June 29, 2020

As sports lurches toward the (re)starting line -- or is that edge of a cliff? ... the latest (updated) Hot Button Top 10! See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 18 is out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 29. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Why sports should not abandon the Star-Spangled Banner, Baseball has restart plan but is sports walking into a giant mess?, Noose in Bubba Wallace's garage, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 17 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 18 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 18 is out now! A new episode drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 18 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 18 we talk baseball but also get funny/personal with ESPN's Tim Kurkjian, chat with somebody else named Greg Cote, introduce a new segment called the Mount Gregmore Name Game, and praise the South African nation of Botswana. Why?Only one way to find out, right?

Don Shula tribute columns: Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me

George Floyd-related columns: 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

Columns from this past week: Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction  /  Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess?  / and Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 28-29): 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: Finally! MLB has announces a restart plan: After owners and players failed to agree on anything, MLB exercised its power and imposed a 60-game season, with Opening Day expected on July 23 or 24 and the regular season running through September 27. Players are to report for spring training July 1. Teams will play 10 games each vs. their four division rivals, with interleague play making up the other 20 games. Teams are to play home games in their own stadiums and travel for road games despite that adding coronavirus risk to the equation.

2. HEAT: NBA sets restart dates for Miami, rest of league: Unless the whole grand plan collapses under the weight of the coronavirus -- the NBA tested 302 players and found 16 positive for COVID-19, reportedly including the Heat's Derrick Jones Jr. -- NBA games will resume for real (sans fans) on July 30 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports campus in Orlando, where teams will report July 7 to begin preparing. The Heat's return will be on Saturday, August 1 vs. Denver. Teams will play eight regular season games, which, combined with their record at the time of stoppage, will determine playoff seedings. There are negotiations ongoing to allow players to wear social-justice messages on their jerseys.

3. NFL: Patriots sign Cam Newton: New England reportedly has agreed to a one-year deal with Cam Newton to replace departed Tom Brady. In other news, the Pats have been fined $1.1 million and lose a third-round draft pick over their TV crew filming the field and sideline during a Browns-Bengals game. 

4. NASCAR: Confederate flag, noose overshadow the racing: NASCAR banned Confederate flags from its tracks and properties in the wake of the national George Floyd protests, angering many race fans who still think it's 1863. Oh, and a noose turned up in the Talladega garage of Bubba Wallace, the Cup SerIes' only black driver, but an investigation found it had been there for years, not intentionally left for him. Um, OK. And whhhhyyy had it been there for years!?

5. NFL: Preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game is canceled: There won't be a Cowboys-Steelers game to christen the NFL preseason this August, after it was canceled this week. As of now, the regular season still is set to start on September 10 (the Dolphins open at New England on the 13th), but whether any or a limited number of fans will be in stadiums is open to doubt. Training camps remain set to open July 28. For now, at least.

6. SOCCER: NWSL ushers in return of pro sports: The National Women's Soccer League Challenge Cup began Saturday in Utah -- marking the return of professional team sports leagues in the U.S. for the first time since March shutdown for the cornavirus pandemic. All players from the first game, North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns, knelt during the national anthem in an empty stadium to protest racial injustice.

7. PANTHERS: NHL close to naming hub cities for restart: With the Panthers and other NHL teams set to open training camp in their home cities July 10, the NHL expects this week to name the two hub cities where the direct-to-playoffs season will be played and finished, starting in late July. Hub city finalists are Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vegas.

8. SOCCER: Next Women's World Cup headed Down Under: FIFA announced its 2023 Women's World Cup would be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The United States has won the past two WWC's. Let's gooooo States!

9. ESPN: Backstory on LeBron's 'The Decision' premieres: ESPN's 'The Decision" (about LeBron James' show to reveal he was taking his talent to South Beach 10 years ago) debuts tonight at 9, yet another reminder ESPN Is desperate for content in the void of live sports. Spoiler alert: The idea for the controversial show was not LeBron's, his agent's or ESPN's. The idea came from a 38-year-old Pistons fans from Columbus, Ohio, identified only as "Drew" in a Bill Simmons mailbag column published by ESPN in November 2009. So there.

10. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT is a weekly update on how many major local pro games have been lost to coronavirus shutdown. We'll continue this until the first of our four spring/summer teams has resumed play. Through today/Sunday -- 133-plus games lost: Marlins have missed first 84 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last 17. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage.

Missing the HB10 cut: Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has pledged $13 million over the next four years to fight systemic racism through the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), the nonprofit foundation he began in 2015 ..... Vince Carter has retired after 22 NBA seasons, surprising analysts who thought he'd retired around 2012 ..... Canes legend Ray Lewis donated personal protective equipment to the UM football program ..... Family of thr late great Dolphin Jim Kiick have donated his brain for research. Good for them! ..... Somebody named "Chez Reavie" leads by four shots entering today's final round of he PGA Tour's coronavirus-depleted Travelers Championship. Even money Chez blows it? ..... Countdown 10 days until Inter Miami resumes its inaugural with a July 8 match vs. Orlando in the MLS Is Back tournament being held sans fans in that city ..... The debacle-in-waiting, UFC's Fight Island, is set to debut July 11 ..... WNBA players begin reporting next week ..... The new, independent 3-on-3 pro ice hockey league set to debut next year, called 3ICE, has launched an online merchandise store. Buy now. That crap will be a minor collectors' item once the league folds ..... FLorida Panthers announced the launch of an all-access, behind-the-scenes online series, "Panthers Uncaged," chronicling team's preparation for NHL's upcoming 24-team postseason. First episode is this Wednesday on team's Facebook, IGTV, PanthersVision and YouTube channels ..... Shaq and Gronk had or are having some sort of virtual party, but HB didn't care enough to find out details ..... Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown reopened on Friday with enhanced health procedures including masks and social distancing ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 18 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,192 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hope large social gatherings are OK again by then?

Previous most recent columns: Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street  /  Should Sports Take the Rest Of 2020 Off? There's An Argument  /  and Amid Pandemic And Protests, 'America's Pastime' Is Letting American Down

Select earlier columns from 2020: 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --

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:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Book: Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

June 22, 2020

Dan Le Batard and Papi in Greg Cote Cote podcast's Father's Day special. It's new Episode 17, out now!; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), links to recent columns & more

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

Hapdad1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 22. Hope it was a Happy Fathers Day for all my fellow papis and padres! 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Team that signs Kaepernick will be champion of the streets, Should sports play it safe and take rest of 2020 off?, America's Pastime is letting America down, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 16, Back In My Day video & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 17 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 17 is out now! A new episode drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 17 we've done so far right here. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 17 we Father's Day with ESPN's Dan Le Batard and his dad Papi -- in Papi's first interview since he walked away from his fulltime role on Dan's Highly Questionable show. Why did he leave? Might he return? Join the conversation. That and more in new Ep17! Find every podcast we've done so far HERE.

My columns from this past week: Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street  /  Should Sports Take the Rest Of 2020 Off? There's An Argument  /  and Amid Pandemic And Protests, 'America's Pastime' Is Letting American Down

Shula tribute columns: DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P. and WHAT SHULA MEANT TO A FATHER & SON. THE BOY WAS ME

George Floyd-related columns: Sports' Gradual Return Offers America Relief, a Respite We Desperately Need  /  It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America  /  Goodell's NFL Response to George Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic  /  and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 21-22): 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. MLB: America's Pastime continues to whiff on restart plan: MLB Players Association proposed a 70-game regular-season schedule (July 19 through September 30) that was immediately rejected by commissioner Rob Manfred, with no counter-proposal, as sides continue back and forth with no solution in sight. All sports move forward to playing again, except one. Sad, baseball. Sad.

2. HEAT: Butler recalls racism in team's Town Hall: As NBA players prepare to arrive July 7 in Orlando for restart of the season, Heat held a town hall about race on Juneteenth, on Zoom, with coach Erik Spoelstra and several players. Notable was Jimmy Butler remembering this from age 16 in Houston: "A white man and his son, who is no older than maybe 6 -- I'm walking with my brother, and we hear the kid turn around and say, 'Hey, Dad, those are those n-words that you are telling me about," Butler said. "The kid doesn't know any better. The first thing that popped in my head was, 'You had to [have] taught him that.' [The kid] doesn't know that. My daughter, I have to teach her that the stove is hot. You are choosing to teach your kid hate."

3. INTER MIAMI: Local team among wave of sports test-positives: An unnamed Inter Miami player tested positive for coronavirus as the team prepares to restart its inaugural season July 8 in Orlando in the MLS Is Back tournament. Recent test-positives in sports also have included Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott, two Tampa Bay Bucs, driver Dale Jarrett, a PGA Tour player and 28 Clemson athletes -- almost all in football. All MLB spring training sites have temporarily closed because of the threat.

4. HURRICANES: UM sports names Chief Diversity Officer: As the football team prepares to reassemble July 13, Miami athletics announced that senior associate athletic director for administration Renae Myles Payne will be UM's first Chief Diversity Officer, a newly created position.

5. HORSE RACING: Tiz The Law christens delayed Triple Crown season: Favorite Tiz the Law won Saturday's no-fans Belmont Stakes in Elmont, N.Y., as expected, as thoroughbred racing's delayed Triple Crown season finally commenced. The "Run for the Carnations," usually the third and last race, led off the triumvirate of races for the first time.

6. MARLINS: Jeter finds optimism in protests: Marlins CEO Derek Jeter took part remotely in an MLB Network special on race. "Something needs to change. It gets to a point where you say enough is enough," Jeter said. "The one thing that I was optimistic about is, for the first time, you're seeing people across all 50 states and roughly 20 other countries -- people of all different races and different nationalities -- out there in agreement that now is the time and things do need to change, because it's been going on for too long."

7. MIKE GUNDY: Oklahoma State coach called out by player: Oklahoma State's weird football coach got called out publicly by running back Chuba Hubbard for wearing an OAN T-shirt. (On the bright side, at least he wasn't also waving a Confederate flag at the time). One America News, for the uninitiated, is an extreme far-right "news" network prone to conspiracy theories and Black Lives Matter-bashing. Gundy said oops I won't wear the shirt any more.

8. GATORS: Florida retires 'Gator Bait' cheer: The Swamp no longer will resonate on football Saturdays with the "Gator Bait" cheer and song -- both done away with due to their roots in racism. In a related story the SEC said no more championship events will be held in the state of Mississippi until it removes the Confederate flag from its state flag.

9. NASCAR: Dale Jr. leads newest Hall of Fame class: As NASCAR runs at Talladega Sunday, former driver and perennial fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. joins two others as latest inductees into the sport's Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. Junior never did win a series championship, but popularity evidently counts for something.

10. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT is a weekly update on how many major local pro games have been lost to coronavirus shutdown. We'll continue this until the first of our four spring/summer teams has resumed play. Through today/Sunday -- 125-plus games lost: Marlins have missed first 77 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last 16. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage.

Missing the HB10 cut: Hey, other than the racial stereotypes and all, it was a good run, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben! ..... Webb Simpson won the PGA Tour event at Hilton Head on Sunday ..... NHL, would you name the two bleepin' hub cities already!? ..... Former U.S. national men's soccer coach Bruce Arena suggested The Star-Spangled Banner should not be played before sporting events. Where's the Trump Tweetstorm!? ..... July 11 is set as date for first of four UFC July fight cards on its Fight Island, located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi ..... Serena Williams committed to the U.S. Open starting Aug. 31 even as some others players hesitate. Meanwhile, dumb people spray painted "White lives matter" on a statue of Arthur Ashe ..... That July 28 reporting date for NFL teams? Believe it when we you it ..... WNBA announced a commitment to return to play with a focus on social justice, in a shortened season to be played sans fans on the IMG Academy campus in Bradenton, near Tampa, with reporting in early July ..... Tony Hawk was in the news, but I didn't care enough to Google why. Something about a 52-year-old man on a skateboard makes me sad ..... Shaquille O'Neal and Ron Gronkowski will host a virtual, live-streamed party this Saturday on TikTok and www.ShaqVsGronk.com. I'll be sure to miss it ..... Rams and Chargers will be featured on this season's Hard Knocks starting Aug.11. Assume the camera crew will be in masks? ..... Josh Gordon is seeking NFL reinstatement for what feels like the 45th time ..... Ray Ciccarelli, the unsuccessful NASCAR truck-series driver who threatened to quit over the sport's Confederate flag ban, is now hedging on that. His fans are happy. Both of them ..... Still for rent: A slightly used 1989 Cam Newton. Inquire Within ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 17 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,198 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hope large social gatherings are OK again by then?

OTHER MOST RECENT COLUMNS: Return Of Sports Promises Historic TV Smorgasbord / Homestead Is Test Lab As NASCAR Gradually Welcomes Back Fans / and R.I.P. Kurt Thomas, an American Gymnastics Pioneer

Select earlier recent columns: 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards has 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:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Book: Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go (video) and The Ballad Of 1440 (audio).

June 15, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): See who's No. 1 this week and what else lands where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now!, our George Floyd-related columns & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 15. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Return of sports will mean historic TV smorgasbord in fall, Homestead hosts NASCAR race, R.I.P. Kurt Thomas, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 15 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 16 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 16 is out now! Find a new episode every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 16 we've done so far right here. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 16 we talk NASCAR banning the Confederate flag, update you on our Duck Family (bad news) and our ailing tree (better news), and have a conversation with an author who both wrote a new biography of Yogi Berra and was Le Batard's first editor. Fun stuff! That and more in new Ep16! Find every podcast we've done so far HERE.

My Shula tribute columns: DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P. and WHAT SHULA MEANT TO A FATHER & SON. THE BOY WAS ME

My George Floyd-related columns: Sports' Gradual Return Offers America Relief, a Respite We Desperately Need  /  It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America  /  Goodell's NFL Response to George Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic  /  and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 14-15): 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 (non)sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. NASCAR: After Confederate flag ban, Homestead hosts race before small crowd: The Dixie Vodka 400 ran Sunday -- eventually, after much weather delay -- at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Denny Hamlin winning. About 1,000 invited guests from the military were in the stands, the first major American professional sport to play before any fans since the pandemic shutdown. In the leadup to the race NASCAR banned Confederate flags from its tracks in the wake of the George Floyd killing and resulting national protests. Bubba Wallace, the circuit's only black driver, ran in a car emblazoned #BlackLivesMatter, finishing 13th.

2. MARLINS: It's all pitching in historic 2020 Fish draft: Led by third overall pick Max Meyer from the University of Minnesota the Marlins drafted pitchers with all six selections in the 2020 draft -- a franchise first. Then again, the pandemic reduced the draft to only five rounds this year, not the usual bloated 40. But remember the name Asa Lacy. He's who Miami surprisingly passed over to take Meyer. Meanwhile MLB, unlike the other sports,  continues to fight with itself over a restart plan.

3. GOLF: Berger win in PGA Tour's first event in three months: Golf returned from its three-month pandemic layoff with a tournament in Fort Worth, Texas that had no spectators, began with a moment of silence for George Floyd, and saw social distancing among players. It was a strong field that did not include Tiger Woods but featured world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, but in the end Daniel Berger won in a low-watt playoff over Collin Morikawa.

4. INTER MIAMI: Miami's first match in four months set as MLS details restart: Finally, a date on the calendar to circle! On Wednesday, July 8, expansion team Inter Miami will play its first match in four months, since March 7, in the no-fans MLS Is Back tournament that will see all 26 teams competing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Miami will open versus natural rival Orlando City. A rescheduled regular season will follow the tournament, with teams back in their home stadiums but likely still without fans.

5. HEAT: NBA sets timetable for resumption: The 22 teams that will resume the season, including Miami, are to report to the Orlando hub beginning July 9-11 for a training camp that will precede eight regular-season games for each, sans fans, starting July 30. Then, the playoffs. According to reports, the league is estimating the NBA Finals would begin around Sept. 30, meaning the two teams left standing would end up being in Orlando about three months. 

6. PANTHERS: Date set for start of formal training camp: The NHL set July 10 as the date to start formal training camp for the 24 teams that will resume play by heading directly to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Florida will open with a five-game series vs. the Islanders, with the season resuming with no fans in two yet-unnamed hub cities. It isn't yet known if training camps will be held in the teams' home rinks or in one of the hub cities, or how long they will last.

7. HURRICANES: NCAA outlines football teams' return dates: The NCAA Football Oversight Committee passed a recommendation that coaches may begin formally working with their teams on July 13. The committee laid out the practice guidelines to allow players to return safely prior to the traditional four-week football training camp.

8. DOLPHINS: Details emerge on buildup to NFL season: The NFL announced 28 of its teams including Miami now have a July 28 reporting date for the start of preseason training camp. No mini-camps or OTA dates will be held prior to that. The league also is discussing preseason games going from from four to two. The regular season still is set to begin as scheduled in September, but increasingly likely to start with no fans or a limited number.

9. COLLEGE SPORTS: DeSantis signs athlete compensation bill: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill enabling college students to be paid for use of their name, image and likeness. The bill goes into effect July 1, 2021 as the first of its kind on a state level. It is potentially a very big deal for a very few, and of zero consequence to the vast majority of college athletes.

10. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT is a weekly update on how many major local pro games have been lost to coronavirus shutdown. We'll continue this until the first of our four spring/summer teams has resumed play. Through today/Sunday -- 115-plus games lost: Marlins have missed first 71 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last 14. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage.

Missing the HB10 cut: Ray Ciccarelli. Who!? This was a NASCAR truck-series driver of little note -- one top-10 finish in four seasons and zero laps run in 2020 -- before he abruptly became known for the wrong reasons by quitting the sport this week to protest its ban on Confederate flags at all its tracks. Farewell, Ray. You shan't be missed ..... Former UM booster and convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro is out of federal prison and will serve the remainder of his sentence on house arrest ..... Top heavyweights Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua agreed on a two-fight deal in 2021. Fury will first complete his trilogy vs. Deontay Wilder later this fall ..... A U.S. Olympic boxer was cleared when it was determined her banned substance happened because of sex. Her name: Virginia Fuchs ..... Spanish soccer's La Liga resumed play with piped-in reactive crowd noise and visuals to give the impression of a live audience. How marvelously fake! ..... In a fishing tournament, Michael Jordan's team caught a 442-pound blue marlin. Top that, LeBron! ..... Golf's Ryder Cup is still scheduled for Sept. 25-27 in Wisconsin. Could be without fans, but both the U.S. and European teams pushing to allow spectators ..... Times tough. The UM Sports Hall of Fame started a GoFundMe page ..... Florida Panthers forward Noel Acciari is the team's 2019-20 nominee for the NHL's Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy given for perseverance and sportsmanship ..... Still for rent: A slightly used 1989 Cam Newton. Inquire Within ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 16 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,205 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hope large social gatherings are OK again by then?

COLUMNS FROM PAST WEEK:

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

Select other recent columns: 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --

Revisit this blog often because it is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category in 2018. Greg is also a regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Book: Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go (video) and The Ballad Of 1440 (audio).

June 08, 2020

The latest Hot Button Top 10: Sports' place in a time of America's national turmoil and challenge; plus the Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 15 out now!, our 4 George Floyd-related columns & more

1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 8. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Sports' gradual return offers America needed relief, It took George Floyd to finally wake up white America, Why Goodell's response to Floyd killing is hypocrisy, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 14 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 15 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and Episode 15 is out now! Find a new episode out every Monday morning on Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find the new episode and all 15 we've done so far right here. They're free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 15 you'll get to know Zoo Miami's Ron Magill beyond just animals as he shares stories about his difficult childhood, how he met his wife, his emotional and controversial first trip to Cuba and much more. Also, Greg speaks from the heart about the killing of George Floyd and its aftermath. That and more in Ep15! Find every podcast we've done so far HERE.

My Shula tribute columns: DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P. and WHAT SHULA MEANT TO A FATHER & SON. THE BOY WAS ME

My George Floyd-related columns:

Sports' Gradual Return Offers America Relief, a Respite We Desperately Need

It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America

Goodell's NFL Response to George Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic

George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 7-8): 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 (non)sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. GEORGE FLOYD: Sports continues enmeshed in national outrage over killing: Top athletes, coaches and others in sports continue to join the national protests and speak out against police brutality after the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis followed that of Breonna Taylor in Louisville. The coronavirus pandemic threat continues and sports inches back to resuming play, but the way Floyd died in custody remains out front in the nation's conscience. Adrian Peterson said all NFL players "are ready to take a knee together" before games this season.

2. OOPS!: It was a big week for apologies in sports: Roger Goodell now says NFL should-a listened four years ago when the Colin Kaepernick-led protest began. (Oops, sorry). Drew Brees said he can't agree with anyone who "disrespects the flag." (Oops, sorry). L.A. Galaxy dropped a player whose wife made offensive Instagram posts. (Oops, sorry). FSU football coach Mike Norvell lied in saying he personally reached out to all his players. (Oops, sorry). Texts from Bills rookie QB Jake Fromm about only "elite white people" owning guns turned up on Twitter. (Oops, sorry).

3. HURRICANES: Football season without fans now looms as likely: Miami director of athletics Blake James said his "gut feeling" right now is that UM football season will start on time (Sept. 5 vs. Temple at Hard Rock Stadium), but without fans. He'd said on our podcast in early April he still was optimistic about fans. The Dolphins already have revealed a contingency plan that would permit a reduced attendance of 15,000 with social distancing in place.

4. MLB: Baseball lagging behind on restart plans: While the NBA, NHL and MLS are getting specific about plans for a late summer resumption, the National Pasttime continues to balk as owners and players haggle over money and length of season. Money, mostly, if that didn't go without saying. Baseball now seems as if it will be the last spring/summer sport to resume -- if it does at all. Really bad look, MLB.   

5. NASCAR: Engines will rev in Homestead in 6 days: Homestead-Miami Speedway hosts the Dixie Vodka 400 on June 13-14. The here will be no paying customers allowed; however, the track will invite up to 1,000 military personnel, first responders and their families as guests to next Sunday's main race -- the first people to sit in the stands for a NASCAR race since the season resumed in May. 

6. MARLINS: Fish have 3rd overall pick in draft: Thinking Marlins will be thinking power bat with third pick in the MLB Draft this week. The shortened five-round 2020 draft, done virtually, will be held this Wednesday and Thursday, with Wednesday's round 1 on ESPN (7 p.m.) and rounds 2-5 Thursday on ESPN 2 (5 p.m.).

7. NFL: Coaches permitted back at practice facilities: NFL coaches were allowed back at team facilities starting this past Friday. Players remain barred except those receiving treatment, while the maximum number of people at facilities is now up to 100. No word yet when summer training camps might begin or what delays or limits may be in place.

8. GOLF: PGA Tour back this week after 3-month layoff: The PGA Tour will play ts first ev ent since March 12 this Thursday through Sunday with the Colonial/Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, with 16 of the top 20 players in the world. No Tiger Woods, but all of the top five including No. 1 Rory McIlroy will compete. No spectators will be allowed. The Memorial in Ohio July 16-19 will be the first Tour event to welcome back fans.

9. SOCCER: MLS, international leagues set returns: Major League Soccer avoided a lockout by agreeing to a restart plan that begins with a tournament in Orlando later this summer including Inter Miami and all 26 teams. Talk of a July 9 start date is not yet confirmed. Players agreed to 5 percent salary cuts. Spain's La Liga will resume play this coming Saturday, and England's Premier League reopens June 17, with "virtual fan noise" to help TV viewers imagine big crowds like in the old days.

10. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT updates you each week on how many major local pro sports games have been lost to the coronavirus shutdown. We'll continue this until the first of our four spring/summer teams has resumed play. Through today/Sunday -- 109-plus games lost: Marlins have missed first 66 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last 13.  

Missing the HB10 cut: At least five Alabama football players have tested positive for coronavirus ...... Amanda Nunes! ..... Over/under on how long Conor McGregor's 'retirement' lasts: Three months? ..... OHMYGOD TETONIC PLATES ARE SHIFTING! Even Michael (Republicans Buy Sneakers Too) Jordan is actually speaking out ..... Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant says he's done for the year, even as NBA moves toward restart. K.D. hasn't played since his Achilles injury last June ..... A decision is pending whether the scheduled Sept. 25-27 Ryder Cup in Wisconsin will go on without fans, U.S. captain Steve Stricker saying that would make it "a yawner of an event" ..... For Rent: A Used 1989 Cam Newton. Inquire Within ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 15 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,212 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Always assuming the world is still turning by then.

Other featured recent columns: MLB Players Demanding More Millions, Right Now, Is A Bad Look / and Amid a Pandemic, An Outrage in Alamance County. 

Other recent columns: How Can A Man 6-7 Seem So Small? That's Pierce On LeBron / No Controversy Here. Dolphins Have Ideal QB Situation / 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 / Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped / and Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

AlsoDolphins 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 / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / 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 No-Fans 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 / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

Select columns from earlier in 2020Inter 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 / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --

Revisit this blog often because it is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category in 2018. Greg is also a regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Book: Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go and The Ballad Of 1440.

June 01, 2020

The new Hot Button Top 10: For justice, and peace in the streets; plus our George Floyd column, new Greg Cote Show podcast with Luther Campbell drops Monday & more

1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 1. Welcome June! Please be better than May. 2) I was pleased to be host last week's Miami Herald All-County Athletic Awards, an annual tradition since 1957 -- but virtual this time because of the pandemic. Watch on the Herald's Facebook & YouTube pages. 3) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): George Floyd is why Kaepernick happened, MLB players holding out for more money not a good look right now, outrage in Alamance County, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 13, our Shula tribute columns & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 14 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and Episode 14 is out now! Find a new episode out every Monday morning on Apple and Google Podcasts as well as on Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 14 episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! In new Episode 14 we welcome in as guests a pair of Miami legends -- O.G. rapper Luther (Uncle Luke) Campbell and Zoo Miami's Ron Magill. Hear Luke discuss the killing of George Floyd and Canes football, and hear Magill and I escalate our Duck War. That and a lot more in the new Ep14! Find every podcast we've done so far HERE.

My Shula tribute columns: DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P. and WHAT SHULA MEANT TO A FATHER & SON. THE BOY WAS ME

Featured most recent other columns: George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice / MLB Players Demanding More Millions, Right Now, Is A Bad Look / and Amid a Pandemic, An Outrage in Alamance County

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 31-JUNE 1): 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 (non)sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

1. GEORGE FLOYD: Sports stars join outrage over Minneapolis killing: George Floyd, a black man unarmed and handcuffed in police custody, died when a white officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes. He was charged with third-degree murder. Athletes including LeBron James condemned the killing that has sparked protests across the country, some turning violent. In Atlanta, Martin Luther King's city, the College Football Hall of Fame was vandalized and looted. Trust that Dr. King would be leading the outcry but condemning the violence.

HButton22. MLB: Negotiations for restart enter crucial week: Owners want players to take a pay cut beyond pro-rated salaries based on number of games. Players say no way. Owners will have a counter-proposal this week. Hey, just get it done, baseball. Rich men haggling over money and players holding out for more millions -- in the midst of a pandemic, economic woes and record unemployment -- is not a good look, fellas.

3. PANTHERS: It'll be Cats-Islanders as NHL details resumption plans: The NHL will abandon the rest of its regular season and go straight into the playoffs when/if it plays again in 2020, with 24 teams including Florida qualifying and competing in two as-yet-undetermined hub cities likely starting in late July or August. Panthers-Islanders would be among first-round matchups, although the league and players still must agree on health/safety protocols. Meanwhile MLB, the NBA and MLS have not yet been as definitive as hockey on a restart plan.

4. DOLPHINS: Hard Rock Stadium as a drive-in theater?: The Dolphins later this year plan to invite fans to drive their cars inside the football stadium for a pandemic-friendly drive-in theater experience featuring notable games in team history, classic movies, commencement ceremonies, concerts and more. Up to 230 cars will fit. Initial reaction? Ridiculous. Upon further consideration? Brilliant!

5. NFL: Owners vote down onside kick alternative: In a virtual owners meeting the NFL said nay to a proposal  that would have presented a 4th-and-15 option to an onside kick. We predicted the no vote in calling the idea "too XFL-y." (Love it when I quote myself!)

6. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT updates you each week on how many major local pro sports games have been lost to the coronavirus shutdown. Through today/Sunday -- 103-plus games lost: Marlins have missed first 60 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last 13. 

7. AUTO RACING: The shame of Alamance County in North Carolina: Ace Speedway in Alamance County, North Carolina has opened to full crowds of up to 4,000 fans, with no social distancing and few protective masks. The track's owner, the local sheriff and those fans have been condemned by the state's governor and others for violating pandemic guidelines. The track should be shut down and the sheriff fired. 

8. RUNNING: Boston Marathon canceled for first time: America's most famous marathon, previously postponed from April to September, has now been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history. Well, canceled for 2020 as a mass-gathering event. The 26.2-mile footrace still will be held as a virtual event in September. 

9. SOCCER: NWSL will be first U.S.league to return: The National Women’s Soccer League said it will play a 25-game tournament beginning June 27 in Salt Lake City, becoming the first U.S. league in a team sport to resume play.

10. GOLF: Phil wants to continue 'The Match' charity event: Tiger 'n Peyton win charity match: It raised big money for hunger relief and did big TV ratings when Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning beat Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in a recent charity march. Now Phil wants to make it annual, citing Steph Curry and Michael Jordan as possible future guest.

Missing the HB10 cut: Actual headline as more random evidence we're still in a no-sports pandemic: 'ESPN hosting all-star Peleton ride.' Yes because we all hunger to watch B-list celebs in their homes, sweating on an exercise bike ..... The Basketball Tournament, an annual event with former college stars and overseas stars competing in a 24-team, single-elimination format, will go on this July on a single "quarantined campus" at one undetermined site ..... Hey anybody want Cam Newton? No, huh? ..... NASCAR is running again, sans fans, and Homestead-Miami Speedway prepares to host the Dixie Vodka 400 on June 14. Car race sponsored by a vodka. Hmm, yeah that makes sense ..... Broward College mulls dropping all eight of its collegiate sports teams ..... xxxxx ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 14 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,219 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hopefully we'll not still be standing eight feet apart by then.

Other recent columns: How Can A Man 6-7 Seem So Small? That's Pierce On LeBron / No Controversy Here. Dolphins Have Ideal QB Situation / 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 / Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped / and Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

Also: 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 / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / 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 No-Fans 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 / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

Select columns from earlier in 2020: 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 / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --

Revisit this blog often because it is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category in 2018. Greg is also a regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Book: Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go and The Ballad Of 1440.

May 26, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Tiger 'n Peyton and leagues inch toward no-fans resumption. See who's No. 1, what else lands where; plus Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 13 out now!, Memorial Day tribute (50,000 Names), our Shula tribute columns & more

Memday1) It's TUESDAY, MAY 26. See our annual Memorial Day tribute below. 2) I'm pleased to be hosting this year's Miami Herald All-County Athletic Awards, an annual tradition since 1957 -- but virtual this time because of the pandemic. Mark it: We'll honor Miami-Dade & Broward's best in prep sports this Wednesday May 27 at 6 p.m. on the Herald's Facebook & YouTube pages. 3) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Pierce escalates beef with LeBron, why Dolphins have perfect QB room, sports' no-fans New Normal, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 12, our Shula tribute columns, new Back In My Day video & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

It's Radio ... Wednesday: I'm on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio on Wednesday this week, not today.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 13 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and the new Episode 13 is out now! Find a new episode out every Monday morning on Apple and Google Podcasts as well as on Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 13 episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! In new Episode 13, we rock with Brendan Benson, co-founder of The Raconteurs along with Jack White -- a group that had the No. 1 album on the Billboard charts last summer. Brendan visits to talk about his new solo album (which we sample), the night Mick Jagger and and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones visited backstage and more. Packed menu, including a celebration of Ryan Fitzpattrick's glorious pandemic beard. Don't miss it! Find every podcast we've done so far HERE.

My most recent columns: How Can A Man 6-7 Seem So Small? That's Pierce On LeBron / No Controversy Here. Dolphins Have Ideal QB Situation / and Welcome to Sports Without Fans, the New Normal.

My Shula tribute columns: DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P. and WHAT SHULA MEANT TO A FATHER & SON. THE BOY WAS ME

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 24-25): 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 (non)sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. GOLF: Tiger 'n Peyton win charity match: "The Match: Champions for Charity" took place Sunday at The Medalist in Hobe Sound, Fla. -- Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning defeating Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in a rain-soaked event that raised $20 million. That's one hell of a fore!-some. (Sorry). The best part? Seeing Brady not be great at something.

2. DOLPHINS: Benign comment sparks controversy because ... coronavirus: Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick said he'd like to remain the starter, not immediately step aside for rookie Tua Tagovailoa. It was no big deal but was chewed over as some controversy in the void of actual sports to talk about. The Fins made Fitzpatrick available on a video conference call and his always intriguing full beard was absolutely magnificent -- quite possibly the only good to come out of this pandemic.

3. MLB: Players respond to resumption proposal: The MLB Players Association responded to the sport's 67-page set of protocols for a planned early-July restart. Union addressed protections for high-risk players, access to therapies, testing frequency, protocols for positive tests, in-stadium medical personnel and sanitizing procedures. Players also object to some proposals such as arriving in uniform at the ballparks and no showering in clubhouses. Negotiations continue, with players' objections to proposed pay cuts another major obstacle to any resumption.

4. HEAT: NBA talking late July restart in Orlando: NBA insiders expect commissioner Adam Silver to soon OK the return of players sometime in June, with games expected to resume before the end of July. The league is in talks for a single-site restart at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, sans fans.

5. PANTHERS: Cats catch a break in NHL's proposed restart: Hockey proposes to resume its season this summer with a 24-team playoff that would whittle down to a 16-team Stanley Cup tournament with seven-game series -- all played in two as-yet-unnamed "hub" locations. The players association approved the plan. The Florida Panthers were not on playoff pace when the season stopped but would be among the 24 to make it under the new resumption format.

6. INTER MIAMI: MLS eyeing Orlando tournament for return: All 26 teams are expected to convene in Orlando for a tournament from late June into July, followed by a regular season of perhaps 18 games. However some players are balking because the tournament would separate them from their families for up to 10 weeks.

7. TOM BRADY: ESPN plans nine-part Brady documentary: Drunk with delight over the reception (read: ratings) for its just-ended Michael Jordan 10-part series, ESPN announced it would air a nine-part documentary series in 2021 that focuses on Brady and his nine Patriots Super Bowls, six of them championships. It will be called "The Man In the Arena: Tom Brady," unless someone steps in to alert ESPN what a bland, weird, bad title that is. 

8. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT updates you each week on how many major local pro sports games have been lost to the coronavirus shutdown. Through today/Sunday -- 96-plus games lost: Marlins have missed first 53 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last 11. 

9. HOCKEY: Debut of new 3-on-3 league planned: A new 3-on-3 pro hockey league called 3ICE is set to debut in eight cities in June 2021, with eight head coaches already hired including Hall of Famers Grant Fuhr, Bryan Trottier, Guy Carbonneau, Angela Ruggiero, Larry Murphy and Joe Mullen. The teams are expected to be based in the U.S. northeast and midwest and Canada.

10. CHEERLEADING: Kentucky alumni back fired coaches: It's an historic first-ever HB10 appearance for cheerleading! More than 800 former Kentucky cheerleaders issued a joint statement in support of the powerhouse program's coaching staff, which was fired last week after an internal report revealed a lack of oversight and a culture of hazing. The former cheerleaders who signed the statement apparently considered the instances of inappropriate behavior, drunkenness and public nudity and said, "What's wrong with that!?"

Missing the HB10 cut: Defrocked cycling cheater Lance Armstrong, in the new documentary film "Lance" airing Sunday on ESPN, that he told "10,000 lies" over a six-year span to cover up his doping. I think he's lying. Bet it was more than that ..... The Stripchat Superdome? The Saints home stadium needs a new sponsor, and Stripchat, an adult website, announced a $15 million bid for naming rights ..... History: Vanderbilt made Candice Storey Lee the SEC's first African-American and first female athletic director ..... NFL owners, in a virtual league meeting this Thursday, will vote on a rule change that would allow teams, instead of an onside kick, to convert a 4th-and-15 play from their own 25 to keep possession. Would need 24 yay votes of 32. The guess here? Too XFL-y. Too radical for the starched NFL...... Josh Gordon, who leads the league in seeking reinstatement, is doing it again ..... MLB teams including the Miami Marlins are holding charity raffles as a part of the All In Challenge to feed those in need. Miami's winner will get to manage the team for one game alongside Don Mattingly, plus other perks, presuming there is a game at some point ..... NASCAR on Sunday runs its third no-fans race in seven days. In trying to catch up, the race schedule is now as crowded as the racetrack on a first turn ..... Hurricanes football is No. 11 nationally in ESPN's latest 2021 college recruiting rankings. They do not include transfers, so the Canes' biggest offseason get, quarterback D'Eriq King, is not factored ..... MLS expansion team FC Cincinnati hired Jaap Stam as its new coach, announcing him with a photo of someone who is not Jaap Stam. To whomever is running the club's social media, that's a red card! ..... Out there somewhere, still twisting in the wind: Cam Newton ..... The Super Bowl ring Patriots owner Robert Kraft donated to the All In Challenge raised a winning bid of $1.025 million to help feed those in need. Now that's what I call a happy ending for everybody! ..... R.I.P. longtime former NBA coach Jerry Sloan, 78 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with Episode 13 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,226 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hopefully large public gatherings will be allowed by then?

MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE: This is the George Jones song, "50,000 Names." It was written about the Vietnam War memorial wall in particular, but the sentiment applies to all of America's war dead across time -- all of the soldiers who lost their lives and who we remember and honor today:

Featured other recent columns: As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More TrivialAnticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami / Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped / and Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

Also: 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 / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / 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 No-Fans 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 / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

Select other columns from earlier in 2020: 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 / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --

Revisit this blog often because it is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category in 2018. Greg is also a regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Book: Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go and The Ballad Of 1440.

May 18, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): See what's No.1 as sports inch closer to no-fans resumption, and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 12 out now!, our Don Shula tribute columns & more

1) It's MONDAY, MAY 18. I'm pleased to be hosting this year's Miami Herald All-County Athletic Awards, an annual tradition since 1957 -- but virtual this time because of the pandemic. Mark it: We'll honor Miami-Dade & Broward's best in prep sports on Wednesday May 27 at 6 p.m. on our Facebook & YouTube pages. 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Anticipation is gift Tua has given Dolfans, NBA and MLB plot returns but sports have never seemed more trivial, Greg Cote Show's all-Don Shula podcast & our Shula tribute columns & more. 4) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 12 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and the new Episode 12 is out now! Find a new episode out every Monday morning on Apple and Google Podcasts as well as on Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 12 episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Episode 11 was a special hour-long, all-star tribute to Don Shula. Now in Episode 12 m wife in her first interview reveals embarrassing things about me and we make fun of Le Batard for a gross noise he made while talking about Don Shula. Also, ex-Marlins president David Samson joins us. Find every podcast we've done including the new one HERE.

My Shula tribute columns: DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P. and WHAT SHULA MEANT TO A FATHER & SON. THE BOY WAS ME

Most recent other columns: As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More Trivial and Anticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 17-18): 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 (non)sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. NFL: Teams may reopen facilities Tuesday but with major restrictions: NFL teams can begin reopening their facilities this Tuesday but with coaches and non-rehabbing players still not permitted. Teams must meet protocols and have permission under state and local regulations. Employees allowed back into facilities would include no more than 50 percent of non-player staff, up to a total of 75 per day. Meantime the NFL extended its virtual offseason workouts another two weeks, through the end of May.

2. DON SHULA: Dolphins detail first public event honoring late coach: Fans may pay tribute to Shula, who passed away May 4 at age 90, later this week in the team's first public event honoring the coach. Fans may form a procession line -- with social distancing -- past the statue of Shula outside Hard Rock Stadium this Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 to 4. Fans may enter through Gate 5. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions fans are asked to not bring items to the statue.

3. MLB: Player salaries a sticking point as baseball plots return: MLB plans to resume spring training in June and eyes a July 4 (or thereabouts) start to its season, in home stadiums where allowed by local regulations, but with no fans. However, Tampa Bay ace Blake Snell emphatically said he won't play with a pay cut for a shortened schedule, and others including Bryce Harper support that stand.

4. NASCAR: Harvick wins as racing resumes, sans spectators: NASCAR was back Sunday with a no-fans race at Darlington, and Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag in the sport's first race since March 8. It was the first of seven races in 10 days, all at Darlington or Charlotte. Noise will be back at fan-less Homestead-Miami Speedway as well on June 13-14, culminating with the Dixie Vodka 400.

5. NBA: Basketball toying with two-city return plan: No timetable is set but the NBA is considering a no-fans resumption in what commish Adam Silver calls a "campus environment" with all games at two locations. Focus continues to be on Orlando's Disney World Resort and on Las Vegas.

6. FOX SPORTS: One network's bizarre plan if games have no fans: Fox Sports announcer Joe Buck said NFL broadcasts on his network will use recordings of crowd noise and fake images of fans in the stands if the league’s games are barred from having real fans attend. Yeah that'll really fool viewers! How about they throw in a '60s sitcom-style laughtrack as well!

7. GOLF: Details set for Tiger-Phil charity match: It'll be Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning vs. Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady next Sunday in "The Match: Champions for Charity." TBS and TNT will televise the 3 p.m. no-fans event from Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla., 100 miles north of Miami. On Sunday, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson defeated Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in a charity skins game, leading analysts to wonder, "Who on earth is Matthew Wolff?"

8. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT updates you each week on how many local pro sports games have been lost to the coronavirus shutdown. Through today/Monday -- 90-plus games lost: Marlins have missed first 48 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last 10.

9. NFL: Rewards coming for teams who make minority hires?: The NFL is considering "improved draft slots" for teams that hire minorities as head coach or primary football executive. Too bad it isn't retroactive. Dolphins would hit the quiniela with coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier.

10. INTER MIAMI: MLS plans to return in June: Major League Soccer's plan to return would have all 26 teams including expansion Inter Miami begin training June 1 at Orlando's ESPN Wide  Wodl of Sports complex, followed three or four weeks later by a summer tournament with all matches sans fans.

Missing the HB10 cut: Zion Williamson's ex-agent says he received improper benefits before his one-and-done career at Duke. And the people utterly shocked by that will be convening over there in that phone booth in violation of social distancing edicts ..... The World Baseball Classic, which was to have included games at Marlins Park, will not be played in 2021 and may not return until '23 ..... The people running the Kobe Bryant-affiliated Mamba Sports Academy have dropped "Mamba" from the name, and ex-Heat star Dwyane Wade called that "quite disrespectful." Right on, D-Wade! ..... Um, anybody want a slightly used Cam Newton? ..... The Bundesliga (German soccer) became first European sport to resume, albeit with no fans ..... English Premier League resumes training June 1 but henceforth no tackling will be permitted in matches ..... Arrest warrants were issued by for Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker and Seahawks CB Quinton Dunbar (both from Miami) in connection to an armed robbery at a party in Miramar. Sure, because NFL players don't make enough money? Lawyers for both claim their clients' innocence ..... OK, I'm officially getting tired of that Michael Jordan documentary series ..... Tualia Tagovailoa (Tua's brother), rumored transferring to the Miami  Hurricanes, took the portal to Maryland instead ..... Aaron Rodgers says retiring a Packer "may not be a reality" after team drafted eventual replacement Jordan Love ..... As NHL remains in limbo, American Hockey League canceled rest of its season ..... ATP and WTA canceled all tennis events through July ..... Mike Tyson planning a comeback at 53? Oh lawd ..... MLB plans a virtual/remote and shortened draft on June 10-11 ..... PGA Tour will resume mid-June in Texas, with no fans ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with Episode 12 Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,233 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hopefully we'll all be out of our masks by then?

Featured most recent other columns:

Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19

Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped

Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

Also: Dolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / Hackers, Barking Dogs, Crazy Pressure: Why Virtual NFL Draft Is Biggest Ever For Dolphins / Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / and NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent

Other featured recent columns: 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 No-Fans 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? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

Select other columns from earlier in 2020: 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 / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About TimeTime 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

-* -* -* -* -* -* -* -* -*  

Revisit this blog often because it is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category in 2018. Greg is also a regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Book: Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go and The Ballad Of 1440.

May 12, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10: See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus our two Don Shula tribute columns, Greg Cote Show all-Shula podcast out now, Radio Tuesday & more

Hmd1) It's TUESDAY, MAY 12. Hope all of the wonderful moms had a  Happy Mother's Day! Not the rotten ones. Only the wonderful ones -- led by my children's mother and my own late great one. 2) Visit BIMD: Face Masks! for our latest Back In My Day from the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio. 3) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow both at The Greg Cote Show. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Don Shula dies with my two tribute columns, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

It's Radio Tuesday!: I'm back in the Zoom Room on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz today on ESPN Radio. Aits 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join us for some virtual fun. 

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL ALL-SHULA EPISODE 11 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and a very special Episode 11 is out now -- a full hour-long tribute to Don Shula, who passed away last Monday at age 90. Find a new episode every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 11 episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show: Sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when necessary) serious. Now, though, for the first time, we devote an entire podcast to Shula, with special guests including Larry Csonka, Larry Little, Dave Shula, Dan Marino, Bob Griese, Dan Le Batard and more. Dolphins fans of all ages won't want to miss this new podcast.

My Shula tribute columns: DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P. and WHAT SHULA MEANT TO A FATHER & SON. THE BOY WAS ME

Shu1Shu2Shu4

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 10-11): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the (non)sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DON SHULA: Dolphins icon passes away at 90: An era ended quietly as the NFL's winningest coach left us. R.I.P., architect of the Perfect Season and father of the Dolphins' glory days. You were the best, a man whose integrity equaled his accomplishments in the game. 

2. DOLPHINS: 2020 schedules out for Miami, NFL: The apparently not yet ready for prime time Miami Dolphins have but one game under the lights in 2020. That of course presumes there will be a 2020 season. Meantime the Fins proposed a coronavirus-era contingency plan to limit fans to 15,000 per game with social distancing.

3. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NCAA says fall sports tied to campuses reopening: NCAA President Mark Emmert said that unless college campuses are open to the entire student body in the fall, there are no plans to risk the health of student-athletes for the sake of sports -- including football.

4. MLB: Baseball pondering early July start: MLB is weighing a plan to begin in early July and play roughly an 80-game season, in home stadiums where possible but with no fans,  at least initially.

5. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT updates you each week on how many local pro sports games have been lost to the coronavirus shutdown. Through today/Sunday -- 82-plus games lost: Marlins 41, Heat 19-plus, Panthers 13, Inter Miami 9. Marlins have missed first 41 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last nine.

6. TUA TAGOVAILOA: Fins' No. 1 pick chooses number 1: He couldn't have uniform number 13 because that was retired with Dan Marino. So Tua picked number 1.We can all rest easy now.

7. HEAT: Arena reopens for limited player workouts: Heat players may now practice on a limited individual basis ... for a season that may or may not resume.

8. UFC: Octagon reopens for business, sort of: Justin Gaethje beat Tony Ferguson in UFC 249 in Jacksonville Saturday, albeit with no fans there. urday night in Jacksonville, Florida. Meanwhile, a Jorge Masvidal-Connor McGregor fight reportedly is in the works.

9. NCAA: Hammer time for Kansas hoops: The NCAA is investigating the Kansas men's basketball program for five Level I violations that it calls "egregious" and says "undermine and threaten" college athletics. Uh oh.

10. TV: Shakeup in the MNF booth: Not sure yet who will be in the Monday Night Football booth in 2020, but ESPN says it won't be Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland.

Missing the HB10 cut: OK, I'm officially getting tired of that Michael Jordan documentary series ..... Giannis Antetokounmpo's Twitter account was hacked. I apologize. Won't do it again ..... NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke to players via conference call but said nothing definitive ..... Blake Snell faced Lucas Giolito in a virtual World Series to end the MLB The Show '20 players league video game season, and I've never heard of either guy and don't care who won ..... Two actual headlines this week on ESPN.com, in case you forgot we're starving for sports: 'Ranking the top 74 sneakers in NBA history' and 'American Cornhole League: Live on ESPN' ...... Almost forgot: ESPN is televising Korean baseball, too ..... Answer: A 1910 Shoeless Joe Jackson baseball card just sold at auction for $492,000. Question: What makes you say some people don't know what to do with their money? ..... Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are fronting the "Stay At Home Slam," a live virtual tennis tournament via Mario Tennis Aces video game. Maybe Maria will have better luck vs. Serena when it isn't real tennis? ..... The eventual French Open tennis major in Paris is likely to be staged without spectators. Sacré bleu! ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with Episode 11 Monday -- devoted entirely to Don Shula ..... Update: Countdown now 2,240 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hopefully we'll be out of the house by then?

Featured most recent other columns:

Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19

Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped

Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

Also: Dolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / Hackers, Barking Dogs, Crazy Pressure: Why Virtual NFL Draft Is Biggest Ever For Dolphins / Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / and NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent

Other featured recent columns: 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 Saturday's No-Fans 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? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

Select other columns from earlier in 2020: 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 / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / It's 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

-* -* -* -* -* -* -* -* -*  

Revisit this blog often because it is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category in 2018. Greg is also a regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go and The Ballad Of 1440.

May 05, 2020

DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P. DOLPHINS LEGEND PASSES AWAY AT 90. With my fond remembrance column; plus latest Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast, links to most recent columns & more

1) It's MONDAY, MAY 4. Welcome, May! You can't be any worse than March and April. Can you!? Hang in, stay apart and eventually we rise together! 2) Visit BIMD: Face Masks! for our latest Back In My Day from the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio. 3) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow both at TheGregCoteShow. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hall of Famer Andre Dawson on owning funeral home amid COVID-19, Miami sports today had coronavirus never happened, Dolphins' Tua-led 3-year plan, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 10 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and Episode 10 is out now! Find a new episode every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 10 episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show: Sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when necessary) serious. In new Episode 10 (obviously recorded prior to the news of Shula's death), we celebrate our anniversary podcast, welcome guest Andre Dawson and bring you a new edition of "Greg Doesn't Watch Movies."

DON SHULA, 1930-2020, R.I.P.

The iconic former Miami Dolphins coach -- and winningest coach in NFL history -- passed away Monday morning at age 90. Click on the headline above for my remembrance column.

Shula

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured most recent columns:

Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19

Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped

Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

Also: Dolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa PickGreg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock DraftHackers, Barking Dogs, Crazy Pressure: Why Virtual NFL Draft Is Biggest Ever For DolphinsDolphins' Grier Says He Has An Idea On Top Pick. He'd Better Be RightCoronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft EverAmid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential'A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For DolphinsBaseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / and NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MAY 3-4): 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 (non)sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. NBA: It now seems next season may be delayed, too: As the NBA tries to figure out if, when and how it will resume and finish its 2019-20 season, there reportedly is growing ownership support for also delaying the start of the 220-21 season at least five weeks, until December.

2. NFL: King Sport set to release full 17-week schedule: The NFL, declining to bend a knee to the coronavirus, plans to release its 2020 schedule late this week with no changes and expectations of fans in attendance. Season is scheduled to begin Sept. 10 with full 16-game schedules ... for now.

3. DOLPHINS: Fins trade 1st-round bust Harris: In 2017 he arrived as a No. 1 draft pick. He just left in a trade to Atlanta for a 2021 7th-round pick. So it's official then. Edge rusher Charles Harris slips quietly and sadly into Miami's Draft Bust file.

4. NFL: Dalton to Cowboys, Winston to Saints: Quarterback wheel keep-a turnin' as Cincinnati releases veteran Andy Dalton after nine years and he signs with Cowboys, after free agent ex-Buc Jameis Winston agrees to one-year deal with Saints. Cam Newton remains the best available proven arm. What say, Belichick?

5. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT updates you each week on how many local pro sports games have been lost to the coronavirus shutdown. Through today/Sunday -- 74-plus games lost: Marlins 34, Heat 19-plus, Panthers 13, Inter Miami 8. Marlins have missed first 34 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last eight.

6. NASCAR: No-fans racing resumes this month: NASCAR is resuming races, but sans fans, on May 17 at Darlington. Homestead-Miami Speedway also is a possible future site for races, which will be held in states that have eased restrictions. NASCAR becomes the first major American sport to resume following the massive March 11-12 coronavirus shutdown.

7. HEAT: Reopening facilities to players delayed: Miami planned to reopen arena facilities to players May 1 on a limited basis but the NBA now says such reopenings will not be before May 8 at earliest. Meantime, Magic's Aaron Gordon recorded a diss track on Dwyane Wade over Wade's '9' vote costing Gordon the slam-dunk title that Heat's Derrick Jones Jr. won. But they spoke and it's cool. Oh thank God we have detente!

8. SOCCER: MLS to allow individual player workouts: Major League Soccer, beginning Wednesday, will allow Inter Miami and other teams to open facilities to voluntary individual player workouts where that does not conflict with local policies. When the season will resume has not been announced.

9. BASEBALL: Hall of Fame's 2020 induction weekend canceled: Derek Jeter (and Larry Walker) must wait. The Hall's 2020 inductees will now be inducted the following July along with whomever is elected for 2021. Maybe by then then the one guy who didn't vote for Jeter will have come forward?

10. PHILANTHROPY: Brady experience raises $800K to fight hunger: A package that included dinner or a workout with Tom Brady after his first game as a Tampa Bay Buc, tickets to the game and his jersey and cleats raised $800,000 in the "All In Challenge" benefiting charities that feed those in need. Meantime NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Marlins CEO Derek Jeter are the latest sports kingpins suspending their lucrative salaries to reduce layoffs as the shutdown sucker-punches league and team revenues.

Missing the HB10 cut: It'll be Blake Snell vs. Lucas Giolito today at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN in the best-of-five virtual World Series to wrap up the MLB The Show '20 players league video game season. I have heard of neither finalist and cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to not watching! ..... A California federal judge ruled against the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team in its wage discrimination suit against the the sport's U.S. governing body. The judge was male. Unless that went without saying ..... ESPN's "The Last Dance" 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls is doing terrific ratings, but noted documentarian Ken Burns is not impressed. Jordan’s production company, Jump 23, is a partner on the series, meaning he has some say in how he is portrayed. "Not the way you do good journalism," complains Burns ..... Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova front "Stay At Home Slam," a live virtual tennis tournament today/Sunday at 4 p.m. via the Mario Tennis Aces video game and streaming live on the Facebook Gaming page. Ten players and celebs will be involved, including (!) Ryan Tannehill ..... ESPN on Friday had a special E:60 edition titled "Project 11," on the gruesome 2018 leg injury and slow comeback of Redskins QB Alex Smith. If it involved a replay of his injury, it was must-not-watch TV for me ..... United Soccer League teams are playing an eCup FIFA '20 video tournament, with Miami FC repping England ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast celebrates an anniversary Monday with the birth of Episode 10! ..... The Tour de France postponed ..... ESPN is looking into buying WWE. Or did that go without saying? ..... And in other news, Terry Bradshaw has recorded a quarantine country song ..... Update: Countdown now 2,247 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hopefully we've all ditched the face masks by then.

Other featured recent columns: 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 Saturday's No-Fans Florida Derby / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National Mood / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

Select other columns from earlier in 2020: Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Beckham, Inter Miami Survive To Finally Reach Opening Week / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / It's 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

* * * * *

Revisit this blog often because it is updated regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category in 2018. Greg is also a regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go and The Ballad Of 1440.

April 27, 2020

The new Hot Button Top 10: Tua! Tua! Tua! With my Tua column, your grade on the pick, and my mock vs. Mel's; plus Greg Cote Show podcast news, other column links & more

1) It's MONDAY, APRIL 27. Hang in, stay apart and eventually we rise together! 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow both at TheGregCoteShow. 3) Find our latest Back In My Day from Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio HERE. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins draft Tua Tagovailoa with column and poll, live results on our Mock Draft, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 9 DROPS MONDAY: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and the new Episode 9 is now out Monday morning. Find a new Greg Cote Show every Monday on Apple, Spotify or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all eight episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show: Sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when necessary) serious. In Episode 8 we take a deep dive into Dolphins' NFL Draft with ESPN Fins reporter Cameron Wolfe, and, in Stugotz 2.0, he talks Grateful Dead and shares something you didn't know about Dan Le Batard.

TuadolOUR LATEST COLUMN: DOLPHINS AIM HIGH, WIN BIG WITH TUA TAGOVAILOA PICK

POLL RESULT: MIAMI L-O-V-E-S THE TUA PICK: We asked, "What do you think of the Dolphins making Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa their first pick (fifth overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft?" The verdict? A huge thumbs up. Grade A/Love it drew 72.19 percent and Grade B/Now pray he stays healthy had 17.75%. That's nearly 90% who graded A or B. Naysayers were few, with Grade D/Should-a gone Herbert at 5.92%and Grade C/Risky for a pick that high at 4.14%.

COTE BEATS KIPER!: I am not saying my Mock Draft was better than Mel's. I am saying, simply and accurately, that my mock had seven Exactos -- right player to right team -- and his had six. Boo-ya!

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 26-27): 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 (non)sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: With fingers crossed, Miami lands Tagovailoa with top pick: Smartly, I say, the Fins gambled on Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and his injury history with the fifth pick of the NFL draft, getting (they hope) their first real franchise passer since Dan Marino. Miami also fortified his protection with three OL picks including tackle Austin Jackson. Five defensive players were drafted as well among the 11 overall picks. Also include in this draft the trade for running back Matt Breida from the 49ers. He's 25, with 1,902 rush yards and a fat 5.0 average. He'll push Jordan Howard for the start. Call it a solid B-grade draft -- a grade that could grow if Tua stays healthy and lives up to sky-high hopes.

2. NFL: Burrow No. 1 in surprisingly smooth virtual draft: Joe Burrow to the Bengals led three quarterbacks chosen in the first six picks of the three-day NFL Draft. This year, the players selected were secondary to the circumstances: A virtual draft taking place remotely from living rooms across America because of the coronavirus stay-at-home edicts. Commissioner Roger Goodell orchestrated the proceedings from his basement den in New York. There were a few random appearances by family dogs but, astonishingly, no embarrassing technological glitches.

3. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT updates you each week on how many local pro sports games have been lost to the coronavirus shutdown. Through today/Sunday -- 66 games lost: Marlins 28, Heat 19, Panthers 13, Inter Miami 6. Marlins have missed first 28 games of regular season. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 season games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last six.

4. GOLF: Tiger vs. Phil 2.0 (with friends) is on for May: A Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson rematch is planned for May, perhaps Memorial Day weekend -- this time with quarterback buddies Tom Brady and Peyton Manning joining them. "The Match: Champions for Charity" will benefit coronavirus relief, from an undisclosed location without spectators. A Florida course is thought likely. Remember, fellas: Social distancing and no hand shaking!

5. ROB GRONKOWSKI: Gronk unretires to rejoin Brady: Did the ad read, 'Partying tight end for rent'? Gronkowski was lured out of retirement to rejoin Tom Brady in TB12's reincarnation as a Tampa Bay Buc. Even sweeter: Bill Belichick's Pats got only a fourth-round pick for him. Let's go Tompa!

6. MLB: Red Sox punished for sign stealing, too: OK it wasn't just the Astros. MLB concluded Boston also stole signs during its 2018 World Series title run. It suspended Boston's video replay system operator without pay for a year and took away a second-round draft pick. Manager Alex Cora, whom the Red Sox fired in January, previously was suspended for the year for his role in Houston's 2017 sign-stealing scandal, when he was bench coach.

7. INTER MIAMI: David Beckham raffling himself for charity: The charismatic former England captain and current co-owner of MLS' Inter Miami is giving fans a chance to play a five-a-side charity match with him and raise funds to help feed those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. The offer is part of the "All In Challenge" in which athletes and celebrities come up with fan experiences to raise dough. Winner also gets lunch with Becks and a spot in the owners suite for an Inter Miami match.

8. A-ROD & J-LO: Power couple's increasing interest in Mets: Seems betrothed power couple Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are increasingly serious about actually buying the New York Mets. Fun sidebar to that: A-Rod and Marlins CEO Derek Jeter being NL East rivals to intensify their famously "frenemies" relationship.

9. NHL: Hockey toying with four-city plan to resume: Puck commish Gary Bettman said NHL is exploring a four-city plan to restart the 2019-20 season, which was paused March 12. Arenas would be places that are not coronavirus hot spots, with home rinks of Carolina, Edmonton and Minnesota three mentioned. Bettman said he "presumes [there] wouldn't be fans."

10. NASCAR: Florida, Texas jockeying to resume racing first: Where will the gentlemen start their engines first? Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted NASCAR is working with Texas Motor Speedway on a plan to race there, sans spectators, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has spoken with NASCAR about resuming races at Daytona and at Homestead-Miami Speedway. So. Which state will get the checkered flag?

Missing the HB10 cut: Greg Cote outmocks Mel Kiper Jr! You read that right. I had 7 "exacto" picks in my first round to Mel's 6. Boo-ya! ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast, new Episode 9, is out Monday morning. Pluggin' it! ..... Only four Canes got drafted: LB Shaq Quarterman (4th round), RB DeeJay Dallas (4th), WR K.J. Osborn (5th) and DE Jonathan Garvin (7th). The former NFL pipeline leader is now Day 3 U. ..... Is football season in doubt? NFL Players Association director DeMaurice Smith called mass testing crucial for returning to football, while University of Arizona's president said she doubts the college season will happen .... Money-first Dana White and UFC will hold three no-fans events at an undisclosed Florida location beginning May 9 ..... Showtime has ex-NFL QB Mark Sanchez in a new digital series talking with top quarterbacks in this draft. Wait a second. Isn't that like putting top thespians in an acting roundtable hosted by Adam Sandler? ..... Chris Paul says NBA players would need at least three weeks' prep time before  returning ..... Notre Dame women's hoops coach Muffet McGraw retired after 33 seasons. Most successful Muffet ever? ..... Parts 3 and 4 of ESPN's 10-part Michael Jordan docuseries hit the screen Sunday night. I was a skeptic, but parts 1-2 reeled me in ..... Two New York fans are suing baseball over lack of ticket refunds due to canceled games. Wow. Even if their claim is legally legit, oh what a bad look! ..... Novak Djokovic, who is anti-vaccine, said he faces dilemma if tennis requires players to get vaccinated before they can return to competing. Dear Novak: Move on in to the 21st Century and give science a shot ..... Update: Countdown now 2,254 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hopefully we're allowing large crowds to gather by then.

FEATURED MOST RECENT OTHER COLUMNS:

Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft

Hackers, Barking Dogs, Crazy Pressure: Why Virtual NFL Draft Is Biggest Ever For Dolphins

Dolphins' Grier Says He Has An Idea On Top Pick. He'd Better Be Right.

Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever.

Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential'.

A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins.

Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players

NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent.

Other featured recent columns: NFL Draft, Tiger 'n Phil Not A Good Look Right Now / 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 Saturday's No-Fans Florida Derby / In Midst Of Pandemic, A Horse Race / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National Mood / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

Select additional recent columns: Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Beckham, Inter Miami Survive To Finally Reach Opening Week / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / It's 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 / Our two-part series: 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 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

* * * * *

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular co-host on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote:  Twitter.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Columns.  Podcast.  Podcast on Twitter.  Podcast on Instagram.  LeBatard Show.  Fins At 50.  Songs: Letting Go and The Ballad Of 1440.