October 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (OCTOBER 17-18): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: It's Opening Week for new-look, Lowry-infused team!: Miami's encouraging 5-1 preseason ended Friday with another big offensive show from Tyler Herro. Let the real games begin! Jimmy Butlerr, Bam Adebayo and noted addition Kyle Lowry get it started with the season and home openr Thursday night vs. defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

October 11, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xxx

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins areWhy Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not ScornWhere Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports HistoryFate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All TimeWomen Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's AliveFinal Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

September 20, 2021

The new Hot Button Top 10: The Lost Weekend: Dolphins' epic embarrassment Canes' colossal collapse. My columns on both; plus Jason Jackson talks Heat, Le Batard roast on new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20. 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 2 picks, NFL Week 1 results for my picks, Greg's Lobos and QB Rankings, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Coteshow JaxGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 36th episode of 2021 and 78th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 78 we've done HERE, for free. In our newest episode: Jason "Jax" Jackson (pictured) is on with us to talk about his new role as Miami Heat play-by-play voice, and about the roast his foundation is putting in next month with Dan Le Batard as the roastee. Also: Season debut of Hard Knocks' behind the scenes look at Greg's Lobos, and the guys discuss the woeful weekend for the Dolphins and Canes. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

Dolphins crushed 35-0 by Bills. My column: Miami once again not in same league with team it must learn to beat: Dolphins' Shutout Loss in Home Opener a New Low For Flores Era.

Canes fall 38-17 to Michigan State. My column: From the game that has UM fans jumping off cliffs: Miami Hurricanes Aren't Very Good -- And Keep Proving It.

NFL Week 2 picks: Our picks for Dolphins-Bills, Game of Week, Upset of Week and the rest at NFL Week 2 Gems. Off to 1-0/1-0 start after perfect Thursday night as we nailed Washington winning but Giants covering.

Our most recent other columns: Xavien Howard Deserved the Money and Respect He Wanted -- This Was Why / Canes' Offense Dangling Like a Cat And Needing Help /Tua's Burden as Dolphins Open at Pats? Lift a Team, a Franchise and a City. Now / Chasing Giants & Ghosts: Miami Hurricanes' 20-year search for return to glory / and Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 19-20): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Miami embarrassed in shutout loss to Bills in home opener: Fins fell hard to 1-1 with Sunday's 35-0 home-opening loss to AFC East rival Buffalo -- getting dominated all over the field. Bills have now won six straight in series, all easily. Tua Tagovailoa went down early with rib injury that doesn't seem serious. No matter. Miami had no shot in this one.

2. HURRICANES: Ouch! UM crushed by Michigan State, now 1-2: After blowout loss to No. 1 Alabama and narrow escape vs. Appalachian State, No. 24 Miami and quarterback D'Eriq King were looking for their first impressive performance of the season on Saturday at home vs. unranked but unbeaten Michigan State. Didn't get it. From from it. King had four turnovers in a 38-17 home loss. 

3. MARLINS: Somber anniversary near as Fish play out string: Next weekend marks the fifth anniversary of the tragic death at age 24 of Marlins ace pitcher Jose Fernandez, and the present-day Fish play out the string on a disappointing season. Miami is 63-86 entering Monday in midst of a six-game homestand continuing vs. Nationals.

4. INTER MIAMI: Herons walloped in 4-0 loss; Beckham increases stake: Inter Miami is 9-5-10 but was on 6-3-1 hot streak before Friday night's 4-0 home-loss spanking by the New York Red Bulls. Herons still are only one point off playoff pace entering a Wednesday home match with Nashville. Friday, owners Jorge Mas and David Beckham announced they had bought out two minority owners.

5. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators hang tough but fall  to No. 1 Alabama: No. 1 Tide entered the Swamp a 14 1/2-point favorite over No. 11 Florida Saturday to top the state FBS schedule for collball Week 3, and Alabama escaped with a 31-29 win. Elsewhere (besides UM-Michigan State): UCF was an upset loser at Louisville Friday night, FSU got clobbered at Wake Forest, FAU routed visiting Fordham, FIU got hammered at Texas Tech and South Florida handled Florida A&M.

6. NASCAR: Homestead gets a big bump on new schedule: Homestead-Miami Speedway will return to the playoff portion of the NASCAR season in 2022. Homestead hosted the season finale championship race from 2002 through 2019 but was bumped to an early-season race date last year as NASCAR experimented with long anticipated schedule changes. Phoenix got the finale in 2020 and is to host it for a third consecutive season next year. Homestead was given an October 23 race date in '22 -- the middle race of the third round of the playoffs. 

7. HEAT: Miami prepares for opening of training camp, preseason: The Heat and new addition Kyle Lowry prepare to open training camp for the 2020-21 season on September 28, with the first preseason home game set for October 4.

8. PANTHERS: Cats open preseason training camp: Florida opens its NHL training camp this week toward the start of its preseason schedule with September 26 doubleheader vs, Nashville. Regular season opens October 14. Cats will stage fan event September 30, and October14-17 the club will host Amerigol International Hockey Association's 2021 LATAM Cup at Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs.

9. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (NON-STATE): Three Top 25 matchups on Week 3 slate: In addition to No. 1 Alabama's squeaker past No. 11 Florida Saturday, it was 10-Penn State beating 22-Auburn, and 23-BYU beating 19-Arizona State. Other Top 25 losers were 13-UCLA, 15-Virginia Tech and 24-Miami.

10. GOLF: Ryder Cup set to begin in Wisconsin: The Ryder Cup, a biennial men's golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States, stages its 44th edition this coming Friday through Sunday in Wisconsin. Will home-course advantage? Europe os the defending champion and has won nine of the past 12 events since 1995.  

Missing the HB10 cut: His FAU football received a $2.5 million grant from Michelle and Michael Hagerty to name the head coaching position as Hagerty Family Head Football Coach. So now it's the Owls led by Hagerty Family Willie Taggert? Can't make this s--- up, folks ..... History! The Milwaukee Bucks named Lisa Byington as team's new television play-by-play announcer, making her the first woman to handle full-time TV play-by-play duties for a major men's professional sports team .....  U.S. Soccer Federation announced it will offer the respective players’ unions for the men’s and women’s national teams the same contract, suggesting the equal pay for which the USWNT has fought so long. File it under 'Believe It When I See It' ..... Upcoming: Shula celebration October 2 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,744 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Other most recent columns:Canes Can Shock the World and Beat Alabama. Here's How [Update: Oops!] / Belichick Must Be Smiling As Dolphins Deal With Rumors And Tua With Doubt / and Fins' Faith In Tua Will Be A Lie If They Sell Soul, Spend Big For Watson. Also: There Is Only One Way an ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 Alliance Can Out-SEC the SEC / Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2ua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami

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

Hall of Fame quartet: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Select other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

September 13, 2021

Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins win opener at Pats (with my column), Canes barely escape App State, Hall time for Jeter, Bosh; plus the burden on Tua (new column), new Greg Cote Show podcast out Monday & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13. Twenty years ago this past weekend, the world changed, and an attacked America stood strong. NEVER FORGET! 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 1 picks, Tua's heavy lifting starts now, 9/11 remembered, Our Orlando vacation, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: FINS-PATS, SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR GREG IN NEW EPISODE OUT MONDAY!: Our 35th episode of 2021 and 77th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 77 we've done HERE, for free. In our new episode: A cavalcade of stars from Le Batard Show, ESPN and elsewhere, including special surprises, drop by the podcast to wish Greg a happy birthday. Also, Greg and the guys discuss Dolphins win at Patriots, NFL Week 1 and the Canes two weeks in. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

My Dolphins column from Foxborough: In my column on Miami's 17-16 win at New England, I discuss the problem with the Fins offense as a secondary topic. Mostly I focus on how fitting it ewsas that the player who spent the offsesaon seeking more monbey and respect proved in the opner why he deserved both. For the full column, visit Xavien Howard Deserved the Money and Respect He Wanted -- This Was Why.

PicksNFL Week 1 picks: The Upset Bird and I are back for (hard to believe) our 31st season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald. It's debut week! Visit NFL Week 1 Gems for our pick for Dolphins-Patriots, our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week and all the rest. We peg three big upsets out the gate. Is a Fins win one of them? Got off to a mixed start Thursday night. Had Patriots beating Dallas and covering 8 points. They won but failed to cover.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 12-13): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Year 2ua launches with big win at New England -- thanks to D: Hopes were high, coming off a 10-6 season, that Year 2 of the Tua Tagovailoa era and Year 3 for coach Brian Flores would see Miami a playoff team on the crest of sustained winning. Well, a good start: 17-16 over Pats, thanks to Xavien Howard's big play late, and first place in AFC East.   

2. HURRICANES: UM narrowly escapes App State: Losing the opener to No. 1 Alabama was excusable (although the 44-13 final was a bit much). But losing Saturday's night's home opener to Appalachian State would have had Canes fans marching with torches and pitchforks and after the head of coach Manny Diaz. Exhale. Calamity avoided. Or at least delayed. Barely. Down from 14th to 22nd in The AP poll, UM stemmed the bleeding (sort of) by surviving Appalachian State 25-23 at home. 

3. MARLINS: Jeter inducted in Cooperstown as season wanes: Marlins president Derek Jeter, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this week after being voted in on 396 of 397 ballots, thanked writers -- "All but one of you," he said, smiling, of the still-anonymous cretin who denied him 100 percent. Alas, Jeter's Marlins are a disappointing 60-83 in midst of a six-game homestand.

4. HEAT: Bosh inducted into Hall of Fame: Chris Bosh took his place Saturday in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. He's the eighth inductee with Miami Heat ties (Pat Riley and Alonzo Mourning at the forefront), and the first since Ray Allen 2018.

5. DON SHULA: Dolphins announce 'Celebration of Life': The Dolphins announced an event to celebrate the ife of legendary coach Don Shula would take place at  at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 2 at Hard Rock Stadium -- the first public ceremony honoring Shula since his passing on May 4, 2020. Registration is open at https://www.miamidolphins.com/don-shula/. The event will be the day before the Dolphins Alumni Weekend game vs. Indianapolis.

6. TENNIS: U.S. Open's unexpected championship weekend: Sunday's men's final? Unexpected: Top-seed Novak Djokovic falling to to second-seed Danii Medvedev. Saturday's women's final? Really unexpected: Emma Raducanu defeating Leylah Fernandez in a thoroughly and refreshingly unexpected duel of little-known, unseeded teenagers. Raducanu, an 18-year-old Brit, became the youngest Grand Slam champion in 17 years and the first player in the pro era to make a major final after playing her way in through qualifying rounds.

7. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons win again, close in on MLS playoffs: Inter Miami is 8-9-5 but on a 6-1-3 hot streak and now only two points off playoff pace with 10 games left after Saturday night's 1-nil home win over Columbus Crew on a Higuain tally.

8. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators angling to crash top 10: The Week 2 Saturday slate (besides Appalachian State at Miami) found No. 13 Florida winning 42-20 at South Florida atop the state FBS marquee. The rest: Jacksonville State stunning FSU at Doak, FIU denied a 2-0 start in home loss to Texas State, FAU routing Georgia Southern, and UCF routing Bethune-Cookman.

9. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (NON-STATE): Early shakeup as No. 3 Ohio State loses: Only two Top 25 duels for Week 2 but both worth a watch as No. 3 Ohio State hosted and lost to No. 12 Oregon, 35-28 -- one week after No. 3 Clemson also lost. And one entire state took Saturday off as 10-Iowa visited and defeated 9-Iowa State.  

10. BOXING : Old boxers and Trump -- Oh God no!: Evander Holyfield, 58 (!), looked his age Saturday night at Hard Rock in a first round TKO loss to former UFC champion Vitor Belfort in what was to be eight two-minute rounds atop a four-fight card. Fight was moved to Miami after California wouldn't sanction it (with reason, apparently). Adding to the spectacle, former President Donald Trump was a ringside commentator. Can't make this s--- up, folks.

Missing the HB10 cut: Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice Saturday in in his return to Manchester United in a 4-1 Premier League win over Newcastle United ..... College football's upheaval continues as BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and Orlando's UCF accepted invitations to join the decimated but rallying Big 12 conference ..... Miami politicians announced plans to build an 820,000-square foot indoor multi-sports complex called Destination Sport Miami on a 20-acre site just west of the Turnpike and Dolphin Mall ..... U.S. men's national team sits solid with a win and two draws in Word Cup qualifying entering its next match October 7 vs. Jamaica ..... The 43rd Ryder Cup begins September 24 in Wisconsin, and captain Steve Stricker completed the 12-man U.S. team with a blend of experience and youth including six Ryder Cup rookies ..... Denny Hamlin won the first event in the 10-race NASCAR playoffs that continued Saturday at Richmond ..... The Heat announced the retirement of veteran broadcaster Mike Inglis, the team’s radio play-by-play voice for 23 seasons. He'll be replaced by Jason Jackson ..... Florida Panthers announced they have offered NIL (name-image-likeness) contracts to over 200 female athletes at FAU. Each athlete is invited to attend Panthers games and get a free t-shirt (!) ..... Less ridiculous, the Panthers' four-day developmental camp runs through Tuesday in Coral Springs ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,751 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Other most recent columns: Canes Can Shock the World and Beat Alabama. Here's How [Update: Oops!] / Belichick Must Be Smiling As Dolphins Deal With Rumors And Tua With Doubt / and Fins' Faith In Tua Will Be A Lie If They Sell Soul, Spend Big For Watson. Also: There Is Only One Way an ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 Alliance Can Out-SEC the SEC / Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2ua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami

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

ARCHIVES

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

Hall of Fame quartet: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Select other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

September 03, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Canes get schooled by Bama, Dolphins prep for Pats, Bosh's big day. See who's No. 1 (well no duh) and what else falls where as football takes over the world; plus Greg Cote Show podcast update & more

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

1) It's FRIDAY-TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3-7. We're off on a (rather spectacularly ill-timed) holiday for a few days. Back early next week. 2) Was back on the Le Batard Show this past Tuesday. Check out that day's show podcasts. 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): The Hurricanes' best shot at beating Alabama, 2 columns on Dolphins' hell week fighting Watson rumors, Latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Lobos CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: GREG'S LOBOS AND PFPI FANTASY DRAFT OUT NOW: Our 34th episode of 2021 and 76th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 76 we've done HERE, for free. In our most recent episode: Join the Cote family and friends and hear all the fun banter during the PFPI Fantasy Draft featuring Greg's Lobos, and emceed by Greg, followed by pool time and a Paella Party. You'll feel like you were there! Also: Greg discusses the resurfaced Deshaun Watson-to-Dolphins rumors, and we debut a new song revealing Greg's Lobos on HBO's Hard Knocks. No new episode this coming week because we're on vacation. Perfect time to catch up with our whole catalog. Watch for a new episode September 13! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Featured recent columns: Canes-Bama, Dolphins drama & more

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 3-7): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive (usually) 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. HURRICANES: Canes clobbered by Bama in season opener: The No. 14-ranked Canes were 19 1/2-point underdogs to reigning national champion and No. 1 Alabama Saturday in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta -- and the odds were underlined in the Crimson Tide's 44-13 rout. Bryce Young thoroughly outplayed D'Eriq King  in the QB battle and it was men against boys on defense. So is The U "back'?" Next question, please.

2. DOLPHINS: Fins prepare for Pats, Mac Jones in opener as Watson rumors ebb: Miami prepares to visit AFC East rival New England in its September 12 NFL season opener. And it'll be Tua Tagovailoa vs. Mac Jones in a duel of ex-Alabama quarterbacks as the Pats cut Cam Newton and the Fins' reported interest in Deshaun Watson has borne nothing but ill-timed rumors as fruit.

3. HEAT: Bosh gets his due with Hall of Fame induction: Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021 -- including former Miami Heat star Chris Bosh -- is honored next Saturday (the 11th) in Springfield, Mass. Pat Riley and Ray Allen will present Bosh. Other notable inductees include Paul Pierce, Ben Wallace, Bill Russell (as a coach), Chris Webber, Rick Adelman, Jay Wright, Yolanda Griffth and Lauren Jackson.

4. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators, Noles, FIU debut; Orange Blossom Classic returns: In sequence: Thursday--FIU routed Long Island University 48-10; UCF rallied past Boise State 36-31; and South Florida got embarrassed at N.C. State 45-0. Saturday--FAU lost predictably at No. 13 Florida 35-14. Tonight/Sunday--No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State. Non-FBS-level but also notable Sunday: Deion Sanders' Jackson State vs. FAMU at Hard Rock in a welcome renewal of famed Orange Blossom Classic for HBCU teams, last played in 1978.

5. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (NON-STATE): Week 1 begins in full with Clemson-Georgia atop marquee: FBS-level college football had a soft opening with "Week 0" last week but began in full Saturday. Besides UM-Alabama, biggest Week 1 matchup nationally was No. 5 Georgia at No. 3 Clemson on Saturday -- and the Bulldogs were upset winners in a 10-3 defensive gem.

6. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons rally into MLS playoff chase: Inter Mia is 7-9-5 but on a 5-1-3 hot streak after a 1-0 win at Cincinnati Saturday night. The Herons' run of late -- one loss in past nine matches -- has drawn them within four points of playoff pace with 11 matches left. Meanwhile David Beckham signed his son Romeo, 19, to the club's Fort Lauderdale minor league team.

7. MARLINS: Fish escape NL East cellar!: Miami is 57-80 but a warm 6-4 lately and (for now) out of the NL East cellar. Miami continues a six-game homestand with three games vs. the Mets starting Tuesday.

8. GOLF: Cantlay wins FedEx Cup playoffs: The Tour Championship in Atlanta Sunday crowned the winner of the PGA Tour's three-event FedEx Cup playoffs -- and it was Patrick Cantlay protecting his lead to win the $15 million prize. Jon Rahm was runnerup as the PGA Tour completed its season.

9. OLYMPICS: Paralympic Games wrapping up in Tokyo: The 16th Paralympic Summer Games end today/Sunday in Tokyo, and the U.S. team finished fourth in overall medals and third in golds, with China easily atop both categories. U.S. is the all-time Paralympic medals leader but last led in gold and overall medals in 1996.

10. TENNIS: U.S. Open reaches its midpoint: The year's final tennis major is on in flash-flood-bothered New York and scheduled to end next Sunday, with notable stars including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams not playing due to injuries. No. 1 seed and betting favorite Novak Djokovic remains alive, But women's faves Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka both are eliminated.

Missing the HB10 cut: U.S. men's national soccer team played El Salvador to a 0-0 draw Thursday night in its first World Cup qualifying match -- but without star Christian Pulisic, who is recovering from a positive COVID test despite (he says) being vaccinated ..... ESPN gets duped by nationally televising a high school football game involving a fake team, "Bishop Sycamore." That's B.S. High, for short. Hilarious! ..... The course for the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix debuting in 2022 will be called the Miami International Autodrome. So there ..... Canada beat the U.S., the five-time defending champion, 3-2 in overtime to win gold in the women's hockey world championship ..... The Mets made Francisco Lindor and Javer Baez pretend to be sorry for giving thumbs-down gestures to fans after getting booed recently ..... Beginning to think creepy Trevor Bauer may never pitch again, and pretty damned happy about that ..... Honduran club Olimpia and Mexican club Pachuca meet Sunday in a soccer friendly at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale ..... Florida Panthers' developmental camp begins this Friday September 10 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,758 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

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

Hall of Fame quartet: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Additional recent other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

August 30, 2021

New Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins/Watson rumors return, Canes-Bama week, Messi/Ronaldo, hot Fish. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now (!) & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 30. Was back on the Le Batard Show last week for first time in awhile, the holdout suspended, not ended. Unsure about this Tuesday. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Only one way ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 alliance can out-SEC the SEC, Time to start believing in Tua and Dolphins, Greg Cote Show podcast, R.I.P. Charlie Watts & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE -- GREG'S LOBOS AND THE PFPI FANTASY DRAFT -- OUT NOW!: Our 34th episode of 2021 and 76th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 76 we've done HERE, for free. In our newest episode: Join the Cote family and friends on a fun-filled Saturday. Hear all the banter during the PFPI Fantasy Draft featuring Greg's Lobos, and emceed by Greg, followed by pool time and a Paella Party. You'll feel like you were there! Also: Greg discusses the return of Deshaun Watson-to-Dolphins rumors, and we debut a new song revealing Greg's Lobos being featured on HBO's Hard Knocks. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: There Is Only One Way an ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 Alliance Can Out-SEC the SEC / Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins / and Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated. Also: An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2 Tua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 29-30): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Watson talk resurfaces, ill-timed, as Fins close preseason: Miami ended the preseason 2-1 with a 29-26 win at Cincinnati Sunday, with Tua Tagovailoa not playing and Joe Burrow throwing one pass. Third-stringer Reid Sinnett led Fins with 343 yards passing. Meanwhile, with season starting in two weeks, distraction-with-a-capital-D-speculation about DeShaun Watson landing in Miami resurface with a Saturday Yahoo Sports report that Fins and Denver are the two finalists to trade for him. Houston wants three first-round pick and two seconds. That's a ton, given his well-known legal situation and the specter of a major league suspension apart from the civil/legal cloud.

2. HURRICANES: Football! Countdown 5 days 'til Saban and No. 1 Alabama: The No. 14-ranked Canes open Year 3 for Manny Diaz and QB D'Eriq King's senior season vs. No. 1 reigning national champion Alabama and Nick Saban next Saturday in Atlanta. King hasn't blinked, said, "I expect to finish No. 1. I don't expect to lose to any team." It's the ultimate statement game right out the gate. The statement one way or the other: "The U is back!" Or, "Not yet, Miami."

3. SOCCER: Messi makes PSG debut, Ronaldo back to Man U: Big week for the two greatest active players in international futbol. Lionel Messi made his debut for Paris Saint-Germain Sunday in a league match at Reims, setting viewing records in Spain. And Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is heading back to the Premier League and Manchester United, the team that turned him into a global superstar.

4. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons continue playoff chase Friday at Orlando: MLS All-Stars including Inter Miami's Rodolfo Pizarro beat Liga MX all-stars on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Los Angeles this week, with the game halted briefly as Mexican fans (as is their notorious, embarrassing custom) broke into homophobic chants. Inter Mia (6-9-4 but on a 4-1-2 hot streak) plays at Orlando Friday night as MLS league plays resumes.

5. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators, Noles, FIU and return of Orange Blossom Classic: In sequence: Thursday--Long Island University at FIU; Boise State at UCF; and South Florida at North Carolina State. Saturday--FAU at No. 13 Florida. Next Sunday--No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State. Not FBS-level but also notable next Sunday: Deion Sanders' Jackson State vs. FAMU at Hard Rock in a welcome renewal of the famed Orange Blossom Classic for HBCU teams, last played in 1978.

6. MARLINS: Fish heat up after 8-game skid: Miami is 55-76 having won four of past five after an eight-game losing skid with Sunday's 2-1 win over visiting Cincinnati to end a six-game homestand. Marlins now play three games at Mets.

7. TENNIS: Depleted U.S. Open begins on Sunday: The year's final tennis major began Sunday in New York -- but with notable stars including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams all out injured. Betting favorites are Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.

8. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (NON-STATE): We have liftoff! Six Saturday games just opened 2021 season: FBS-level college football kicked off Saturday/yesterday with five games, none involving a Top 25 team. Besides UM-Alabama, biggest Week 1 matchup nationally is No. 5 Georgia at No. 3 Clemson next Saturday. Three other Top 25 Week 1 matchups that day are 19-Penn State at 12-Wisconsin, 17-Indiana at 18-Iowa and 23-Louisiana at 21-Texas. 

9. OLYMPICS: Paralympic Games underway in Tokyo: The 16th Tokyo Paralympic Olympics Summer Games began this week and continue through next Sunday. U.S. has lagged early in the medal count. The U.S. is third in golds and overall medals, trailing China and Great Britain in both categories.

10. YOUTH SPORTS: Michigan teams reigns in Little League World Series: The Little League World Series ends Sunday with Taylor, Michigan beating Westside, Ohio from the same Great Lakes Region in the championship game. South Dakota pitcher Gavin Weir, who dominated the LLWS with two no-hitters and struck out almost everybody -- his team fell one win short of the title game.

Missing the HB10 cut: Patrick Cantlay won the BMW Championship on Sunday and goes to the Tour Championship next week with a 2-shot lead over Tony Finau in the final of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs ..... Honduran club Olimpia and Mexican club Pachuca meet next Sunday in a soccer friendly at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale ..... The Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix debuting in 2022 named veteran F1 race promoter Richard Cregan as chief executive officer ..... Upcoming: Florida Panthers' developmental camp opens September 10 ..... Also on deck: Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame induction September 11 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,765 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

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

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

Additional recent other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

August 28, 2021

Only one way an ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 alliance matters. Here's how. New column; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast is a 'Fantasy Football Prepisode', Time to go all-in on Tua and Dolphins, R.I.P. Charlie Watts & more

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

Cwatts1) It's SATURDAY, AUGUST 28. R.I.P., Charlie Watts (pictured), gone at 80. He was the drummer/backbone of the Rolling Stones, the dapper elegance in the maelstrom. 2) I was back on the Le Batard Show on Tuesday for the first time in a few weeks due to a holdout. I would refer to the holdout as suspended, not ended. Still no contract or payment from Meadowlark. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Time to start believing in the Dolphins, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Coteshow SiazoomGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 'FANTASY FOOTBALL PREPISODE' OUT NOW!: Our 33rd episode of 2021 and 75th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 75 we've done HERE, for free. In our new episode: Hear fantasy football expert Sia Nejad, pictured lower-right (CBS Sports, Sirius XM, Win Daily Sports show) share tips to help your dominate your draft and league. (Can he save Greg's Lobos?) Greg shares detailed update on his holdout from the Le Batard Show. Pet peeves at the roulette table. And two new songs! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

AllianceTHERE'S ONLY ONE WAY AN ACC/BIG TEN/PAC-12 ALLIANCE CAN OUT-SEC THE SEC. HERE'S THE PLAN: How to summarize the shifting of tectonic plates in the Power 5 college conferences? Here it is in a nutshell (and I use the word with care because this whole thing seems a little nutty): ▪ The Southeastern Conference , already reigning and preening on account of the Alabama dynasty, gets appreciably stronger, more prestigious and richer by poaching traditional powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12 effective in 2025 at latest. ▪ The suckerpunched Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12, scrambling in the wake of the SEC’s audacious power grab, meet and quickly form an “alliance” as everybody else scrambles to figure out exactly what that will mean. ▪ The already diminished Big 12, bracing to lose its two biggest football programs and drop to eight schools, and left out of the ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 alliance, drifts like a forlorn tumbleweed through a ghost town. Is any of this good for college football? No. Instability seldom is. What this is good for is the SEC and its soon-to-be-enriched 16-team super-conference, and everybody else be damned. It’s a time of tumult in college football beyond teams switching conferences. The NCAA oligarchy is losing power by degrees. The NIL law (name, image, likeness) means college athletes can be paid. The College Football Playoff weighs major expansion. So now the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 join hands and start singing “Kumbaya” in a show of solidarity. But why? to what end? For our full latest column, visit There Is Only One Way an ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 Alliance Can Out-SEC the SEC
 
TuaWHY IT'S TIME TO GO ALL-IN, FINALLY START BELIEVING IN TUA, FLORES AND MIAMI DOLPHINS: Faith can be a tricky thing. Sometimes it takes a leap to get there. Whether it’s falling in love, going all-in on a bet or trusting that this is finally the year for your team, you have to believe in something. Your heart. Your gut. Just a wisp of a feeling. Something. It gets complicated when, for example, your football team has mostly let you down for the past 20 years or so. When your franchise’s best days are your father’s memories, not yours. That is when optimism gets calloused, replaced by cynicism. When the easiest thing to trust is that your team will let you down again. What I am about to say, in this context, comes from both the innately skeptical veteran journalist and from the young boy who attended that first ever home game with his Dad in the Orange Bowl in 1966 — because those two are the same. It is time to start believing in the Miami Dolphins again. Believing that last year’s 10-win season was not a mirage. Believing that Brian Flores is just the right coach. Believing that Tua Tagovailaoa’s doubters are falling away, one by one. Believing that a corner has (finally!) been turned. For our full recent column, visit Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins.

Other most recent columns: Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated and An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season. Also: Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2 Tua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami.

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

ARCHIVES

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

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

Additional recent other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

August 23, 2021

Time to go all-in, start believing in Tua, Flores and Dolphins. New column; plus Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; also, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 23. Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins and Canes should require fan's proof of vaccination to attend home games, Ode to Udonis Haslem as he re-ups for 19th Heat season, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 'FANTASY FOOTBALL PREPISODE' OUT NOW!: Our 33rd episode of 2021 and 75th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 75 we've done HERE, for free. In our new episode: Hear fantasy football expert Sia Nejad (CBS Sports, Sirius XM, Win Daily Sports show) share tips to help you dominate your draft and league. (Can he save Greg's Lobos?) Greg shares detailed update on his holdout from the Le Batard Show. Pet peeves at the roulette table. And two new songs! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

TuaWHY IT'S TIME TO GO ALL-IN, FINALLY START BELIEVING IN TUA, FLORES AND MIAMI DOLPHINS: Faith can be a tricky thing. Sometimes it takes a leap to get there. Whether it’s falling in love, going all-in on a bet or trusting that this is finally the year for your team, you have to believe in something. Your heart. Your gut. Just a wisp of a feeling. Something. It gets complicated when, for example, your football team has mostly let you down for the past 20 years or so. When your franchise’s best days are your father’s memories, not yours. That is when optimism gets calloused, replaced by cynicism. When the easiest thing to trust is that your team will let you down again. What I am about to say, in this context, comes from both the innately skeptical veteran journalist and from the young boy who attended that first ever home game with his Dad in the Orange Bowl in 1966 — because those two are the same. It is time to start believing in the Miami Dolphins again. Believing that last year’s 10-win season was not a mirage. Believing that Brian Flores is just the right coach. Believing that Tua Tagovailaoa’s doubters are falling away, one by one. Believing that a corner has (finally!) been turned. For our full latest column, visit Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins.
 

Other most recent columns: Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated and An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season. Also: Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2 Tua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 22-23): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Tua, Fins sail in big fake-game home: Miami squared its preseason record at 1-1 with a 37-17 rout of Atlanta in its only home exhibition Saturday night. Tua Tagovailoa completed 16 of 23 passes for 183 yards and a TD and LB Sam Eguavoan had four sacks (one for a safety) to lead the domination of the Falcons' reserves. Fins wrap up preseason next Sunday at Cincinnati.

3. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons win fourth straight at home: Rodolfo Pizarro scored twice and Robbie Robinson once as Inter Miami handled visiting Toronto 3-1 Saturday night. It was the fourth straight home win for Miami, now 6-9-4 overall but 4-1-2 in its past seven matches. Herons have climbed within five points of playoff pace with 14 games left.

3. MARLINS: Stinkin' Fish lose seventh straight game: Marlins are 51-74 (12-24 since the break), last in the NL East and have dropped seven straight after being swept in Cincy. Miami now returns for a six-game homestand vs. Nationals and Reds.

4. HEAT: Miami reveals season schedule as bookies set win totals: Heat announced its 2021-22 season schedule will begin with six preseason games starting October 4. Miami will make 22 national TV appearances, with five each on ESPN and TNT and 12 on NBA TV. Heat will tip-off its 34th regular season at home vs. reigning NBA champion Milwaukee on October 21. Caesars Sportsbook's win-total over/unders put Brooklyn on top at 54 1/2, with Heat tied for eighth of 30 teams at 47 1/2. Heat prospects finished 4-3 in Summer League play, 2-0 in Sacramento and 2-3 in Las Vegas.

5. SOCCER: Messi's PSG debut expected next Sunday: Seven more days. Can you wait? Lionel Messi's debut with new French club Paris Saint-Germain is now expected to be next Sunday August 29 in a league match on the road at Reims prior to the international break.

6. BRYAN PATA: Finally a charge in 2006 Pata murder: A former teammate was arrested this week in the 2006 murder of Miami Hurricanes football player Bryan Pata. A longtime suspect, Rashaun Travon Jones, now 35, was charged with first-degree murder. The modern-day, No. 14-ranked Canes, after a closed scrimmage Saturday, open the season in 13 days vs. No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta. "I'm super confident," QB D'Eriq King told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.

7. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Three big leagues including ACC talking 'alliance': First it was Texas and Oklahoma announcing intentions to leave the Big 12 and move to the SEC. Now, the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 conferences have begun exploring options for an ill-defined  counter move of some sort. The three league have formed an "alliance committee" including athletic directors from each league and the three commissioners. 

8. PANTHERS: Cats set roster for developmental events: Panthers announced a 24-man roster for their September 10-14 development camp in Coral Springs and the September 18-21 Tampa Bay Lightning-hosted Prospect Showcase Tournament in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Roster includes three former first-round picks in Anton Lundell (12th overall in 2020), Spencer Knight (13th, 2019) and Grigori Denisenko (15th, 2018).

9. BOXING: End for Pacquiao after upset loss?: Manny Pacquiao lost decisively to Yordenis Ugas in Vegas Saturday night, leaving fans to wonder if the great Pacquiao, nearing 43, had fought his last fight.

10. TENNIS: Major hits to U.S. Open men's side: Rafael Nadal joined Roger Federer in withdrawing from the U.S. Open, the season's final Grand Slam event that starts August 30 in New York.  That means the men's side will be missing five players who have won the event in 12 of the past 17 years.

Missing the HB10 cut: Miguel Cabrera hits 500th home run! (Nice trade, Marlins) ..... The annual Little League World Series is on in Williamsport, Pa., with 16 teams in two divisions hoping to reach the championship game next Sunday. One Florida team, Palm City in Martin County just north of Palm Beach, is competing ..... Former Heat star Ray Allen is the new boys basketball coach at Miami's Gulliver Prep high school ..... Oregon and Oregon State became the first Power 5 schools to announce they will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for fans over age 12 to attend football games. The NFL's Saints and Raiders previously did the same ..... A 2-year-old filly named Bold And Bossy escaped before a race in Henderson, Ky. Saturday and ran onto a highway alongside cars before being apprehended ..... Electrifying MLB: Shohei Ohtani ..... Embarrassing MLB: Trevor Bauer ..... Getting close: Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame induction is September 11 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,772 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

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

Additional recent other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

August 07, 2021

Greatest victory of Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson's life? Getting his son back. New column; plus Edgerrin James' unique journey (and Isaac Bruce, Steve Hutchinson, too); also, J.J. on latest Greg Cote Show podcast on eve of Hall induction & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, AUGUST 7. I was back on the Le Batard Show this week with a new Back In My Day. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts. 2) Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Jimmy Johnson X 2: Podcast and column: You'll want to listen and read as we feature the only man to be head coach the Hurricanes and Dolphins on the week of his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of fame on Saturday. You'll hear plenty in the podcast that isn't in the column, including Jimmy's appraisal of today's Canes and Fins. And you'll read lots in the column that isn't in the podcast -- including Jimmy on the struggles of one of his sons, and an interview with Chad Johnson, the son whose triumph over some 20 years of alcoholism helped repair a family and make this the happiest time of Jimmy's life.

Jj2GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH JIMMY JOHNSON OUT NOW!: Our 30th episode of 2021 and 72nd overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 72 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode: The great former coach Jimmy Johnson, on the week of his enshrinement into the Pro Footballl Hall of Fame, joins us for a fun, candid and at times poignant reflection on his passions: Football, family, fishing and Fox. We also ask J.J. for an appraisal of Manny Diaz and the Canes and Brian Flores and the Dolphins. Also in the new ep: Greg, Chris and Yeti discuss the small details of any marriage or relationship. Also: Simone BIles, MLB trade deadline and NBA free agency and the Heat. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

HALL OF FAMER JIMMY JOHNSON KNOWS BIGGEST VICTORY OF HIS LIFE HAPPENED IN HIS OWN FAMILY: He is up in the dark at 4:30 most mornings. By sunrise he is aboard his 39-foot SeaVee, “Three Rings,” named for his national championship with the Miami Hurricanes and two Super Bowl wins with the Dallas Cowboys. Jimmy Johnson is Jjboatusually alone. “If I’m out there by myself there’s no pressure to catch any fish,” he says, smiling. “If I entertain people I feel kind of obligated to catch a big fish for ‘em.” He fires up the diesel engines and heads maybe 25 miles offshore as the sun is chasing the dark away. Before long he will have five active lines out in search of mahi (“What they call dolphin down here”), tuna, maybe amberjack or wahoo — “Whatever gets on the hook,” he says. Jimmy’s fishing bona fides are for real. He has caught and released five huge blue marlin in the 300-pound range, some after near two-hour struggles. He hosts the annual J.J.’s Championship Fishing Week that has included Michael Jordan among anglers. His house includes a separate room full of offshore-grade rods and reels and plastic boxes full of lures and hand-tied rigs. He cleans and vacuum-seals his own fish. (Doesn’t cook ‘em, though. His wife Rhonda handles that).But Johnson’s passion for fishing isn’t just about what he catches. He is out there fishing for more than that. “It’s peaceful out there,” he says. “It’s relaxation.” It gives a man time to think. He just turned 78. It can be an age that invites reflection. Johnson reaches the pinnacle of his professional life this coming weekend: the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The enshrinement ceremony for the Class of 2020, delayed to this summer by the pandemic, is on Saturday. More important, this feels to Johnson like the best his life has been, period, above and beyond sports or the fame he achieved in football or for the past 20 years as a studio analyst on “FOX NFL Sunday.” “I used to say the most fun time of my life was was those five years at the University if Miami. It was that way for a long time,” he says. “Winning back-to-back Super Bowls was rewarding as well. But, really, the greatest time of my life is now. The most fun time of my life has been right now.” It wasn’t football that got him to this place. It wasn’t fishing, or Fox TV. It was family. Johnson in reflection knows it was at great cost he achieved all he did in football. A divorce. Missing so much of his two sons growing up. Being far away, in headsets on sidelines, as his parents aged and passed away. Even the most successful people can feel tinges of guilt or regret. For our full latest column, visit Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back. Pictured: Jimmy out fishing with his son Chad.
 
Jimmy Johnson is one of four men with strong South Florida ties to be inducted Saturday into Pro Football Hall of Fame. On Edgerrin James (pictured in middle), Isaac Bruce and Steve Hutchinson:
 
 
 

 

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

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

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

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

July 26, 2021

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

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

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

Medecal TedlGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH 'TED LASSO' CREATOR OUT NOW!: Our new 29th episode of 2021 and 71st overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 71 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode: Bill Lawrence, the creative force behind 'Ted Lasso,' joins us to discuss the hit AppleTV+ show whose season 2 is now streaming. Greg has a special request of Bill. Hear his response. A fun, wide-ranging conversation. Also in the new ep: Greg shares a Don Shula story; we discuss the origin of the phrase “shooting the ****”; the amusement park-like slide at the Dolphins’ new $135 million training facility; the strangest Summer Olympics that ever were; NFL continuing to put the hammer down on unvaccinated players; a two-part live report by Greg and Chris from the recent 5-0 home loss by sad Inter Miami; and a new Mount Gregmore. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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