July 05, 2021

Happy 4th (and 5th) of July! Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): 'NIL' vs. NBA. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus thoughts with Surfside, links to recent columns, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

4th1) It's MONDAY, JULY 5. Hope y'all had a Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans! And made it a safe one. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): 'NIL' means new era in college sports, Greedy NBA gets the asterisk champ it deserves, Panthers to host 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend, Time for sports to tell Cole Beasley he's wrong, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: 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).

HunksOur 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.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 4-5): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUTOur 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:

Overriding everything, prayers and sympathy to the victims and families affected by the Surfside condominium collapse that has killed at least 24 and left more than 120 unaccounted for. 

HButton1. HURRICANES: King, UM lead way as game-changing 'NIL Rule' kicks in: Name. Image. Likeness. (NIL). It joined the lexicon of college sports this past week as athletes became eligible to barter themselves for financial profit. Canes QB D'Eriq King quickly struck a deal with College Hunks Hauling Junk movers, a Tampa car dealership and The Wharf Miami restaurant/bar. Also, UM launched 'Ignite,’ an initiative to help athletes grow their brand and make money off their NIL.

2. NBA: It's a Bucks-Suns NBA Finals: An NBA postseason steered by injuries has left us a Milwaukee-Phoenix Finals that few outside of those fandoms can be all that thrilled about. Suns eliminated the Kawhi-less Clippers, then Bucks got past a Hawks squad with Trae Young hobbled. Milwaukee seeks its first title since 1971 and Phoenix its first ever starting with Game 1 Tuesday.

3. HEAT: Spoelstra to coach USA Select Team this week: Miami coach Erik Spoelstra was named head coach of the USA Select Team that will help prepare the main U.S. men's national team (which includes the Heat's Bam Adebayo) for the Tokyo Olympics beginning in three weeks. The training camp will be this Tuesday through Friday in Las Vegas. The 14 Select Team members, mostly young NBA players, include Miami's Tyler Herro.

4. MARLINS: Big homestand on deck closes first half: After completing a road swing with a loss in Atlanta Sunday, Marlins finish the first half of the schedule heading into the All-Star break with a seven-game homestand. It starts Monday with four against the red-hot Dodgers, then three vs. the rival Braves. Miami has disappointed so far at 35-47, good for the NL East cellar. Meanwhile the Fish swung a minor deal, acquiring INF Joe Panik and RHP Andrew McInvale from Toronto for OF Corey Dickerson and RHP Adam Cimber.

5. PANTHERS: Florida to host 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend: Cats were supposed to host in '21 but the pandemic canceled the event. The '22 weekend went to Vegas. Better two years late than never, the Panthers will host the league's '23 All-Star Game and surrounding hoopla. Meanwhile, Florida added Tuomo Ruutu to the coaching staff as an assistant. He'd been in player development with the Rangers.

6. SOCCER: Euro '20 reaches semifinals! Finally England's time?: Italy vs. Spain on Tuesday. England vs. Denmark on Wednesday. Winners for the UEFA championship of Europe next Sunday at Wembley Stadium. Spain has won two Euro title and Italy and Denmark one each, while England is still seeking it first. Finally time foe the nation of the throne to be crowned at home?

7. NHL: Lightning embarrassing Canadians in Final: Tampa Bay is up 3-0 on Montreal and by a combine 14-5 score in a lopsided Stanley Cup Final. Canadians try to save face and stay alive and avoid being swept in Game 4 Monday/tonight at home. Canada is trying to claim its first Stanley Cup since Montreal won it in 1993, but needs a miracle on ice.

8. INTER MIAMI: Miserable skid continues for Team Beckham: Inter Miami is 2-2-7 with five straight losses after Saturday's 1-0 fall at Montreal. The second-year squad is now next-to-last in the MLS standings as David Beckham and coach Phil Neville search for missing answers. Miami doesn't play again until July 17.

9. TENNIS: Wimbledon at midpoint finds top seeds still alive: No.1s Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic won Monday to lead a full slate of fourth-round matches to kick off the final week of Wimbledon in London. Results will bring us  to the quarterfinals starting Tuesday. Though depleted of some starpower by injuries and key withdrawals, at least the top seeds survive to front the 16 men and 16 women still contending for major hardware.

10. SOCCER: Copa America semifinals, title match this week: It'll be host Brazil vs. Peru on Monday and Lionel Messi's Argentina vs. Colombia Tuesday in a stout Copa America semifinal round, the winners advancing to next Saturday's championship match in Rio de Janeiro. Copa America is tantamount to the South American championship. It would be Messi's first trophy in a major senior tournament.

Missing the HB10 cut: Sha’Carri Richardson should be running in Tokyo ..... Joey Chestnut seeks his 14th mustard belt today in the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog-Eating Contest --- the most vile, stomach-turning event televised ..... Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers are betting picks over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in The Match IV on Tuesday in Montana ..... The CONCACAF Gold Cup, the main soccer tournament for region of North and Central America and Caribbean -- dominated by Mexico and the U.S. -- begins next Saturday July 10 and runs through August 1. U.S. is not fielding its A-team; no Christian Pulisic, for example. Americans will be in Group B (and play in Kansas City) with Canada, Martinique and a team to be determined in a prelim round running in Fort Lauderdale through Tuesday among Barbados, Bermuda, Haiti and St. Vincent and the Grenadines ..... NFL fined Jaguars $200,000 and Sneaky Urban Meyer 100K for violating OTA practice restrictions. Cowboys and 49ers were fined lesser amounts ..... Vladimir Guerrero and Fernando Tatis were leading vote-getters in each league for the July 13 MLB All-Star Game in Denver ..... MLB Draft begins next Sunday July 11 ..... Tour de France update: The loony woman with the sign got arrested. Updates as needed ..... NFL has had a gay player (Carl Nassib) for more than a week now and league is still operating. Everything is OK! ..... Mark Richt revealed he has Parkinson's. Our best wishes are with him ..... Mississippi State beat Vanderbilt to win the men's College World Series ..... Latest Dolphins Challenge Cancer event raised a record $6.3 million, club announced, bringing 11-year total $45.5M ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,821 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: 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 28, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Carl Nassib, Surfside tragedy, NBA playoffs, looming Olympics. See who's No. 1and 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, JUNE 28. I was back on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past Tuesday, though briefly because I didn't feel well. Check out that day's show podcasts . 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Bosh X Bosh with new podcast and column, Why Carl Nassib is sports' most significant 'first' since Jackie Robinson in 1947, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

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

Our most recent columns: Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / and Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 27-28): 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. SURFSIDE TRAGEDY: Heat lends aid in deadly condo collapse: Heat guard (for now) Tyler Herro was working out Thursday morning with assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Eric Glass when word spread of the tragic Surfside condo collapse that has killed at least nine but with more than 150 others still unaccounted for and feared dead. The three headed to the site 15 minutes north of the arena and lent aid any way they could, including helping load a truck with food, water and other essentials.

HButton2. CARL NASSIB: Finally! NFL Has first openly gay, active player: The Las Vegas Raiders defensive end is a journeyman 28-year-old with his third team in five years. But this week, forever more, Carl Nassib was to be defined for his history making more than his football. Not since Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 has sports had amore groundbreaking 'first.'

3. NBA: Suns, Bucks take leads in conference finals: Bucks took a 2-1 lead on Hawks Sunday in the East, while Suns won again Saturday for a big 3-1 lead over Clippers and can clinch series win Monday. Meanwhile in the NBA Draft lottery Detroit won the No. 1 overall pick on July 29, with Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham expected to be the top choice.

4. OLYMPICS: Heat's Bam Adebayo makes stacked U.S. team: Bam Adebayo reps Miami on the gold-favored U.S. Olympic team as the squad preps for its Summer Games opener July 25 against France in Tokyo. Kevin Durant, seeking his third gold medal, will be the only returning member of the 2016 team that won it all in Rio. Others on the roster include all-stars Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker.

5. SOCCER: U.S. women set Olympic roster; why mess with success?: The gold-favored U.S. women will send proven chappions to the delayed-from-'20 Tokyo Games next month. Carli Lloyd (at 39 the oldest U.S. soccer Olympian ever) and Tobin Heath will be fourth-time Olympians, while stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan head the list of three-time Olympians.

6. TENNIS: Depleted Wimbledon begins today: Year's third of four tennis majors took a  major star hit when both Naomi Osaka, defending champion Simona Halelp and Rafael Nadal all withdrew. Novak Djokovic is now the odds-on men's betting favorite, with Ashleigh Barty a narrow women's pick over Serena Williams. Tourney runs Monday through July 11. (Serena meanwhile said she would not compete in the Summer Olympics). 

7. NHL: Oh Canada! Its a Montreal-Tampa Bay Final: Montreal upset Vegas 4-2 in one Stanley Cup semifinal and reigning NH: champ Tampa Bay won a Game 7 Friday over New York Islanders to set up a Canadians-Lightning best-of-7 starting today/Monday. No team from Canada has won the Stanley Cup since Montreal did in 1993, and none has reached the Final since Vancouver in 2011.

8. SOCCER: Euro '20 moves on toward quarterfinals: With group play done, round-of-16 matches continue through Tuesday, with survivors advancing to the quarterfinals July 2-3. Semifinals are set July 6-7, with the championship match July 11. Italy, Belgium and Netherlands were the only three teams to go through group play an unscathed 3-0.

9. MARLINS: Max tops Sandy; now Fish hit the road: Marlins are 33-44 after Sunday's 5-=1bhome loss to Washington -- Max Scherzer outdueling Sandy Alcantara. Miami now sets out on a six-game roadie. Finalists in All-Star Game voting were announced Sunday. No Marlins made it; Jesus Aguilar came closest. But Miami may yet have a pitcher or two selected.

10. INTER MIAMI: Struggles continue for Team Beckham: A 2-1 home loss to rival Orlando Friday night left Inter Miami 2-6-2 after a fourth straight loss, and 11th in the 14-team MLS Eastern Conference. Off the field, after 2 1/2 years of negotiations, the controversial no-bid deal to build a $1 billion soccer stadium complex for Inter Miami  still faces many obstacles, according to internal documents obtained by the Miami Herald.

Missing the HB10 cut: Simone Biles made the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team. Or, did that go without saying? ..... The Tour de France got underway with all the excitement you'd expect as a fan jutting a giant sign into the racecourse caused a massive collision and pileup of bikes ..... Cole Beasley, what an odd hill you have chosen to die on ..... After missing last year because of the pandemic, Canes football's Paradise Camp was back Saturday in an annual recruiting-aimed tradition begun by Mark Richt and continued by Manny Diaz. Paradise Camp is a made-up event/marketing tool intended to woo recruits but has taken on legitimacy with excessive and fawning media coverage ..... It's A Vanderbilt-Mississippi State College World Series best-of- 3 finals starting Monday in in Omaha ..... Proposal for an expanded 12-team College Football Playoff inched closer to reality when the 11 college presidents with final say over the format authorized the 10 FBS commissioners to "begin a summer review phase" to determine feasibility and how and when it might be implemented ...... Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a ruling that provides for incremental increases in how college athletes can be compensated and opens door for future legal challenges to NCAA's current business model ..... Wander Franco did not disappoint when the Rays called up MLB's top prospect. First game: Doubled, home run, three RBIs ...... Two matches Sunday and two more Monday close group play in Copa America, with quarterfinals beginning July 5 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,828 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: 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 NeedsMiami 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 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 22, 2021

Super Saturday in SoFla sports! Panthers, Heat playoff games lead big day; plus plus Le Batard Show, sports analytics take stage in latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more

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

Ccote1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 22. Happy birthday this week, Christopher a.k.a. Chris! 2) I was back in-studio on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this 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): Hot Button Top 10, column from Panthers' Game 1 loss, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram

PANTHERS, HEAT PLAYOFF GAMES LEAD SUPER SATURDAY IN SO-FLA SPORTS!: Are you ready, South Florida sports fans? Better question: Are your teams ready? Rarely has any one day been bigger for multiple teams of ours:

Catstb(*) Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning, 12:30 p.m. (CNBC) -- Florida is down 2-1 after Thursday night's exhilarating 6-5 OT win gave the Cats new life. Outcome of today's pivotal game will see the Panthers perilously down 3-1 or 2-2 and full of momentum entering Game 5 back in Sunrise on Monday.

Heatmil(*) Heat at Milwaukee Bucks, 2 p.m. (ESPN) -- It's Game 1 as each team tries to make a statement in the rematch of last year's playoff series won by Miami. Will Giannis and the Buck get the revenge they're after? Or will Jimmy and the Heat prove last year was no fluke? The finding out begins.

(*) Also today: New York Mets at Marlins, 4:10 p.m. and Inter Miami at Chicago FIre, 6 p.m.

Columns from Panthers' NHL playoff run: Off Game 2--Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series HoleOff Game 1--Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs. Series preview--This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.

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

CoteshowJujuGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: LATEST 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).

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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 15, 2021

After snub last year, time for Hall of Fame to do right by Chris Bosh. New column; plus This looks like Florida Panthers' best team ever. Now we begin to find out; also, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with ESPN's Izzy Gutierrez out now & more

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

Me21) It's SATURDAY, MAY 15. Happy birthday, Michael! My youngest son and Friday B-Day Boy is pictured on the left at a Marlins game with myself and his older brother Christopher. 2) I was back in-studio for my regular Tuesday spot on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this week. Check out that day's show 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): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast with ESPN's Israel Gutierrez, latest column links & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowIzzyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH ESPN'S IZZY GUTIERREZ 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).

BoshBASKETBALL HALL OF FAME WRONGED CHRIS BOSH LAST YEAR. TIME TO GET IT RIGHT: It might be a stretch to apply the words underrated or even underappreciated to Chris Bosh’s basketball career. Only 35 players in NBA history have made the all-star team at least 11 times. Bosh is one. And yet, when a player achieves his greatest success on a Miami Heat team that includes neon superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, well, there is never a doubt who gets cast as the third of the Big 3. The idea that Bosh has never quite gotten his full due was underlined a year ago. He took a gut punch. One he didn’t expect. Not only was Bosh denied the distinction of being a first-ballot Hall of Famer last year in his first year of eligibility — he didn’t even make the list of finalists. It stunned those in the Heat organization. To not even be a finalist was a hard, blindside slap. An insult. “I’m not going to lie, man,” Bosh said then. “I’m disappointed that I didn’t even get considered.” The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, based in Springfield, Massachusetts, won’t make the same mistake twice when the 2021 Hall class is announced Sunday. Bet the farm on that. Then take out a loan and bet that money, too. Bosh getting in this time seems that certain. And is that deserved. This time, Bosh is one of 14 finalists including seven former NBA players, and only Boston great Paul Pierce is considered as likely to get in. For our full latest column, visit Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right.

BEST FLORIDA PANTHERS TEAM EVER? PROOF STARTS NOW, IN PLAYOFFS, VS. BIG BROTHER TAMPA BAY: The Florida Panthers team on the ice right now is the best in the 27 seasons since the NHL dared to put a hockey team in the tropics. It might not even be close. Now they must prove it in a best-of-7 playoff series vs. the defending champion and Catsbitter rival Tampa Bay Lightning starting Sunday. A mountainous climb is where the proving starts. A brutal stage for what to expect was set last Saturday in the Panthers’ 5-1 win over Tampa, a fist-flying slugfest that saw 31 penalties totaling 154 minutes in the box, including 10 misconducts and four fighting majors. “Old-time hockey,” Florida coach Joel Quenneville called it. “I loved everything about it,” said goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Leading scorer Jonathan Huberdeau wore a bloody gash on the bridge of his nose as a badge after the game. “It was physical. We don’t mind that,” Huberdeau said. “We’re going to match that.” You see with the eye how good these Panthers are. If you need to quantify it, the Cats this regular season won nearly 70 percent (.694) of all the standings points available to them — best by a lot in franchise history. By comparison, the 1996 Panthers, the only iteration to reach the Stanley Cup Finals, won a .561 points share, only eighth-best in club history. That team was scrappy and fun and made even South Florida hockey agnostics fall in love for a minute as the rubber rats flew and a roster of overachievers played the role of Cinderella on skates. Midnight struck hard. As if to underline that the ‘96 Cats were a blue-collar bunch that didn’t seem cut out to be champions, they got swept 4-0 in the Finals by Colorado. No disrespect meant to that team, but the far-more-talented 2021 Panthers would overwhelm it in every way. Florida in '96 was a young franchise with fans just happy to be here. Not now. Twenty-five years after that franchise peak, today’s Cats must demonstrate they are the best in club history by the only measure that matters: Not only getting to the Finals but winning the Stanley Cup. And how exquisitely perfect that the Panthers must go through Tampa Bay to get there. For our full recent column, visit This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.
 
Our most recent other 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

Additional 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.

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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 05, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Marlins, March Madness, red-hot Heat and Panthers, Masters Week battle for top. See who's No.1 and what else lands where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with Dick Stockton out now & more

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

Eeaster1) It's MONDAY, APRIL 5. Hope ya'll had a Happy Easter Sunday and, to our Jewish friends, a celebratory 'chag Pasach sameach' to end Passover! 2) I was back in my regular Tuesday spot last week on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Check out that day's podcasts, including my latest Back In My Day. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Marlins Opening Week with columns off opener and season preview, Greg Cote Show podcast with Guinness Record-setting hot pepper eater & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

MarlinsOur most recent columns: Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect (off Opening Day loss) / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope (season preview) / and In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time (tribute column).

CoteshowDickstocktonGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: TV LEGEND DICK STOCKTON IN NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 14th podcast of 2021 (56th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 56 we've done right HERE for free. In our most recent Ep14 we welcome in special guest Dick Stockton (pictured), the newly retired sports broadcasting legend. In a fun chat, he talks about his career and most famous call and does play-by-play on Chris eating a bowl of cereal. Also, he sings! Also on the new pod, a new 'Greg Doesn't Know Movies,' the Mount Gregmore of all-time best sitcom casts, plus loanDepot park and MLB moving its All-Star Game. Almost forgot: Will Greg's toenail soon be for sale? Thanks as always, pod family, for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 4-5): 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. MARLINS: Play ball! Fans (partly) back as Fish open season: Marlins' season-opening six-game homestand continues with games Monday through Wednesday vs. St. Louis after Easter Sunday off. Fish opened 1-2 vs. Tampa Bay, with bats coming alive in Saturday's 12-7 win. Miami is allowing crowds up to 27 percent capacity this season (about 9,700 per game), although the first three games have averaged only about 6,500 or 18 percent capacity. Almost forgot: The ballpark's gruesome new corporate name is "loanDepot park." (It's still Marlins Park  to me).

2. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Men's title game set as Gonzaga, Baylor advance: Unbeaten Gonzaga goes for a wire-to-wire perfect season and Baylor stands in the way in its first title game since 1948 in the men's NCAA Tournament championship game Monday night in Indianapolis. Baylor routed Houston 78-59 in Saturday's semifinal while the Zags survived UCLA 93-90 on a buzzer-beating 3 by Jalen Suggs in OT.

3. HEAT: Topsy-turvy team is hot again as Oladipo joins the flow: Heat has won four in a row and risen to a tie for fourth place in the East after Saturday's win over Cleveland -- after previously losing six straight. Newly acquired shooting guard Victor Oladipo, the trade-deadline prize, made his Heat debut Thursday. In other news, Jimmy Butler appeared shirtless at a postgame news conference, drawing playful derision from Bam Adebayo. Team's back in play Tuesday vs. Memphis.

4. PANTHERS: Fire-on-ice Cats win sixth in a row!: Florida is 26-9-4, alone in first place in the NHL Central and on a season-best six-game win streak after the weekend's 5-2 and 3-0 home dominations of Columbus. Florida now sets out on a six-game road trip starting Tuesday at Carolina. Also last week, Florida signed goalkeeper Spencer Knight, the team's 2019 top draft pick, to a three-year contract.

5. GOLF: It's the week of The Masters at Augusta: With Tiger Woods watching on TV as he recovers from severe leg injuries suffered in his recent car accident, The Masters goes on without him this week at Augusta starting Thursday. Betting favorites are led by Dustin Johnson, Bryson Dechambeau and Justin Thomas. As for Woods? L.A. detectives have determined the cause of his wreck, but thus far are refusing to reveal their finings. Hmm. 

6. NFL: Fans cheer, players gripe as league OKs 17-game season: After 43 seasons with a 16-game regular season, the NFL is increasing it to 17 games beginning this year. Fans love it. More football. TV loves it. More revenue and ratings. Players don't love it and can't believe their union let it happen.   

7. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Stanford tops Arizona in women's championship game: Women's NCAA Tournament got an all-Pac 12 title game in which Stanford edged Arizona 54-53 on Sunday for the Cardinal's first national title since 1992. No. 1 seed Stanford had advanced by beating South Carolina 66-65 while No. 3 Arizona had stunned No. 1 UConn, 69-65. Results deprived America of a championship-stage look at UConn freshman sensation and AP Player of the Year Paige Bueckers, who was held to 18 points on 5-for-13 shooting Friday.

8. TENNIS: Ash Barty leads championship weekend at Miami Open: Defending Miami Open champ Ash Barty won again on Saturday, with ease when underdog opponent Bianca Andreescu retired injured in the second set outside of Hard Rock Stadium. A no-name, who's-that men's final four advanced 19-year-old Italian Jannik Skinner and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland to Sunday's men's championship match, won by Hurkacz. This year's Miami Open was back after taking 2020 off but was decimated by star withdrawals and gutted prize money.

9. MLB: Baseball moves All-Star Game to punish Georgia voting laws: Baseball announced it's 2021 All-Star Game and MLB Draft would be moved from Atlanta in response to Georgia's recently passed voter suppression law. Bravo baseball!

10. INTER MIAMI: Teams cancels preseason scrimmages over COVID concerns: Inter Miami canceled three scheduled exhibition games in Bradenton ahead of its second MLS season on account of COVID-19 concerns. David Beckham's outfit and new coach Phil Neville are prioritizing full health as team preps for its April 18 season opener.

Missing the HB10 cut: Countdown: 24 days 'til Dolphins draft ..... Houston police have now begun an investigation of Deshaun Watson as 21 women have now alleged inappropriate sexual behavior during massages ..... North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams is retiring after 18 years with the Tar Heels and 33 years in the sport overall ..... Also retiring: Veteran TV sports broadcaster Dick Stockton ..... No. 19 Canes baseball is 15-8 off four straight wins and goes for home sweep of Duke today ..... North Macedonia stunned Germany in a World Cup qualifying match ..... UEFA Champions League first-leg quarterfinal matches commence Tuesday with Manchester City-Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid-Liverpool ..... Oh, and Miami FC, the second-tier USL team, prepares to open its new season May 2 ..... Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, you embarrassed everyone on Earth by saying COVID testing should be done away with so as not to disrupt the Final Four ..... If anybody cares, Tampa hosts WrestleMania 37 next weekend ..... Hurricanes spring football practuce continues through April 17 ..... xxxxx ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's 14th episode of 2021 and 56th overall drops Monday morning on all major podcast platforms. Now Mondays 5-6 p.m. on Sirius XM Channel 145, too! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,912 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Our other most 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 / and Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness.

Other recent columns: 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).

September 28, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): History! 4-way tie for 1st: Marlins in playoffs, Heat in Finals vs. LeBron, UM crushes FSU, Fins crush Jax; plus our Six Pack 'O Takeaways from Canes-Noles, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 30 out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28. If you missed who won the week, who leads the early season Top 20 and where Fins' Ryan Fitzpatrick lands, check out our NFL Week 2 QB Rankings2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins crush Jacksonville, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 29 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

Our latest NFL picks: NFL Week 3 Gems.

HEAT IN FINALS VS. LEBRON!: For my column off last night's Game 6 win that catapulted Miami into the NBA Finals, visit Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron. Off Game 5: Heat Lose, Still Lead 3-2. The Prize? An NBA Finals Date With LeBron. Game 4: 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].

Newest Dolphins columns: Off Thursday night's big win in Jacksonville: We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw. Off Game 2: Power Outage, Lightning Delay, No Pass Defense As Dolphins Drop Home Opener to Bills. Off Game 1: Dolphins Lose to Pats, But Win With No-Hurry Plan On Tua.

SixpackCANES 52, FSU 10: OUR SIX PACK 'O TAKEAWAYS: For our column from last night's UM win, visit Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is. Six Pack 'O Takeaways: 1. King D'Eriq. Transfer D'Eriq King continues his excellent play and is nominating himself as UM's best QB since Ken Dorsey closed out the glory years. 2. Putting the No in Noles. After losing seven in a row to its state and ACC rival, Miami has now beaten FSU four straight times. 3. Kickin' It. After the field goal and extra point nightmare that contributed to 2019's 6-7 record, transfer kicker Jose Borregales has been a godsend. 4. Monster D. Six sacks, seven hurries 13 tackles for loss. Canes defense had its way. P.S., Noles QB James Blackman? Not very good. 5. Discipline. Miami needs more of it. Two defensive ejections last night, too many penalties. Against better foes, those things can beat you. 6. Next, please. As the gist of my game column stressed, UM's 3-0 start gets its ultimate test at No.1 Clemson on October 10. Are the Canes teasing us again? Soon we find out.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 27-28): 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:

HButton

1. MARLINS: Miracle Fish make playoffs for first time in 17 years!: They did it. One year after losing 105 games, in a pandemic season that began with much of the team COVID-positive, the Marlins somehow made the playoffs for the first time since 2003. It'll be a best-of-three vs. Cubs to follow the 60-game season. Amazin'!

1. HEAT: Miami wins East to get to LeBron and Lakers: Heat beat Boston last nibght for a 4-2 series and an NBA Finals berth vs. old friend LeBron James and the L.A. Lakers. 

1. HURRICANES: UM crushes rival FSU, heads for top 10: Miami's 52-10 rout of Florida State last night at Hard Rock was the biggest in the series since 1976. The 3-0 Canes now have leaped to No. 8 (from 12) after two teams above UM lost Saturday. But is The U really that good? We all find out October 10 at Clemson.

1. DOLPHINS: Miami crushes it in Jax. Who are these guys!?: A Dolphins team we hadn't seen the first two games showed up and crushed host Jacksonville 31-13 Thursday night. Ryan Fitzpatrick was 18-for-20 with two TDs passing and one running. The defense dominated. It was a night when Miami's improvement and potential showed itself, and rather gloriously at that!   

5. INTER MIAMI: Expansion team back in action, falls in Philly: Miami returned to the pitch on the road Sunday night vs. a strong Philadelphia Union squad and lost 3-0. Despite two straight lopsided losses, Inter Miami since an 0-5 start has won three and drawn two of its past nine matches. Miami now has with it recently signed Gonzalo Higuain, the former Juventus striker.

6. NHL: Stanley Cup Final Game 6 is Monday: Tampa Bay leads Dallas 3-2 after the Stars staved off elimination Saturday night. The Lightning will win it all, or be forced to a Game 7, on Monday night. 

7. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Weak! Pac-12 follows Big Ten back into play: Two of the Power 5 conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12, said they would not play in 2020 over COVID-19 concerns. Then the weak Big Ten caved and agreed to begin play in late October. Now the weak Pac-12 has caved and said it will play a seven-game schedule starting in November. Sad.

8. NASCAR: Michael Jordan buys into race team: With NASCAR in the midst of its playoffs, Michael Jordan has become a team owner for next season. The basketball legend has teamed up with NASCAR star Denny Hamlin -- currently second in the playoff standings with seven races left -- and with Bubba Wallace, the Black driver whose fight led to the sport banning Confederate flags from its tracks.

9. PANTHERS: Florida NHL club signals win-now mode with trade: New Panthers general manager Bill Zito swung a trade acquiring veteran forward Patric Hornqvist from Pittsburgh in exchange for defenseman Mike Matheson and forward Colton Sceviour. Hornqvist, 33, appeared in 52 games with the Penguins this season scoring 17 goals with 15 assists.

10. WNBA: Seattle, Connecticut can advance to Finals Sunday: The Seattle Storm beat the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday for a 3-0 series win and a spot in the WNBA Finals. The Connecticut Sun and Las Vegas Aces are tied 2-2 in their semifinal in the Bradenton bubble heading into a deciding Game 5 on Tuesday.

Missing the HB10 cut: The majors keep a-comin'! Next: Tennis' French Open starts Sunday. Rafael Nadal has won a record 12 French Opens and is the strong betting favorite to make it 13, with Novak Djokovic the second pick. Simona Halep is a less-sure favorite on women's side, with Serena Williams a distant fourth ..... Conor McGregor says he'll fight Manny Pacquiao. Oh lord! ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 30 is out now! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,101 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hopefully we'll have crowds in stadiums again by then?

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 30 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 -- vey different. On the fifth anniversary of his coming out publicly as gay, 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!

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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).

September 20, 2020

Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 29 out now!; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated); also, column off Sunday's Dolphins loss and Marlins, Heat, Canes & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21. Schitt's Creek! Congrats on the Emmy haul to one of my favorite shows of all time. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat-Celtics Game 3, Canes win at Louisville, NFL Week 2 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 28 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 29 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 29 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 29 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. (Start on Episode 1 and catch up!) In new Ep29 we welcome in special guest Izzy Gutierrez of ESPN to talk Heat and NBA playoffs and (yes) who's got the best restaurant bread. Greg and Chris also talk Heat-Celtics, Dolphins’ loss to Buffalo, Canes, Marlins’ playoff run and more. And Chris reveals something about Greg at a restaurant table that he finds annoying. Will you agree? Of course there's a new Mount Gregmore, too -- the L's. Hear all of that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast now!

HeatcelticsHEAT-CELTICS GAME 3: LOSS MEANS THE HARD PART STARTS NOW FOR MIAMI: Miami was in command up 2-0 in this NBA Eastern Conference finals, in a dreamy postseason run that began 10-1. But Saturday's 117-106 Game 3 loss means the Heat suddenly feel some pressure. My latest column: The Fun Starts Now As Heat's Joy-Ride Postseason Finally Hit a Bump. The tension marinates now, because Game 4 isn't 'til Wednesday night. [Column off Game 2: Miracle Or Magic, Miami Heat's Stunning Postseason Run Continues. Off G1: Unexpected Playoff Run Makes Miami Heat the Most Fun Ride In Sports Right Now].

MannySIX PACK 'O TAKEAWAYS FROM CANES' WIN AT LOUISVILLE: No. 17 Miami handled 18-Louisville 47-34 last night. I had it right (see previous blogpost), predicting UM would win 31-27. Six Pack 'O Takeaways: 1. They passed. First big test of the season. ACC opener. First road game. An opposing (though limited) crowd to deal with. UM handled it all. 2. King shines. His NCAA record streak of games with both a passing and rushing TD ended, but D'Eriq King threw for 325 yards and three TDs. Transfer is the real deal. 3. Cam'Ron = Cam'Run. Second straight big game from RB Cam'Ron with 134 yards including a 75-yard TD. 4. The Defense. It needs to be better. Had three takeaways, yes.But also gave up 516 Louisville yards. 5. Work ahead. Next three games are rival Florida State, at No. 1 Clemson, then vs. No. 25 Pitt. Miami will be sitting pretty if it comes out 4-1. 6. A chance. Manny Diaz Year 2.0 is off to promising start. Ranked and with ESPN's College GameDay coming for the FSU game, The U has a chance to get back on the national map. Don't blow it!

BufmiaG2: BUFFALO 31, @DOLPHINS 28: WHERE IS MIAMI's DEFENSE?: My column off Sunday's narrow Dolphins loss: Power Outage, Lightning Delay, No Pass Defense As Dolphins Drop Home Opener to Bills. Original post: We an agree (or should) that New England even post-Tom Brady remains the cream of the AFC East until another team proves otherwise. And, since the New York Jets appear to stink, Buffalo at Miami is the game whose winner will nominate itself for the early inside track in the Dethroning Bill Belichick Sweepstakes. Buffalo is the clear favorite for that, a 5 1/2-point road pick on Sunday. The Bills are anointed as having caught up to the less-than-they-were Patriots. It's the improving Dolphins who must show they're ready to be seen as contenders now, not just maybe soon. They did not in the 21-11 loss at New England in the opener. So this game will  tell a lot. Can the Fins mount a consistent ground game to take the heat off Ryan Fitzpatrick? Can Miami's defense contain dual-threat Bills QB Josh Allen better than it did Cam Newton last week? And, on a side note, will the maximum-allowed 13,000 brave or foolish souls actually flock to a stadium in the midst of a pandemic? Are that many Dolfans that desperate or cavalier? I don’t like the matchup much for Miami. Bills secondary will be tough to throw on, and DeVante Parker (hamstring) was late-week iffy. And Allen will be a handful for Fins’ D. Finally, a reminder to Dolfans and the we-want-Tua cheerleaders among my media brethren: Chill, please. Don't start your chant at the next Fitz pick or Fins loss. Can we at least wait ‘til bleepin’ midseason!? Rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa needs to find his readiness, physically and otherwise, at an unhurried pace unmindful of the season record or Fitzpatrick’s passer rating. Please repeat that as needed. My pick: Bills (-5 1/2) over Dolphins, 24-17

For all of our latest picks: NFL Week 2 Gems. For our column off Miami's opener: Dolphins Lose to Pats, But Win With No-Hurry Plan On Tua.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 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. HEAT: Brooms stay in closet. Miami's ECF lead down to 2-1: Boston's 117-106 win Saturday night means Miami's Eastern Conference finals lead is now 2-1 as we wait (and wait) for Game 4 on Wednesday night. The Heat's habit of falling behind and needing miracle rallies finally came back to haunt. Out West, Lakers are up 2-0 on Denver after Sunday's 105-103 escape on Anthony Davis' last-second 3. For Miami, the climb to a Heat vs. LeBron NBA Finals just got steeper.

2. HURRICANES: Huge! No. 17 UM wins at No. 18 Louisville: Not a lot of defense in Louisville Saturday night as Miami handled the Cardinals 47-34. But that D'Eriq King and Cam'Ron Harris-led offense looks sweet. And pretty unstoppable so far. Rival Florida State on deck, here, next Saturday. ESPN's College GameDay coming, too. Let's see how The U (rocketing up to 12th in AP poll after win) handles the spotlight.

3. MARLINS: Playoff-bound? Miracle Fish in stretch run: Miami is 28-25 and looking strong for a playoff ticket after Sunday's doubleheader split with Washington. ESPN's computer model puts Miami's playoff likelihood at 83.8 percent entering today entering seven games on road starting tonight in Atlanta to end the truncated 60-game regular season. 

4. DOLPHINS: Miami falls to Buffalo in wild home opener: Yes, a Dolphins home opener is only fourth on the HB10. A power outage that knocked the game off network TV for a half hour. Then a lightning delay that delayed the game 36 minutes. Finally, a 31-28 Miami loss because the Fins' supposedly improved pass defense looks pretty awful so far. Quick turnaround now as Miami plays at Jacksonville this Thursday night. COVID protocols limited the home-opening crowd to a max of 13,000, but only 11,075 showed at Hard Rock.

5. INTER MIAMI: Expansion team stays hot, wins at Atlanta: Inter Miami began its MLS life 0-5. Since then the lads have won three and drawn two of their last seven matches with Saturday's 2-1 victory at Atlanta United. Next: Wednesday vs. New York Red Bulls. Team also formally signed Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain after earlier agreeing to terms.

6. GOLF: Nope. The no-name kid could not hang on in U.S. Open: His name is Matthew Wolff. He's 21. You don't know him and shouldn't, but he had a 2-shot leading entering Sunday's final round of the U.S. Open. Chasing, two back: Accomplished Bryson DeChambeau. Well, predictably, the kid wilted, and DeChambeau wound up beating him by six strokes for his first (of what you guess will be many) major wins.

7. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Weak, waffling Big Ten re-enters season: They joined the Pac-10 as the two Power 5 conferences to be the adults in the room and not play football during the pandemic. But the weak, waffling BIg Ten Ten changed its mind and will start its season October 23-24. Weak. 

8. NHL: Dallas strikes first in Stanley Cup Final: Tampa Bay is a big favorite (or was) but Dallas cruised 4-1 in the Final opener, with Game 2 on Monday. Lightning-Stars. Hmm. I know y'all are loving it in Tampa and Dallas, but, um, can I borrow a telescope to find the national TV ratings?

9. NBA: LeBron squawks as Giannis wins another MVP: Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo handily won a second straight NBA MVP award despite his team's playoff fizzle. And runnerup LeBron James of the Lakers wasn't having it. "I'm pissed," he admitted. (And with pretty good cause, it says here). 

10. NASCAR: Harvick wins as playoff field trimmed: Kevin Harvick won in Bristol, Tennessee Saturday to establish himself as the season's NASCAR Cup fronturnner as the sport's playoff field pared from 16 drivers to 12.

Missing the HB10 cut: The majors keep-a-comin'! Tennis' long-delayed French Open starts next Sunday ..... The Tour de France ends Sunday, with 21-year-old Slovenian Tadej Pogacar the guy to beat ..... MLB and players agreed to a playoffs-in-a-bubble plan ..... English Premier League season is underway. Go Everton! ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 29 is out now! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,108 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. That's if Miami isn't underwater and there's still a world by then.


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THE COTE 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

Other notable most recent columns: Dolphins Lose to Pats, But Win With No-Hurry Plan On Tua / 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / Heat Beat Bucks In Game 1, In A Series Also About '21 Free Agency / 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 / Pat Riley's Grand Plan On Track As Heat Close In On Playoff Advance / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / Fall Without Football: Big Ten, Pac-12 Set Moral Compass for NFL, Others to Follow / 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 Outbreak Worsens, Sports Should Rethink Playing Again in 2020 / 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 / Sports' Gradual Return Offers America Relief We Desperately Need / 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

Other notable recent columns: Here's Why Nobody Should Rule Out Heat Reaching NBA Finals / Marlins and Dolphins, In a Race For Relevance, Offer Hope At a Time We Need That / When Will Dolphins Unleash Tua? Exploring the Timetable as Rookies Report / He Made a Mistake, But Miami Knows Who Dwyane Wade Is And Knows It By Heart / Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns / 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear / Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision / Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope / The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1 / Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020 / Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back / Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / and Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

Select columns from earlier in 2020: Amid Pandemic And Protests, 'America's Pastime' Is Letting American Down / Return Of Sports Promises Historic TV Smorgasbord / Homestead Is Test Lab As NASCAR Gradually Welcomes Back Fans / R.I.P. Kurt Thomas, an American Gymnastics Pioneer  / MLB Players Demanding More Millions, Right Now, Is A Bad Look / Amid a Pandemic, An Outrage in Alamance County / Welcome to Sports Without Fans, the New Normal / As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More Trivial / Anticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami / Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19 / Dolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Florida Derby / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team / How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 

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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).

September 14, 2020

G1: @New England 21, Dolphins 11: Power shift in AFC East? (Not yet). My column off game; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated) as Fins opener, Heat-Celtics vie for top; also, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 28 out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes slap UAB in opener, Chiefs win ushers in NFL season, Your verdict on Greg's Lobos fantasy draft, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 27 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

OUR FOOTBALL SPECIAL-SECTION TRIUMVIRATE!: 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

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 28 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 28 is out now! New episodes drop early every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 28 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Ep28 we get all sportsy -- sportsier than we've ever been. Greg and Chris chew over the Dolphins and Hurricanes season openers with a dash of Marlins and Inter Miami talk. Mostly we dive deep into Heat-Celtics with special guest Amin Elhassan, the ESPN NBA expert. And he makes a bold prediction. Of course there's a new Mount Gregmore, too -- the K's. Here all that and more on the Greg Cote Show podcast now!

G1: @NEW ENGLAND 21, DOLPHINS 11: INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN...: Visit Dolphins Lose to Pats, But Win With No-Hurry Plan On Tua for my column off Sunday's opener. ..... Original post: The Great Unknown: Football in a pandemic. Tom Brady gone. Dolphins on the rise. AFC East power shift? The finding out starts today at 1 p.m. at a Foxborough Stadium where no fans will attend. History: This is first time since 1999 New England has fielded a team without Brady. In general regard Bill FitzBelichick’s Cam
Patriots have sunk from dynasty to just another mid-pack team with the departure of Brady and all those coronavirus-related opt outs decimating the defense. That’s while the Dolphins, via a stockpile of high draft picks and big spending in free agency, have hugely upgraded their roster. So it’s New England in decline vs. Miami ascending in an evolving AFC East. That’s why I like Fins with the points here and why an outright upset would only mildly surprise. Still an edge to Patriots, though. Those guys are still are tough on D, and a healthy dual-threat Cam Newton, Brady's replacement, is a lot to defend. There’s still that Belichick guy, too. Dolphins should be much improved, but, out the gate, and with no preseason, the Fins’ young offensive line may especially struggle early in the season to protect Ryan Fitzpatrick while rookie Tua Tagovailoa grows unhurried into the starting role. Question for pics at right: Who's postgame cooler: Fitzpatrick or Newton? My pick: Patriots (-6 1/2) over Dolphins, 24-20.

For all of our opening week previews and picks: NFL Week 1 Gems.

[Note to readers: The Dolfan Satisfaction Meter (and Canesfan Satisfaction Meter) postgame polls have retired. After a long and successful run, we are using this weird pandemic season to make a clean break. Thanks to all you many DSM and CSM fans who have participated over the years!]

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 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: Miami opens 55th season with loss at New England: No Tom Brady. No fans in the stands. After no preseason. Otherwise, Dolphins at Patriots as usual. Is the post-Brady AFC East evolving? Are the improved/improving Dolphins ready to make their move after a bunch  of high draft picks and big spending in free agency? Quick answer: Not yet. Patriots 21, Fins 11. And the Year of Waiting For Tua has begun! (Meanwhile, Fins remained in lockerroom during pregame national anthem as a form of protest against racial injustice).

2. HEAT/NBA: Rested Miami to meet rival Boston in Eastern finals: After a shockingly easy 4-1 dispatch of top-seeded Milwaukee making Miami 8-1 this postseason, the Heat watched Friday night as Boston won its semifinal Game 7 over Toronto, 92-87. Game 1 of the Heat-Celtics Eastern finals is Tuesday, with Miami now four wins from reaching its first NBA Finals since 2014. The Lakers reached the West finals on Saturday; Clippers and Denver are 3-3 entering Game 7 Tuesday.

3. HURRICANES: UM ushers in Manny Diaz Year 2 with comfy win: Miami became the first Power 5 conference team to open the 2020 college football season Thursday night with a 31-14 home cruise past UAB (Alabama-Birmingham) of Conference USA, as new QB D'Eriq King debuted with 227 total yards and three TDS. Crowd at The Rock fell well short of the 13,000 max allowed by coronavirus protocols. Based on a low-watt opponent and health concerns, no surprise. Win sent UM rocketing from unranked to No. 17 in The AP Top 25.

4. MARLINS: Fish sweep DH, move past Phillies in playoff chase: Miami shook off the embarrassment of a 29-9 loss to Atlanta -- most runs allowed in an MLB game since 2007. Because there was a playoff race to worry about. Fish swept doubleheader from Phillies Sunday and wrap up an unprecedented seven-game home series with Philly today. Miami at 23-21 is now a half-game ahead of Philadelphia in NL East in chase for a playoff spot.

5. NFL: Brady-Brees 'Old G.O.A.T.s Bowl' tops Week 1 schedule: After Patrick Mahomes and champion Chiefs christened season with a Thursday win, full slate on for Sunday featured Tom Brady's debut in a Tampa Bay Bucs uniform, facing fellow old-timer Drew Brees in New Orleans. Combined age: 84 years 9 months. Oxygen tanks ready? Drew won.

6. INTER MIAMI: Improving expansion team scores huge signing with Higuain: Former Juventus striker and new Inter Miami star Gonzalo Higuain has arrived on the heel of Miami also signing former French World Cup star Blaise Matuidi. Meanwhile the vastly improving rookie club, after an 0-5 start, has won two and drawn two in its past six matches after Saturday's 2-1 loss to Orlando City. Next: At Atlanta United next Saturday.

7. TENNIS: Serena denied history again as U.S. Open reaches title weekend: Serena Williams fell short yet again in her bid for a record-tying 24th career major win. Instead No. 4 seed Naomi Osaka beat unseeded Victoria Azarenka for Saturday's U.S. Open women's championship. It was Dominic Thiem over Alexander Zverev in Sunday's low-watt men's final. Serena, about to turn 39, will give history another shot in the French open starting September 27.

8. GOLF: Koepka out as U.S. Open begins on Thursday: Major at Winged Foot is this Thursday through Sunday, but without two-time champ Brooks Koepka, an injury withdrawal. Dustin Johnson leads a still-strong field as 8-1 betting favorite. Tiger Woods is tied for eighth pick at 28-1 odds.

9. NHL: Heading to a Tampa-Dallas Stanley Cup Final?: Tampa Bay leads N.Y. Islanders 3-1 in the East finals after Sunday's win and aims to clinch Tuesday. IN the West Dallas leads Vegas 3-1 after Saturday's win and can clinch on Monday.

10. NASCAR: Playoffs two races in as first cuts near: NASCAR's 10-race playoffs are two races, with Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick having won so far. Field will trim from 16 drivers to 12 after the next race.

Missing the HB10 cut: Sports smorgasbord! This past Thursday the NFL, college football, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS and U.S. Open tennis all were playing. Full yet? ..... Six Top 25 teams played Saturday; only No. 23 Iowa State fell, to Louisiana. Florida State also lost (to Georgia Tech) , the only other state FBS team besides UM to play in Week 2..... MLB's playoffs-in-a-bubble plan awaits players unIon approval ..... The weak Big Ten is wavering on whether to not play this fall ..... English Premier League season has begun! ..... Well it sure has been a good while since Conor McGregor's been in trouble. Oh. Wait ..... USWNT star Alex Morgan is joning Tottenham Hotspur's women's club on loan ..... Bubba Wallace, NASCAR driver and the man who removed the Confederate flag from his sport, is leaving Richard Petty Motorsports after this season ..... A bunch of men you've never heard of are riding really expensive bicycles in the Tour de France, and it ends next Sunday ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 28 is out Monday morning ..... Update: Countdown now 2,115 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Always cheerily assuming the world hasn't imploded by then.

Other most recent columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic and our columns off Heat-Bucks Games 1 and 2: Lifting Spirits And A City: Heat, Up 2-0, Continue Pandemic Playoff Run and Heat Beat Bucks In Game 1, In A Series Also About '21 Free Agency. Also: Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now and Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk. And: Pat Riley's Grand Plan On Track As Heat Close In On Playoff Advance / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / Fractured College Football Mirrors America's Divide On How to Handle a Pandemic / Fall Without Football: Big Ten, Pac-12 Set Moral Compass for NFL, Others to Follow / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / and 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off.

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THE COTE ARCHIVES:

Marlins Hell Week Trilogy: Are Marlins To Blame For Own Outbreak? If So It Would Mirror America's Struggle / Marlins Outbreak Worsens, Sports Should Rethink Playing Again in 2020 / and Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All SportsSpecial Don Shula tribute: Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was MeGeorge Floyd-related: Sports' Gradual Return Offers America Relief We Desperately Need / 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

Other most recent columns: Here's Why Nobody Should Rule Out Heat Reaching NBA Finals / Marlins and Dolphins, In a Race For Relevance, Offer Hope At a Time We Need That / When Will Dolphins Unleash Tua? Exploring the Timetable as Rookies Report / Sports Resume, But Major Concerns Complicate Opening of Football Training Camps / He Made a Mistake, But Miami Knows Who Dwyane Wade Is And Knows It By Heart / Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns / Rest In Pieces, Redskins. Now Here Are Sports' Other Suspect Nicknames / 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear / Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision / Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope / The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1 / Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020 / Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back / Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction / Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess? / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / and Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

Select columns from earlier in 2020: Amid Pandemic And Protests, 'America's Pastime' Is Letting American Down / Return Of Sports Promises Historic TV Smorgasbord / Homestead Is Test Lab As NASCAR Gradually Welcomes Back Fans / R.I.P. Kurt Thomas, an American Gymnastics Pioneer  / MLB Players Demanding More Millions, Right Now, Is A Bad Look / Amid a Pandemic, An Outrage in Alamance County / Welcome to Sports Without Fans, the New Normal / As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More Trivial / Anticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami / Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19 / Dolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever / NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Florida Derby / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team / and two-part series on how Dolphins' Glory Day happened: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 

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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).