December 20, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast with beloved humorist Dave Barry out now!; plus our Dolphins column off 6th straight win, latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), NFL Week 15 picks & more


1) It's MONDAY, DECEMBER 20. Check out last Tuesday's Le Batard Show podcasts for my new Dolphins Christmas song. 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 15 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast, Week 14 results for picks/Lobos/QB ranking.

Note to readers: I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation days throughout December so am having fewer columns out lately. But am still producing occasional columns and regular staples such as the weekly NFL picks, the podcast and this blog.

Coteshow DavebarryGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL NEW EPISODE WITH BELOVED HUMORIST DAVE BARRY OUT NOW!: Our 49th episode of 2021 and 91st overall is out now -- and it's a must-hear special one. A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at Find all 91 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest episode: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and humorist Dave Barry joins us for a lengthy conversation ranging from the inanity of his 2021 Holiday Gift Guide to a serious talk about some of the personal tragedy he's lived thorugh and how that has informed his humor. Also in the new episode: My Dolphins Christmas song, the Fins' 6th win in a row, Greg's Lobos gird for fantasy playoffs 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).

PicksNFL Week 15 picks: For Dolphins-Jets and all the rest: NFL Week 15 Gems.

Dolphins-Jets column: Off Sunday's 31-24 Miami win: Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500.

Our other most recent columns: Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring DebutTua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (DECEMBER 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. The latest HB10:

This was the week the resurgence of COVID greatly impacted sports, near and wide, to a degree not seen since 2020. Examples are below as leagues scramble to tighten precautions and protocols.

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Fins, hit by COVID, stay hot with 6th win in row: Miami cimbed  to 7-7 and .500 Sunday with the 31-24 comeback win over the rival Jets at Hard Rock. Jaylen Waddle and Jevon Howard had to sit out, but Fins got a hge day from Duke Johnson and six sacks in keeping (slim) playoff hopes alive.

2. HURRICANES: Cristobal scores big on early National Signing Day: New coach Mario Cristobal kept six of eight Manny Diaz recruits and added eight ore on early NSD, including TE Jaleel Skinner (a big flip from Alabama) and DL Nyjalik Kelly from backyard Dillard. UM also scored DL Jacob Lichtenstein from USC via the transfer portal. 

3. PANTHERS: Cats, wracked by virus, have 3 games postponed: Florida is 18-7-4 after three straight losses and has dropped to third place in the East -- a virus-depleted roster largely to blame. Already missing Aleksander Barkov to injury, seven players in COVID protcol caused the NHL to include Florida among a spate of postponements. Three Panthers games scheduled for Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday have bee postponed until after Christmas.

4. NFL: Three Week 15 games delayed by COVID: Teams severely hit by COVID depletions caused three games to be rescheduled: Raiders-Browns from Saturday to Monday, and Washington-Eagfles and Seahawks-Rams from Sunday to Tuesday. It's first time this season the virus has directly impacted the schedule.

5. HEAT: Miami grinding with two top stars sidelined: Miami is 18-13 after Sunday's loss in Detroit, hurt by the continued injury absence of Bam Adebayo, sidelined until January, and Jimmy Butler, who has missed 14 games including six in a row and 10 of the past 11. Stepping up: The likes of Max Strus and Gabe Vincent.

6. NBA: Curry break's Allen's 3-point record: Golden State's Steph Curry is the NBA's new career leader in 3-point field goals made, surpassing Ray Allen's record of 2,973. Allen made 255 of his long buckets with the Maimi Heat in 2012-14, his final two seasons.

7. GOLF: Tiger makes return in event with son: Tiger Woods and 12-year-old son Charlie combined to foinish secod by two shotsto John Daly and son in the PNC Championship in Orlando, a fun event that pairs a major champion with a family member and ended Sunday. It was Tiger's first competition since his major car crash last February. What's next? Stay tuned.

8. BOXING: Paul wins, Gore loses debut on undercard: Jake Paul scored a sixth-round knockout over Tyron Woodley Saturday night in Tampa then began bleating for a UFC invite. Former football star Frank Gore lose his pro boxing debut on the undercard in a four-round split decision to Deron Williams. In round two Gore got shoved thorugh the ropes, an instant meme.

9. INTER MIAMI: Wheelin' and dealin' Beckham and team: Inter Miami announced the 34-match 2022 season, its third in MLS, would begin February 26 and in past week swung three trades, acquiring $1.2 million for M Lewis Morgan, F Ariel Lassiter for $100,000, and M Mo Adams for GK Dylan Castanheira. In the biggest deal of all, club prez Davd Beckham bought a 100-foot yacht for $6.5 million.

10. CANES BASKETBALL: COVID forces UM women to forfeit ACC opener: Hurricanes women are 7-4 after today's/Sunday's game vs. No. 15 Duke was ruled a forfeit because COVID protocols left Miami unable to field a team for its conference opener. UM's men are 8-3 and 1-0 in the ACC.

Missing the HB10 cut: On the bright side, Urban Meyer did last 13 whole games as an NFL coach ...., Welcome becak, Kyrie Irving. Wait. Oh ..... The annual men's basketball Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise Saturday was cut in half when COVID forced Florida State to bow out of its game with UCF. FSU is one of 17 Division 1 men's teams and the only in Florida to see its schedule impacted. The other OBC game went on, and Florida Gators beat South Florida, 66-55 ..... Jackson State coach Deion Sanders, who I refuse to call "Coach Prime," made the biggest splash of early National Signing Day by getting 5-star recruit Travis Hunter to flip from Florida State (Sanders' alma mater) his own school, a triumph for HBCU schools ..... Nine college football bowl games done, only 35 to go! ..... MLB lockout enters its third week and everybody is losing, especially the sport ..... NBA trade window is open. Can the Sixers just trade Ben Simmons already!? ..... Seven players went in NSWL expansion draft, available Megan Rapinoe not among them ..... Max Verstappen won his first Formula One world title ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,653 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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Select other recent columnsUM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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