January 16, 2022

The new Hot Button Top 10: Guess who's No. 1 and what else ranks where this week?; plus We grade all of Miami's biggest teams. New column; also, NFL playoff picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY-MONDAY, JANUARY 15-17. I'm off to a wedding for a couple of days. Be back around sometime Monday. 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): State of Miami Sports as we grade all the teams, Dolphins firing Flores an unjustifiable travesty, NFL Wild-Card playoff picks, Greg Cote Show drops 2 (!) new podcasts, NFL Week 18 results for picks/final QB rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT MONDAY MORNING!: Our 4th episode of 2022 and landmark 95th overall is out Monday. 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. Find all we've done so far HERE, free. We dropped two episodes this past week. Our main, regularly scheduled epsiode features a fun conversation with friend Ron Magill of Zoo Miami, and a season-finale Hard Knocks celebrating Greg's Lobos' PFPI Fantasy championship. A shorter bonus episode -- the first we've ever done -- is on the Dolphins' sudden, illogical firing of coach Brian Flores. Dan Le Batard joins us. 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).

Our NFL first-round postseason picks: NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

Big fourSTATE OF MIAMI SPORTS: GRADES FOR FINS, HEAT, PANTHERS, MARLINS, INTER MIAMI AND CANES FOOTBALL & MEN'S HOOPSOne team is in sudden flux with an unforeseen coaching change. One is chasing a championship and another might be. One has new life after major changes. One is the comeback story nobody’s talking about. Two others are still searching for the elusive map to victory. This is our sort-of annual New Year’s State Of Miami Sports, in which we grade each of our Big Seven teams based on where they are right now and the short-term, but also put in the context of the broader, bigger picture. We identify the Big Seven as the Miami Dolphins, Heat and Marlins, Florida Panthers, Inter Miami soccer and Miami Hurricanes football and men’s basketball. Sorry if we left your favorite team out. (But not that sorry). Here are our grade rankings, high to low, best to worst. For our full latest column including the team-by-team grades, visit The State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom.

Most recent other columns: Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Also: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later/No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 16-17): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Off-course Fins searcing for new coach, respectability: Most agree Brian Flores did not deserev to be fired after three seasons -- the last two with winning records totaling 19-14. As Stephen Ross tries to save face we await the replacement, likely someone now in the playoffs, with offensive coordinators Brian Daboll of Bills and Mike McDaniel of 49ers among those being mentioned.

2. NFL: Six Wild-Card games begin road to Super Bowl: Will Tom Brady and Tampa be NFL's frst repeat champ in 17 years? As top-seed Packers and Titans wait with byes, the other 12 playoff teams play must-win games this weekend. It's Raiders-Bengals and Patriots-Bills Saturday; Eagles-Bucs, 49ers-Cowboys and Steelers-Chiefs Sunday and Cardinals-Rams Monday night.

3. HEAT: Imagine Miami with a healthy roster?: Miami was at 26-15 at the midpoint in the schedule, on a 3-game win streak and tied for second in the East entering the weekend. And much of that has been wthtout stars Bam Adebayo or Jimmy Butler healthy. Erik Spoelstra better be on your coach of the year short list.

4. TENNIS: Djokovic vaccine drama, no Serena cloud Aussie Open: The year's first tennis major, the two-week Australian Open, begins Monday, but likely without reigning men's champ Novak Djokovic, whose visa was revoked over his failure to meet the country's COVID vaccination mandates. And Serena Williams won't play on medical advice.

5. PANTHERS: Huberdeau named all-star as high-flying Cats near midseason: Jonathan Huberdeau will represent Florida on NHL All-Star Weekend February 4-5 in Las Vegas, and Aleksander Barkov still might if he wins a last-man-in vote. Panthers entering the weekend had won six-of-seven and were fighting for best record in East, perhaps inspired by Twerkin Kodak Black?

6. HURRICANES: Cristobal mania grows, but no poll love just yet: Excitement is growing around new Canes football coach Mario Cristobal as he fills out his staff, but it hasn't translated to high expectations for the 2022 season -- not yet, at least. UM is nowhere to be found in ESPN's way-too-early first Top 25, which did include ACC teams N.C. State, Clemson and Wake Forest.

7. INTER MIAMI: Year 3 open with start of training camp Monday: With a roster shakeup following two losing seasons, David Beckham's guys begin Year 3 in Major League Soccer with start of training camp Monday. The regular season opens at home, back in Fort Lauderdale again, on February 26.

8. CANES BASKETBALL: UM men poll-bound, but can they solve Florida State?: Canes men at 13-4 and 5-1 in ACC are poll-bound after beating No. 2 Duke, even though they then lost to FSU for eighth straight time. UM faces North Carolina Tuesday then has a rematch with Noles. The 8-5 Canes women host ranked GeorgiaTech and Duke Sunday and Tuesday.

9. MLB: Dear Baseball: Get your ass in gear!: First paragraph of a story I read: "On Thursday, MLB's owners and players had their first CBA negotiations since the lockout began on December 2. Owners made a proposal, but it doesn’t seem any common ground was found. The session lasted about an hour." Delayed season, here we come!

10. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Anybody else worried sport has created a transfer monster?: Will the last college football player to not enter the transfer portal please turn out the light?

Missing the HB10 cut: The champion Georgia Bulldogs planned to celebrate their first national football crown since 1980 with a parade leading to a stadium party on Saturday. Nick Saban will not attend ..... Colombia and Honduras play a soccer friendly Sunday at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Laudderdale ..... With the Baseball Hall of Fame reveal January 25, latest voting trends made public suggest David Ortiz is the only man a strong bet to get in. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are tracking to get in on their last year of eligibility, but both have lost support as more votes are known. Stay tuned ..... In soccer, FA Cup competition resumes February 4 ..... The Hurricanes were shut out on the 2002 College Football Hall of Fame induction reveal. Ken Dorsey, Bryant McKinnie and coach Larry Coker were finalists but none made it ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday, January 17 at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,625 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / 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).

January 14, 2022

State of Miami Sports: We grade all the major teams. New column; plus NFL playoff picks out now, Dolphins firing Flores an unjustified travesty, 2 (!) new podcasts with Ron Magill and bonus pod on Flores firing with Le Batard & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 2022. Wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversay this week. Best person I've ever known; best decision I've ever made. 2) R.I.P., Tim Rosaforte, golf journalist, gone today at 66 after battling early-onset Alzheimer's. Knew him since his start at the Palm Beach Post. Genuine, good guy. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, NFL Week 18 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow MagillGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: TWO (!) NEW EPISODES THIS WEEK, BOTH OUT NOW!: Our 2nd and 3rd episodes of 2022 and 93rd and 94th overall both dropped this week and are out now. Our main, regularly scheduled epsiode, out Monday, features a fun conversation with friend Ron Magill (pictured) of Zoo Miami, and a season-finale Hard Knocks celebrating Greg's Lobos' PFPI Fantasy championship. Then, out today, is a shorter bonus episode -- the first we've ever done -- on the Dolphins' sudden and illogical firing of coach Brian Flores. Dan Le Batard joins us. But we've love you to listen anyway! 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. Find all 94 we've done so far HERE, free. 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 WILD-CARD ROUND PLAYOFF PICKS: ROAD TO SUPER BOWL BEGINS WITH 6 GAMES, 1 BIG UPSET!: Had four dog-with-points covers — by Dolphins, Broncos, Bengals and Seahawks — to close regular season, but still a rocky Week 18 overall that left us with a .635 winning percentage straight-up and .519 (10 games over) against the spread. I’m not throwing a party, but neither am I bemoaning those numbers in what was a tough NFL season that saw a record 34 games decided on the final play. We enjoyed an especially strong year on our Upset of the Week picks, going 11-7 overall and 13-4-1 ATS on upset specials. Now, unlike 18 unfortunate teams including Miami ... we’re on to the playoffs! For our picks on all six of this weekend's games including one big upset: NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

Big fourSTATE OF MIAMI SPORTS: GRADES FOR FINS, HEAT, PANTHERS, MARLINS, INTER MIAMI AND CANES FOOTBALL & MEN'S HOOPSOne team is in sudden flux with an unforeseen coaching change. One is chasing a championship and another might be. One has new life after major changes. One is the comeback story nobody’s talking about. Two others are still searching for the elusive map to victory. This is our sort-of annual New Year’s State Of Miami Sports, in which we grade each of our Big Seven teams based on where they are right now and the short-term, but also put in the context of the broader, bigger picture. We identify the Big Seven as the Miami Dolphins, Heat and Marlins, Florida Panthers, Inter Miami soccer and Miami Hurricanes football and men’s basketball. Sorry if we left your favorite team out. (But not that sorry). Here are our grade rankings, high to low, best to worst. For our full latest column including the team-by-team grades, visit The State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom.

BfloresDOLPHINS FIRING BRIAN FLORES THE UNJUSTIFIED TRAVESTY OF A CLOWN-SHOW OWNER: Unjustified. Unfair. Shocking. Egregiously premature. Embarrassing. Irresponsible. Dumbfounding. Not enough words have yet been invented to adequately and fully describe the national clown show the Miami Dolphins became Monday with the sudden and utterly stupid firing of head coach Brian Flores. Team owner Stephen Ross might as well have bought a billboard alongside Interstate 95 that depicts him wearing a big red Bozo nose and the word “INCOMPETENT” stamped across his forehead. The failed owner, good at spending money on facility improvements but very bad at fielding winning football teams, has sunk to a new low. Firing Flores was so out-of-the-blue unexpected that when I first heard the news I laughed at the ludicrousness, assuming it a joke. Decades in sports journalism have seen me rarely surprised by much, but this shocked me. The timing. The senselessness. Everything. For our full latest column, visit Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner.

Our most recent other columns: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around TuaWhy Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later/No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

NFL WEEK 18 RESULTS:

(*) OUR PICKS: ROUGH WEEK TO END REGULAR SEASON: A tough week to end our regular season, with an even 8-8 mark overall and a minus 7-9 against the spread. We did have a quartete of 'dogs-with-points in covers by the Dolphins, Broncos, Seahawks abd Bengals -- the latter a silver lning on our Upset of the Week pick. Time to get our mojo back as the playoffs begin!

(*) GREG'S LOBOS: STILL CELEBRATIN' OUR CHAMPIONSHIP!: Told ya last week but it bears repeating: Greg's Lobos are PFPI Fantasy champions for the first time in the league's 13-year history!

(*) HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS: BUCS' BRADY TAKES SEASON CROWN: Tampa's Tom Brady wins Week 18 to seal a runaway 2021 season championship to end our 24th year of rankings in the Herald. Miami's Tua Tagovailoa finishes No. 22. Details and our expanded final Top 40: NFL Week18/Season Final QB Rankings.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / 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).

January 09, 2022

The new Hot Button Top 10: Fins-Pats, Dawgs-Tide, Canes hoops, Heat, Cats. See who's No. 1 and what else lands where; plus NFL Week 18 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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

1) It's SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2022. When do we start looking at somebody funny for still saying "Happy New Year"? Not yet, or yes now? 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 18 picks, new Greg Cote Show year-end best-of podcast, Why Saban 'what-if' still haunts Miami, No playoffs and no firm idea on Tua worst way for Dolphins to end season, NFL Week 17 results for picks/Lobos/QB rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL NEW YEAR-END BEST-OF EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 2nd episode of 2022 and 93rd overall drops Monday morning! A new pod is out every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 92 we've done so far HERE, free. In our latest episode: It's GregFest: Our Best-Of Year-End Extravaganza (with new stuff, too). We relive our greatest hits 'n bits from the past year: Interviews, Songs, Greg Doesn't Know Movies, Hard Knocks/Lobos -- the fun don't stop! Inlcuding a new Mount Gregmore of OUR favorite epsiodes from '21. You won't want to miss it! 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 18 PICKS: DOLPHINS-PATRIOTS, BIG UPSET, FINAL PLAYOFF TICKETS, ALL THE REST: Our second-half heater resumed in Week 17 as went a big 12-4 overall (again) and 8-8 against the spread. Nailed another Upset of the Week in Steelers beating Browns  Monday night. With one week to go our overall season total has risen and our number against the Evil Betting Line is above what it was a year ago. Time to finish strong! In Saturday's doubleheader we were 2-0 straight-up, 1-1 against the spread. For our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week, Dolphins-Patriots call and who's getting the final three unclaimed playoff tickets, visit NFL Week 18 Gems.

Our most recent columns: Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Georgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next /and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude. Also: Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 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 Debut / and Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon.

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

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Fins end roller-coaster season hoping for winning record: The season began with high hopes after an upset win at New England. Seven straight losses followed. Then seven wins in a row. Then a crushing loss at Tennessee. Now, at 8-8, it ends back home like it started: Against the rival Patriots. No playoffs, but a winning record the consolation prize. Meanwhile Jaylen Waddle was named team MVP -- Tua Tagovailoa not winning it in his second season another indication of disappointment in him.

2. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Georgia favored but 'Bama feels like favorite in Monday's CFP final: Betting odds say Bulldogs are 2 1/2-point picks over Crimson Tide in Monday night's College Football Playoff national championship game in Indy. Hmm. 'Bama has beaten Georgia seven straight under Nick Saban, including 41-24 for the SEC title December 4. Now Tide are after their seventh national crown under Saban while 'Dawgs aim for first and only since 1980. Has a favorite ever seemed more like the underdog?

3. HEAT: Miami keeps winning without two biggest stars: Miami is 25-15 and up to third in the East after Saturday's 123-100 win at Phoenix. In initial fan voting for All-Star team Jimmy Butler is running 5th and Bam Adebayo 8th among Eastern frontcourt guys, despite Bam missing 22 games injured and Butler missing 17. Tyler Herro is 8th among East guards. Miami is back in play Wednesday in Atlanta.

4. CANES BASKETBALL: UM men poll-bound after upset win at No. 2 Duke!: Canes men's basketball is 13-3, 5-0 in the ACC and on a ninet-game win streak after Saturday's 76-74 upset win at No. 2 ranked Duke, led by leading scorer Kameron McGusty's late winning layup. UM, back in action Tuesday at FSU, has not been ranked all season but that's about to change. The COVID-hit Miami women are 7-4 (0-1 ACC) entering Sunday's game vs. No. 5 N.C. State.

5. NFL: Week 18 to complete playoff picture with final three teams: Eleven teams are in the postseason and three tickers remain entering Week 18. The Colts and 49ers are win-and-in, as is the Chargers-Raiders winner Sunday night. Saints are in with a win if the Niners lose. Steelers and Ravens are alive but need a win plus much other help.

6. PANTHERS: Cats are back on top in NHL East: Florida is 23-7-5 and now atop the East after Saturday's 4-3 OT win at Carolina, and leading the NHL in goals at 3.92 per game led by Aleksander Barkov and Anthony Duclair with 14 each. Cats are back on ice Tuesday at home vs. Vancouver.

7. INTER MIAMI: Roster undergoing shakeuo entering Year 3: Inter Miami will open training camp January 17 for its third Major League Soccer season missing some familiar faces as part of a massive roster shakeup following two disappointing seasons. Two of three Designated Players -- midfielders Rodolfo Pizarro of Mexico and Blaise Matuidi of France -- are not expected back. The third, Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain, reportedly will return.

8. HURRICANES: Cristobal continues to raid Oregon to fill out his staff: New Canes football Mario Cristobal keeps populating his UM staff with guys lured from his former staff at Oregon. The latest: Alex Mirabal as assistant head coach and offensive line coach, and Joe Salave’a as to the position of Miami Hurricanes’ defensive line coach, associate head coach/defense and defensive run-game coordinator.

9. TENNIS: Djokovic vaccine drama clouds runup to Aussie Open: The year's first tennis major, the January 17-30 Australian Open, is embroiled in a vaccination drama with reigning men's champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The noted anti-vaxxer had claimed a medical exemption from the tournament's COVID-19 vaccination requirements, but the Aussie government ultimately denied his visa and tuned him away. Stay tunedc.

10. SOCCER: Colombia, Honduras set for friendly in Fort Lauderdale: The match next Sunday January 16 at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale will be a World Cup tuneup for Colombia, which is bringing a quality roster for what is being called a preparation for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Argentina in the runup to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Missing the HB10 cut: From 217 names on the ballot, 18 players and three coaches will be announced Monday as 2022 inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame. Nominees included three former Miami Hurricanes: QB Ken Dorsey, OT Bryant McKinnie and coach Larry Coker ..... Warriors star Klay Thompson will play today for first time since June 13, 2019, when he tore his left ACL in Game 6 of the '19 NBA Finals ..... Marlins spring-training tickets are now on sale. The bad news: The MLB lockout has the start of spring training anybody's guess ..... The FA Cup, in which England's lower-league Davids take on the Premier League's Goliaths, continues with 32 matches taking place Friday through this Monday ..... The back-for-another-try USFL announced its first four head-coach hires. They include former NFL head coaches Todd Haley and Mike Riley. The spring league opens  in April. I'd set the over/under on its surviival at 1 1/2 seasons ..... Former NFL and Canes star Clinton Portis was sentenced to six months in prison for his role in a medical fraud scheme ..... Wait. Antonio Brown in the midst of a controversy!? No way! ..... The 2022 Baseball Hall  of Fame inductees will be revealed January 25 live from Cooperstown on MLB Network. David Ortiz, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens (the latter two in their final year of eligibility) are expcetd to be inducted based on early voting trends made public. First-tme eligible Alex Rodriguez, thank to steroids, will not make it on his first try ..... NFL announced a public memorial for John Madden would be held February 15 in Oakland ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday, January 10 at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,632 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

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).

January 08, 2022

NFL Week 18 picks: Fins-Pats, all the rest; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast is Best-Of, Year-End Special!, Why Saban and what-if still haunt Miami, No playoffs, no idea on Tua worst possible way for Dolphins to end, Lobos win PFPI Fantasy & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 2022. When do we start looking at somebody funny for still saying Happy New Year? Not yet, right? 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): Hot Button Top 10, Dolphins routed at Tennessee and miss playoffs, NFL Week 17 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

I was back in-studio this week on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz ... dressed as astronaut Jeff Bezos to pay off a Grid of Death punishment. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts or show YouTube channel.

CoteshowBestofGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL NEW YEAR-END BEST-OF EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 1st episode of 2022 and 92nd 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. Find all 92 we've done so far HERE, free. In our new episode: It's GregFest: Our Best-Of Year-End Extravaganza (with new stuff, too). We relives out greatest hits from the past year: Interviews, Songs, Greg Doesn't Know Movies, Hard Knocks/Lobos -- the fun don't stop! Inlcuding a new Mount Gregmore of OUR favrite epsiodes. You won't want to miss it! 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 18 PICKS: DOLPHINS-PATRIOTS, BIG UPSET, FINAL PLAYOFF TICKETS, ALL THE REST: Our second-half heater resumed in Week 17 as went a big 12-4 overall (again) and 8-8 against the spread. Nailed another Upset of the Week in Steelers beating Browns  Monday night. With one week to go our overall season total has risen and our number against the Evil Betting Line is above what it was a year ago. Time to finish strong! For our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week, Dolphins-Patriots call and who's getting the final three unclaimed playoff tickets, visit NFL Week 18 Gems.

NicksabanWHY 'WHAT IF' STILL HAUNTS MIAMI, 15 YEARS AFTER NICK SABAN LEFT THE DOLPHINS: He abruptly left Miami 15 years ago this week, quitting on the Dolphins after only two seasons. He lied about leaving, and South Florida hated him for that. Many among us still do. Some always will. But 15 years later we understand very well it wasn’t the lying we hated, after all. It was the leaving. It was all Nick Saban took from us that we have spent every day since trying, and failing, to recover. The relentless winning, the championships, the national stature — everything he created at Alabama could have belonged to the Dolphins and South Florida. Then-owner Wayne Huizenga was convinced of it when he hired Saban and convinced of it ‘til the day he died. When Saban packed for Tuscaloosa, he took what might have been with him. He took hope, and possibility.

TuatNO PLAYOFFS, NO FIRM IDEA ON TUA IS WORST POSSIBLE WAY FOR DOLPHINS TO END SEASON. NEW COLUMN: These have been the three longest playoff droughts in the once-proud history of the Miami Dolphins: Seven seasons, from 2009 to 2015. Six seasons, from 2002 to 2007. Now five seasons, from 2017 ... and counting. College-age Dolphins fans have grown up not knowing their team to be anything but almost always bad. Even worse — irrelevant. They hear their fathers and grandpas with misty eyes reference “The Perfect Season,” but the words are a near-foreign language. Yellowed pages in a scrapbook. They hear the words “Marino and “Shula” said, but these are vague, distant deities who hold no sway in the modern age. They are but strong-yet-powerless memories, reminders of a fallen empire. And the Lost Century slogs on. For our full column -- which inevitably gets around to Tua Tagovailoa, and whether he's the solution or not -- visit No Playoffs, No Firm Idea Yet On Tua Is Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season.

Our Dolphins-Titans column: Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans.

Our Orange Bowl column: Georgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next.

Most recent other columns: Revealing And Discussing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Also: Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 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 Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

NFL WEEK 16 RESULTS:

(*) OUR PICKS: SOLID OVERALL, EVEN A.T.S.: We went a solid 12-4 overall (again) in Week 17, and an even 8-8 against the spread. Finished strong with Steelers (+3) over Browns Monday night in our Upset of the Week. We've had a great year on featured upset picks: 11-6 outright and 12-4-1 ATS. 

Lobos(*) GREG'S LOBOS: YESSS! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!: Greg's Lobos are PFPI Fantasy champions for the first time in the league's 13-year history, with a 136-130 title game win over my eldest son, Chris' Crown Me The Champ team. It was a close call into Monday night, with me very lucky Nick Chubb didn't have a bigger role. I got 57 points (!) from JaMarr Chase to carry me, but narrowly avoided an embarrassment I never would have lived down -- or forgiven myself for. I started inactive Lamar Jackson, getting zero points from th QB position. And won anyway! Wow.

(*) HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS: BURROW WINS (AGAIN); BIG RACE FOR 2ND: Cincinnati's Joe Burrow wins Week 17, his second straight weekly title, and joins a tight five-man race for second place, with Tom Brady soaring to the season crown. Details and the latest Top 25: NFL Week 17 QB Rankings.

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ARCHIVES

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).

January 03, 2022

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (Happy New Year edition, updated): Fins-Titans (with column), 'Dawgs-Tide, Heat, Cats; plus NFL Week 17 picks, special new Greg Cote Show podcast out now! & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 3, 2022. Happy New Year! Hope you made it a safe one. 2) R.I.P., John Madden. A football legend in so many ways. Had a chance to interview him once many years ago and he could not have been more generous or giving of his time. Also, R.I.P. Betty White, at 99. 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): NFL Week 17 picks, Georgia wins OB to setup title game vs. 'Bama, My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot revealed, Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow BestofGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL NEW YEAR-END BEST-OF EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 1st episode of 2022 and 92nd 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. Find all 92 we've done so far HERE, free. In our new episode: It's GregFest: Our Best-Of Year-End Extravaganza (with new stuff, too). We relives out greatest hits from the past year: Interviews, Songs, Greg Doesn't Know Movies, Hard Knocks/Lobos -- the fun don't stop! Inlcuding a new Mount Gregmore of OUR favrite epsiodes. You won't want to miss it! 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 17 PICKS: DOLPHINS-TITANS, 2 BIG UPSETS, ALL THE REST: Our second-half heater resumed in Week 16 as went a big 12-4 overall and a solid 10-6 against the spread. Nailed Titans’ upset of Niners and Colts’ miniupset of Cards, and also had Lions-with-points covering at Atlanta. Had some bad luck related to the fact our picks are locked in on Thursdays. That has hurt us some related to Covid protocols and also injuries, such as Lamar Jackson still with a shot to play when we picked last week. Anyhow, no excuses. With two weeks to go our overall season total has risen and our number against the Evil Betting Line is now above what it was a year ago. Time to finish strong! This week we call two more outright upsets. For those, our Game of the Week, our pick for Dolphins-Titans and all the rest, visit NFL Week 17 Gems.

Our Dolphins column: Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins OUt Of Playoffs Chase With Loss at Titans.

Our Orange Bowl column: Georgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next.

Most recent other columns: Revealing And Discussing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Also: Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet?Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 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 Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 2-3): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Fins' 7-game win streak, playoff hopes end with a thud: Dolphins were small road underdogs but big losers Sunday afternoon at Tennessee in a 34-3 defeat that (coupled with Chargers' win) ended Miami's playoff hopes. To make matters worse, longtime former quarterback Ryan Tannehill outperformed Tua Tagovailoa.

2. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Georgia wins OB in rout, to meet Alabama for title: Georgia crushed Michigan 34-11 in the 88th Orange Bowl game in Miami, hours after Alabama routed upstart Cincinnati 27-6 in the Cotton 6, the two College Football Playoff semifinals producing a January 10 Bulldogs-Crimson Tide championship game in Indianapolis. Nick Saban vs. America? 

3. HEAT: Depleted Miami loses to end 5-game win streak; Chalmers back: Miami is 23-14 with Sunday's loss ending a five-game win streak. Heat, depleted by COVID and injuries, continue on seven-goal road trip. Team brought back old fan fave Mario Chalmers, 35, on a 10-day contract but he has yet to play.

4. PANTHERS: Hot Cats folloe COVID pause with third straight win: Florida is 21-7-4 and second in the NHL East with Saturday's 5-2 win over Montreal a third straight W following three straight losses and then a four-gmae COVID-related postponement. Florida is back on ice Tuesday vs. Calgary.

5. DEATHS: NFL icon John Madden, gone at 85: Madden died just days before the premiere of the documentary bearing his name. Similarly ill-timed, beloeved TV icon Betty White passed away at 99, missing her 100th birthday by just 17 days.  

6. HALLS OF FAME: Zach Thomas, 3 ex-Canes among 15 football HOF finalists: Perennial near-miss Zach Thomas, the popular former Dolphin, gives Canton another try as one of 15 2022 finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame. Joining him: Ex-Hurricanes Devin Hester, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne.

7. HURRICANES: Did UM narrowly avoid bowl forfeit?: Miami, after bowing out just days ahead of the Sun Bowl due to a COVID outbeak, might have been saddled with a forfeit loss had the Sun not found a last-minute replacement to play Washington State, Hot Button hears. UM, with new coach Mario Cristobal in place, has lost 10 of past 11 bowl games.

8. CANES BASKETBALL: UM men surging, women on pause: Canes men's basketball is 11-3 and an ACC-leading 3-0 in conference with seven straight wins. When will AP Top 25 voters start to notice? Men host Syracuse Wednesday then play at No. 2 Duke next Saturday. UM women are 7-3, with four straight games postponed by COVID including Sunday's at Virginia.

9. MLB: Lockout stalemate now msessing with start of spring training: MLB and its players union have not met for nearly a month now, since the lockout began. with no talks scheduled. Experts now say there's a strong chance the February spring training will be interrupted.

10. BOXING/UCF: Jake Paul vs. Dana White: Self-created boxer Jake Paul Paul tweeted to UFC chief Dana White he'd retire from boxing to fight Jorge Masvidal if White agreed. Three words for Jake Paul retiring from boxing: Happy New Year!

Missing the HB10 cut: Dolphins DB Jason McCourty is one of eight finalists for the NFL's 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast returns from a holiday week off with a special "GregFest: Year-End Best-Of Extravaganza" out Monday, January 3 ..... Update: Countdown now 1,639 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

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).

December 27, 2021

Latest ho-ho-Hot Button Top 10: Special Holiday Edition (updated): Dolphins-Saints tonight, No Sun for Canes, Georgia-Michigan, Heat's health, Cat's pause; plus Greg Cote Show podcast with humorist Dave Barry & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, DECEMBER 27. Hoping my fellow Christmas celebrants had a wonderful and prudently safe long holiday weekend! 2) Not on Le Batard Show this past week; was feeling a bit under the weather. Check out last Tuesday's (December 14) show podcasts for my new Dolphins Christmas song. 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): NFL Week 16 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast, Week 15 results for picks/Lobos/QB ranking.

Note to readers: I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation days throughout December so have been 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 DavebGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL 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 Mondays at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 91 we've done so far HERE, free. In our latest 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 influenced his humor. Also in the new episode: My Dolphins Christmas song, the Fins' 6th win in a row,The new ho-ho-Hot Button Top 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). We're taking the holiday week off -- no new episode out today/Monday -- so it's the perfect time to catch up on our latest episode or back catalog.

Our most recent columns: Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 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 Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude

PicksNFL WEEK 16 PICKS: DOLPHINS-SAINTS AND ALL THE REST -- AND A 3-0 START SO FAR!: Our hot streak cooled a bit last week at 10-6 overall and 7-9 against the spread, including an end to our remarkable six-game wining streak on outright Upset of the Week bull's-eyes. This week we call three more outright upsets, and nailed the first Thursday night to get our week off to a big start. We had @Titans (+3 1/2) beating 49ers, 23-20. And Titans won, 20-17. We're 3-0 overall though Saturdays games. For all of our latest picks including Dolphins-Jets, visit NFL Week 16 Gems.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (DECEMBER 26-27): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUTOur blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

This is a "half-off-for-the holidays" special edition of the Hot Buttom Top 10: 

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Surging Fins seek 7th straight win Monday night: Monday night stage finds Miami showing off a six-game winning streak in New Orleans, where two resilient 7-7 teams are fighting to stay in NFL playoff chase. Dolphins are slight road favorites because Saints may be down to third-string QB Ian Book in his pro debut because of Covid issues.

2. HURRICANES: Covid outbreak forces Sun Bowl withdrawal: Miami's Sun Bowl game vs. Washington State in El Paso this coming Friday was turned upside Sunday when the Canes withdrew due to a recent Covid outbreak, which previously had postponed the team's arrival until the day before the game. The Sun Bowl is now looking for a new playing partner for Washington State. 

3. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 4 days 'til Orange Bowl CFP semifinal!: Bowl season math: 16 games in (including Gators' loss to UCF on Wednesday), four games canceled (Hawaii Bowl) and 24 still to come -- including the ones that actually matter. College Football Playoff semifinals are this coming Friday with No. 4 Cincinnati vs. No. 1 Alabama in Cotton Bowl and then No. 3 Georgia vs. No.2 Michigan in Orange Bowl at Hard Rock. Crimson Tide (big) and Bulldogs are betting picks.

4. HEAT: Butler back as depleted Miami finding ways to win; Spoelstra honored: Miami is 21-13 after three wins in a row with Sunday's vs. Orlando despite the injury absences. Bam Adebayo is sidelined into January. Jimmy Butler returned Sunday, rusty, after missing 16 games including eight in a row and 12 of the previous 13. Now Kyle Lowry is in Covid protocols and out. Off the court, coach Erik Spoelstra was named an assistant coach for the 2022-24 USA men's national team.

5. PANTHERS: Cats, on pause, set to resume Wednesday; NHL out of Olympics: NHL has delayed 64games through Christmas break and is set to resume play Tuesday, with Florida (18-7-4 after three straight losses) and four games postponed set to return Wednesday night at vs. the N.Y. Rangers. Meantime, the NHL said it will not break for or participate in 2022 Winter Olympics hockey in Beijing, citing "the profound disruption to the NHL's regular-season schedule caused by Covid."

Missing the HB10 cut: Canes men's basketball is 9-3/1-0 ACC and close to garnering AP Top 25 interest. Guys are back in play Wednesday vs. N.C. State ..... UM women hoops is 7-3/0-0 ACCand off until January 2. Miami's ACC loss loss to Duke for Covid reasons, first ruled a forfeit, was later deemed a postponed game ..... Canada's men's national soccer team, in preparation for the final stage of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, has scheduled a friendly vs. Guatemala on January 22 at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Canada sits atop the CONCACAF table in looking to make its World Cup since 1987. They'll will face Honduras, the U.S. and El Salvador in the final round of qualifying ..... Love Bengals QB Joe Burrow explaining his team staying clear of Covid issues by crediting Cincinnati being dull and bereft of tempting nightlife ..... Unvaccinated Bills WR Cole Beasley blames "the rules" for being back on the Covid list and unavailable to his team, his selfishness and delusion a truly staggering thing to behold ..... Ex-Heaters Tim Hardaway and Shawn Marion are back another try at the Basketball Hall of Fame ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is off this coming week (no new episode Monday), a perfect time to catch up on your listening! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,646 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

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).

December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas! NFL Week 16 picks for Dolphins-Saints, all the rest; plus latest Greg Cote Show podcast with beloved humorist Dave Barry out now!; also, NFL Week 15 results for picks/Lobos/QB rankings & more

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

Mc1) It's SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25. Merry Christmas! 2) Not on Le Batard Show this week; feeling a bit under the weather. Check out last Tuesday's (December 14) show podcasts for my new Dolphins Christmas song. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins win 6th in a row, Hot Button Top 10, NFL Week 15 picks, new 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 MiamiHerald.com. 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).

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 Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude

PicksNFL WEEK 16 PICKS: DOLPHINS-SAINTS AND ALL THE REST -- AND A GOOD START THURSDAY!: Our hot streak cooled a bit last week at 10-6 overall and 7-9 against the spread, including an end to our remarkable six-game wining streak on outright Upset of the Week bull's-eyes. This week we call three more outright upsets, and nailed the first Thursday night to get our week off to a big start. We had @Titans (+3 1/2) beating 49ers, 23-20. And Titans won, 20-17. For all of our latest picks including Dolphins-Jets, visit NFL Week 16 Gems.

NFL WEEK 15 RESULTS:

(*) OUR PICKS: HOT STREAK COOLS WITH A BIT OF A SO-SO WEEK: Our recent hot streak cooled a bit in Week 15 as went an OK 10-6 overall but a rough 7-9 against the spread (including 0-4 ATS on the Monday and Tuesday doubleheaders). That included an end to our fabulous six-game winning streak on Upset of the Week bull's-eye when Pats failed to win at favored Colts. Bright side: Nailed one other outright (mini) upset with Steelers over Titans, and had a quartet of 'dogs-with-points in covers by Lions, Jets. Texans and Ravens.

(*) GREG'S LOBOS: OFF PLAYOFF BYE, 'BOS AWAIT SEMIFINAL MATCHUP: Lobod enjoyed a first-round playoff bye after a 9-5 seaeson record earned the No. 2 playoff. That was important, giving QB Lamar Jackson time to -- I hope -- get healthy. Our semifinal opponent in PFPI Fantasy, our 10-team friends 'n family league, is my nephew Joe, a tough draw. Though he finished 8-6, Joe's team outscored me by an average of 19 points a game this season and handily won our lone head-to-head meeting. I need you, Luck. You with me?

(*) HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS: CHIEFS' MAHOMES WINS WEEK, STAFFORD NARROWS BRADY LEAD: Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes wins Week 16 and the Rams' Matthew Stafford cuts into Tom Brady's season lead in the Miami Herald's updated rankings. Details and the latest Top 25: NFL Week 15 QB Rankings.

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ARCHIVES

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).

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

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

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 MiamiHerald.com. 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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ARCHIVES

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).

December 13, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now! Hear Dolphin Mack Hollins and I sing Sinatra's 'My Way'; plus Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Cristobal faculty fallout, Cats, Heat, Olympic boycott, college football. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where & more

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

Nez1) It's MONDAY, DECEMBER 13. R.I.P., Michael Nesmith. 2) Make me feel better. Tell me you haven't started your Christmas shopping yet. 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): Canes land grand prize in Cristobal, NFL Week 14 picks, Frank Gore on boxing, Week 13 NFL results for picks/Lobos/QB rankinsg, Greg Cote Show podcast.

Note to readers: I've burning a bunch of unused vacation days in 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 MackhGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: DOLPHIN MACK HOLLINS ON NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 48th episode of 2021 and landmark 90th overall is out now! New pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 90 we've done HERE, free. In our latest episode: Mack Daddy! Mack the Knife! Miami Dolphins receiver Mack Hollins joins us and delights with his splendid unusualness. Quick hints: Sings Sinatra. Owns an 11-foot boa. Owns no car. Fun dude. Also in the new episode: Important discussion about ear wax; Greg apologizes to a dearly departed Monkee; Friday afternoon driving songs; Goodbye Manny Diaz; an ominous Lobos update and more! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Most podcasts were off this past week for the holiday. NOT US!!! Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

NFL Week 14 picks: Still alive for our 6th straight (!) Upset of the Week bull's-eye: NFL Week 14 Gems.

Our 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 Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

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

HButton1. HURRICANES: Early faculty-blowback against Cristobal's mega-deal: Ink was barely dry on Mario Cristobal's new $80 million deal to be UM's new head coach -- not to mention Dan Radakovich's big new contract to be athletic director -- when faculty on campus began loudly complaining about the athletic spending in the context of cutbacks elsewhere. Worse, Cristobal has been in charge nearly a full week now and the Canes still have yet to win a single football game!

2. PANTHERS: Cats welcome back Barkov, stay atop East despite loss: Florida is 18-5-4, still atop the East and had won four of past five games before Sunday's loss at tough Colorado. And Aleksander Barkov is back from injury and on the ice. Despite the unexpected coaching-change turmoil, hopes for this season remain so high they should be illegal.

3. HEAT: Miami wins second straight despite missing stars: Miami has shed a 1-4 slump and is 16-11 after two straight wins, including Saturday's over Chicago depiste star Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler both missing with injuries. Adebayo underwent surgery on his right thumb is is not expected to return before mid-January.

4. OLYMPICS: U.S. to have diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games: President Biden said U.S. will not send a diplomatic delegation to Beijing Winter Games in two months to protest China's human rights violations such as abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang and crackdown in Hong Kong. The U.K., Australia nd Canada also will not end diplomats. U.S. athletes still will compete.

5. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FIU hires coach, Diaz lands on his feet: FIU hired former Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre as its sixth head football coach, replacing the let-go Butch Davis. Penn State hired deposed UM coach Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator, giving him a Power 5 landing spot. Also, Florida State promoted another ex-Canes coach, Randy Shannon, to the same role.

6. GOLF: Tiger Wood makes his comeback this week, sort of: Tiger Woods will compte ealongside son Charlie beginning next Saturday in the PNC Championship, just 10 months after his February car crash that left his right leg mangled and Woods doubting he'd ever play golf again. Low-stakes, fun event -- but great to see Tiger back nonethless.

7. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Oh my God, bowl season has begun!:  We are nine bowl games in and 35 yet to go in the 44-game glut called bowl sesaon, culminating with the CFP national championship game January 10 in Indianapolis. Only state FBS teams bowling are the Canes December 31 vs. Washingotn State in the Sun Bowl, and Florida-UCF Dec. 23 in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa. That's one of seven bowls within the state -- led by the December 31 Georgia-Michigan CFP national semifinal in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock.

8. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 'Bama QB Young wins Heisman Trophy: Alabama quarterback Bryce Youg  won the Heismna Trophy in a landslide Saturday, he Tide's sixth winner and second in a row. Lemme guess. It's kn his contract. Nick Saban get another raise.

9. DOLPHINS: Hot Fins carry 5-game win streak into bye: Some say the late bye week is needed for well-deserved rest. Others say it's ill-time and could derail Miami's momentum. Greg Cote says he's just happy for a damned weekend off.

10. SOCCER: New York City wins MLS Cup: New York City beat the Portland Timbers 4-2 in penalties after a 1-1 match Saturday to win its fiurst Major League Soccer championship in Portland, denying home fans a repeat fo their 2015 title. NYC coach Ronny Deila kept a promise by (please, God, no) stripping down to his underwear doing pushups on the field.

Missing the HB10 cut: Gymnast Simone Biles is Time's 2021 Athlete of the Year, for "rasing the volume" on mental health awareness. Good choice ..... U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe was left unprotected and is available to be taken in this week's NWSL expansion draft on Thursday ..... Six days until the Jake Paul fight in Tampa that includes the pro boxing debut of former Canes and NFL star Frank Gore on the undercard ..... Reigning women's basketball Player of the Year Paige Bueckers of UConn may be out longer than expected as she considers surgery on her injured left knee ..... Strong starts for Canes basketball. Men are 7-3, 1-0 in ACC. Women are 6-3, with ACC opener December 19 vs. No. 19 Duke ..... Jeff Bezos‘ rocket company, Blue Origin, launched another private flight, this one including former NFL star Michael Strahan aboard ..... MLB lockout continues, and nobody will give a flying crap until the start of the regular season is threatened ..... NBA trade window opens on Wednesday ..... Hey, Urban Meyer. Missin' the college campus yet? ..... R.I.P., Al Unser Sr., four-time Indy 500 winner, gone at 82, and former Broncos star Demaryius Thomas, unexpectedly at 33 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,660 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

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 / Miracles Happen: Huge Defense, Tua Off Bench Help Fins Stun Baltimore / Oh Brother! Heat-Nuggets' Family Feud Spices Season / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Buffalo's Late Classlessness Aside, Miami Out Of Answers In 7th Straight Loss / U-Turn: UM Season, Diaz Future Looking Up With 2nd Straight Big Win / 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 / Loss In Tampa Has Dolphins Season In Free Fall As Embarrassments Pile Up / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / With Ghosts Of Glory Days Watching, Dolphins Showed Inept Effort in Third Straight Loss / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

December 06, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Canes land Cristobal, Fins beat Giants for 5th straight, CFP final four set. See who's No.1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote show podcast drops Monday & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, DECEMBER 6. 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 13 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast, NFL Week 12 results for picks/Lobos/QB rank & more.

Note to readers: I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation days in December so will have fewer columns out over the next few weeks. But will still be producing regular non-column staples such as the weekly NFL picks, the podcast and this blog.

Coteshow QuirksGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW AND IT'S A QUIRK FEST!: Our 47th episode of 2021 and 89th overall is out now! New pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 89 we've done HERE, free. In our latest episode: Quirk Fest! Listeners called into our show hotline to admit their strangest quirks, and we play the best. And Greg, Chris and Yeti's wives reveal their husbands' weirdest habits. Also, Greg on the Canes/Mario Cristobal drama, surging Dolphins and damned Nick Saban. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Most podcasts were off this past week for the holiday. NOT US!!! Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

Tua, Fins surge to 5th straight win. Newest column: Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon.

Out most recent other columns: Fins, Tua Win Again. And If 5-7 Can Be Impressive -- This is / At 7-5, Here Is Manny Diaz's Slim Path To Survival / and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

OUR NFL WEEK 13 PICKS: DOLPHINS-GIANTS, 3 UPSETS, ALL THE REST: In a tough season overall I've been on a bit of a heater lately, including a four-game win streak on Upset of the Week picks. Will it continue? Time for our NFL Week 13 picks for Dolphins-Giants, our Patriots-Bills Game of the Week, our Upset of the Week -- three upsets in all -- and all of the rest. Got off to an uneven start Thursday. Correctly had Dallas winninig, but erred in thinking Saints would cover plus-4 1/2. For all of our latest picks, visit NFL Week 13 Gems.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (DECEMBER 5-6): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

HButton1. HURRICANES: UM swings for fence, land Oregon's Cristobal: Miami was hotly pursuing Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich and Oregon football coach Mario Cristobal to fill those openings with the Canes -- and reportedly optimistic and very close to landing both. Radakovich worked at UM early in his career and Cristobal played for the Canes. Monday, Cristobal signed with The U. In lesser news, UM is headed to the Sun Bowl vs. Washington State after a 7-5 season under lame-duck Manny Diaz. And QB Tyler Van Dyke was named ACC rookie of the year.

2. DOLPHINS: Fins, hot Tua bag 5th straight win in defeat of Giants: Was I alone in being a bit nervous about this one? Miami's defense and Tua Tagovailoa had been pretty great in four straight wins. (Letdown due?) NYG has won three of past five with big uptick on defense. Well Miami did it again, with a 20-9 home win for a fifth in a row. [My column from game linked above].

3. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Alabama crushes No.1 Georgia to top Championship Saturday: The College Football Playoff's top four pairings are 1-Alabama vs. 4-Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl and 2-Michigan vs. 3-Georgia in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 31, the winners meeting January 10 in the national championship game in Indianapolis. 

4. HEAT: Bam injury, NBA penalty, losing = Tough week for Miami: Bam Adebayo could be sidelined at least a month by a thumb injury incurred the same week the NBA penalized Miami a future second-round pick (a slap on the wrist) for tampering related to the Kyle Lowry signing. "While we disagree, we accept the League's decision," said a Heat statement. Meantime Miami is 14-10 after five losses in past eight games entreing a Monday visit by Memphis.

5. PANTHERS: Cats stay hot sans injured d Barkov: Florida is 17-4-3, on a three-game win streak and still atop the NHL East after Saturday's 4-3 home shootout win over St. Louis. Meanwhile star Aleksander Barkov is week-to-week with a knee injury but will not require surgery.

6. MLB: Baseball imposes first player lockout in 27 years: MLB’s collective bargaining agreement with players expired at midnight Wednesday, With no extension in place, MLB instituted the ninth work stoppage in its history and the first since the 1994-95 players strike that caused cancellation of the World Series. The lockout also meant an immediate halt to free agency and all player movement.

7. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Major coaching moves rock landscape: Brian Kelly from Notre Dame to LSU and Lincoln Riley from Okalhoma to Southern Cal lee a wave of major coaching changes in college footoabll, incluind the Florida Gators moving from Dan Mullen to Billy Napier. Will Miami landing Oregon's Mario Cristobal be next?

8. MARLINS: Fish busy with medium deals, but no whale yet: Before the klockout froze free agency Miami was active with the acquisition of 3B Joey Wendle, catcher Jacob Stallings and OF Avisail Garcia. No big-splash whale like Nick Castellanos yet, though. Deals has lowered Miami's Wordl Series aodds from 80-to-1 to 66-1, still fourth in the NL East.

9. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men top Clemson in ACC opener: UM men are 6-3 after consecutive nice wins at Penn State in the BigTen/ACC Challenge and then Saturday at home in the ACC opener over Clemson, 80-75. Miami's women are 5-3, after three straight losses (two to highly ranked Indiana and Maryland) were ended by a Sunday home win over Tualne.

10. SOCCER: It's Portland-New York City in MLS Cup: Portland beat Salt Lake 2-nil Saturday in the West semifinal to reach next Saturday's MLS Cup championship match vs. New York City, which Sunday beat Philadelphia 2-1 in the East semifinal. NYC stunned New England, which dominated the MLS regualar season. 

Missing the HB10 cut: Pro Football Hall of Fame's 25 semifinalists for 2022 induction include former Dolphin Zach Thomas back for another try, and ex-Canes Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson and Devin Hester ..... Former Canes and NFL running back Frank Gore makes his pro boxing debut December 18 in Tampa on the undercard of the Jake Paul-Tommy Fury bout ..... The WTA suspended all tournaments in China over concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a doubles champion who accused a former Chinese government official of sexual assault ..... Tiger Woods spoke and revealed he's at peace, post-accident, with never being as good as he once was. Hmm. Is that, like, a big revelation? ..... And LeBron James' nightmare season chugs on ..... NBA trade window opens December 15 ..... Former Canes LB Dan Morgan (1997-2000) is one of 13 2021 inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,667 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsHurricanes, Too Beholden to Past and UM Family, Need to Go Outside for new AD Hire / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Miracles Happen: Huge Defense, Tua Off Bench Help Fins Stun Baltimore / Oh Brother! Heat-Nuggets' Family Feud Spices Season / Fins End 7-Game Skid -- But Only Because Texans Were Even Worse / Is Manny Diaz Saving Himself? Coach, Comeback Canes Win 3rd Straight / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Buffalo's Late Classlessness Aside, Miami Out Of Answers In 7th Straight Loss / U-Turn: UM Season, Diaz Future Looking Up With 2nd Straight Big Win / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / Dolphins Sabotaging Tua Season Over Misguided Infatuation With Watson / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Loss In Tampa Has Dolphins Season In Free Fall As Embarrassments Pile Up / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / With Ghosts Of Glory Days Watching, Dolphins Showed Inept Effort in Third Straight Loss / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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