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9 posts from May 2021

May 31, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Heat get swept, Panthers out too, Inter Miami hit with record fine, Osaka's silence. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with Mike Ryan out now & more

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

Memday1) It's MONDAY, MAY 31. Farewell, May! And have a safe and thankful Memorial Day Weekend, all! Take a moment to appreciate the men and women of our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice. 2) Check out this past Tuesday's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz podcasts for way too much of me, including (improbably) my belly button. I'll be back on tomorrow. 3) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Panthers eliminated by Tampa Bay, Heat seek home lift vs. Milwaukee, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram

Coteshow MryanGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH MIKE RYAN OUT NOW!: Our 21st episode of 2021 and 63rd 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 63 we've done so far HERE for free. Our latest episode features Le Batard Show producer Mike Ryan on the upcoming 24-hour marathon broadcast, the joy of Chelsea and agony of Inter Miami. Also, Greg and Chris on Heat and Panthers' early playoff exits, Greg mourns a death in the family and much more. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our column on Heat's season-ending loss: Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee.

Previous Heat/Panthers playoff columns: Heat Fans Showed Up For Game 3. Their Team Did Not / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Time For Heat Fans To Help Lift Their Team Back Into This Series / Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports / Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs / This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 30-31): 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. HEAT: Miami suffers only second best-of-7 sweep in its history: After a tight opening-game defeat and then 34- and 29-point losses, Miami got blown out in second half for a 120-103 Game 4 home loss Saturday and a sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks in their NBA first round playoff series. Heat's only other time being swept in a best-of-7 was in 2007. 

2. PANTHERS: Tampa in first round spells latest early playoff exit for Cats: The deployment of 20-year-old rookie goaltender Spencer Knight shot electricity into Game 5 but it still wound up a 4-2 Panthers series loss to Tampa Bay in the opening round of the NHL playoffs -- the disappointment chasing the best regular season in Florida's history. A 4-0 loss Wednesday ended it, leaving the Cats to figure out how to now get from really good to great.

3. INTER MIAMI: Record fine, loss = nightmare week for Miami: Inter Miami fell to 2-2-4 (four losses) in a 3-0 home loss to D.C. United Saturday night. It was the best part of the week for the beleaguered second-year club. Earlier, MLS fined Miami a league-record $2 million for violations of salary budget and roster regulations. MLS also levied a reduction in allocation money over the 2022 and 2023 seasons amounting to a 12 percent hit, and principal owner Jorge Mas also was hit with a personal $250,000 fine. The team is off until June 19. Good. Embarrassing!

4. MARLINS: Reeling Fish drop third straight: Marlins are 24-28 after a third straight loss despite solid pitching. Sunday's game in Boston was postponed by rain. Miami has fallen to fourth in the winnable (read: bad) NL East as Marlins' nine-game road trip continues Tuesday in Toronto.

5. DOLPHINS: Tua feeling "10 times better" as offseason work continues: Fins completed three days of voluntary organized team activity days this past week. More OTAs are set for this Tuesday through Thursday and then again June 7-8 and June 10, leading to a mandatory full-team minicamp June 15-17. Meanwhile second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa reports he is feeling "10 times better" physically and otherwise than last year. Who else wishes he's said 100 times better?

6. CANES BASEBALL: UM disappoints at ACCs, heads to regional : Miami ended its season 32-17, the most wins in its conference, but failed to make a run in the ACC Tournament in Charlotte this week, losing 3-2 to Duke and 6-3 to Florida State. Canes are headed to the double-elimination NCAA Regional in Gainesville looking to qualify for the College World Series. No. 2 seed UM's first regional game is Friday vs. No. 3 South Alabama (33-20).

7. AUTO RACING: Helio Castroneves unexpectedly wins Indianapolis 500: The 105th Indianapolis 500 was Sunday at the Brickyard, and 46-year-old Helio Castroneves of Fort Lauderdale -- thought too old to win again -- collected his fourth trophy to tie A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears for the most ever. A crowd of 135,000 watch, most at any event since the pandemic.

8. TENNIS: Osaka withdraws as French Open begins at Roland Garros: The French Open, second of four tennis majors, began Sunday on the clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris. Rafael Nadal is the favorite to collect his record 14th French title and fifth in a row. On the women's side Simona Halep's withdrawal (calf injury) left Poland's Iga Swiatek the betting pick to repeat. Meantime world No. 2 Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 and threatened with default from the tournament for refusing to take part in media obligations. So she withdrew.

9. OLYMPICS: Call to cancel Tokyo Summer Games increases: Japan's prominent Asahi Shimbun newspaper this week called for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled with the Games set to open in less than two months, on July 23. It is the first of Japan's major newspapers to do so. The growing opposition is rooted in the country's continued struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

10. SOCCER: Underdog Chelsea reigns in Champions League final: Manchester City and underdog Chelsea met Saturday in Portugal in the 66th championship match of the UEFA Champions League, and Chelsea won 1-0 on a Kai Havertz goal in only the third all-England final, after Man U-Chelsea in 2008 and Liverpool-Tottenham Hotspur in 2019, in Champs League history.

Missing the HB10 cut: Here comes another meaningless golf match everyone will watch. The ink hadn't dried on his new PGA Championship check when it was announced Phil Mickelson would join Tom Brady in a golfer/QB celebrity round -- The Match IV -- vs. Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers on July 6 in Montana ..... A 24-hour Dan Le Batard Show airing noon Friday to noon Saturday will help kick off the new partnership with DraftKings ..... Falcons receiver Julio Jones reportedly has drawn the offer of a first round pick from at least one team ..... The family of a former White Sox stadium worker is crying foul after a lounge named after her was renamed in honor of Tony La Russa and is now called La Russa's Lounge ..... NBA announced a new business investment entity called NBA Africa with investors including former stars Dikembe Mutombo and Grant Hill ..... Eight prep basketball powerhouses including Montverde and IMG Academy in Florida have formed the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference set to begin later this year ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,856 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Other most recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's DeathAaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / 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.

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 / 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 / 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 / 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 / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / 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 / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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).

May 29, 2021

Swept! Heat join Panthers in playoffs' early-exit bin. Column from Miami's Game 4 loss; also, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with interactive Mail Sack, my belly button on Le Batard Show & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 29. Check out Tuesday's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz podcasts for way too much of me, including (improbably) my belly button. 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, Heat and Panthers playoffs, new episode of Greg Cote Show podcast, Happy birthday Bob Dylan & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram

CoteshowMailGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: INTERACTIVE MAIL SACK IN LATEST EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 20th episode of 2021 and 62nd 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 62 HERE for free. Our latest episode features a fun, interactive Greg's Mail Sack in which listeners ask questions on the air. Also, Greg says don't count out Panthers, even down 3-1, and talks Heat. Some Phil and Tebow chatter, too. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

PLAYOFFS IN SOUTH FLORIDA: CATS OUT, HEAT ALL BUT

HeatposHeat get swept in best-of-7 for only 2nd time ever -- Coming off a 34-point loss in Milwaukee in their NBA first round playoff series, the Heat returned home and lost by "only" 29 Thursday night. Miami was in deep trouble in a 3-0 series hole and needed today/Saturday to avoid being swept. They did not, in a 120-103 home loss. My column from the Game 4 loss: Swept! Heat, With No Answers, Lose Game 4 At Home To Bucks.

CatstbPanthers done and out with Game 6 loss in Tampa -- Florida fell 4-0 in Tampa on Wednesday night to exit the NH playoffs with a 4-2 series loss to the Lightning, in an unfortunately harsh first-round matchup for Florida. No Game 7 now, just an offseason to try to figure out how to get a good team great. My column off the game: Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon.

Other Heat/Panthers playoff run columns: Heat Fans Showed Up For Game 3. Their Team Did Not / Time For Heat Fans To Help Lift Their Team Back Into This Series / Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports / Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs / and This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now 

Other most recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right /Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's DeathAaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / and Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins.

 

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ARCHIVES:

Additional most recent columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / 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.

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 / 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 / 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 / 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 / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / 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 / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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).

May 24, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Heat lose Game 1, Cats need miracle on ice, Phil! See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

Dylan1) It's MONDAY, MAY 24. Happy birthday today to a musical and cultural hero of mine, Bob Dylan, turning 80. Thanks, Bob, and here's to many more! Gonna go spin "Thunder On the Mountain," loud as it'll go. 2) I was back in-studio on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past week. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts for a full dose of me. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Panthers in trouble with 2-0 series hole, latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 20th episode of 2021 and 62nd 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 62 HERE for free. Our latest episode features a fun, interactive Greg's Mail Sack in which listeners ask questions on the air. Also, Greg says don't count out Panthers, even down 3-1, explains why Heat are in good shape even after losing Game 1. Some Phil and Tebow talk, too. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Heat lose (barely), Panthers lose (big) on rare day for South Florida sports: It was only the third time in the franchises' combined history that both the Heat and panthers played a playoff game on the same day. For our combined column, visit Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports. The rarity happens again tonight as both play again.

Our other most recent columns: Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole / Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts NowAging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's DeathAaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / and Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 23-24): 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. HEAT: Miami drops Game 1. But is it Bucks who should be worried?: Heat lost Game 1 in Milwaukee Saturday, 109-107, with the Bucks also at home for Game 2 tonight/Monday. But is it Milwaukee that should be concerned in this NBA first-round series? Bucks barely won opener despite Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro shooting a combined 10-for-57. A club-playoff-record 20 3's (seven by Duncan Robinson) almost saved Miami despite the abysmal offense from key players.

2. PANTHERS: Cats in trouble after 6-2 loss, 3-1 series hole: It got ugly in Tampa Saturday in a 6-2 Panthers loss fora 3-1 hole in their NHL first round playoff series. Only 9.4 percent of teams in league history have rallied from 3-1 down to win a best-of-7. Game 5 is back in Sunrise tonight/Monday and Florida needs three straight wins to stave off early elimination. Sergei Bobrovsky got pulled Saturday as Panthers' inconsistent goaltending continued. Time for Spencer Knight? (Just asking for a friend...).

3. GOLF: Mickelson makes history at PGA Championship!: The PGA Championship, golf's second of four majors, ended Sunday at Kiawah Island in South Carolina with Phil Mickelson a two-stroke winner. Mickelson at 50 became the oldest champion in the 161 years of the golf majors.

4. MARLINS: Fish on a little roll as Poteet stars: Marlins are 22-24 after Sunday's 5-1 defeat of Mets made it two straight wins and four out of five. Cody Poteet served up seven shutout innings for Miami, after Pablo Lopez did the same the day before. Fish went a credible 5-5 on their 10-game road trip and now are 2-1 into a seven-game homestand, and four against the Phillies up now.

5. DOLPHINS: Fins back on field to begin OTA workdays: Today through Wednesday this week will mark the first three of 10 "organized team activity" or OTA offseason workdays. They are voluntary (wink, wink) but you are expected to attend. No live contact is permitted but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

6. INTER MIAMI: Loss at Chicago denies Miami winning record -- again: Inter Miami's 1-0 road loss Saturday to a bad Chicago Fire squad left Team Beckham 2-2-3 for the season. A win would have given Inter Miami a winning record for the first time in its two year history. Up next: Locals host D.C. United next Saturday night.

7. CANES BASEBALL: UM learns its ACC Tournament path: Miami ended its regular season 32-17 with a sweep of Louisville Saturday and now prepares for the May 25-30 ACC Tournament in Charlotte. Canes face Duke on Thursday and Florida State Friday. Miami led the ACC in wins this season but is not ranked nationally -- unlike conference rivals Notre Dame (8th), FSU (15th) and North Carolina State (23rd).

8. SOCCER: It's title week for UEFA Champions League: Manchester City and underdog Chelsea vie this coming Saturday in Portugal in the 66th championship match in the UEFA Champions League. It's only the third all-England final, after Man U-Chelsea in 2008 and Liverpool-Tottenham Hotspur in 2019.

9. AUTO RACING: IndyCar, NASCAR vrooming toward big day: The 105th Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte both run next Sunday May 30. It may be the only day on the race calendar that the IndyCar Series owns the national spotlight when both leagues are running.

10. TENNIS: French Open is on deck at Roland Garros: The French Open, second of four tennis majors, begins next Sunday May 30 on the clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris. Rafael Nadal is the favorite to collect his record 14th French title and fifth in a row, ahead of Novak Djokovic. On the women's side, Poland's Iga Swiatek is the betting pick to repeat, especially after Simona Halep's withdrawal due to a calf injury.

Missing the HB10 cut: U.S. star gymnast Simone Biles did a Yurchenko double pike vault in competition Saturday -- a first for a woman ..... Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, with a roster that includes some players who were at the school on Feb. 14, 2018, when a shooter took the lives of 17 students, teachers and staff, won a state baseball championship Saturday ..... Denver's Nikola Jokic is expected to become the NBA's first center to be named league MVP since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000. Phily's Joel Embiid and Golden State's Steph Curry are other finalists ..... Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2) will end a two-year layoff and fight Errol Spence Jr. (27-0) on August 21 in Las Vegas ..... In yet another major blow to college basketball, two highly ranked 6-9 Florida twins, juniors Matt and Ryan Bewley, have become the first players to sign with Overtime Elite, the startup developmental American professional basketball league. They and more to follow are forsaking high school and college eligibility for (they hope) a quicker path to the NBA ..... Anybody interested in a slightly used Julio Jones? ..... Tim Tebow's new Jacksonville Jags jersey is the the No. 1 seller at the NFL's online shop. Lemmings!! ..... Sam Houston State scored late to beat South Dakota State 23-21 and win the FCS championship game of second-tier college football, which played its delayed 2020 season this spring ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,863 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Additional most recent columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / 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.

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 / 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 / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / 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 / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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).

May 22, 2021

Super Saturday in SoFla sports! Panthers, Heat playoff games lead big day; plus plus Le Batard Show, sports analytics take stage in latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more

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

Ccote1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 22. Happy birthday this week, Christopher a.k.a. Chris! 2) I was back in-studio on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this week. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts for a full dose of me. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, column from Panthers' Game 1 loss, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram

PANTHERS, HEAT PLAYOFF GAMES LEAD SUPER SATURDAY IN SO-FLA SPORTS!: Are you ready, South Florida sports fans? Better question: Are your teams ready? Rarely has any one day been bigger for multiple teams of ours:

Catstb(*) Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning, 12:30 p.m. (CNBC) -- Florida is down 2-1 after Thursday night's exhilarating 6-5 OT win gave the Cats new life. Outcome of today's pivotal game will see the Panthers perilously down 3-1 or 2-2 and full of momentum entering Game 5 back in Sunrise on Monday.

Heatmil(*) Heat at Milwaukee Bucks, 2 p.m. (ESPN) -- It's Game 1 as each team tries to make a statement in the rematch of last year's playoff series won by Miami. Will Giannis and the Buck get the revenge they're after? Or will Jimmy and the Heat prove last year was no fluke? The finding out begins.

(*) Also today: New York Mets at Marlins, 4:10 p.m. and Inter Miami at Chicago FIre, 6 p.m.

Columns from Panthers' NHL playoff run: Off Game 2--Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series HoleOff Game 1--Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs. Series preview--This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.

Other most recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / and Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins.

CoteshowJujuGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: LATEST EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 19th episode of 2021 and 61st 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 61 we've done so far HERE for free. Our latest episode features Superfans @JuJuGotti (pictured) & @YetiBlanc_ on cult of @LeBatardShow worship; and identical-twin teenage whiz-kid authors try to explain sports analytics to Greg & @ChrisCoteDKings. Also: Local sports!! A frantic Joe Biden phone message. New Nellie's Diner ad. And a Mount Gregmore music quiz. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

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ARCHIVES:

Additional most recent columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / 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.

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 / 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 / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / 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 / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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).

May 17, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Panthers lose playoff opener (with column from arena), Heat draw Bucks, Bosh gets Hall call, Fins end rookie camp. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, MAY 17. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hoops Hall of Fame will get it right on Chris Bosh this time, Panthers look like best in franchise history but it's time to prove it, newest Greg Cote Show podcast with ESPN's Israel Gutierrez, latest column links & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow JujuGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 19th episode of 2021 and 61st 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 61 we've done so far HERE for free. Our latest episode features Superfans @JuJuGotti (pictured) & @YetiBlanc_ on cult of @LeBatardShow worship; and identical-twin teenage whiz-kid authors try to explain sports analytics to Greg & @ChrisCoteDKings. Also: Local sports!! A frantic Joe Biden phone message. New Nellie's Diner ad. And a Mount Gregmore music quiz. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Column from arena on Panthers' Game 1 loss: Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs.

Other most recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right. Also: This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now; Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's DeathAaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen; and Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 16-17): 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. PANTHERS: Cats drop Game 1 thriller as road to Stanley Cup begins!: Puck dropped Saturday on NHL playoffs and Florida Panthers opened Sunday night with a 5-4 home loss to Tampa Bay in Game 1 of what figures as a contentious first-round series between bitter state rivals. Panthers took five of eight games from Lightning in regular season and carried a six-game win streak into playoffs including 5-1 and 4-0 wins over Tampa -- yet Cats are series betting underdogs and the reigning league champs showed why last night.

2. HEAT: Miami ends regular season Sunday, awaits Bucks in first round: Miami ended 40-32 and sixth to draw third seed Milwaukee in first round. Can Heat eliminate Bucks from playoffs as they did in the bubble last year? Tall taks. And they'd like draw Brooklyn in second round. Uh oh. Thursday's home finale marked an eventful if brief season debut for beloved Udonis Haslem: Three minutes, one ejection. Playoffs -- United In Black is Miami's theme -- are to start next Saturday following the play-in tournament Tuesday through Friday.

3. HALL OF FAME: Big weekend as Kobe is inducted, Bosh is elected: An emotional Saturday saw Kobe Bryant, presented posthumously by his widow and Michael Jordan, lead the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class in a delayed-by-COVID induction ceremony, along with notables Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. The 2021 class announced Sunday included former Heat star Chris Bosh as expected among 16 new entrants. No Tim Hardaway, though.

4. DOLPHINS: NFL schedule out, Fins wrap up rookie minicamp: Miami's three-day rookie minicamp for newly signed top pick Jaylen Waddle and all the rest ended Sunday. Up next for offseason work: Voluntary (but not really) OTA workdays May 24-26. Meanwhile NFL schedules came out, with Miami opening September 12 at New England, then at home September 19 vs. Buffalo. Notable: Fins in London October 17 vs. Jacksonville, and in prime time November 11 (Thursday, vs. Baltimore) and December 27 (Monday, at New Orleans).

5. MARLINS: Lopez, Duvall deliver needed win: Fish are 18-22 after beating Dodgers 3-2 Sunday on Pablo Lopez's strong start and Adam Duvall's three-run homer. Miami is now 3-4 on a 10-game road trip that continues in Philadelphia Tuesday. 

6. INTER MIAMI: Locals beat Cincinnati to pull even on season: Team Beckham won 3-2 at FC Cincinnati, fueled by two goals from Gonzalo Higuain to pull even at 2-2-2 for the young MLS season. MLSPA figures out last week showed Miami with biggest payroll at $17.8 million and Higuain third among all players at $5.79M. (They got their  money's worth Sunday). Next up: At Chicago on Saturday. 

7. HORSE RACING: Rombauer wins Preakness Stakes: Rombauer won the 146th Preakness at Pimlico on Saturday, beating runnerup Midnight Bourbon. The third-place finisher was the Kentucky Derby winner, Cheatin' Medina Spirit.

8. GOLF: PGA Championship is this week: The second of four golf majors, the PGA Championship, is this Thursday through Sunday in South Carolina. Rory McIlroy is betting favorite at 10-1, just ahead of Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas, all 12-1.

9. WNBA: 25th anniversary season now underway: The Seattle Storm begins defense of its title as it's opening weekend for the women's league's silver season, with the 12 teams back in their home arenas for the 32-game regular season. The WNBA will break for a month (July 12-August 14) for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

10. SOCCER: Leicester City surprise win in FA Cup: The 140th FA Cup final Saturday found underdog Leicester City surprising Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley Stadium to take the English football crown. Youri Tielmans' strike delivered Leicester's first-ever FA Cup win, after video replay disallowed a tying Chelsea goal in the 88th minute. On May 29 the UEFA Champions League final sees Chelsea again, but this time a betting underdog vs. Manchester City.

Missing the HB10 cut: Albert Pujols isn't going far, signs one-year deal with Dodgers after being cut by Angels ..... Bigger cloud over NFL offseason: Aaron Rodgers wanting divorce from Green Bay? Or Deshaun Watson legal mess in Houston? Close call ..... Canes baseball is 28-16 entering, the it's four games left in season before ACC Tournament. Miami was passed over as an NCAA regional host ..... Brouhaha in college women's golf! NCAA canceled women's golf regional in Baton Rouge over soggy course conditions even though coaches said it was playable. As a result the top six seeded teams advanced to nationals and others -- including Miami -- were denied their chance. UM coach Patti Rizzo? Angry ..... It's the South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. the underdog Sam Houston State Breakats on Sunday in the FCS championship game of second-tier college football, which played a spring season this year ..... Upcoming events: Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 are both May 30. French Open also starts that day ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,870 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES:

Additional most recent columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / 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.

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 / 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 / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / 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 / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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).

May 15, 2021

After snub last year, time for Hall of Fame to do right by Chris Bosh. New column; plus This looks like Florida Panthers' best team ever. Now we begin to find out; also, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with ESPN's Izzy Gutierrez out now & more

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

Me21) It's SATURDAY, MAY 15. Happy birthday, Michael! My youngest son and Friday B-Day Boy is pictured on the left at a Marlins game with myself and his older brother Christopher. 2) I was back in-studio for my regular Tuesday spot on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this week. Check out that day's show podcasts for way too much  of me. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast with ESPN's Israel Gutierrez, latest column links & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowIzzyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH ESPN'S IZZY GUTIERREZ OUT NOW!:  Our new 18th episode of 2021 and 60th 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 60 we've done HERE for free. Our latest episode features special guest Israel (Izzy) Gutierrez of ESPN (pictured) in a fun conversation about boats, sneakers, golf and Chris Cote's social skills. Oh, and hoops talk, too, including Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame chances and how the Heat are looking as the playoffs near. Also, an historic new Mount Gregmore. Bonus: Greg sings the song that was playing on the radio when he first kissed a girl. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

BoshBASKETBALL HALL OF FAME WRONGED CHRIS BOSH LAST YEAR. TIME TO GET IT RIGHT: It might be a stretch to apply the words underrated or even underappreciated to Chris Bosh’s basketball career. Only 35 players in NBA history have made the all-star team at least 11 times. Bosh is one. And yet, when a player achieves his greatest success on a Miami Heat team that includes neon superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, well, there is never a doubt who gets cast as the third of the Big 3. The idea that Bosh has never quite gotten his full due was underlined a year ago. He took a gut punch. One he didn’t expect. Not only was Bosh denied the distinction of being a first-ballot Hall of Famer last year in his first year of eligibility — he didn’t even make the list of finalists. It stunned those in the Heat organization. To not even be a finalist was a hard, blindside slap. An insult. “I’m not going to lie, man,” Bosh said then. “I’m disappointed that I didn’t even get considered.” The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, based in Springfield, Massachusetts, won’t make the same mistake twice when the 2021 Hall class is announced Sunday. Bet the farm on that. Then take out a loan and bet that money, too. Bosh getting in this time seems that certain. And is that deserved. This time, Bosh is one of 14 finalists including seven former NBA players, and only Boston great Paul Pierce is considered as likely to get in. For our full latest column, visit Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right.

BEST FLORIDA PANTHERS TEAM EVER? PROOF STARTS NOW, IN PLAYOFFS, VS. BIG BROTHER TAMPA BAY: The Florida Panthers team on the ice right now is the best in the 27 seasons since the NHL dared to put a hockey team in the tropics. It might not even be close. Now they must prove it in a best-of-7 playoff series vs. the defending champion and Catsbitter rival Tampa Bay Lightning starting Sunday. A mountainous climb is where the proving starts. A brutal stage for what to expect was set last Saturday in the Panthers’ 5-1 win over Tampa, a fist-flying slugfest that saw 31 penalties totaling 154 minutes in the box, including 10 misconducts and four fighting majors. “Old-time hockey,” Florida coach Joel Quenneville called it. “I loved everything about it,” said goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Leading scorer Jonathan Huberdeau wore a bloody gash on the bridge of his nose as a badge after the game. “It was physical. We don’t mind that,” Huberdeau said. “We’re going to match that.” You see with the eye how good these Panthers are. If you need to quantify it, the Cats this regular season won nearly 70 percent (.694) of all the standings points available to them — best by a lot in franchise history. By comparison, the 1996 Panthers, the only iteration to reach the Stanley Cup Finals, won a .561 points share, only eighth-best in club history. That team was scrappy and fun and made even South Florida hockey agnostics fall in love for a minute as the rubber rats flew and a roster of overachievers played the role of Cinderella on skates. Midnight struck hard. As if to underline that the ‘96 Cats were a blue-collar bunch that didn’t seem cut out to be champions, they got swept 4-0 in the Finals by Colorado. No disrespect meant to that team, but the far-more-talented 2021 Panthers would overwhelm it in every way. Florida in '96 was a young franchise with fans just happy to be here. Not now. Twenty-five years after that franchise peak, today’s Cats must demonstrate they are the best in club history by the only measure that matters: Not only getting to the Finals but winning the Stanley Cup. And how exquisitely perfect that the Panthers must go through Tampa Bay to get there. For our full recent column, visit This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.
 
Our most recent other columns:

Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death

Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen

Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins

Additional recent columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / 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.

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

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 / 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 / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / 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 / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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).

May 10, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fists fly as Cats whip Lightning, Heat beat Boston to protect 6th spot in packed week. See who's No. 1 and what else lands where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now with Izzy Gutierrez & more

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

Meandmom1) It's MONDAY, MAY 10. Hope y'all had a Happy Mother's Day! It's a time time to appreciate the Mom you have but also, for me and many others, to remember with love the one no longer with us. Pictured is the last photo of my Mom ever taken before she passed at age 96 in 2015. 2) I was on Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past Thursday this week, and back in-studio for first time in more than a year with a new Back In My Day. Check out that day's podcasts for way too much of me. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Aging ex-Fins reflect on 1-year anniversary of Shula's death, Aaron Rodgers involves Miami (of course), Grade-A draft fuels Dolphins' momentum, Greg Cote Show podcast with draft talk and Tony Calatayud & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow IzzyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!:  Our new 18th episode of 2021 and 60th 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 60 we've done HERE for free. Our latest episode features special guest Israel (Izzy) Gutierrez of ESPN (pictured) in a fun conversation about boats, sneakers, golf and Chris Cote's social skills. Oh, and hoops talk, too, including Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame chances and how the Heat are looking as the playoffs near. Also, an historic new Mount Gregmore. Bonus: Greg sings the song that was playing on the radio when he first kissed a girl. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns:

Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death

Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen

Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 9-10): 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:

1. PANTHERS: Cats close season, open playoffs vs. bitter-rival Lightning: Florida at 36-14-5 has won five straight and leaped to second in points in the Central ahead of Tampa Bay with Saturday night's penalty-strewn 5-1 home rout of the Lightning, fueled by Alex Wennberg's hat trick. Rivals meet again Monday night in Sunrise to close the 56-game regular, with Cats needing a win or overtime loss to earn home-ice advantage in first round of playoffs. If Saturday was an indication, fists will be flyin' in a Florida-Tampa playoff. 

HButton2. HEAT: Miami jockeying for playoff position and down to stretch run: Miami solidified its lead over the Celtics for sixth place in the East with Sunday's big Jimmy Butler-led win at Boston. Now at 37-31 it's four games left in the shortened 72-game regular-season starting with another game at Boston on Tuesday. Heat are near-certain to make postseason but must finish in the top six to avoid play-in round. (Aside to Jimmy Butler: Could you lay off Karl Anthony-Towns a bit? Dude's had a tough year).

3. DOLPHINS: Fins set offseason schedule, trade for veteran CB: NFL offseason is underway and, for Miami, it starts with rookie minicamp for the Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips-led incoming draft class this Friday through next Sunday. Then: Voluntary-but-not really OTA workdays May 24-26, June 1-3, June 7-8 and June 10, and a mandatory full-team minicamp June 15-17. Also, Fins signed veteran ex-Pats corner Jason McCourty, 33, to 1-year deal, obviously as insurance (and leverage) in case Xavien Howard brays about holding out for more money.

4. MARLINS: Fish lose two of three after 4-game win streak: Miami was 15-16 and out of the NL East cellar after a three-game home sweep of Arizona and then a fourth straight win Friday vs. Milwaukee, before losing two straight to the Brewers. Miami begins 10-game road trip Monday at Arizona. Starters Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez and Trevor Rogers have been terrific, and the 'pen has been lights-out.

5. SOCCER: FA Cup, Champions League finals set: What a time for English football! The 140th FA Cup final will match Chelsea and underdog Leicester City this coming Saturday May 15 at Wembley Stadium. On May 29 the UEFA Champions League final in Turkey will see Chelsea the betting underdog this time vs. Manchester City. It will be only the third all-England final in the Champ League's 66 years. 

6. INTER MIAMI: Franchise-first winning record still elusive after 1-1- draw: Team Beckham is 1-2-1 after a loss-win-draw-draw this young season with Sunday's 1-1- home tie vs. Atlanta United. Miami is still chasing its first-ever winning record into its second season in Major League Soccer. Inter Miami is back home for a Wednesday mid-weeker vs. Montreal.

7. NFL: Aaron Rodgers drama heats up, with Miami a peripheral player: MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers reportedly wanting out of Green Bay has seen ripples around the NFL, including an ESPN piece this week speculating Washington, Denver and Miami as the three likeliest teams to pursue. Dolphins are still publicly in "Tua's our guy" mode. Time will tell.

8. UPCOMING: Preakness Stakes leads parade of big events remaining in May: The Preakness at Pimlico next Saturday will be horse racing's second Triple Crown race, with Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit a 7-2 betting fave to win again. Also upcoming in May: The PGA Championship is May 20-23, the Indianapolis 500 on May 30 and the French Open starting May 30.

9. GOLF: Can new 'Premier Golf League' wins its war with PGA Tour?: A proposed European Super League in soccer failed fast. Now golf? The proposed Premier Golf League,' heavily funded by Saudi money, is promising multi-million-dollar guarantees to top-ranked golfers to break away from the PGA and European Tours. Phil Mickelson calls the notion "interesting." The breakaway tour is set to start in September 2022 ... if it can attract top players. Your move, PGA Tour.

10. MLB: Angels abruptly release future Hall of Famer Pujols: Has certain first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols taken his last-MLB at-bat at age 41? Pujols, in sharp decline the past two years, was abruptly cut by the L.A. Angels this week. His first team, St. Louis, seems likeliest to sign him, but perhaps to a 1-day contract so he might retire as a Cardinal. 

Missing the HB10 cut: Former Miami Heat star Chris Bosh will be among likely honorees next Sunday when the College Basketball Hall of Fame announces its 2021 class ..... Mexican star Canelo Alvarez, no doubt inspired by an appearance on the Le Batard Show (!), stopped Billy Joe Saunders before 65,000-plus fans in Texas Saturday in a super middleweight unification fight ..... House Speaker  Nancy Pelosi honored baseball legend Willie Mays for his 90th birthday by tweeting out a photo of herself with Wille McCovey. OY! ..... Russell Westbrook tied Oscar Robertson's NBA record for most career triple-doubles ..... Portland Thorns won the NWSL Challenge Cup tournament over Gotham FC in a penalty shootout ..... Canes baseball at should re-enter the rankings if it completes a home sweep of Appalachian State today ..... Saturday semifinal wins launched Sam Houston State and South Dakota State to next week's FCS championship game in second-level college football ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,877 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Our most recent other columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / 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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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 / 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 / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / 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 / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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).

May 08, 2021

Aging ex-Dolphins weigh own mortality 1 year after Shula's death. New column; plus Rodgers' Green Bay drama involves Miami (of course), Grade-A draft feeds momentum for on-the-rise Fins, new Greg Cote Show podcast with Tony from Le Batard Show & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 8. I was on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on Thursday this week, and back in-studio for first time in more than a year with a new Back In My Day. Check out yesterday's show podcasts for way too much of me. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins' Waddle-led NFL Draft, with mock draft and draft poll results, Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast with draft talk and Anthony (Tony) Calatayud & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow TonyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: DRAFT REVIEW, TONY CALATAYUD ON NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 17th episode of 2021 and 59th 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 59 we've done HERE for free. Our latest episode features special guest Anthony (Tony) Calatayud, pictured, from the Le Batard Show Shipping Container before mysteriously falling off the pirate ship. Also, Greg raves about the Dolphins draft, how the Arizona Diamondbacks won Twitter and much more. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

ShulaAGING EX-DOLPHINS REFLECT ON OWN MORTALITY ONE YEAR AFTER SHULA'S DEATH: Miami Dolphins fans have spent this week in the afterglow of a successful NFL Draft — one that has them daring to dream that happy days are here again (or at least getting close). Chances are it did not occur to most Dolfans that it was one year ago this week when the architect of the franchise’s happiest days passed away. Don Shula died one year ago Tuesday, at age 90. It is an anniversary worth noting, not with sadness but with fond memories and gratitude. “Hard to believe it’s been a year since he’s been gone,” Larry Little, the old guard, said Wednesday. “Some people you think are going to be around forever, and Coach Shula was one. I think of him often. I’m still missing him.” Eldest son Dave Shula returned to coaching after a 22-year-absence in 2018. He is Dartmouth’s wide receivers coach. The team’s first spring practice was on the anniversary of his father’s passing.“Life goes on as he would want it,” Dave said Wednesday. “I certainly think about it every day. During the season when the last [unbeaten] team lost, we shared some good memories and laughed that Dad was still undefeated. He left this Earth undefeated. And the ‘72 guys in heaven now -- they’re running the table up there now, still undefeated, too.” For our full latest column, visit Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death

ArodgersAARON RODGERS' GREEN BAY DRAMA INVOLVES DOLPHINS? TWO REASONS IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN: It caught my eye as I breezed past ESPN.com Tuesday. Bill Barnwell, the NFL writer, was proposing possible trade offers for Aaron Rodgers. The headline: ‘Seven teams and deals that make sense.’ “Uh-oh,” I thought to myself with dread. I knew it was coming. I clicked on the story as one might nervously press a mysterious button that might or might cause unseen dynamite to detonate. Sure enough, inevitably, predictable as humidity in Miami, there it was: The Dolphins were ranked as the third-likeliest team where a deal for Rodgers seemed possible and made sense, trailing only the second-place Washington No-Names and the top-ranked Denver Broncos. Barnwell posits a complicated three-team trade, which is pretty common in the NBA but almost unheard of in King Sport. He has the Dolphins getting Rodgers and a 2023 fourth-round pick; the Steelers getting Tua Tagovailoa; and the Packers getting 2022 and 2023 first-round picks and a ‘23 fifth-rounder from Miami and a ‘22 first-round pick from Pittsburgh. You’ve heard of football. This is a game of mootball because it will never happen for a variety of reasons. For our full recent column -- including what those reasons  are and a fun list of things Pack should do to make Aaron happy -- visit Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen.
 

DraftpartyGRADE-A DRAFT FEEDS DOLPHINS' MOMENTUM, SEES LONG-DOWN FRANCHISE READY TO RISEAlmost 50 years after the Super Bowl wins and nearly 40 years since Dan Marino’s arrival shot electricity across Miami, the Dolphins are luxuriating in something not seen or felt around here in a long time. The right kind of national attention. Universal praise. The sense this is a franchise to be reckoned with, headed right, ready to matter again in the NFL. Miami won 10 games last season with its best points differential since 2002, its most points scored since 1986 and a defense that tied for fifth in fewest points allowed. Despite an uneven rookie season, the arrival of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa brought excitement and promise in a way not felt since Dan Marino. Now, a draft nothing short of acclaimed. Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN gave an A grade to only two of 32 teams for their NFL Draft bounty: the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Dolphins. Said Kiper of Miami’s draft: “Looking at this roster, I don’t think it’s far away from being a Super Bowl contender, and the Dolphins hit their major needs. This is a stellar class overall.” For our full recent column, visit Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins.

Our most recent other columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / 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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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 / 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 / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / 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 / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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).

May 03, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Dolphins draft, Heat, Le Batard, Cats jostle for top spot; plus our mock draft and draft poll results, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now (!) & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, MAY 3. Farewell, April. Welcome, May! 2) I was back on Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past Thursday. Check out that day's show podcasts. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Our 30th NFL Mock Draft (and how we did), Le Batard's $50 million DraftKings deal, Greg Cote Show podcast with ESPN's Mina Kimes talking draft & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow TonyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 17th episode of 2021 and 59th 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 59 we've done HERE for free. Our latest episode, out now, features special guest Anthony (Tony) Calatayud, pictured, from the Le Batard Show Shipping Container before mysteriously falling off the pirate ship. Also, Greg raves about the Dolphins draft, how the Arizona Diamondbacks won Twitter and much more. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

DOLPHINS DRAFT POLL: Mixed results on Waddle, but mostly thumbs up: We asked in a Twitter poll what you thought of Miami picking Alabama WR Jaylon Waddle sixth overall. You said: Love it 30.5%; Like it 29.1%; Hmm 26.5%; Disappointed 14.0%.

MY MOCK DRAFT RESULTS VS. KIPER AND MCSHAY: ESPN's Todd McShay crushed it, with 26 correct first-round picks overall, six misses and a big 11 Exactos -- right player to right team. ESPN's Kiper and your guy Cote both had 25 correct overall, seven misses and seven Exactos. However I give myself the tiebreaker over Kiper because I also had two players pegged to the exact position they were taken, but to different teams. Highlight: One of my Exactos was Hurricane Gregory Rousseau going to Buffalo 30th overall. Neither Kiper nor McShay had Rousseau in their first round. [Find my full 30th annual Mock Draft HERE].

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 2-3): 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: WR Waddle, ex-Cane Phillips front Miami's draft: Fins didn't luck into top receivers Kyle Pitts or Ja'Marr Chase with the sixth overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft in Cleveland, so they picked Jaylen Waddle over Heisman winner DeVonta Smith in a choice of 'Bama wideout toys for Tua to play with. It was hardly "settling"; Waddle's really good. Dolphins addressed edge rush at No. 18 and didn't leave the 3-0-5 in getting ex-Hurricane Jaelan Phillips. Solid Day 1 bounty continued in a heralded draft that ESPN's Mel Kiper graded 'A.'

2. HEAT: Miami back on right side of play-in with seven games left in regular season: Up and down Heat sit sixth now in East after Sunday's win in Charlotte left Miami 35-30 with seven games left in the shortened 72-game season. Miami must finish in top six to make the playoffs proper and avoid the play-in that awaits the 7-through-10 finishers.

3. DAN LE BATARD: Leaving ESPN pays. Le Batard strikes gold with DraftKings deal: Meadowlark Media, the content company formed by Miami's Dan Le Batard and former ESPN president John Skipper, landed a three-year, $50 million sponsorship deal with DraftKings. The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz is Meadowlark's flagship. Good for you, Dan. Can you loan me $20? 

4. PANTHERS: Cats jockey for playoff position as regular seasons wanes: Florida is 34-14-5 and two points back of Carolina in the NHL Central after Saturday's 5-4 win at Chicago. Regular season ends now with three at home: Tonight/Monday vs. Dallas, then Saturday and next Monday vs. rival Tampa Bay. Florida must jump Carolina and win the division to avoid facing Tampa in first round of the playoffs, a very tough draw.

5. HURRICANES: First time in 6 years 2 Canes drafted in first round: Defensive ends Jaelan PPhilhe (18th overall to Miami) and Gregory Rousseau (30th to Buffalo) gave UM two 1R NFL Draft picks for the first time since 2015. Tight end Brevin Jordan (5th round, Houston) and DE Quincy Roche ((6th, Pittsburgh) also were drafted.

6. NFL: Rodgers report breaks ahead of QB-laden NFL Draft: ESPN reported that Packers superstar quarterback, reigning league MVP and mediocre Jeopardy! host Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, the buzz of that looming over the start of the draft. The story of round 1? Five QBs go, including the top three and with all five in the top 15. Only the 1983 draft (with six) had more QBs go 1R.

7. MARLINS: Fish at bottom after being swept at Washington: Miami is 11-16 and last in the NL East, but only 2 1/2 games off the lead after being swept at Washington with Sunday's loss. NL East is the only division in MLB without a team over .500. Who wants it. Anybody?

8. INTER MIAMI: Second-year team in scoreless draw at Nashville: Buried in a new pandemic, Inter Miami's inaugural season began with five straight losses and ended 7-13-3. Year 2 started loss-win. That meant 1-1-0 Miami had a chance for its first-ever winning record Sunday at Nashville. Alas, a 0-0 tie ensued.

9. HORSE RACING: Medina Spirit wins Kentucky Derby: Medina Spirit won the 147th Kentucky Derby Saturday to commence the 2021 Triple Crown season. Jockey John Velazquez entered the race with 12-1 odds but delivered trainer Bob Baffert his record seventh Derby win.

10. SOCCER: UEFA Champions League nears title matchup: Second-leg semifinal matches this week will determine which two teams advance to the Champions League finale. Manchester City carries a one-goal edge over Paris-Saint Germain in their Tuesday match. Wednesday, Real Madrid and Chelsea enter even after a draw in in the first leg.

Missing the HB10 cut: There is now speculation Texans QB Deshaun Watson,  besieged by 23 accusations of sexual misconduct, may not play in 2021 ..... Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will sign a bill banning transgender females from women’s and girls’ sports. So  much for the notion of equal rights ..... Four games Sunday will bring us to next Saturday's semifinals in the second-tier FCS college football playoffs. South Dakota State is No. 1 seed of teams still alive from the original 16 ..... Canes baseball is 24-14 entering today's rubber game at Boston College ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,884 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

IFFY TRADES THAT COST THEM PITTS MEAN DOLPHINS BETTER BE RIGHT ON WADDLE: The top of the Miami Dolphins’ NFL Draft on Thursday night was all about one thing: Making second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa better. They did it in drafting his former Alabama teammate, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (pictured), sixth overall in the first round of the draft in Cleveland. Another Jwaddleway to frame what the Fins’ draft priority was: Tagovailoa has one less excuse now. The coming season must see a leap from him, a verification why Miami put the franchise keys in his hand just one year earlier. Think about the AFC East moving forward. Buffalo has rising star Josh Allen at quarterback. The New York Jets (Zach Wilson) and New England (Mac Jones) drafted their QBs of the future Thursday night. Tua is suddenly in the mix with three young rivals. Miami went defense with its second first-round pick, and looked to the backyard in drafting former Miami Hurricanes defensive end Jaelan Phillips 18th overall. It was a need-filling smart pick (although I believe DE Kwity Paye, who went three spots later, may have a greater career). The way the draft played out — with coveted tight end Kyle Pitts going fourth overall and receiver Ja’Marr Chase going fifth — limited Miami’s options with its top pick. The Dolphins were left to choose among Waddle, his Bama teammate DeVonta Smith, the Heisman Trophy-winning receiver, or offensive tackle Penei Sewell. Waddle’s name being called felt like a bit of a surprise to some. In a pre-draft poll on Twitter that presumed Pitts would be gone before No. 6, I asked who should Dolphins fans hope Miami takes, with four choices. It was Chase 49.0 percent, Smith 23.9 percent, Sewell 19.5 percent and Waddle only 7.6 percent. But consider: Tagovailoa has played with both Waddle and Smith. Do you think the Dolphins brought Tua in on that decision? Of course they did. Any second-guessing of the Dolphins shouldn’t center on Waddle over Smith or Sewell. But it might legitimately center on the club yo-yoing from the third pick to the 12th and back up to sixth via two major trades. Stay at three and you get Pitts, who is said to be a generational, franchise-changing talent. But in the maneuvering that cost them Pitts the Dolphins gained the 49ers’ first-round draft pick in 2023. So here is what a Dolphins fans must weigh. What would you rather have moving forward: Pitts? Or Waddle plus an additional 2023 first-round pick? It isn’t an easy question or a knowable answer right now. For our full column, visit Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle
 
Dolphins 2021 Draft:
1-6   Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle
1-18 Miami DE Jaelan Phillips
2-36 Oregon S Jevon Holland
2-42 Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg
3-81 Boston College TE Hunter Long
7-231 UMass OT Larnel Coleman
7-244 Cincinnati RB Gerrid Doaks
 

Our most recent other columns: Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / 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.

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

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 / 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 / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / 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 / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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).