April 11, 2022

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Heat await playoff foe. Masters. Marlins Opening Week. Sizzlin' Cats. Inter Miami finally wins. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now with Tim Kurkjian, Strat-O-Matic & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, APRIL 11. Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's album -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 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): Inter Miami a rare failure for Beckham but there's a fix, Marlins Opening Day finds no excuses lieft, Tiger's miracle Masters, Greg Cote Show podcast.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW! Our 17th episode of 2022 and 108th overall is out now! 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. Find all 108 we've done HERE, free. In the new episode: It's Welcome Back, Baseball as welome in ESPN MLB expert Tim Kurkjiam and Hal Richman, legendary inventor of the Strat-O-Matic baseball board game. Kurkjian tells us team that will surprise, talks Marlins, and opines in changes in the game. Richman describes how he thought of Strat-O-Matic as an 11-year-old and launched a brand important in millions of lives -- including my own. Hit up GCS2217 for full story on the new ep, and watch our weekly YouTube preview. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod also simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET).

Personal note and thanks: I'm honored to have again been named by Associated Press Sports Editors as national Top 10 columnist for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won us APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Dolphins sabotaging Tua with interest in Watson

MOUNT GREGMORE OF COLUMNS: OUR LATEST FIVE:

BeckhamTigerSandyNEW! Inter Miami Has Been Major Failure For David Beckham. Here's The BIg Fix NEW!

Rotation Set, Lineup Improved, Excuses Gone. Time For Marlins To Win

Could Have Died. Nearly Lost a Leg. Tiger Playing Masters Means He's Already Won

The Lawsuit, 2 Months Later: Why Flores Has Already Won, And Dolphins Are Still Nervous

NCAA Final Four: Why (Was) America Rooting Against The Perfect Ending?

Hilltop: The most recent five after thatMarlins Owner Sherman Said He'd Spend. Payroll Says It Hasn't Been Enough  /  Crushing End Short Of Final Four, But Miami Hurricanes' NCAA Run Was Exhilarating Milestone  /  Peacocks? Coach K? Hurricanes, The 'Football School' In Elite Eight, Deserve Love Too  /  Tyreek Hill Trade, Terron Armstead Signing A Win-Now Power Play By Dolphins  /  Hurricanes Storming Sweet 16 Shades of George Mason '06 for Larranaga

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 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, but from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: Miami holds No. 1 seed as season ends, awaits playoff foe: Heat ended 53-29 and with No. 1 seed in East with Sunday's meaningless loss in Orlando in which starters sat and Victor Oladipo scored 40. Play-in games are Tuesday though Friday with the full NBA playoffs commencing next Saturday, and Miami now likeliest to draw Cleveland or Kevin Durant and Brooklyn in first round. Miami has two dogs in the awards hunt: Bam Adebayo (Defensive POY) and Tyler Herro (Sixth Man).

2. MARLINS: Fish dip to 1-2 as Opening Week on road continues: Marlins are 1-2 in newborn season after Sunday's 3-2 loss in San Fran. Fish now play two games at L.A. Angels before returning for Thursday night's home opener vs. NL East rival Philaldelphia to start a seven-game homestand.

3. GOLF: All eyes on Tiger but it's Scheffel in Masters green jacket: Tiger Woods playing his first competitive event since his awful car wreck 14 months ago assured extraordinary interest in the 86th Masters. Alas, he finished 13 over par and 23 off the lead, but still found encouragment and committed to play the U.S. Open. Scottie Scheffler won by 3 shots over Rory McIlroy.

4. PANTHERS: Huberdeau sets club record, sizzlin' Cats win 7th straight: Florida is 51-15-6 with seven straight wins and an eight-point lead in NHL Atlantic after Saturday's 4-1 banger in Nashville. It's Florida's longest W run since opening the season 8-0. And Jonathan Huberdeau became first player in franchise history to have a 100-point season and is in the running for both the Ross trophy (points leader) and the Hart (MVP). Aleksander Barkov is a finalist for the Selke (defensive forward) and Andrew Brunette for the Adams (coach). Cats are back on ice Tuesday vs. Anaheim with 10 games left in regular season.

5. INTER MIAMI: Herons finally win on big weekend for Beckhams: As rumors of Lionel Messi eventually coming here renew yet again, Inter Miami finally won its first matchof 2022 Saturday, a 3-2 home win over New E gland powered by Leonardo Campana's franchise-first hat trick. Miami had begun MLS Year 3 winless in five games with one draw. On the same day up in Palm Beach, David Beckham's eldest son Brooklyn got married. Meanwhile Miami City Commisison vote on new stadium is set April 28.

6. DOLPHINS: Flores lawsuit against NFL, Fins gaining steam?: Brian Flores' legal team revealed he wrote a letter to club officials in December 2019 putting in writing his allegations that owner stpehen Ross offered him bonus money to lose. And two more former NFL coaches, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton, joined Flores' class-action suit. Meantime former Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey said Titans ownership "told me I was going to be head coach" in 2016 before going through Rooney Rule interviews. On the field, Dolphins offseason workoust build toward a voluntary minicamp Aril 29-20.

7. NFL: League rocked by Haskins death, AGs' warning: Steelers quarterback and former Ohio State star Dwayne Haskins, 24, died Saturday when struck by a dump truck while walking alongside Interstste 595 in South Florida, where he'd been training with teammates. The NFL also reels as attorneys general from six states wrote a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell warning that the league will face a major investigation if alleged workplace harassment of women and minorities is not addressed and corrected.

8. HURRICANES: Spring football wraps, baseball rising fast: Big spring for Canes sports on heel of Miami men reaching NCAA Elite Eight for first time. Mario Cristobal's first spring practice as head coach wraps up next Saturday with the annual Spring Game at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale. And Canes baseball has risen from No. 8 to No. 2 in the polls and is 26-6 with 13 straight wins after a weekend home sweep of Virginia.

9. SOCCER: U.S. men's soccer sets pre-World Cup schedule: The USMNT, World Cup-qualified and drawn into Group B led by England, has scheduled six matches in the buildup to the November/December event in Qatar. The American men will play friendlies on June 1 and 5; compete in CONCACAF Nations Lesagues matches June 10 vs. Grenada and June 4 vs. El Salvador; and play two more friendlies between September 19-27. All locations are TBD, as are the opponents for the friendlies.

10. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Champion Kansas, coach Self facing cloud of allegations: Men's NCAA Tournament champion Kansas and coach Bill Self face allegations in an NCAA investigation into corruption in college basketball nearing its conclusion. Kansas is among a list of schools that were part of a 2017 FBI case alleging bribes were paid to lure top recruits to elite programs, and payments were made to coaches to steer young players toward financial and business advisers.

Missing the HB10 cut: Clemson's Dabo Swinney misses College Football Playoff for first time in seven years, calls for "complete blowup" of the sport. Hahahahahahahaha! ..... Real Madrid, Villarreal, Manchester City and Liverpool take the advantage into UEFA Champions League 2nd leg quarterfinal matches this Tuesday and Wednesday. The one surprise: Can upstart VIllarreal reach the semifinals past powehouse Bayern Munich? ..... Despite qualifying, runners from Russia and Belarus will be banned from competing in the 126th Boston Marathon on April 18 over the invasion of Ukraine. The ruling eliminates 63 runners from an expected field of some 30,000 ..... A new wealth list named embattled Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross the NFL's fifth-richest NFL owner at $8.2 bilion. He trails only the Panthers' David Tepper, Rams' Stan Kroenke, Cowboys' Jerry Jones and Pats' Robert Kraft ..... NBA playoffs with no LeBron. Is that even legal? ..... WNBA Draft is Monday. No Hurricanes expected to go in any of the three rounds ..... Terrell Owens, 48, is returning to pro football (sort of) in the Fan Controlled Football league, a 7-on-7 startup that allows fans to make key decisions and play calls, kicks off April 16 and figures to be permanently defunct by summer ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,541 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Other recent columns: Dolphins' Moves Help Tua, But Isn't About Surrounding Cast. It's On him / Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror / Brady's Comeback Not About Another Ring. It's About Holding Onto Who He Is / When Spoelstra Joined Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach / Why Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia / The Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears  / Chris Cote To Save Sport Of Jai-Alai / Brady A Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen / Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart / Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win / An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude

Select other columns: Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / 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 / 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 / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / 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 / 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? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / 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 / 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 2021 writing awards again ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in '22 voting in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 04, 2022

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): It's the most jammed, heavyweight HB10 ever! NCAAs. Marlins. Masters. Heat. Fins. Tennis, USMNT. Cats. So much!, See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus Greg Cote Show new epsiode out now! & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, APRIL 4. Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's album -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 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): Brian Flores has already won, Why is America rooting against perfect ending in Final Four?, Marlins payroll still too low, Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow NwrGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH NICK WRIGHT OUT NOW! Our sweet 16th episode of 2022 and 107th 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. Find all 107 we've done HERE, free. In the new episode: Fox Sports rising star Nick Wright (pictured) sits in and talks stealing Greg's Back In My Day idea, Tyreek Hill, Miami Heat, professional poker and more in a wide-ranging, fun convo. Also in the new episode: Greg and Chris detail plans and events for their upcoming Father vs. Son Olympics, Can Greg reel Tony Kornheiser into the boat?, Punctuality vs. tardiness, the Final Fours and -- whoa! -- Chris reveals a job offer that would have him leaving Le Batard Show. Hit up GCS2216 for full story on that episode, and watch our weekly YouTube preview. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod also simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET).

Personal note and thanks: I'm honored to have again been named by Associated Press Sports Editors as national Top 10 columnist for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won us APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Dolphins sabotaging Tua with interest in Watson

MOUNT GREGMORE OF COLUMNS: OUR LATEST FIVE:

FloresrossCoachkNEW! The Lawsuit, 2 Months Later: Why Flores Has Already Won, And Dolphins Are Still Nervous NEW! 

NCAA Final Four: Why (Was) America Rooting Against The Perfect Ending?

Marlins Owner Sherman Said He'd Spend. Payroll Says It Hasn't Been Enough

Crushing End Short Of Final Four, But Miami Hurricanes' NCAA Run Was Exhilarating Milestone

Peacocks? Coach K? Hurricanes, The 'Football School' In Elite Eight, Deserve Love Too

Hilltop: The most recent five after thatTyreek Hill Trade, Terron Armstead Signing A Win-Now Power Play By Dolphins  /  Hurricanes Storming Sweet 16 Shades of George Mason '06 for Larranaga  /  Dolphins' Moves Help Tua, But Isn't About Surrounding Cast. It's On him  /  Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror  /  Brady's Comeback Not About Another Ring. It's About Holding Onto Who He Is

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 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, but from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

HButton1. NCAA TOURNAMENT (M): No Coach K, it's Kansas-UNC for men's national title: March (into April) Madness is ready for its crescendo! From 68 teams it's down to two survivors for both the men and women. Duke saw its season end and Coach K his career Saturday night in a semifinal loss to No. 8-seed rival North Carolina, which now will meet No. 1 Kansas for the men's national title Monday night in New Orleans. Jayhawks are 4 1/2-point favorites.

2. MARLINS: It's Opening Week for Miami's 30th season!: Yes, it's been 30 springs since Charlie Hough's knuckleball danced in 1993. The latest iteration of the Marlins opens the 162-game regular season with a five-game road trip starting this Friday at San Francsico. Thie Fish are 7-6 this spring, with final tuneup on Tuesday. Miami's home opener will be April 14 with a four-game set vs. NL East rival Phialdelphia.

3. GOLF: Time for The Masters. But will Tiger play?: The Masters, the year's first of four golf majors, runs this Thursday through next Sunday ar Augusta. Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth are betting favorites in a bunched field. It will be the first Masters since 1994 without Phil Mickelson. But the big question: Will Tiger Woods make the Masters his first full-field event since an auto wreck mangled his leg 13 1/2 months ago? He had not made his decision public as of early today/Monday.

4. HEAT: Heat get got, Hardaway makes Hall: Playoff-clinched Miami has won four straight (to flip a four-game skid) after Sunday's win in Toronto and lead the East by 2 games. Miami is down to three games left in regular season starting Tuesday vs. Charlotte, the first-round playoff opponent yet to be determined. Meantime old Heater Tim Hardaway finally earned 2022 induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame in his 15th year of eligibility.

5. DOLPHINS: Miami trades Parker, extends Howard, sets offseason schedule: After a big free agency period led by the blockbuster trade for Tyreek Hill and Friday's huge deal to extend cornerback Xavien Howard, the Fins weren't done yet and Saturday worked a rare in-division trade with New England. Pats get WR DeVante Parker and a 2022 fifth-round pick. Miami gets a 2023 third-round pick, giving Fins two 1sts, one 2nd and two 3rds in '23. Meanwhile club announced that offseason work under new coach Mike McDaniel would begin today/Monday. Other key dates: Voluntary minicamp April 19-20, NFL Draft April 28-20, and OTA workdays May 16-17, 19, 23-24 and 26 and June 6-7 and 9-10. Full preseason training camp typically starts in late July.

6. NCAA TOURNAMENT (W): South Carolina tops UConn in blueblood womens final: South Carolina has been the No.1 -ranked team all season and goes wire to wire for the national championship with Sunday night's 64-49 win over 11-time champ UConn.

7. TENNIS: Swiatek, Alcaraz win Miami Open. But Osaska did, too: Naomi Osaka, former world No. 1, entered the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium unseeded and ranked 77th, recently beset by mental health issues. But Osaka reached Saturday's women's final before falling 6-4, 6-0 to Iga Swiatek, who will take over No. 1 in WTA rankings in replacing the now-retired Ashleigh Barty. In Sunday's wholly unexpected men's final, 14th-seed Carlos Alcaraz beat No. 6 Carlos Ruud to become the youngest Miami Open men's winner and third-youngest of any ATP Masters 1000 event. He turns 19 on May 5.

8. SOCCER: U.S. drawn into World Cup Group B with England: The U.S. men's national team was drawn into Group B for soccer's 2022 late-year World Cup in Qatar. The group also includes mighty England, Iran and the winner of the final available European spot. That last team in USMNT's group will be decided in June, with either Scotland or Ukraine facing Wales for the coveted ticket. Brazil, France and England are early betting favorites in the 32-nation field. The U.S. is an 80-1 longshot but given even-odds of joining England in advancing out of group play. 

9. PANTHERS: Cats top 100-point milestone, clinch playoffs: High-flying Panthers are 48-15-6, have won four straight and 13 of past 16, and are now nine points up in NHL Atlantic after Sunday's win in Buffalo. Florida was first in East to reach 100 standings points, done only once prior (2016) in franchise history. Cats are back on ice Tuesday vs. Toronto.

10. INTER MIAMI: Another loss, and stadium vote delayed again: Inter Miami still is winless in Year 3 in MLS, now with four losses and one tie after Saturday's 3-1 home loss Houston. Herons are back on the home pitch next Saturday vs. New England. Meanwhile the Miami City Commission vote on the club's Miami Freedom Park stadium proposal was delayed to April 28, the fourth postponement since February.

Missing the HB10 cut: UEFA Champions League quarterfinals this week are Liverpool vs. Benfica and Manchester City vs. Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, and Bayern Munich vs. Villarreal and Real Madrid vs. Chelsea on Wednesday. Liverpool and Man City are betting picks to win it all, followed closely by Bayern ..... Canes baseball climbed to No. 17 in polls and is 21-6 and on an eight-game win streak after Sunday's sweep at Duke ..... Bruce Arians stepped down as Bucs coach and the absurd old Tom Brady-to-Dolphins rumors began to regurgitate because the Internet evidently is bored ..... Canes spring football had its ninth of 15 practices Saturday. Spring Game is Apeil 16 in Fort Lauderdale ..... Orange Bowl Committee inducted Jim Courier into the OB Tennis Hall of Fame. He won back-to-back OB titles as a teen in 1986-87 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,548 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Other recent columns: When Spoelstra Joined Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach / Why Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia / The Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears  / Chris Cote To Save Sport Of Jai-Alai / Brady A Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen / Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart / Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win / An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / 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 / 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 / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / 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 / 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? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / 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 / 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 2021 writing awards again ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in '22 voting in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 02, 2022

The Lawsuit, 2 months later: Why Flores has already won, and Dolphins are still nervous. New column; plus In NCAA Final Four, why is America rooting against perfect ending?, Miami Marlins' still-low payroll, latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 2. Welcome, April. Did you get Fool'd yesterday? 2) Sean Taylor would have turned 39 yesterday. Not forgotten. R.I.P. 3) Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's album -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 4) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 5) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast, Marlins payroll tops latest Mount Gregmore of columns.

GolfCoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: LATEST EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 15th episode of 2022 and 106th overall is out now! A new pod drops each Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 106 we've done so far HERE, free. In the new episode: Golf with Le Batard Show (left), Platonic lip kissing, Does Chris only call his mother when he needs something?, Bowling beef, Early planning stage of Cote Olympics, Another try at Gerdle word game, Mayor of a city in Georgia sings song he wrote about Greg, and Funeral songs. Hit up GCS2215 for full story on the new episode, and watch our weekly YouTube preview of latest episode. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod also simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET).

Personal note and thanks: I'm honored to have again been named by Associated Press Sports Editors as national Top 10 columnist for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won us APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Dolphins sabotaging Tua with interest in Watson

MOUNT GREGMORE OF COLUMNS: OUR LATEST FIVE:

FloresrossCoachkNEW! The Lawsuit, 2 Months Later: Why Flores Has Already Won, And Dolphins Are Still Nervous NEW! 

NCAA Final Four: Why Is America Rooting Against The Perfect Ending?

Marlins Owner Sherman Said He'd Spend. Payroll Says It Hasn't Been Enough

Crushing End Short Of Final Four, But Miami Hurricanes' NCAA Run Was Exhilarating Milestone

Peacocks? Coach K? Hurricanes, The 'Football School' In Elite Eight, Deserve Love Too

Hilltop: The most recent five after thatTyreek Hill Trade, Terron Armstead Signing A Win-Now Power Play By Dolphins  /  Hurricanes Storming Sweet 16 Shades of George Mason '06 for Larranaga  /  Dolphins' Moves Help Tua, But Isn't About Surrounding Cast. It's On him  /  Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror  /  Brady's Comeback Not About Another Ring. It's About Holding Onto Who He Is

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

ARCHIVES

Other recent columns: When Spoelstra Joined Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach / Why Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia / The Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears  / Chris Cote To Save Sport Of Jai-Alai / Brady A Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen / Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart / Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win / An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / 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 / 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 / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / 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 / 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? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / 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 / 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 2021 writing awards again ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in '22 voting in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

March 28, 2022

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Canes out in Elite Eight, Fins land Tyreek, Heat unravel, U.S. soccer. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus UM hoops column, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

Eltonj1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 28. Belated happy 75th birthday to one of my heroes, Elton John. Still standing! 2) Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins' mega-trade for Tyreek Hill tops latest Mount Gregmore of columns, new Greg Cote Show podcast including emergency bonus episode on Tyreek.

Coteshow GolfGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 15th episode of 2022 and 106th overall is out now! A new pod drops each Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 106 we've done so far HERE, free. In the new episode: Golf with Le Batard Show (left), Platonic lip kissing, Does Chris only call his mother when he needs something?, Bowling beef, Early planning stage of Cote Olympics, Another try at Gerdle word game, Mayor of a city in Georgia sings song he wrote about Greg, and Funeral songs. Hit up GCS2215 for full story on the new episode, and watch our weekly YouTube preview of latest episode. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod also simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET).

Personal note and thanks: I'm honored to have again been named by Associated Press Sports Editors as national Top 10 columnist for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won us APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Dolphins sabotaging Tua with interest in Watson

MOUNT GREGMORE OF COLUMNS: OUR LATEST FIVE:

Caneselite8NEW! Crushing End Short Of Final Four, But Miami Hurricanes' NCAA Run Was Exhilarating Milestone NEW!

Peacocks? Coach K? Hurricanes, The 'Football School' In Elite Eight, Deserve Love Too

Tyreek Hill Trade, Terron Armstead Signing A Win-Now Power Play By Dolphins

Hurricanes Storming Sweet 16 Shades of George Mason '06 for Larranaga

Dolphins' Moves Help Tua, But Isn't About Surrounding Cast. It's On him

Hilltop: The most recent five after that: Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror / Brady's Comeback Not About Another Ring. It's About Holding Onto Who He IsWhen Spoelstra Joined Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach / Why Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia / The Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears 

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 27-28): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature --back after a one-week hiatus -- 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. The latest HB10:

1. UM BASKETBALL: Canes' exhilarating NCAA run ends in crushing Elite Eight loss: UM men's basketball crashed the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for first time and led No. 1 Kansas by six points at halftime on Sunday before eventually falling hard, 76-50 [column link above]. It was a second-half collapse. Still, 20 minutes from the Final Four after going 10-17 a year ago is a hell of a milestone for Coach Jim Larranaga's program.

HButton2. DOLPHINS: Miami makes power-play leap into relevance with Hill, Armstead: The Dolphins quaked the NFL offseason with a blockbuster trade for Chiefs elite WR Tyreek Hill, just hours after signing the No. 1-rated free agent in Saints OT Terron Armstead. Hill has made Pro Bowl all six NFL seasons. Armstead is such an upgrade the Fins quickly released Jesse Davis, who had started 72 games over the past five seasons.

3. NCAA TOURNAMENT: It's Duke-UNC, Kansas-'Nova in Final Four: North Carolina ousted Cinderella St. Peters Sunday and will meet ACC rival Duke and retiring Coach K in the Final Four, while Kansas advanced past Miami and will meet Villanova in the other FF semifinal in New Orleans. And after all the madness ... four pedigreed basketball programs are the only left standing.

4. HEAT: Spo/Butler fireworks in midst of slump jar Heat season: Jimmy Butler gives lousy effort on D on a 3 by Golden State. Timeout. Erik Spoelstra yells at Butler; Butler yells back. It escalates. Udonis Haslem steps in. A clipboard flies. National news! All of this as Miami has now lost four straight and six of nine, along with its lead the East. Heat did clinch division title, but there are bigger problems at the moment. Miami is back at it Monday/tonight vs. Sac-Town as the playoffs draw ever nearer.

5. PANTHERS: Hot Cats land Giroux to fortify Stanley Cup hopes as playoffs near: Florida made a major deadline trade with Philly, obtaining veteran forward Claude Giroux essentially for Owen Tippett and a future No. 1 draft pick. Giroux, with 291 career goals, joins Sasha Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe on the top line. The Cats are 44-15-6 after Sunday's loss in Toronto ended a four-game win streak and still lead by six points in the NHL Atlantic.

6. SOCCER: U.S. all but in Qatar World Cup after Sunday win: Coming off a 0-0 qualifying draw at Mexico, the USMNT on Sunday routed Panama 5-1 behind Christian Pulisic's hat trick to all but clinch a spot in this year's World Cup in Qatar. The U.S., in Wednesday's CONCACAF qualifying finale vs. Costa Rica, will clinch a ticket to Qatar with a win, or a tie, or a loss by five goals or fewer.

7. NFL: Browns introduce Watson, who denies allegations: A second grand jury in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson. Browns acquired Watson from the Houston for three first-round picks and other draft picks, and a five-year contract worth $230 million guaranteed -- by far the most guaranteed money in one deal in NFL history. When introduced, Watson denied all charges by the 22 women alleging sexual misconduct during massages.

8. TENNIS: Withdrawals, upsets mar Miami Open at its midpoint: Call it a depleted Miami Open, with men's Big 3 Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer not playing, and the women's side missing suddenly retired Ashley Barty, Serena Williams and No. 1 seed Aryna Sabalenka and U.S  Open champ Emma Raducanu, both to early exits. Women's side seems wide open, entering round of 16 with Naomi Osaka still alive. Daniil Medvedev appears in control among the men.

9. MARLINS: Is Miami a sneaky-smart playoff darkhorse?: Marlins top an MLB.com list in a story headlined, 'Don't sleep on these 6 teams as playoff contenders,' projecting a 15-win Marlins improvement from last year's 67-95 record to 82-80. Fish are off to a solid spring start at 5-3 on the Grapefruit League diamond.

10. INTER MIAMI: A nightmare start to MLS Year 3 for Team Beckham: Miami has tied one and lost three of its first four MLS matches, been outscored 10-2 and sits dead-last in the East as coach Phil Neville struggles to right the listing ship. Herons are back on the pitch next Saturday April 2 vs Houston, five days before the city of Miami's delayed vote on whether to green-light the club's Miami Freedom Park stadium plans.

Missing the HB10 cut: Penn swimmer Lia Thomas won the NCAA title in the 500 freestyle at the women's national swimming championships, hailed as a trailblazer by some and as a fraudulent winner by others -- because she is transgender ..... Canes baseball is 17-6 and poll-bound after a three-game home sweep of No. 13 North Carolina ..... Quarterfinal matchups are set in the UEFA Champions League, and it will be Liverpool vs. Benfica and Manchester City vs. Atletico Madrid on April 5 and Bayern Munich-Villarreal and Real Madrid-Chelsea April 6. Premier League powers Liverpool and Man City are betting picks to win it all, followed by Bayern ..... Miami UFC star Jorge Masvidal was taken into custody in Miami Beach for aggravated battery for allegedly punching rival Colby Covington outside the Papi Steak restaurant in Miami Beach. Masvidal tagged Covington in a tweet and said, "You talk that s---, you got to back it up. That's how my city rolls, man" ..... Hurricanes spring football neared its midpoint Saturday with the sixth of 15 offseason workdays ..... R.I.P. Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters drummer ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,555 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Other recent columns: Chris Cote To Save Sport Of Jai-AlaiBrady A Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen / Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart / Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win / An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / 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 / 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 / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / 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 / 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? / 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 / 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 again this year ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

March 18, 2022

Dolphins' moves help Tua, but it isn't about surrounding cast. It's on him. New column; plus Why we love March Madness, Brady's comeback, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with JT Daly, jai-alai legend Joey; also, the Riley/Spoelstra column & more

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

1) It's FRIDAY-SUNDAY, MARCH 18-20. 2) Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

Two notes: I was in with Le Batard Show on Thursday this week; check out today's show podcasts. Hot Button Top 10 has the Sunday off. HB10'll be back next week! 

Jtdaly Coteshow JoeyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 12th episode of 2022 and 103rd overall is out now! A new pod drops each Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 103 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest pod, we welcome two special guests: JT Daly, production mastermind of the new Le Batard Show musical, and Joey -- the Babe Ruth of American jai-alai. (They are pictured). Hit up GCS2212 for the full story on the new ep. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET). And watch for our weekly YouTube previews of latest episode HERE.

A PERSONAL NOTE, AND THANKS: I am honored to have been again named by Associated Press Sports Editors as a national Top 10 columnist for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won us the APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy, too? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Miami Dolphins sabotaging Tua, season with misguided interest in Watson

TuatDOLPHINS' MOVES GET HELP FOR TUA, BUT IT ISN'T ABOUT SURROUNDING CAST ANYORE. IT'S ON HIMThe kind folks on social media are snipers taking dead aim, as always. They are having fun making fun of the Miami Dolphins’ offseason. The theme in the Twitterverse seems to be that, while the rest of the NFL percolates with exciting major trades and big free agent signings, Fins general manager Chris Grier has picked a hell of a time for a long nap and forgot to set the alarm. It isn’t true. Well, not entirely, anyway. Miami entered the weekend having made 16 offseason transactions. Only Houston (17) had made more, followed by Detroit with 14 and the Jets with 12. (Ah, the company we keep!). The problem is the Dolphins, trying to make the leap from consecutive winning seasons to playoff-good, have made mostly gentle ripples amid the cannonball splashes all around them. Russell Wilson is in the AFC now, immediately vaulting Denver ahead of Miami in the sportsbooks. So is the best receiver in football, Devante Adams, doing the same for Las Vegas. Von Miller is now in the same division, further tipping the East Buffalo’s favor. ESPN’s latest free agent rankings have the top six most-improved teams all from the AFC, none of them Miami. Tsunami stuff is happening relative to the Dolphins’ strategic (and cost-effective) fine tuning. What I do like is that most of the notable moves have been aimed at building around and/or protecting third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. For our full latest column, visit Dolphins' Moves Help Tua, But It Isn't About Surrounding Cast Anymore. It's On him.

UpsetWHY DO WE LOVE MARCH MADNESS THIS MUCH? LOOK TO PSYCHOLOGY. BUT FIRST, LOOK IN THE MIRROR: This is the closest we get in sports to sheer rhapsody, right? The next few weeks. Especially the next few days. We see a pristine, untouched NCAA Tournament bracket as we would a breathtaking sunrise, or a first born in a nursery. It is a document almost holy, the very proof of possibility. The words leave our lips like prayer. March Madness. Done with the pointless perfunctory of the play-in games, the final 64-team field tips off Thursday for the men and Friday for the women, and this year it feels especially big because we are welcoming back an old friend: Normalcy. Two years ago March Madness was swallowed up whole, canceled altogether by the mushrooming COVID pandemic. It felt almost blasphemous to erase our annual communal worship, maybe the only religion we can all agree on, but for many of us it was the first hard reality. ‘Whoa. This coronavirus [bleep] ain’t playin’.’ Last year the Madness returned, but only sort of, confined to in and around Indianapolis and played before very limited crowds. Now? (Cue Dick Vitale). WE’RE BACK, BAYBEEEE! For our full recent column, visit Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror.

TOM BRADY'S COMEBACK ISN'T ABUT ONE MORE RING. IT'S ABOUT HOLDING ON TO WHO HE ISThe two words he used to explain his comeback surely were not intended to be funny, but were nonetheless as Tom Brady announced his return to the NFL from his Twitter and Instagram on Sunday night. “Unfinished business.” Seriously? One could argue no athlete in the history of Bradycompetition has retired with his business so completely and emphatically taken care of. I mean, seven Super Bowl rings, most ever. Career records for passing yards and touchdowns. Across all sports this is the grand marshal of the G.O.A.T. parade. Not since God created heaven and earth in six days has anyone earned a rest more than Brady. So, are we getting a bit greedy here, Tom? What is the unfinished business, exactly? A perfect season with nary an incomplete pass? Brady coming back to play (at least) another season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a whole 40 days’ ‘retirement’ invites poking a little fun. What about that yearning to finally have more time with the wife and three growing children? Kids getting on your nerves that fast? Giselle hectoring you to get off your butt and mow the lawn? In announcing his retirement on February 1, Brady said his “100 percent competitive commitment” was no longer there. Some time during the past six weeks he must have found it, along with loose change, under the sofa cushions. Kidding aside, Brady pivoting on retirement is good not only for the Bucs but for the NFL and sports at large. This is a transcendent person of historic heft. Michelangelo. Sinatra. Hepburn. Jordan. Gretzky. Brady. He will turn 45 as training camp opens. Preposterous to say, and another element of his greatness: His game may be closer to prime-quality than anything creaking with age. For our full recent column, visit Tom Brady's Comeback Isn't About One More Ring. It's About Holding On To Who He Is.

RileyspoOther most recent columns: The Moment Spoelstra Joined Miami Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next CoachBrittney Griner Is Lost In Russia Because Of Low WNBA Pay -- And NBA Failing To Help / and Larranaga, Meier Enjoy Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears. Also: Le Batard Show Anoints Chris Cote To Save Jai-Alai / Tom Brady. Miami Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen and Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart, Ended In Divorce.

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

ARCHIVES

Other most recent columns:Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

Other recent columns: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / 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 / 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 / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / 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 / 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? / 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 / 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 again this year ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

March 14, 2022

Latest Hot button Top 10 (updated): Brady back, Brackets set, Baseball back, NFL free agency. Who's No. 1 and what else falls where?; plus our Riley/Spo column, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now! & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 14. Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 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): The moment Riley anointed Spoelstra to lead Heat, Brittney Griner stuck in Russia started with low WNBA pay, The resurgence of Canes basketball, Le Batard musical reaches No. 1, latest Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow Joey JtdalyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 12th episode of 2022 and 103rd overall is out now! A new pod drops each Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 103 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest pod, we welcome two special guests: JT Daly, production mastermind of the new Le Batard Show musical, and Joey -- the Babe Ruth of American jai-alai. (They are pictured). Hit up GCS2212 for the full story on the new ep. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET). And watch for our weekly YouTube previews of latest episode HERE.

A PERSONAL NOTE, AND THANKS: I am honored to once again be named by Associated Press Sports Editors as a national Top 10 columnist in the major-outlet category for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won us the APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy, too? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Miami Dolphins sabotaging Tua, season with misguided interest in Watson

Heat, Brittney Griner, Canes: Our newest, basketball intensive columns from past week:

The Moment Spoelstra Joined Miami Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach

Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia Because Of Low WNBA Pay -- And NBA Failing To Help

Larranaga, Meier Enjoy Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears

Other most recent columns:  Le Batard Show Anoints Chris Cote To Save Jai-Alai /Tom Brady. Miami Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen and Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart, Ended In Divorce

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 13-14): 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. The latest HB10:

HButton

1. NFL: He's baaack! Brady coming back after six week's 'retirement': G.O.A.T. QB Tom Brady, 44, now says he will play another season with the Tampa bay Buccaneers.

2. COLLEGE BASKETBALL/CANES: Selection Sunday sets bracket for Canes, Madness: Brackets ready? Selection Sunday set the fields for the men's and women's NCAA Tournaments -- a.k.a., March Madness. Miami's 80-76 loss to Duke Friday night in men's ACC semifinals would not hurt its NCAA standing, and the UM women's 3-0 run before an ACC final loss certainly would not. Miami men are a No. 10 seed and open vs. No. 7 USC in the Midwest region. On women's side, Canes are a No. 8 seed and open vs. No. 9 Souht Florida in the Greensboro region. Madness tips off Tuesday and runs through April 4.

3. MLB/MARLINS: Play ball! Lockout settled, spring games on deck: Baseball's 99-day lockout (finally) ended with a new CBA agreement, and a full 162-game season preserved. Teams report this weekend for a few days' practice before spring play starts. Marlins' first spring game is this coming Friday, with regular season Opening Day on April 8 at the Giants. Meantime free agency has begun again. Tim to open up the wallet for big bats, Marlins. Kris Bryant? Nick Castellanos? Yes, please!

4. PANTHERS: Cats' 5=game streak ends in L.A.: Florida is 40-13-6 after a loss in L.A. Sunday night ended a five-game win streak, but Florida still is up four points over Tampa Bay in the NHL Atlantic, with the league's highest scoring team (by a lot) and Sergei Bobrovsky in a groove at the net. Florida's five-game streak was its best since opening the season 8-0.

5. HEAT: Miami loses but still out front in East: Miami is 45-24 but still 2 1/2 games up in the East after Saturday night's 113-104 home loss to Minnesota despite Tyler Herro's 30 points. Jimmy Butler sat out with a sore toe. Markieff Morris (six points, 17 minutes) played his first game in four months since suffering a whiplash injury in a November 8 one-rounder with Denver's Nikola Jokic. Heat continues its seven-game homestand Tuesday vs. Detroit. 

6. NFL/DOLPHINS: Major QB news as free agency frenzy underway: Aaron Rodgers re-ups with Green Bay. Seattle trades Russell Wilson to Denver. Interest in Deshaun Watson revives as grand jury declines to criminally charge him. (Oh, and Indy trades Carson Wentz to Washington). NFL free agency has begun! Watson still faces 22 civil suits over alleged impropiety during massage sessions, but the lifting of the criminal cloud is huge. Maximbet.com has Tampa Bay (3-1) and Pittsburgh (4-1) most likely to sign Watson. (Don't sleep on Carolina). Dolphins, with money to spend, should be active in FA. Guard Laken Tomlinson is someone to keep an eye on.  

7. INTER MIAMI: Still winless through 3 games; stadium vote delayed: Inter Miami is now 0-2-1 (two losses, one tie) to open Year 3 in MLS after Saturday's 2-nil home loss to LAFC, with only one goal scored in three games. Herons return to the pitch next Saturday at Cincinnati. Meantime city of Miami delayed yet again a final vote whether to green-light the new Miami Freedom Park initative. Vote was to be this past week but is now set for April 7.

8. TENNIS: Miami Open one week away; Djokovic withdraws: The Miami Open at Hard Rock begins next week, March 21, with a strong field -- but one weakened by the withdrawal of Novak Djokovic. He cannot travel to the U.S. because he remains steadfastly unvaccinated against COVID. Djokovic is a 20-time Grand Slam winner and No. 2 in the wpr;d but continues his quixotic stance against the vaccine for no apparent reason.  #smh  Good riddance.

9. WNBA: Griner remains detained in Russia amid invasion of Ukraine: Phoenix Mercury WNBA star Brittney Griner remains detained in Russia after her arrest on likely concocted drug charges -- now seen as a retaliation pawn as the U.S. and much of the rest of the world levies economic sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, English Premier League disqualified Roman Abramovich as a director at Chelsea when the club's assets were frozen after the UK imposed sanctions on Abramovich, one of seven Russian oligarchs targeted in the eake of the invasion.

10. GOLF: Tiger inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame: In a foregone conclusion, Tiger Woods officially was inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame this week, introduced by daughter Sam, 14. Woods was elected March 2020 for induction in '21, but the ceremony was delayed by COVID. Woods, 46, conrinues his recovery from serious leg injuries suffered in a car wreck 13 months ago.

Missing the HB10 cut: Did I mention the Le Batard Show musical was No. 1 on the national iTunes chart? Yeah that was a thing ..... Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Real Madrid have claimed the first four spots in the UEFA Champions League final eight, with the other four teams to be decided by matches this Tuesday and Wedneday. (Real ousted Messi and Paris-Saint Germain). The quarterfinal draw will be held Friday. Championship match is set May 28 in Paris, moved from Russia becase of its invasion of Ukraine ..... The Spurs' Gregg Popovich won his 1,336th game to surpass Don Nelson for all-time NBA coaching wins ..... Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and longtime GF Brittany Matthews got hitched in a lavish Hawaii wedding ..... Broadcaster Joe Buck is leaving Fox Sports for ESPN to become the voice of Monday Night Football ..... Four-time major tennis champion Naomi Osaka was heckled by a spectator during a second-round loss at Indian Wells ..... Weather has ravaged The Players Championship, which likely won't finish until Monday (or even Tuesday) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida ..... LeBron (Ain't Done Yet) James dropped 50 on the Wizards. But can the Lakers scramble to even make the playoffs? ..... Canes baseball, out of the Top 25, is 10-4 entering today's rubber game of a three-game home series vs. Boston College ..... Hurricanes spring football practice, three workdays in, is off until resuming March 22 ..... Canes rewarded men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga with a two-year contract extension ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,569 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Other most recent columns:Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

Other recent columns: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot /  Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention /  Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / 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 / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer /  Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / 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 / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  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 / 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 / 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 again this year ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

March 07, 2022

The resurgence of Miami Hurricanes basketball, and of Larranaga and Meier, as March Madness nears. New column; plus Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), Le Batard's plan to save jai-alai, our Brady/Dolphins column, new Greg Cote Show podcast now & more

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

Biggame1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 7. Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture. Includes our original 'Back In My Day' song. I'm back in with Le Batard Show on Tuesday. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Tom Brady a Dolphins part owner, Why Jeter-Marlins marriage fell apart, Personal note and thanks, Le Batard Show musical drops, NFL's mosy disliked people, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow WiltGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 11th episode of 2022 and 102nd overall is out noe! 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. Find all 102 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest pod, we are joined by Gary Pomerantz, author of "Wilt, 1962: The Night Of 100 Points & The Dawn Of A New Era.'' He shares rich details of that epic game, shares the truth about that infamous 20,000 women claim and more. Also in the new ep: Greg’s wife has been out of town for a week, and he shares something that might or might not make him a bad husband; the bizarre reason Greg never walks around his house naked even he’s when the only person there; Yeti Blanc, our resident musician, leads an impassioned analysis of the Le Batard Show’s newly released musical; debut of new podcast sponsor Lobos Mints; and Greg messes up while making fun of dumb people on “Wheel Of Fortune.” Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET). And watch for the debut of our weekly YouTube previews of the new episode HERE.

ApseA PERSONAL NOTE, AND THANKS: I am very honored to once again be named by Associated Press Sports Editors as a national Top 10 columnist in the major-outlet category for 2021 in '22 judging. The Miami Herald also was named a Top 10 daily section, and Top 10 in special projects for ours on the 5-year annniversary of the Jose Fernandez tragedy, a project that also included myself. Some of you asked, so: These are the four nominated columns (earliest to most recent) that won us the APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy, too? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Miami Dolphins sabotaging Tua, season with misguided interest in Watson

UmhoopsMARCH GLADNESS: HURRICANES BASKETBALL, COACHES LARRANAGA AND MEIER ENJOYING RESURGENCE: It is a season of resurgence and redemption for Miami Hurricanes basketball, women and men. Not everyone is paying attention. Associated Press Top 25 voters, for instance. The UM women reached the ACC Championship Game for the first time ever Sunday. The team is 20-12 despite almost half of their games (14) being against nationally ranked opponents. The Canes men, preparing for its ACC tournament opener Thursday in Brooklyn, is 22-9 and has the best road record (10-2) of any Power 5 conference team. Here is where the two teams are ranked in the latest Top 25s: Nowhere. That includes zero mention even in the “others receiving votes” category. This is the 60th season for UM men’s hoops and the 50th for the women’s program, and only the fifth time both have had a 20-win season and made the NCAA Tournament the same year. (The official invite to March Madness won’t come until Selection Sunday, but both are seen as certain to get in, each pegged a No. 10 seed in ESPN’s latest Bracketology projection). It can be a long climb to respect. For our full latest column, visit Larranaga, Meier Enjoying Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears.

Our most recent other columns:  Le Batard Show Anoints Chris Cote To Save Jai-Alai /Tom Brady. Miami Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen and Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart, Ended In Divorce 

Other most recent columns: Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 6-7): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUTOur 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. The latest HB10:

HButton1. CANES BASKETBALL: UM women fall in ACC title game: Jim Larranaga's UM men and Katie Meier's Canes women both figure to hear good news next week on Selection Sunday in comeback seasons leading to the NCAA Tournement. The UM women are now 20-12 and 11-9 in the conference after Sunday's championship game loss in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro followed a 3-0 run. UM men ended regular season 22-9 (14-6 ACC) with Saturday's 75-72 win at Syracuse, and now prepare for this week's ACC tourney in Brooklyn, their first game Thursday. 

2. MLB: Don't Play Ball! Jeter-less Marlins wait as lockout cancels games, delays season: The Marlins and CEO Derek Jeter parted ways last Monday, and one day later MLB commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the first two weeks of the regular season when a deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement passed without resolution. And the stalemate continues. Miami is now scheduled to begin spring training March 18 and the now 156-game season April 8 -- but a further delay and more canceled games looms large.

3. INTER MIAMI: Team loses big, now new-stadium vote looms: Herons began MLS Year 3 with a 0-0 draw at home in Fort Lauderdale and on Sunday got clobbered 5-1 at Austin in Game 2. More important, this Wednesday will be the city of Miami's delayed vote on whether to finally green-light the proposed Miami Freedom Park stadium near the airport. Inter Miami wanted to win Sunday but is vitally desperate to win Wednesday.

4. HEAT: Heat stay hot, grow lead as long home stretch begins: Miami is 43-22, on an 11-2 run and now atop the East by 3 games after Saturday's 99-82 home win over second place Philly fueled by 21 each from Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler. Miami will be home for 10 of the next 11 games starting tonight/Monday vs. Houston, which could mark the return of Victor Oladipo from a long injury absence.

5. PANTHERS: Florida now 1 point back in Atlantic race: Florida is 37-13-5 but now one point back in the tight NHL Atantic even after Saturday' nights 6-2 home domination of Detroit after a rough February that saw the Panthers a mortal 3-4. Cats are back on ice Monday in Buffalo.

6. HURRICANES: Bittersweet day for Cristobal as spring football kicks off: UM launched the first of 15 spring practice workdays on Monday as the Mario Cristobal era got its tangible start with former Dolphins great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jason Taylor joining the staff in an off-field capacity. Cristobal left right after practce to attend his mother's funeral.

7. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: 94-81 loss Coach K's home farewell, Champ Week top sport: The men's regular season is over and conference championships will be decided this week prior to Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. But first: The emotional pull Saturday as Mike Krzyzewski of No. 4-ranked Duke -- retiring this season after 42 years and five national titles -- worked his final home game at Cameron Indoor, a thunderous farewell despite a 94-81 loss. Tickets were going for at least $3,450 for the historic event.

8. NFL: Scouting combine, trade rumors talk of league: The four-day NFL Scouting Combine wrapped up Sunday in Indianapolis -- the last major talent parade before the NFL Draft April 28-30 in Las Vegas. Meantime the offseason percolates with rumors about the destination of Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Ruussell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Amari Cooper, DK Metcalf and others.

9. WNBA: Phoenix star Griner detained in Russia: Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner was detained by Russian authorities for allegedly trying to leave the country with the drug hashish hidden in vape pens. In somewhat related news, the Haas Formula One team has terminated Russian driver Nikita Mazepin's contract over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Formula One had previously  canceled the Russiam Grand Prix.

10. TENNIS: Miami Open rallies with strong field as tourney nears: After a down entry list last year due mostly to COVID, Miami Open tennis will boast 73 of the top 75 ranked players on both the ATP and WTA tours when play begins March 21 at Hard Rock Stadium. Notable exceptions: Fan favorite Serena Williams continues out with a mending hamstring, and Novak Djokovic likely will not be allowed to enter the U.S. due to his non-vax status. There also is speculation Rafael Nadal may withdraw due to a foot injury.

Missing the HB10 cut: Colby Covington dominated Jorge Masvidal in a unanimous decision in the UFC 272 main event Saturday night in Vegas ..... The NFL suspended Calvin Ridley for the entire 2022 season after determing the Falcons WR bet on NFL games in '21 ..... No. 22 Canes baseball is 8-3 after dropping two of three at home to nemesis Florida ..... UEFA Champions League round-of-16 play resumes this Tuesday ..... Jackson Mahomes says, "The media is destroying my life." Dear Patrick's Lil' Bro: You invite attention on Tik-Tok, by dancing on Sean Taylor's field logo and by your entitled behavior. Your 'celebrity' is weird and unearned but somehow you crave it. Quit being so dramatic ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,576 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot /  Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention /  Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / 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 / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer /  Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / 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 / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  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 / 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 / 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 again this year 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).

November 15, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins' huge win, Canes' latest heartbreak, Butch Davis out at FIU, Heat 'n Cats, viva U.S. men! See who's No. 1 and what else lands where this week; plus NFL Week 10 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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

1) It's SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14. 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): Hot Button Top 10, Dolphins end skid in win over Texans, Is Manny Diaz saving himself after 3rd straight win?, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE DROPS MONDAY!: Our 44th episode of 2021 and 86th overall is out now! 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. Find all 85 we've done HERE, free. In our most recent episode: Hear Greg's live on-stage routine and more from Le Batard Show's mini-Mas Miami fan event. Also: Toy Hall of Fame inductees, Yeti live report from Braves' championship parade, how to pronounce "Tuesday," an homage to Villa Rose (R.I.P.), Big Bird gets the vaccine, NFL's wild weekend, Greg's Lobos update, stern message from the National Respect The Pumpkin Foundation & 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).

My column off Saturday's UM loss at FSU: Just Another Cursed, Heartbreak Finish for Diaz And Hurricanes

Column off Thursday's Dolphins upset win: Miracles Happen: Huge Defense, Tua Off Bench Help Fins Stun Baltimore

Our other most recent columns: Oh Brother! Heat-Nuggets' Family Feud Spices Season / Fins End 7-Game Skid -- But Only Because Texans Were Even Worse / Is Manny Diaz Saving Himself? Coach, Comeback Canes Win 3rd Straight. Also: Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Buffalo's Late Classlessness Aside, Miami Out Of Answers In 7th Straight Loss / U-Turn: UM Season, Diaz Future Looking Up With 2nd Straight Big Win / and Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal.

PicksNFL Week 10 picks: Week 10 began with Dolphins hosting Ravens Thursday night and winning, 22-10. That result blindsided me; didn't think the Fins had it in 'em. Hope the rest of my week goes better! Here are our picks for our Game of the Week and Upset of the Week along with an additional upset and all the rest: NFL Week 10 Gems.

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

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Stunner! Miami shocks Ravens with big defense, Tua off bench: Awesome defense and a late lift from Tua Tagovailoa in relief were plenty as the Dolphins stunned Baltimore, 22-10, Thursday night. Lest we forget, play of the game honors to 330-pound guard Robert Hunt for his TD that didn't count ... except as fabulous! The second straight win puts Fins 3-7 and with schedule softening, starting with the Jets next Sunday. Late miracle-rally to playoff contention, anyone?

2. HURRICANES: UM trails, leads, blows it in wild loss at FSU: An early 14-0 hole. A late 28-20 lead. An eventual 31-28 last-second. Ho hum, just another hear-attack finish for Canes and their fans -- the seventh game decided by four points or fewer. Miami now 5-5, 3-3 in ACC, out of the Coastal race and still not bowl-eligible with two games left.

3. HEAT: Miami cools off but wins in Utah: Heat started 6-1 but was 7-5 before Saturday's 111-105 win in Utah fueled by Duncan Robinson's six 3's, despite Jimmy Butler missing second straight game with ankle injury. Miami ends its wesern roadie Monday at Oklahoma City. Meantime NBA's probe into possible pre-free agency tampering by Miami in the Kyle Lowry signing is  nearly complete. (League also is investigating Chicago's Lonzo Ball deal).

4. FIU: Longtime AD Garcia steps down, Butch Davis headed out, too: Veteran FIU athletics boss Pete Garcia stepped down after 15 years, not a huge surprise and good news to many on campus. Now comes word that the school already is advertising to replace football coach Butch Davis after this season. Davis is 1-9 this season and 1-16 since shocking the Hurricanes late in 2019. 

5. SOCCER: U.S. scores huge win over Mexico in WC qualifying: The U.S. men's national team won its third straight over rival Mexico, 2-0, in a World Cup qualifier in Cincinnati. The Americans next CONCACAF-region qualifier is Tuesday vs. Jamaica. U.S. men sit pretty to reach next year's World Cup in Qatar.  

6. PANTHERS: Hot Cats cool with fourth straight loss: Florida's 10-2-3 record still shines, but it's four losses in a row now, the past two in added time including 3-2 in OT Saturday in Tampa. Team was 7-0-0 when coach Joel Quenneville stepped down. Panthers begin four-game homestand Tuesday vs. New York Islanders. 

7. MLB: Looming lockout, free agency on the plate: The CBA is expiring and a possible lockout looming as baseball enters free agency. The question in South Florida: Will the Marlins break recent tradition and be big spenders for the bat(s) they need to augment solid pitching? They say yes. Let's see. They swung a minor deal for reliever Louis Head, but offene is the need.

8. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men, women await early big tests: UM men are 1-1 after Saturday's 95-89 home loss to UCF, while Canes women are 3-0 after beating Stetson Sunday. The men play six games before ACC play begins. The women's first big tests are November 27 vs. No. 8-Indiana and December 2 at 4-Maryland.

9. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators win, but rather embarassingly: Florida limped to 5-5 with 70-52 win over Samford. How do you give up 52 to Samford!? Tough week for state FBS teams (non-UM division), with losses by FIU, FAU, UCF and South Florida.

10. INTER MIAMI: MLS playoffs start (sans Miiami) this week: The 14-team Major League Soccer playoffs begin this coming Friday. Inter Miami ended its second season a disappointing 12-5-17 (that's 12 wins in 34 matches), and well out of the playoff hunt.

Missing the HB10 cut: Tennis' ATP and WTA Finals are going on. Woemn finish up this Wednesday and the men next Sunday ..... Rams signed Odell Beckham Jr. ..... Jon Gruden is suing the NFL saying he was forced out as Raiders coach. Dear Jon: WHo wrote those hateful emails? The NFL? Or you? ..... Six more Top 25 football teams lost, but none higher than No. 8 Oklahoma ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,688 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Dolphins Sabotaging Tua Season Over Misguided Infatuation With Watson / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / 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 / 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 / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / 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 / 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).

November 08, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Canes win 3rd straight (with column), Fins win!, Heat and Cats' big wins, oh Aaron, college hoops. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast live from Menos Miami & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8. Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 9 picks, Dolphins owner Ross to blame for season-ruining Watson chase, Week 8 results for picks/Lobos/QB rankings, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Coteshow MeonstageGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE LIVE FROM LE BATARD SHOW FAN EVENT OUT NOW!: Our 43rd episode of 2021 and 85th overall is out now! 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. Find all 85 we've done HERE, free. In our most recent episode: Greg's live on-stage routine (pictured) and more from Le Batard Show's mini-Mas Miami fan event this weekend. Also: Latest Toy Hall of Fame inductees, Yeti live report from Braves' championship parade, how to pronounce "Tuesday," an homage to Villa Rose (R.I.P.), Big Bird gets the vaccine, NFL's wild weekend and the Tua worry, Greg's Lobos update, stern message from the National Respect The Pumpkin Foundation & 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).

No Tua, but Dolphins win a game! My column: Fins End 7-Game Skid -- But Only Because Texans Were Even Worse.

Canes survive Georgia Tech, 33-30. My column: Is Manny Diaz Saving Himself? Coach, Comeback Canes Win 3rd Straight.

Most recent other columns: Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Buffalo's Late Classlessness Aside, Miami Out Of Answers In 7th Straight Loss / U-Turn: UM Season, Diaz Future Looking Up With 2nd Straight Big Win / and Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (NOVEMBER 7-8): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUTOur 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: No Tua, 5 turnevers, burs, but Miami somehow ends 7-game skid: Deshaun Watson wasn't playing today for Houston. Or for Miami. Neither was Tua Tagovailoa, sidelined with a fractured finger. But Dolphins beat Houston Texans 17-9 in a battle of 1-7 teams -- despite five turnovers. Miami's key to success: Play somebody even worse.

2. HURRICANES: UM survives Georgia Tech, 33-30, for 3rd straight win: After consecutive wins over ranked North Carolina State and Pitt, Canes were big favoites hosting a down Gergia Tech on Saturday, and survived 33-30 to go 5-4 on the year. UM visits rival Florida State next Saturday then closes with Virginia Tech and Duke. Will it take running the table (including a bowl win) to save Manny Diaz?

3. HEAT: Miami wins 'Dwayne Wade Bowl' over Utah: Miami followed a Celtics home loss with Saturday's big 118-115 home win over Utah led by Tyler Herro's 29. Dwyane Wade, of course, is the retired Heat icon who now owns a small share of the Jazz. Heat set out Monday in Denver on a five-game West Coast roadie.

4. PANTHERS: Cats hand Carolina first loss: Mighty test on Saturday as 9-0-1 Panthers hosted 9-0-0 Carolina, with Florida skating off with a 5-2 home win. Cats are now 3-0-1 since coach Joel Quenneville abruptly resigned over his role in 2010 Blackhawks assault coverup. Florida begins a four-game road trop Monday at N.Y. Rangers.

5. NFL: Aaron Rodgers' big lie on vaccine costs Packers: Green Bay's superstar quarterback will not play this weekend for the 7-1 Packers because he tested positive for COVID after lying about his vaccination status. Cue State Farm jingle: "Unlike a good neighbor, Aaron wasn't there for his teammates."

6. UM BASKETBALL: College hoops begin for Canes, rest of country: Tuesday is opening day around America in college basketball. In Miami, the Hurricanes men and women -- neither ranked, both looking to tebound from off years -- host soft openings vs. Canisius and Jackson State, respectively. 

7. MLB: Atlanta celebrates World Series champions: City of Atlanta held a championship parade and festivities on Friday to celebrate the Braves' first World Series title since 1995. And isn't it just the Marlins luck: The best team in baseball (well, ostensibly) now resides in the NL East. 

8. INTER MIAMI: Team Beckham ends disappointing season with win: Inter Miami ended Year 2 12-5-17 and out of the MLS playoffs (that's 12 wins in 34 matches), but on the upbeat with a 1-0 win Sunday on Blaise Matuidi's goal at New England, which has best record in league. Playoffs start November 19.

9. NASCAR: Larson ends season of redemption with NASCAR crown: Kyle Larson spent much of last year suspended for a racial slur. Sunday he was crowned champion of this season at Phoenix, defeating fellow final-four Championship Four finalists Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.

10. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Michigan State loss to shake up CFP rankings Eight more Top 25 teams lost on Saturday -- including No. 3 Michgan State, whch of course will shake up the College Football Playoff top four. Look for the new inside four to be Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and likely Ohio State moving up and in.

Missing the HB10 cut: Reeling Florida Gators now 4-5 after Saturday's 40-17 loss to South Carolina topped state FBS results (non-UM division). Elsewhere, FSU lost to No. 19 N.C. State, UCF edged Tulane, South Florida fell to Houston, FAU lost to Marshall and FIU fell to 1-8 in a loss to Old Dominion ..... Favorite Knicks Go won the 38th Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday in Del Mar, Calif. ..... The New York City marathon returns live Sunday after being held viritually last year because of the COVID pandemic ..... UEFA Champions League is off until November 23 with only four of 32 clubs a perfect 4-0-0: Liverpool, Ajax Amsterdam, Bayern Muncih and Juventus ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,695 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / 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 / 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 / Unlucky, But Heat on Manny Diaz Rises With Home Loss In ACC Opener / 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 / 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).

April 05, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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