January 10, 2021

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.

PicksNFL 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:

HButton1. 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 Tuabonfire. 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.

CoteshowGREG 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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THE ARCHIVES:

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

December 17, 2020

New Greg Cote Show podcast: Animal psychologist on dogs and cats, Dolphins, mysterious future of Mount Gregmore; plus tonight's Chargers-Raiders pick, NFL Week 14 Pix 'n Fantasy results and updated QB rankings & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17. Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. But the blog still chugs on! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall to Chiefs, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 41 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Tonight's Chargers-Raiders pick: Watch for a Justin Herbert-Derek Carr shootout and not a lot of defense. our pick: NFL Week 15 Thursday Gem.

Updated Herald NFL QB rankings: A rookie wins Week 14. (No, unfortunately not that rookie). And the overall season lead is getting close! Check out Herald NFL Week 14 QB Rankings.

Coteshow PetsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 41 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. Find all 41 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep41 we welcome in a renowned animal psychologist who talks about how to raise happy dogs and cats in an informative, fun conversation. Also, Greg and Chris discuss the Dolphins' Sunday loss to Kansas City, the Canes' awful defensive collapse and the Heat/James Harden rumor. And the Mount Gregmore Name Game reaches its end with the X's, Y's and Z's. But will it be the end of Mount Gregmore? Listen to find out! Hear all of that and more in the new podcast. Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out the new Ep41 now!

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 14 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Ouch. Took a hit against the spread: Week 14 was unkind to us, delivering a subpar 9-7 mark overall and a far worse 5-11 against the spread, our worst this season ATS. We had some nice plays. Nailed our Upset of the Week with Denver winning at Carolina ("Aawwk!"). Had a second outright upset bull's-eye with Washington winning at San Fran, and also had Dolphins-with-points covering vs. Kansas City. The rest we won't mention. Wrong side of too many point spreads. We move on. Glad you're along for the ride on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: A loss in (consolation) playoffs: Lobos almost made main playoffs even at 5-8 but fell short, then lost in first rou d of consolation playoffs 188-73. (How in hell does a team capable of 188 points not make the Championship Playoffs? But 73 points won't win much, either; neither will 18 points (Chris Carson) for a leading scorer. This is PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. We'll keep you posted on the big finish.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select 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 / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

December 10, 2020

The telling month. Now is when we begin to find out if Dolphins' Tua has greatness in his reach. New column; plus latest Greg Cote Show podcast, Thursday's Patriots-Rams pick, Herald Week 13 NFL QB rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10. Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. But the blog still chugs on! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins beat Bengals, Canes rout Duke, Le Batard leaving ESPN, NFL Week 13 picks, Week 12 Pix 'n Fantasy results and QB rankings, new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 39 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

New: Thursday night Patriots-Rams pick: Do we smell an upset cooking?: NFL Week 14 Thursday Gem.

Updated Herald NFL QB rankings: A Bill wins the week and a Packer passes a Seahawk to narrow a Chief's lead: Herald NFL Week 13 QB Rankings. 

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 40 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 40 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep40 we welcome in special guest Harvey Greene, the Dolphins' PR guy for almost 30 years who began his career being fired five times by George Steinbrenner. Hear his great behind-the-scenes stories. Also, Greg and Chris talk over the wild Dolphins-Bengals game, Greg opines on the Le Batard-ESPN divorce, and of course there's a new Mount Gregmore (the W's). Hear all of that and more in the new podcast. Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out the new Ep40 now!

TuatIT IS THE TELLING MONTH. FOR DOLPHINS' TUA, WE BEGIN TO SEE IF GREATNESS IS IN HIS REACH: Though Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has impressed, the proving has just begun. And now it elevates to a whole new level. See, it shouldn’t be Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert who Tagovailoa is judged against. Aim higher. If Dolphins fans truly believe/hope Tagovailoa is the long-sought answer for real, the conduit to sustained winning and winning big, then aim higher they must. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They are Tagovailoa’s competition now if a path back to the Super Bowl is how high Miami dares dream. Which brings us to the next month that closes the NFL regular season as the 8-4 Dolphins try to not only reach the postseason but to win the franchise’s first playoff game in two decades, since December 30, 2000. Tagovailoa must lead them there. Here is his gauntlet. To read our full latest column, please visit For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach.

Picks LoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 13 RESULTS: NFL Pix--A head-above-water week: Some nutty Week 13 outcomes -- Giants over Seattle? Washington over Steelers? -- but we weathered the storm to go 9-6 straight-up and 8-7 agains the point spread. That included a trio of 'dogs-with-points in covers by the Jaguars, Jets and Washington. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: A win ... but no miracle: Lobos ended a six-game losing streak by closing regular season with a 123-92 win fueled by 24 from Aaron Jones, 22 from Cam Newton and 20 from Michael Thomas. But it wasn't enough to make the 6-team playoffs in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. At 5-8 we finished in seventh place. Oh well, at least we're in the consolation playoffs. We'll announce our MVL -- Most Valuable Lobo -- after the season. Our three finalists are Amari Cooper, Jones and Newton. So stay tuned.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select recent columns: Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / 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  / Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move/ 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: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / 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 / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

December 08, 2020

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now! It's Radio Tuesday, too!; plus Dolphins and Tua club Cincy 19-7, Hurricanes roll at Duke 48-0, Le Batard leaving ESPN, NFL Week 13 picks, Pix 'n Fantasy Week 12 results and updated QB rankings & more

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

1) It's TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8. Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. But the blog still chugs on! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins beat Stinkin' Jets, Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 39 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

It's Radio Tuesday!: Me. Today. Le Batard Show With Stugotz. 10 a.m. to noon nationally on ESPN Radio. Catch it while you can.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 HAD THE DAY OFF. SEE YA NEXT SUNDAY!

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 40 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 40 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep40 we welcome in special guest Harvey Greene, the Dolphins' PR guy for almost 30 years who began his career being fired five times by George Steinbrenner. Hear his great behind-the-scenes stories. Also, Greg and Chris talk over the wild Dolphins-Bengals game, Greg opines on the Le Batard-ESPN divorce, and of course there's a new Mount Gregmore (the W's). Hear all of that and more in the new podcast. Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out the new Ep40 now!

CinmiaG12: @DOLPHINS 19, CINCINNATI 7: TUA'S BACK, D'S STRONG AGAIN ... AND A BRAWL!: Tua threw for 296 yards, Miami's defense came up big again and there was an ejections-strewn brawl as playoff-chasing Fins improved to 8-4 ..... Original post: You had been savoring a tantalizing platter of Joe Burrow vs. Tua Tagovailoa 1.0 in the maiden head to head duel of the two high-drafted quarterbacks today at 1 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium. You will be settling for Brandon Allen vs. Tua, with Allen subbing for the injured Burrow. Tagovailoa also was iffy with his thumb injury but is now expected to start. Would not heave been surprised by another Ryan Fitzpatrick start, because he is capable and the opponent is lousy. Though the job should be and will be Tagovailoa’s when healthy, one advantage of another Fitz start on Sunday would have been his superior chemistry with top WR DeVante Parker. In any case Miami should be able to get it’s modest ground attack going against a really poor Cincy run defense, especially with Myles Gaskin back from injury. The greatest mismatch might be on the other side. Cannot see the Gals’ offense and Allen, in his fifth career start, doing much at all against Miami’s pass rush and stout secondary. Fins are on a 9-1 roll when favored at home and should keep that streak going without much fret. They'd better as they chase the playoffs, because the schedule closes tougher after today, with home games vs. Chiefs and Patriots and then roadies at the Raiders and Bills. My pick: Dolphins (-11 1/2), 26-0. For all of our latest picks, visit NFL Week 13 Gems.

UmdukeG9: NO. 10 HURRICANES 48, @DUKE 0: KING'S 4 TD'S LEAD ROUT: D'Eriq King threw for three TDs and ran for one and the defense forced five Duke turnovers in Saturday night's 48-0 rout as No. 10 Canes improved to 8-1 ..... Original post: Saturday night at Duke (8, ACCN) will be Miami's first game since November 14 because of COVID-related schedule upheaval. And it should be a fun evening for The U. D'Eriq King's offense should feast on a Blue Devils defense that has been trampled for 112 points in its past two losses. Cam'Ron Harris should run wild, as Duke allows 200 opponent rushing yards per game. And bad defense isn't the only thing the Hurricanes should be able to take advantage of. Duke's offense has committed a nation-leading 30 turnovers, including 13 interceptions by Chase Brice. It's a bit of a surprise Miami isn't bigger than a 14 1/2-point favorite; perhaps that's because Duke has won the past two meetings, in 2018 and '19. This one looks a mismatch, though. Duke's best shot at a home upset might be using its strong ground game to keep the ball out of King's hands. RBs Mataeo Durant and Deon Jackson have 1,276 combined rushing yards, so UM's front seven best be ready. Miami hasn't had a great track record under Manny Diaz performing after time off, so a fast start by UM will be a key. The Canes also may need to shake off the disappointment of officially being eliminated from ACC Championship Game contention. No. 2 Notre Dame is in, and No. 3 Clemson will qualify Saturday night assuming it wins at heavy underdog Virginia Tech. Means the Canes could fly home disappointed, even in victory. My pick: Hurricanes, 45-16.

Other state FBS games this week (in order; all Saturday):

No. 6 Florida beats Tennessee 31-19: Gators are headed to SEC Championship Game vs. Alabama but this win as 17 1/2-point favorites won;t impress rankings voters much. Vols have now lost six straight but put up a fight.

Georgia Southern beats FAU 20-3: Disappointing road effort for the now 5-2 Owls, who were only 2 1/2-point 'dogs.

Off this week: FIU, Florida State, South Florida and UCF. FIU was scheduled on Saturday to make up a postponed game at Charlotte, but that game will not be played. FIU has had six games postponed for COVID-related reasons this season, and only two will have been made up with the other four canceled. 

LE BATARD ERA AT ESPN DRAWING TO A CLOSEWhat has long been rumored and speculated became official Thursday with the news Dan Le Batard and ESPN are Danlebmutually parting ways in one month. The final day on air will be Monday, Jan. 4, for both ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz and the televised Highly Questionable show that Dan hosted. Le Batard immediately assured his legion of fans and listeners that he is not retiring and he will be heard from again soon. "Thank you, Disney and ESPN, for a quarter century of absurd blessings," Le Batard said. "To our loyal army of concerned fans, and to everyone who walked along and played an instrument in our Marching Band to Nowhere, know that it is a very exciting time for us, not a sad one. And that you’ll be hearing our laughter again soon enough." Greeny with Mike Greenberg will fill ESPN’s 10 a.m. to noon radio slot beginning Jan. 5. Highly Questionable will remain on the network’s TV lineup with a contributing team of hosts and guests. Le Batard and the network had grown apart in recent months with several moves that disappointed Le Batard or caught him by surprise. One was the national show being reduced from three hours to two. Another, more recently, was when Chris Cote, one of the show’s producers, was included among ESPN’s massive layoffs without Le Batard ever being informed or consulted. For this story in full, visit Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon.

PicksNFL WEEK 13 PICKS: DOLPHINS VS. BENGALS, GAME OF THE WEEK, 2 UPSETS AND ALL THE REST: The Week 12 picks were a sizzling 13-3 straight-up and an unlucky 8-8 against the spread. Now, like Bob Seger, we turn the page. Topping our Week 13 marquee: It won't be Tua Tagovailoa vs. Joe Burrow 1.0, but Dolphins try to stay hot vs. Cincinnati Bengals. We designate a Game of the Week from among a thin list of contenders. Two big upsets. And a tightening AFC East. This is our 30th season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald, and we thank you for joining us on the journey. For our latest picks for the entire slate of 15 games, visit NFL Week 13 Gems. There was no Thursday night game this week. Tampa Bay and Carolina are off for the final byes of the season. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print.

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 12 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Mix of good ... and bad luck: We were a robust 13-3 overall in elongated Week 12 -- our second-best week of the season straight-up -- but an unlucky 8-8 against the point spread. Unlucky? We had Denver covering at home vs. Saints -- before all the Broncos QBs went on the COVID list and a wide receiver took snaps to abysmal Loboslogoresults. Unlucky II: Lost another cover when our pick came before Ravens lost QB Lamar Jackson to COVID and the line changed dramatically. Could-a/should-a been 10-6 ATS, but we don’t change/update picks. Such is the peril of predicting NFL games on Thursday afternoons in a pandemic-rocked season. Still, we nailed our Pats over Cardinals Upset of the Week (“Aawwk!”), bull’s-eyed another outright upset with Redskins over Cowboys, and had a trio of ‘dogs-with-points in covers by Bengals, Jaguars and 49ers. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: Do you believe in miracles?: Lobos lost a sixth game in a row, this one 112-105. Got 24 from Amari Cooper and 20 from Dallas Goedert and not much else. So we slid to 4-8 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. Astoundingly we still have a mathematical shot at the sixth and last playoff spot, but it will take a big final-week win coupled with a bunch of other results falling just right. Won't happen. We're done. Sad.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select recent columns: Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / 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  / Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move/ 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: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / 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 / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Our holiday message and Bird Day NFL picks; plus Family secrets revealed on new Greg Cote Show podcast, NFL Week 11 Pix 'n Fantasy results, updated NFL QB rankings & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25. Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. But the blog still chugs on! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall in Denver, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 38 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Our Thanksgiving Day NFL picks: The holiday tripleheader is now two, thanks to COVID. Our picks for Texans-Lions and Washington-Cowboys: Thanksgiving Day Gems. 

Some of our other most recent stuff: Herald NFL Week 11 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / and In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives.

HtOUR THANKSGIVING DAY MESSAGE: In September of 1972, with no license to drive yet, I took a city bus from my house to the Fort Lauderdale offices of the Miami Herald, answering a small ad for a parttime sports clerk. I got the job. Almost 50 years later, my unexpected career continues. Thanks to you all. To my loyal Herald readers. To my Le Batard Show fans. And more recently to my podcast family. I am grateful to have been welcomed in to play a small part in your lives. Even if we have not met, please know you are a part of mine. These have been the toughest of times. Because of that more than despite it, my thankfulness runs especially deep this year. I wish you all love, health, optimism and a Happy Thanksgiving!

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: REVEALING NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 38 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 38 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Ep38 we welcome in special guest Christie Cote to share family secrets and embarrassing stories about her husband Chris and father-in-law Greg. She also talks about being a fan of the winless Jets -- the Dolphins' next opponent. Greg and Chris also chat up Sunday's Fins loss in Denver. And of course there's a new Mount Gregmore (U's) and more. Appreciate you listening each week and check out the new ep!

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 11 RESULTS: NFL Pix--We'll take it: We came out alive at 8-6 overall in what I think was a tough Week 11. Better: We were a nifty 9-5 against the spread, making us 20-8 ATS the past two weeks. Last week we failed miserably on our Lions-Panthers Upset of the Week, "Aawwk!" turning to "Aawwful." But a lot else went right. Called Houston's mini-upset of New England, and also had a pair of 'dogs-with-points in covers by Jets and Cowboys. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: Sinking, sinking...: Lobos lost a fifth game in a row, this one 129-119. Had six starters at 15-plus points led by Michael Thomas' 20, but it wasn't enough to keep us from sliding to 4-7 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. Remarkably (shades of the NFC East), I'm still in the six-team playoff chase. Two closing wins for 6-7 could get me there. Stay tuned.

Select other most recent columns: 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 / Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move/ and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Heat NBA Finals columns: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals. Game 5--They're Alive! Butler, Heat Beat Lakers, Get to Game 6 In NBA FInals. Game 4--Lakers in 3-1 Command in NBA Finals, But Don't Write Off Heat Yet. Game 3--Jimmy Butler's 40 Gives Heat New Life in NBA Finals. Game 2--NBA Finals Slipping Away As Heat Lose Again. Game 1-- Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.

Marlins postseason run columns: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead. Game 2--Marlins Fall Again, Join Heat On Brink Of Elimination. Game 1--Braves Homers, Bullpen Collapse Bury Marlins in NLDS Game 1. Columns from two wins over Cubs in wild-card round: Miracle Marlins Advance in NL Playoffs and Seventeen Years Out of Playoffs, Marlins Return in Style.

Select other 2020 columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / 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 / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

November 19, 2020

Our thoughts on Heat top draft pick Precious Achiuwa; plus Marlins hiring Kim Ng an historic home run. My column; also, Mina Kimes on latest Greg Cote Show podcast, tonight's Cardinals-Seahawks pick, NFL Week 10 Pix 'n Fantasy results/QB rankings & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19. Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. That's why, for example, I have no column on last night's Miami Heat draft pick. However, find my quick thoughts on the pick below. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins beat Chargers for 5th straight win, Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 37 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Pick for tonight's Cardinals-Seahawks game: No result would surprise ... except either team being held below 30 points. For our preview and pick: NFL Week 11 Thursday Gem. Look for all of our Week 11 picks online by mid-afternoon today.

Updated Herald NFL QB rankings: Old G.O.A.T. wins Week 10 and a virtual three-way dead heat for the season lead. Check out Herald Week 10 NFL QB Rankings.

PreciousQUICK THOUGHTS ON HEAT'S FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: They hit big with Tyler Herro 13th overall last year and with Bam Adebayo 14th in 2019 (no pick in '18). Now we begin to find out if Miami made it three straight Grade A first rounders last night with Precious Achiuwa 20th overall out of Memphis in the delayed, virtual NBA Draft. Achiuwa (pronounced ah-CHEW-uh and pictured) is a Nigeria-born 6-9 power forward who is 21 though playing only one year in college. He was American Athletic Conference (AAC) Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, averaging 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.87 blocks and 1.10 steals while shooting 49.3 percent from the field. He was All-AAC First Team and the only freshman in the nation to average a double-double. Pat Riley: "We were looking for bigs like him that were quick, athletic, that could run, that could handle. Obviously, he’s an explosive player, plays above the rim. We were very, very impressed with him. He was in our wheelhouse." Thought they might have leaned point guard, but Achiuwa will fit nicely as a backup for Adebayo and give Miami some of the size it was shown lacking last season in its unexpected run to the NBA Finals. And do not scoff at Memphis or the AAC. His teammate, center James Wiseman, was taken second overall last night. Recent NBA players out of that Memphis program have included Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose. ESPN graded Miami's selection a 'B.' That sounds about right. You don't expect stardom out of a 20th pick, but Heat envision a rotation guy, an immediate contributor with big upside. Fun fact about Precious: He has brothers named God'sgift, God'swill, God’slove and Promise.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 37 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 38 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 37 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the new new Ep37 we welcome in ESPN star Mina Kimes to discuss Tua and the Dolphins, the Marlins hiring Kim Ng and other fun stuff. Also: Greg's thoughts on the contentious Le Batard Postgame show last Wednesday, a little bit of Masters golf, a new Mount Gregmore and more. You all made last week's Greg Cote Show easily the most downloaded and most listened-to in our history as it climbed to as high as No. 3 among all sports podcasts in the national Apple rankings. So thank you! Appreciate you listening each week and check out the new ep!

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 10 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Best week yet vs. the line!: Pleased to report our Week 10 results showed a strong 10-4 overall and a really strong 11-3 against the point spread -- best of the season thus far ATS. Called the Colts' mini-upset win at Tennessee, nailed Washington covering at Detroit in our Upset of the Week, and also had 'dog covers by Houston and the Giants. Needed that big week against the evil point spread. Now let's keeps it going! Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: Ill-timed slide continues: Lobos lost a fourth straight game and embarrassingly, 118-61, to fall to 4-6 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. Nice 21 from Chase Claypool but everyone else underperformed their projections. Dak Prescott injury killed me, Michael Thomas nightmare has too and now Chris Carson is hurting us. Been a Lobos season full of bad luck. Still a playoff shot, but likely need at least two wins in last three weeks.

MIAMI MARLINS HIT HOME RUN WITH HISTORY-MAKING HIRE OF GM KIM NG: Historic. Ground-breaking. Ceiling-shattering. Such language is so often hyperbole, applied too casually. Here, it fits. Heck, it might qualify as understatement. The Miami Marlins’ hiring of Kim Ng as new general manager has kicked down one of sports’ most stubborn barriers. A woman, and one of Asian- KimngAmerican descent, is now running a Major League Baseball front office for the first time. When the outpouring of congratulations are coming from the likes of Michelle Obama and trailblazer Billie Jean King, your franchise has made not a typical hire, but a transcendent one. One that feels as much about proof of equality as it does about baseball. She calls King a hero of hers, along with Martina Navratilova. The congrats from Obama she called “humongous.” This has been a long climb for her. “I’ve been defeated and deflated numerous times, and it is difficult going through that failure publicly,” Ng said Monday, in an introductory news conference done via Zoom, as she sat seated near home plate at Marlins Park. “But you always keep hoping, and plowing through.” Ng (her surname pronounced ang) turns 52 on Tuesday. Happy birthday, indeed. This woman’s climb is one of perseverance, indefatigable persistence and 30 years of dues-paying to finally get the phone call she had dreamed of: The offer of a big-league general manager’s job. On the other end of the line: Derek Jeter, Marlins CEO and part owner. “The idea this has affected this many people is just extraordinary,” Ng said of the reaction she has gotten. “I thought it would be a big deal, but this is beyond my expectations. People are looking for hope, looking for inspiration. I’m happy that this is a part of that.” For my latest column in full, visit Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM.

Our most recent other columns: Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in BlacksburgCanes Keep Beating Teams They Should (If Barely) / 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 / Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right MoveDolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Heat NBA Finals columns: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals. Game 5--They're Alive! Butler, Heat Beat Lakers, Get to Game 6 In NBA FInals. Game 4--Lakers in 3-1 Command in NBA Finals, But Don't Write Off Heat Yet. Game 3--Jimmy Butler's 40 Gives Heat New Life in NBA Finals. Game 2--NBA Finals Slipping Away As Heat Lose Again. Game 1-- Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.

Marlins postseason run columns: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead. Game 2--Marlins Fall Again, Join Heat On Brink Of Elimination. Game 1--Braves Homers, Bullpen Collapse Bury Marlins in NLDS Game 1. Columns from two wins over Cubs in wild-card round: Miracle Marlins Advance in NL Playoffs and Seventeen Years Out of Playoffs, Marlins Return in Style.

Select other recent columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / 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 / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

September 30, 2020

Playoff Wednesday: Marlins, Heat both in action; plus 'Being Izzy,' the Greg Cote Show podcast's revealing new episode, out now!; also, Marlins a sports miracle for the ages. New column, NFL Week 3 Pix 'n Fantasy results, QB Rankings & more

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

1) It's WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30. Farewell, September. Well aren't you ending with bang! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10 with Heat in Finals vs. LeBron, Marlins in playoffs, and Canes and Fins' big wins, plus Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 30 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

PLAYOFF WEDNESDAY!: Marlins at Cubs in NLWC Game 1, 2 p.m. Heat vs. Lakers in NBA Finals Game 1, 9 p.m.

Herald NFL Week 3 QB Rankings: Mahomes wins week, Wilson still No. 1, Fitzpatrick crashes Top 20: NFL Week 3 QB Rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 30 -- 'BEING IZZY' -- OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 30 is out now! A new episode drops early every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 30 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. (Start on Episode 1 and catch up!) In new Ep30 we welcome back special guest Izzy Gutierrez of ESPN for Iz 2.0. Last week we talked sports and silly stuff. This week -- very different. 'Being Izzy' marks the fifth anniversary of his coming out publicly as gay, and Izzy talks about his life since, including the heartache and a very recent loss. It's emotional, and a must-hear. Of course there's a new Mount Gregmore, too -- the M's. Hear all of that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast now!

FishCOVID-DECIMATED AND 30,000-TO-1 ODDS, MIAMI MARLINS ARE A SPORTS MIRACLE FOR THE AGES: We have reached a notable touchstone in South Florida professional sports history when the Miami Heat reaching the NBA Finals, one season after not even making the playoffs, is not the most remarkable story in town. Or even close to it. The Miami Marlins are the impossible dream come true, the feel-good sports story of surreal, pandemic 2020 — the new standard for “No way! You’re kidding. Seriously!?” You want an example for the ages that anything really is possible. We have the new one, and if any team can top this, have at it. The Marlins lost 105 games last season, the most in the National League. They began this truncated MLB season in the deep throes of a ground-up rebuild after trading stars for prospects. Their preseason odds to win the World Series were 30,000-to-1, dead last. Oh, and when play finally started in July, the Marlins were embarrassed to have so many players test positive for COVID-19 that eight games in a row had to be postponed, so decimated was the roster. This is the interloper in the postseason. Must be magic. Call ‘em the Merlins! Miami’s best-of-3 series at the Chicago Cubs starts Wednesday. For our full latest column, please visit COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages

Column from Hurricanes' crushing of rival Florida State: Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is.

Column on Heat reaching NBA Finals: Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron. Also: Off Game 5--Heat Lose, Still Lead 3-2. The Prize? An NBA Finals Date With LeBron. G4--Conquering Herro! Rookie's 37 Has Heat 1 Win From NBA Finals. G3--The Fun Starts Now As Heat's Joy-Ride Postseason Finally Hit a Bump. G2--Miracle Or Magic, Miami Heat's Stunning Postseason Run Continues. G1--Unexpected Playoff Run Makes Miami Heat the Most Fun Ride In Sports Right Now].

Column on Dolphins' win at Jax: We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw. Also: Off Game 2--Power Outage, Lightning Delay, No Pass Defense As Dolphins Drop Home Opener to BillsOff G1--Dolphins Lose to Pats, But Win With No-Hurry Plan On Tua.

Picks LoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 3 RESULTS: NFL Pix: Solid vs. spread. Stumbled in at 8-7-1 straight-up for Week 3, with bad luck on at least four of our winners blowing fourth-quarter leads. Much better against the spread at 10-6, including Packers over Saints in our Upset of the Week ("Aawwk!"), and three 'dogs-with-points (Vikings, Bengals, Panthers). Join us in our 30th season of picks in the Herald. Greg's Lobos: Heartbreak loss: Lobos fell to 1-2 in our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league with a tough-to-take 103-102 loss. Win was ours for the taking but my Baltimore defense laid an egg Monday night, with two points. Dak Prescott's team-high 28 points went for naught. Really missing our injured top draft pick, Michael Thomas.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Our football special-section column troika: TUA TAGOVAILOA IS DOLPHINS' SAVIOR SENT TO BRING NEW GLORY ... IF PROPHECY IS TRUE  /  WHO'S SUPER BOWL-BOUND? WHERE DO FINS FALL? OUR 2020 NFL-IN-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

Select other most recent columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / 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 / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / 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 Cote: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

January 03, 2020

NFL Wild Card Weekend previews/picks: 4 playoff games, 2 upsets!; plus annual year-end polls: Wade retires (Miami), Woods' Masters (national) were biggest sports stories of 2019. Your final results; also, our Gators/Orange Bowl column & more

1) It's FRIDAY, JANUARY 3. Happy New Year, all! Good to meet you, 2020. 2) Scroll to previous blogpost for season-ending result of Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll. (It is astonishingly great). 3) Check out our Miami Dolphins book, 'Fins At 50,' on Amazon. It's the perfect (late) holiday gift for all the Dolfans in your life. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins stun Pats in New England with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote. Also on Facebook and Instagram.

Our return to Le Batard Show: For those who've asked or otherwise wondered, I'll be back on the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio next week, on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

First-time winner claims season title in Herald NFL QB rankings: This was our 22nd year of NFL quarterback rankings, which began in 1998 with Steve Young the inaugural season champ. The 2019 winner had never finished higher than ninth before. For the final, expanded Top 30, visit Herald 2019 Final NFL QB Rankings.

PicksWILD CARD WEEKEND! 4 GAMES, 2 UPSETS. OUR NFL FIRST-ROUND PLAYOFF PICKS: Off our record-setting 2018 season we've had a mostly solid 29th year of NFL picks in the Miami Herald. We finished the regular season with a .663 winning percentage overall and .518 against the spread. Now that's erased and all that matters are the 11 postseason games ahead culminating with the backyard Miami Super Bowl on February 2. For all four of our Wild Card Weekend picks -- including a pair of upsets! -- please visit the motherlode of prognostication that I like to call NFL Wild Card Weekend Gems.

MiaANNUAL YEAR-END POLL: BIGGEST MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS STORY OF 2019: DWYANE WADE RETIRES: Final top five: 1. Dwayne Wade retires 17.37%; 2. Hurricanes lose in football to FIU 14.82%; 3. Dolphins win in New England 12.95%; 4. Heat trade for Jimmy Butler 11.48%; 5. Brian Flores hired as Dolphins coach 10.70%. Note: In a 3-vote poll, totals should be tripled to indicate how often an answer was included. In other words, if everyone in this poll used all three votes, Wade would have been included on 52.11% of all ballots -- the only finalist over half. Original post: Dwyane Wade retires, then the Heat sign Jimmy Butler. The Dolphins trade talent for draft picks as "tanking" enters the local lexicon. The Hurricanes lose to FIU, get shut out in a bowl and end 6-7. The Panthers replace retired Roberto Luongo with a star goalie and star coach. The Fins stunningly win in New England, denying the Patriots a first-round bye. These and more make our list of the top 15 choices for biggest Miami/South Florida Sports Story of 2019. (Pictured are Dwyane Wade, Brian Flores and FIU beating UM). Now here is where you come in. What was No. 1? You may select your top three (3) choices from our alphabetical poll, and from your consensus, the winner will arise. We think we know what clearly will win, but, as the saying goes ... you never know. Remember, vote for your top three. We'll announce the final results tomorrow/Friday in the blog. Go!

NattyANNUAL YEAR-END POLL: BIGGEST NATIONAL SPORTS STORY OF 2019: TIGER WOODS WINS MASTERS: Final top five: 1. Tiger Woods wins Masters 25.00%; 2. Megan Rapinoe-led U.S. wins Women's World Cup 16.22%; 3. Washington wins first World Series since 1924 13.51%; 4. Simone Biles dominates world gymnastics 12.16%; 5. Kawhi Leonard leads Toronto to first NBA title 10.14%. Note: In a 3-vote poll, totals should be tripled to indicate how often an answer was included. In other words, if everyone in this poll used all three votes, Woods would have been included on 75% of all ballots. Original post: This happened in American sports in 2019: In no particular order, the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty collapsed spectacularly, a blown call kept the Saints from a Super Bowl, Zion Williamson’s sneaker exploded, the Tampa Bay Lightning got bounced in the first round after a record regular season, the NBA had a tiff with China, MLB set an all-time home run record, Team USA gagged at the FIBA World Cup, horses kept dying at Santa Anita, the NFL staged a sham workout for Colin Kaepernick, and the Angels threw a no-hitter the night they honored the late Tyler Skaggs. And none of that made our final list of nominees for Biggest National Sports Story of 2019. So, yeah, it was a pretty eventful year. It was so eventful that our poll presents our alphabetical choice of the top 15 stories (four are pictured right), and invites you to vote for up to your top three (3). From that consensus, a No. 1 will arise. Remember, vote for your top three. We'll announce the final results tomorrow/Friday in the blog. Go!

ObGATORS WIN ORANGE BOWL IN CANES' BACKYARD. COLUMN: Oh, the comeuppance. The indignity! The hated Florida Gators invaded the Miami Hurricanes’ backyard Monday night — took over UM’s own home stadium — and reminded Canes fans of all they’ve been missing lately. That would be a team that knows how to finish a season strong, and in the top 10. That would be a program rising to national relevance again, not one wondering what just went so wrong. For my full column, from the game, visit On Miami's Home Field, Gators Remind Canes How to Win Major Bowl Game.

Select recent other columns: We Are The Champions: How South Florida Came to Own the State in High School Football / Why Minor Bowl, Small Opponent Should Be Of Major Importance to Miami Hurricanes / Fitzpatrick Gives Dolphins Luxury Of Options In 2020 Draft / Beating Canes Was Huge For FIU, But Even Bigger For Butch Davis / FIU's Historic, Magical Night A New Low For Canes / Le Batard Explains the Papi Mystery / If Jeter Doesn't Get In With Unanimous Vote -- Don't Blame Me! / Off Bad End to Down Season, Miami Hurricanes Should Decline Bowl Invite / Busch Stars In Emotional, Memorable End to Homestead's Championship Run / After Not Winning Enough, Are The Dolphins Now Failing At Failing? / Canes Lose Hoops Opener, But It's Fans Who Disappoint / Disgraced Ref Donaghy Opens Up About Game-Fix Scandal / Why Is NBA Doing Business With Human Rights-Violating China In First Place? / Riley Introduces Butler -- 'Cause the Heat Don't Tank / Why Dolphins, Even Epic-Bad, May be Closer to Major Turnaround Than Canes / Quit Whining! Yes Dolphins Are Tanking, And Yes They Should / Dolphins' Ross Cannot Be Surprised By Major Fallout Over Trump Fundraiser / Le Batard on Miami Radio Turmoil: 'We Were Evicted' / Buoniconti: Hall of Famer, But Even Greater Off the Field / It Is Megan Rapinoe's World Cup -- On And Off The Field / An Era Ends As Panthers' Luongo Retires / O.J. Can Tweet What He Wants, But How He's Seen Is Not Up To Him / Inter Miami Aiming High With Barca's Suarez / End The Illogical Shame and Honor Schnellenberger / Why Tiger's Masters Triumph Is About More Than Golf / Transgender-Athlete Firestorm A Necessary Debate / Across the Rio Grande to the PGA Tour / From Dark and Empty to Top Of the World: Dan Le Batard at 50.

APSE-HONORED WORK: The Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 writing awards ranked us a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Thanks, APSE. Here are the five nominated columns that earned the honor: At Doral, an annual tradition since 1962 is replaced by silence, and by what's missing / Marlins' Jose Fernandez statue is divisive yet has a chance to serve a greater purpose /NFL has moral obligation to help Buonicontis and Kiicks while it limits future suffering / What led to El Clasico Miami began with Joe Robbie's unlikely, accidental love of soccer / With 59 home runs, Stanton still had a magic season. Just hope this wasn't goodbye. [Note: This link to our APSE-honored work will appear here through the weekend and be gone starting Monday].

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

December 28, 2019

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 5.8%. It's 3rd worst season-ending grade in CSM history after embarrassing 14-0 bowl to Louisiana Tech; plus NFL Week 17 picks (new), Week 16 Pix 'n Fantasy results, latest Herald NFL QB rankings & more

1) It's SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28. Hope y'all had a wonderful and  Merry Christmas and are having a great holiday season! Scroll to previous blogpost for results of latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll. 2) Personal note: I'm burning a bunch of leftover vacation time this month, in case you wondered why I haven't been in the Herald much lately. Bonus points to you if you noticed! 3) Check out our Miami Dolphins book, 'Fins At 50,' on Amazon. It's the perfect holiday gift for all the Dolfans in your life. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins beat Cincinnati with DSM postgame poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote. Also on Facebook and Instagram.

Updated Herald NFL QB rankings: It's a dead-heat at the top and wild finish entering the final week of the Miami Herald's 22nd annual NFL quarterback rankings. Visit Herald Week 16 NFL QB Rankings for details and the Top 20. 

PicksDOLPHINS-PATRIOTS, PLAYOFF-DECIDING TOP GAMES, UPSETS: OUR NFL WEEK 17 PICKS: Off our record-setting 2018 season we've had a mostly solid 29th year of NFL picks thus far in the Miami Herald. We’re running solid at .665 overall and at .521 against the spread after rocking an 11-6 straight-up and 9-6-1 ATS last week. For all of our Week 17 picks to close the regular season, including Dolphins at Patriots, playoff-clinching top games and big upsets, please visit the motherlode of prognostication that I like to call NFL Week 17 Gems.

G13: LOUISIANA TECH 14, HURRICANES 0 IN INDEPENDENCE BOWL: MIAMI FAILS MISERABLY TO END A DOWN SEASON ON UPSWING: Original post: They're playing a Conference USA opponent in a third-tier bowl game. There are UM fans who consider this an indignity -- beneath the program. But this is what you get when you finish 6-6. You get what you are given. You take what you can. But there are stakes Bowlfor the Canes in today's 4 p.m. Independence Bowl vs. Louisiana Tech (on ESPN) from Shreveport, La. It's the difference between finishing with a winning record or a losing record. It's also about Manny Diaz and his team doing what it has repeatedly failed to do this disappointing season: Perform well again an underdog opponent when given extra time to prepare. Think Central Michigan. Think FIU. Miami has underperformed against (supposedly) lesser foes. Will it yet again? UM is not good enough to take anybody lightly, and La-Tech is 9-3 and has won five bowl games in a row. By contrast, UM's bowl record is a sad 1-8 since 2008. Yet Miami is a 6-point favorite despite losing four players who'll skip the game for the NFL Draft, including senior linebacker Michael Pinckney. I expected Jarren Williams and N'Kosi Perry both to see action at QB for Miami. I also expect UM's defense to rise up. But this is a big game for Louisiana Tech. Can Diaz convince his team it is for the Canes, too? We'll see. Cote's pick: Hurricanes. 30-21. Watch for season-finale Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll online and directly below right after today's game ends.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: 2019 FINAL: 5.8%: Results are certified in the latest -- and season's last -- of the Miami Herald’s Canesfan Satisfaction Meter Csmpostgame polls, and they show 5.8 percent final approval in the wake of Thursday's 14-0 loss to underdog Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., leaving the Hurricanes' final 2019 season record at 6-7. That is the third-lowest total in the 11-year history of the CSM, and the worst since 2014. The CSM is your invitation after every Hurricanes game to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game’s performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the program’s direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Because this was the final poll, I suggested added emphasis on the season as a whole. Online voting determines the weekly verdict, which is final the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 10 a.m. today/Saturday.

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter

G1: 64.1% following 24-20 loss vs. Florida in Orlando.

G2: 15.7% following 28-25 loss at North Carolina.

G3: 83.0% following 63-0 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman.

G4: 8.5% following 17-12 victory vs. Central Michigan.

G5: 28.8% following 42-35 loss vs. Virginia Tech.

G6: 82.0% following 17-9 victory vs. Virginia.

G7: 11.3% following 28-21 OT loss vs. Georgia Tech.

G8: 61.0% following 16-12 victory at Pitt.

G9: 91.8% following 27-10 victory at Florida State.

G10: 95.2% following 52-27 victory vs. Louisville.

G11: 9.6% following 30-24 loss to FIU at Marlins Park.

G12: 4.9% following 27-17 loss at Duke.

G13/Bowl/Final: 5.8% following 14-0 loss to Louisiana Tech in Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.

CSM year-by-year final season results: 2019--5.8% (6-7); 2018--11.2% (7-6); 2017--68.4% (10-3). 2016--97.2% (9-4); 2015--20.1% (8-5); 2014--2.7% (6-7); 2013--16.1% (9-4); 2012--80.9% (7-5); 2011--22.1% (6-6); 2010--4.2% (7-6); 2009--41.7% (9-4).

 

LoboslogoNFL WEEK 16 PIX 'N FANTASY RESULTS: NFL picks -- Yes! Went a nifty 11-5 overall and a solid 9-6-1 against the spread in our Week 16 Herald picks. Houston winning by 3 pushed for the tie. Nailed our Upset of the Week with Packers winning at Vikings ("Aawwk!"), and also called Miami's mini-upset of Cincy and had underdog Rams and Cardinals with points. Strong week! ..... LeBatard Show fantasy (18-team PPR) -- Izzy Gutierrez beat Mike Ryan for the championship. Greg's Lobos after an 8-5 regular season finished 9-7 after qualifying for the championship-round playoffs. ..... Friends n' family fantasy (10-team PPR) -- Greg's Lobos, after a 7-6 season that qualified for the championship-round playoffs, fizzled and finished 7-9. Chris Cote lost to his wife Christie for the league title.

Our most recent other work: We Are The Champions: How South Florida Came to Own the State in High School Football / Why Minor Bowl, Small Opponent Should Be Of Major Importance to Miami Hurricanes and Fitzpatrick Gives Dolphins Luxury Of Options In 2020 DraftAlso: Beating Canes Was Huge For FIU, But Even Bigger For Butch Davis / FIU's Historic, Magical Night A New Low For Canes / Le Batard Explains the Papi Mystery / If Jeter Doesn't Get In With Unanimous Vote -- Don't Blame Me!

Additional select recent columns: Draft Uncertainty Means Dolphins Need to Hedge Bets. His Name Is Kaepernick / Off Bad End to Down Season, Miami Hurricanes Should Decline Bowl Invite / Busch Stars In Emotional, Memorable End to Homestead's Championship Run / The Best Will Race For Title At Homestead. But Here Is What NASCAR Is Missing And Needs / After Not Winning Enough, Are The Dolphins Now Failing At Failing? / The Player Who Started the Glory Days in  for Canes Football / Canes Lose Hoops Opener, But It's Fans Who Disappoint / Disgraced Ref Donaghy Opens Up About Game-Fix Scandal / Why Is NBA Doing Business With Human Rights-Violating China In First Place? / Riley Introduces Butler -- 'Cause the Heat Don't Tank / Why Dolphins, Even Epic-Bad, May be Closer to Major Turnaround Than Canes / Quit Whining! Yes Dolphins Are Tanking, And Yes They Should / Dolphins' Ross Cannot Be Surprised By Major Fallout Over Trump Fundraiser / Le Batard on Miami Radio Turmoil: 'We Were Evicted' / Buoniconti: Hall of Famer, But Even Greater Off the Field / It Is Megan Rapinoe's World Cup -- On And Off The Field / An Era Ends As Panthers' Luongo Retires / O.J. Can Tweet What He Wants, But How He's Seen Is Not Up To Him / Inter Miami Aiming High With Barca's Suarez / End The Illogical Shame and Honor Schnellenberger / Why Tiger's Masters Triumph Is About More Than Golf / Transgender-Athlete Firestorm A Necessary Debate / Across the Rio Grande to the PGA Tour / From Dark and Empty to Top Of the World: Dan Le Batard at 50.

APSE-HONORED WORK: The Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 writing awards ranked us a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Thanks, APSE. Here are the five nominated columns that earned the honor: At Doral, an annual tradition since 1962 is replaced by silence, and by what's missing / Marlins' Jose Fernandez statue is divisive yet has a chance to serve a greater purpose /NFL has moral obligation to help Buonicontis and Kiicks while it limits future suffering / What led to El Clasico Miami began with Joe Robbie's unlikely, accidental love of soccer / With 59 home runs, Stanton still had a magic season. Just hope this wasn't goodbye.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

December 19, 2019

We are the (state) champions! Celebrating the historic sweep of South Florida high school football. Latest column; plus NFL Pix 'n Fantasy Week 15 results, newest Herald NFL QB rankings, a personal note & more

1) It's THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19. Personal note: I'm burning a bunch of left over vacation time this month, in case you wondered why I haven't been in the Herald as much lately. Bonus points to you if you noticed. 2) Check out our Miami Dolphins book, 'Fins At 50,' on Amazon. It's the perfect holiday gift for all the Dolfans in your life. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall at Giants with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote. Also on Facebook and Instagram.

Updated Herald NFL QB rankings: There's a new No. 1 atop the season rankings, while Drew Brees' Monday show wins the week. For the full Top 20 and more, visit Herald Week 15 NFL QB Rankings.

AFTER 7-FOR-7 SWEEP OF STATE TITLES, SOUTH FLORIDA IS KING OF HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL: The football teams were at the same hotel in Daytona Beach this past weekend for the state championships when a bunch of parents and fans of Miami Northwestern High mingled in the lobby as the Miami Columbus team returned from seeing a movie. "Better win or you can’t come Centralback to the 3-0-5!" Columbus coach Dave Dunn heard a Northwestern fan call out. The message, though said in jest, was probably only half-kidding. Prep football is a serious proposition held to the highest standard in Miami-Dade. In Broward, too — as the neighboring counties just proved in historic fashion. It was an unprecedented show of force from South Florida. There are eight FHSAA divisions based on school size, and Dade/Broward brought home a record seven state championships. Call it a clean sweep, because South Florida has no football team in the smallest division geared to rural schools. (If only some of our local high school mojo might rub off on the Miami Hurricanes, who at 6-6 are preparing to face Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl, or the Dolphins, slogging along at 3-11). Stating South Florida’s case as America’s capital of high school football: Columbus wins Class 8A (the largest division) for the school’s first state title in the sport. Fort Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas wins Class 7A for the school’s state-record 11th championship, breaking a tie for most with Jacksonville Bolles. Miami Central -- pictured celebrating with coach Roland Smith holding trophy -- wins Class 6A for the school’s sixth state crown. Northwestern wins Class 5A for the school’s third state title in a row and seventh overall, the most by a Miami-Dade team. Miami’s Booker T. Washington wins Class 4A for the school’s sixth crown. Hollywood’s Chaminade-Madonna wins Class 3A for its third title and third in a row. And Hialeah Champagnat wins Class 2A for that school’s third state championship. From the continuation of the Aquinas juggernaut to the maiden title for Columbus, it has been a December like no other for local high school football. I explore why in my newest column, after speaking with four of the championships coaches Monday to get their thoughts on So-Fla prep teams are so damned good. To read the full column, visit We Are The Champions: How South Florida Came to Own the State in High School Football.

Our most recent other columns: Why Minor Bowl, Small Opponent Should Be Of Major Importance to Miami Hurricanes and Fitzpatrick Gives Dolphins Luxury Of Options In 2020 DraftAlso: Beating Canes Was Huge For FIU, But Even Bigger For Butch Davis / FIU's Historic, Magical Night A New Low For Canes / Le Batard Explains the Papi Mystery / If Jeter Doesn't Get In With Unanimous Vote -- Don't Blame Me! / and Draft Uncertainty Means Dolphins Need to Hedge Bets. His Name Is Kaepernick.

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY RESULTS: WEEK 15: ANOTHER TOUGH WEEKNFL picks -- Ouch. Managed 9-7 overall but only 6-9-1 against the spread this past week (with Seattle winning by 6 the push for the tie). Had Atlanta with the points at San Fran but not a lot else went right. Need to rally and finish strong. ..... LeBatard Show fantasy (18-team PPR) -- Bad finish. Greg's Lobos after an 8-5 regular season dropped a second straight in the playoffs, 92.2 to 69.4 to Lorenzo despite 26.7 from Patrick Mahomes. It's Mike vs. Stugotz for the league title. ..... Friends n' family fantasy (10-team PPR) -- Another bad finish. Lobos after a 7-6 season lost a second straight in the playoffs, 185-114 despite 31 from Saquon Barkley. Can't feel too bad losing to a crazy 185. It'll be my son Chris vs. his wife Christie for the league crown.

Additional select recent columns: Off Bad End to Down Season, Miami Hurricanes Should Decline Bowl Invite / Busch Stars In Emotional, Memorable End to Homestead's Championship Run / The Best Will Race For Title At Homestead. But Here Is What NASCAR Is Missing And Needs / After Not Winning Enough, Are The Dolphins Now Failing At Failing? / The Player Who Started the Glory Days in  for Canes Football / Canes Lose Hoops Opener, But It's Fans Who Disappoint / Disgraced Ref Donaghy Opens Up About Game-Fix Scandal / Why Is NBA Doing Business With Human Rights-Violating China In First Place? / Riley Introduces Butler -- 'Cause the Heat Don't Tank / Why Dolphins, Even Epic-Bad, May be Closer to Major Turnaround Than Canes / Quit Whining! Yes Dolphins Are Tanking, And Yes They Should / Dolphins' Ross Cannot Be Surprised By Major Fallout Over Trump Fundraiser / Le Batard on Miami Radio Turmoil: 'We Were Evicted' / Buoniconti: Hall of Famer, But Even Greater Off the Field / It Is Megan Rapinoe's World Cup -- On And Off The Field / An Era Ends As Panthers' Luongo Retires / O.J. Can Tweet What He Wants, But How He's Seen Is Not Up To Him / Inter Miami Aiming High With Barca's Suarez / End The Illogical Shame and Honor Schnellenberger / Why Tiger's Masters Triumph Is About More Than Golf / Transgender-Athlete Firestorm A Necessary Debate / Across the Rio Grande to the PGA Tour / From Dark and Empty to Top Of the World: Dan Le Batard at 50.

APSE-HONORED WORK: The Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 writing awards ranked us a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Thanks, APSE. Here are the five nominated columns that earned the honor: At Doral, an annual tradition since 1962 is replaced by silence, and by what's missing / Marlins' Jose Fernandez statue is divisive yet has a chance to serve a greater purpose /NFL has moral obligation to help Buonicontis and Kiicks while it limits future suffering / What led to El Clasico Miami began with Joe Robbie's unlikely, accidental love of soccer / With 59 home runs, Stanton still had a magic season. Just hope this wasn't goodbye.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote