October 18, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins fall in London, Canes lose heartbreaker, Heat Opening Week, hot Cats. See who's No. 1 and what else ranks where this week; plus column off Fins, UM losses, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, OCTOBER 18. Was back in with Le Batard Show this past week. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Florida Panthers win season opener, NFL Week 6 picks, Week 5 results for Picks/Lobos/QB rankings, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Coteshow GcsshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 40th episode of 2021 and 82nd overall is out Monday! New pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 82 we've done HERE, free. In our newest episode: Front row at a Monkees concert, Panthers talk with Roy Bellamy, golf with Chris and Uncle Dick, Old Heidelberg, sad Dolphins and Canes, corn mazes and hayrides, Hard Knocks/Greg's Lobos (heads rolling), on a boat with Izzy Gutierrez and Jessica Smetana and more. Our most action-packed episode yet! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

Heartbreaker, the sequel: Fins lose in London. My column: Are Dolphins the worst team in the NFL? YOu could  make the argument after Sunday's 23-20 loss to winless Jacksonville in London: Tua Looks Good In Return, But Dolphins Lose 5th Straight.

Heartbreaker: Canes lose at North Carolina. My column: Could UM pull off a road upset with a backup QB? Almost. Came down to final six seconds before Miami fell, 45-42, as the heat on Manny Diaz grows: Canes, Trying to Save A Season And Maybe A Coach's Job, Fall Short in Chapel Hill.

Florida Panthers win crazy season opener: 'Its' Time to Hunt': Florida Panthers' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start.

Other most recent columns: Loss In Tampa Has Dolphins Season In Free Fall As Embarrassments Pile Up / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / With Ghosts Of Glory Days Watching, Dolphins Showed Inept Effort in Third Straight Loss / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / Unlucky, But Heat on Manny Diaz Rises With Home Loss In ACC Opener / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Tua's Rib Injury In Keeping With Weird, Rocky Start to Dolphins Career / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (OCTOBER 17-18): 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: It's Opening Week for new-look, Lowry-infused team!: Miami's encouraging 5-1 preseason ended Friday with another big offensive show from Tyler Herro. Let the real games begin! Jimmy Butlerr, Bam Adebayo and noted addition Kyle Lowry get it started with the season and home openr Thursday night vs. defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.

2. DOLPHINS: Tua plays well in return, but Fins fall to Jags in London: The free fall (1-5 after five straight losses) continued Sunday in a 23-20 loss to previously winless Jacksonville in north London. Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa returned after three games out injured and played well but for one awful interception, throwing for 329 yards and two TDs.

3. HURRICANES: King done, Diaz in trouble as UM falls at UNC: The job security under coach Manny Diaz trembles and quakes that much more after Saturday's 45-42 road loss to North Carolina dropped Canes to 2-4 and 0-2 in the ACC. Freshman Tyler Van Dyke made his first start at quarterback with D'Eriq King lost for the season after shoulder surgery, and threw three interceptions incluing a batted-ball pick in the closing seconds that cost Miami a shot at a short tying field goal.

4. PANTHERS: High-hope Cats jump out to 2-0 start: Cats won a wild season and home opener, 5-4 in OT over Pittsburgh Thursday, on two goals by Aaron Ekblad and a pair including the game winner from Carter Verhaeghe, then scored a 5-1 home win Saturday over the N.Y. Islanders on Sam Bennett's hat trick. Florida is back at it Tuesday at rival in Tampa.

5. MLB: Braves lead Dodgers, ALCS tied: Red Sox and Astros are tied 1-1 in the home run-fueled AL Championship Series, with Game 3 Monday in Boston. Braves are up 2-0 over favored Dodgers in the NLCS, with Game 3 Tuesday in L.A. 

6. NFL: Email scandal sacks Raiders coach Jon Gruden: Star coach Jon Gruden resigned abruptly and in shame from the Las Vegas Raiders when it was reveaed he had sent internal emails that were racist, misogynistic and homophobic. And the fallout may be just beginning.

7. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators lose again: No. 20 Florida Gators faced a challenge Saturday as 11-point favorites at LSU and lost 49-42, while unranked UCF (a decent 3-2) was on the road trying and failing badly to derail upstart and unbeaten No. 3 Cincinnati, 56-21. Elsewhere on the FBS state schedule, non-UM division: South Florida fell to Tulsa, 32-31. FSU, FIU and FAU all were off.

8. INTER MIAMI: Miserable Herons drops sixth straight match: Fading Miami is 9-5-15 after a sixth straight loss, Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Columbus. David Beckham's disappointing team is now nine points off MLS playoff pace with five matches left starting Wednesday vs. Toronto.

9. MARLINS: Team's Fall Development Camp wraps up this week: The Marlins' three-week Fall Development Camp, for prospects mostly at the rookie league and Single A level, ends this coming Friday. The camp has included 27 players (non-pitchers), 11 of them teenagers. Notables include No. 1 prospect Khalil Watson, Victor Mesa and Griffin Conine (Jeff's kid).  

10. WNBA: Chicago Sky wins first title: Chicago Sky on Sunday completed a 3-1 series win over the Phoenix Mercury in the 25th WNBA Finals. Mercury had won three league championships, the last in 2014. Sky won their first.

Missing the HB10 cut: Seven Top 25 teams lost this week, including No. 2 Iowa. The new CFP top four figures to be Georgia, Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Alabama ..... Dwyane Wade's eldest son, Zaire, 19, is signing a G League contract and expected to join Utah's developmental affiliate in Salt Lake City. Dad purchased an ownership stake in the Jazz earlier this year ..... The Washington Football Team will retire the No. 21 jersey of slain former Hurricane Sean Taylor on Sunday, only the third such honor the franchise has given, after Sammy Baugh and Bobby Mitchell ..... U.S. men's soccer earned a needed 2-1 win over Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying, which continues through March. Next: Big one vs. rival Mexico on November 12 ..... UEFA Champions League play resumes Tuesday with eight matches ..... Portland Thorns and OL Reign lead the push as scandal-beleaguered NWSL nears its playoffs ..... Four races left in NASCAR playoffs starting Sunday at Texas. Can anyone stop this season's seven-time race winner Kyle Larson? ..... Meantime NASCAR team owner Tony Stewart is getting into NHRA drag racing in 2022 with fulltime entries in both Top Fuel and Funny Car ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,716 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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Select other recent columns: Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / 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 / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / 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 / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / 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? / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / 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 / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / 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).

October 11, 2021

The latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins crushed by Bucs, Panthers Opening Week, 'Bama loses, MLB playoffs; plus my column from Tampa, new Greg Cote show podcast (Le Batard roast) out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, OCTOBER 11. Happy birthday to my big brother, the famous Uncle Dick! 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 5 picks, Too soon and dumb to quit on Tua, Fins and Canes' woes make this year of reckoning, Week 4 results for Picks/Greg's Lobos/QB Rankings, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 39th episode of 2021 and 81st overall is out Monday! New pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 81 we've done HERE, free. In our new episode, we bring you inside Saturday night's Dan Le Batard celebrity roast at the Hard Rock. We roast the roast, bringing you the best and worst of it. Also in the new pod: We chew over the Dolphins' ugly loss in Tampa, give you a Greg's Lobos update, chat Marlins with Jordan McPherson and much more! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

Dolphins get clobbered in Tampa. My column: Loss In Tampa Has Dolphins Season In Free Fall As Embarrassments Pile Up.

PicksNFL Week 5 picks: Rough go last week but we did hit our fourth straight bull's-eye for a perfect 4-0 mark on Upset of the Week picks. Now we turn to Week 5 and picks for Dolphins-Bucs, Bills-Chiefs, Game of Week, Upset of Week and all the rest: NFL Week 5 Gems.

Our most recent columns: Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / With Ghosts Of Glory Days Watching, Dolphins Showed Inept Effort in Third Straight Loss / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / Unlucky, But Heat on Manny Diaz Rises With Home Loss In ACC Opener / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Tua's Rib Injury In Keeping With Weird, Rocky Start to Dolphins Career / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver.

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

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Season in free fall with 45-17 loss, 1-4 record: The Fins are now 1-4 after a 45-17 loss in Tampa Sunday -- a fourth straight defeat. Tom Brady wth five TD passes had his way and both offense and defense collapsed. Answers, Brian Flores. Pronto, por favor?

2. PANTHERS: It's Opening Week as Cats lock up Barkov long-term!: After a 5-2 preseason now done, the Panthers open their 28th NHL season at home in Sunrise this Thursday vs. Pittsburgh. It's a season of extraordinarily high hopes for Florida, buoyed this week by the Cats extending star Aleksander Barkov, 26, with an eight-year, $80 million deal -- richest in franchise history.

3. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Wait. What!? Alabama loses!: The College Football Playoff picture got shook up Saturday, starting with No. 1 Alabama losing 41-38 to Texas A&M. Also notabe: 2-Georgia beat No. 18 Auburn 34-10, and 3-Iowa State beat 4-Penn State 23-20. In other Top 25 matchups: 6-Oklahoma beat 21-Texas 55-48, and 17-Ole Miss topped 13-Arkansas 52-51.

4. MLB: Red Sox, Astros lead; both NL Division Series tied: With Yanks and Cards dismissed as wild-card losers, the real playoffs are underway with the final eight teams split into two five-game AL and NL Division Series. AL: Red Sox lead Rays 2-1 and Astros lead White Sox 2-1. NL: Brewers and Braves are 1-1 and Giants and Dodgers 1-1. All four series play Monday. Dodgers and Astros were 1-2 as betting favorites to win it all. 

5. HEAT: Herro, new-look Miami 3-0 in preseason: The new-look Heat -- Kyle Lowry joining Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in a new Big 3 -- is 3-0 halfway through a six-game preseason schedule. Tyler Herro totaled 76 points in first three games. Miami's final exhibition games are Monday, Thursday and Friday, then regular season opens October 21 at home vs. Milwaukee.

6. HURRICANES: Idle UM, Diaz gird for big -- and perilous -- stretch of schedule: The heat is on coach Manny Diaz with Miami, off this week, 2-3 as it prepares for three lose-able games in a row. Canes are small underdogs at North Carolina on October 16, then host a ranked (No. 23) N.C. State, then will likely be underdogs visiting Pitt. Not predicting it, but if UM is 2-6 come Halloween, Diaz could be gone.

7. INTER MIAMI: Fading Herons lose 5th straight: Miami is 9-5-14, with five straight losses and now eight points off MLS playoff pace with only four matches left after Saturday's 1-nil loss at New York Red Bulls. Done.

8. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators win to top state slate: Florida Gators tumbled 10 spots to No. 20 after last week's humbling loss to Kentucky but bounced back Saturday in the Swamp, beating Vanderbilt, 42-0. Elsewhere on the FBS state schedule, non-UM division: Charlotte beat FIU 45-33, FAU beat UAB 14-0, Florida State beat North Carolina 35-25 and UCF beat East Carolina 20-16. South Florida joins UM as idle.

9. MARLINS: Fish hint at offseason spending for offense: The Marlins, after a disappointing 67-95 season full of promising pitching and bad bats, are feeding the media hints about big spending for offense in the coming offseason. OK. Good talk. Now let's wait to see it.

10. WNBA: Chicago wins opener as Finals underway: The Chicago Sky and Candace Parker are up 1-0 on the Phoenix Mercury led by Brittney Griner in the best-of-5 WNBA Finals after winning Sunday. It's the league's 25th Finals. Phoenix has won three championships, the last in 2014. Chicago is seeking its first title.

Missing the HB10 cut: Heat broadcaster Jason Jackson's Jax Celebrity Roast IV honored targeted Dan Le Batard on Saturday night at the Hard Rock ..... Tyson Fury KO'd Deontay Wilder in the 11th round of their WBC heavyweight title bout Saturday night in Vegas. Their previous bouts were a split-draw Fury win ..... Bills-Chiefs. BILLS-CHIEFS! ..... Bubba Wallace became only the second Black driver to win a main-race event in NASCAR and the first since 1963. Sunday at Charlotte is the sixth race in the 10-race playoffs ..... The NWSL sex-abuse scandal overshadows the season as the league moves within a month of its playoffs ..... Only six of 32 teams in the UEFA Champions League are 2-0-0 after two matches, including giants Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Juventus. Play resumed October 19 ..... Eighteen former NBA players are charged with pocketing $2.5 million by defrauding the league's health and welfare benefit plan. That averages to about $140,000 each. Was it worth it, guys? ..... Bronny James, 16, son of LeBron was in Miami this weekend participating in a showcase event at Florida Memorial University ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,723 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

xxx

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Select other recent columns: Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins areWhy Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not ScornWhere Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / 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 / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports HistoryFate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / 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? / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All TimeWomen Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / 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 / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's AliveFinal 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).

October 04, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins fall to Colts, Canes lose ACC opener, MLB's wild finish, Brady at Belichick; plus our columns on Fins loss, Shula tribute; also, NFL Week 4 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, OCTOBER 4. Was back in with Le Batard Show last week, including a new Back In My Day. Check out Tuesday's show's podcasts! 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes lose ACC opener, Kyrie Irving's ignorance, Heat need Kyle Lowry to be 'Doctor of Greatness,' Week 3 results for NFL picks/Greg's Lobos/QB Rankings, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Coteshow SethbookGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SETH WICKERSHAM ON PATRIOTS, LE BATARD SHOW GOLF ON NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 38th episode of 2021 and 80th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 80 we've done HERE, for free. In our new epsisode, ESPN senior writer Seth Wickersham (pcitured) joins in to chat up his new book on the Patriots dynasty and how it ended. Also: Greg & Stugotz vs. Chris & Mike Ryan in Le Batard Show golf, the return of Mount Gregmore, Hard Knocks/Greg's Lobos episode 3, high-school prom stories, funereal times for Dolphins and Canes and more! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

Dolphins' inept home effort in loss to Colts: With Ghosts Of Glory Days Watching, Dolphins Showed Inept Efprt in Third Straight Loss.

Our 'Celebration of Life' column from Shula tribute: Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather to Bid Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days.

NFL Week 4 picks: Went 11-5 straight-up and 8-8 against the spread in NFL Week 3, including a third straight bull's-eye on our Upset of the Week pick. Now we turn to Week 4 and our picks for Dolphins-Colts, Brady at Belichick and all the rest -- incluindg five (!) upset picks. Can we make it 4-0 on Upsets of the Week? Check out NFL Week 4 Gems.

Most recent other columns: Unlucky, But Heat on Manny Diaz Rises With Home Loss In ACC Opener / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / and Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later. Also: Tua's Rib Injury In Keeping With Weird, Rocky Start to QB's Dolphins Career / and Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (OCTOBER 3-4): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Stinky effort in loss to Colts ends big weekend for Fins: The 1-2 Dolphins tried to get even in hosting Indianapolis Sunday, whch also marked the club's annual Alumni Weekend with the return of Larry Csonka and other greats. Instead they had inept effort in a 27-17 loss. Saturday the club hosted a Celebration of Life for Don Shula (column link above), the iconic glory days coach who passed away at age 90 in 2020. Fins played second of three games without injured starting QB Tua Tagovailoa.

2. HURRICANES: Heat on Diaz rises as UM drops ACC opener at home: Should have beaten Virginia Thursday night but for a short missed field goal in the final seconds. Unlucky. Nevertheless, Canes are now 2-3, 0-1 in the ACC and have lost five of past seven games dating to last season. They honored the late Howard Schnellenberger on same night the heat got hotter under current coach Manny Diaz.

3. MLB: AL wild-card race won by Red Sox, Yankees as regular season end: Suspense in two spots Sunday as MLB ended its regular season. Giants beat Dodgers for NL West title, and in a four-team logjam old rivals Boston and New York won AL wild-card spots. 

4. NFL: It wasn't Bucs at Pats. It was Brady at Belichick!: Sunday Night Footballl got a ratings monster last night with Tom Brady's Buccaneers returning to Foxborough to face Bil Belichick's Patriots for the first time since the rather ugly dissolution of the dynasty with Brady's departure. Tom set the NFL career passing yards record and also won, though barely, 19-17, in a rain-drenched game that ived up to the hype.

5. MARLINS: Fish close disappointing season on good note at home Sunday: The Marlins ended their season at home Sunday with a second straight win over the Phillies to finish 67-95. The only "drama" for Miami down the stretch was whether Fish or Washington would avoid the NL East cellar, and Marlins did.

6. INTER MIAMI: Slumping Herons now sagging in MLS playoff chase: Inter Miami's hot streak has ended with a mighty thud, with Sunday's 1-0 loss at Portland a fourth straight defeat. Miami now is 9-5-13 and eight points off MLS playoff pace with only five matches left starting next Saturday at New York Red Bulls.

7. HEAT: Training camp gives way to start of preseason: The new-look Heat -- Kyle Lowry added to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in what they hope is a big enough Big 3 -- opens its six-game preseason schedule tonight/Monday vs. Atlanta, followed by road games later in week in Houston and San Antonio.

8. PANTHERS: High-hope Cats open preseason with bang: Florida, dreaming Stanley Cup, opened its seven-game preseason 4-0 with a pair of split-squad scrimmage wins over Nashville and a pair of wins over Dallas. Warmup games conclude with three straight against rival Tampa Bay Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

9. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Ouch. No. 10 Gators falls Kentucky: No. 10 Florida Gators were at Kentucky but fell-20-13 Saturday -- one of  nine Top 25 teams to lose. The annual FIU-FAU Shula Bowl shared the marquee atop the FBS state schedule, non-UM division, with FAU winnig big. Other games: Fllorda State beat Syracuse for its first win, UCF fell at Navy, and South Florida lost at SMU.

10. SOCCER: Unseemly scandal rocks NWSL: National Women's Soccer League commissioner Lisa Baird and general counsel Lisa Levine were removed from their roles this week in the wake of a report detailed allegations of sexual coercion and abuse by now former North Carolina Courage manager Paul Riley that spanned multiple teams. Riley was fired om Thursday.

Missing the HB10 cut: Kyrie Irving, new face of the anti-vax crowd, faces not being permitted to play in Brooklyn's home games this season because he is not vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. NBA responded by saying players would not be paid for games missed due to not being vaccinated. Good! ..... Barcelona two straight losses in Champions League. How the mighty hve fallen ..... The College Football Playoff picture faced a shakeup Saturday with four Top 25 matchups: No. 2 Georgia roouted No. 8 Arkansas, 7-Cincinnati won at 9-Notre Dame, 1-Alabama beat 12-Ole Miss, and 19-Oklahoma State beat 21-Baylor. Nine Top 25 teams in all lost Saturday ..... It's Chicago vs. Connecicut and Las Vegas-Phoenix in semifinals of WNBA playoffs ..... NASCAR 10-race playoffs reach the midpoint Sunday at Talladega ..... Bronny James, 16, son of LeBron, is coming to Miami. Not to play for UM, alas, but to participate in an October 9-10 showcase event at Florida Memorial University ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,730 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Other most recent columns: Dolphins' Shutout Loss in Home Opener a New Low For Flores Era / Miami Hurricanes Aren't Very Good -- And Keep Proving It / The Big Question About Canes, Fins After Ugly Home Losses.Xavien Howard Deserved the Money and Respect He Wanted -- This Was Why / Canes' Offense Dangling Like a Cat And Needing Help / Tua's Burden as Dolphins Open at Pats? Lift a Team, a Franchise and a City. Now / Chasing Giants & Ghosts: Miami Hurricanes' 20-year search for return to glory / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Canes Can Shock the World and Beat Alabama. Here's How [Update: Oops!] / Belichick Must Be Smiling As Dolphins Deal With Rumors And Tua With Doubt / Fins' Faith In Tua Will Be A Lie If They Sell Soul, Spend Big For Watson / There Is Only One Way an ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 Alliance Can Out-SEC the SEC / Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2ua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami

Bobby Bowden tribute column: College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby BowdenHall of Fame quartet: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Select other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / 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 / 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 / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / 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 / 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 / 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).

August 16, 2021

The new Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Year Tua underway, hot(ish) Marlins, Joe Thornton. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus R.I.P. Gerd Muller, Greg explains his Le Batard Show holdout in new podcast out now & more

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

Eltondua1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 16. Love the new Elton John/Dua Lipa dance remix by Pnau called Cold Heart. It's a mashup of four Elton songs, two obvious (Sacrifice, Rocket Man) and two not (Kiss the Bride, Where's the Shoorah?). Listen and watch here. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): The Dolphins prepare to unveil Year Tua, The unraveling of ex-Cane Aubrey Huff, What Messi's big move means to Inter Miami, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: GREG TALKS LE BATARD SHOW HOLDOUT ON NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 32nd episode of 2021 and 74th 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 73 we've done HERE, for free. In our newest episode: Greg reveals details about his holdout from and future on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. And, as Greg's Lobos gird for another fantasy football season, we welcome in a special guest named ... Greg Lobo! Also in the new ep: Greg's thoughts on the Dolphins' preseason-opening loss and on Armando Salguero leaving the Miami Herald. Also, a new Mount Gregmore! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2 Tua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 15-16): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Tua (mostly) shines as Fins drop fake-game opener: Dolphins led at Chicago 13-0 Saturday at Soldier Field but lost 20-13. Nobody cares. It was a preseason game. This mattered more: Tua Tagovailoa launched his second season impressively with an 8-for-11 performance for 99 yards, with two of his top receivers not playing. Blemish: One bad decision and an end-zone interceptions. Still an encouraging start to Year Tua. Next: Saturday night vs. Atlanta in Fins' only home exhibition.

2. MARLINS: Hot Fish sweep reeling Cubs: Fish are 51-67 (12-17 since the break) in a six-game homestand after Sunday's 4-1 win over the Cubs completed a three-game sweep and made it four W's in a row for Miami. First game featured club record-tying 11-run inning. Reeling Cubbies have now lost 11 straight. Marlins now welcome in Braves for three.

3. INTER MIAMI: Four-game unbeaten runs ends at NYC: After an eight-game winless streak, Inter Miami carried a four-game unbeaten run (two wins, two draws) into Saturday night's game at strong New York City, but fell 2-0. Next: Miami, now 4-4-9, hosts a comparable (read: beatable) Chicago Fire squad Wednesday night.

4. SOCCER: Eyes on Paris, Messi as Europe leagues begin: League seasons are underway across Europe, with notable betting favorites Manchester City in English Premier League, Bayern Munich in German Bundesliga, Real Madrid in Spanish La Liga, Juventus in Italian Serie A and Paris Saint-Germain -- with Lionel Messi, soon -- in French Ligue 1. Messi's Paris debut is speculated to come after World Cup qualifying matches for Argentina in September. Best guess for his PSG debut: September 12 in Ligue 1 match or September 14 or 15 in UEFA Champions League.

5. PANTHERS: Cats sign ageless Joe Thornton: Center Joe Thornton will play a 24th NHL season, at age 42, and it will be in Sunrise after the FlaPanthers signed the ageless star to a bare-bonds 1-year, $750,000 contract. Thornton is first among all active players in career assists and points, and second in games played. Cats also signed forward Sam Reinhart to a 3-year deal.

6. HEAT: Miami prospects wrap up Summer League; U.D. re-signs: Heat prospects are 4-2 in Summer League play (2-0 in Sacramento and 2-2 in Las Vegas) after Saturday loss to Atlanta. One game remains. Meantime NBA continues investigating tampering charges against two teams related to recent free agency sign-and-trades, including Miami over its acquisition of Kyle Lowry. Believed to be at issue: Improper contact ahead of the official August 2 start date. Also, as expected, Udonis Haslem re-signed for a 19th season.

7. MLB: Good: 'Field Of Dreams'; Bad: Barstool deal?: Nostalgia was king as the White Sox and Yankees played a regular season game in Dyersville, Iowa at the site of the classic 1989 baseball movie Field of Dreams -- and with a Hollywood ending, Chicago's walkoff home run into the cornfields. The bad news? MLB is in broadcast talks with Barstool Sports in an apparent desire to gain a larger share of the sexist white frat-boy demographic. 

8. HURRICANES: Countdown 19 days 'til Alabama opener: UM fall football camp continued with a scrimmage Sunday -- now with less than three weeks until the No. 16 Canes open vs. No. 1 Alabama in the September 4  Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta. Meantime UM announced a home-and-home series with Brigham Young in 2026 and '28. Schools last met in 1990.

9. SOCCER: U.S, men crack top 10 in FIFA World Ranking: The U.S. men's national team leaps 10 spots to No.10 in the FIFA World Ranking on the wing of its Gold Cup win, the Americans' first time in the top 10 in 15 years. Illogically the U.S. is one spot behind Mexico despite beating El Tri two in a row including the Gold Cup final. U.S. women remain No.1 despite their disappointing bronze medal in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

10. NFL: Shortened preseason underway: Down from four games to three (still too many), the NFL preseason has begun in full as all teams play their fist exhibition game in a showcase of mostly scrubs trying to win depth roles. Fake Week 1 wrapped Sunday afternoon. The expanded 17-game regular season opens September 9.

Missing the HB10 cut: R.I.P., Gerd Muller. The German and Bayern Munich soccer legend passed away at 75 as the greatest striker there ever was. Ended his career with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1979-81 ..... Field of dreams: Diamondbacks' Tyler Gilbert no-hit the Padres in his first MLB start. Nobody had done that in the bigs since Bobo Holloman in 1953 ..... Hundred paid respects to Bobby Bowden at the state capitol in Tallahassee ..... The Hurricanes have entered the NFT (digital) marketplace with "Canes Vault," billed as celebrating the history of UM athletics with collections of animated illustrations. An NFT (non-fungible token) is a unique piece of digital content that is a licensed collectible. Parents, asked your kids to explain it further ..... Florida Panthers signed Canes QB D'Eriq King to a Name-Image-Likeness) deal, making King the first college athlete to sign an NIL agreement with a pro team. King will appear at some games and events and on Cats social media, develop a merchandise collection, and have his concession menu item ..... Here was an email I got with a headline that made me laugh out loud and I'm not sure why: 'Introducing The Marlins Credit Card!' ..... Kawhi Leonard, as expected, will stay with L.A. Clippers, re-signing on a four-year, $176.3 million max deal ..... Breanna Stewart led the Seattle Storm past the Connecticut Sun 79-57 in the inaugural WNBA Commissioner's Cup, the first "midseason championship" in the league's 25-year history. Oh what a bad idea! ..... Can't-retire Philippines senator Manny Pacquiao enters the ring vs. WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugás in a pay-per-view event next Saturday in Vegas ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,779 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Our Bobby  Bowden tribute column: College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden

The Hall of Fame quartet: Columns on the four men with strong South Florida ties enshrined last week in Canton: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

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

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 / 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 / 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).

August 14, 2021

Ready ... set ... here comes Year Tua! New column on Fins' fake-game debut today; plus Story behind who Aubrey Huff became, What Messi's move means to Miami, new Greg Cote Show podcast sets records for laughter and emotion, Friday the 13th & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, AUGUST 14. Hope that you sufferers of Paraskevidekatriaphobia stayed home yesterday for God's sake, preferably under the covers, because who knows what ill fate Friday the 13th held in store! 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Bowden tribute column, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Coteshow MeandsonsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: LAUGHTER, EMOTION IN NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 31st episode of 2021 and 73rd 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 73 we've done HERE, for free. In our latest episode: It's (un)official. This episode sets a GCS record for most laughter, much of it from a new 'Greg Doesn't Know Movies' segment hosted by Greg's younger son, Michael. We also have a decal giveaway update that evolves into an emotional, at-times poignant discussion of the father/son dynamic of our show. (Is Chris too mean to his Dad?) Also in the new ep: Why most people hate good dancers, Lionel Messi to PSG, and the search for Greg Lobo. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

OUR BOWDEN TRIBUTE COLUMNCollege Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden

The Hall of Fame quartet: Our columns on the four men with strong South Florida ties who were enshrined Saturday in Canton: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce to Canton column / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

TuaDOLPHINS' 'BIG PICTURE' BEGINS TO EMERGE TODAY WITH UNVEILING OF YEAR TUA: Tua Tagovailoa, before a joint practice against the Bears this week in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, was asked how he feels compared to the same time last year. He smiled. “Big picture question,” he said. “I think it’s hard to look at the big picture when you’re just dialed in on what we’ve got to do to accomplish what we want right now.” No problem, Tua. You don’t need to be concerned with judging then vs. now and gauging progress or how much you’ve improved in Year 2. A million Miami Dolphins fans will be doing it for you. And that judging starts Saturday in Miami’s NFL preseason opener, a 1 p.m. matinee at storied Solder Field. Tagovailoa will play, though likely not much. No matter. Every snap he takes, every pass he makes, will be scrutinized like the Zapruder film. Dolfans will be rabid collectors in 2021, looking for evidence. Proof. Hints of how high the ceiling might be for the young quarterback out of Alabama. Signs that his second season will be one of appreciable improvement. All hopes, coming off a 10-win season, are depending on that. For our full latest column -- including all the reasons Tua is set up to make big improvement this season, and couple reasons why he might not -- visit Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge Saturday With Unveiling Of Year 2 Tua.
 

AhuffUNRAVELED: THE STORY BEHIND WHO AUBREY HUFF BECAME: Is it possible to hate most everything someone stands for, and yet feel sorry for that person? To watch someone go so far off the rails that you worry whether they’re OK? So Twitter permanently suspended former major-league — and Miami Hurricanes — baseball player Aubrey Huff this week, erasing all of his trolling and toxicity, and the move was met with cheers across social media, sort of a chorus of “Good riddance!” Predictably Huff, on Instagram, doubled down, calling the ban “a badge of honor,” and blaming the “liberal Karens” at Twitter. The suspension ultimately came because Huff, a self-described “anti-vaxxer” who mocks people for wearing masks, violated Twitter’s “misleading information policy” regarded COVID-19, but that was atop myriad other vile affronts to general decency. Plainly, Huff is a far-right ideologue whose (former) Twitter bio read, “I believe in God, free speech, America, guns, whiskey and toxic masculinity.” Over time, in tweets, he threatened violence if Bernie Sanders were to beat Donald Trump; “joked” about kidnapping and assaulting Iranian women; supported the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump zealots aiming to overturn the presidential election result; and mocked the San Francisco Giants for hiring a female assistant coach. Most everything about Huff, I loathe. So where does the empathy come in? A murdered father. Addiction. Depression. Being bullied. A gun held to his temple. There are other things to know about the former Miami Hurricanes player. For our full recent column, visit Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became.

MessiWHAT MESSI'S SUDDEN, STUNNING MOVE FROM BARCELONA TO PARIS MEANS FOR INTER MIAMI: He wore a dark blue suit, fit for a wake. He paused when he needed to, which was often, as the tears turned to sobs and the hanky came back out. The somber gathering of disbelieving fans grew outside Camp Nou Stadium. They wore his jersey and held photos. The fans were crying, too. Sports has never seen anything quite like this. The greatest soccer player there ever was, leaving the only club he has ever known — and leaving against his will. He didn’t want to go. His club didn’t want that, either. Surely his league and futbol federation did not. And yet there he goes. “We wanted to stay here,” he made it plain at his Sunday farewell. “But today I have to say goodbye to all of this.”Never in the history of mankind has the pronunciation of a man’s surname better described the situation that drove him out. Messi. Messy. Sad. Enraging. Astounding. Avoidable. All apply to this sudden and strange end of an era in international soccer. For our full recent column, visit What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami.
 

Our most recent other 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?).

Other 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 / 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 / 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 UnfinishedInter 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).

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.

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

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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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).