August 02, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now! Jimmy Johnson joins us as he prepares for his Hall enshrinement; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Simone, Xavien, U.S.-Mexico, Marlins, NBA free agency & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 2. Welcome, August! May I call you Augie? 2) I was back in-studio this past Tuesday with the Le Batard Show. Check out that day's podcasts for lots of me including a new Back In My Day. 3Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now on TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Xavien Howard is right in Dolphins dispute, Simone Biles deserves empathy not scorn, top 10 NFL training camp storylines, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

JjGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPIOSDE WITH JIMMY JOHNSON OUT NOW!: Our 30th episode of 2021 and 72nd 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 72 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode: The great former coach Jimmy Johnson, on the week of his enshrinement into the Pro Footballl Hall of Fame, joins us for a fun, candid and at times poignant reflection on his passions: Football, family, fishing and Fox. We also ask J.J. for an appraisal of Manny Diaz and the Canes and Brian Flores and the Dolphins. Also in the new ep: Greg, Chris and Yeti discuss the small details of any marriage or relationship. Also: Simone BIles, MLB trade deadline and NBA free agency and the Heat. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / and Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?).

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 1-2): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. OLYMPICS: USWNT beaten, Biles to return for beam final as Tokyo Games reach midpoint: Midway through the Tokyo Olympics the story of the Summer Games has been U.S. gymnastics star Simone Biles' withdrawal from most events for mental-health reasons, although she says she will compete in the balance beam final. Meantime Team USA men's basketball remains alive but U.S. women's soccer was beaten 1-0 by Canada and is relegated to the bronze medal game. As we update this Monday morning ET the U.S. leads the overall medal count by one with 62 but trails China by seven in golds with 21.

2. DOLPHINS : Star Xavien Howard requests trade but challenges Fins: The Fins' star cornerback -- NFL leader with 10 interceptions last year -- reported for start of training camp to avoid daily $50,000 fines but requested a trade as team continued to refuse to rework his contract. Howard on Saturday challenged the Fins to do just that and keep him. He is miffed to not even be the highest-paid CB on his own team (Byron Jones is) and has a right to feel disrespected. Fins need to fix this mess. First preseason game is August 14.

3. SOCCER: U.S. beats Mexico in Gold Cup final: A Miles Robinson header in extra time lifted the U.S. to a 1-0 triumph over arch-rival Mexico Sunday night in the championship match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in Las Vegas. The U.S. (beating Qatar 1-0) and Mexico (ousting Canada 2-1) won semifinal matches to advance to the final.

4. MARLINS: Fish deal Marte and Duvall, swept by Yankees: NL East-trailing Miami gave up on the season by trading away its top hitter Starling Marte (.306) and its top slugger Adam Duvall (22 homers) ahead of the MLB deal deadline. From the A's for Marte the Fish get coveted young pitcher Jesus Lazardo in a justifiable deal for both sides. From the Braves for Duvall Miami gets young catching prospect Alex Jackson. Fish are 44-61, 5-10 since All-Star break and on a four-game skid after being swept by Yanks ... and with manager Don Mattingly away from the team in COVID quarantine. Seven-game homestand continues vs. Mets.

5. NBA: Westbrook-to-Lakers as trades overshadow draft: A flurry of trades surrounded the NBA Draft, most notably the Lakers getting former MVP Russell Westbrook and two future second-round picks from Washington for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a first round pick (22nd overall) this year. Also notable: Celtics get Al Horford from OKC for Kemba Walker. In the draft, as expected Detroit drafted Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham No. 1 overall. Next: Free agency.

6. HEAT: No draft picks, but free agency and summer league ahead: Miami had zero picks in last week's NBA Draft and now turns attention to signing undrafted prospects to help fill its Summer League roster. Heat's summer team is to play two games in California Tuesday and Wednesday before beginning play in the full Las Vegas Summer League. Dwarfing the summer team, of course: Free agency. It begins today/Monday, but Miami already exercised its option to keep Goran Dragic. Heat is expected to have around $24 million in cap space to go shopping. Bradley Beal? Kyle Lowry? Damian Lillard? Ben Simmons? Wheee!

7. INTER MIAMI: Higuain stars, Miami (finally) end long winless streak: Gonzalo Higuain scored both goals to help Inter Miami beat visiting Montreal 2-1 Saturday and end a seven-game winless streak. The Herons, now 3-3-8, had lost six in a row before drawing 1-1 with Philadelphia in the previous match. Heat remains on first-year coach Phil Neville to see his team get on a run and somehow scramble into playoff contention. Or at least respectability. Miami visits Orlando Wednesday.

8. NFL: Rodgers, Packers end the drama. Sort of...: Disgruntled star QB Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay agreed to a deal that will keep him a Packer two more seasons, Or, more likely, this coming season, followed by more drama. Had to happen. Rodgers wasn't going to sit out the season. And Packers knew Jordan Love wasn't ready. 

9. MLB: Major stars on the move ahead of trade deadline: Veteran ace Max Scherzer from Nationals to Dodgers. Cubs send popular Anthony Rizzo to Yankees and Kris Bryant to Giants. Yanks get Joey Gallo from Rangers. Red Sox get slugger Kyle Schwarber from Nats. Those were some of the biggest of a flurry of deals as teams passed he 100-game mark and buyers stocked up for the season's stretch run.

10. PANTHERS: Cats quiet in NHL free agency thus far: NHL clubs spent a combined $576.7 million on the first day of free agency, but Florida has been quiet thus far with one minor signing: Goaltender Christopher Gibson to a one-year deal. But the Cats made two notable re-signings, locking up defenseman Brandon Montour and center Sam Bennett with long-term extensions.

Missing the HB10 cut: The Texas and Oklahoma college football secession from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference became official with the SEC's formal invitation and the two school's acceptance. Why isn't this way high in the HB Top 10? Because the change won't take effect until the 2026 season ..... The preseason honors -- and with them high expectations -- keep piling up for Hurricanes quarterback D'Eriq King. It was announced he is among 35 players selected to the watch list for the 2021 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. King previously made the watch lists for the Maxwell Award (college player of year) and Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s top QB) ..... Trucks. Big trucks! BIG TRUCKS WITH GIANT TIRES!! Monster Jam (inexplicably still a thing) returns to Sunrise and the Panthers arena next weekend August 7-8 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,793 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Other most recent columns: Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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ARCHIVES

Select other (fairly) recent columns: Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / 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 / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

July 26, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Olympics, Dolphins open camp, Cats' big week, Inter Miami and Fish out front. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with 'Ted Lasso' creator Bill Lawrence out now & more

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

Tiktok1) It's MONDAY, JULY 26. Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram -- and now on TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Sports teams with longest title droughts, Stephen Ross turns up heat on Dolphins, Anti-vax athletes are me-first not team-first, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Medecal TedlGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH 'TED LASSO' CREATOR OUT NOW!: Our new 29th episode of 2021 and 71st 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 71 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode: Bill Lawrence, the creative force behind 'Ted Lasso,' joins us to discuss the hit AppleTV+ show whose season 2 is now streaming. Greg has a special request of Bill. Hear his response. A fun, wide-ranging conversation. Also in the new ep: Greg shares a Don Shula story; we discuss the origin of the phrase “shooting the ****”; the amusement park-like slide at the Dolphins’ new $135 million training facility; the strangest Summer Olympics that ever were; NFL continuing to put the hammer down on unvaccinated players; a two-part live report by Greg and Chris from the recent 5-0 home loss by sad Inter Miami; and a new Mount Gregmore. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / and It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 25-26): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. OLYMPICS: Team USA loses as COVID Olympics underway in Tokyo: Today/Sunday is the first marquee day of the no-fans, pandemic Summer Games amid a COVID surge in Tokyo. Team USA men's basketball lost this morning to France -- its first Olympic loss in 17 years. Gymnastics G.O.A.T. Simone Biles and team finished second in event qualifying. And swimming star Katie Ledecky debuted and settled for silver in the 400M freestyle. Saturday, U.S. women's soccer got back on track in group play, routing New Zealand 6-1 after earlier being shocked 3-0 by Sweden.

2. DOLPHINS : Training camp begins at lavish new site: Players report this week with the first preseason practice this coming Saturday at Miami's new $135 million training site adjacent to Hard Rock Stadium. Team unveiled the new digs this week, and owner Stephen Ross turned up the win-now heat, mentioning GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores and saying, “Now the pressure is on them. If you can’t win with a facility like this, you’re never gonna win!” Meantime Fins signed free-agent linebacker Shaquem Griffin to a one-year deal.

3. PANTHERS: Cats nab teen forward in NHL Draft, make semi-big trade: Florida drafted forward Mackie Samoskevich, 18, in first round of NHL Draft Friday, 24th overall, the club's lowest top selection since 2008. Samoskevich will play for University of Michigan in 2021-22. Earlier in the week, Cats lost goalie Chris Driedger to Seattle in the expansion draft. Cats also swung a significant trade, acquiring forward Sam Reinhart, 25, from Buffalo in exchange for Cats' 2022 first-round pick and goalie prospect Devon Levi. Reinhart led Sabres in scoring with 25 goals and 40 points last season. Florida opens regular season at home October 14 vs. Pittsburgh.

4. INTER MIAMI: Finally! Miami ends losing streak with tie: Second-year MLS club Inter Miami tried yet again Sunday night to stop the bleeding vs. the visiting Philadelphia Union and did, sort of, with a 1-1 tie. Miami is now a still-rotten 2-3-8 but its six-game losing streak (after a listless 5-0 home embarrassment vs. New England) is over. First-year coach Phil Neville's job is in jeopardy, and if it isn't it should be. Right, David Beckham?

5. HURRICANES: ACC kickoff, fall camp and an arrest: Coach Manny Diaz, QB D'Eriq King, receiver Mike Harley and safety Bubba Bolden repped The U at the ACC Kickoff media days in Charlotte. Canes will open fall camp on Friday, Augusts 6 ... but minus one player. UM booted safety Avantae Williams off the team after his arrest for domestic battery against a pregnant ex-girlfriend -- the latest athlete to detonate his future in one moment reckless stupidity.

6. MARLINS: Fish struggling but win second straight: Miami is 4-7 since the All-Star break, 43-57 overall and mired in the NL East cellar but won a second straight game Sunday to wrap up a four-game home series with San Diego today. Miami has disappointed thus far after last year's unexpected playoff spot.

7. NBA: It's Draft Week, but not in Miami: The two-round NBA Draft is this Thursday night but interest in Miami will be muted as the Heat have no picks and the Hurricanes will (barring a shock) have no one drafted. Detroit is nearly certain to make Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham the No. 1 overall pick.

8. SOCCER: U.S. tops Jamaica to reach Gold Cup semifinal: Will the U.S. and Mexico renew their rivalry in next Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup championship match? The American men took a big step Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Jamaica in a quarterfinal match in Arlington, Texas. Thursday's semifinals will pit the U.S. vs. Qatar, and Canada vs. Mexico.

9. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Texas, Oklahoma reported headed to SEC: Two traditional powerhouse programs, the Longhorns and Sooners, seem poised to ditch the Big 12 conference for the SEC within weeks, say multiple reports. ESPN reported the schools likely would owe the Big 12 about $76 million each to buy out the remainder of their share of TV rights in an agreement that runs until 2025 -- a buyout made easily affordable by the pending SEC windfall.

10. MLB: The Cleveland ... Guardians?: Cleveland will drop its contentious Indians moniker and become the Guardians after this season, trading a racist nickname for one just plain weird. The flimsy-ish justification: The locally famous "Guardians of Traffic" statues featured at the city's Hope Memorial Bridge. 

Missing the HB10 cut: So sorry to hear that former Florida State coaching great Bobby Bowden is terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. Our thoughts with him and his family ..... Naomi Osaka, representing host Japan, became first tennis  player to light the Olympic cauldron ..... Tens of thousands of Bucks fans flooded the Deer District as Milwaukee celebrated its first NBA title in 50 years and Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo ..... Tadej Pogačar of Slovenia won the Tour de France for the second time in a row ..... Tampa Bay turned up the heat on Boston in AL East by acquiring slugger DH Nelson Cruz from Minnesota for two top minor league pitching prospects. MLB trade deadline is this coming Friday ..... This Aaron Rodgers s--- gettin' real. He ain't coming back to Green Bay. Your move, Pack ..... Horizon: Only four more races until NASCAR playoffs begin ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,800 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Other most recent columns: Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? / Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / and Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money. Also: May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / 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 / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

July 19, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10: COVID Olympics, surging Bucks and Morikawa jockey for top spot. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JULY 19. I'll be back in my regular Tuesday slot this week (tomorrow) on the Le Batard Show. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast now on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Seat rankings for Miami coaches, Should Heat gamble on Ben Simmons?, Exhibition losses wakeup call for Team USA, Tokyo Olympics should be delayed yet again, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 28th episode of 2021 and hallmark 70th 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 70 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our new episode: The big reveal on our show decal giveaway, golf with Tony and Roy, Messi mania in Miami, the COVID Olympics, a Legoland lifeguard and more. (Oh, and apologies in advance for the unseemly topic that opens the show). Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? / Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / and Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again, But It's Too Late. Why? Money. Also: May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 18-19: WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

Our thoughts and sympathy continue with the victims and families affected by the Surfside condominium collapse that has now left at least 97 confirmed dead and more still unaccounted for. 

HButton1. OLYMPICS: COVID-shadowed Tokyo Games start this week: Ready or not, smart or not, the delayed-from-2020 Summer Olympics begin this coming Friday in COVID-spiking Tokyo, and run through August 8. Two athletes there already have tested positive. United States is betting favorite to win most gold medals, followed by China and host Japan. First must-see day is next Sunday, when Team USA men's basketball (vs. France), swimming star Katie Ledecky and gymnastics G.O.A.T. Simone Biles all debut.

2. NBA: Surging Bucks up 3-2 in NBA Finals: The Phoenix Suns' 2-0 series lead is a distant memory now, after Giannis and Milwaukee on Saturday night won a third straight NBA Finals game. The Bucks can clinch their first league title since 1971 on Tuesday in Game 6 at home.

3. GOLF: Morikawa wins British Open: The fourth of the golf majors -- on the calendar and frankly in general interest stateside -- wrapped up Sunday with 24-year-old Los Angeles-born Collin Morikawa winning by two shots over Jordan Spieth. Morikawa also won the 2020 PGA Championship in his first attempt, as he did today in The Open in northern England.

4. MARLINS: Fish stumbling to begin second-half: Following the All-Star break and MLB Draft, the NL East-trailing Marlins took on a seven-game division road trip looking for a spark to begin the season's second half. Instead Miami dropped three of four in Philly and is 40-53 and mired in the NL East cellar. Fish try again with three at Washington starting tonight.

5. DOLPHINS : Fins set training camp schedule: Miami's King Team announced it would hold 14 open-to-fans practices at its new training facility during this year's training camp, which starts July 31. After training at Nova Southeastern University since 1993, the Fins this year move to a new 227,000-square-foot facility next to Hard Rock Stadium. Training camp segues to the preseason opener August 14 at Chicago.

6. SOCCER: U.S. beats Canada, advances in Gold Cup: The U.S. men beat Canada 1-0 Sunday night in Kansas City to end 3-0 and +7 on goals in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group play. Americans easily qualified for the knockout phase starting next Saturday. Tournament crowns the top team in the North and Central America and Caribbean region.

7. COLLECTIBLES: Heat, Panthers enter the NFT game: The Miami Heat and Florida Panthers have begun offering non-fungible token (NFT) digital collectibles. Heat is offering unique digital memorabilia via auction and sale celebrating the 15th anniversary of the 2006 championship, the club's first. Panthers have partnered with digital collectibles developer Fanaply to host, sell, trade and distribute Panthers NFT collections.

8. INTER MIAMI: Game postponed; Herons back in play Wednesday: Inter Miami, 2-2-7 and looking to snap a five-game losing streak, saw its game at the New York Red Bulls postponed by severe weather and lightning Saturday night. The Herons are back at it Wednesday night with a visit by New England Revolution. 

9. PANTHERS: Cats drop Yandle, prepare for NHL Draft: Florida released longtime defenseman Keith Yandle after buying out the last two years of his contract, and re-signed forward Anthony Duclair and defenseman Gustav Forsling. Cats will lose one unprotected player to the Seattle Kraken in Wednesday's NHL expansion draft (likely goaltender Chris Driedger, according to reports). The main NHL Draft is this coming Friday and Saturday. Florida picks 24th in the first round, the club's lowest top selection since 2008.

10. MLB: AL, Ohtani, Alonso win All-Star break: Angels' two-way star Shohei Ohtani was winning pitcher as AL won its eighth straight All-Star Game, beating NL 5-2. Blue Jay Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered and was game MVP. In the co-headlining event the Mets' Pete Alonso won his second straight Home Run Derby.

Missing the HB10 cut: Heat's 2021-22 preseason schedule will include home games Oct. 4 (Atlanta), Oct. 11 (Charlotte) and Oct. 15 (Boston), the team announced ..... A shooting outside Nationals Park that wounded three on Saturday postponed the Padres game ..... Ted Ginn Jr. and his family have announced their retirement from the NFL ..... For Sale (but not cheap): A slightly damaged Ben Simmons ..... Team WNBA beat Team USA 93-85 in the WNBA All-Star Game. Interesting format for an Olympic year ..... The Stanley Cup trophy got dented during Tampa Bay's boat parade. Gotta be a way to blame Tom Brady, no? ..... NBA Draft is July 29 but it's who-cares in Miami, with no Heat picks and no Canes likely to be taken ..... R.I.P., Biz Markie ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,807 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / 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 / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

July 12, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Baseball, Bucks, England, Messi, McGregor. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus Greg Cote Show podcast's new 'Tahoe Special' out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JULY 12. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast now on Twitter. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): New Greg Cote Show podcast, our golf week in Lake Tahoe, Sha'Carri Richardson column & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 'TAHOE SPECIAL' EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 27th episode of 2021 and 69th 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 69 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode Greg and Chris (and Chris Wittyngham, and Mardy Fish, and the lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire, and a pinch of Stugotz) come to you from Lake Tahoe with a rollicking review of their golf and casino trip. Fun! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / andNassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History. Also: Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / and Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 11-12: WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

Still overshadowing everything, thoughts and sympathy to the victims and families affected by the Surfside condominium collapse that has now left at least 90 confirmed dead and 31 still unaccounted for. 

HButton1. MLB: HR Derby, All-Star Game, Marlins top picks: Plenty of fans prefer Monday's Home Run Derby to Tuesday's 91st All-Star Game -- both in this case featuring the Angels' Shohei Ohtani as the first star to make the team as both a pitcher and hitter. Events kicked off Sunday with the Futures Game, Celebrity Softball Game and first round of the MLB Draft. Marlins reps: Righty pitcher Max Meyer in the Futures Game and LHP Trevor Rogers in the ASG. Miami's two first-round draft picks were North Carolina prep SS Kahlil Watson 16th overall New York prep catcher Joe Mack 31st.

2. NBA: Desperate Bucks keep Finals hope alive: Phoenix, after its first NBA title, was the favorite; 13 of 17 ESPN hoops experts picked the Suns going in. Could Milwaukee, down 2-0, make a series of it? Answer came Sunday night. It was yes as Bucks won a desperate, must-win-feeling Game 3 at home.

3. SOCCER: England falls in Euro '20 final on home soil: Sunday's championship match of UEFA's Euro '20 found Italy winning its first European crown in 53 years and England denied its first ever in a shootout decision. Italy had twice lost in the final since winning in 1968. England sought to make history today at Wembley Stadium. No team has won on its home turf since France in 1984.

4. SOCCER: Messi, Argentina win Copa America crown: Argentina won its biggest title in 28 years Saturday with its 1-0 win over Brazil on Angel DiMaria's goal in the Copa America championship. It marked Lionel Messi's first major medal in a blue-and-white shirt.

5. UFC: Poirier finishes McGregor early in rematch: Dustin Poirier won his rubber-match trilogy fight over Conor McGregor Saturday night in Las Vegas to headline UFC 264. McGregor was done after the first round on a TKO (doctor's stoppage) after injuring his left leg. Dana White is already talking about a fourth fight? But has the fading McGregor earned one?

6. TENNIS: Djokovic, Barty on top at Wimbledon: Ash Barty won the Wimbledon's women's crown Saturday for her second career Grand Slam, beating Karolina Pliskova. Novak Djokovic in Sunday's men's final rallied past Matteo Berrettino for his record-tying 20th career Grand Slam win.

7. HURRICANES: Megadeal keeps UM out front of new NIL rule: The NCAA’s new Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) rule found Canes QB D'Eriq King out front with a handful of business deals last week. Now Miami has landed a huge $540,000 commitment from American Top Team, a mixed martial arts company and training gym based in Coconut Creek in Broward. The business is offering a $500 monthly contract or $6,000 per year to all 90 scholarship football players -- or $540,000 if all 90 sign.

8. MARLINS: Lopez sends Fish into All-Star break by making history: Pablo Lopez struck out the first nine Braves batters he faced Sunday at home to set an MLB record end a three-game Marlins losing streak to end the first half of the season. Miami enters the break 39-50 and lodged in the NL East cellar.

9. OLYMPICS: Team USA stunned in a tuneup for Tokyo: Team USA, starting five NBA all-stars, suffered a stunning 90-87 loss to Nigeria Saturday night in Vegas. The Americans had been 54-2 in exhibitions since professionals started playing, and five years ago had  beaten Nigeria by 43. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23 -- but with spectators now banned due to a COVID surge.

10. GOLF: Del Negro wins American Century Championship: Former NBA player and coach Vinny Del Negro beat ex-MLB star John Smoltz in a playoff to win the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. An emotional Del Negro won four days after his father passed away. (Myself, Stugotz and Chris Cote were thrilled to rep the Dan Le Batard Show in a Wednesday pro-am round).

Missing the HB10 cut: U.S. men beat Haiti 1-0 to open CONCACAF Gold Cup play in soccer Sunday night in Kansas City ..... Tampa Bay Lightning overwhelmed Montreal 4-1 in Stanley Cup Final for its second straight NHL crown. Canada's Cup drought is now 28 years. A somber note amid the Final: The July 4 fireworks-related death of Columbus goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks ..... Tom Brady and Naomi Osaka won best male and female athlete at ESPN's The ESPY Awards Saturday ..... Will Rachel Nichol's career survive or get canceled? Your move, ESPN ..... Let Sha'carri run! ..... Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers beat Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in 'The Match IV' in Montana ..... Inter Miami tries to end a five-game losing streak next Saturday at New York Red Bulls ..... Joey Chestnut won his 14th mustard belt for hot dog eating. Bor-ring! ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out now with a new 'Tahoe Special' episode  dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,814 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / 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 / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

May 10, 2021

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

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

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

Coteshow IzzyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!:  Our new 18th episode of 2021 and 60th overall is out now! A new pod drops Mondays at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 60 we've done HERE for free. Our latest episode features special guest Israel (Izzy) Gutierrez of ESPN (pictured) in a fun conversation about boats, sneakers, golf and Chris Cote's social skills. Oh, and hoops talk, too, including Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame chances and how the Heat are looking as the playoffs near. Also, an historic new Mount Gregmore. Bonus: Greg sings the song that was playing on the radio when he first kissed a girl. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns:

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 9-10): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our most recent other columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On  /  What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today?  /  The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts   and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

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ARCHIVES:

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

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

April 17, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

April 05, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 4-5): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

April 03, 2021

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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ARCHIVES:

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

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

Select other columns: These Two Questions Will Determine Dolphins' Path On Watson Vs. Tua / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? / 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 / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener / 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? / '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

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

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

March 14, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Heat, Madness, sadness, free agency front a jammed, wild week. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now!, links to most recent columns & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 15. The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): On 1-year anniversary of sports' COVID shutdown, Heat's anti-Semitic mess, David Beckham's resolve tested by turmoil, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 11th podcast of 2021 (53rd overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 53 we've done so far HERE for free. In our new  Ep11 we welcome in ESPN star Sarah Spain for a fun chat about her new part-ownership in the Chicago Red Stars women's pro soccer team, Chicagio's Secret Door, dinner with Charles Barkley, her future and more. Also on the menu: A-Rod and J-Lo, March Madness, Marlins Park drones, a Mount Gregmore cameo by Patrick Ewing and more. Thanks as always, pod family, for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Also, our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Covid1Our three most recent columns: Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / and Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season.

CardsOther most recent columns: Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 14-15): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: Miami stays hot despite recent Leonard off-court mess: Heat is on a 10-1 run, 21-18 overall and alone in fourth place in the East after Sunday's win in Orlando led by en fuego Jimmy Butler. That despite the Meyers Leonard mess. The injured center used an anti-Semitic slur in a video-game livestream last week, was put on indefinite leave by the Heat and fined $50,000 and suspended by the NBA. Miami is back in play Tuesday vs. Cleveland.

2. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Gonzaga (no duh) tops Selection Sunday for NCAA Tournament: March Madness is back! (Sort of). After last year's was canceled by COVID-19, the NCAA Tournament returns this week, albeit with limited crowds and all games played in and around Indianapolis. It was Selection Sunday for the men's tourney, with Gonzaga the overall No. 1 as expected and Baylor, Illinois and Michogan other top seeds. Women's field gets set today.

3. COVID-19: Sports reflects on sad anniversary: March 11 marked the official one-year anniversary of when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic as sports shut down en masse on March 11-12. It was the least happy anniversary on record, although a torrent of vaccine availability lends hope for better days on road to normalcy.

4. DOLPHINS/NFL: Will Fins be players/spenders as NFL free agency begins?: Oh if I had  dime for every speculative media dart being thrown about what Miami will do as free agency begins this Wednesday. Best possibilities: Veteran QB to back up Tua, with Ryan Fitzatrick expected to sign elsewhere. An upgrade at running back. A quality receiver like Kenny Golladay or Juju Schuster-Smith. And an LB/pass rusher -- especially with productive Kyle Van Noy unwisely released. Lavonte David, perhaps? FA decisions will shape the coming draft as well.

5. PANTHERS: Yes, the Cats are Stanley Cup contenders: Florida is 18-5-4 after three straight wins including 4-2 Saturday vs. Chicago. Cats host Blackhawks again Monday. The Panthers are ranked No. 5 in the NHL in ESPN's latest power rankings. The bad news? Central Division rivals Carolina and Tampa Bay are ranked 1-2.

6. CHRIS BOSH: Popular ex-Heat star a Hall of Fame finalist: No surprise, but two-time Heat champion Chris Bosh is one of 14 new finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Notable other first-time finalists include Paul Pierce and (as a coach) Bill Russell. The five back for another try include former Heat star Tim Hardaway. Inductees for 2021 will be announced May 16.

7. HURRICANES: QB King recovering nicely as Canes open spring football: UM's first of 15 spring football practices is today/Monday. Quarterback D'Eriq King will miss spring work as he recovers from an ACL knee injury in the December bowl game, but coach Manny Diaz says King is "smashing every benchmark" in his rehab and should be ready for fall camp and the September 4 season opener vs. reigning national champion Alabama in Atlanta.

8. MARLINS: Winning and tying and drones at midpoint of spring: Miami is second in Grapefruit League standings at 5-2 (not counting five tie games including four straight at one point) at midpoint of spring training. Marlins resume play Monday at Astros. Meantime club announced it would use drones (!) to disinfect Marlins Park this season.

9. GOLF: It's Honda Classic Week in Palm Beach: South Florida's only PGA Tour event returns to Palm Beach Gardens this week with the Honda Classic this Thursday through next Sunday. Tiger Woods' recent serious car accident that badly injured his right leg remains the talk of golf. Woods had not entered to play the Honda prior to his accident.

10. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men show life in ACCs, but much too late: Miami's men had a nice 2-1 run in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., beating Pitt and impressively upsetting Clemson before losing narrowly to Georgia Tech. Still, UM's 10-17 final record marked its worst season in 27 years. Miami's women ended 11-11 after a one-and-done in the ACCs.

Missing the HB10 cut: R.I.P., "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, gone unexpectedly at 66. Hagler was a great middleweight in a golden age of boxing in the'80s ..... UEFA Champions League will advance four more to the final eight Tuesday and Wednesday, with advantages in leg 2 held by Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Chelsea. Advancing previously: Liverpool, Paris-Saint Germain, Borussia Dortmund and upstart FC Porto ..... Inter Miami's first preseason match ahead of the April start of MLS Year 2 is this coming Saturday March 20 vs. local USL club Miami FC ..... No. 8-ranked UM baseball is 7-4 off four straight wins after a two-game home sweep of Wake Forest ..... Miami and Hard Rock will be one of the 10 or 12 U.S. sites chosen to host 2026 World Cup matches. Let's please quit pretending there is any doubt whatsoever ..... Miami Open tennis outside Hard Rock Stadium begins a week from Monday, running March 22-April 4. Top-ranked players across the WTA and ATP tours will be here. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal top men's field and Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka the women. Eyes will also swivel to fan favorites Roger Federer and Serena Williams ..... New Zealand vs. Italy final continues in America's Cup sailing ..... Blake Griffin signing with Nets reminds us the NBA trade deadline is nearing at March 25 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's 11th episode of 2021 and 53rd overall drops Monday morning. Now on Sirius XM Channel 145, too! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,933 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: These Two Questions Will Determine Dolphins' Path On Watson Vs. Tua / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? / 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 / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener / 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 a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / 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

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

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

March 06, 2021

Time-travelling to '60s and childhood, when the baseball card was king. My new column; plus Quit lecturing LeBron on activism and How Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun choice is strewn with what-ifs; also, new Greg Cote Show 1st anniversary podcast & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, MARCH 6. Search out Tuesday's Le Batard Show podcasts for heavy does of me including the garage/baseball cards segment and the new 'Back In My Day.' 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast's 1st anniversary episode, recent columns & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 1ST ANNIVERSARY EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted last March and our 1st Anniversary episode -- ninth of 2021 and 51st overall -- 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. You can find all 51 we've done so far HERE for free. In our latest Ep9 of '21, we welcome in two special guests. Dr. Daniel B. Chan, an orthopedic trauma surgeon for Memorial Healthcare System, details Tiger Woods' injuries and what's ahead in his recovery -- and explains why what Woods suffered may be even worse than the injury to NFL quarterback Alex Smith. Also, ESPN NFL analyst Mike Tannenbaum joins us to predict how the whole Tua-or-Deshaun Watson drama will play out for the Dolphins. Also on the menu: Greg and Chris discuss the raging new Mr. Potato Head controversy; a smidgen of NASCAR talk (involving Michael Jordan and Pitbull); a debate over the move to make Kobe Bryant the new silhouette in the NBA logo; and a new Mount Gregmore marking the pod’s 1st anniversary with the greatest events or birthdays associated with March 2. Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review!

MecardsTIME-TRAVELLING TO CHILDHOOD IN THE 1960S, WHEN THE BASEBALL CARD WAS KING: The evolution of sports memorabilia, of collectibles, struck me this week as I discovered for the first time a phenomenon of a fad called NBA TopShot. I’m closer to a Luddite than someone out front on the latest trends , so it was no surprise I’d been unfamiliar with these so-called “digital basketball cards.” I happened to learn of NBA TopShot on the same week I’d been immersed in my garage, rooting through large plastic storage tubs, in search of something long-lost: My youth. And there they were, stacked in old shoeboxes: Hundreds and hundreds of baseball and football cards, almost all of them from the 1960s. At a time when the Beatles and Motown were America’s soundtrack and LBJ was in the White House, I was a card collecting fool. Obsessed. You’d buy a pack of Topps cards (I was a Topps kid) and couldn’t wait to get home and unwrap the mystery. Odds were they’d be ordinary players. Oh, but what if you struck gold and Mickey Mantle was there. Or Willie Mays! I collected cards nonstop from the early ‘60s into the early ‘70s, elementary school into the start of high school.More than a half-century later, this week, I discovered those old shoeboxes were falling apart but the long- forgotten treasure they held — those 3 1/2 by 2 1/2-inch rectangles of thin cardboard — were miraculously intact, not all but many in what the collectible experts might call mint condition. For our full latest column, visit Time-Travelling To The 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King

LebronQUIT LECTURING LEBRON JAMES ON ACTIVISM AND HIS OWN CONSCIENCE: LeBron James is hearing the silly noise again, and all it does is make him dig deeper, stand firmer, speak louder. One year ago it was conservative commentator Laura Ingraham on Fox News advising LeBron to “shut up and dribble” instead of speaking out against racial and social injustice. Now it is international soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic lecturing LeBron on what the parameters of his conscience should be. “[LeBron] is phenomenal at what he does, but I don’t like when people have some kind of status, they go and do politics at the same time,” the AC Milan striker said in an interview in Sweden. “Do what you’re good at. Stay out of politics. Just do what you do best because [the rest] doesn’t look good.” Politics. When did that become the word for standing up for what you believe is right? Why has speaking out for social justice and voters’ rights become a font of controversy? Ibrahimovic doubled down this week, saying, “Athletes unite the world, politics divide us “ — again misrepresenting social conscience as political, in much the same way critics misrepresented Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem as anti-American instead of as a protest of police violence against unarmed Black people. Ibrahimovic reopens the dumb notion of “stick to sports!” as more and more athletes, the L.A. Lakers’ LeBron seemingly always at the forefront, use their platform and voice for positive change. The message from activist athletes is simple: We are here to do more than entertain you. For our full recent column, visit Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience.

TuaTUA OR DESHAUN? WHY DOLPHINS' MONUMENTAL QB CHOICE IS ANYTHING BUT SIMPLE: Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, general manager Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores are seated in a room, trying to see the future. Trying to chart a path. NFL free agency starts March 17. Less than six weeks later is the draft. Most offseasons, those are the two superhighways you travel in building your roster. Improving your team. This offseason, the Dolphins front office faces a bigger decision, of course. The biggest of their professional lives. The biggest in the 56-year history of Miami’s flagship sports franchise. It is Tua Tagovailoa or Deshaun Watson, and nothing at all about that choice is simple. Stick with Tagovailoa and use free agency and the draft to surround him with talent and you have passed on the once-in-a-lifetime chance to trade for a proven, elite quarterback just coming into his prime. Trade for Watson and you have both gutted your draft capital for perhaps years to come and also given up on the great promise of the player you just used a top-five pick to draft. Ah, but the choice is even more complicated than that, and strewn with possibilities Ross, Grier and Flores must consider when deciding how to move forward. For our full recent column, visit Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs

NASCAR/Homestead, Tiger Woods and other most recent columns: Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead This Week and Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive. Also: These Two Questions Will Determine Dolphins' Path On Watson Vs. Tua / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth Blueprint As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? We Weigh In / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / and Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company.

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ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Why A Brady-Mahomes Super Bowl Is Torture For Dolphins Fans / Chad Henne: Ex-Dolphin An Overnight Sensation, 13 Years Later / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing Collapse'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener / 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 a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / 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

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

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