August 05, 2021

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

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

1) It's THURSDAY, AUGUST 5. I was back on the Le Batard Show this week with a new Back In My Day. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts. 2) Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

August 02, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now! Jimmy Johnson joins us as he prepares for his Hall enshrinement; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Simone, Xavien, U.S.-Mexico, Marlins, NBA free agency & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 2. Welcome, August! May I call you Augie? 2) I was back in-studio this past Tuesday with the Le Batard Show. Check out that day's podcasts for lots of me including a new Back In My Day. 3Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now on TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Xavien Howard is right in Dolphins dispute, Simone Biles deserves empathy not scorn, top 10 NFL training camp storylines, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 1-2): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. OLYMPICS: USWNT beaten, Biles to return for beam final as Tokyo Games reach midpoint: Midway through the Tokyo Olympics the story of the Summer Games has been U.S. gymnastics star Simone Biles' withdrawal from most events for mental-health reasons, although she says she will compete in the balance beam final. Meantime Team USA men's basketball remains alive but U.S. women's soccer was beaten 1-0 by Canada and is relegated to the bronze medal game. As we update this Monday morning ET the U.S. leads the overall medal count by one with 62 but trails China by seven in golds with 21.

2. DOLPHINS : Star Xavien Howard requests trade but challenges Fins: The Fins' star cornerback -- NFL leader with 10 interceptions last year -- reported for start of training camp to avoid daily $50,000 fines but requested a trade as team continued to refuse to rework his contract. Howard on Saturday challenged the Fins to do just that and keep him. He is miffed to not even be the highest-paid CB on his own team (Byron Jones is) and has a right to feel disrespected. Fins need to fix this mess. First preseason game is August 14.

3. SOCCER: U.S. beats Mexico in Gold Cup final: A Miles Robinson header in extra time lifted the U.S. to a 1-0 triumph over arch-rival Mexico Sunday night in the championship match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in Las Vegas. The U.S. (beating Qatar 1-0) and Mexico (ousting Canada 2-1) won semifinal matches to advance to the final.

4. MARLINS: Fish deal Marte and Duvall, swept by Yankees: NL East-trailing Miami gave up on the season by trading away its top hitter Starling Marte (.306) and its top slugger Adam Duvall (22 homers) ahead of the MLB deal deadline. From the A's for Marte the Fish get coveted young pitcher Jesus Lazardo in a justifiable deal for both sides. From the Braves for Duvall Miami gets young catching prospect Alex Jackson. Fish are 44-61, 5-10 since All-Star break and on a four-game skid after being swept by Yanks ... and with manager Don Mattingly away from the team in COVID quarantine. Seven-game homestand continues vs. Mets.

5. NBA: Westbrook-to-Lakers as trades overshadow draft: A flurry of trades surrounded the NBA Draft, most notably the Lakers getting former MVP Russell Westbrook and two future second-round picks from Washington for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a first round pick (22nd overall) this year. Also notable: Celtics get Al Horford from OKC for Kemba Walker. In the draft, as expected Detroit drafted Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham No. 1 overall. Next: Free agency.

6. HEAT: No draft picks, but free agency and summer league ahead: Miami had zero picks in last week's NBA Draft and now turns attention to signing undrafted prospects to help fill its Summer League roster. Heat's summer team is to play two games in California Tuesday and Wednesday before beginning play in the full Las Vegas Summer League. Dwarfing the summer team, of course: Free agency. It begins today/Monday, but Miami already exercised its option to keep Goran Dragic. Heat is expected to have around $24 million in cap space to go shopping. Bradley Beal? Kyle Lowry? Damian Lillard? Ben Simmons? Wheee!

7. INTER MIAMI: Higuain stars, Miami (finally) end long winless streak: Gonzalo Higuain scored both goals to help Inter Miami beat visiting Montreal 2-1 Saturday and end a seven-game winless streak. The Herons, now 3-3-8, had lost six in a row before drawing 1-1 with Philadelphia in the previous match. Heat remains on first-year coach Phil Neville to see his team get on a run and somehow scramble into playoff contention. Or at least respectability. Miami visits Orlando Wednesday.

8. NFL: Rodgers, Packers end the drama. Sort of...: Disgruntled star QB Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay agreed to a deal that will keep him a Packer two more seasons, Or, more likely, this coming season, followed by more drama. Had to happen. Rodgers wasn't going to sit out the season. And Packers knew Jordan Love wasn't ready. 

9. MLB: Major stars on the move ahead of trade deadline: Veteran ace Max Scherzer from Nationals to Dodgers. Cubs send popular Anthony Rizzo to Yankees and Kris Bryant to Giants. Yanks get Joey Gallo from Rangers. Red Sox get slugger Kyle Schwarber from Nats. Those were some of the biggest of a flurry of deals as teams passed he 100-game mark and buyers stocked up for the season's stretch run.

10. PANTHERS: Cats quiet in NHL free agency thus far: NHL clubs spent a combined $576.7 million on the first day of free agency, but Florida has been quiet thus far with one minor signing: Goaltender Christopher Gibson to a one-year deal. But the Cats made two notable re-signings, locking up defenseman Brandon Montour and center Sam Bennett with long-term extensions.

Missing the HB10 cut: The Texas and Oklahoma college football secession from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference became official with the SEC's formal invitation and the two school's acceptance. Why isn't this way high in the HB Top 10? Because the change won't take effect until the 2026 season ..... The preseason honors -- and with them high expectations -- keep piling up for Hurricanes quarterback D'Eriq King. It was announced he is among 35 players selected to the watch list for the 2021 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. King previously made the watch lists for the Maxwell Award (college player of year) and Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s top QB) ..... Trucks. Big trucks! BIG TRUCKS WITH GIANT TIRES!! Monster Jam (inexplicably still a thing) returns to Sunrise and the Panthers arena next weekend August 7-8 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,793 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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

July 31, 2021

Xavien Howard right, Dolphins wrong in standoff. New column; plus Biles' Olympic withdrawal over mental health merits empathy, not scorn; also. Top 10 NFL storylines entering camp, new Greg Cote Show podcast with 'Ted Lasso' creator Bill Lawrence & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 31. Farewell, July. See you next year. 2) I was back in-studio Tuesday with the Le Batard Show. Check out that day's podcasts for lots of me including a new Back In My Day. 3) Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now on TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

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

XavienXAVIEN HOWARD IS RIGHT TO FEEL DISREPECTED, AND DOLPHINS NEED TO FIX THIS MESS: Many questions in sports might be argued because they are not always easy to answer. Who to draft? When to make a coaching change? Is he a Hall of Famer? What free agent to pursue? How good will Tua Tagovailoa turn out to be? Then there are other questions that should not be questions at all because they are not debatable. Such as: What should the Miami Dolphins do about the mess they have made with star cornerback Xavien Howard? Well, duh. PAY THE MAN! Player empowerment is sweeping sports. Now NFL players are seeing what started in the NBA, with influential stars exercising their leverage to get out of contracts, to get more money, to get to a new team. Howard, the player coaches and teammates call “X,” wants his share. No, demands his share. He deserves that, and his employer should see that. Instead Dolphins management, which has done a lot right the past couple of years, has fumbled this one. For our full latest column, visit Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess.
 
BilesNOT EVEN ON GOLD MEDAL STAND HAS SIMONE BILES EVER STOOD TALLER THAN NOW: The most stunning disappointment of the Tokyo Olympics is Simone Biles. Yet not even on a gold medal stand has she ever stood taller, or been a better role model. There is bravery in admitting anxiety, inner turmoil, the things no one else can see. There is bravery in admitting human frailty when the rest of the world looks at you and expects only strength, perfect landings, perfect endings. When the very ethos of sports has always been to run through proverbial brick walls, play with pain, tough it out. How long overdue is the dawning new reality: That athletes are not bulletproof. That they hurt like the rest of us beyond the injuries and physical pain that make the headlines. That there is nothing wrong and everything right about someone prioritizing their mental well-being, whether that someone works slinging fries or going for gold. For every young girl Biles has inspired to pursue Olympic greatness, there are an equal number or more who will now take heart that they have a new champion in their own struggles with mental health. For our full recent column, visit Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn.
 
RodgerswatsonTOP 10 NFL STORYLINES AS TRAINING CAMPS OPEN! (WHERE'S TUA?): Not counting the perpetual question of whether Tom Brady will ever start acting his age, here are our top 10 intriguing NFL story lines as the season unfurls this week with the opening of training camps: 1. Aaron Rodgers: This has been ncharted turmoil: The NFL’s reigning MVP might sit out the season, might abruptly retire to host “Jeopardy!,” might get his wish and be traded in a blockbuster deal, or might even reluctantly agree to player one more season in Green Bay. It began to seem like the latter, with NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reporting Monday afternoon: “Rodgers has indicated to people close to him that he does plan to play for the Packers this season,” but then softening that a bit with, “That is the expectation.” After boycotting the Packers’ mandatory June minicamp for the first time, it appeared the impasse would continue into training camp and the team’s first scheduled practice Wednesday. Rodgers had wanted out ever since Green Bay traded up to draft his replacement (Jordan Love) in 2020 without the courtesy of telling him — among other perceived slights and disrespect. The club’s olive branch was to make him the highest-paid player in the game. He turned it down, at least initially. (Rodgers and the No. 2 on our list are pictured). To read our full recent column with the rest of our top 10 storylines -- two directly involve the Dolphins -- visit Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?).
 

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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

July 26, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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

July 24, 2021

Where Dolphins rank among teams with longest title droughts. New column; plus Ross unveils new $135 million training site as another reason team must win now; also, Athletes who refuse vaccine are me-first, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 24. Double duty! Was back in-studio n the Le Batard Show yesterday.  Check out Tuesday's and Thursday's show podcasts for way too much of me. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast now on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 28th episode of 2021 and hallmark 70th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 70 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our new episode: The big reveal on our show decal giveaway, golf with Tony and Roy, Messi mania in Miami, the COVID Olympics, a Legoland lifeguard and more. (Oh, and apologies in advance for the unseemly topic that opens the show). Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

WHAT!? The Greg Cote Show podcast is now on TikTok!?! Follow us HERE.

MedecalWant a free Greg Cote Show decal?: Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

Greg Cote

c/o Le Batard Show

The Clevelander

1020 Ocean Drive

Miami Beach, FL 33139

"It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down....I’ve done all I know how to do." -- Alabama GOP Governor Kay Ivey.

BucksGIANNIS' BUCKS WON, NOW SEE WHERE DOLPHINS RANK AMONG TEAMS WAITING LONGEST FOR TITLE: Sports, the original and greatest reality TV, keeps gifting us stories you wouldd hardly dare to dream in a script. The latest: Giannis Antetokounmpo — the Greek Freak, Athens-born of Nigerian immigrant parents — scores 50 points Tuesday night to deliver to Milwaukee fans an NBA championship for the Bucks. It is one of the most epic individual performances in sports history by a young man maligned for having fallen short on basketball’s biggest stage the previous two postseasons. Afterward an exhausted Antetokounmpo collapses onto a metal chair and covers his head with a towel, hiding tears of joy amid the sonic din of a celebrating home crowd. The hero’s family surname translates in English to “the crown has returned from overseas.” That happened. So did this. The Bucks on Tuesday ended a 50-year championship drought, since winning their only other franchise title in 1971. That team was led by Lew Alcindor, who would legally change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a few months later. With the long burden finally lifted from Milwaukee, it got us wondering about the other longest championship droughts among the “Big Four” American sports leagues. What cities’ fans are longest suffering? And where do Miami Dolphins fans rank on this Misery Meter as the club prepares to open training camp next week trying to end its own championship entering its 48th year since last winning a Super Bowl in the 1973 season? For our full latest column, please visit Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts.

SrossDOLPHINS' ROSS TURNS UP WIN-NOW HEAT AS HE UNVEILS NEW $135 MILLION TRAINING FACILITY: Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross unveiled his new $135 million enhancement of the franchise Tuesday and, in looking out across the throng of invited guests, spotted and mentioned general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores. What Ross said then was meant to be lighthearted, was delivered as such, and even drew a chuckle from the crowd. But the words also had an edge. A point. It was a truth-in-humor moment. “Now the pressure is on them,” said Ross the boss. “If you can’t win with a facility like this, you’re never gonna win!” And so it is. The Dolphins now have one more reason to win, and one less excuse if they don’t, as players report next Tuesday for training camp to usher in the club’s 56th season. For our full recent column, visit Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now.

Mirvin'TEAM FIRST'? IT'S ME-FIRST FOR ANY SELFISH ATHLETE WHO REFUSES COVID VACCINEThe 2021 NFL season tangibly begins next week as training camps unfurl, and King Sport is approaching its new year with all the grace of an overweight offensive lineman huffing and heaving uphill. COVID is spiking again with the Delta variant (in case you haven’t been following current events), and yet the NFL mirrors the reluctance of America, especially of young, athlete-aged Americans, to get vaccinated against the pandemic. It seems more than 608,000 U.S. deaths in the past year-plus have not been enough to convince the anti-science crowd. Pictured: Michael Irvin, who blasted the Dallas Cowboys for having selfish anti-vax players. For our full recent column: It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine.

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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

July 19, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10: COVID Olympics, surging Bucks and Morikawa jockey for top spot. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JULY 19. I'll be back in my regular Tuesday slot this week (tomorrow) on the Le Batard Show. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast now on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Seat rankings for Miami coaches, Should Heat gamble on Ben Simmons?, Exhibition losses wakeup call for Team USA, Tokyo Olympics should be delayed yet again, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 28th episode of 2021 and hallmark 70th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 70 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our new episode: The big reveal on our show decal giveaway, golf with Tony and Roy, Messi mania in Miami, the COVID Olympics, a Legoland lifeguard and more. (Oh, and apologies in advance for the unseemly topic that opens the show). Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 18-19: WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

Our thoughts and sympathy continue with the victims and families affected by the Surfside condominium collapse that has now left at least 97 confirmed dead and more still unaccounted for. 

HButton1. OLYMPICS: COVID-shadowed Tokyo Games start this week: Ready or not, smart or not, the delayed-from-2020 Summer Olympics begin this coming Friday in COVID-spiking Tokyo, and run through August 8. Two athletes there already have tested positive. United States is betting favorite to win most gold medals, followed by China and host Japan. First must-see day is next Sunday, when Team USA men's basketball (vs. France), swimming star Katie Ledecky and gymnastics G.O.A.T. Simone Biles all debut.

2. NBA: Surging Bucks up 3-2 in NBA Finals: The Phoenix Suns' 2-0 series lead is a distant memory now, after Giannis and Milwaukee on Saturday night won a third straight NBA Finals game. The Bucks can clinch their first league title since 1971 on Tuesday in Game 6 at home.

3. GOLF: Morikawa wins British Open: The fourth of the golf majors -- on the calendar and frankly in general interest stateside -- wrapped up Sunday with 24-year-old Los Angeles-born Collin Morikawa winning by two shots over Jordan Spieth. Morikawa also won the 2020 PGA Championship in his first attempt, as he did today in The Open in northern England.

4. MARLINS: Fish stumbling to begin second-half: Following the All-Star break and MLB Draft, the NL East-trailing Marlins took on a seven-game division road trip looking for a spark to begin the season's second half. Instead Miami dropped three of four in Philly and is 40-53 and mired in the NL East cellar. Fish try again with three at Washington starting tonight.

5. DOLPHINS : Fins set training camp schedule: Miami's King Team announced it would hold 14 open-to-fans practices at its new training facility during this year's training camp, which starts July 31. After training at Nova Southeastern University since 1993, the Fins this year move to a new 227,000-square-foot facility next to Hard Rock Stadium. Training camp segues to the preseason opener August 14 at Chicago.

6. SOCCER: U.S. beats Canada, advances in Gold Cup: The U.S. men beat Canada 1-0 Sunday night in Kansas City to end 3-0 and +7 on goals in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group play. Americans easily qualified for the knockout phase starting next Saturday. Tournament crowns the top team in the North and Central America and Caribbean region.

7. COLLECTIBLES: Heat, Panthers enter the NFT game: The Miami Heat and Florida Panthers have begun offering non-fungible token (NFT) digital collectibles. Heat is offering unique digital memorabilia via auction and sale celebrating the 15th anniversary of the 2006 championship, the club's first. Panthers have partnered with digital collectibles developer Fanaply to host, sell, trade and distribute Panthers NFT collections.

8. INTER MIAMI: Game postponed; Herons back in play Wednesday: Inter Miami, 2-2-7 and looking to snap a five-game losing streak, saw its game at the New York Red Bulls postponed by severe weather and lightning Saturday night. The Herons are back at it Wednesday night with a visit by New England Revolution. 

9. PANTHERS: Cats drop Yandle, prepare for NHL Draft: Florida released longtime defenseman Keith Yandle after buying out the last two years of his contract, and re-signed forward Anthony Duclair and defenseman Gustav Forsling. Cats will lose one unprotected player to the Seattle Kraken in Wednesday's NHL expansion draft (likely goaltender Chris Driedger, according to reports). The main NHL Draft is this coming Friday and Saturday. Florida picks 24th in the first round, the club's lowest top selection since 2008.

10. MLB: AL, Ohtani, Alonso win All-Star break: Angels' two-way star Shohei Ohtani was winning pitcher as AL won its eighth straight All-Star Game, beating NL 5-2. Blue Jay Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered and was game MVP. In the co-headlining event the Mets' Pete Alonso won his second straight Home Run Derby.

Missing the HB10 cut: Heat's 2021-22 preseason schedule will include home games Oct. 4 (Atlanta), Oct. 11 (Charlotte) and Oct. 15 (Boston), the team announced ..... A shooting outside Nationals Park that wounded three on Saturday postponed the Padres game ..... Ted Ginn Jr. and his family have announced their retirement from the NFL ..... For Sale (but not cheap): A slightly damaged Ben Simmons ..... Team WNBA beat Team USA 93-85 in the WNBA All-Star Game. Interesting format for an Olympic year ..... The Stanley Cup trophy got dented during Tampa Bay's boat parade. Gotta be a way to blame Tom Brady, no? ..... NBA Draft is July 29 but it's who-cares in Miami, with no Heat picks and no Canes likely to be taken ..... R.I.P., Biz Markie ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,807 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

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

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

July 17, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast: A rollicking Tahoe Special!; plus Hot Seat scale for 10 biggest Miami coaches; also, Should Heat try to fix Ben Simmons?, Exhibition losses were Team USA's wakeup call, Tokyo Olympics should be delayed yet again & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 17. I was back in-studio on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Thursday. Check out  that day's show podcasts for way too much of me. Will be back in my regular Tuesday slot next week. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast now on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 'TAHOE SPECIAL' EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 27th episode of 2021 and 69th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 69 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode Greg and Chris (and Chris Wittyngham, and Mardy Fish, and the lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire, and a pinch of Stugotz) come to you from Lake Tahoe with a rollicking review of their golf and casino trip. Fun! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

NevilleHOT SEAT SCALE: RANKING 10 BIGGEST COACHES IN SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS BY MOST TO LEAST JOB SECURITY: Like a wine paired to a certain meal, we can recommend a musical accompaniment to what you are about to read. It is the 1980s song, “Under Pressure,” by Queen and David Bowie. Pressure, pushing down on me, pressing down on you ... We identified the 10 most prominent teams in the Greater Miami/South Florida sports market (no offense, FIU hoops, Miami FC soccer and others who just missed) and then came up with a Hot Seat scale to rank which of the teams’ head coaches (or manager) are under the most pressure in terms of job security. The scale is 0 to 10 — 0 meaning the coach’s job presently could not be safer, 10 meaning the firing line is in view and the blindfold and cigarette are being offered. Our summer of ‘21 Hot Seat rankings include (alphabetically) FIU football's Butch Davis, UM football's Manny Diaz, Dolphins' Brian Flores, UM men's basketball's Jim Larranaga, Marlins' Don Mattingly, UM women's basketball's Katie Meier, Inter Miami's Phil Neville (pictured), Panthers' Joel Quenneville, Heat's Erik Spoelstra and FAU football's Willie Taggart. For our full latest column, visit Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security.
BensimmonsPERIL VS. POSSIBILITY: SHOULD MIAMI AND HEAT 'CULTURE' RISK TRYING TO FIX BEN SIMMONS?: This is a delicious dilemma for the Miami Heat, one fraught with peril and possibility. Ben Simmons. The Heat should avoid him like the proverbial plague. The Heat should inquire aggressively about his reported availability. The case for either polar direction is pretty strong. I know, I know. Here we go again, right? A prominent NBA player is out there dangling, either in free agency or via trade, and Miami always seems to get sucked into the conversation. There is hardly a rumor whispered that doesn’t somehow involve the Heat. It is because Pat Riley is a deal-maker loathe to stand pat. He is forever after the next big asset, the next whale making the next splash. Relevance. Another title shot. Part of it is also because half the fun of the NBA is what’s happening off the court. To most fans, the July 28 draft and the free agency/trade season that follows is more interesting than the Suns-Bucks NBA Finals going on. In Simmons’ case, Miami is a natural link because of the club’s culture-driven reputation as a place where broken players are repaired. Come to Miami, and be healed by the Heat Way! Former NBA player Brian Scalabrine of NBC Sports Boston, as an example, recently said, of Simmons, “The Miami Heat could fix him. Erik Spoelstra as a coach could fix Ben Simmons.” The question is, "Should they try?" The positives and negatives on Simmons both are huge. For our full recent column, visit Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? 
REDEEM TEAM: EXHIBITION LOSSES JUST THE FUEL TEAM USA NEEDS HEADING TO TOKYO: Concern. Worry. Panic? Isn’t it great? Ain’t it fun! There was plenty we expected from Team USA men’s basketball in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, but drama and adversity — and losing and being mocked on social media — were not among those things. Ten days from the start of TeamusaOlympics hoops, America’s Dream Team suddenly is cast as the Redeem Team, needing to reestablish itself as the (literal) gold standard against unexpected doubts. Exhibition losses first to Nigeria (a 28-point underdog) and then Monday night to Australia (a 17-point ‘dog) have superstar-laden Team USA, full of NBA max contracts, on its heels. And the losses have superstar coach Gregg Popovich in the unaccustomed position of looking for silver linings in defeat. “I thought we got better tonight,” he said after the loss to Australia in Las Vegas. Speaking of Vegas, the Americans remain betting favorites to win a fourth consecutive Olympic gold despite the rocky preamble, ahead of national teams like Spain and the Aussies. To most gamblers it’s still a safe bet that Popovich is going to figure it out — heck, that you or I could stand courtside and win gold with a roster that includes Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Jayson Tatum (and the Heat’s Bam Adabeyo, too, of course). Team USA’s talent and pedigree are why the consecutive exhibition losses have been, well, shocking. Consider: This is Durant’s fourth Olympic team and before this 0-2 stumble his teams had been 39-0 in the three previous Olympic seasons (including exhibitions). Team USA had been 54-2 overall since NBA players were first allowed to compete in the Olympics in 1992. That gold-gilded track record has fomented an almost jingoistic attitude surrounding Team USA, an assumption of dominance. Losses to Nigeria and Australia are reminders that things have changed, which is a good thing for Olympic basketball. For our full recent column, visit Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics

TokyoTOKYO OLYMPICS SHOULD BE DELAYED AGAIN, BUT IT'S TOO LATE. WHY? MONEY!: Sports amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a strange thing to experience over the past 16 months. Games postponed, seasons shortened, events canceled or delayed. No spectators to cardboard-cutout or digital fans to limited attendance and mask mandates. A whole new connotation to the word “bubble.” The importance of sports, the role of it in our lives, has been subject to reexamination. The notion of people playing games has seemed somewhat meaningless in the context of a global coronavirus pandemic whose death toll has now topped 4 million worldwide including some 606,000 Americans. Yet, at the same time, sports — the resumption of them, the continuation of them — have felt vitally importance as a symbol of normalcy, a signpost we’re on the road to that, at least. Games and the comforting routine of seasons as a life preserver of sorts. All of which brings us to the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The Games will begin July 23, ready or not — and whether they should or not. Sports’ place in a pandemic and the question, “Sports at what cost?” are open for fresh debate as the Olympics go on despite Tokyo just declaring a state of emergency due to a surge in COVID cases fueled by the Delta variant. For our full recent column, visit Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again, But It's Too Late. Why? Money.  

Other most recent columns: May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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ARCHIVES

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

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

July 03, 2021

'I'm D'Eriq King for College Hunks Hauling Junk!' New column; plus NBA getting what it deserves with asterisk playoffs, Panthers to host 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend, Sports should tell Cole Beasley he's wrong, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 3. Farewell, June and welcome July! 2) No me on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past weel; still under the weather. 3) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW: SURFSIDE STORIES, IZZY ON NASSIB: Our 25th episode of 2021 and 67th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 67 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our latest episode Greg and veteran TV reporter Ari Odzer of WTVJ-NBC6 discuss the Surfside tragedy, and Ari shares stories from victims' families. And ESPN's Izzy Gutierrez stops by the pod to discuss the significance of the Raiders' Carl Nassib becoming the NFL's first openly gay active player. Iz also talks NBA playoffs, and scoffs at a Ben Smmons-to-Miami rumor that Chris tries to float. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Dking'I'M D'ERIQ KING FOR COLLEGE HUNKS HAULING JUNK!' IT'S A STRANGE NEW WORLD IN COLLEGE SPORTS: All of that ... for this!? Must admit that was our gut reaction on Thursday when quarterback D’Eriq King made history of sorts by being the first Miami Hurricanes athlete to take advantage of new NCAA laws that allow college players to make money off their name, image and likeness. The NCAA had resisted the progressive NIL law for years but finally gave in after several states including Florida enacted or threatened their own legislation. After such a long fight and buildup one imagined what the first deal struck by an athlete might be. Not that we were envisioning a multimillion dollar deal with Gatorade or Nike for King, but somehow neither were we imagining local deals with a pair of Tampa-based businesses: the moving company College Hunks Hauling Junk, and Murphy Auto Group. So will King soon be cocking his arm to pass on the side of a moving van? Or in a TV ad hawking used Buicks? (ESPN reported UM safety Bubba Bolden also has a deal with the companies). Hey, does not the road to riches always begin with one small step? The two deals combined reportedly are worth a bit more than $20,000. If that’s what the quality starting quarterback is getting, we imagine the backup long snapper is presently negotiating a deal with Al’s Bike Shop for 20 bucks a week and three hours a week of a Schwinn loaner. (A backup on the Canes women’s rowing team, unable to secure an endorsement deal, has opened up a boutique lemonade stand outside her dorm). For our full latest column: 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports.

NbainjsASTERISK CHAMPION AFTER INJURY-WRECKED PLAYOFFS: WHY GREEDY NBA GETTING WHAT IT DESERVES: There was an excuse for the farcical nature of the NBA playoffs a year ago, at least. It was called a global pandemic. The league removed travel from the delayed, shortened season, threw every playoff team into a bubble in Orlando and hoped for the best. Virtual fans and cardboard cutouts cheered as the Lakers and Heat floated through the bubble to the Finals, L.A. winning in six. It felt like a mirage. Wait. Did that really just happen? The trophy should have been in the shape of a giant asterisk. A year later, right now, it’s worse. A bigger farce. A nationally televised embarrassment. This is what happens, when — hell-bent to recoup revenue COVID stole — the NBA plows ahead with a near full (72-game) season, with travel, despite a short offseason and not enough rest and recovery time. Players predictably break down. Injuries steer the season. And you get a playoffs like this. Foe our full recent column: Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves.
 

CatsEXCLUSIVE: BETTER TWO YEARS LATE THAN NEVER, PANTHERS WILL HOST 2023 NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND: It seemed like a thief in the night, except in broad daylight. They came in a stole it with everybody watching. Nobody saw a thing. One moment the Florida Panthers and South Florida had the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend ... and then it was gone. The league this week quietly announced its ‘22 signature midseason party would be held in Las Vegas. Wait. What. No explanation was given. Florida was supposed to host this season’s 2021 all-star show, but that was canceled due to the COVID-related shortened schedule. So first the Cats get punched by the pandemic. Now they get punched by the NHL’s infatuation with being in Vegas and all things Vegas? Not fair, right? I was getting ready to file a police report. “Hullo, 9-1-1? Someone stole my All-Star Weekend.” But wait. Turns out it’s OK. Florida will host the 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend festivities instead, a source with the city of Fort Lauderdale told me Wednesday. [Panthers president/CEO Matthew Caldwell is pictured]. It isn't often news is broken in a column, but we did it here. For our full recent column: Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend.

AntivaxTELL COLE BEASLEY HE'S WRONG. TIME FOR SPORTS TO QUIT HIDING AND LEAD PRO-VACCINE FIGHT: Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said adult deaths from COVID-19 have become “entirely preventable” due to the effectiveness of vaccinations. A study of government data by The Associated Press reported that, since May, 99.2 percent of all COVID- Coleb
related deaths have been unvaccinated people. Curious what Cole Beasley’s reaction to that might be. Fake news? I wonder the mind-set of anyone still holding out against the vaccine — which is readily available, quick and free — despite science, evidence and logic begging that we all please come together as Americans on this, at least. COVID has killed more than 600,000 in the United States thus far, the cure is there, and yet fewer than half of us — 46.6 percent — have been fully vaccinated. Beasley, the Buffalo Bills’ wide receiver, dubiously volunteered himself as the face of anti-vax nation last week, defiantly saying he will ignore new NFL protocols that afford freedoms to vaccinated players and restrictions for those unvaccinated. He is daring the league to fine him. Saying he would rather retire than get vaccinated. He declared on social media. “I will be outside doing what I do. I may die of COVID, but I’d rather die actually living.” (Or: You could get the vaccine and live actually not dying?) Instead, it’s all about you, right? Don’t worry about sending a terrible message to fans. Don’t concern yourself with your teammates. Ignore that 99.2 percent of COVID deaths are now unvaccinated folks. Just go ahead and make this all about you and your personal freedom. (And be blithely tone-deaf to how spectacularly selfish this makes you seem). Beasley out front on this crusade underlines the idea that sports in general have not done nearly enough to push a pro-vaccine agenda. Leagues, teams and star players need to do much more to support this pro-science, pro-health cause in the same way they have been on the right side of social and racial justice issues. For our full recent column: Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight.
 

Our most recent other columns: 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 / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Also:  Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / and Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf.

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ARCHIVES

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

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

June 21, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated) with NBA, golf and sizzlin' Adam Duvall. See who's No.1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with Chris Bosh out now, Father's Day & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 21. Hope my fellow padres had a Happy Father's Day! 2) I was back in-studio on the Le Batard Show last week for my regular Tuesday appearance. Check out that day's show podcasts for much too much of me. 3) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Top 5 Dolphins concerns exiting minicamp, On Spoelstra and Lillard and Miami Heat, Men's tennis and golf at a crossroads, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow BoshongcsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH CHRIS BOSH OUT NOW!: Our 24th episode of 2021 and 66th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 66 we've done so far HERE for free. Our latest episode features special guest Chris Bosh, Basketball Hall of Famer and former Heat star, discussing his new book, the Big 3 era, how basketball ended for him, and finding peace. Also: Victoria's Secret, Vincent Van Gogh, Cole Beasley and a new Mount Gregomre. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our columns from the past week: Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / and Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf. Other most recent columns: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / and Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 20-21): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. NBA: Hawks oust Sixers in Game 7 to complete semifinals: Bucks advanced past Nets 4-3 with Saturday's Game 7 OT triumph as Giannis' 40 points bested K.D.'s 48. And Sunday the Hawks stunned the Sixers in Game 7 to advance to the Eastern finals vs. Milwaukee. Out West it's a Clippers-Suns final after Phoenix swept Denver and LAC beat Utah 4-2. Suns won Game 1 Sunday.

2. GOLF: Rahm wins U.S. Open at Torrey Pines: Two weeks after a COVID test positive forced him out of a tournament he led and give up a $1.7 million check, Jon Rahm of Spain won the U.S. Open Sunday with a 6-under at tough Torrey Pines outside San Diego. Louis Oosthuizen finished one shot back in the year's third of four majors. Meantime golf's best and silliest feud continued as Bryson DeChambeau videobombed a Brooks Koepka interview. And grumpy Phil Mickelson (who barely made the cut) complained about being distracted by cell phone cameras during an opening round 75.

3. HEAT: Big week for news ... but mostly for rumors: Jimmy Butler made the All-NBA third team, and Jimmy and Bam Adebayo both made the All-Defense second team. Oh, and the portion of NE 7th Street from Biscayne Boulevard to NE 2nd Avenue downtown is now officially Dwyane Wade Boulevard, so start stealing the street sign. In other Heat (non) news, speculation Portland might try to woo Erik Spoelstra as its new coach fizzled fast, and flimsy rumors link Miami to disgruntled stars Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic.

4. DOLPHINS: 'X' marks the mess as Fins end offseason work: Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard was a no-show at the team's three-day minicamp that ended offseason work this past week. It's a holdout for a renegotiated contract (a.k.a. more money), if that didn't go without saying. It's a mess that must be solved (or traded away) before full preseason training camp gets underway in late July.

5. MARLINS: Duvall en fuego but Fish fall short of sweep at Wrigley: After losing four straight with bats quiet the Marlins exploded for back-to-back 10-2 and 11-1 wins over the Cubs at Wrigley Field thanks to four home runs in two days for Adam Duvall. Alas, bays turned quiet again as Miami fell to 31-40 with Sunday's 2-0 loss. Fish open a six-game homestand starting Tuesday vs, Toronto.

6. INTER MIAMI: Beckham's lads return from break with a loss: The time off for MLS' international break did Inter Miami no good. David Beckham's outfit fell to 2-2-5 (five losses) with Saturday's 1-0 defeat at D.C. United. Meantime coach Phil Neville refuted rumors that midfielder Rodolfo PIzzaro is unhappy in Miami. And striker Gonzalo Higuain admitted MLS is tougher than expected after saying, "I thought I could play with a cigarette in my mouth." Next up: Miami hosts Orlando Friday night.

7. TENNIS: Major stars Osaka, Nadal both withdraw as Wimbledon nears: The fortnight in London, the year's third of four majors, begins next Monday on July 28, but stars Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal won't be there. Osaka, after last month dropping out of the French Open, continues her mental health-related break. Nadal said he withdrew "after listening to my body." Nadal also will skip next month's Tokyo Olympics but Osaka, a Japanese citizen, will play.

8. SOCCER: Euro '20 wraps up group play Wednesday: Italy was first to finish a perfect 3-0 as Euro '20, the UEFA European Championship delayed from last year, wraps up group play on Wednesday. The knockout round of 16 will be played June 26-29, the survivors advancing to the quarterfinals.

9. HURRICANES: Tickets to football opener on sale; Auburn added: Tickets to Canes' September 4 opener vs. national champion Alabama in Atlanta go on sale Tuesday to general public. Meantime UM announced a two-game home-and-home series with Auburn in 2029 here and 2030 there. This is very exciting news for aspiring Canes players presently in 5th grade.

10. NHL/PANTHERS: Stanley Cup semifinals continue; Barkov honored: Vegas tied Montreal 2-2 with Sunday's 2-1 win and Tampa Bay and the N.Y. Islanders are knotted 2-2 entering Game 5 Monday in NHL semifinals. Meantime down in Catsville, Aleksander Barkov won league award as NHL's top defensive forward. Bill Zito was a finalist for general manager of the year and Joel Quenneville for coach of the year but neither won. 

Missing the HB10 cut: Possibility of expanded College Football Playoff from four to 12 teams lives on. A CFP committee agreed to present the proposal to the 11 university presidents who have the authority over the format for a vote Tuesday in Dallas ..... Celtics traded Kemba Walker, their 2021 first-round pick and a 2025 second-rounder to Thunder. OKC gets Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick ..... Prepare to begin the one-month countdown to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, delayed a year due to the pandemic. The Games are set for July 23 to August 8 despite a resurgence of COVID-19 in Japan ..... Copa America group play continuing through June 28 will eliminate only two teams, with the other eight in quarterfinal play beginning July 2 ..... Vanderbilt is betting pick in the eight-team men's College World Series that began Saturday and ends June 30 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,835 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Heat/Panthers playoff columns: Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Heat Fans Showed Up For Game 3. Their Team Did Not / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Time For Heat Fans To Help Lift Their Team Back Into This Series / Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports / Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs / This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.

Select other recent columns: Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Pirate Ship Sails! Details, Guests For Le Batard Show's 24-Hour Relaunch / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / 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).

June 19, 2021

Dolphins' biggest concerns (besides Tua). New column; plus Rumors and truth: On Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat; also, Men's tennis, golf both need a 'Next Big Thing,' Juneteenth, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with Jessica Smetana & more

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

Juneteenth1) It's SATURDAY, JUNE 19. Today is the first Juneteenth as a national holiday, celebrating the end of slavery. 2) I was back in-studio on the Le Batard Show this week for my regular Tuesday appearance. Check out that day's show podcasts for much too much of me. 3) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Mejess CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH JESSICA SMETANA OUT NOW!: Our 23rd episode of 2021 and 65th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 64 we've done so far HERE for free. Our new episode features Jessica Smetana, newest member of the Le Batard Show Shipping Container. (Did the chat get too personal?) Also, hear DeArdo The Magnificent flex his encyclopedic knowledge of sports. Plus, what's in the Queen's handbag? Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

TuaHERE'S WHAT ELSE HAS TO GO RIGHT (BESIDES TUA) TO KEEP DOLPHINS' MOMENTUM GOING: Been a long time coming, but the sense of a franchise and team trending upward is palpable. The Miami Dolphins are in the midst of a smartly calculated rebuild that will include eight first-round draft picks in the four year span of 2020-23. The Fins were 10-6 last season, the best team in the NFL to miss the playoffs. Brian Flores has been a prize catch as head coach. If the future isn’t quite now, it’s getting here at a gallop. Areas of concern remain, though, as the Dolphins completed their offseason work Thursday with the finish of a mandatory three-day minicamp. Fins won’t gather on a field again until the late-July start of full preseason training camp. There is a reason Miami is no better than middle of the pack, tied for 16th, in current betting odds to win the Super Bowl. Here are the five biggest concerns, the things that need to go right, if the Dolphins are to build upon the promise of last season. For our full latest column including of course those five concerns, visit Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum.

Miami HeatWHEN RUMORS FLY, AND LAND WITH THUD: THE TRUTH ON SPOELSTRA, LILLARD AND HEAT: Portland Trail Blazers interested in Erik Spoelstra! Wait. Really? Damian Lillard interested in Miami Heat! Wait. Hold on. Heat fans have been fed reasons this week to turn their attention to northwest Oregon. The question worth exploring: Why? I try to not be a self-loathing journalist — the anti-media crowd is loud enough without my help — but occasionally the business of reporting, of what a “report” even is, makes me cringe a bit. So Tuesday there were reports the Trail Blazers, looking for a new coach, had the Heat’s Spoelstra on their radar. Except the reports were just other media outlets regurgitating the original report that wasn’t actually a report at all. It was Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports Network tweeting this: “We have multiple sources saying Erik Spoelstra’s name has been discussed internally regarding their coach opening. We are NOT reporting contact has been made, or that Spoelstra has any intention of leaving Miami.” It might well have been accurate. Portland supposedly is cobbling a list of potential candidates that might be three dozen long. That’s a lot of internal discussing. Front-runners seem to include Chauncey Billups and Mike D’Antoni. Becky Hammon and Dawn Staley are also in the reported mix, in case Portland works up the nerve be be actual Trail Blazers. But it made sense in terms of speculation that the wide net might include Spo, who grew up in Portland and played for the local university, and whose father Jon is a former Trail Blazers executive. I know Ethan. He’s a former Herald colleague. He’s legit. Knows the NBA. He isn’t some uninformed fan writing in a blog from Ma’s basement. He also has since-deleted the tweet that started this, that other outlets passed along as some variant of news. In the social media age, deleting a tweet is akin to renting a billboard on I-95 that reads, OOPS. It happened to be Skolnick this time but it could have been any of us in the mad rush to be first. For our full recent column, visit Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat.

MEN'S TENNIS, GOLF BOTH AT A CROSSROADS, IN SEARCH OF THEIR NEXT BIG THING: With the French Open in tennis just past and the U.S. Open in golf this week, the majors show us two men’s sports at a crossroads and searching. If there is a Next Big Thing in either worthy of the capital letters and able to stir the imagination, we’ll take a show of hands, please. Please? Novak Bigthree GolftwoDjokovic rallied from two sets down Sunday to win on the red clay of Roland Garros in Paris. It was a remarkable comeback. It also was the latest reminder how men’s tennis is drowning in its own predictability in the Big 3 era (pictured left) of Djokovic, 34; Rafael Nadal, 35; and Roger Federer, who’ll turn 40 in August. Since 2004 those three have combined to win 58 of the sport’s 68 major men’s titles, or 85 percent. There hasn’t been a run like that in any individual sport, ever. That it goes on, though, speaks less of those three’s continued excellence than it does the absence of sustained challengers. Or even one. The slow death of American men’s tennis has played a big role. No American man has won a tennis major since Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick both did in 2003, just as the Federer/Nadal/Djokovic steamroller was beginning its roll. On the women’s side Serena Williams fades by degrees, but there is a young heir in Naomi Osaka, Japan-born but living in the U.S. since age 3. In men’s tennis, very good players such as Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem have failed to become household names outside of the sport’s hardcore fandom, or hasten the past tense on the Big 3 era. And no American man ranks higher today on the ATP than No. 32. That’s a person named Reilly Opelka. He is notable for being 6-11. He is not notable for winning anything of note. In men’s golf the search for the Next Big Thing, the next big era, (Brooks Kopeka and Bryson DeChambeau are pictured right) is similar as the U.S. Open begins Thursday at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, near San Diego. For our full recent column, visit Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf.

Other columns from the past week: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger  /  As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling  /  and Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs.

Other most recent columns: Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph  /  The Pirate Ship Sails! Details, Guests For Le Batard Show's 24-Hour Relaunch  /  and The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal.

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ARCHIVES:

Heat/Panthers playoff columns: Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Heat Fans Showed Up For Game 3. Their Team Did Not / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Time For Heat Fans To Help Lift Their Team Back Into This Series / Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports / Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs / This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.

Select other recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / 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).