January 31, 2022

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Bengals-Rams, G.O.A.T. out, Fins lose Daboll, Olympics, Nadal. See who's No.1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast (Non-Sports Olympics, NFL, Brady, Le Batard) out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 31. Farewell January, out with a chill. See ya next year! 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Defending Antonio Brown, Final Rejection of Bonds/Clemens a Shame, Mahomes-Allen show Dolphins how far they have to go, Greg Cote Show podcast.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NON-SPORTS OLYMPICS, NFL, BRADY, LE BATARD. NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 6th episode of 2022 and 97th overall is out now. A new pod is delivered every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 97 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest episode, we introduce The Greg Cote Show Non-Sports Olympics, and offer a hotline for you to call and leave a message offering your own categories. And Greg disrespects a beloved Winter Olympics sport. Also in the new episode: Minnie Mouse in a pantsuit, the Mount Gregmore of Silliest Winter Olympics Sports, and Greg's escalation of his beef with Buzzkill Billy Corben is interupted by a phone call from Dan Le Batard. The latest episode wraps up in the Le Batard Show studio studios as we talk Super Bowl matchup and Tom Brady's (reported) retirement. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

THE G.O.A.T. OUT OF NOWHERE: FROM 199TH DRAFTED TO HISTORY, A SALUTE TO TOM BRADYFootball and American sports have had forever to be ready for this day, a decade, anyway. The day arrived on Saturday. We still weren’t ready. A 44-year-old man retired, crazy-old for an NFL quarterback or for any player. And yet it felt too soon. We Bradystill weren’t ready to say goodbye to Tom Brady. “End of an era” is one of those terms we apply too casually. So is the G.O.A.T. appellation — Greatest Of All Time. Here there is no question they apply as if each was coined just for this man as we fathom suddenly putting the past tense on a career both epic and itself an epoch. In the NFL, his career has been the biggest and best ever, and no debate, please, no “among the” hedge. Beyond football, bring in Michael Jordan and whomever you wish, across all sports and all time. But have no doubt: Tom Brady’s spot on Mount Rushmore is reserved. The news broke in an afternoon report by ESPN, which delivered it as unequivocal fact, not speculation. Not “expected to” retire, but a done deal. It is thought Brady will wait until after the Super Bowl to himself make the news official. (Meantime ESPN is praying he won’t change his mind after Saturday’s World War III ‘BREAKING NEWS’ headline.) On Saturday, Tom Brady Sr. told KRON-TV in San Francisco that his son (“Tommy”) had not yet made a decision. Brady’s agent Don Yee did not confirm or deny the report but said an announcement from his client would be forthcoming. Brady’s own company, TB12, initially tweeted out the retirement news then deleted it. NFL Network confirmed ESPN’s report. But reports later Saturday indicated a decision had not yet been made. From my perspective, it sounds like Brady’s camp is not thrilled to be scooped by ESPN on their own announcement. Assuming the veracity of report — that Brady has played his last game — there is hardly a way for hyperbole here even if that were the intent. For our full latest caolumn, visit The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady.

Newest other columns from this past week: Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemsn A Shame on Voters, Baseball / and Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be.

Select other most recent columns: Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 30-31): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

HButton1. NFL:It's a Bengals-Rams Super Bowl!: Bengals upset Chiefs 27-24 Sunday for the AFC crown and then Rams topped 49ers 20-17 for the NFC title to set up a Cincinnati-Los Angeles Super Bowl on February 13 in the Rams' home stadium. That factors into L.A. as an early 3 1/2-point favorite. Rams were in the SB as recently as it in 2018 but have bot win since 1999 (as the St. Louis Rams). Cincy was last in SB in 1988 and has never won. Cinderella + Cincinnati = Cinderatti! (Patent pending). 

2. NFL: Tom Brady retires after 22 season, 7 Super Bowl rings: xxxESPN reported it Saturday. Others confirmed it. Brady's own company, TB12, seemed to before deleting gthe tweet. Now his camp is saying "no decision yet." Bank it, though. The G.O.A.T. will make it official after the NFL playoffs end. Most TDs, most passing yards, most Super Bowls. Any questions?

3. DOLPHINS: Ouch! Fins lost top coach-candidate Daboll to Giants: Miami has been very deliberate in its head coach search. Problem is, wirh eight other openings, available gjuys are being snatched up. Example: Fins losing top candidate Brian Daboll, the Bills offensive coordinator, to the Giants -- a big loss. Top guys left appear to be OC's Kellen Moore of the Cowboys and Mike McDaniel of the 49ers.

4. OLYMPICS: Host's human-rights record, COVID loom as Beijing Games Winter Games begin: The Olympic Winter Games begin this Friday in Beijing, China and run 17 days through February 20. The U.S. has a diplomatic boycott but its athetes will compete. Norway is predicted to lead the medals table followed by the ROC (Russia) and Germany. After that comes Team USA pegged for seven gold medals, 22 overall.

5. TENNIS: Electric championship finish redeems Australian Open: Year's first tennis major was minus plenty of starpower, but the two winners crowned were movie-script perfect: Rafael Nadal rallying from two sets down to Daniil Medvedev for his record-setting 21st career Grand Slam title, breaking the tie with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. After Ashleigh Barty became the first Aussie woman to win in Melbourne since Yvonne Goolagong in 1978. 

6. INTER MIAMI: Date set for vote on Miami Freedom Park plan: Nothing moves fast in 3-0-5 politics, but a February 23 date has been set for Miami-Dade to vote whether to go ahead with or scrap plans for MLS team Inter Miam's proposed 73-acre commercial and professional sports complex featuring a new soccer stadium. Three days after the vote, Inter Miami opens its third season at what it hopes is its temporary home in Fort Lauderdale.

7. HURRICANES: Cristobal hoping for big NSD finish to recruiting: National Siging Day in college football is this Wednesday, though not the splash it used to be since there is now early signing day in December. UM's first class under mew coach Mario Cristobal is ranked 49th nationally by ESPN and ninth in the ACC led by TE Jaleel Skinner and CB Khamauri Rogers but should climb with new signings this week.

8. MLB: Ortiz gets Hall call, but end of line for Bonds, Clemens: Red Sox icon David "Big Papi" Ortiz was the lone former player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemsn falling short in their 10th and final year pf eligibility, and Alex Rodriguez way short in his first year on the ballot. The reminder from voting BBWAA baseball wrters: Steroids and Cooperstown do not mix. 

9. HEAT: Miami sets out on road trip awaiting All-Star nods: Heat is 32-18 and atop the East even after Saturday's 124-120 triple-OT home loss to Toronto -- despite Jimmy Butler's 37 points. NBA All-Star Game reserves to be announced Thursday, with Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro all in the mix. Miami sets out on a five-game roadie starting Monday in Boston.

10. PANTHERS: Cats sailing, but challenge to be better on road looms: Florida is 31-9-5 and atop the NHL East after Saturday's 5-4 home win over San Jose, but Panthers will be road-tested much of the rest of the way. Cats are a surreal 23-3 at home but only 8-6-5 away, and play 22 of their last 37 games on the road including the next five straight starting Monday at Columbus.

Missing the HB10 cut: USMNT faces Canada today/Sunday in a top-of-the-table showdown in the middle of three winter CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches in seven days. U.S. began the stretch with a 1-0 win over El Salvador the table. Five matches for remain in WC qualifying ..... Canes men's basketball (16-5) continues atop the ACC at 8-2 entering a Wednesday visit by Notre Dame. UM women are 11-7/4-4 and host No. 5 Louisville Tuesday ..... LeBron James and Kevin Durant again were named captains for this year's NBA All-Star Game February 20 in Cleveland. All-Star reserves, selected by coaches in both conferences, will be unveiled Thursday ..... Though the MLB lockout continues, threatening the start of spring training, the Marlins' Minor League Development Camp is this Tuesday through Friday up in Jupiter. The organization’s top prospects will be in attendance, incuding pitchers Eury Perez, Max Meyer and Dax Fulton ..... Saturday's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl began the spate of postseason showcase games. Upcoming: East-West Shrine Bowl this Thursday, Reese's Senior Bowl next Saturday and HBCU Legacy Bowl February 19 ..... The Pro Bowl is next Sunday. Get ready to not watch ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,611 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: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame BallotGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 29, 2022

NFL Final Four: Our Sunday picks for Bengals-Chiefs, 49ers-Rams; plus Latest columns: Defending Antonio Brown, Final denial of Bonds/Clemens a shame, Mahomes-Allen show hard lesson for Dolphins; also, newest Greg Cote Show podcast & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JANUARY 29. I was back on Le Batard Show this week -- a new Back In My Day in hand. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

CoteshowGreenmmGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NFL! ROBOT UMPIRE! M&M SCANDAL! NEW EPISODE OUT NOW: Our 5th episode of 2022 and 96th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 96 we've done so far HERE, free. In our brand new episode, Chris and Greg exalt over the NFL's most exciting playoff weekend ever, and have an exclusive 1-on-1 chat with a Robot Umpire. Also in the new ep: Bomb dog retires;  M&Ms scandal; Greg apologizes to Newlywed Mark for referring to a part of his wedding as a 'nightmare' on Le Batard Show; Yeti reports live from a hospital bed. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND PLAYOFF PICKS: 4 TEAMS LEFT. 2 SUPER BOWL TICKETS. HERE'S WHO's GOING: Had a rough week in the Divisional Round and a perfect example of our luck was Bills blowing that lead (and a win for me) with 13 seconds left. Oh well. Move on. Finish strong. Our picks for Sunday's Bengals-Chiefs AFC Championship Game and 49ers-Rams NFC title game: NFL Championship Playoff Gems. Previous: NFL Divisional Playoff Gems, NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

AbrownLIKE HIM OR DON'T, ANTONIO BROWN NOT ALWAYS TO BLAME -- AND WASN'T IN BUCS DIVORCE: The most memorable, talked-about play of this NFL season — the one that didn’t happen on the field — lives on. It does so in the legal action being pursued. It does so in the wondering whether Tom Brady and Tampa Bay might be playing Sunday, still chasing a second straight Super Bowl win, if it hadn’t happened. The spectacle resonates, too, because it dances on the periphery of the brain trauma football can cause, and the discussion of mental health becoming more and more open in sports. And in the altogether unsurprising idea that a head coach might sometimes place winning ahead of a player’s health on his list of priorities. I know: Antonio Brown is easy to dislike, largely through his own actions through the years. No dispute. But it doesn’t means he’s wrong here. “The trigger was telling me I’m not allowed to feel pain,” he said. “I acknowledge my past. But that doesn’t make me a second-class citizen. My past does not forfeit my right to be heard when I am in pain.” Today Brown is 33 and at least temporarily unemployed, turning 34 when training camps start this summer. Today he is a man still trying to explain why, during a game few weeks ago, Bucs at Jets, Brown abruptly left the bench in anger, peeled off his jersey and pads, tossed them into the crowd, put up a peace sign with his fingers, and trotted off, turning his back on his team, profession and the NFL. For our full latest column, visit Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce.

PapiORTIZ MAKES HALL, BUT FINAL DENIAL OF BONDS, CLEMENS A SHAME ON VOTERS, BASEBALL: David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Boston Red Sox icon and one of four men in MLB history to hit 500 home runs and win three World Series, was elected Tuesday into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with distinction as a first-ballot honoree. It wasn’t the biggest news to come out of the announcement. This was: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens -- arguably the greatest hitter and pitcher to ever play the game -- were denied the Hall in their 10th and final year of eligibility to appear on the ballot. And Miami-raised Alex Rodriguez was dealt a massive rebuke in his first year of eligibility, despite career numbers that by themselves suggested he might sail into Cooperstown in a landslide vote. Baseball’s Steroids Era lives on. It is still taking names and meting out punishments. Lifetime sentences, apparently. That Bonds and Clemens were turned away for the 10th year in a row defies fair logic and conveys a vindictiveness that does not serve well either MLB, the Hall of Fame or the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, of whom I am one -- proudly, usually, but less so as the 2022 class was announced. For our full recent column, visit Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemsn A Shame on Voters, Baseball

MahomesallenMAHOMES-ALLEN AIR SHOW A FACE-SLAP REMINDER HOW FAR DOLPHINS, TUA STILL HAVE TO GO: We watch NFL games through our own prism, right? From the vantage of how our own team compares. For a Miami Dolphins fan this exercise is called “torture.” But never quite like it was Sunday night, in the astounding crescendo to the single greatest weekend in the league’s playoff history -- led by an epic duel between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills offenses were unstoppable in the hands of two premier quarterbacks who took mere seconds to trade points until finally Mahomes and the Chiefs prevailed in overtime 42-36. It was the greatest possible advertisement for the NFL. But from where Miami sits, alas, Sunday night was depressing. Sobering. Enough to make a Dolfan set the alarm for around 2034, which might be about when the two quarterbacks now most in their way are finally retired or at least in decline. Mahomes is 26. Allen is 25. And there is not a single Chiefs or Bills fan today — not one, anywhere — wondering if their team has the right quarterback. If he’s good enough or maybe possibly someday could be. Allen pilots the new king of the AFC East, Miami's division. Mahomes leads the king of the AFC, Miami’s conference. These are the two quarterbacks, and teams, the Dolphins have to figure out how to be better than for any chance to reach the Super Bowl in the foreseeable future. For our full recent column, visit Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be.

Select other recent columns: Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consquences, as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / and Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner. Also: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 24, 2022

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now! NFL's greatest weekend ever, chat with Robot Umpire; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), time to parole Pete Rose, my 0-for-4 shame & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 24. Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Time is right for MLB to resinstate Pete Rose, NFL Divisional Round picks, New Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow Robotump GreenmmGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NFL! ROBOT UMPIRE! NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 5th episode of 2022 and 96th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 96 we've done so far HERE, free. In our brand new episode, Chris and Greg exalt over the NFL's most exciting playoff weekend ever, and have an exclusive 1-on-1 chat with a Robot Umpire. Also in the new ep: Bomb dog retires;  M&Ms scandal; Greg apologizes to Newlywed Mark for referring to a part of his wedding as a 'nightmare' on Le Batard Show; Yeti reports live from a hospital bed. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL Divisional Round playoff picks: OOF!: They were four great games. Except for me. We went 0-4 overall and 0-4 against the spread in the Divisional Round -- a near impossibility and an unfortunate first for us. The sad truth: NFL Divisional Playoff Gems. Previous: NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

ProseTime for MLB, in bed with gambling, to end hypocrisy and reinstate Pete Rose. New column: Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose.

FlapOther select recent columns: 'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consquences, as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / and Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner. Also: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

HButtonHOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 23-24): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

1. NFL: It's Chiefs-Bengals, Rams-49ers in final four: It hadn't happened since 2010 but it happened Saturday: Both No. 1 seeds losing in the NFL Divisional Round playoff. Green Bay fell to visiting San Francisco Saturday night after Tennessee was beaten by upstart Cincinnati. Sunday, reigning champion Tampa Bay fell at home to the L.A. Rams Kansas City held off Buffalo. That's four great games three upsets and a final four few expected.

2. HEAT: LeBron shines in return, but Miami wins: Miami is 30-17 and back atop the East, with Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler finally both healthy at once, after Sunday's 113-107 home win over the L.A. Lakers. Old friend LeBron James dropped 33 in his return as Miami opened a four-game homestand. 

3. PANTHERS: Cats fall in Seattle but still in East lead: Florida is 28-9-5 at the midpoint of the NHL regular season -- and 10-2-1 since a four-game COVID postponement in December -- even after Sunday's surpring 5-2 loss in Seattle to the expansion Kraken. Cats and Tampa Bay are fighting for East lead in a rivalry that seems destined for a renewal in the playoffs.

4. CANES BASKETBALL: Miami men fall to nemesis FSU again: The Miami men -- after an upset win over No. 2 Duke and a 28-point win over North Carolina -- were 14-4, an ACC-leading 6-1 in conference and just outside the Top 25 entering Saturday's home game vs. nemesis Florida State, only to fall to its nemesis rival, 61-60, and cede the ACC lead. Canes women, off first road win at FSU in eight years, are 10-7/3-4 after Sunday's loss at Boston College.

5. DOLPHINS: Fins casting wide net in ongoing coach search: Who isn't Miami interviewing to replace the unexpectedly fired Brian Flores? Seven men already have been grilled, with more ahead. The lean seems to be toward an offensive coach with a track record. Keep an eye on four OC's: Brian Daboll (Bills), Mike McDaniel (49ers), Nathaniel Hackett (Packers) and Eric Bieniemy (Chiefs) -- all among the final eight teams playing this weekend.

6. MLB: 'Big Papi' to head 2022 Hall of Fame class: With the big reveal set for live TV Tuesday night, David (Big Papi) Ortiz is the only certain '22 inductee to Cooperstown based on early voting results made public. Steroids-tainted Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens both seem likely to finally make it but are not sure things. Tainted A-Rod is being punished in his first year of eligibility and didn't come close.  

7. TENNIS: Depleted Australian Open reaches midpoint: Defending women's champion Naomi Osaka was ousted in the third round, reigning men's champ Novak Djokovic was banned over his no-vax stance, and fan favorites Roger Federer and Serena Williams aren't in Melbourne for health reasons. Marquee wattage is dimmed, but the year's frst tennis major goes on, with Ash Barty and Rafael Nadal leading the march into the quarterfinals. 

8. OLYMPICS: Countdown 11 days 'til Beijing Winter Games: Host China is infamous for its human rights violations and COVID remains a health cloud, but let the Games begin! Winter Games are February 4-20. The U.S. announced a diplomatic boycott, but American athletes will compete, led by champion slalom skiier Mikaela Shiffrin.

9. HURRICANES: Cristobal absorbs first loss as UM coach: Canes fans have been in parade-mode euphoric since Mario Cristobal got hired as football coach 17 days ago and it's been all smooth sailing ... until this week's hiccup. Miami targeted Arkansas' Kendal Briles as its next offensive coordinator, but he turned 'em down to remain with Razorbacks.

10. NASCAR: 'Junior' makes the Hall of Fame: Dale Earnhardt Jr., never a main-series season champion but 15 times voted most popular driver, has joined his father in the Hall of Fame. Junior topped the marquee among three inductees into NASCAR's 12th Hall of Fame class. "When I stumbled, you guys were right there ready to lift me back up,'' Earnhardt said to his fans.

Missing the HB10 cut: Inter Miami opened training camp for MLS Year 3. Season begins February 26 ..... NCAA voted to streamline itself and reduce the responsibility of the association at the national level. Layman's terms: The NCAA is weakening, with power ceded to confereces and schools in a turbulently changing landsacpe for ollege sports ..... The Tampa Bay Rays' controversial plan to split their home schedule with Montreal was rejected by MLB, ending team's 2 1/2-year plan for a "sister city" schedule. Meantime, how must half-wanted Tampa fans feel? ..... The NFL's Pro Bowl is February 6, so mark it on your calendars to not watch ..... And the MLB lockout drones and drags on ..... R.I.P. to entertainers Sidney Poitier, Meat Loaf and Louie Anderson ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,618 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 22, 2022

NFL Divisional Round playoff picks. 8 teams, 4 games, 1 big upset; plus Time Is Now For MLB To Reinstate Pete Rose. New column; also, Greg Cote Show podcast: Greatest TV sitcom characters in new episode & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JANUARY 22. I was on with Le Batard Show on Wednesday this week. Check out that day's show podcasts, especially the Local Hour. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): New Greg Cote Show podcast, Panthers at midseason a lesson in resilience, Good riddance to no Djokovic in Aussie Open, NFL Wild-Card picks results.

CoteshowSitcomsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: GREATEST TV SITCOM CHARACTERS IN LATEST EPISODE!: Our 4th episode of 2022 and landmark 95th overall is out now. A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all we've done so far HERE, free. In our latest episode, Greg, Chris, younger son Michael and guest Alex Benson from the Shut The Funk Up podcast argue, debate and give their verdicts on the greatest all-time TV sitcome characters. Spoiler alert: Greg wins. Hear why. Also in the new episode: Ranking best friends; Panthers are best hockey team on Earth; Bills' perfect game; and Greg's live report from a wedding on Amelia Island. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL DIVISIONAL ROUND PLAYOFF PICKS: 8 TEAMS LEFT. 4 GAMES THIS WEEKEND. 1 BIG UPSET: Went 4-2 overall and 3-3 against the spread in the Wild-Card Round. Highlight: Two near-Exactos (perfect score bull's-eyes). Lowlight: Picking Cardinals to win in an upset. Gawd! Onward and upward! Aiming to go 4-for-4 in the Divisional Round. Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers are all still standing. Here's who: NFL Divisional Playoff Gems. Previous: NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

Pete RoseTIME FOR MLB, IN BED WITH GAMBLING, TO END HYPOCRISY AND REINSTATE PETE ROSE: He quietly turned 80 last spring, his endless purgatory ongoing. The life sentence he serves is one without bars, but also without parole. Every day that passes finds him more likely to die bitterly estranged from the sport he loved — and helped define. Pete Rose dove headfirst into baseball and left it as the Hit King, his MLB-record 4,256 career hits atop an unreachable mountain, threatened by no active player. The very point of baseball is to get a hit, and nobody did it better than “Charlie Hustle,” who still has no place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York — solely because the perfect hitter was not the perfect man in a game with no forgiveness in its heart. If it had one of those. For our full latest column, visit Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose.

Our most recent other columns: 'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consquences, as Djokovic Was RemindedState Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / and Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner. Also: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later/No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 20, 2022

Greg Cote Show podcast: Greatest all-time TV sitcom characters! New episode out now!; plus Florida Panthers a team that would not be derailed and Djokovic has only himself to blame. 2 latest columns & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, JANUARY 20. I was back in with Le Batard Show yesterday. Check out the show's Wednesday podcasts, especially the Local Hour. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, State of Miami Sports as we grade all the teams, Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow SitcomsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: GREATEST TV SITCOM CHARACTERS! NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 4th episode of 2022 and landmark 95th overall is out now. A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all we've done so far HERE, free. In our latest episode, Greg, Chris, younger son Michael and guest Alex Benson from the Shut The Funk Up podcast argue, debate and give their verdicts on the greatest all-time TV sitcome characters. Spoiler alert: Greg wins. Hear why. Also in the new episode: Ranking best friends; Panthers are best hockey team on Earth; Bills' perfect game; and Greg's live report from a wedding on Amelia Island. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

CatsFLORIDA PANTHERS AT MIDSEASON: THE TEAM THAT WOULD  OT BE DERAILEDIt was minus-5 degrees outside but not as cold as it had been when we spoke Wednesday, Bill Zito on the phone from Edmonton. Even for a hockey man raised in Wisconsin winters, western Canada in January is its own kind of freezing. Zito is the general manager in charge of the best hockey team on the planet, or at least the one that leads the NHL in goal scoring and sits atop ESPN’s power rankings. It is a Florida Panthers team that believes it can win the first Stanley Cup in the franchise’s 28 seasons. Ask Zito if he knew going in that his team might be this good. There is a long pause. “As a manager I loathe to answer the question honestly,” he says. “It’s like asking a supermodel, ‘Do you think you’re attractive.’ “ When he does get around to that honest answer: ”Yes.” For our full latest column: 'There Was A Pall On Us.' The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed.

DjokovicDJOKOVIC OUT OF AUSSIE OPEN OVER NO-VACCINE? SERVES HIM RIGHT: The year’s first tennis major, the Australian Open, is underway in Melbourne. The world’s best tennis player, defending champion Novak Djokovic, isn’t in it. He very much wanted to be. He’s healthy. But they kicked him out against his will. Deported him, in fact. Good riddance. Enjoy your stay in the 19th Century, Novak, when science and medicine were not yet reliable things. Enjoy the pointless crusade of yours and others like you, a crusade one might call Quixotic. It qualifies as that for the impracticality, though clearly not for the idealism, or for any shred of nobility. For our full column: No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consquences, as Djokovic Was Reminded.

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

NFL WILD-CARD ROUND PLAYOFF RESULTS:

Picks(*) OUR PICKS: DECENT START TO PLAYOFFS: We went 4-2 straight-up and 3-3 against the spread on Wild-Card Weekend to begin our playoff run. Two of our wins were near Exactos. Bengals won 26-19; we had it 27-20. And Bucs won 31-15; we had 31-13. But we misfired badly on picking an upset by Cardinals, and did not see the Cowboys loss coming. Onward, upward! Watch for our Divisional Round picks online Thrsday afternooon and in print Friday.

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

(*) HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS: BUCS' BRADY WEARS CROWN: Tampa's Tom Brady won Week 18 to seal a runaway 2021 season championship to end our 24th year of rankings in the Herald. Miami's Tua Tagovailoa finished No. 22. In case you missed it: NFL Week18/Season Final QB Rankings.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 16, 2022

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

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

1) It's SATURDAY-MONDAY, JANUARY 15-17. I'm off to a wedding for a couple of days. Be back around sometime Monday. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): State of Miami Sports as we grade all the teams, Dolphins firing Flores an unjustifiable travesty, NFL Wild-Card playoff picks, Greg Cote Show drops 2 (!) new podcasts, NFL Week 18 results for picks/final QB rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT MONDAY MORNING!: Our 4th episode of 2022 and landmark 95th overall is out Monday. A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all we've done so far HERE, free. We dropped two episodes this past week. Our main, regularly scheduled epsiode features a fun conversation with friend Ron Magill of Zoo Miami, and a season-finale Hard Knocks celebrating Greg's Lobos' PFPI Fantasy championship. A shorter bonus episode -- the first we've ever done -- is on the Dolphins' sudden, illogical firing of coach Brian Flores. Dan Le Batard joins us. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 14, 2022

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

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

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

Coteshow MagillGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: TWO (!) NEW EPISODES THIS WEEK, BOTH OUT NOW!: Our 2nd and 3rd episodes of 2022 and 93rd and 94th overall both dropped this week and are out now. Our main, regularly scheduled epsiode, out Monday, features a fun conversation with friend Ron Magill (pictured) of Zoo Miami, and a season-finale Hard Knocks celebrating Greg's Lobos' PFPI Fantasy championship. Then, out today, is a shorter bonus episode -- the first we've ever done -- on the Dolphins' sudden and illogical firing of coach Brian Flores. Dan Le Batard joins us. But we've love you to listen anyway! A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 94 we've done so far HERE, free. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL WILD-CARD ROUND PLAYOFF PICKS: ROAD TO SUPER BOWL BEGINS WITH 6 GAMES, 1 BIG UPSET!: Had four dog-with-points covers — by Dolphins, Broncos, Bengals and Seahawks — to close regular season, but still a rocky Week 18 overall that left us with a .635 winning percentage straight-up and .519 (10 games over) against the spread. I’m not throwing a party, but neither am I bemoaning those numbers in what was a tough NFL season that saw a record 34 games decided on the final play. We enjoyed an especially strong year on our Upset of the Week picks, going 11-7 overall and 13-4-1 ATS on upset specials. Now, unlike 18 unfortunate teams including Miami ... we’re on to the playoffs! For our picks on all six of this weekend's games including one big upset: NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

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

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

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

NFL WEEK 18 RESULTS:

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

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

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

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Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 09, 2022

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

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

1) It's SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2022. When do we start looking at somebody funny for still saying "Happy New Year"? Not yet, or yes now? 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 18 picks, new Greg Cote Show year-end best-of podcast, Why Saban 'what-if' still haunts Miami, No playoffs and no firm idea on Tua worst way for Dolphins to end season, NFL Week 17 results for picks/Lobos/QB rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL NEW YEAR-END BEST-OF EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 2nd episode of 2022 and 93rd overall drops Monday morning! A new pod is out every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 92 we've done so far HERE, free. In our latest episode: It's GregFest: Our Best-Of Year-End Extravaganza (with new stuff, too). We relive our greatest hits 'n bits from the past year: Interviews, Songs, Greg Doesn't Know Movies, Hard Knocks/Lobos -- the fun don't stop! Inlcuding a new Mount Gregmore of OUR favorite epsiodes from '21. You won't want to miss it! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL WEEK 18 PICKS: DOLPHINS-PATRIOTS, BIG UPSET, FINAL PLAYOFF TICKETS, ALL THE REST: Our second-half heater resumed in Week 17 as went a big 12-4 overall (again) and 8-8 against the spread. Nailed another Upset of the Week in Steelers beating Browns  Monday night. With one week to go our overall season total has risen and our number against the Evil Betting Line is above what it was a year ago. Time to finish strong! In Saturday's doubleheader we were 2-0 straight-up, 1-1 against the spread. For our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week, Dolphins-Patriots call and who's getting the final three unclaimed playoff tickets, visit NFL Week 18 Gems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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

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

January 08, 2022

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

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 2022. When do we start looking at somebody funny for still saying Happy New Year? Not yet, right? 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Dolphins routed at Tennessee and miss playoffs, NFL Week 17 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

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

CoteshowBestofGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL NEW YEAR-END BEST-OF EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 1st episode of 2022 and 92nd overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 92 we've done so far HERE, free. In our new episode: It's GregFest: Our Best-Of Year-End Extravaganza (with new stuff, too). We relives out greatest hits from the past year: Interviews, Songs, Greg Doesn't Know Movies, Hard Knocks/Lobos -- the fun don't stop! Inlcuding a new Mount Gregmore of OUR favrite epsiodes. You won't want to miss it! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL WEEK 18 PICKS: DOLPHINS-PATRIOTS, BIG UPSET, FINAL PLAYOFF TICKETS, ALL THE REST: Our second-half heater resumed in Week 17 as went a big 12-4 overall (again) and 8-8 against the spread. Nailed another Upset of the Week in Steelers beating Browns  Monday night. With one week to go our overall season total has risen and our number against the Evil Betting Line is above what it was a year ago. Time to finish strong! For our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week, Dolphins-Patriots call and who's getting the final three unclaimed playoff tickets, visit NFL Week 18 Gems.

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

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

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

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

Most recent other columns: Revealing And Discussing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Also: Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

NFL WEEK 16 RESULTS:

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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

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

January 03, 2022

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

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

1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 3, 2022. Happy New Year! Hope you made it a safe one. 2) R.I.P., John Madden. A football legend in so many ways. Had a chance to interview him once many years ago and he could not have been more generous or giving of his time. Also, R.I.P. Betty White, at 99. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 17 picks, Georgia wins OB to setup title game vs. 'Bama, My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot revealed, Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow BestofGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL NEW YEAR-END BEST-OF EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 1st episode of 2022 and 92nd overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 92 we've done so far HERE, free. In our new episode: It's GregFest: Our Best-Of Year-End Extravaganza (with new stuff, too). We relives out greatest hits from the past year: Interviews, Songs, Greg Doesn't Know Movies, Hard Knocks/Lobos -- the fun don't stop! Inlcuding a new Mount Gregmore of OUR favrite epsiodes. You won't want to miss it! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL WEEK 17 PICKS: DOLPHINS-TITANS, 2 BIG UPSETS, ALL THE REST: Our second-half heater resumed in Week 16 as went a big 12-4 overall and a solid 10-6 against the spread. Nailed Titans’ upset of Niners and Colts’ miniupset of Cards, and also had Lions-with-points covering at Atlanta. Had some bad luck related to the fact our picks are locked in on Thursdays. That has hurt us some related to Covid protocols and also injuries, such as Lamar Jackson still with a shot to play when we picked last week. Anyhow, no excuses. With two weeks to go our overall season total has risen and our number against the Evil Betting Line is now above what it was a year ago. Time to finish strong! This week we call two more outright upsets. For those, our Game of the Week, our pick for Dolphins-Titans and all the rest, visit NFL Week 17 Gems.

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

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

Most recent other columns: Revealing And Discussing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Also: Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet?Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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

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