NFL Wild Card Weekend playoff picks: We were 3-0 Saturday. Today's picks here!; plus new Hot Button Top 10, What Dolphins' smart re-commitment to Tua means for '21 draft, first Greg Cote Show podcast of new year, final Herald 2020 NFL QB rankings & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND
1) It's SUNDAY, JANUARY 10. Happy anniversary to my wife! To the best person I know, and the luckiest decision I've ever made! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins miss playoffs with collapse in Buffalo, Hot Button Top10, NFL Week 17 picks, Orange Bowl column, Greg Cote Show podcast's new first episode of 2021 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.
Say cheese! Packers' Rodgers wins elusive first Herald NFL QB season title: The details including the final season Top 35, here: Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings.
NFL WILD CARD WEEKEND PLAYOFF PICKS: WE WERE 3-0 SATURDAY, INCLUDING THE UPSET!: Week 17 was better to us than it was to the Miami Dolphins. We finished the regular season strong, with a 12-4 mark lifting us up over the .650 plateau overall for the year, and a 9-6-1 finish against the point spread leaving us at .520 for the year ATS, a tick better than last year despite this strangest, most unpredictable of pandemic seasons. We kept our hot hand on Upset of the Week picks, nailing another with Rams over Cardinals (“Aawwk!”). This our 30th season of picks in the Herald and we thank you for joining us on the ride! Now it’s time to surf a hot streak all the way to the Super Bowl as the playoffs begin with Super Wild Card Weekend -- super because there are three games Saturday and Sunday this year, not two as usual. As in the regular season, our postseason picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print. Our Wild Card Weekend picks include five favorites all covering cover ... but one big upset. (And probably not the one you'd imagine). For all of our latest picks, visit NFL Wild Card Playoff Gems.
HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 10-11): 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. NFL: It's Super Wild Card Weekend on road to Super Bowl: As top seeds Kansas City and Green Bay enjoy their bye week off, the remaining 12 teams in the expanded NFL playoffs compete Saturday and Sunday in three wild card games each day. Miami of course failed to make it at 10-6, a record better than two teams that advanced. Who again said life was fair?
2. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 'Bama, Ohio State in Miami for CFP finale: No.1 12-0 Alabama and No. 3 7-0 Ohio State duel for the College Football Playoff national championship Monday night at Hard Rock Stadium. Gamblers with a bet and folks in and around Tuscaloosa and Columbus have a favorite. For the rest of us: Who do we hate least?
3. DOLPHINS: Miami parts ways with OC Gailey: Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, hauled out of retirement by the Dolphins this past season, resigned in a mutual parting. Defensive line coach Marion Hobby also will not return. Dear Fins: Hire somebody who can fully unlock Tua.
4. PANTHERS: Cats' season opener postponed by opponent's COVID issues: Florida was scheduled to open the NHL season vs. Dallas in Sunrise this Thursday and Friday, but those games were postponed by the Stars' COVID issues. The Panthers' now will open the season at home vs. Chicago with games January 17 and 19.
5. POLITICS: Sports world reacts to insurrection at U.S. Capitol: We can all agree the pro-Trump mob invited to assault the Capitol are criminals who should be held accountable. But as anger in sports reflected, so should law enforcement who either were slow to stop the almost entirely white crowd and in some cases even enabled the attack.
6. HEAT: Anybody up for a two-game winning streak? Please?: The defending NBA Finals runnersup were 3-4 entering a four-game road swing that began Saturday in Washington. The Heat, still searching to recapture its misplaced mojo, had yet to win consecutive games.
7. MLB: Mets make noise with major trade for Lindor: Four-time All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco are New York Mets now after a blockbuster trade with Cleveland. Hey Marlins and new GM Kim Ng: Feel free to make an offseason move or two.
8. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men looking for a little luck: Miami's men were 4-5 and 0-4 in the ACC, after a 3-0 start, entering Saturday's game at NC State -- with four of the losses by 4, 2, 1 and 2 points. Miami's women, also once 3-0, are 5-4/2-4 entering Sunday's game at North Carolina.
9. NBA: Spurs Becky Hammon makes history: San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon made history in becoming the first woman to take on head coaching duties after Gregg Popovich was ejected during a game against the Lakers. Just part of one game, but still a big deal.
10. ESPN: Hey McShay had his first mock draft!: Todd McShay's first of 6,445 mock draft leading to April notably had the Dolphins selecting two wide receivers in the first round: Alabama's DeVonta Smith third overall and Minnesota's Rashod Batemen 18th. Smith makes big sense, but I'd be shocked by two WRs to Miami in 1R.
Missing the HB10 cut: Dodgers Legend Tommy Lasorda, gone at 93. R.I.P. ..... Urban Meyer inching closer to coming out of retirement and joining the NFL. Look around the league and see he fits all the prequisites: Proven winner, and white ..... Jim Harbaugh signed an extension with Michigan. Quick thought: WHY!?? ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 44 (No. 2 of 2021) is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,996 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.
DOLPHINS' RE-COMMITMENT TO TUA: WHY IT WAS SMART, AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR '21 DRAFT: It took about 10 seconds for Chris Grier to render the Miami Dolphins’ offseason a heck of a lot less interesting. There had been tendrils of smoke beginning to arise from the fan base, wanting to catch fire. Your Friend the Media sat happily ready to fan them into flames. Into a bonfire. Grier, the Dolphins’ general manager, snuffed all that out, mashed it out as neatly as a cigarette smoker crushed a butt into an ashtray (back when people smoked cigarettes). “Tua we’re very happy with,” Grier said simply, in this week’s season post-mortem media availability via Zoom. “He’s our starting quarterback.” That’s when the air left the offseason — when what might have been became a non-factor. All the tweets and other social media posts about how the Dolphins should set an NFL record for collective impatience by moving on from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. All of the media pundits, far and near, opining on who Tagovailoa’s replacement should be with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft on April 29. We might have looked forward to almost four months of juicy debate and speculation (lifeblood of sports, I remind you), had Grier and coach Brian Flores been anything but unequivocal this week about where Tagovailoa stands with the franchise moving forward. “We need to improve at every position.” Something as banal or vague as that from Grier or Flores, when asked about satisfaction with Tagovailoa, might have been enough to fan the flames and leave the door ajar in the buildup to the draft. Instead? The Dolphins did not the interesting or fun thing, but the right thing and the smart thing, in publicly recommitting to Tagovailoa. For our full latest column: Dolphins' Re-Commitment to Tua is Smart, And Well-Timed.
Our most recent other columns: Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing Collapse / It Was the Overshadowed Bowl, but A&M and UNC Deliver An Exciting OB / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue yet Again / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / and Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener.
GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and our new No. 1 episode of 2021 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 43 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free; please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the latest Ep1 of '21, ESPN star Sarah Spain discusses the Le Batard Show as Dan leaves the network, Greg and Chris chat up the Dolphins' massive collapse in Buffalo and, oh no, Mount Gregmore is back! Hear all of that and more in our first new episode of the year! Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, rate, review and subscribe.
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Select other recent columns: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / 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 a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.
Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.
Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.
Select other 2020 columns: Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / 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 on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg: Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Columns. Podcast. Podcast on Twitter. Podcast on Instagram. LeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).