May 14, 2022

Florida Panthers and Miami Heat both advance in playoffs, await next opponent. My columns; also, new Greg Cote Show podcast (Darts, Jessica, Griping!), updated Mount Gregmore of columns & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 14. Happy birthday, Michael, our youngest son! 2) Happy to have been back in with the Le Batard Show this Tuesday, and to have joined Stugotz on the new Stupodity podcast. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Heat falls again and series now 2-2, Greg Cote Show podcast, latest in Mount Gregmore of columns.

DartsCoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW. DARTS! JESSICA! GRIPEFEST!: Our 21st episode of 2022 and 112th overall is out now! A new episode drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify and wherever else you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 112 we've done HERE, free. The new episode includes Event 4 of the Father-Son Cote Olympics: Darts! Can Dad finally win a doggone event? Also, Le Batard Show's Jessica Semtana drops by with an eclusive F1 Miami Grand Prix report; Greg launches into an epic Gripefest; and update on our new website/merch store & more. Hit up GCS2221 for full story on the latest ep, and watch our weekly YouTube preview. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. We simulcast on Sirius XM, too, Mondays from 5-6 p.m. ET. And now, brand new: Our podcast has an all-encompassing website and merch store: Check it out at TheGregCoteShow.com!

Thank you!: Was honored to have again been named by Associated Press Sports Editors as national Top 10 columnist for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Dolphins sabotaging Tua with interest in Watson

MOUNT GREGMORE OF COLUMNS: OUR LATEST FIVE:

NEW! Wow! Panthers Close Out Caps in 6 for 1st playoff advance since '96 NEW!

NEW! Butler And Defense Rise Again As Heat Eliminate 76ers, Reach Eastern Finals NEW! 

Verhaeghe Lifts Miracle Cats to Comeback Win, 3-2 Lead

Massive Defense, Return of 3's Lift Heat to Game 5 Win, 3-2 Lead

Panthers' Miracle Finish Sends Caps Series Back Home Tied 2-2

Previous Heat/Panthers playoff columns from this round: Heat Falls Again, Series Now 2-2 Because Heat Has Forgotten How To Shoot 3's / No. 1 seed Panthers Risk Early Playoff Exit (Again) After 6-1 Loss, 2-1 HoleNow The Playoffs Have Begun: Embiid Back As Heat Lead Cut To 2-1Panthers Remind Why They're Fun & No. 1, Tie Series In 5-1 Rout Of CapsBench Lifts Heat to 2-0 Series Lead. Now History Says It's OverUh oh. Panthers Collapse Late, Lose Game 1 at Home to Capitals / Herro, Bam lift Heat over 76ers in Game 1 To Launch Huge Week in SoFla Sports

Hilltop: The most recent five non-playoff columns: Why Quiet Draft With No 1st-Round Pick Was Great News For Dolphins / ‘Centerpiece of futbol in world’: Dream is green-lit. Now can Inter Miami deliver?31st Annual Official Miami Herald NFL Mock Draft / Only In Miami: Ex-Marlins Prez Samson Joins Fight vs. 'Boondoggle' Soccer Stadium / Marlins Declare 'Impatience," Delight Near-Sellout In Exciting Home Opener

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Select other recent columns: Oladipo Crowns His Long Road Back, Lifts Heat Into Second RoundBlowing Up Dolphins' Brady-Payton Plan Parting Shot Of Flores Lawsuit. For Now / Heat 'Wildly Disrespected' No. 1 Seed, But that's Fine By Miami As Playoffs Begin / Inter Miami Has Been Major Failure For David Beckham. Here's The BIg Fix / Rotation Set, Lineup Improved, Excuses Gone. Time For Marlins To Win / Could Have Died. Nearly Lost a Leg. Tiger Playing Masters Means He's Already Won / The Lawsuit, 2 Months Later: Why Flores Has Already Won, And Dolphins Are Still Nervous / NCAA Final Four: Why America Was Rooting Against The Perfect Ending / Marlins Owner Sherman Said He'd Spend. Payroll Says It Hasn't Been Enough / Crushing End Short Of Final Four, But Miami Hurricanes' NCAA Run Was Exhilarating Milestone / Tyreek Hill Trade, Terron Armstead Signing A Win-Now Power Play By Dolphins / Dolphins' Moves Help Tua, But Isn't About Surrounding Cast. It's On him / Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror / Brady's Comeback Not About Another Ring. It's About Holding Onto Who He Is / When Spoelstra Joined Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach / Why Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia / Chris Cote To Save Sport Of Jai-Alai / Brady A Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen / Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart / Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win / An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors 2021 writing awards again ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in '22 voting in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

March 18, 2022

Dolphins' moves help Tua, but it isn't about surrounding cast. It's on him. New column; plus Why we love March Madness, Brady's comeback, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with JT Daly, jai-alai legend Joey; also, the Riley/Spoelstra column & more

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

1) It's FRIDAY-SUNDAY, MARCH 18-20. 2) Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

Two notes: I was in with Le Batard Show on Thursday this week; check out today's show podcasts. Hot Button Top 10 has the Sunday off. HB10'll be back next week! 

Jtdaly Coteshow JoeyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 12th episode of 2022 and 103rd overall is out now! A new pod drops each Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 103 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest pod, we welcome two special guests: JT Daly, production mastermind of the new Le Batard Show musical, and Joey -- the Babe Ruth of American jai-alai. (They are pictured). Hit up GCS2212 for the full story on the new ep. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET). And watch for our weekly YouTube previews of latest episode HERE.

A PERSONAL NOTE, AND THANKS: I am honored to have been again named by Associated Press Sports Editors as a national Top 10 columnist for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won us the APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy, too? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Miami Dolphins sabotaging Tua, season with misguided interest in Watson

TuatDOLPHINS' MOVES GET HELP FOR TUA, BUT IT ISN'T ABOUT SURROUNDING CAST ANYORE. IT'S ON HIMThe kind folks on social media are snipers taking dead aim, as always. They are having fun making fun of the Miami Dolphins’ offseason. The theme in the Twitterverse seems to be that, while the rest of the NFL percolates with exciting major trades and big free agent signings, Fins general manager Chris Grier has picked a hell of a time for a long nap and forgot to set the alarm. It isn’t true. Well, not entirely, anyway. Miami entered the weekend having made 16 offseason transactions. Only Houston (17) had made more, followed by Detroit with 14 and the Jets with 12. (Ah, the company we keep!). The problem is the Dolphins, trying to make the leap from consecutive winning seasons to playoff-good, have made mostly gentle ripples amid the cannonball splashes all around them. Russell Wilson is in the AFC now, immediately vaulting Denver ahead of Miami in the sportsbooks. So is the best receiver in football, Devante Adams, doing the same for Las Vegas. Von Miller is now in the same division, further tipping the East Buffalo’s favor. ESPN’s latest free agent rankings have the top six most-improved teams all from the AFC, none of them Miami. Tsunami stuff is happening relative to the Dolphins’ strategic (and cost-effective) fine tuning. What I do like is that most of the notable moves have been aimed at building around and/or protecting third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. For our full latest column, visit Dolphins' Moves Help Tua, But It Isn't About Surrounding Cast Anymore. It's On him.

UpsetWHY DO WE LOVE MARCH MADNESS THIS MUCH? LOOK TO PSYCHOLOGY. BUT FIRST, LOOK IN THE MIRROR: This is the closest we get in sports to sheer rhapsody, right? The next few weeks. Especially the next few days. We see a pristine, untouched NCAA Tournament bracket as we would a breathtaking sunrise, or a first born in a nursery. It is a document almost holy, the very proof of possibility. The words leave our lips like prayer. March Madness. Done with the pointless perfunctory of the play-in games, the final 64-team field tips off Thursday for the men and Friday for the women, and this year it feels especially big because we are welcoming back an old friend: Normalcy. Two years ago March Madness was swallowed up whole, canceled altogether by the mushrooming COVID pandemic. It felt almost blasphemous to erase our annual communal worship, maybe the only religion we can all agree on, but for many of us it was the first hard reality. ‘Whoa. This coronavirus [bleep] ain’t playin’.’ Last year the Madness returned, but only sort of, confined to in and around Indianapolis and played before very limited crowds. Now? (Cue Dick Vitale). WE’RE BACK, BAYBEEEE! For our full recent column, visit Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror.

TOM BRADY'S COMEBACK ISN'T ABUT ONE MORE RING. IT'S ABOUT HOLDING ON TO WHO HE ISThe two words he used to explain his comeback surely were not intended to be funny, but were nonetheless as Tom Brady announced his return to the NFL from his Twitter and Instagram on Sunday night. “Unfinished business.” Seriously? One could argue no athlete in the history of Bradycompetition has retired with his business so completely and emphatically taken care of. I mean, seven Super Bowl rings, most ever. Career records for passing yards and touchdowns. Across all sports this is the grand marshal of the G.O.A.T. parade. Not since God created heaven and earth in six days has anyone earned a rest more than Brady. So, are we getting a bit greedy here, Tom? What is the unfinished business, exactly? A perfect season with nary an incomplete pass? Brady coming back to play (at least) another season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a whole 40 days’ ‘retirement’ invites poking a little fun. What about that yearning to finally have more time with the wife and three growing children? Kids getting on your nerves that fast? Giselle hectoring you to get off your butt and mow the lawn? In announcing his retirement on February 1, Brady said his “100 percent competitive commitment” was no longer there. Some time during the past six weeks he must have found it, along with loose change, under the sofa cushions. Kidding aside, Brady pivoting on retirement is good not only for the Bucs but for the NFL and sports at large. This is a transcendent person of historic heft. Michelangelo. Sinatra. Hepburn. Jordan. Gretzky. Brady. He will turn 45 as training camp opens. Preposterous to say, and another element of his greatness: His game may be closer to prime-quality than anything creaking with age. For our full recent column, visit Tom Brady's Comeback Isn't About One More Ring. It's About Holding On To Who He Is.

RileyspoOther most recent columns: The Moment Spoelstra Joined Miami Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next CoachBrittney Griner Is Lost In Russia Because Of Low WNBA Pay -- And NBA Failing To Help / and Larranaga, Meier Enjoy Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears. Also: Le Batard Show Anoints Chris Cote To Save Jai-Alai / Tom Brady. Miami Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen and Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart, Ended In Divorce.

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Other most recent columns:Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

Other recent columns: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards again this year ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

March 12, 2022

The moment Pat Riley decided Erik Spoelstra would lead Miami Heat. My new column; plus Brittney Griner is lost in Russia because of low WNBA pay -- and NBA Failing To Help; also, latest Greg Cote Show podcast, Resurgence of Canes basketball & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, MARCH 12. Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! I was back in-studio Tuesday. Listen for that day's show podcasts including my latest 'Back In My Day.' 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Tom Brady a Dolphins part owner, Why Jeter-Marlins marriage fell apart, Personal note and thanks, Le Batard Show musical drops, NFL's mosy disliked people, new Greg Cote Show podcast.


Wilt100 CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!:
 Our 11th episode of 2022 and 102nd overall is out noe! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 102 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest pod, we are joined by Gary Pomerantz, author of "Wilt, 1962: The Night Of 100 Points & The Dawn Of A New Era.'' He shares rich details of that epic game, shares the truth about that infamous 20,000 women claim and more. Also in the new ep: Greg’s wife has been out of town for a week, and he shares something that might or might not make him a bad husband; the bizarre reason Greg never walks around his house naked even he’s when the only person there; Yeti Blanc, our resident musician, leads an impassioned analysis of the Le Batard Show’s newly released musical; debut of new podcast sponsor Lobos Mints; and Greg messes up while making fun of dumb people on “Wheel Of Fortune.” Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET). And watch for the debut of our weekly YouTube previews of the new episode HERE.

A PERSONAL NOTE, AND THANKS: I am very honored to once again be named by Associated Press Sports Editors as a national Top 10 columnist in the major-outlet category for 2021 in '22 judging. The Miami Herald also was named a Top 10 daily section, and Top 10 in special projects for ours on the 5-year annniversary of the Jose Fernandez tragedy, a project that also included myself. Some of you asked, so: These are the four nominated columns (earliest to most recent) that won us the APSE distinction: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy, too? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Miami Dolphins sabotaging Tua, season with misguided interest in Watson

Sporiley'SPEAK UP SO WE CAN HEAR YOU!' WHEN PAT RILEY DECIDED ERIK SPOELSTRA WOULD LEAD MIAMI HEATThere was this moment when in his mind Pat Riley baptized Erik Spoelstra as the next head coach of the Miami Heat. There was no ceremony to it. It was not an epiphany. But it was a test that would christen the young assistant coach as the heir who would succeed the legend. And succeed in every sense of the word. During the 2005-06 season, this was. Nobody knew the Heat would go on to win the franchise’s first NBA championship that summer. Just before an off-day practice at the arena there would be a film session in a side room, as usual. Spoelstra brought in the video of the previous game that he had produced, as usual, then stepped aside for Riley to go over it with the team. As usual. “You handle the video,” Riley suddenly told Spoelstra, with no prior notice. “What do you mean?” said Spo. “You go over every clip,” Riley recalls now what he told him. “Call out the players. ‘You didn’t get back on defense.’ ‘You didn’t take the charge.’ There he was in front of the team for the first time.” For our full latest column, visit The Moment Spoelstra Joined Miami Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach.

WHY IS BRITTNEY GRINER LOST IN RUSSIA? START WITH LOW WNBA PAY -- AND NBA FAILING TO HELPAmerican basketball star Brittney Griner, one of the most prominent players in the WNBA, finds herself detained in Russia on drug charges that may well have been concocted to make her the political pawn she has become. She has, in a way too real, become a prisoner of Bgrinerwar as Vladimir Putin and Russia continue their murderous, unprovoked march across Ukraine, a heinous assault drawing global condemnation and escalating outside economic sanctions. The Phoenix Mercury star faces 10 years in Russian prison. A member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee told CNN this week it is “going to be very difficult” to get her out. When this story broke I’m sure many of our first thoughts were: What on Earth was Griner doing in Russia? At any time but especially now? Blame the NBA for that. The too-hidden disgrace in the capture, detention and scary outlook for Griner is that the WNBA’s pay structure forces so many of is players — even the biggest stars — to play overseas during the offseason. in effect, to have second jobs. The Associated Press reported half of the league’s 144 players competed overseas in 2022. Griner has played for years for Russia’s UMMC Ekatrinburg team. She was the last of several players competing in Russia and Ukraine to attempt to leave last month as war broke out, but didn’t make it. The WNBA was founded by the NBA. Five of the 12 teams are owned by NBA owners. The league is owned equally by WNBA franchisees and the NBA. Yet the pay disparity is a disgrace. For our full recent column, visit Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia Because Of Low WNBA Pay -- And NBA Failing To Help.

DestinyMARCH GLADNESS: HURRICANES BASKETBALL, COACHES LARRANAGA AND MEIER ENJOYING RESURGENCE: It is a season of resurgence and redemption for Miami Hurricanes basketball, women and men. Not everyone is paying attention. Associated Press Top 25 voters, for instance. The UM women reached the ACC Championship Game for the first time ever Sunday. The team is 20-12 despite almost half of their games (14) being against nationally ranked opponents. The Canes men, preparing for its ACC tournament opener Thursday in Brooklyn, is 22-9 and has the best road record (10-2) of any Power 5 conference team. Here is where the two teams are ranked in the latest Top 25s: Nowhere. That includes zero mention even in the “others receiving votes” category. This is the 60th season for UM men’s hoops and the 50th for the women’s program, and only the fifth time both have had a 20-win season and made the NCAA Tournament the same year. (The official invite to March Madness won’t come until Selection Sunday, but both are seen as certain to get in, each pegged a No. 10 seed in ESPN’s latest Bracketology projection). It can be a long climb to respect. For our full recent column, visit Larranaga, Meier Enjoying Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears.

Our most recent other columns:  Le Batard Show Anoints Chris Cote To Save Jai-Alai /Tom Brady. Miami Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen and Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart, Ended In Divorce 

Other most recent columns: Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

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Select other recent columns: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot /  Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention /  Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer /  Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards again this year ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

March 05, 2022

Tom Brady a Dolphins' part owner? Why it could happen. New column; plus Le Batard Show musical out now, Why Jeter-Marlins marriage fell apart, NFL's Top 20 most hated people, Panthers' 5-9 hitman Lomberg on latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, MARCH 5. Visit THE BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture. Includes our original 'Back In My Day' song. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Personal note and thanks, new Greg Cote Show podcast, column links.

Coteshow LombergGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH RYAN LOMBERG OUT NOW!: Our 10th episode of 2022 and 101st overall is out Monday. A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 100 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest pod, we welcome in the Florida Panthers' 5-9 dynamo hitman, Ryan Lomberg (pictured, on a dog sled). Fun chat with an interesting dude. Guaranteed, you don't need to be a Panthers fan or a puckhead to enjoy the conversation. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

Mebeard ApseA PERSONAL NOTE, AND THANKS: I was very honored this week to once again be named by Associated Press Sports Editors as a national Top 10 columnist in the major-outlet category. The Miami Herald also was honored as a Top 10 daily section, and earned a Top 10 in special projects for ours on the 5-year annniversary of the Jose Fernandez tragedy, a project in which I also was involved. (I have included a recent photo of myself that seems somber and somewhat unflattering; it is my 'serious journalist' look). Some of you have asked, so: These are the four nominated columns from 2021 (earliest to most recent) that won us the APSE distinction for column writing: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversyHall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own familyScorned, but does he deserve empathy, too? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Miami Dolphins sabotaging Tua, season with misguided interest in Watson

TbrossTOM BRADY, MIAMI DOLPHINS PART OWNER? WHY SIGNS STRONGLY SUGGEST IT COULD HAPPENHe retired as the greatest quarterback of all time, but have zero doubt Tom Brady remains a major player. Only this time it is a behind-the-scenes yet potentially starring role in all of the off-field drama surrounding the Miami Dolphins, embattled owner Stephen Ross and the franchise’s designated ownership-successor, Bruce Beal. There seems little question that Brady may be entwined in all of this, but how? Could be with a future ownership stake in the Dolphins. Or might it be as a witness in former coach Brian Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL that levied serious allegations against Ross? New head coach Mike McDaniel signed on to lead a football team and revive the potential of Tua Tagovailoa, but walked into the mire of a soap opera full of intrigue. One that could be long-running. As Brady moves to Miami's exclusive Indian Creek, his close relationship with Ross and friendship with chosen successor Beal is worth exploring for what it might portend. For our full latest column, visit Tom Brady. Miami Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen

JeterWHY CEO DEREK JETER AND THE MIAMI MARLINS' MARRIAGE FELL APART, ENDED IN DIVORCEThe announcement was abrupt and unexpected in a way that partings of this type seldom are in sports. There was mystery to it as well — Derek Jeter suddenly quitting Monday as CEO of the Miami Marlins. He had a lot to say on his way out, much of it trying to spin his four seasons with the baseball club as a success. But only one sentence, 18 words, cut to the truth and came close to revealing the why. “The vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead.” Boom. Subtle as a 100 mph fastball under the chin, that verified there is little harmonious about this parting, which a Marlins source of ours described as mutually agreed upon. Jeter’s five-year contract as baseball’s only Black CEO was to expire later this year. He also is relinquishing his 4 percent ownership stake. For our full recent column, including what we hear on why Jeter resigned, visit Why The Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart And Ended In Divorce.

Our most recent other columns: Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / and Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast. Also: Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

ArNFL's TOP 10 MOST DISLIKED INDIVIDUALS: NFL's most despised person has been identified. A semi-scientific Twitter study by gaming website BetOnline.ag has answered the question. The conclusion was derived from than 1 million tweets analyzed by keyword association in December, including negative phrases such as "I hate so-and-so," "so-and-so sucks" and "bleep so-and-so." Here are Top 20 most-hated NFL figures (players and others), with number of negative tweets:

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers QB, 266,850; 2. Antonio Brown, free-agent WR, 107,379; 3. Bill Belichick, Patriots head coach, 88,482; 4. Odell Beckham Jr., Rams WR, 84,399; 5. Deshaun Watson, Texans QB, 75,210; 6. Jackson Mahomes, Patrick's brother, 71,349; 7. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs WR, 62,379; 8. Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, 59,731; 9. Baker Mayfield, Browns QB, 51,285; 10. Dan Snyder, Commanders owner, 48,529.

The rest: 11. Cam Newton, Panthers QB; 12. Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner; 13. Kirk Cousins, Vikings QB; 14. Josh McDaniels, Raiders head coach; 15. DeSean Jackson, Raiders WR; 16. Jalen Ramsey, Rams CB; 17. Brittany Matthews, Patrick Mahomes' girlfriend; 18. Richard Sherman, Bucs CB; 19. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys RB; 20. Robert Kraft, Patriots owner.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot /  Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention /  Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer /  Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden /  Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards again this year ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

February 26, 2022

Why MLB has bigger problem than labor impasse. New column; plus Mickelson's Saudi mess mirrors sports' blind eye on rights, Top 15 non-athletes in Miami sports history, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now, APSE honors us as top-10 sports columnist & more

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

Apse1) It's SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26. I'm humbled to have been named a national top-10 sports columnist in the Division A (major outlets) category once again by the Associted Press Sports Editors. Big honor. Thanks, readers! 2) Programming note: Was back on with Le Batard Show this week. Check out Wednesday's show podcasts, including a new Back In My Day. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Dolphins' offseason map to improvement, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 100TH EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 9th episode of 2022 and 1andmark 100th overall is out now! A new pod hits every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 100 we've done so far HERE, free. In our most recent episode, we throw a party for our 100th ep, recap the annual PFPI Gala, discuss recent big Le Batard Show news and more. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

LockoutMLB PLAYERS ARE ON RIGHT SIDE IN LABOR DISPUTE, BUT BASEBALL HAS FAR BIGGER PROBLEM TO FIX: Major League Baseball slogs, regrettably, avoidably, toward the eighth season in its history to suffer a reduced schedule and shortened season. The first in 1918-19 and the most recent before now in 2020 had pretty good excuses: A world war and a global pandemic. Every one in between, including this one, were rooted in money and played out at the intersection of avarice and intractability. So this should be opening weekend for spring training. Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, training camp of the Marlins 90 minutes north of Miami, should be lively, anticipation in the air. Instead the place is quiet but for the exchange of rancor between MLB executives and players union reps (including the Marlins’ Miguel Rojas) meeting there and failing to solve this. Stalemate. Nobody wins. Fans lose. Baseball loses. Plainly, players are on the right side here — the workers, not the baseball barons who pay them. But here’s the thing, and it’s quite remarkable: This acrimonious lockout that is turning off fans and almost certainly will truncate the season — it isn’t even MLB’s biggest problem. For our full latest column: Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix.

MICKELSON'S SUPPORT OF SAUDI  GOLF LEAGUE SADLY MIRRORS SPORTS' BLIND EYE TO HUMAN RIGHTS: Phil Mickelson did it. He did it with a perfect precision to equal the finest golf shot he ever sculpted. With one comment, he pretty much explained why the sports world is clueless on how to deal with the real-world matter of human rights. He was speaking of the Saudi PhilArabian government’s aim to start the Super Golf League, a huge-money new professional tour to rival the PGA Tour. The comments, public this week, are from a forthcoming book by Alan Shipnuck, “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar.” “They’re scary motherf------ to get involved with,” Mickelson said, of the Saudi government. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider [their new league]? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates. The Saudi money has finally given us that leverage.” So there it is: Mickelson, with legacy-damaging clarity, speaking for sports at large in the unseemly exchange of principle for pay. Most other golfers have rebuked the Saudi effort and pledge allegiance to the PGA Tour. Rory McIlroy called Mickelson’s comments “naive, selfish, egotistical and ignorant. Just very surprising and disappointing. Sad.” Mickelson has caused a firestorm not only because he’s the enormously popular “Lefty,” one of the game’s all-time greats, but because athletes as individuals rarely are willing to put their name on being OK with human rights abuses so long as the money is right. Normally that is left to sports’ governing bodies and to television networks to play that sordid game with such aplomb — to follow the money with blinders on for everything else. For our full recent column: Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights.

Top15MOUNT RUSHMORE ON STEROIDS: THE TOP 15 FIGURES (NON-ATH:ETES) IN MIAMI SPORTS HISTORYPresidents Day on Monday, the national holiday for White House occupants through history, got us thinking about the leaders of distinction across the decades in Miami and South Florida major team 15sports. Franchise owners, team executives and coaches — we’re talking everyone but players themselves. Who have been the most important, influential figures we’ve had, not counting athletes, all sports and all time? There was a passing-of-the-baton quality to the timelines of the two men highest on our list, as Pat Riley was introduced in Miami by the Heat in September 1995, just a couple of months before Don Shula retired from the Dolphins. I fancy myself something of a Miami sports historian, so I think I have a strong top 15 here. Then again, Presidents Day can’t seem to decide if there’s an apostrophe in there, so nothing is certain. (I would fight you on my first two, though). For the full column including the list of top 15 non-athletes in Miami team sports history: Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History.

Other latest columns: Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast. Also: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

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Select other recent columns: Dolphins New Coach McDaniel Must Win, Heal Broken Franchise / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Super Bowl With a Smirk quintet: SMIRK V ($1 million party ticket). SMIRK IV (Hip-hop halftime). SMIRK III (Last members of been-to-every-game club). SMIRK II (Joe Nickname, SB commercials). SMIRK I (City wars: L.A. glitz vs. Dull Cincy).

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Georgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

February 19, 2022

Who Dolphins should target in to fix offense fast. New column; plus 'Dan The Musical'? On Le Batard Show's ambitious new project; also, new NASL documentary, Lessons for Dolphins in Super Bowl result, Greg Cote Show podcast 100th episode out Monday & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19. Was back on Le Batard Show this week. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts -- especially the one with my new Back In My Day (Super Bowl commercials!), which met with rave reviews.  2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Super Bowl Sunday with pick, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 8th episode of 2022 and 99th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 99 we've done so far HERE, free. In our new episode, Chris reports live from Radio Row in L.A. as the guys discuss the Super Bowl and halftime show. And in a nod to Valentine's Day we bring you a special Mount Gregmore of favorite love songs! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

DavadamsWHO DOLPHINS, WITH WINDFALL TO SPEND, SHOULD TARGET IN OFFSEASON TO FIX OFFENSE FAST: Can the wheezing old franchise keep up, catch up, get back in the game? The Miami Dolphins are the South Florida flagship team that’s been leaking and listing and hardly moving for 20 years. Stuck. Now comes the latest reboot with the latest new hope-seller in Mike McDaniel, never before a head coach at any level, as the Dolphins try to get back to relevance in the NFL but first in their own market. All of this under the powder keg cloud of an owner, Stephen Ross, being investigated by the league for allegations he offered former coach Brian Flores bribes to lose intentionally in 2019, a seismic scandal if true, a major, distracting embarrassment if not. All of it makes the coming NFL offseason the most critical in Dolphins’ history as the team prepares for a make-or-break season for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in an evolving, empowered AFC so deep even the once lowly Bengals just made the Super Bowl. And the heat is on, broiler-high. It is on Ross, fighting for his reputation and his right to be owner. It is on McDaniel,. to justify Miami’s gamble on him. It is on general manager Chris Grier, who many thought deserved to get the sack instead of Flores. The Dolphins have $63.8 million in cap space to spend this offseason — most in the NFL. For our full latest column: Who Dolphins, With Windfall Top Spend, Should target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast.

Danstu‘DAN THE MUSICAL'? NEXT STOP, BOADWAY? AN INSIDE PEEK AT LE BATARD SHOW'S BIG NEW PROJECT ABOUT NFL: In the South Beach studios of the Miami-based Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz — the same room where ESPN’s “Highly Questionable” TV show once was produced, Atlantic ocean the backdrop — there is a hand-drawn sign that jokingly reads “professional recording studio,” with an arrow on it. It points to a far corner of the room, where, behind makeshift cardboard walls, is an area slightly smaller than a cruise ship bathroom. There is a mic stand. This is where the magic happens. Or the ridiculousness, as the case may be. The Le Batard Show is producing a musical. You read that right. “It’s a super ambitious attempt to make a tried and true musical,” says the show’s executive producer, Mike Ryan Ruiz. “It’s a Herculean lift.” For the full story: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical.

RamsGRADING SUPER BOWL ADS AND HALFTIME -- AND 5 LESSONS RAMS-BENGALS CAN TEACH TEAMS LIKE DOLPHINS: There are lessons other NFL teams -- like the Miami Dolphins, for instance -- may glean from the Super Bowl won by the Los Angeles Rams over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. (And, yes, it hasn’t sunk in yet, and might never, but the Bengals really were in the Super Bowl). To the football game and its lessons momentarily, but, first, the important stuff: The commercials and the halftime show. For our review of both and the 5 Lessons: The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result.  

Other most recent columns: Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

REMEMBER FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS? THEN THIS IS FOR YOU: 'Big-Time Soccer: The Remarkable Rise & Fall of the NASL,' is a new documentary just out and streaming now on Amazon Prime. The original Fort Lauderdale Strikers, big from 1977-83 after moving from Miami, are a significant part of the doc. I covered the Strikers way back when and was honored to be interviewed for the project -- and to have somehow dodged the cutting room floor and actually made into the documentary! Thanks to Rachel Viollet, director, for giving me a small part in a valuable doc on the too-forgotten league that was the seed for soccer in America and for the rise of MLS.

Select other recent columns: Dolphins New Coach McDaniel Must Win, Heal Broken Franchise / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Super Bowl With a Smirk quintet: SMIRK V ($1 million party ticket). SMIRK IV (Hip-hop halftime). SMIRK III (Last members of been-to-every-game club). SMIRK II (Joe Nickname, SB commercials). SMIRK I (City wars: L.A. glitz vs. Dull Cincy).

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Georgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

February 12, 2022

Hall says no again, but Zach Thomas feels gratitude. New column; plus Fins intro McDaniel, Our Bengals-Rams pick, Latest Greg Cote Show podcast, Super Bowl With a Smirk V ($1 million ticket to Shaq's party) & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12. Was back in on Le Batard Show this week. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Columns on Dolphins' McDaniel hire and Flores/Ross scandal, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow DrakeGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 7th episode of 2022 and 98th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 98 we've done so far HERE, free. In our most recent episode, we continue The Greg Cote Show Non-Sport Olympics, but with a live audience, and talk Super Bowl, Brian Flores suit, and new Dolphins coach Mke McDaniel. Also in the the new episode: Drake (!): makes brief appearance on our podcast; Greg’s business lunch with LeBron James over Lobos Tequila; Greg brags about leaving a big tip; Would you rather lick a toad or a toe?; Chris can’t believe Brian Flores turned down lunch with Tom Brady; and Farding (not farting; farding. Get your mind out of the gutter). And, on a serious note, Greg's tribute to a dear friend who recently died unexpectedly. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksOUR BENGALS-RAMS SUPER BOWL PREDICTION: We tell you why we think this is an intriguing, better-than-average SB matchup, and why one team has the edge. For our full predix capsule, who'll win and why: Super Bowl Gem.

ZachfamHALL OF FAME SAID NO AGAIN. BUT DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR ZACH THOMAS: By the night of the big announcement Zach Thomas had already moved on with real life, with the wonderful, glorious routine of what folks do, what parents do if they’re lucky, when the fame has subsided and the cameras are no longer watching, and when the Pro Football Hall of Fame has said no yet again. Zach, now 48, one of the greatest and most popular players in Miami Dolphins history, was in the stands Thursday night at a soccer practice watching one of his and wife Maritza’s three kids play. They are 12, 10 and 6 now, two girls and a boy. The little one has already gotten a red card or two for physical play. “Sticks up for herself,” Dad says, his smile coming through the phone. Thomas had already been given the news ahead of Thursday night’s live announcement on the NFL Honors awards show leading up to Sunday’s Bengals-Rams Super Bowl in Los Angeles. They don’t want you flying in for a coronation that once again isn’t coming to you. He has gotten used to the call that doesn’t come, the one where they congratulate you for being inducted, for heading to Canton. This was the ninth year in a row Thomas was eligible to be called but was not -- the third straight year as one of 15 finalists. Was he disappointed? Is he human? Of course he was. But what flowed from him was gratefulness. For our ful latest column: Hall of Fame Keeps Saying NO, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude.

Mike mcdMIKE MCDANIEL FOUND HEALING STRENGTH IN OWN LIFE. NOW HE MUST FIX BROKEN DOLPHINSHere they are, trafficking again in the only drug that’s readily available, totally free and yet sometimes so hard to get hold of, that most powerful of all medicines: Hope. The promise of it is, a promise oft broken, is really all the Miami Dolphins have to offer their fans, and so the beleaguered team introduced the latest healer Thursday inside the massive training center on the grounds of Hard Rock Stadium. Mike McDaniel looks a bit like a pharmacist, oddly enough. He could be in a white smock. He is nobody’s stereotype of an NFL head coach. He gives off nerdy professor vibes. He is a slight, personable and youthful 38, barely 5-9, and no way going the 180 pounds the bio claims. For the full column: McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

BOMBSHELL WEEK FOR DOLPHINS: FLORES' NFL SUITTARGETS ROSS, MIAMI HIRES McDANIEL AS NEW COACH: Dolphins New Coach McDaniel Must Win, Heal Broken Franchise / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / and Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True

THE RETURN OF 'SUPER BOWL WITH A SMIRK'!"Super Bowl With a Smirk returns again this year with a daily needling of the self-important NFL and the gravitas of its big game. Flying under the banner, “Make Fun, Not War,” Smirk is an annual Super Bowl Week feature in the Miami Herald years we remember to do it.

Smirk V (5th of V) -- Here's what you get for a $1 million ticket (!) to Shaq's Fun House Super Bowl party. Also, pregame TV glut, Lion picks Rams, anthem scandal? and plastic zip ties for Eddie the Loon: SMIRK V.

HalftimeSmirk IV (4th of 5) -- How the high-powered Super Bowl hip-hop halftime show is goung to great lengths (and noise) to keep its Sunday setlist a secret. Also, NFL Honors, counterfeiting, Ross: SMIRK IV.

Smirk III (3rd of V) -- Sweet story, or sad? The dwindling last members of the been-to-every-Super Bowl club. Also Goodell's state-of, SB's global reach, Qanon?, public safety, Puppy Bowl: SMIRK III.

Tarantula WillsmithSmirk II (2nd of V) -- Bengals' Joe Nickname, sneak peek at Super Bowl ads (shocker: a Clydesdale!), America's rooting interest, Brady visits Waffle House?, casting Rams movie, Madden back from dead to pick winner, Cambodian fried tarantula: SMIRK II.

Goodell BettedavisSmirk I (1st of V) -- L.A.’s glitz, Cincinnati’s dullness, a Shula, Al Golden and a dead gorilla. Also, Hazmat suit, Cindernati, Mike McDaniel, SB Experience, chicken wings and Hollywood golden-age actress Bette Davis: SMIRK I.

Select other most recent columns: The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Georgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

January 29, 2022

NFL Final Four: Our Sunday picks for Bengals-Chiefs, 49ers-Rams; plus Latest columns: Defending Antonio Brown, Final denial of Bonds/Clemens a shame, Mahomes-Allen show hard lesson for Dolphins; also, newest Greg Cote Show podcast & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JANUARY 29. I was back on Le Batard Show this week -- a new Back In My Day in hand. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

CoteshowGreenmmGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NFL! ROBOT UMPIRE! M&M SCANDAL! NEW EPISODE OUT NOW: Our 5th episode of 2022 and 96th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 96 we've done so far HERE, free. In our brand new episode, Chris and Greg exalt over the NFL's most exciting playoff weekend ever, and have an exclusive 1-on-1 chat with a Robot Umpire. Also in the new ep: Bomb dog retires;  M&Ms scandal; Greg apologizes to Newlywed Mark for referring to a part of his wedding as a 'nightmare' on Le Batard Show; Yeti reports live from a hospital bed. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND PLAYOFF PICKS: 4 TEAMS LEFT. 2 SUPER BOWL TICKETS. HERE'S WHO's GOING: Had a rough week in the Divisional Round and a perfect example of our luck was Bills blowing that lead (and a win for me) with 13 seconds left. Oh well. Move on. Finish strong. Our picks for Sunday's Bengals-Chiefs AFC Championship Game and 49ers-Rams NFC title game: NFL Championship Playoff Gems. Previous: NFL Divisional Playoff Gems, NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

AbrownLIKE HIM OR DON'T, ANTONIO BROWN NOT ALWAYS TO BLAME -- AND WASN'T IN BUCS DIVORCE: The most memorable, talked-about play of this NFL season — the one that didn’t happen on the field — lives on. It does so in the legal action being pursued. It does so in the wondering whether Tom Brady and Tampa Bay might be playing Sunday, still chasing a second straight Super Bowl win, if it hadn’t happened. The spectacle resonates, too, because it dances on the periphery of the brain trauma football can cause, and the discussion of mental health becoming more and more open in sports. And in the altogether unsurprising idea that a head coach might sometimes place winning ahead of a player’s health on his list of priorities. I know: Antonio Brown is easy to dislike, largely through his own actions through the years. No dispute. But it doesn’t means he’s wrong here. “The trigger was telling me I’m not allowed to feel pain,” he said. “I acknowledge my past. But that doesn’t make me a second-class citizen. My past does not forfeit my right to be heard when I am in pain.” Today Brown is 33 and at least temporarily unemployed, turning 34 when training camps start this summer. Today he is a man still trying to explain why, during a game few weeks ago, Bucs at Jets, Brown abruptly left the bench in anger, peeled off his jersey and pads, tossed them into the crowd, put up a peace sign with his fingers, and trotted off, turning his back on his team, profession and the NFL. For our full latest column, visit Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce.

PapiORTIZ MAKES HALL, BUT FINAL DENIAL OF BONDS, CLEMENS A SHAME ON VOTERS, BASEBALL: David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Boston Red Sox icon and one of four men in MLB history to hit 500 home runs and win three World Series, was elected Tuesday into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with distinction as a first-ballot honoree. It wasn’t the biggest news to come out of the announcement. This was: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens -- arguably the greatest hitter and pitcher to ever play the game -- were denied the Hall in their 10th and final year of eligibility to appear on the ballot. And Miami-raised Alex Rodriguez was dealt a massive rebuke in his first year of eligibility, despite career numbers that by themselves suggested he might sail into Cooperstown in a landslide vote. Baseball’s Steroids Era lives on. It is still taking names and meting out punishments. Lifetime sentences, apparently. That Bonds and Clemens were turned away for the 10th year in a row defies fair logic and conveys a vindictiveness that does not serve well either MLB, the Hall of Fame or the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, of whom I am one -- proudly, usually, but less so as the 2022 class was announced. For our full recent column, visit Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemsn A Shame on Voters, Baseball

MahomesallenMAHOMES-ALLEN AIR SHOW A FACE-SLAP REMINDER HOW FAR DOLPHINS, TUA STILL HAVE TO GO: We watch NFL games through our own prism, right? From the vantage of how our own team compares. For a Miami Dolphins fan this exercise is called “torture.” But never quite like it was Sunday night, in the astounding crescendo to the single greatest weekend in the league’s playoff history -- led by an epic duel between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills offenses were unstoppable in the hands of two premier quarterbacks who took mere seconds to trade points until finally Mahomes and the Chiefs prevailed in overtime 42-36. It was the greatest possible advertisement for the NFL. But from where Miami sits, alas, Sunday night was depressing. Sobering. Enough to make a Dolfan set the alarm for around 2034, which might be about when the two quarterbacks now most in their way are finally retired or at least in decline. Mahomes is 26. Allen is 25. And there is not a single Chiefs or Bills fan today — not one, anywhere — wondering if their team has the right quarterback. If he’s good enough or maybe possibly someday could be. Allen pilots the new king of the AFC East, Miami's division. Mahomes leads the king of the AFC, Miami’s conference. These are the two quarterbacks, and teams, the Dolphins have to figure out how to be better than for any chance to reach the Super Bowl in the foreseeable future. For our full recent column, visit Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be.

Select other recent columns: Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consquences, as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / and Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner. Also: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

January 14, 2022

State of Miami Sports: We grade all the major teams. New column; plus NFL playoff picks out now, Dolphins firing Flores an unjustified travesty, 2 (!) new podcasts with Ron Magill and bonus pod on Flores firing with Le Batard & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 2022. Wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversay this week. Best person I've ever known; best decision I've ever made. 2) R.I.P., Tim Rosaforte, golf journalist, gone today at 66 after battling early-onset Alzheimer's. Knew him since his start at the Palm Beach Post. Genuine, good guy. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, NFL Week 18 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow MagillGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: TWO (!) NEW EPISODES THIS WEEK, BOTH OUT NOW!: Our 2nd and 3rd episodes of 2022 and 93rd and 94th overall both dropped this week and are out now. Our main, regularly scheduled epsiode, out Monday, features a fun conversation with friend Ron Magill (pictured) of Zoo Miami, and a season-finale Hard Knocks celebrating Greg's Lobos' PFPI Fantasy championship. Then, out today, is a shorter bonus episode -- the first we've ever done -- on the Dolphins' sudden and illogical firing of coach Brian Flores. Dan Le Batard joins us. But we've love you to listen anyway! A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 94 we've done so far HERE, free. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL WILD-CARD ROUND PLAYOFF PICKS: ROAD TO SUPER BOWL BEGINS WITH 6 GAMES, 1 BIG UPSET!: Had four dog-with-points covers — by Dolphins, Broncos, Bengals and Seahawks — to close regular season, but still a rocky Week 18 overall that left us with a .635 winning percentage straight-up and .519 (10 games over) against the spread. I’m not throwing a party, but neither am I bemoaning those numbers in what was a tough NFL season that saw a record 34 games decided on the final play. We enjoyed an especially strong year on our Upset of the Week picks, going 11-7 overall and 13-4-1 ATS on upset specials. Now, unlike 18 unfortunate teams including Miami ... we’re on to the playoffs! For our picks on all six of this weekend's games including one big upset: NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

Big fourSTATE OF MIAMI SPORTS: GRADES FOR FINS, HEAT, PANTHERS, MARLINS, INTER MIAMI AND CANES FOOTBALL & MEN'S HOOPSOne team is in sudden flux with an unforeseen coaching change. One is chasing a championship and another might be. One has new life after major changes. One is the comeback story nobody’s talking about. Two others are still searching for the elusive map to victory. This is our sort-of annual New Year’s State Of Miami Sports, in which we grade each of our Big Seven teams based on where they are right now and the short-term, but also put in the context of the broader, bigger picture. We identify the Big Seven as the Miami Dolphins, Heat and Marlins, Florida Panthers, Inter Miami soccer and Miami Hurricanes football and men’s basketball. Sorry if we left your favorite team out. (But not that sorry). Here are our grade rankings, high to low, best to worst. For our full latest column including the team-by-team grades, visit The State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom.

BfloresDOLPHINS FIRING BRIAN FLORES THE UNJUSTIFIED TRAVESTY OF A CLOWN-SHOW OWNER: Unjustified. Unfair. Shocking. Egregiously premature. Embarrassing. Irresponsible. Dumbfounding. Not enough words have yet been invented to adequately and fully describe the national clown show the Miami Dolphins became Monday with the sudden and utterly stupid firing of head coach Brian Flores. Team owner Stephen Ross might as well have bought a billboard alongside Interstate 95 that depicts him wearing a big red Bozo nose and the word “INCOMPETENT” stamped across his forehead. The failed owner, good at spending money on facility improvements but very bad at fielding winning football teams, has sunk to a new low. Firing Flores was so out-of-the-blue unexpected that when I first heard the news I laughed at the ludicrousness, assuming it a joke. Decades in sports journalism have seen me rarely surprised by much, but this shocked me. The timing. The senselessness. Everything. For our full latest column, visit Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner.

Our most recent other columns: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around TuaWhy Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later/No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

NFL WEEK 18 RESULTS:

(*) OUR PICKS: ROUGH WEEK TO END REGULAR SEASON: A tough week to end our regular season, with an even 8-8 mark overall and a minus 7-9 against the spread. We did have a quartete of 'dogs-with-points in covers by the Dolphins, Broncos, Seahawks abd Bengals -- the latter a silver lning on our Upset of the Week pick. Time to get our mojo back as the playoffs begin!

(*) GREG'S LOBOS: STILL CELEBRATIN' OUR CHAMPIONSHIP!: Told ya last week but it bears repeating: Greg's Lobos are PFPI Fantasy champions for the first time in the league's 13-year history!

(*) HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS: BUCS' BRADY TAKES SEASON CROWN: Tampa's Tom Brady wins Week 18 to seal a runaway 2021 season championship to end our 24th year of rankings in the Herald. Miami's Tua Tagovailoa finishes No. 22. Details and our expanded final Top 40: NFL Week18/Season Final QB Rankings.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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

January 08, 2022

NFL Week 18 picks: Fins-Pats, all the rest; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast is Best-Of, Year-End Special!, Why Saban and what-if still haunt Miami, No playoffs, no idea on Tua worst possible way for Dolphins to end, Lobos win PFPI Fantasy & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 2022. When do we start looking at somebody funny for still saying Happy New Year? Not yet, right? 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Dolphins routed at Tennessee and miss playoffs, NFL Week 17 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

I was back in-studio this week on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz ... dressed as astronaut Jeff Bezos to pay off a Grid of Death punishment. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts or show YouTube channel.

CoteshowBestofGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL NEW YEAR-END BEST-OF EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 1st episode of 2022 and 92nd overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 92 we've done so far HERE, free. In our new episode: It's GregFest: Our Best-Of Year-End Extravaganza (with new stuff, too). We relives out greatest hits from the past year: Interviews, Songs, Greg Doesn't Know Movies, Hard Knocks/Lobos -- the fun don't stop! Inlcuding a new Mount Gregmore of OUR favrite epsiodes. You won't want to miss it! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL WEEK 18 PICKS: DOLPHINS-PATRIOTS, BIG UPSET, FINAL PLAYOFF TICKETS, ALL THE REST: Our second-half heater resumed in Week 17 as went a big 12-4 overall (again) and 8-8 against the spread. Nailed another Upset of the Week in Steelers beating Browns  Monday night. With one week to go our overall season total has risen and our number against the Evil Betting Line is above what it was a year ago. Time to finish strong! For our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week, Dolphins-Patriots call and who's getting the final three unclaimed playoff tickets, visit NFL Week 18 Gems.

NicksabanWHY 'WHAT IF' STILL HAUNTS MIAMI, 15 YEARS AFTER NICK SABAN LEFT THE DOLPHINS: He abruptly left Miami 15 years ago this week, quitting on the Dolphins after only two seasons. He lied about leaving, and South Florida hated him for that. Many among us still do. Some always will. But 15 years later we understand very well it wasn’t the lying we hated, after all. It was the leaving. It was all Nick Saban took from us that we have spent every day since trying, and failing, to recover. The relentless winning, the championships, the national stature — everything he created at Alabama could have belonged to the Dolphins and South Florida. Then-owner Wayne Huizenga was convinced of it when he hired Saban and convinced of it ‘til the day he died. When Saban packed for Tuscaloosa, he took what might have been with him. He took hope, and possibility.

TuatNO PLAYOFFS, NO FIRM IDEA ON TUA IS WORST POSSIBLE WAY FOR DOLPHINS TO END SEASON. NEW COLUMN: These have been the three longest playoff droughts in the once-proud history of the Miami Dolphins: Seven seasons, from 2009 to 2015. Six seasons, from 2002 to 2007. Now five seasons, from 2017 ... and counting. College-age Dolphins fans have grown up not knowing their team to be anything but almost always bad. Even worse — irrelevant. They hear their fathers and grandpas with misty eyes reference “The Perfect Season,” but the words are a near-foreign language. Yellowed pages in a scrapbook. They hear the words “Marino and “Shula” said, but these are vague, distant deities who hold no sway in the modern age. They are but strong-yet-powerless memories, reminders of a fallen empire. And the Lost Century slogs on. For our full column -- which inevitably gets around to Tua Tagovailoa, and whether he's the solution or not -- visit No Playoffs, No Firm Idea Yet On Tua Is Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season.

Our Dolphins-Titans column: Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans.

Our Orange Bowl column: Georgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next.

Most recent other columns: Revealing And Discussing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Also: Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

NFL WEEK 16 RESULTS:

(*) OUR PICKS: SOLID OVERALL, EVEN A.T.S.: We went a solid 12-4 overall (again) in Week 17, and an even 8-8 against the spread. Finished strong with Steelers (+3) over Browns Monday night in our Upset of the Week. We've had a great year on featured upset picks: 11-6 outright and 12-4-1 ATS. 

Lobos(*) GREG'S LOBOS: YESSS! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!: Greg's Lobos are PFPI Fantasy champions for the first time in the league's 13-year history, with a 136-130 title game win over my eldest son, Chris' Crown Me The Champ team. It was a close call into Monday night, with me very lucky Nick Chubb didn't have a bigger role. I got 57 points (!) from JaMarr Chase to carry me, but narrowly avoided an embarrassment I never would have lived down -- or forgiven myself for. I started inactive Lamar Jackson, getting zero points from th QB position. And won anyway! Wow.

(*) HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS: BURROW WINS (AGAIN); BIG RACE FOR 2ND: Cincinnati's Joe Burrow wins Week 17, his second straight weekly title, and joins a tight five-man race for second place, with Tom Brady soaring to the season crown. Details and the latest Top 25: NFL Week 17 QB Rankings.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsUM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

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