.

Checkmark7. Detroit Lions: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama / PICK: Penei Sewell / I was only one off where Waddle would be taken. I'm not celebrating.

Checkmark8. Carolina Panthers: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama / PICK: Jaycee Horn / Right position, wrong guy.

Checkmark9. Denver Broncos: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State / PICK: Patrick Surtain II / Close. If only close counted.

Checkmark10. Dallas Cowboys: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina / TRADE: Philadelphia selects DeVonta Smith / Had Smith going 11th. Again, close don't count. 

Checkmark11. New York Giants: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama / TRADE: Chicago selects Justin Fields / And the Bears' QB carousel spins on.

Checkmark12. Philadelphia Eagles: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State [From Miami via San Francisco] / TRADE: Dallas selects Micah Parsons / Damn! Had Parsons going 12th, but to different team.

BULLSEYE13. Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OT/G, Northwestern / PICK: Rashawn Slater / Bull's-eye! I needed this.

BULLSEYE14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech / TRADE: N.Y. Jets select Alijah Vera-Tucker / Bull's-eye because an Exacto is right player to right team, and (see below) Minnesota selected Darrisaw 23rd after trade.

Checkmark15. New England Patriots: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State / PICK: Mac Jones / Right position. Didn't you know Belichick would luck into a QB?

Checkmark16. Arizona Cardinals: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech / PICK: Zaven Collins / A bit higher in round than expected.

X17. Las Vegas Raiders: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG/T, USC / PICK: Alex Leatherwood / What the ... who!? What a reach. Our first outright miss.

Paye Checkmark18. MIAMI DOLPHINS: KWITY PAYE, DE, MICHIGAN — After scoring a toy for Tua with the sixth overall pick, the Fins turn to D and nab the draft’s top-rated edge rusher. Miami needs more heat on opposing QBs to balance a solid pass defense and Paye will bring it. Great story, too. Paye is Liberian but was born in a refugee camp in Guinea in the wake of the first Liberian Civil War before his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was an infant. If Paye is off the board, look for Fins to look hard in the backyard at Hurricanes edge rusher Jaelan Phillips, although his injury/concussion history might give pause. Wouldn’t be stunned if Fins reached for a running back here (Travis Etienne?), but neither would I bet on it / PICK: Jaelan Phillips / Right position, wrong player. If Phillips stays healthy a great pick.

X19. Washington Football Team: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB / PICK: Jamin Davis / One of the last guys I left out of my first round.

Checkmark20. Chicago Bears: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida / TRADE: N.Y. Giants select Kadarius Toney / Damn. Had him right here but to different team. Second time that's happened. 

Checkmark21. Indianapolis Colts: Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami / PICK: Kwity Paye / This is the guy I thought Miami should have taken over Phillips. (Mark my words).

Checkmark22. Tennessee Titans: Trevon Moehrig, S, Texas Christian / PICK: Caleb Farley / Strong pick. I had Farley going 16th.

Checkmark23. New York Jets: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern [Pick from Seattle] / TRADE: Minnesota selects Christian Darrisaw / Had him going sooner.

BULLSEYE24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama / PICK: Najee Harris / Ding ding din! Bull's-eye.

Checkmark25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama [Pick from L.A. Rams] / PICK: Travis Etienne / Jags loadin' up on offense.

Checkmark26. Cleveland Browns: Zaven Collins, OLB/DE, Tulsa / PICK: Greg Newsome II / I had him going 23rd.

X27. Baltimore Ravens: Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia / PICK: Rashod Bateman / Barely missed our first round.

X28. New Orleans Saints: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State / PICK: Payton Turner / Wow. This DE was not on my 1R radar.

X29. Green Bay Packers: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss / PICK: Eric Stokes / Cornerback? Another pick to not thrill miffed Aaron Rodgers.

BULLSEYE30. Buffalo Bills: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami / PICK: Gregory Rousseau / Nailed it. Bull's-eye!

X31. Baltimore Ravens: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State [Pick from Kansas City] / PICK: Jayson Oweh / On our radar but just missed.

X32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson / PICK: Joe Tryon / Ouch. Too many X's on our board this year.

DanLE BATARD'S MASSIVE $50 MILLION DEAL WITH DRAFTKINGS: "WE CASHED A BET WE MADE ON OURSELVES": The biggest question in sports media — where will the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz end up? — now has an answer. It came Tuesday afternoon with the announcement that Meadowlark Media and DraftKings have formed a multiplatform partnership for the popular Miami Beach-based show. Meadowlark Media is the Draftkingscontent company Le Batard and former ESPN president John Skipper formed in January, the Le Batard Show its flagship entity. Starting in June or by early July, DraftKings, the daily fantasy sports and sports betting operator, will distribute the Le Batard Show on any and all platforms including radio, television, podcast and social media. The Miami Herald was told DraftKings is spending about $40 million in a three-year deal. The Wall Street Journal reported the deal as $50 million. Sirius XM, Peacock and iHeart Radio were among a half dozen entities in a bidding war to land the Le Batard Show. An industry source said Sirius was pushing hard, offering tens of millions in money and pitching the Le Batard Show as the sports heir to that network’s megapopular Howard Stern Show. Sirius XM was a tempting offer because of Le Batard’s oft-stated love of live radio, but he did not want a situation that would have put his listeners behind a paywall or force them to subscribe to listen. "We didn’t want to do that to our listeners," Le Batard told the Miami Herald. "The thing that I chose was freedom. Every time I’ve negotiated anywhere was for freedom, not money. This allows Meadowlark to be profitable from the start, and have total freedom to do what we want. We can go forward and appear everywhere. We can make partnerships anywhere we want. We don’t have any corporate overlord. Our partner is our sponsor and what they are sponsoring is our freedom." For our full story, visit Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big.

Our most recent columns: Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On  /  What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today?  /  The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts   and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

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Select other recent columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me / and Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 26, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Dolphins draft, Heat and Cats wind down, Inter Miami wins. See who's No. 1 and what else lands where; plus ESPN's Mina Kimes talks NFL Draft, Dolphins on new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, APRIL 26. I'll be back on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this week after a week off, but on Thursday, not Tuesday. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Justice for George Floyd but still much work to do, Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowMinaGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new episode, out now, features special Mina Kimes of ESPN (pictured) to talk NFL Draft and Miami Dolphins. Also, Mina and Greg face off in a geography quiz. This is our 16th of 2021 and 58th overall. A new pod drops Mondays at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 58 we've done HERE for free. In our new Ep16, along with Mina, we introduce a third member of our podcast team joining Greg and Chris. Also, wait, is that Joe Biden on the phone. Bonus: The Mount Gregmore of Dolphins' all-time worst first round draft picks. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On  /  What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today?  /  The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts   and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 25-26): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday 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:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Three days 'til Fins select [your guess here] in NFL Draft: First round is Thursday night in Cleveland, with Miami holding sixth overall pick. Will they trade up to get prize TE Kyle Pitts? Will they stay put and get WR Ja'Marr Chase or Devonta Smith or (with luck) Pitts? A trade down, perhaps? Stay tuned. Meantime, Dolphins signed veteran OT/G D.J. Fluker, a 2013 first-round draft pick, lessening the chances they might also have Penei Sewell in mind Thursday night.

2. HEAT: Miami scrambling to avoid play-in as regular season winds down: Heat sit seventh in the East with 11 games left in the NBA's shortened 72-game season. Miami must finish in top six to make the playoffs proper, as teams that finish seven through 10 this year are relegated to a May 18-21 play-in tournament. Miami is 32-29 after Saturday's home win over Chicago. Teams play again here Monday.

3. PANTHERS: Cats top Carolina atop Central: Florida is 31-13-5 and one point back of Carolina in the NHL Central after Saturday's big 4-3 OT win over the Hurricanes. Now it's seven games left in the shortened 56-game season before playoffs begin, starting tonight at Nashville.

4. MARLINS: Fish in rocky start to 10-game roadie: Miami is 9-12 after Sunday's loss in San Francisco. Fish dropped three of four at Giants to start a season-long 10-game road trip that continues Monday in Milwaukee. Miami is ninth in team ERA in all of MLB, but 25th on the offensive end in team OPS.

5. INTER MIAMI: Higuain brothers lift Miami to first win: Inter Miami is 1-0-1 after Saturday night's 2-1 win at the Philadelphia Union, with goals from brothers Gonzalo and Frederico. Following a season-opening 3-2 home loss to the L.A. Galaxy, the win was the first for new coach Phil Neville, and the first time Miami, in its second MLS season, has been .500 or better.

6. SOCCER: R.I.P., European Super League, 2021-2021: The new league was born and died three days later, buried under universal opposition by fans, politicians, other clubs and FIFA. The planned breakaway competition to rival or replace the UEFA Champions League quickly disintegrated when many of the original 12 clubs began pulling out. Super League organizers insist the idea is suspended, not dead. Hmm. OK.

7. SOCCER: Champions League semifinals begin this week: UEFA Champions League's heavyweight final four begins its semifinal round this week, with Real Madrid vs. Chelsea on Tuesday and Paris-Saint Germain vs. Manchester City on Wednesday in first-leg matches. Second-leg games are the following week.

8. AUTO RACING: Formula One in Miami gets the green light: Despite opposition from some Miami Gardens residents, the Miami Grand Prix at Hard Rock Stadium will join the 2022 FIA Formula One calendar as part of a 10-year deal. The date of the race is to be announced. The circuit will be 3.4 miles with 19 corners and three straights, and estimated top speeds of just under 200 mph. Miami will be the 11th city to host a Formula One race.

9. GAMBLING: Is legalized gambling (finally) coming to Florida?: More than half of all states now allow some form of legal sports betting, and Florida could be next if a proposal agreed to in principle between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state gets approved by the Legislature in the next week. Estimates project an annual revenue of at least $500 million.

10. UFC: Usman dominates Masvidal: Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman dominated Miami's Jorge Masvidal for a second-round knockout in their rematch Saturday night in the main event of UFC 261 in Jacksonville. Usman vs. Colby Covington is now in the offing.

Missing the HB10 cut: FCS small-college football playoffs got underway Saturday with 16 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament for a shot at the title game May 16 ..... Notice how all the Deshaun Watson trade talk disappeared as those 22 women accused him of sexual misconduct? Such a coincidence! ..... NFL Network and NFL RedZone will now be carried on Hulu's live TV subscription streaming service starting in August ..... Heat owner Micky Arison on Dwyane Wade buying an ownership interest in the Utah Jazz: "We had discussed having him join our ownership group after his retirement, but he was not prepared to commit at the time. I am disappointed that he didn’t reconsider" ..... A national effort by conservative state lawmakers to ban transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports now looks to be dead in Florida ...... The now-unranked Canes baseball team is 21-13 and trying to avoid being swept today at North Carolina ..... With Hurricanes spring football practice over, individual single-game tickets to UM's seven home games are now on sale ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast, after a week off, is back with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,891 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me / and Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 24, 2021

Justice for George Floyd helps heal our shaken faith, but fight for equality goes on. New column; plus we're back from vacation, latest Greg Cote Show podcast, R.I.P. Cousin Itt & more

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

Cousinitt1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 24. We're back! Been gone a few days on holiday down in Key West, my and the wife's most vacation-y getaway since the pandemic. Probably chat it up in my next podcast. 2) I've been remiss in not noting the recent death, at age 84, of actor Felix Silla, best known as Cousin Itt (pictured) from the Addams Family, must-see TV of my youth. 3) Missed being the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on Tuesday because we were away. Plan as of now to be back on this coming Tuesday. 4) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 5) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.


Coteshow Dparker RbellamyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH DAVE PARKER, ROY BELLAMY OUT NOW!:
Our podcast returns this coming Monday, April 26 with a brand new episode after a one-week hiatus. Our 15th podcast of 2021 (57th overall) is out now! A new pod drops Mondays at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 57 we've done HERE for free. In our latest Ep15 we welcome in two special guests: Former Pittsburgh Pirates star Dave Parker and, from the Le Batard Show, Roy Bellamy. Parker speaks about being denied the Hall of Fame, his fight with Parkinson's disease and more. And get to know the inscrutable Bellamy in a fun chat about his bucket list, what scares him and more. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

JusticeJUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD HELPS HEAL OUR SHAKEN FAITH, BUT FIGHT FOR EQUALITY GOES ON: The stunning part about the three guilty verdicts is that so many believed — with dread in their heart so justified — that this day would never come. That justice for George Floyd and accountability for Derek Chauvin would not happen. The killing last May galvanized sports into action and changed America. It did all of that because it was murder in slow motion, by degrees, and we saw it all: 9 minutes and 29 seconds of outrageous heartlessness. Knee on neck. On video. With Floyd pleading for his own life. With eyewitnesses pleading for that, too. All across sports, leagues, teams and athletes championed the Black Lives Matter movement, speaking up, not shutting up and dribbling. It was a reminder star athletes can feel anger and outrage, too. It was an open-and-shut case, right? The defense attorney had no chance. And yet there was doubt until the very moment the verdicts on murder and manslaughter charges were read Wednesday in that Minneapolis courtroom. GuiltyGuiltyGuilty. There was jubilation in the streets, and relief, the latter rooted in the fear justice and accountability might be denied yet again. For our full latest column, visit Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On.
 

Our most recent other columns: What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

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ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me / and Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 18, 2021

The new Hot Button Top 10: Dolphins draft, slumping Heat, Inter Miami opener battle for the top. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus Greg Cote Show podcast, links to recent columns & more

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

Mecane1) It's SUNDAY, APRIL 18. We were back on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past Tuesday. Find that day's show podcasts, including a new Back In My Day. One of the reasons I love being on Dan's show is the fans. They are super loyal, engaged and talented. Example: Dan jokes on-air that I should adopt a royal persona and walk into press boxes carrying a scepter. So a bunch of stuff related to that turns up online including the photo shown. So sublimely ridiculous. Love it. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Why Dolphins should trade up in draft and go all-in for Kyle Pitts, Masuyama's Masters win lifts Japan in time of anti-Asian hate, Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Song of the Week: "Chosen Family," Rina Sawayama with Elton John.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: LATEST EPISODE WITH DAVE PARKER, ROY BELLAMY OUT NOW!: Our 15th podcast of 2021 (57th overall) is out now! A new pod drops Mondays at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. However the pod is taking this Monday off with a new episode returning on Monday, April 26. So it's perfect time to catch up on our full catalog! You can find all 57 we've done HERE for free. In our latest Ep15 we welcome in two special guests: Former Pittsburgh Pirates star Dave Parker and, from the Le Batard Show, Roy Bellamy. Parker has a new autobiography out and he speaks about being denied the Hall of Fame, his fight with Parkinson's disease and more. And get to know the inscrutable Bellamy in a fun chat about his bucket list, what scares him and more. (And do we get Roy to sing? Find out). Also: The Mount Gregmore of all-time best food. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

Personal note: I'm on holiday for a few days. The podcast has the week off but will return with a new episode Monday, April 26. I'll miss this Tuesday's Le Batard Show but will be back on April 27. This week's Hot Button was written Saturday morning. We'll return with a blog update and a new column on Wednesday.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 18-19): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday 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:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Countdown 11 days until NFL Draft: The April 29 start of the NFL Draft is coming like a locomotive, with Miami weighing what to do with the No. 6 overall pick, or whether to trade up or down. This week's latest mock draft by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. guessed the Fins will trade up to No. 4 and take Gators tight end Kyle Pitts. (In my dreams ... or in Brian Flores'). Meantime new Vegas over/unders on wins have Miami at 9 for the new 17-game seasons, or likely wild-card contention.

2. HEAT: Playoffs no given as slumping Miami hosts Brooklyn Sunday: An NBA Finals runnerup last season, the Heat is at risk of not making the playoffs this year after falling to seventh in the East at 28-28 after a third straight loss Friday night at Minnesota. Miami has 16 games left in the abbreviated 72-game regular season starting Sunday at home vs. star-laden Brooklyn.

3. INTER MIAMI: Year 2 in MLS unfurls Sunday for Beckham, new coach: David Beckham's Inter Miami hosts the L.A. Galaxy Sunday at it's-still-Inter Miami Stadium-to-me in Fort Lauderdale, with limited fans allowed. It's the debut for new coach Phil Neville. Miami's second match is the following Saturday at the Philadelphia Union.

4. PANTHERS: Cats remain in three-way fight for Central lead: Florida is 27-12-5 after Thursday's 3-2 OT loss at rival Tampa Bay, third in NHL Central but only a point off the lead entering Saturday's rematch at the Lightning. Cats bolstered for the stretch run with a flurry of minor deals ahead of the league trade deadline.

5. MARLINS: Fish shake off rough start, get hot: Miami shook off 1-5 start at home with a 4-2 road trip that including taking three of four in Atlanta, then won the first of three back home over the Giants Friday night with strong relief pitching and homers by Starling Marte and Jazz Chisholm. Marlins were 6-7 heading into Satrday and Sunday games vs. San Fran.

6. POLITICS: Florida House passes controversial transender bill: Florida's state Hour this week passed a bill that would ban transgender female athletes from joining women’s public high school and college sports teams. If signed into law the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would require athlete eligibility to be based on one's biological (at-birth) sex. The NCAA reiterated support for transgender athletes and announced it would not host college championships in states where discriminatory laws exist.

7. AUTO RACING: Formula One in Miami moves closer to reality: A Formula One Miami Grand Prix race in 2022 in the area of Hard Rock Stadium moved a step closer to reality this week when the Miami Gardens city commission approved a resolution to support the race, angering some residents.

8. HURRICANES: Team Diaz wraps up spring football practice: Offseason work wrapped up Saturday with the annual Spring Game at The Rock. Coach Manny Diaz's Canes open the season September 4 with the toughest possible game -- vs. reigning champion Alabama in Atlanta. Home-game individual tickets go on sale this Wednesday.

9. SOCCER: UEFA Champions League semifinals set: Results last week fashioned a heavyweight Champions League final four, with semifinals matching Real Madrid vs. Chelsea and Paris-Saint Germain vs. Manchester City. First-leg matches are set for April 27-28.

10. OLYMPICS: Are the Summer Games in jeopardy again?: A senior Japanese ruling party official said canceling this summer's Tokyo Olympics remains an option if the pandemic crisis becomes too dire, with Japan experiencing a fourth wave of infections less than 100 days from the Games' scheduled start.

Missing the HB10 cut: Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade is now a part owner of the Utah Jazz. A piece of the Heat or even the Bulls would-a made more sense, but when opportunity knocks you let it in, right? ..... The Basketball Hall of Fame announced Michael Jordan would present the late Kobe Bryant at the May 15 ceremony ..... Twenty women who have alleged inappropriate behavior or sexual assault against Texans QB Deshaun Watson have now disclosed their names. This is getting serious-real, folks ..... Two no-hitters in MLB the past week. When did that stop being a big deal? ..... WWE releases nine wrestlers in a budget cut, and this is where I pretend I've heard of or will miss any of them ..... The Florida Panthers' privately financed $65 million renovation of Fort Lauderdale's War Memorial Auditorium is underway with construction of a new team practice and community ice facility. It is scheduled to open in Summer 2022...... The NCAA loosened its transfer rule. Starting next season major college football and basketball players may transfer one time before graduating without being required to sit out a year of competition ..... ESPN is mad at Alex Rodriguez because its own MLB analyst gave the scoop to The Athletic, not to his own network, that he and a billionaire partner were buying the Minnedosta Timberwolves. Hilarious! ..... Hurricanes baseball had dropped out of the Top 25 entering its weekend home series vs. Clemson ..... Patriots receiver Julian Edelman retired. Five words: Not a Hall of Famer ..... Browns snared edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney with a one-year deal ..... Texas center Charlie Collier went No. 1 overall in this week's WNBA Draft. League's 25th season tips off May 14 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is off this week -- a perfect time to catch up on any of the 57 episodes you may have missed! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,898 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Our most recent other columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / and The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft. Also: Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / and In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time.

Select other recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me / and Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 17, 2021

What would Jackie Robinson think of race in America today? New column; plus case for Dolphins trading up for Pitts, Matsuyama's Masters win lifts Japan in time of anti-Asian hate, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy & more

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

Mecane1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 17. We were back on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on Tuesday. Find that day's show podcasts, including a new Back In My Day. One of the reasons I love being on Dan's show is the fans. They are super loyal, engaged and talented. Example: Dan jokes on-air that I should adopt a royal persona and walk into press boxes carrying a scepter. So a bunch of stuff related to that turns up online including the photo shown. So sublimely ridiculous. Love it. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top10, Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Song of the Week: "Chosen Family," Rina Sawayama with Elton John.

Coteshow DavepGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH DAVE PARKER, ROY BELLAMY OUT NOW!: Our 15th podcast of 2021 (57th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 57 we've done HERE for free. In our new Ep15 we welcome in two special guests: Former Pittsburgh Pirates star Dave Parker (pictured in his swaggery days), and, from the Le Batard Show, Roy Bellamy. Parker has a new autobiography out and he speaks about being denied the Hall of Fame, his fight with Parkinson's disease and more. And get to know the inscrutable Bellamy in a fun chat about his bucket list, what scares him and more. (And do we get Roy to sing? Find out). Also: The Mount Gregmore of all-time best food genres and dishes. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

JackieSOMBER SURROUNDINGS FOR JACKIE ROBINSON DAY '21. NEW COLUMNJackie Robinson would be 102 years old today, had fate given him a longevity of life to approach the importance and magnitude of the one he led. Instead he died much too soon, at 53, of a heart attack in his home in 1972. Heart disease and diabetes had left him barely able to see by middle age. Tens of thousands of mourners, fans and admirers lined the streets of his funeral procession in Brooklyn. And the mind wonders, on this day of all days: What would this American hero, the man who broke the color line in Major League Baseball and died nearly blind — what would he be thinking if he could see what was happening now? In the America he worked to change by being on the front lines against racism and prejudice? In the America that still hasn’t changed nearly enough 74 years after this man endured the death threats aimed at the first Black man allowed into baseball’s highest level. Thursday is Jackie Robinson Day in MLB, the annual day of reflection when baseball honors his legacy on the anniversary of his MLB debut. When throughout the majors, so many players who had it a little easier because of him wear his number 42 to say thanks. What would Jackie Robinson be thinking as a jury verdict neared in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin? For our full latest column, visit Progress? Or heartache? What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today?

KpittsMIAMI DOLPHINS NEED TO MAKE ONE MORE BOLD DRAFT TRADE AND GO ALL-IN FOR THIS PLAYER: The Miami Dolphins have been the most interesting, active player in the buildup to the NFL Draft, trading down from the third overall pick to the 12th and then moving back up to the sixth. But their work shouldn’t be done. The Fins’ aggressiveness and daring have one bold move left before they are on the clock in the first round come April 29. Miami should do what it must to get in the Atlanta Falcons’ ear and trade up two spots to the fourth pick, and there should be a determined urgency for one reason: Kyle Pitts. There is no one in this draft who would be a greater difference-maker for the Dolphins over the next 10-plus years because there is no one else in this draft who would be a greater difference-maker in what quarterback Tua Tagovailoa becomes. His Florida Gators coach, Dan Mullen, called Pitts a “unicorn.” I’d call him a generational talent who had to have been created in the laboratory or imagination of some day-dreaming offensive coordinator. For our full recent column, visit The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts.

WON'T FIX THE WORLD, BUT MATSUYAMA'S MASTERS WIN LIFTS JAPAN IN A TIME OF ANTI-ASIAN HATE: Sometimes sports delivers us a result that just feels right, like there is a heart behind the hand of fate. The Masters golf tournament did that for us Sunday. Hideki Matsuyama did that. You couldn’t help but feel good, for Hidekithe player, for the Japanese people — and for more than that — as he wrapped himself into the most beautiful ugly green jacket in the history of men’s wear. No event in sports means to tug at the heartstrings or does it better than the Masters, an air of history and reverence within golf’s singular cathedral, the gentle description of CBS’ Jim Nantz the perfect soundtrack. The troika of treachery called Amen Corner. The riotous bloom of azaleas. The impossible quaintness of Butler Cabin. The Masters unfurls as a visually stunning tableau, an oil painting come to life. An infamous past is a part of the portrait. For too many decades Georgia’s Augusta National Golf Club was a society open only white men. Blacks and women need not have applied. The Masters deserves little praise for being goaded reluctantly to join the 21st Century. That is why this particular Masters felt special. Different. It felt that way in Thursday’s annual ceremonial start, when old-timers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were joined on the first tee by Lee Elder, who 46 years earlier had become the first Black man permitted to play this tournament. Now 86, Elder was not up to hitting a tee shot but rose elegantly from his chair, with help, to acknowledge the applause of onlookers. The ceremonial honor given Elder, better late than never, was book-ended Sunday when Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win the Masters — the first man from golf-mad Japan to win any major. In a time of anti-Asian racism and hate, this victory lifted the spirits of a nation. And that felt right. For our full recent column, visit It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

Our most recent other columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / and The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft. Also: Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / and In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time.

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ARCHIVES:

Other recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / and Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive.

Select other columns: Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 12, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): The Masters, Heat on road, Cats go cold, flopping Fish finally win, Inter Miami on deck. See who's No. 1, what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now with Dave Parker, Roy Bellamy & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, APRIL 12. I was back in my regular Tuesday spot last week on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Check it out on that day's show podcasts. Includes the return of Bitter Mickey Mouse. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): On talk of U.S. Olympic boycott and sports/politics mix, Kawhi the next Heat whale-sighting?, Six Dolphins options for great No. 6 pick in draft, Greg Cote Show podcast with Dick Stockton & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow DavepGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!:
Our 15th podcast of 2021 (57th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 57 we've done HERE for free. In our new Ep15 we welcome in two special guests: Former Pittsburgh Pirates star Dave Parker (pictured in his swaggery days), and, from the Le Batard Show, Roy Bellamy. Parker has a new autobiography out and he speaks about being denied the Hall of Fame, his fight with Parkinson's disease and more. And get to know the inscrutable Bellamy in a fun chat about his bucket list, what scares him and more. (And do we get Roy to sing? Find out). Also: The Mount Gregmore of all-time best food genres and dishes. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / and The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft. Also: Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / and In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 11-12): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday 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:

HButton1. GOLF: The green jacket fits Matsuyama as Masters crowns him champ: Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, seven times top-10 in majors but never before a winner, carried a big four-shot lead into Sunday's final round of The Masters in Augusta and held on to win by one stroke. He became the first Japanese man ever to win golf's biggest prize.

2. HEAT: Miami hits road with win as Kawhi speculation simmers: Heat is 28-25 and fifth in the East after Thursday's home win over the LeBron-less, A.D.-less L.A. Lakers and then Sunday's win at Portland. Victor Oladipo injured a knee and is missing the current four-game road swing. Meanwhile team signed journeyman center Dewayne Dedmon as speculation arose that superstar Kawhi Leonard may be intrigued by Miami should he opt to leave the Clippers in free agency this summer.

3. STADIUMS: Corporate names in South Florida keep getting worse: First it was the home of the Heat becoming FTX Arena. Bad. Then it was Marlins Park becoming loanDepot park. Worse. Now Inter Miami announces its home in Fort Lauderdale is now AutoNation's DRV PNK Stadium. Oh if only I were kidding.

4. PANTHERS: Not ice-cold, but third straight loss cools Cats: Florida is 26-12-4 and down to third in the tight-at-the-top NHL Central after two straight losses to Carolina and then another Saturday at Dallas followed a season-best six-game win streak. Meantime the Cats, in midst of a six-game road swing, picked up defenseman Lucas Carlsson and forward Lucas Wallmark from Chicago and D Brandon Montour from Buffalo in separate in minor trades.

5. MARLINS: Stumbling Fish get needed win Saturday: Coming off last year's unexpected playoff appearance, a 1-5 homestand to open the new season was not the stuff of dreams for Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly. The "loanDepot park" jinx? Marlins are now 2-6 in midst of a seven-game roadie. After a Sunday rainout at the Mets, it's off to Atlanta. Weak-bat Miami has scored two or fewer runs in five of its first six losses but got a needed 3-0 win Saturday fueled by a Jazz Chisholm home run as as Trevor Rogers outpitched Jacob deGrom.

6. INTER MIAMI: Year 2 starts next Sunday for Miami MLS team: Inter Miami hosts the L.A. Galaxy next Sunday at its Fort Lauderdale home to begin its second season in Major League Soccer. A disappointing first season coincided with the onset of the pandemic and this preseason was washed out by COVID concerns, so David Beckham's club sets out as something of a mystery under new coach Phil Neville.

7. OLYMPICS: Will U.S. mull boycott of Beijing Games in '22?: There were conflicting messages from the State Department on whether President Biden and allies will discuss a possible boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Bejing to protest China's human rights record. Games are set for February.  

8. SOCCER: Fort Lauderdale to host Gold Cup matches: The Lauderdale stadium where Inter Miami plays will host preliminary matches in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 2-6. Twelve nations including Cuba and Haiti will vie for the final three of 16 spots in the main group-play stage. The Gold Cup every two years crowns the best team in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Mexico (eight titles) and the U.S. (six) have dominated the 15 previous GC's, with Canada winning once.

9. AUTO RACING: Renewed hope for Formula One in Miami: Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’ long-running effort to bring Formula One racing to South Florida got help Thursday when Miami Gardens Mayor Rodney Harris offered a joint resolution with Hard Rock Stadium to assuage concerns of local activists. The city council will vote on the resolution Wednesday. Accommodations would include noise barriers.

10. UM BASKETBALL: The hits keep coming for Larranaga, Canes: On the heel  of a really bad 10-17 season, Miami men's team and Jim Larranaga have endured a spate of draft- and transfer-rated departures such as Chris Lykes to Arkansas. The latest: Former Miami guard Earl Timberlake, one of college basketball top transfers this spring, committed to play at Memphis next season, saying he picked the Tigers in order to play for Penny Hardaway.

Missing the HB10 cut: Countdown 18 days 'til Dolphins on clock in NFL Draft ..... Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore are finalizing a deal to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA Minnesota Lynx for around $1.5 billion ..... Speeding caused Tiger Woods' car accident in February in which he sustained serious leg injuries. L.A. police say he was doing 84 mph in a 45 zone as he approached a curve, but there were no signs of impairment and he'll face no charges ..... Wrestlemania 37, WWE's two-night crown jewel spectacle, wraps up Sunday at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, where up to 25,000 fans will be allowed. The pay-per-view gate would have been much greater if they'd taken my advice and arranged for somebody to body-slam Tom Brady ..... No. 18 Canes baseball is 17-10 after two straight losses at No. 24 Pitt. UM tries to avoid the sweep today ..... UMass won its first Frozen Four college hockey title Saturday, beating St. Cloud State ..... The French Open postponed its start by one week, to May 30, related to COVID-19 ..... UEFA Champions League second-leg quarterfinal matches on Tuesday and Wednesday see Real Madrid and Chelsea with two-goal advantages and Manchester City and Paris-Saint Germain both plus-one ..... Nike and other sponsors have begun to distance themselves from embattled Deshaun Watson, with 22 women now accusing him of sexual misconduct related to massage sessions ..... Packers quarterback and closet nerd Aaron Rodgers hosted Jeopardy! ..... Hurricanes spring practice ends this coming Saturday. Quick note: You are way too big a college football fan if you care how your team looks in a practice in March and April ..... Baylor's NCAA championship over Gonzaga in men's basketball last week made it five straight times a title game between the Nos. 1 and 2 overall seeds has been won by the No. 2 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's 15th episode of 2021 and 57th overall drops Monday morning on all major podcast platforms. Now heard Mondays 5-6 p.m. on Sirius XM Channel 145, too! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,905 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Our other most recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / and Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness.

Other recent columns: Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / and Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive.

Select other columns: Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 10, 2021

Talk of U.S. Olympic boycott reminds us sports, politics mix -- but that's good. New column; plus how Kawhi Leonard-to-Heat could happen, Dolphins' 6 options for great No. 6 pick in draft, new Greg Cote Show podcast (is that Dick Stockton singing?) & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 10. I was back in my regular Tuesday spot this past week on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Check it out on the show's podcasts. Includes the return of Bitter Mickey Mouse. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast with broadcasting legend Dick Stockton & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow DickstocktonGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: TV LEGEND DICK STOCKTON IN LATEST EPISODE OUT NOW!:
Our 14th podcast of 2021 (56th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 56 we've done right HERE for free. In our new Ep14 we welcome in special guest Dick Stockton (pictured), the newly retired sports broadcasting legend. In a fun chat, he talks about his career and most famous call and does play-by-play on Chris eating a bowl of cereal. And he sings! Also: A new 'Greg Doesn't Know Movies,' the Mount Gregmore of all-time best sitcom casts, plus loanDepot park and MLB moving its All-Star Game. Almost forgot: Will Greg's toenail soon be for sale? Thanks as always, pod family, for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

BeijingolysTALK OF U.S. OLYMPIC BOYCOTT REMINDS US SPORTS, POLITICS ARE ENTTWINED. AND THAT'S GOODThe United States and allies weigh boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics n China. Megan Rapinoe rips Draymond Green’s pay-gap comments. Major League Baseball moves its All-Star Game from Atlanta because of a new voting law. Remember when sports stuck to sports and didn’t mess with politics? Yeah, me neither. Those simpler times, a.k.a. good old days, are a fallacy, a figment. In my lifetime, at least. (And chances are pretty good I’m older than you). They are snapshot memories in black and white. Cassius Clay becoming Muhammad Ali in 1964 and later refusing military induction to object to the Vietnam War. Tommie Smith and John Carlos with black-gloved fists raised from the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics. Billie Jean King’s 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match a shot fired for gender equality. The inseparability of sports and politics always has existed; it only seems magnified now because ESPN and social media and the rest make it all instant and amplified. The latest example of the intermingling: Talk that the U.S. and allies may consider boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over China's human rights record. For our full latest column, visit Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good.

Kawhi LeonardIT'S WHALE SEASON AGAIN, AND HERE'S WHY MIAMI HEAT LANDING KAWHI LEONARD COULD HAPPEN: Kawhi Leonard to the Miami Heat. How’s that for getting right to the point? Kawhi Leonard to Miami demands a question mark at the moment, but that could turn to an exclamation point by this summer if the smoke we’re seeing becomes a fire involving the Heat. This is what sports has become. How it has evolved through the years for both fans and media. It’s less and less about what is and more and more about what’s next. The result of a given game is seldom as big or important as where your team is headed. In the draft. In trades. In free agency. What’s next? As players broker increasing power, and more so in the NBA than in other sports, the landscape is in constant flux. Smart teams (or lucky ones) are one seismic move from instant relevance and championship contention. So: Leonard (pictured) to the Heat. It exists for now in that murky world where rumor and speculation are in a Petri dish and might or might not grow into eventual truth. But the possibility of it, the plausibility of it, is so tantalizing as to demand a public airing. It is the whim of one player from happening. From giving Miami a Big 3 era 2.0 with Kawhi, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. It feels like there could be a legit chance this time. Heat president Pat Riley, at 76, is cast in this drama as Santiago, the fisherman in Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” Santiago was obsessed with a giant marlin. Riley prefers whales.We have seen in recent years his lines cast in expeditions involving Kevin Durant and then James Harden and then (until he signed an extension with Milwaukee) Giannis Antetokounmpo. But Miami landing those whales never seemed likely. Now feels different. For our full recent column: How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen

THE MIAMI DOLPHINS' 6 CAN'T-LOSE OPTIONS FOR A GREAT NO. 6 PICK IN THE NFL DRAFT: Quietly, the Miami Dolphins in the buildup to this month’s NFL Draft have reminded anyone paying attention how confident this front office is in its plan and direction. This is a franchise that sees itself close to being playoff-good and sustaining that level — with a vision Kylepittsthat smartly isn’t all about right now. We saw that with the two recent aggressive trades that shook up the first round. The result was Miami bumping down slightly from the third to the sixth overall pick this year but gaining an extra 2023 first-round selection. That was brilliant because A) it showed a vision to think beyond this year, or next, and B) it was tailored to April 29 in particular. Unless all of the Mel Kipers and other draftniks have it wrong, the first three players chosen — maybe the first four — will be quarterbacks. That means the Dolphins knew they would get a player they covet and need even with the dip from third to sixth. The teams wishing to trade up made it a ripe market for the Fins to move down, and they took advantage. The first-round maneuvering also verified that coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier have been truthful in their publicly stated he’s-our-guy faith in second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Deshaun Watson megatrade speculation that flared earlier this spring has cooled to near nonexistence (the spate of sexual misconduct allegations against Watson part of that). And the willingness to move down from three to six shouts loud that the Dolphins have zero intention of spending a second consecutive No. 1 pick on a QB. The aim with the sixth pick should and will be help for Tagovailoa, building around the faith in him. With the top pick certain to be Trevor Lawrence to Jaguars and the next two all-but-certain to be Zach Wilson to Jets and Mac Jones to 49ers, the draft will get interesting for Dolfans starting at four. The Falcons at four and Bengals at five might poach players that interest Miami, but with a little luck at least one might not. Atlanta really likes North Dakota State QB Trey Lance, and if like turns to love the Falcons drafting him to groom as Matt Ryan’s replacement would make sense. Cincy is expected to select a wide receiver for Joe Burrow, but a trade-down could be tempting if, say, New England or Denver are desperate to move up and select a QB such as Lance or Justin Fields. Here is our “Six at Six” list of players at the top of Fins’ radar for their first pick (Kyle Pitts, pictured, is one of them), ranked in order. For our full recent column, visit: The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft.

 

Other most recent columns: Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect (off Opening Day loss) / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope (season preview) / and In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time (tribute column).

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ARCHIVES:

Our other most recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / and Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness.

Other recent columns: Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / and Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive.

Select other columns: Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 05, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Marlins, March Madness, red-hot Heat and Panthers, Masters Week battle for top. See who's No.1 and what else lands where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with Dick Stockton out now & more

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

Eeaster1) It's MONDAY, APRIL 5. Hope ya'll had a Happy Easter Sunday and, to our Jewish friends, a celebratory 'chag Pasach sameach' to end Passover! 2) I was back in my regular Tuesday spot last week on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Check out that day's podcasts, including my latest Back In My Day. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Marlins Opening Week with columns off opener and season preview, Greg Cote Show podcast with Guinness Record-setting hot pepper eater & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

MarlinsOur most recent columns: Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect (off Opening Day loss) / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope (season preview) / and In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time (tribute column).

CoteshowDickstocktonGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: TV LEGEND DICK STOCKTON IN NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 14th podcast of 2021 (56th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 56 we've done right HERE for free. In our most recent Ep14 we welcome in special guest Dick Stockton (pictured), the newly retired sports broadcasting legend. In a fun chat, he talks about his career and most famous call and does play-by-play on Chris eating a bowl of cereal. Also, he sings! Also on the new pod, a new 'Greg Doesn't Know Movies,' the Mount Gregmore of all-time best sitcom casts, plus loanDepot park and MLB moving its All-Star Game. Almost forgot: Will Greg's toenail soon be for sale? Thanks as always, pod family, for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 4-5): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday 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:

HButton1. MARLINS: Play ball! Fans (partly) back as Fish open season: Marlins' season-opening six-game homestand continues with games Monday through Wednesday vs. St. Louis after Easter Sunday off. Fish opened 1-2 vs. Tampa Bay, with bats coming alive in Saturday's 12-7 win. Miami is allowing crowds up to 27 percent capacity this season (about 9,700 per game), although the first three games have averaged only about 6,500 or 18 percent capacity. Almost forgot: The ballpark's gruesome new corporate name is "loanDepot park." (It's still Marlins Park  to me).

2. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Men's title game set as Gonzaga, Baylor advance: Unbeaten Gonzaga goes for a wire-to-wire perfect season and Baylor stands in the way in its first title game since 1948 in the men's NCAA Tournament championship game Monday night in Indianapolis. Baylor routed Houston 78-59 in Saturday's semifinal while the Zags survived UCLA 93-90 on a buzzer-beating 3 by Jalen Suggs in OT.

3. HEAT: Topsy-turvy team is hot again as Oladipo joins the flow: Heat has won four in a row and risen to a tie for fourth place in the East after Saturday's win over Cleveland -- after previously losing six straight. Newly acquired shooting guard Victor Oladipo, the trade-deadline prize, made his Heat debut Thursday. In other news, Jimmy Butler appeared shirtless at a postgame news conference, drawing playful derision from Bam Adebayo. Team's back in play Tuesday vs. Memphis.

4. PANTHERS: Fire-on-ice Cats win sixth in a row!: Florida is 26-9-4, alone in first place in the NHL Central and on a season-best six-game win streak after the weekend's 5-2 and 3-0 home dominations of Columbus. Florida now sets out on a six-game road trip starting Tuesday at Carolina. Also last week, Florida signed goalkeeper Spencer Knight, the team's 2019 top draft pick, to a three-year contract.

5. GOLF: It's the week of The Masters at Augusta: With Tiger Woods watching on TV as he recovers from severe leg injuries suffered in his recent car accident, The Masters goes on without him this week at Augusta starting Thursday. Betting favorites are led by Dustin Johnson, Bryson Dechambeau and Justin Thomas. As for Woods? L.A. detectives have determined the cause of his wreck, but thus far are refusing to reveal their finings. Hmm. 

6. NFL: Fans cheer, players gripe as league OKs 17-game season: After 43 seasons with a 16-game regular season, the NFL is increasing it to 17 games beginning this year. Fans love it. More football. TV loves it. More revenue and ratings. Players don't love it and can't believe their union let it happen.   

7. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Stanford tops Arizona in women's championship game: Women's NCAA Tournament got an all-Pac 12 title game in which Stanford edged Arizona 54-53 on Sunday for the Cardinal's first national title since 1992. No. 1 seed Stanford had advanced by beating South Carolina 66-65 while No. 3 Arizona had stunned No. 1 UConn, 69-65. Results deprived America of a championship-stage look at UConn freshman sensation and AP Player of the Year Paige Bueckers, who was held to 18 points on 5-for-13 shooting Friday.

8. TENNIS: Ash Barty leads championship weekend at Miami Open: Defending Miami Open champ Ash Barty won again on Saturday, with ease when underdog opponent Bianca Andreescu retired injured in the second set outside of Hard Rock Stadium. A no-name, who's-that men's final four advanced 19-year-old Italian Jannik Skinner and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland to Sunday's men's championship match, won by Hurkacz. This year's Miami Open was back after taking 2020 off but was decimated by star withdrawals and gutted prize money.

9. MLB: Baseball moves All-Star Game to punish Georgia voting laws: Baseball announced it's 2021 All-Star Game and MLB Draft would be moved from Atlanta in response to Georgia's recently passed voter suppression law. Bravo baseball!

10. INTER MIAMI: Teams cancels preseason scrimmages over COVID concerns: Inter Miami canceled three scheduled exhibition games in Bradenton ahead of its second MLS season on account of COVID-19 concerns. David Beckham's outfit and new coach Phil Neville are prioritizing full health as team preps for its April 18 season opener.

Missing the HB10 cut: Countdown: 24 days 'til Dolphins draft ..... Houston police have now begun an investigation of Deshaun Watson as 21 women have now alleged inappropriate sexual behavior during massages ..... North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams is retiring after 18 years with the Tar Heels and 33 years in the sport overall ..... Also retiring: Veteran TV sports broadcaster Dick Stockton ..... No. 19 Canes baseball is 15-8 off four straight wins and goes for home sweep of Duke today ..... North Macedonia stunned Germany in a World Cup qualifying match ..... UEFA Champions League first-leg quarterfinal matches commence Tuesday with Manchester City-Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid-Liverpool ..... Oh, and Miami FC, the second-tier USL team, prepares to open its new season May 2 ..... Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, you embarrassed everyone on Earth by saying COVID testing should be done away with so as not to disrupt the Final Four ..... If anybody cares, Tampa hosts WrestleMania 37 next weekend ..... Hurricanes spring football practuce continues through April 17 ..... xxxxx ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's 14th episode of 2021 and 56th overall drops Monday morning on all major podcast platforms. Now Mondays 5-6 p.m. on Sirius XM Channel 145, too! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,912 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

ARCHIVES:

Our other most recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / and Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness.

Other recent columns: Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / and Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive.

Select other columns: Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 03, 2021

Miami Marlins Opening Week! 'Bottom Feeders' still after respect, lose opener 1-0 as fans return. My column from stadium; plus Greg Cote Show podcast has man who set Guinness record for eating hot peppers, our Schnellenberger tribute column & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 3. Welcome, April! Did you have an April Foolish Thursday? 2) I was back in my regular Tuesday spot this week on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Check out that day's podcasts, including my new Back In My Day. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Howard Schnellenberger tribute column, Greg Cote Show podcast with Guinness Record-setting hot pepper eater & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

HOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER, 1934-2021: OUR TRIBUTE COLUMN: In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time.


Coteshow MikejackGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW AND IT'S CHILI PEPPER HOT!:
Our 13th podcast of 2021 (55th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 55 we've done so far HERE for free. In our latest Ep13 we offer a tribute to the late great Howard Schnellenberger and welcome in two special guests. Meet Mike Jack (pictured), who just a Guinness World Record for eating the hottest pepper ever grown -- a ball of fire some 400 times hotter than a jalapeno. And Jeremy Tache' of Bally (nee Fox) Sports Florida is on to discuss Heat, Marlins and Schitt's Creek. Greg and Chris also chew over Dolphins' big draft trades. And Mount Gregmore is back! Thanks as always, pod family, for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (And remember: Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Sandy'BOTTOM FEEDER' MARLINS, STILL FIGHTING FOR RESPECT, DROP OPENER 1-0 AS FANS RETURN [Column from Opening Day]: Baseball began to dig itself out from under a pandemic on Thursday and carry America with it. This is the sport wrapped in symbolism, and there was plenty of that on Opening Day at still-Marlins Park-to-me and at ballparks around the country. There were more face coverings than ballcaps in the crowd, but there were fans watching, and cheering, wearing Marlins colors, moms, dads and kids remembering what normal used to feel like. After a 2020 marked by somberly empty MLB stadiums as COIVD-19 raged, fans are returning this spring, though in limited numbers such as Miami’s 27 percent capacity. There were Marlins T-shirts that read, WELCOME HOME. They marked the return of fans as the club began its 29th franchise season and 10th at what most of us still think of as “the new ballpark.” Red, white and blue bunting hung in the stands A salsa band played in the concourse beyond left field. Not since September 2019 had this place felt this alive, this itself. Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays players lined up on the first- and third-base baselines for pregame introductions, an Opening Day tradition, and applause met them, not the silence of one year earlier. The defending AL champion Rays would win the game, 1-0, on an eighth-inning Austin Meadows home run off Miami reliever Yimi Garcia, though the result of this first of 162 games was less the story of this day-into-night as the return of fans and all that symbolized. The outcome, though, did nothing to alter the season’s narrative about Miami: A team that will need to win on the strength of its starting pitching, not with a batting lineup that strikes little fear. It was only the third shutout loss in 29 Marlins season openers. Starter Sandy Alcantara was strong in six shutout innings, allowing two hits, two walks and striking out seven, but got scant help offensively. A crowd of 7,062 attended, only about 19 percent of capacity and below the max allowed because many fans remain wary. But it was an impressively spread-out, masked-up, happy-to-be-there throng. For our full latest column, visit Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect.
 

Marlins opdayMIAMI MARLINS WELCOME BACK CHEERING CROWD, FEELING OF HOPE [Season-preview column]: Baseball fans will flock to watch the Miami Marlins play a home game Thursday. They will cheer and buy hot dogs. The ballpark will be decorated in red, white and blue bunting. The umpire will shout “Play ball!” and Sandy Alcantara will begin his windup on the pitcher’s mound. All of the little stuff, the normal stuff we took for granted and missed, is coming back to us by degrees. Crowds at games. Sweet noise. The communal of fans. It is Opening Day in America. It will feel a little like a re-opening. The Marlins’ 29th season of Major League Baseball unfurls with a six-game homestand starting Thursday vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, and it will be the semblance of a real Opening Day for the first time in two years, after last season was delayed, truncated and tossed upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fans were last at the former Marlins Park on September 22, 2019. They will return to find it newly renamed “loanDepot Park” now because the Marlins this week, like most franchises across sports, agreed to sell a little bit of their soul for the added revenue stream of corporate naming rights. For the full column, visit Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope.

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ARCHIVES:

Our other most recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / and Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / and Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness.

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Super Bowl With a Smirk series: Smirk VSmirk IVSmirk IIISmirk IISmirk IHeat NBA Finals last column: LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to FinalsMarlins postseason run last column: Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).