July 19, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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

July 06, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast: Greg and Chris go it alone ... until Le Batard shows up ... in a bathtub?; plus May Sha'Carri Richardson be last victim of Olympics' archaic marijuana rules. Latest column; also, my golf week in Lake Tahoe & more

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

1) It's TUESDAY-SATURDAY, JULY 6-10. Hope y'all had a Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans, and a nice long holiday weekend. 2) No Le Batard Show for me today. Expect to be back in my regular Tuesday slot next week. 3) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

AccLake Tahoe'in it!: The Le Batard Show will have a presence this week at the American Century Championship celebrity pro-am golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, and I'll be a part of it. Stugotz, Chris Cote and myself will be in a fivesome Thursday along with former tennis pro Mardy Fish and Earth, Wind & Fire lead singer Philip Bailey. It's part vacation/part work, as much of next week's podcast will be fun stuff recorded throughout our four days in Nevada. 

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: JUST GREG, CHRIS ... AND DAN IN A BATHTUB? NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 26th episode of 2021 and 68th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 68 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our new episode Greg and Chris go solo -- no guests. Well, OK, Dan Le Batard makes a brief but memorable appearance if that counts. The guys discuss this week's golfing trip to Lake Tahoe, where Greg and Chris will be in a fivesome with Stugotz, former pro tennis player Mardy Fish and Earth, Wind & Fire lead singer Philip Bailey. Also we discuss college sports' new Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) rule and the proposed expansion to a 12-team College Football Playoff. And there's a new Mount Gregmore! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Sha'carriLET SHA'CARRI RICHARDSON BE LAST VICTIM OF OLYMPICS' ARCHAIC MARIJUANA RULES: I’m a rules follower, maybe to a fault. Before I step into an express lane I scan the shopping cart to make sure I don’t have more than 10 items. When it comes to sports I’m old-school on cheating. I’m all for the wide net against performance-enhancing drugs. But this Sha’Carri Richardson situation — it felt wrong the minute it made news, and the more I’ve researched it, the more head-shaking angry I’ve gotten. Richardson, 21 (pictured), is a 5-1 blur of speed. She won the women’s 100-meter dash at the U.S. Track & Field trials last month in Oregon to earn a spot in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. She should be among gold medal favorites. Hers should be one of those stories you get to know over the next month. Instead her story is that she got suspended one month by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. It is the lightest, most slap-on-wrist penalty in the USADA penal code. It is just long enough to erase her Olympic dream. Richardson’s offense? She tested positive for marijuana after her race last month. She told NBC she had smoked a bit of pot — legal in Oregon, where the trials were held — to help cope with learning of the sudden, unexpected death of her bilogicial mother. NBC said she learned of her mom’s death during an interview with a reporter. So sorry for your loss, Sha’Carri. You’re suspended. For our full latest column, visit May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules.

Other most recent columns: 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History. Also: Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / and Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf.

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ARCHIVES

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

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

June 21, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES:

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

Select other recent columns: Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Pirate Ship Sails! Details, Guests For Le Batard Show's 24-Hour Relaunch / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

June 19, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES:

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

Select other recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

June 14, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Mad scramble in bunched field. Fins? Inter? NBA? CFP? Euros? See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with Jessica Smetana out now!, recent columns & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 14. After surviving the 24-hour marathon show I was back on the Le Batard Show last Tuesday for my regular weekly appearance. Check out that day's show podcasts including my latest Back In My Day. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Our Top 15 Miami pro athletes 25 and younger, the galling disrespect of Aaron Rodgers, Messi-to-Miami is getting real, The Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 13-14): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Fins wrap offseason with minicamp; preseason set: King Team wraps up its offseason work with a mandatory three-day minicamp this Tuesday through Thursday. Next stop: Full training camp starting in late July. Meantime NFL put out its preseason schedule. Dolphins are at Bears August 14, home vs. Falcons August 21 and at Bengals August 29. Real season opens September 12 at Patriots.

2. INTER MIAMI: Owner says he's 'optimistic' on getting Messi: Inter Miami principal owner Jorge Mas calls himself "optimistic" his club will land Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for the 2023 and '24 MLS seasons as part of deal currently being negotiated that we wrote about last week. Inter Miami, in its second season, has won two and tied two of its first eight matches and resumes play this coming Saturday June 19 at D.C. United.

3. NBA/HEAT: Suns first to conference finals; Riley fined: Suns beat Nuggets Sunday for  4-0 sweep, making Phoenix the first team through to conference finals. Utah and Philly carry 2-1 leads into games today. Nets and Bucks are 2-2. Meantime Miami Heat prez Pat Riley got fined by $25,000 by NBA for innocuous comment about LeBron James during the Le Batard 24-hour show. (I think Dan should pay the fine, don't you?) 

4. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: CFP to consider expanded 12-team playoff: The College Football Playoff management committee will consider expanding its playoff from four teams to 12 when it meets in June 17-18 Chicago. The proposed bracket would include the six highest-ranked conference champions, with the six remaining highest-ranked teams determined by the CFP selection committee.

5. SOCCER: Euro 2020 begins with major medical scare: The UEFA European Championship (Euro 2020, delayed from last year) got underway Friday and runs through July 11, with Portugal the defending champ but England and France narrow betting favorites this time. Major scare when Denmark's Christian Eriksen collapsed during the Danes' opening match vs. Finland and needed CPR and a defibrillator. He is resting comfortably. Match was suspended before Finland's eventual 1-0 win. Euro 2020 is the biggest soccer event since the pandemic. Meanwhile Copa America (a South America-based event) began Sunday and runs through July 10, with host Brazil the reigning champion and betting fave.

6. TENNIS: Djokovic rallies for French Open men's title: Top-seeded Novak Djokovic ousted 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in four sets to reach Sunday's Roland Garros final, then rallied from two sets down to win a five-set thriller over little-known Stefanos Tsisitsipas. In Saturday's who's-that! women's final, 31st-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia faced unseeded Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, Krejcikova winning in three sets.

7. NHL/PANTHERS: Playoff semifinals underway; 2 Cats up for awards: Stanley Cup playoff's semifinals began Sunday with a 2-1 New York Islanders win at Tampa Bay. Vegas-Montreal get going Monday. Panthers are still alive on the awards front, with Joel Quenneville a finalist for the Adams Award (coach of the year) and Aleksander Barkov for the Selke Trophy (forward who also excels on defense).

8. GOLF: U.S. Open tees off this week at Torrey Pines: The U.S. Open, the year's third of four men's golf majors, runs this Thursday through Sunday at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Jon Rahm is betting favorite at 10-1, ahead of Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Speith and Justin Thomas all bunched at 14-1.

9. MARLINS: Fish hit the road: Miami is 29-36 after Sunday's loss to Braves ended a three-game win streak fashioned on Trevor Rogers' seventh win, another quality start from Sandy Alcantara and Zach Thompson's first career win. Marlins set out now on six-game road trip starting tonight in St. Louis.

10. LE BATARD: 24-hour marathon proved a ratings home run: Last week's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz 24-hour marathon ('Freedumb') show drew almost 3 million views across YouTube Live and social platforms, with the total watch-time nearing 430,000 hours. Analysts credit the live Greg Cote Show podcast that aired from 4 to 5 a.m. (OK I made up that last part).

Missing the HB10 cut: Leon Edwards won the fight but Nate Diaz won the night in UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona. Diaz, fighting for first time since November 2019, owned the crowd and social media after the bout ..... Vanderbilt and Stanford won their NCAA Super Regional are on to the men's College World Series. The other six best--of-3 regionals continue today and Monday ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,842 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

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

Select other most recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

May 31, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Heat get swept, Panthers out too, Inter Miami hit with record fine, Osaka's silence. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with Mike Ryan out now & more

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

Memday1) It's MONDAY, MAY 31. Farewell, May! And have a safe and thankful Memorial Day Weekend, all! Take a moment to appreciate the men and women of our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice. 2) Check out this past Tuesday's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz podcasts for way too much of me, including (improbably) my belly button. I'll be back on tomorrow. 3) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Panthers eliminated by Tampa Bay, Heat seek home lift vs. Milwaukee, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram

Coteshow MryanGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH MIKE RYAN OUT NOW!: Our 21st episode of 2021 and 63rd overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 63 we've done so far HERE for free. Our latest episode features Le Batard Show producer Mike Ryan on the upcoming 24-hour marathon broadcast, the joy of Chelsea and agony of Inter Miami. Also, Greg and Chris on Heat and Panthers' early playoff exits, Greg mourns a death in the family and much more. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our column on Heat's season-ending loss: Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee.

Previous Heat/Panthers playoff columns: Heat Fans Showed Up For Game 3. Their Team Did Not / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Time For Heat Fans To Help Lift Their Team Back Into This Series / Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports / Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs / This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 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. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: Miami suffers only second best-of-7 sweep in its history: After a tight opening-game defeat and then 34- and 29-point losses, Miami got blown out in second half for a 120-103 Game 4 home loss Saturday and a sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks in their NBA first round playoff series. Heat's only other time being swept in a best-of-7 was in 2007. 

2. PANTHERS: Tampa in first round spells latest early playoff exit for Cats: The deployment of 20-year-old rookie goaltender Spencer Knight shot electricity into Game 5 but it still wound up a 4-2 Panthers series loss to Tampa Bay in the opening round of the NHL playoffs -- the disappointment chasing the best regular season in Florida's history. A 4-0 loss Wednesday ended it, leaving the Cats to figure out how to now get from really good to great.

3. INTER MIAMI: Record fine, loss = nightmare week for Miami: Inter Miami fell to 2-2-4 (four losses) in a 3-0 home loss to D.C. United Saturday night. It was the best part of the week for the beleaguered second-year club. Earlier, MLS fined Miami a league-record $2 million for violations of salary budget and roster regulations. MLS also levied a reduction in allocation money over the 2022 and 2023 seasons amounting to a 12 percent hit, and principal owner Jorge Mas also was hit with a personal $250,000 fine. The team is off until June 19. Good. Embarrassing!

4. MARLINS: Reeling Fish drop third straight: Marlins are 24-28 after a third straight loss despite solid pitching. Sunday's game in Boston was postponed by rain. Miami has fallen to fourth in the winnable (read: bad) NL East as Marlins' nine-game road trip continues Tuesday in Toronto.

5. DOLPHINS: Tua feeling "10 times better" as offseason work continues: Fins completed three days of voluntary organized team activity days this past week. More OTAs are set for this Tuesday through Thursday and then again June 7-8 and June 10, leading to a mandatory full-team minicamp June 15-17. Meanwhile second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa reports he is feeling "10 times better" physically and otherwise than last year. Who else wishes he's said 100 times better?

6. CANES BASEBALL: UM disappoints at ACCs, heads to regional : Miami ended its season 32-17, the most wins in its conference, but failed to make a run in the ACC Tournament in Charlotte this week, losing 3-2 to Duke and 6-3 to Florida State. Canes are headed to the double-elimination NCAA Regional in Gainesville looking to qualify for the College World Series. No. 2 seed UM's first regional game is Friday vs. No. 3 South Alabama (33-20).

7. AUTO RACING: Helio Castroneves unexpectedly wins Indianapolis 500: The 105th Indianapolis 500 was Sunday at the Brickyard, and 46-year-old Helio Castroneves of Fort Lauderdale -- thought too old to win again -- collected his fourth trophy to tie A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears for the most ever. A crowd of 135,000 watch, most at any event since the pandemic.

8. TENNIS: Osaka withdraws as French Open begins at Roland Garros: The French Open, second of four tennis majors, began Sunday on the clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris. Rafael Nadal is the favorite to collect his record 14th French title and fifth in a row. On the women's side Simona Halep's withdrawal (calf injury) left Poland's Iga Swiatek the betting pick to repeat. Meantime world No. 2 Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 and threatened with default from the tournament for refusing to take part in media obligations. So she withdrew.

9. OLYMPICS: Call to cancel Tokyo Summer Games increases: Japan's prominent Asahi Shimbun newspaper this week called for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled with the Games set to open in less than two months, on July 23. It is the first of Japan's major newspapers to do so. The growing opposition is rooted in the country's continued struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

10. SOCCER: Underdog Chelsea reigns in Champions League final: Manchester City and underdog Chelsea met Saturday in Portugal in the 66th championship match of the UEFA Champions League, and Chelsea won 1-0 on a Kai Havertz goal in only the third all-England final, after Man U-Chelsea in 2008 and Liverpool-Tottenham Hotspur in 2019, in Champs League history.

Missing the HB10 cut: Here comes another meaningless golf match everyone will watch. The ink hadn't dried on his new PGA Championship check when it was announced Phil Mickelson would join Tom Brady in a golfer/QB celebrity round -- The Match IV -- vs. Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers on July 6 in Montana ..... A 24-hour Dan Le Batard Show airing noon Friday to noon Saturday will help kick off the new partnership with DraftKings ..... Falcons receiver Julio Jones reportedly has drawn the offer of a first round pick from at least one team ..... The family of a former White Sox stadium worker is crying foul after a lounge named after her was renamed in honor of Tony La Russa and is now called La Russa's Lounge ..... NBA announced a new business investment entity called NBA Africa with investors including former stars Dikembe Mutombo and Grant Hill ..... Eight prep basketball powerhouses including Montverde and IMG Academy in Florida have formed the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference set to begin later this year ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,856 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Other most recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's DeathAaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

Select other recent columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

May 24, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Heat lose Game 1, Cats need miracle on ice, Phil! See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

Dylan1) It's MONDAY, MAY 24. Happy birthday today to a musical and cultural hero of mine, Bob Dylan, turning 80. Thanks, Bob, and here's to many more! Gonna go spin "Thunder On the Mountain," loud as it'll go. 2) I was back in-studio on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past week. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts for a full dose of me. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Panthers in trouble with 2-0 series hole, latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 20th episode of 2021 and 62nd overall is out now. A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 62 HERE for free. Our latest episode features a fun, interactive Greg's Mail Sack in which listeners ask questions on the air. Also, Greg says don't count out Panthers, even down 3-1, explains why Heat are in good shape even after losing Game 1. Some Phil and Tebow talk, too. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Heat lose (barely), Panthers lose (big) on rare day for South Florida sports: It was only the third time in the franchises' combined history that both the Heat and panthers played a playoff game on the same day. For our combined column, visit Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports. The rarity happens again tonight as both play again.

Our other most recent columns: Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole / Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts NowAging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's DeathAaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / and Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 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. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: Miami drops Game 1. But is it Bucks who should be worried?: Heat lost Game 1 in Milwaukee Saturday, 109-107, with the Bucks also at home for Game 2 tonight/Monday. But is it Milwaukee that should be concerned in this NBA first-round series? Bucks barely won opener despite Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro shooting a combined 10-for-57. A club-playoff-record 20 3's (seven by Duncan Robinson) almost saved Miami despite the abysmal offense from key players.

2. PANTHERS: Cats in trouble after 6-2 loss, 3-1 series hole: It got ugly in Tampa Saturday in a 6-2 Panthers loss fora 3-1 hole in their NHL first round playoff series. Only 9.4 percent of teams in league history have rallied from 3-1 down to win a best-of-7. Game 5 is back in Sunrise tonight/Monday and Florida needs three straight wins to stave off early elimination. Sergei Bobrovsky got pulled Saturday as Panthers' inconsistent goaltending continued. Time for Spencer Knight? (Just asking for a friend...).

3. GOLF: Mickelson makes history at PGA Championship!: The PGA Championship, golf's second of four majors, ended Sunday at Kiawah Island in South Carolina with Phil Mickelson a two-stroke winner. Mickelson at 50 became the oldest champion in the 161 years of the golf majors.

4. MARLINS: Fish on a little roll as Poteet stars: Marlins are 22-24 after Sunday's 5-1 defeat of Mets made it two straight wins and four out of five. Cody Poteet served up seven shutout innings for Miami, after Pablo Lopez did the same the day before. Fish went a credible 5-5 on their 10-game road trip and now are 2-1 into a seven-game homestand, and four against the Phillies up now.

5. DOLPHINS: Fins back on field to begin OTA workdays: Today through Wednesday this week will mark the first three of 10 "organized team activity" or OTA offseason workdays. They are voluntary (wink, wink) but you are expected to attend. No live contact is permitted but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

6. INTER MIAMI: Loss at Chicago denies Miami winning record -- again: Inter Miami's 1-0 road loss Saturday to a bad Chicago Fire squad left Team Beckham 2-2-3 for the season. A win would have given Inter Miami a winning record for the first time in its two year history. Up next: Locals host D.C. United next Saturday night.

7. CANES BASEBALL: UM learns its ACC Tournament path: Miami ended its regular season 32-17 with a sweep of Louisville Saturday and now prepares for the May 25-30 ACC Tournament in Charlotte. Canes face Duke on Thursday and Florida State Friday. Miami led the ACC in wins this season but is not ranked nationally -- unlike conference rivals Notre Dame (8th), FSU (15th) and North Carolina State (23rd).

8. SOCCER: It's title week for UEFA Champions League: Manchester City and underdog Chelsea vie this coming Saturday in Portugal in the 66th championship match in the UEFA Champions League. It's only the third all-England final, after Man U-Chelsea in 2008 and Liverpool-Tottenham Hotspur in 2019.

9. AUTO RACING: IndyCar, NASCAR vrooming toward big day: The 105th Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte both run next Sunday May 30. It may be the only day on the race calendar that the IndyCar Series owns the national spotlight when both leagues are running.

10. TENNIS: French Open is on deck at Roland Garros: The French Open, second of four tennis majors, begins next Sunday May 30 on the clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris. Rafael Nadal is the favorite to collect his record 14th French title and fifth in a row, ahead of Novak Djokovic. On the women's side, Poland's Iga Swiatek is the betting pick to repeat, especially after Simona Halep's withdrawal due to a calf injury.

Missing the HB10 cut: U.S. star gymnast Simone Biles did a Yurchenko double pike vault in competition Saturday -- a first for a woman ..... Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, with a roster that includes some players who were at the school on Feb. 14, 2018, when a shooter took the lives of 17 students, teachers and staff, won a state baseball championship Saturday ..... Denver's Nikola Jokic is expected to become the NBA's first center to be named league MVP since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000. Phily's Joel Embiid and Golden State's Steph Curry are other finalists ..... Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2) will end a two-year layoff and fight Errol Spence Jr. (27-0) on August 21 in Las Vegas ..... In yet another major blow to college basketball, two highly ranked 6-9 Florida twins, juniors Matt and Ryan Bewley, have become the first players to sign with Overtime Elite, the startup developmental American professional basketball league. They and more to follow are forsaking high school and college eligibility for (they hope) a quicker path to the NBA ..... Anybody interested in a slightly used Julio Jones? ..... Tim Tebow's new Jacksonville Jags jersey is the the No. 1 seller at the NFL's online shop. Lemmings!! ..... Sam Houston State scored late to beat South Dakota State 23-21 and win the FCS championship game of second-tier college football, which played its delayed 2020 season this spring ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,863 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Additional most recent columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On  /  What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today?  /  The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts  /  and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

Select other recent columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

May 17, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Panthers lose playoff opener (with column from arena), Heat draw Bucks, Bosh gets Hall call, Fins end rookie camp. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, MAY 17. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hoops Hall of Fame will get it right on Chris Bosh this time, Panthers look like best in franchise history but it's time to prove it, newest Greg Cote Show podcast with ESPN's Israel Gutierrez, latest column links & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow JujuGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 19th episode of 2021 and 61st overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 61 we've done so far HERE for free. Our latest episode features Superfans @JuJuGotti (pictured) & @YetiBlanc_ on cult of @LeBatardShow worship; and identical-twin teenage whiz-kid authors try to explain sports analytics to Greg & @ChrisCoteDKings. Also: Local sports!! A frantic Joe Biden phone message. New Nellie's Diner ad. And a Mount Gregmore music quiz. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Column from arena on Panthers' Game 1 loss: Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs.

Other most recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right. Also: This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now; Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's DeathAaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen; and Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 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. This week's HB10:

HButton1. PANTHERS: Cats drop Game 1 thriller as road to Stanley Cup begins!: Puck dropped Saturday on NHL playoffs and Florida Panthers opened Sunday night with a 5-4 home loss to Tampa Bay in Game 1 of what figures as a contentious first-round series between bitter state rivals. Panthers took five of eight games from Lightning in regular season and carried a six-game win streak into playoffs including 5-1 and 4-0 wins over Tampa -- yet Cats are series betting underdogs and the reigning league champs showed why last night.

2. HEAT: Miami ends regular season Sunday, awaits Bucks in first round: Miami ended 40-32 and sixth to draw third seed Milwaukee in first round. Can Heat eliminate Bucks from playoffs as they did in the bubble last year? Tall taks. And they'd like draw Brooklyn in second round. Uh oh. Thursday's home finale marked an eventful if brief season debut for beloved Udonis Haslem: Three minutes, one ejection. Playoffs -- United In Black is Miami's theme -- are to start next Saturday following the play-in tournament Tuesday through Friday.

3. HALL OF FAME: Big weekend as Kobe is inducted, Bosh is elected: An emotional Saturday saw Kobe Bryant, presented posthumously by his widow and Michael Jordan, lead the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class in a delayed-by-COVID induction ceremony, along with notables Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. The 2021 class announced Sunday included former Heat star Chris Bosh as expected among 16 new entrants. No Tim Hardaway, though.

4. DOLPHINS: NFL schedule out, Fins wrap up rookie minicamp: Miami's three-day rookie minicamp for newly signed top pick Jaylen Waddle and all the rest ended Sunday. Up next for offseason work: Voluntary (but not really) OTA workdays May 24-26. Meanwhile NFL schedules came out, with Miami opening September 12 at New England, then at home September 19 vs. Buffalo. Notable: Fins in London October 17 vs. Jacksonville, and in prime time November 11 (Thursday, vs. Baltimore) and December 27 (Monday, at New Orleans).

5. MARLINS: Lopez, Duvall deliver needed win: Fish are 18-22 after beating Dodgers 3-2 Sunday on Pablo Lopez's strong start and Adam Duvall's three-run homer. Miami is now 3-4 on a 10-game road trip that continues in Philadelphia Tuesday. 

6. INTER MIAMI: Locals beat Cincinnati to pull even on season: Team Beckham won 3-2 at FC Cincinnati, fueled by two goals from Gonzalo Higuain to pull even at 2-2-2 for the young MLS season. MLSPA figures out last week showed Miami with biggest payroll at $17.8 million and Higuain third among all players at $5.79M. (They got their  money's worth Sunday). Next up: At Chicago on Saturday. 

7. HORSE RACING: Rombauer wins Preakness Stakes: Rombauer won the 146th Preakness at Pimlico on Saturday, beating runnerup Midnight Bourbon. The third-place finisher was the Kentucky Derby winner, Cheatin' Medina Spirit.

8. GOLF: PGA Championship is this week: The second of four golf majors, the PGA Championship, is this Thursday through Sunday in South Carolina. Rory McIlroy is betting favorite at 10-1, just ahead of Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas, all 12-1.

9. WNBA: 25th anniversary season now underway: The Seattle Storm begins defense of its title as it's opening weekend for the women's league's silver season, with the 12 teams back in their home arenas for the 32-game regular season. The WNBA will break for a month (July 12-August 14) for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

10. SOCCER: Leicester City surprise win in FA Cup: The 140th FA Cup final Saturday found underdog Leicester City surprising Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley Stadium to take the English football crown. Youri Tielmans' strike delivered Leicester's first-ever FA Cup win, after video replay disallowed a tying Chelsea goal in the 88th minute. On May 29 the UEFA Champions League final sees Chelsea again, but this time a betting underdog vs. Manchester City.

Missing the HB10 cut: Albert Pujols isn't going far, signs one-year deal with Dodgers after being cut by Angels ..... Bigger cloud over NFL offseason: Aaron Rodgers wanting divorce from Green Bay? Or Deshaun Watson legal mess in Houston? Close call ..... Canes baseball is 28-16 entering, the it's four games left in season before ACC Tournament. Miami was passed over as an NCAA regional host ..... Brouhaha in college women's golf! NCAA canceled women's golf regional in Baton Rouge over soggy course conditions even though coaches said it was playable. As a result the top six seeded teams advanced to nationals and others -- including Miami -- were denied their chance. UM coach Patti Rizzo? Angry ..... It's the South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. the underdog Sam Houston State Breakats on Sunday in the FCS championship game of second-tier college football, which played a spring season this year ..... Upcoming events: Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 are both May 30. French Open also starts that day ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,870 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES:

Additional most recent columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On  /  What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today?  /  The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts  /  and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

Select other recent columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

May 10, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fists fly as Cats whip Lightning, Heat beat Boston to protect 6th spot in packed week. See who's No. 1 and what else lands where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now with Izzy Gutierrez & more

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

Meandmom1) It's MONDAY, MAY 10. Hope y'all had a Happy Mother's Day! It's a time time to appreciate the Mom you have but also, for me and many others, to remember with love the one no longer with us. Pictured is the last photo of my Mom ever taken before she passed at age 96 in 2015. 2) I was on Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past Thursday this week, and back in-studio for first time in more than a year with a new Back In My Day. Check out that day's podcasts for way too much of me. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Aging ex-Fins reflect on 1-year anniversary of Shula's death, Aaron Rodgers involves Miami (of course), Grade-A draft fuels Dolphins' momentum, Greg Cote Show podcast with draft talk and Tony Calatayud & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow IzzyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!:  Our new 18th episode of 2021 and 60th overall is out now! A new pod drops Mondays at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 60 we've done HERE for free. Our latest episode features special guest Israel (Izzy) Gutierrez of ESPN (pictured) in a fun conversation about boats, sneakers, golf and Chris Cote's social skills. Oh, and hoops talk, too, including Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame chances and how the Heat are looking as the playoffs near. Also, an historic new Mount Gregmore. Bonus: Greg sings the song that was playing on the radio when he first kissed a girl. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns:

Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death

Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen

Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 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. This week's HB10:

1. PANTHERS: Cats close season, open playoffs vs. bitter-rival Lightning: Florida at 36-14-5 has won five straight and leaped to second in points in the Central ahead of Tampa Bay with Saturday night's penalty-strewn 5-1 home rout of the Lightning, fueled by Alex Wennberg's hat trick. Rivals meet again Monday night in Sunrise to close the 56-game regular, with Cats needing a win or overtime loss to earn home-ice advantage in first round of playoffs. If Saturday was an indication, fists will be flyin' in a Florida-Tampa playoff. 

HButton2. HEAT: Miami jockeying for playoff position and down to stretch run: Miami solidified its lead over the Celtics for sixth place in the East with Sunday's big Jimmy Butler-led win at Boston. Now at 37-31 it's four games left in the shortened 72-game regular-season starting with another game at Boston on Tuesday. Heat are near-certain to make postseason but must finish in the top six to avoid play-in round. (Aside to Jimmy Butler: Could you lay off Karl Anthony-Towns a bit? Dude's had a tough year).

3. DOLPHINS: Fins set offseason schedule, trade for veteran CB: NFL offseason is underway and, for Miami, it starts with rookie minicamp for the Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips-led incoming draft class this Friday through next Sunday. Then: Voluntary-but-not really OTA workdays May 24-26, June 1-3, June 7-8 and June 10, and a mandatory full-team minicamp June 15-17. Also, Fins signed veteran ex-Pats corner Jason McCourty, 33, to 1-year deal, obviously as insurance (and leverage) in case Xavien Howard brays about holding out for more money.

4. MARLINS: Fish lose two of three after 4-game win streak: Miami was 15-16 and out of the NL East cellar after a three-game home sweep of Arizona and then a fourth straight win Friday vs. Milwaukee, before losing two straight to the Brewers. Miami begins 10-game road trip Monday at Arizona. Starters Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez and Trevor Rogers have been terrific, and the 'pen has been lights-out.

5. SOCCER: FA Cup, Champions League finals set: What a time for English football! The 140th FA Cup final will match Chelsea and underdog Leicester City this coming Saturday May 15 at Wembley Stadium. On May 29 the UEFA Champions League final in Turkey will see Chelsea the betting underdog this time vs. Manchester City. It will be only the third all-England final in the Champ League's 66 years. 

6. INTER MIAMI: Franchise-first winning record still elusive after 1-1- draw: Team Beckham is 1-2-1 after a loss-win-draw-draw this young season with Sunday's 1-1- home tie vs. Atlanta United. Miami is still chasing its first-ever winning record into its second season in Major League Soccer. Inter Miami is back home for a Wednesday mid-weeker vs. Montreal.

7. NFL: Aaron Rodgers drama heats up, with Miami a peripheral player: MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers reportedly wanting out of Green Bay has seen ripples around the NFL, including an ESPN piece this week speculating Washington, Denver and Miami as the three likeliest teams to pursue. Dolphins are still publicly in "Tua's our guy" mode. Time will tell.

8. UPCOMING: Preakness Stakes leads parade of big events remaining in May: The Preakness at Pimlico next Saturday will be horse racing's second Triple Crown race, with Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit a 7-2 betting fave to win again. Also upcoming in May: The PGA Championship is May 20-23, the Indianapolis 500 on May 30 and the French Open starting May 30.

9. GOLF: Can new 'Premier Golf League' wins its war with PGA Tour?: A proposed European Super League in soccer failed fast. Now golf? The proposed Premier Golf League,' heavily funded by Saudi money, is promising multi-million-dollar guarantees to top-ranked golfers to break away from the PGA and European Tours. Phil Mickelson calls the notion "interesting." The breakaway tour is set to start in September 2022 ... if it can attract top players. Your move, PGA Tour.

10. MLB: Angels abruptly release future Hall of Famer Pujols: Has certain first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols taken his last-MLB at-bat at age 41? Pujols, in sharp decline the past two years, was abruptly cut by the L.A. Angels this week. His first team, St. Louis, seems likeliest to sign him, but perhaps to a 1-day contract so he might retire as a Cardinal. 

Missing the HB10 cut: Former Miami Heat star Chris Bosh will be among likely honorees next Sunday when the College Basketball Hall of Fame announces its 2021 class ..... Mexican star Canelo Alvarez, no doubt inspired by an appearance on the Le Batard Show (!), stopped Billy Joe Saunders before 65,000-plus fans in Texas Saturday in a super middleweight unification fight ..... House Speaker  Nancy Pelosi honored baseball legend Willie Mays for his 90th birthday by tweeting out a photo of herself with Wille McCovey. OY! ..... Russell Westbrook tied Oscar Robertson's NBA record for most career triple-doubles ..... Portland Thorns won the NWSL Challenge Cup tournament over Gotham FC in a penalty shootout ..... Canes baseball at should re-enter the rankings if it completes a home sweep of Appalachian State today ..... Saturday semifinal wins launched Sam Houston State and South Dakota State to next week's FCS championship game in second-level college football ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,877 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Our most recent other columns: Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On  /  What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today?  /  The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts   and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

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ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

April 17, 2021

What would Jackie Robinson think of race in America today? New column; plus case for Dolphins trading up for Pitts, Matsuyama's Masters win lifts Japan in time of anti-Asian hate, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy & more

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

Mecane1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 17. We were back on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on Tuesday. Find that day's show podcasts, including a new Back In My Day. One of the reasons I love being on Dan's show is the fans. They are super loyal, engaged and talented. Example: Dan jokes on-air that I should adopt a royal persona and walk into press boxes carrying a scepter. So a bunch of stuff related to that turns up online including the photo shown. So sublimely ridiculous. Love it. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top10, Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Song of the Week: "Chosen Family," Rina Sawayama with Elton John.

Coteshow DavepGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH DAVE PARKER, ROY BELLAMY OUT NOW!: Our 15th podcast of 2021 (57th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 57 we've done HERE for free. In our new Ep15 we welcome in two special guests: Former Pittsburgh Pirates star Dave Parker (pictured in his swaggery days), and, from the Le Batard Show, Roy Bellamy. Parker has a new autobiography out and he speaks about being denied the Hall of Fame, his fight with Parkinson's disease and more. And get to know the inscrutable Bellamy in a fun chat about his bucket list, what scares him and more. (And do we get Roy to sing? Find out). Also: The Mount Gregmore of all-time best food genres and dishes. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

JackieSOMBER SURROUNDINGS FOR JACKIE ROBINSON DAY '21. NEW COLUMNJackie Robinson would be 102 years old today, had fate given him a longevity of life to approach the importance and magnitude of the one he led. Instead he died much too soon, at 53, of a heart attack in his home in 1972. Heart disease and diabetes had left him barely able to see by middle age. Tens of thousands of mourners, fans and admirers lined the streets of his funeral procession in Brooklyn. And the mind wonders, on this day of all days: What would this American hero, the man who broke the color line in Major League Baseball and died nearly blind — what would he be thinking if he could see what was happening now? In the America he worked to change by being on the front lines against racism and prejudice? In the America that still hasn’t changed nearly enough 74 years after this man endured the death threats aimed at the first Black man allowed into baseball’s highest level. Thursday is Jackie Robinson Day in MLB, the annual day of reflection when baseball honors his legacy on the anniversary of his MLB debut. When throughout the majors, so many players who had it a little easier because of him wear his number 42 to say thanks. What would Jackie Robinson be thinking as a jury verdict neared in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin? For our full latest column, visit Progress? Or heartache? What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today?

KpittsMIAMI DOLPHINS NEED TO MAKE ONE MORE BOLD DRAFT TRADE AND GO ALL-IN FOR THIS PLAYER: The Miami Dolphins have been the most interesting, active player in the buildup to the NFL Draft, trading down from the third overall pick to the 12th and then moving back up to the sixth. But their work shouldn’t be done. The Fins’ aggressiveness and daring have one bold move left before they are on the clock in the first round come April 29. Miami should do what it must to get in the Atlanta Falcons’ ear and trade up two spots to the fourth pick, and there should be a determined urgency for one reason: Kyle Pitts. There is no one in this draft who would be a greater difference-maker for the Dolphins over the next 10-plus years because there is no one else in this draft who would be a greater difference-maker in what quarterback Tua Tagovailoa becomes. His Florida Gators coach, Dan Mullen, called Pitts a “unicorn.” I’d call him a generational talent who had to have been created in the laboratory or imagination of some day-dreaming offensive coordinator. For our full recent column, visit The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts.

WON'T FIX THE WORLD, BUT MATSUYAMA'S MASTERS WIN LIFTS JAPAN IN A TIME OF ANTI-ASIAN HATE: Sometimes sports delivers us a result that just feels right, like there is a heart behind the hand of fate. The Masters golf tournament did that for us Sunday. Hideki Matsuyama did that. You couldn’t help but feel good, for Hidekithe player, for the Japanese people — and for more than that — as he wrapped himself into the most beautiful ugly green jacket in the history of men’s wear. No event in sports means to tug at the heartstrings or does it better than the Masters, an air of history and reverence within golf’s singular cathedral, the gentle description of CBS’ Jim Nantz the perfect soundtrack. The troika of treachery called Amen Corner. The riotous bloom of azaleas. The impossible quaintness of Butler Cabin. The Masters unfurls as a visually stunning tableau, an oil painting come to life. An infamous past is a part of the portrait. For too many decades Georgia’s Augusta National Golf Club was a society open only white men. Blacks and women need not have applied. The Masters deserves little praise for being goaded reluctantly to join the 21st Century. That is why this particular Masters felt special. Different. It felt that way in Thursday’s annual ceremonial start, when old-timers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were joined on the first tee by Lee Elder, who 46 years earlier had become the first Black man permitted to play this tournament. Now 86, Elder was not up to hitting a tee shot but rose elegantly from his chair, with help, to acknowledge the applause of onlookers. The ceremonial honor given Elder, better late than never, was book-ended Sunday when Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win the Masters — the first man from golf-mad Japan to win any major. In a time of anti-Asian racism and hate, this victory lifted the spirits of a nation. And that felt right. For our full recent column, visit It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

Our most recent other columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / and The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft. Also: Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / and In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time.

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ARCHIVES:

Other recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / and Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive.

Select other columns: Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / 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 / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

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).