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).

October 29, 2020

Justin Turner's outrageous, ignorant selfishness. New column; plus Welcome to Tua Week in Miami, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now, NFL Week 7 Pix 'n Fantasy results and QB Rankings, new Back In My Day video (Potato Chips!) & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 33 & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

NFL Week 7 QB Rankings: Old G.O.A.T. Tom Brady wins week, rockets to third overall. Details and updated Top 20: NFL Week 7 QB Rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 34 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 34 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 34 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep34, myself and Chris engage in a sometimes contentious debate over the Dolphins quarterback-change drama, Chris reveals his first career parenting faux pas, and we offer a new edition of 'Greg Doesn't Know Movies.' And of course a new Mount Gregmore, too -- the Q's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

TurnerSELFISH JUSTIN TURNER -- WITH COVID -- JOINING DODGERS CELEBRATION A SADLY FITING END TO SEASON: Baseball’s World Series gave us an absolutely perfect ending to the 2020 season, the strangest of all time. It was not perfect from a baseball standpoint, except of course to a Los Angeles Dodgers team winning it all for the first time in 32 years, since Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson. No, it was a perfect ending as a mirror on America in this year of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The final images of the season reflected so damned accurately a country literally playing in a pandemic, and not taking seriously enough a plague whose American death toll on Wednesday stood around 227,000. And climbing. We should be talking today about the Dodgers finally getting over the hump to win the franchise’s first World Series since 1988. About L.A. celebrating yet again just 17 days after the Lakers won the NBA Finals. We should be talking baseball and second-guessing the manager! Can you believe Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash giving the early hook to Blake Snell when Snell was dominating? Over-managing gone way wrong. Instead, we must talk about what is more important, and what kicks dirt on the Dodgers’ triumph: Justin Turner and his outrageous selfishness. (The literal grinning fool, in the red beard, is pictured). For our full latest column, visit Turner -- With COVID -- Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season.

TuandFitzDRAMA, CONTROVERSY, TORQUED-UP PRESSURE: WELCOME TO TUA WEEK IN MIAMI: In ways ceremonial and real, Monday began the Tua Tagovailoa Era in Miami. Let’s capitalize era for added gravitas — such are the expectations, pent up around here for 20 years, ever since we said goodbye to to Dan Marino and waited (and waited) for another like him. We will know by degrees over time whether Tua possesses that potential. We have had but a two-minute blink. The first real hint comes with his first start this coming Sunday against the visiting Los Angeles Rams. This week would have been one of great anticipation maybe tinged with trepidation under any circumstances. Is the kid ready? After two NFL minutes and two short passes? Dial back to 1983 and remember that Marino, before his first start, had seen extensive action in two games, completing 23 of 39 passes for 240 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. That after the full preseason that Tagovailoa was denied by the COVID pandemic. (And Marino did not bear the shadow of injury history, of hip surgery). But to all of that already entailed in Tua Week, we added something expected. We add elements of drama, pressure, even controversy. All of that is courtesy the man benched to make way for Tagovailoa, the veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has caused this not with malice or ill intent, but with plain, raw honesty. For our full recent column, visit Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami.

Most recent other stuff from me: NFL Week 7 picks, Dolphins' QB change and fun time in Miami sports: NFL Week 7 GemsDolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right MoveHeat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 7 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Ouch!: Went 9-5 straight-up this past week. Can live with that. Went 5-9 against the spread. Can head straight to the poorhouse with that. Our worst week yet ATS, by a lot. Had a few nice hits, including Pittsburgh's mini upset at Tennessee, and 'dogs-with-points covers by Panthers and Jets. Also had some bad luck with blown leads and near misses. Still, no excuses for three what-was-I-thinking picks: Texans over Pack, Cowboys over Washington and Pats over Niners. Somebody slap me. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald. Promise a big bounceback week. Greg's Lobos: Ouch 2.0: Lobos had been hot. Man did that end. 'Bos got clobbered 127-73 to fall to 4-3 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. Hard to win when your top scorer with 18 points is newly signed Matthew Stafford. We were scrambling, with Dak Prescott lost for the year, two starters on byes and Michael Thomas and Aaron Jones both injured. The good news? Still tied for 3rd in hunt for four playoff spots!

NEW 'BACK IN MY DAY': POTATO CHIPS!: Fresh out the oven, this one. Premiered earlier today on the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio and TV. Hope you enjoy:

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THE ARCHIVES:

Heat NBA Finals columns: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals. Game 5--They're Alive! Butler, Heat Beat Lakers, Get to Game 6 In NBA FInals. Game 4--Lakers in 3-1 Command in NBA Finals, But Don't Write Off Heat Yet. Game 3--Jimmy Butler's 40 Gives Heat New Life in NBA Finals. Game 2--NBA Finals Slipping Away As Heat Lose Again. Game 1-- Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.

Marlins postseason run columns: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead. Game 2--Marlins Fall Again, Join Heat On Brink Of Elimination. Game 1--Braves Homers, Bullpen Collapse Bury Marlins in NLDS Game 1. Columns from two wins over Cubs in wild-card round: Miracle Marlins Advance in NL Playoffs and Seventeen Years Out of Playoffs, Marlins Return in Style.

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

Football special-section columns: TUA TAGOVAILOA IS DOLPHINS' SAVIOR SENT TO BRING NEW GLORY ... IF PROPHECY IS TRUE  /  WHO'S SUPER BOWL-BOUND? WHERE DO FINS FALL? OUR 2020 NFL-IN-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

Select other recent columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / 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 is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

June 20, 2020

NFL team that dares sign Kaepernick will be champion of the streets. New column; plus Should sports take rest of 2020 off?, Greg Cote Show podcast Ep-16, latest Back In My Day video, America's Pastime is failing America, Happy Juneteenth & more

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

Juneteenth1) It's SATURDAY, JUNE 20. Hope you had a reflective and Happy Juneteenth. It felt especially relevant in 2020, this celebrated commemoration, dating to 1865, of the ending of slavery in the United States. 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 16 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 16 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 16 is out now! Find a new episode every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 16 we've done so far right here. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 16 we talk NASCAR banning the Confederate flag, update you on our Duck Family (bad news) and our ailing Crape Myrtle (better news), and have a conversation with an author who both wrote a new biography of Yogi Berra and was Le Batard's first editor. Fun stuff! That and more in new Ep16! Find every podcast we've done so far HERE.

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

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

ColinkONE NFL TEAM WILL BE CHAMPION OF THE STREETS -- THE ONE THAT DARES SIGN COLIN KAEPERNICKProtests continue in the streets as the reasons why continue in the news. Confederate statues topple along with the ideology that raised them. And, yes, if you want an oddly perfect little symbolic visual for what’s happening: Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben walk hand in hand into forced retirement, disappearing into the past. Tectonic plates are shifting beneath our feet. It feels like the beginning of actual change, the kind that can only happen when it grows from the national conscience. We could be living in the middle of a new American revolution forcing evolution. It would be about equality. It would be about time. Some might say a bottle of syrup and a box of rice being retired for the racial stereotypes of their brands is political correctness to a fault. That it’s going too far. Maybe going too far is called for when you haven’t gone far enough for most of 244 years. Another sign of progress must come now. Another step forward. In the larger picture it might be symbolic, but it also would be significant, meaningful: Colin Kaepernick, back in the NFL. Now, please. There might not even be a 2020 NFL season, let alone one with fans in stadiums, thanks to the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, one brave team (or maybe just one that needs a proven quarterback as a backup?) needs to sign Kaepernick — give him the chance he’s been denied going on four years. To read our full latest column, please visit Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

SHOULD SPORTS PLAY IT SAFE, PACK IT IN AND TAKE REST OF 2020 OFF? THERE'S AN ARGUMENTShould sports resume at all in 2020? Even without fans at games? The question seems increasingly reasonable to ask as we come upon 100 days without live sports — even as we all miss the cheering, the touchstone of normalcy that our teams can offer. We all dream of the TV Faucicornucopia this fall, the promise of the NBA and NHL, of baseball and soccer all in the midst of their resumed seasons as the NFL and college football begin. It could happen. Looks like it will happen. The sports plate could be full, albeit with stadiums and arenas empty, presuming MLB ever gets its act together and reconciles on a restart plan as the other leagues have. But is that safe? Is it smart? Beyond the economic infusion, is it right? Dr. Anthony Fauci (pictured), the science in the storm, the voice of reason above the fray of politics, said something interesting this week. It did not get the attention it was due because he didn’t say it from a White House pulpit. To the Los Angeles Times, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and infectious Diseases warned of the potential dangers of a restarted baseball season going beyond the "core summer months" and into fall when the weather gets cold. "I would avoid that," Dr. Fauci said. He meant "the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave [of coronavirus/COVID-19]." He was speaking specifically of MLB, but the NBA, NHL and MLS all would be returning along a similar timeline and playing into fall. And football would be playing in the heart of fall and winter, when concerns about a recurrence or spike in coronavirus cases would be greatest. To read our full recent column, please visit Should Sports Take the Rest Of 2020 Off? There's An Argument.

RobmlbBASEBALL'S SHAME: AMID A PANDEMIC AND PROTESTS, 'AMERICA'S PASTIME' IS LETTING AMERICA DOWN: What an opportunity this was. Batter up. Fat pitch, grooved right down the middle. Should have been a towering home run. Nothing but cheering. Everybody uplifted. Instead? Whiff. Baseball struck out. There was every opportunity for owners and players to set aside their mutual greed, find a compromise, lead sports out of this pandemic and help a nation that needs it find its way back to normal. It would have been symbolic: America’s pastime stepping up to reclaim the mantle it lost. Baseball, there for us when we needed it most. There had been a grand plan, once, remember? Start the season around the Fourth of July. Perfect. Baseball, fireworks and apple pie. Instead, it is the other sports that have a plan. The NBA, NHL and MLS soccer all have come to agreements on reporting dates later this summer, a no-fans resumption plan. The PGA Tour and NASCAR already have restarted. Even the NFL and college football have plans in place. While MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred (pictured) fail to agree on a plan. While America’s Pastime continues to let America down. To read our full recent column, please visit Amid Pandemic And Protests, 'America's Pastime' Is Letting American Down.

OTHER MOST RECENT COLUMNS: Return Of Sports Promises Historic TV SmorgasbordHomestead Is Test Lab As NASCAR Gradually Welcomes Back Fans / and R.I.P. Kurt Thomas, an American Gymnastics Pioneer

NEW 'BACK IN MY DAY': TELEPHONE OPERATORS!: The latest BIMD premiered Tuesday on the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio and ESPNews. Went over well. I like it:

Select earlier recent columns: MLB Players Demanding More Millions, Right Now, Is A Bad Look / Amid a Pandemic, An Outrage in Alamance County / Welcome to Sports Without Fans, the New Normal / As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More Trivial / Anticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami / Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19 / Dolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever / NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Florida Derby / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

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Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards has 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 on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Book: Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go (video) and The Ballad Of 1440 (audio).

May 23, 2020

Annoying Paul Pierce escalates beef with LeBron. New column; plus why Dolphins have the perfect QB room, sports' no-fans New Normal, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 12 out now!, new Back In My Day video, Don Shula tribute columns & more

1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 23. I'm pleased to be hosting this year's Miami Herald All-County Athletic Awards, an annual tradition since 1957 -- but virtual this time because of the pandemic. Mark it: We'll honor Miami-Dade & Broward's best in prep sports on Wednesday May 27 at 6 p.m. on the Herald's Facebook & YouTube pages. 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 12 now out, our Don Shula tribute columns & more. 4) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 12 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and the new Episode 12 is out now! Find a new episode out every Monday morning on Apple and Google Podcasts as well as on Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 12 episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Episode 11 was a special hour-long, all-star tribute to Don Shula. Now in Episode 12 my wife in her first interview reveals embarrassing things about me and we make fun of Le Batard for a gross noise he made while talking about Shula. Also, ex-Marlins president David Samson drops by. Find every podcast we've done including the new one HERE.

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

LebronppPAUL PIERCE TAKES LOW ROAD (AGAIN) IN ESCALATING BEEF WITH LEBRON. NEW COLUMN: Paul Pierce stands 6-7. By most any measure he is a big man. So why does he seem so small? He opens his mouth and shrinks to the size of an insect. A mere irritant. He has done it again. Even in retirement, the former Boston Celtics great leads the NBA in annoying. Miami Heat fans remember that during Dwyane Wade’s farewell season Pierce went on social media to note he had a better career. And there was no doubt ... that Pierce was delusional. That nobody outside of Bahston actually believed that, and that basketball history surely wouldn’t. (To underline that ESPN recently named the all-time greatest 74 players for the league’s 74 years, and Pierce was ranked 54th to Wade’s 26th. Not close). Pierce was at it again this week. This time the target of his pettiness was even bigger than Wade, as was how dumb he sounded. (That same ESPN ranking has LeBron No. 2 all time, behind only Michael Jordan). Pierce rationalized that LeBron never built a champion or sustained one in saying his top five consisted of Jordan, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. He said it on a four-way Zoom video and as he spoke, fellow analyst Jay Williams had his head in his hands as Paul pierced the ear with indefensible nonsense. I remember that as a kid, my older brother and I would get in sports arguments all the time and I would drive him crazy by saying, "An opinion is never wrong." Except sometimes it is. It was Shaquille O’Neal who gave Pierce his nickname, The Truth. But there is no truth behind Pierce’s slight of James. It is calculated and comes from a bitter place. To read our full latest column, please visit How Can A Man 6-7 Seem So Small? That's Pierce On LeBron

RyanfitzQB CONTROVERSY? HARDLY. WHY RYAN FITZPATRICK IS PERFECT FOR TUA TAGOVAILOA AND DOLPHINS: The Miami Dolphins do not have a quarterback controversy. They have the opposite. They have an ideal situation, with just the right veteran incumbent, just the right incoming rookie and the luxury to not hurry the latter onto the field before he is entirely ready. It is one of the best situations in the NFL, in fact, for reasons we will explain. Yet the specter of controversy arose this week when old vet Ryan Fitzpatrick, appearing on an ex-teammate’s podcast, said he still wants to start; it’s why he re-signed. Well, no duh, right! He is still playing at a high level. He was Miami’s team MVP last season. He competes; it’s what he does for a living. Fitzpatrick also said he will be an "open book" for first-round rookie Tua Tagovailoa — a willing mentor. And there is zero doubt about that. But all the football world heard is that Fitzpatrick won’t step aside. This is what happens in the void of sports, of actual games and results. Sports coverage is all peripheral now. It’s why the little back and forth on Instagram between Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker and Saints counterpart Michael Thomas became bigger news than was merited this week. It is something to chew on in the void. Heck, why do you think I’m writing about it? Rhetorical question. Answer: Because I can’t write about the Heat’s playoff run or Inter Miami’s inaugural season or how the Marlins are doing — all erased by the coronavirus/COVID-19shutdown. For our full recent column please visit No Controversy Here. Dolphins Have Ideal QB Situation.

CARDBOARD CUTOUTS, ROBOTS, FAKE NOISE? WELCOME TO SPORTS WITHOUT FANS, THE NEW NORMAL?: In hibernation going on 10 weeks now, the giant bear opens its eyes in the darkness, blinks, begins to stir. Slowly it unlimbers and lumbers toward the light. By degrees, sports is returning or planning to, but not sports as we know it. America gradually reopens from the full lockdown of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic that began hitting us in March; all but two states have now eased restrictions. Sports follows the timeline, but it is a Cardboard fansnew normal that we enter, and it will be with us into the summer and perhaps into fall. Maybe longer? Sports will return without fans, a jarring, almost eerie sight. Is sports even sports at all without fans? As the new normal seeps in, we understand the resumption of sports, even sans fans, will lift the country’s spirits. Our teams if only symbolically can play a role in the national healing. And so NASCAR has resumed with zero spectators. The PGA Tour is inching back. MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS all plan to resume at some point this summer but with no fans for the foreseeable future. The unknowable question is how the NFL and college football — King Sport — will be affected later this fall. We already are beginning to see what sports with no fans looks like — including the comical side of it. This is the verbatim first paragraph of a soccer story on ESPN.com: Leading South Korea club FC Seoul apologized to fans after inadvertently substituting supporters in the stands with sex dolls during their 1-0 win over Gwangju FC on Sunday. (The funniest part of hat sentence? Inadvertently). A 67-page document on MLB’s resumption, optimistically planned for the regular season to start in early July, includes music in stadiums. Fox Sports’ Joe Buck revealed his network’s broadcast of NFL games this fall, assuming no fans, would include piped-in noise of a cheering crowd along with fake images of fans in the stands. I’m just hoping somebody in the Fox control room presses the wrong button after the home team scores and instead of cheering we hear a boisterous laugh track from a 1960s sitcom. Anything goes in the temporary (we hope) age of no-fan sports. Well, except inflatable dolls, apparently. For this full recent column, please visit Welcome to Sports Without Fans, the New Normal.

NEW 'BACK IN MY DAY': ROBOT VACUUMS!: This premiered Tuesday on ESPN Radios' Le Batard Show. Enjoy!:

Featured most recent other columns:

As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More Trivial

Anticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami

Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19

Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped

Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

Also: Dolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / Hackers, Barking Dogs, Crazy Pressure: Why Virtual NFL Draft Is Biggest Ever For Dolphins / Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / and NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent

And: Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in No-Fans Florida Derby / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

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

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

May 02, 2020

Hall of Famer Andre Dawson on owning funeral home amid COVID-19. New column; plus Miami sports today if coronavirus never happened, Dolphins winning rebuild with Tua-led 3-year plan, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 9, latest Back In My Day & more

1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 2. Welcome, May! You can't be any worse than March and April Can you!? Hang in, stay apart and eventually we rise together! 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow both at TheGregCoteShow. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, your vote on Tua pick, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 9 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and Episode 9 is out now! Find a new show every Monday on Apple, Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all nine episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show: Sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when necessary) serious. In Episode 9 we review the virtual NFL Draft and the Dolphins' Tua-led bounty, welcome guests Tim Kurkjian and sound-alike son Jeff, and talk to former BBWAA president Clark Spencer about his racehorse and about who didn't vote for Derek Jeter.

The new Back In My Day: Face Masks!: This one premiered on Tuesday's Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio. Visit BIMD: Face Masks! to watch.

HALL OF FAMER ANDRE DAWSON ON BASEBALL -- AND OWNING A FUNERAL HOME -- IN THE AGE OF COVID-19Andre Dawson got his nickname as a young boy growing up in Miami. An uncle would hit him ground balls. Said most kids his age would be afraid of the baseball but that Andre would "attack it like a hawk." And there it is today, in bronze, on his Hall of Fame plaque in image from images.app.goo.glCooperstown, New York.: Andre Nolan Dawson. "The Hawk." Around that same time, as a child, sometimes Andre would be made to dress up and attend the funeral of a relative or family friend. He hated that. "I was frightened by the sight of death," Dawson, now 65, said Thursday, by telephone. "Didn’t like seeing someone laying in a casket. It was like a teenager watching a horror movie. You can’t sleep. As a kid growing up the funeral home was my fear factor." Strange how life sometimes turns out, right? Today Dawson owns and runs the Paradise Memorial Funeral Home in Richmond Heights, a small city in southwest Miami-Dade County. He has been in the business for 12 years, when Dawson and his wife took it over from relatives. Once, Dawson accompanied employees to a home in Liberty City to oversee the removal of a deceased body of an older man. The grieving son kept staring at the tall gentleman in the dark suit. Through tears he finally spoke two words. "The Hawk!?" Yes it was. We haven’t had much occasion to speak with Dawson since he retired from baseball as a Florida Marlin in 1996 and was inducted into Cooperstown in 2010, but the spring of 2020 — a time like no other — seemed the right time to catch up. The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is killing people and has shut down sports, and Dawson is a former ballplayer now in the business of death. It has "turned everything upside down" for his work and erased the sport he loves. Pictured: Dawson, in protective mask, at his funeral home. For my full latest column, please visit Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19.

WHAT IF: HOW MIAMI SPORTS WOULD LOOK TODAY HAD CORONAVIRUS NEVER HAPPENED AND GAMES NEVER STOPPED: Mickey Muse was born in 1928. Disneyland opened. The Lion King and Frozen set box office records. Now, to any list of notable achievements in the annals of The Walt Disney Company, please add that one very strange time in late April of 2020, when America image from images.app.goo.glwas bored at home in the throes of a coronavirus pandemic, starving for sports — and there came Disney-owned ESPN to the rescue. "The Last Dance," the 10-part miniseries on Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, has been the most watched documentary in ESPN history. And in the middle of that the virtual NFL Draft set all-time records for most viewers as we all tuned in for Roger Goodell calling players’ names from his basement. It was proof our hunger is for any sports right. Not necessarily live games. Not necessarily anything current. Just sports. If the next chapter is leagues resuming without fans, yes, we’ll be there, too, watching live baseball played in eerily quiet, empty stadiums. The spread of COVID-19 shut down sports in a flurry on March 11-12. I thought it would be fun to imagine what we’d be in the middle of in South Florida team sports right now had the coronavirus never existed, or, put more depressingly, all we’ve missed in the 50 days since sports stopped. If the Miami Heat and Florida Panthers seasons had continued. If the Miami Marlins and Inter Miami’s inaugural soccer season hadn’t halted. If Miami Hurricanes football had gone through spring practice. Join us on the our flight of fancy. No face masks required. For our full recent column, please visit Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped.

TuaDOLPHINS WINNING REBUILD WITH 3-YEAR PLAN THAT INCLUDES PATIENCE WITH TUA: The NFL Draft and free agency are past, and now the Miami Dolphins and other teams await what the coronavirus threat will allow. When will teams be able to go from virtual meetings to hands-on with their newest players? When will football fields go from empty acres to crawling with activity again? Will the season start on time? Will it start with no fans allowed? None of those answers are yet known. But this is: The Dolphins keep reminding us that things are different now. For everybody, yes, on account of the deadly COVID-19 virus. But I mean for one long-forlorn franchise in particular. For one team picking itself up and –- in the midst of a pandemic -– spreading nothing but hope to its hungry fans. The feeling is palpable. The once-proud, long-off radar Dolphins are building something here. There is a plan. There is a clue. General manager Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores are fronting an organization that, for the first time in some 20 years, seems to finally know what it is doing again. For our full recent column, please visit Dolphins Winning Rebuild, Won't Rush Tua.

Our column on Miami's top draft pick: DOLPHINS AIM HIGH, WIN BIG WITH TUA TAGOVAILOA PICK

FEATURED MOST RECENT OTHER COLUMNS:

Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft

Hackers, Barking Dogs, Crazy Pressure: Why Virtual NFL Draft Is Biggest Ever For Dolphins

Dolphins' Grier Says He Has An Idea On Top Pick. He'd Better Be Right.

Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever.

Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential'.

A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins.

Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players

NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent.

Other featured recent columns: NFL Draft, Tiger 'n Phil Not A Good Look Right Now / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Saturday's No-Fans Florida Derby / In Midst Of Pandemic, A Horse Race / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National Mood / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

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

* * * * *

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

April 18, 2020

Dolphins' Grier says he has 'idea' on No. 5 pick. He'd better be right. New column; plus coronavirus, Tua make this Fins' weirdest, biggest, most interesting NFL Draft ever; also, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 7 now out!, latest Back In My Day & more

1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 18. Hang in, stay apart and eventually we rise together! 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow the show on both platforms at TheGregCoteShow. 3) Find our latest Back In My Day from the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio HERE at about the 21-minute mark. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast, links to recent columns & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

Latest 'Back In My Day': Simpler Times!: From the Zoom Room, this latest BIMD premiered on Tuesday's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Listen and watch HERE.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 7 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and Episode 7 is out now! You can find a new Greg Cote Show out every Monday on Apple, Spotify or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all seven episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show, sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when necessary) serious. In Episode 7 we welcome special guests Stugotz from the Le Batard Show for a ton o' fun. We also talk coronavirus financial impact with the god of sports business, Rick Horrow. Check it out now HERE! Le Batard Show fans will especially want to hear it.

DOLPHINS GM GRIER SAYS TEAM 'HAS AN IDEA' ON NO. 5 PICK IN NFL DRAFT. HE BETTER BE RIGHT: Chris Grier is just about a Miami Dolphins lifer as he begins his 20th season with the club and fourth as roster-shaping general manager. Now, with the team owning three first-round picks in next week’s NFL Draft for the first time, and a league-leading 14 picks overall, Grier has Cgriernever had a bigger spotlight on him. Or a hotter one. The opportunity and results will illuminate Grier as a bright, rising young GM if he nails it, or burn him and leave permanent professional scars if he doesn’t. The coronavirus has limited ability to directly meet with prospects, but that’s true of all teams. There will be no excuse for bad choices. Draft night will be a very different, technological challenge, but, again, no excuses. “We really don’t have any apprehension about this process,” he said. Way back when, Grier happened to have majored in journalism at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. So when he hopped on a coronavirus-age predraft video conference call with media on Thursday, he knew precisely what to do: Say as little meaningful as possible. In a 20-minute remote chat with 53 invited journalists, Grier steadfastly offered no real hint, to reporters or to rival teams, as to the Dolphins’ thinking or intentions entering the April 23-25 draft, which also will be done remotely amid the stay-home orders caused by the COVID-19 threat. Grier wasn’t the general manager Thursday. He was closer to the Minister of No Information. He did admit, “We have an idea of who we like” for the top pick, but would not acknowledge what most everyone would bet their life savings on — that Miami almost surely will target a quarterback with the No. 5 overall pick, and that Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon’s Justin Herbert (or vice versa) are the primary, likeliest possibilities. He admitted the onus is on him — and on owner Stephen Ross, coach Brian Flores, new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and the rest of the Fins decision makers, to get this right. Very right. For our full latest column, please visit Dolphins' Grier Says He Has An Idea On Top Pick. He'd Better Be Right.

CORONAVIRUS, TUA MAKE THIS DOLPHINS' WEIRDEST, BIGGEST, MOST INTERESTING DRAFT EVER: The bell has rung. It’s the 10-day countdown (now nine) to the NFL Draft and, astonishingly, all of the following statements are true to various degrees of arguably-so to absolutely-certain: This 85th NFL Draft will be the weirdest of them all. This 55th Miami Dolphins Tuadraft will be the most interesting in franchise history. The most important, too. And the most pressure filled. Oh, and Tua Tagovailoa (pictured) — whom the Dolphins should either be wisely targeting or should avoid like somebody standing too close and coughing, depending on one’s point view — is a figure of controversy and wildly differing opinions such as few drafts have ever seen. Not counting Bullygate or other intermittent pratfalls like an offensive line coach snorting cocaine from his office desk, the Dolphins have not been the center of NFL attention probably since Dan Marino led them into their most recent Super Bowl appearance to end the 1984 season. But all eyes will be back on this usually off-radar team the night of April 23 as Miami sits at the poker table with the tallest stack of chips — three first-round picks, the fifth, 18th and 26th overall, and a league-leading 14 picks overall — in club history. And as Miami covets, most believe, the all-or-nothing risk named Tua. That means all eyes will be on the front-office team of owner Stephen Ross, general manager Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores, the triumvirate with much to prove and now tasked with making the once-proud Dolphins matter again, and reanimating a large but worn down fandom. To read our full recent column, please visit Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever.

FEATURED MOST RECENT OTHER COLUMNS:

Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' -- This is one of those only-in-Florida stories, like hanging chads. And here is why, in the age of a global pandemic, the precedent it sets looks very unhealthy and potentially dangerous. 

BigtwoA Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins -- Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert with Miami's first pick (fifth overall) on April 23? A trade-up for Joe Burrow? Something else entirely? We have the percentage likelihood for every option.

Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players -- One option MLB is considering -- starting the season as soon as next month with every team playing in Phoenix, and no fans -- would separate players from their families for 4 1/2 months.

ShaqqNFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent -- The once-gushing pipeline to the pros out of Coral Gables has dried up. We quantify the change, and bring you the (meager) outlook for UM players in this month's draft.

Other featured recent columns:

NFL Draft, Tiger 'n Phil Not A Good Look Right Now / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Saturday's No-Fans Florida Derby / In Midst Of Pandemic, A Horse Race / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National Mood

Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Dolphins' Most Important Rebuilding Is Yet to Come / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

Select additional recent columns: Repentant Cheater A-Rod Slams Astros With Lesson On How to Handle Their Own Scandal / Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / As NFL Free Agency & Draft Near, All You Need To Know About Dolphins' QB Situation / Beckham, Inter Miami Survive To Finally Reach Opening Week / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Why Marlins Aren't Pursuing Puig All About Change In Ownership / and Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / It's Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Poor Dolphins Finally Getting Rid Of Brady Only to Have Mahomes Take His Place / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

* * * * *

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

April 10, 2020

The new Pie Chart of Possibilities for QB-shopping Dolphins. Latest column; plus MLB's bizarre resumption plan, NFL Draft preparing blunt verdict on Hurricanes' talent; also, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 6, latest 'Back In My Day' & more

1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 11. Hang in, stay apart and eventually we rise together! 2) Our new Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow the show on both platforms at TheGregCoteShow. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 6, Song of the Day & more. 4) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote. Also on Facebook and Instagram.

Latest 'Back In My Day' (No Live Sports!): It aired on Tuesday's Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio. Dan hated it. I liked it and many others did, too, based on reaction. Find it HERE at about the 21-minute mark. 

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 6 OUT NOW!: Our new Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and the new Episode 6 is out now! You can find a new Greg Cote Show out every Monday on Apple, Spotify or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all six episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show, sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when necessary) serious. In Episode 6 we endure mockery in a new edition of "Greg Doesn't Watch Movies," and chat up Hurricanes AD Blake James about coronavirus, football, Manny Diaz and expectations: "We need to win the Coastal every single year." Check it out now HERE!

BigtwoTHE NEW PIE CHART OF QB POSSIBILITIES  FOR A DOLPHINS FRANCHISE THAT BETTER GET IT RIGHT: The snake-bit Miami Dolphins have been among league leaders in unlucky for 20 years, augmented by a sad parade of bad decisions and ill-fated coaching hires. Now — even as the Fins have the most picks including three in the first round and fans dare dip a toe into the optimism pool — the upcoming NFL Draft is somehow the latest example of how "Can’t Catch A Break" should be this franchise’s official motto. Think about it. 1) They spend all last season in deftly orchestrated "Tanking for Tua" mode, trading their best players to accumulate a stockpile of draft picks while losing enough to accrue the No. 5 overall pick. Brilliant! Except the Cincinnati Bengals out-tank the Dolphins, get the No. 1 pick and the rights to draft grand prize quarterback Joe Burrow of LSU. 2) Miami still has a great chance to draft the originally coveted Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama. OK, good! Except he sustains a hip injury late in his college career, the most serious but hardly the only issue that makes some wonder warily about his health and durability. 3) Tagovailoa appears fit and ready to go as the draft nears. The player’s doctor says he is "extremely pleased." The agent says, "Tua is fully cleared and ready to compete without any restrictions." Tua himself: "I’m 100 percent right now." Great. What a relief! Except the coronavirus/COVID-19 threat that has changed everything these days prevents teams from personally visiting with and giving team physicals to prospective players in advance of the April 23-25 draft being held in Las Vegas with no fans; thus Miami must trust what others are saying and videos of Tua throwing. So, yes, to your list of things that have made the Dolphins snake-bit, you may now add: Global pandemic. For our full latest column -- including a pie chart likelihood of what Miami will do with its first pick -- please visit A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins. Top candidates Tagovailoa (right) and Justin Herbert are pictured.

WHY BASEBALL'S BIZARRE PLAN TO RESUME GAMES WOULD BE UNFAIR TO PLAYERS: Sports is feeling its way through this thing, arms stretched out and small, hesitant steps in a pitch-black room. When to resume and how? Fans? No fans? Leagues plot their resumption awkwardly, inconsistently, with no template or map to rely on. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (who flew his private jet Rob Manfredto Florida for vacation in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic) says he has "no doubt" college football will start on time with packed stadiums. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit says he would be "shocked" if the college or NFL seasons were played at all. Somebody is way wrong. Nobody can be sure of anything right now. The Summer Olympics, Wimbledon and the British Open all cancel for the year and postpone entirely until 2021 — but now Major League Baseball and commissioner Rob Manfred (pictured) are considering a plan to resume games in May? Somebody is way wrong. Nobody knows anything. Unprecedented circumstances. No neat end-date to when COVID-19 will no longer be a threat to kill us, or perhaps recur if we all get back to normal too soon. In a pitch-black room, one is never quite sure what the next step should be. Commerce is in play. It can become a money vs. health issue. President Donald Trump wants desperately to "reopen" the country and reignite a sinking U.S. economy, while his medical advisers are more cautious in saying the stay-at-home edict is saving lives. We find the same conundrum in sports — with baseball now the prime example with its controversial new plan to resume games soon, with all 30 teams playing in the Phoenix area, with no fans. Baseball in a bubble. To read our full recent column, please visit Why MLB's 'Phoenix Plan' to Resume Games Is Unfair to Players.

ShaqqUPCOMING NFL DRAFT WILL OFFER BLUNT VERDICT ON MIAMI HURRICANES' TALENT LEVEL: Miami will be a center of attention like never before in the upcoming NFL Draft, holding three first-round picks picks like a poker player holds aces — only the 22nd time in 85 drafts that one team has had that triple play. And it’s a first for the Dolphins, who last had even two first round picks way back in Don Shula’s 1992. Meanwhile the other Miami — the one that used to dominate NFL Drafts as a gushing pipeline to the pros — will be largely silent once again. The Miami Hurricanes have become mostly a nonfactor to pro scouts who once swooned over the talent that bloomed every year out of Coral Gables. It is cause and effect, the most accurate reflection of the overall downturn of a Canes program that won the last of its five national championship in 2001 and has spent two decades trying to rediscover its mojo. College football fans and Your Friend the Media spend way too much time analyzing a school’s annual recruiting class and believing grades and rankings, when in fact they are closer to a guess than gospel. A far greater gauge of how successful a college team has recruited comes not in the summation of the 18-year-olds arriving, but three years later when they are 21-year-olds put under the NFL microscope. Pictured: Shaq Quarterman, who was a four-year starter at UM, but whose draft grade suggests he'll be a late-round pick. For our full recent column on the Canes' very modest outlook in the April 23-25 draft, please visit NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent.

FEATURED OTHER MOST RECENT COLUMNS:

NFL Draft, Tiger 'n Phil Not A Good Look Right Now

Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge

Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages

How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Saturday's No-Fans Florida Derby

In Midst Of Pandemic, A Horse Race

Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons

Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National Mood

Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval

Dolphins' Most Important Rebuilding Is Yet to Come

Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go?

Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games

Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified

It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

Select additional recent columns: Repentant Cheater A-Rod Slams Astros With Lesson On How to Handle Their Own Scandal / Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / As NFL Free Agency & Draft Near, All You Need To Know About Dolphins' QB Situation / Beckham, Inter Miami Survive To Finally Reach Opening Week / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Why Marlins Aren't Pursuing Puig All About Change In Ownership / and Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / It's Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Poor Dolphins Finally Getting Rid Of Brady Only to Have Mahomes Take His Place / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team.

* * * * *

Visit Greg Cote Column Headquarters, and revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Author of 'Fins At 50,' available on Amazon. Regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio and ESPNews. Follow on Twitter @gregcote; also on Instagram and Facebook.And check and our new The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote podcast HERE and listen, subscribe, rate and review for free!

April 04, 2020

NFL Draft, Tiger n' Phil golfing a bad look as coronavirus rages; plus take the Ultimate All-Time South Florida Sports Trivia Challenge!, time for sports to stop pretending games will resume anytime soon, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 5 & more

1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 4. Hang in, stay apart and eventually we rise together! 2) Hey, our new Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow the show on both platforms at TheGregCoteShow. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Clark Spencer buys a racehorse, time for NBA and NHL to shut down, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote. Also on Facebook and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 5! OUT NOW: Our new Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and Episode 5 is now available! You can find a new Greg Cote Show out every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Megaphone or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Or find all five episodes we've done including the new one right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show, sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when necessary) serious. In Episode 5 we interview the man who brought notorious sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein to justice. There's fun stuff, too, as we share things we're doing these Stay at Home days, I get mocked over halibut fishing and we introduce a new Q&A feature called Greg's Mail Sack. Check it out now HERE! 

TigernphilNFL DRAFT, TIGER & PHIL ON A GOLF COURSE A BAD LOOK AS CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIUC WORSENS: The Wimbledon tennis tournament has been canceled. Not delayed indefinitely but erased from the calendar. The IOC has postponed the Summer Olympics an entire year until 2021. Meantime in the United States, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell refuses the wishes of most of his own team general managers and says the draft will go on scheduled in three weeks. And Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning a round of golf on an unnamed Florida course, and quarterback buddies Tom Brady and Peyton Manning might join them. This as the NBA and NHL still delude themselves to think their seasons might yet resume, or somehow should. Basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer all envision playing games soon or by summer, albeit likely with no spectators allowed, amid a horror show likely to result in the most American deaths since the more than 400,000 in World War II. Why is U.S. sports not facing this coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic or taking it as seriously as the rest of the world? Is it a cue from an American federal government that still has not enacted a nationwide stay-at-home order the way some other hard-hit countries have? Is it that such edicts have been left to individual states and that so many, including Florida, have been so slow to act? The idea of Tiger and Phil and Tom and Peyton playing golf at this time is an optics thing. It isn’t a good look. Comes off as tone deaf. Yes, it would raise money for charities fighting the coronavirus. Those four gentlemen writing big checks from their living rooms would do the same. Instead they want to be seen yukking it up and fist-pumping long birdie putts on a golf course? While doctors and nurses are in a relentless national triage? When we’re all supposed to be staying at home except when unavoidable? As the coronavirus death toll metastasizes? While there is a growing outcry that so many golf courses are still open when only “essential businesses” are supposed to be? For our full latest column (no paywall), please visit NFL Draft, Tiger 'n Phil Not A Good Look Right Now.

TriviaBORED AT HOME DURING NO-SPORTS CORONAVIRUS THREAT? ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE ... IF YOU DARE!: You are at home, social distancing against the coronavirus threat. You need a break from online, from binge-watching. You finished Tiger King. You’re caught up on my new podcast (!). You’re a sports fan lost in the abyss of no live sports. Now what? I’m here for you, fellow pandemic fighter. I present to you the ultimate all-time South Florida major sports trivia challenge. Do you dare? Are you good enough? Warning: The is not beginner’s level. If you’re expecting, “What NBA star took his talents to South Beach in 2010?” you better leave now while you still can. This is a challenge. It is difficult. Gather all of the sports fans under your roof or go on Zoom with friends and make a game of it. This is geared to greater Miami sports but you can create a challenge of your own for your city and your teams. Answers are at the very bottom here but no peeking, no cheating. Smart phones off. No Googling. Ready? Let us begin! Want to check out our 25-question trivia challenge (almost) guaranteed to stump you? Please visit Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge. (No paywall!)

AS CORONAVIRUS RAGES, TIME FOR SPORTS TO GET REAL AND NOT PRETEND IT'S RESUMING ANYTIME SOONThere seems to be a continuing disconnect between sports and reality. Between leagues hoping to resume their games as soon as possible — perhaps with no fans allowed — and a global pandemic crisis that experts say will get much worse before it begins to ebb. The SportsFlorida Derby horse race ran as scheduled Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, but with no spectators. It was more than eerie, this ghost race. It was offensive. Broward County and city officials preferred it be canceled or postponed, but there was revenue to be had from television and off-track betting. The optics are bad, if nothing else. Thoroughbreds racing to the finish line, business as usual, amid a surrounding coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis that is killing more and more thousands and threatening millions — the biggest public health crisis since the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic — as underequipped doctors and nurses work valiantly, under siege, in a relentless emergency. Even President Donald Trump, who just recently said he thought the country might "open back up' as soon as April 12 and that he envisioned packed churches on Easter Sunday — words that sounded fancifully unlikely even as they left his mouth — has now faced reality and begun hearing what his medical experts are saying. The response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx, on NBC’s Today show, estimated 100,000 to 200,000 eventual U.S. deaths, "if we do things almost perfectly," she said, adding. "We’re very worried about every city in the United States." And we’re still talking about resuming games? For our full recent column (no paywall), visit Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages.

Other featured recent column:

ThegovLONGTIME HERALD SPORTS WRITER BUYS RACEHORSE, HITS JACKPOT: [Thanks, Peter King, for naming this his national Sports Column of the Week] "This all started the day I got hit in the balls my last day on the job." For the full story of how Clark Spencer came to own racehorse that turned out to be great, visit How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Saturday's No-Fans Florida Derby. Pictured: Clark's horse, Gouverneur Morris, who would finish fourth, missing third by a nose. For that column: In Midst Of Pandemic, A Horse Race.

Other most recent columns:

Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons

Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National Mood

Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval

Dolphins' Most Important Rebuilding Is Yet to Come

Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go?

Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games

Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified

It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

LATEST 'BACK IN MY DAY': HAIRCUTS!: Ah, the simplest of things have become a challenge in these stay at home days. This new BIMD premeired today on the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio: 

Bonus BIMD: Back In My Day: Quarantining!

Select additional recent columns: Repentant Cheater A-Rod Slams Astros With Lesson On How to Handle Their Own Scandal / Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / As NFL Free Agency & Draft Near, All You Need To Know About Dolphins' QB Situation / Beckham, Inter Miami Survive To Finally Reach Opening Week / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Why Marlins Aren't Pursuing Puig All About Change In Ownership / and Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / It's Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Poor Dolphins Finally Getting Rid Of Brady Only to Have Mahomes Take His Place / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team.

Visit Greg Cote Column Headquarters, and revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Author of 'Fins At 50,' available on Amazon. Regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio and ESPNews. Follow on Twitter @gregcoteAnd check and our new The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote podcast HERE and listen, subscribe, rate and review for free!

March 30, 2020

Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 5 out now!; plus latest Hot Button Top 10, Florida Derby's no-fans ghost race, longtime Herald sports writer buys racehorse and hits jackpot, time for NBA & NHL to shut down, latest 2 'Back In My Days' & more

1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 30. Our new Greg Cote Show podcast now has its own Twitter and Instagram sites! Follow both at TheGregCoteShow. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Back In My Day (Quarantining), NBA controversy over coronavirus testing & more. 2) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote. Also on Facebook and Instagram.

New 'Back In My Day': Streaming services!: It debuted on Tuesday's Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio. Listen here. We're doing the show remotely from our homes these days, me via Zoom. Sound isn't great. Hope you enjoy, anyway! Starts around the 23:15 mark of Hour 1. 

CoteshowHEAR NEW GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST -- EPISODE 5!: Our new Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," premiered this month and Episode 5 is now available! You can find a new Greg Cote Show out every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Megaphone or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Or find all five episodes we've done including the new one directly right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show, sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when absolutely necessary) serious. In new Episode 5 we interview the man who brought notorious sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein to justice. There's fun stuff, too, as we share things we're doing in the Stay at Home era, I get mocked over halibut fishing and we introduce a new Q&A feature called Greg's Mail Sack. Check it out now HERE!

'BACK IN MY DAY': QUARANTINING!: I talk about being hunkered down at home in this recent BIMD, which probably has generated more favorable reaction than any I've done. Here is the link to it from the Le Batard Show's Instagram: Back In My Day; Quarantining!

My column on (but not at) the Florida Derby: Tiz the Law won the ghost race. No fans. No cheering. Clark Spencer's horse finished fourth. My column: In Midst Of Pandemic, A Horse Race.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 29-30): 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:

Hotbutton1. CORONAVIRUS: A sports ponders when and how the games will resume: America is two full weeks into staying at home and turning hand-washing into an art to fight the still-growing global coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. And adjusting to a life without sports as leagues try to figure out when they'll be able to resume and play a major role in our return to normalcy.

2. OLYMPICS: Summer Games in Tokyo delayed a full year: The IOC finally relented, found its senses, and announced the 2020 Games set to start in late July will now be the 2021 Olympics. 

3. HORSE RACING: Tiz the Law wins the "ghost race" Florida Derby: xStrong favorite Tiz the Law won the 69th Florida Derby Saturday on a race day with no fans and no media allowed.

4. MLB: The Opening Day that never happened: Opening Day on March 26 found baseball shuttered and wondering when it might start, increasingly likely with a shortened season. Meantime Strat-O-Matic is simulating the entire season, surprising those who were unaware the board game still existed.

5. DOLPHINS: Fins use social distancing to intro new free agents: Miami introduced its newly signed free agents led by cornerback Byron Jones in a video press conference via the Zoom app.

6. HEAT: Haslem scolds spring breakers in his town: The Heat's Miami-born Udonis Haslem damned spring breakers for partying in his city and being slow to leave in The Players Tribune.

7. DREW BREES: Saints QB makes huge donation to fight virus: Brees donated $5 million to Louisiana toward feed the needy and helping health car workers. Hero.

8. DORIS BURKE: ESPN fixture reveals she has virus: Burke, ESPN's much-loved NBA broadcaster, says she is now asymptomatic and feeling better. 

9. NHL: Hockey postpones three June events: The 2020 NHL Scouting Combine (June 1-6), awards show (June 18) and draft (June 26-27) all were indefinitely postponed.

10. AUTO RACING: Indianapolis 500 postponed: The biggest of the IndyCar races will be delayed three months, moving from May 24 to, it hopes, August 23. 

Missing the HB10 cut: The Greg Cote Show podcast, Episode 5, is out Monday morning! Please listen, subscribe, rate, review and stay home ..... WNBA will hold its April 17 draft virtually, and televise it. You hearing that, NFL? ..... UFC starJon (Bones) Jones got arrested for DUI and firearms possession. Or, did that go without saying? ..... Can we please stop acting like guys playing video games (i.e. teams in the Overwatch League) are playing an actual sport? ..... Marlins "classic games" are being replayed on 940 WINZ. Yes, wise guy, there actually are a few ..... Keep booing the sign-stealing Astros, please. Even when they're not playing ..... R.I.P., Curly Neal, all-time Harlem Globetrotters great ..... And in other news, Eric Dickerson says the new Rams logo "looks like a penis" ..... Update: Countdown now 2,282 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup, by which time hopefully we're all out of our houses.

LONGTIME HERALD SPORTS WRITER BUYS RACEHORSE, HITS JACKPOT: [Thanks to Peter King for naming this his Spots Column of the Week] "This all started the day I got hit in the [crotch] my last day on the job." And thus begins the unlikely tale of a South Florida man who retired after a long career, bought a small share of a racehorse on a whim and on Saturday will watch his thoroughbred run in the prestigious Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park Clarkjose Thegovwith a chance to qualify for the postponed Kentucky Derby and a shot at winning the Triple Crown. Clark Spencer is the man who played the lottery for the first time and won. A gamble that almost always proves to be a losing proposition and major money drain — owning a racehorse — has a chance in this case to be profitable. The name should be familiar to Miami Herald readers. Spencer, of Pembroke Pines, was a journalist 40 years and a Herald sportswriter for 30, first covering horse racing, and the last 20 as the Marlins baseball beat writer. That ended last year during spring training in late February in Jupiter. Clark was standing outside foul line 150 feet away during batting practice, looking down at his phone. He heard someone yell, "Heads up!" It was too late. The baseball hit him squarely in that most sensitive of anatomical regions, and he fell to the ground in agony. He was OK, but, "maybe it was a sign," Clark says. At that time the Herald was offering early retirement buyouts. He accepted and suddenly was a 60-year-old retired man looking for something to do. And, man, did he find something. This is a fun, feelgood story at a time when maybe we all could use one of those. For my full latest column (no paywall!), please visit How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Saturday's No-Fans Florida Derby. Pictured: Left, Clark at his old job, chatting with the late Jose Fernandez; and right, Gouverneur Morris, the racehorse he lucked into buying into. 

OlytokyoOLYMPICS POSTPONED. TIME FOR NBA, NHL TO ALSO SHUT IT DOWN FOR THE YEAR, END SEASONS: Sports, collectively, has difficult choices ahead. They are about more than safety. They are moral decisions, too. Monday came reports the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed until 2021. That’s smart. Canada and Australia already had withdrawn. There would have been mounting and justified pressure on the U.S. to do the same had the Games started this July 24 as scheduled. Sports and leagues around the world debate when to return to play, but sports, collectively, don’t matter right now — not when we are in the middle of a global pandemic, at war with coronavirus/COVID-19. The plague already has killed nearly 20,000. It is not nearly contained. Some projections estimate it could result in two million or more deaths in the United States this year alone. This is a war we quite literally cannot afford to lose. Everything is weird right now. By government edict or common sense, we practice “social distancing,” avoid crowds, “self-quarantine” in our homes. We miss our sports so much. Our home teams, the simply pleasure and comforting routine of seasons, of cheering crowds, of yelling at the ump. We know that the eventual return of sports will be a major symbol of our return to normalcy. We long for that. The simple normalcy more than the games. And yet we know this is not the time. Not when health care is under siege, doctors and nurses fighting this war under-equipped. Not when this thing is not nearly contained. And not until it is. For our full recent column (no paywall), please visit Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons

Our other most recent columns:

Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National Mood

Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval

Dolphins' Most Important Rebuilding Is Yet to Come

Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go?

Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games

Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified

It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

Select additional recent columns: Repentant Cheater A-Rod Slams Astros With Lesson On How to Handle Their Own Scandal / Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / As NFL Free Agency & Draft Near, All You Need To Know About Dolphins' QB Situation / Beckham, Inter Miami Survive To Finally Reach Opening Week / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Why Marlins Aren't Pursuing Puig All About Change In Ownership / and Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / It's Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Poor Dolphins Finally Getting Rid Of Brady Only to Have Mahomes Take His Place / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team.

Visit Greg Cote Column Headquarters, and revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Author of 'Fins At 50,' available on Amazon. Regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio and ESPNews. Follow on Twitter @gregcoteAnd check and our new The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote podcast HERE and listen, subscribe, rate and review for free!

March 24, 2020

Our latest Hot Button Top 10; plus the 'Back in My Day' on quarantining; also, backlash over NBA coronavirus tests reflects the new national mood, Le Batard Show adjusts to upheaval, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 3 & more

1) It's TUESDAY, MARCH 24. R.I.P. Kenny Rogers, The Gambler, gone at 81. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Not everyone loves Dolphins' free agency haul, Tom Brady to Bucs, surviving our first weekend without sports & more. 3) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote. Also on Facebook and Instagram.

CoteshowNEW GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST, EPISODE 4, OUT NOW!: Our new Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," premiered this month and the new Episode 4 rolled out this mornings out! You can find a new 'The Greg Cote Show' out every Monday on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Or find all four episodes we've done including the new one directly right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show, sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when absolutely necessary) serious. In Episode 4 we talk about staying at home, bring you a new Greg's Top 10, dive deep into NFL free agency and the Dolphins, and welcome guest Juju Gotti, the rapper. Check it out now!

'BACK IN MY DAY': QUARANTINING!: I talk about being hunkered down at home in my latest BIMD, which premiered Friday on the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio. Here is the link to it from the show's Instagram: Back In My Day; Quarantining!

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 22-23): 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:

Hotbutton1. CORONAVIRUS: Hunkering down to a life at home, with no sports: Everybody is self-quarantining (#IStayHomeFor) against this growing coronavirus/COVID-19 threat, including the athletes with no sports to play and the fans with none to watch. A testing site has opened at Marlins Park. Of course when I say "everybody" is doing the right thing, I mean everybody except oblivious or perhaps just idiotic spring breakers who are incapable of not socializing and therefore volunteering themselves as modern-day lepers.

2. NFL: Brady divorces Pats, joins Bucs in free agency blockbuster: Except that Saints coach Sean Payton has tested positive, the NFL is the sport least affected by the pandemic -- for now, anyway. Free agency began as scheduled, with G.O.A.T. quarterback Tom Brady leaving New England and signing with Tampa Bay the biggest news by miles. "Praise God, thank you!" said ESPN for having some fresh content to talk about.   

3. DOLPHINS: Top cornerback Jones fronts Miami's free agency haul: The Dolphins have been active and free-spending, although the bounty has gotten mixed national reviews at odds with mostly wildly praise by local media. Leading the crop: No. 1-rated available cornerback Byron Jones and capable pass rushers Shaq Lawson and Kyle Van Noy, each with 6 1/2 sacks last year. Some other moves -- RB Jordon Howard? $10 million a year for OL Ereck Flowers? -- have been head-scratchers.

4. NBA: Four Nets players including Durant test positive: There have now been seven confirmed cases by NBA players after four Brooklyn Nets including Kevin Durant tested positive. Meanwhile the NBA has been criticized by the New York City mayor and others for testing players with no symptoms while so many who are sick wait as demand for test kits far outpaces supply.   

5. HORSE RACING: Florida Derby on as scheduled ... well, sort of: The Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, a major prep race for thoroughbred racing's (eventual) Triple Crown season, will run this coming season Saturday as planned. Except with no spectators allowed. No media, either. Weird. Eerie. Horses are not believed susceptible to coronavirus, making them superior to humans in at least one not-unimportant category.

6. MLB: Baseball season. Further postponed: Baseball announced the March 26 start of its season, originally postponed two weeks, will now be postponed at east eight weeks.

7. GOLF: The Masters. Postponed: Year's first golf major was to begin April 9, but postponed indefinitely, makeup dates to e announced. 

8. HORSE RACING: Kentucky Derby. Postponed: Year's first Triple Crown race was to run May 2, but now rescheduled for September.

9. TENNIS: French Open. Postponed: Year's second tennis was moved from late May to (they hope) September.

10. WRESTLING: Wrestlemania still on ... well, sort of: WWE announced that Wrestlemania 36 will go on as planned but as a two-day event April 4-5 in Orlando -- with no fans. If you are so desperate to watch a live sporting event that even this qualifies for you, it'll be on pay per view.

Missing the HB10 cut: The Greg Cote Show podcast, Episode 4, is out Monday morning! Listen, subscribe rate, review, stay home! ..... ESPN said it would broadcast a mix of live studio shows, archival content and "stunt event programming" moving forward. Which reminds me: "competitive marble racing" is an actual thing ..... The IOC said it is "fully committed" to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics still taking place, which of course suggests they have merely postponed their announcement of a postponement ..... UFC finally announced it is postponing fights as Dana White reluctantly decides to take pandemic ..... For NASCAR fans capable of pretending a video is sort of like almost the real thing, a virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted the eSports finale of its iRacing season, and I have no idea what any of that means ..... For hockey fans capable of deluding themselves into pretending the rerun they're watching is live, Fox Sports Florida is replaying Florida Panthers victories from the postponed season starting Sunday ..... Keep booing the Astros, please. Even when they're at home self-sequestering ..... And In March Madness -- oh wait, sorry ..... Update: Countdown now 2,289 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup, presuming the world has survived this pandemic.

NBA CONTROVERSY OVER PLAYERS' CORONAVIRUS TESTS REFLECTS THE NEW NATIONAL MOOD: The Brooklyn Nets and some other NBA teams have been testing players and staff for the COVID-19 coronavirus as a precaution — even those who have showed no symptoms. Controversy has ensued. The mayor of New York City, home to one-third of Americans who have tested positive, has criticized the NBA. The public outcry has centered on privilege — the idea the well-connected or wealthy can access test kits that are in such short supply and desperate demand. NYC mayor Bill de Blasio made an issue of it, writing in a tweet, "With all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested. Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick." National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts countered by saying, "There is nothing irresponsible about trying to get the tests," instead blaming the federal government for the scarcity of them. Let’s not demonize either side in this. De Blasio, at the new center of this pandemic’s reach into America, makes an undeniably legitimate point on behalf of his residents as his city is increasingly hard hit by the coronavirus and the shortage of testing. In turn it also seems harsh to fault the NBA or anybody else for trying to do whatever it can to protect itself. There is something larger at play in this festering into a controversy. It is anxiety, the new national mood. To read our full latest column, please visit Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National Mood. Below, NBA commissioner Adam Silver responds to the controversy on ESPN:

Our other most recent columns:

Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval

Dolphins' Most Important Rebuilding Is Yet to Come

Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go?

Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games

Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified

It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

Other select recent columns: Repentant Cheater A-Rod Slams Astros With Lesson On How to Handle Their Own Scandal / Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / As NFL Free Agency & Draft Near, All You Need To Know About Dolphins' QB Situation / Beckham, Inter Miami Survive To Finally Reach Opening Week / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Why Marlins Aren't Pursuing Puig All About Change In Ownership / and Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time. Also: It's Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Poor Dolphins Finally Getting Rid Of Brady Only to Have Mahomes Take His Place / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Chiefs, Mahomes And A Former Dolphin Win Super Bowl 54 -- And So Does Miami / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / How The NFL, Even Amid Safety Concerns, Bounced Back And Is Healthier Than Ever / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team.

Visit Greg Cote Column Headquarters, and revisit this blog often because it is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Author of 'Fins At 50,' available on Amazon. Regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio and ESPNews. Follow on Twitter @gregcoteAnd check and our new Greg Cote Show podcast HERE and subscribe for free!