April 15, 2021

The case for Dolphins trading up, going all-in for Kyle Pitts. New column; plus Matsuyama's Masters win lifts Japan in time of anti-Asian hate; also latest Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy, Song of the Week & more

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

Mecane1) It's THURSDAY, APRIL 15. We were back on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on Tuesday. Find that day's show podcasts, including a new Back In My Day. One of the reasons I love being on Dan's show is the fans. They are super loyal, engaged and talented. Example: Dan jokes on-air that I should adopt a royal persona and walk into press boxes carrying a scepter. So a bunch of stuff related to that turns up online including the photo shown. So sublimely ridiculous. Love it. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top10, Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Song of the Week: "Chosen Family," Rina Sawayama with Elton John.

Coteshow DavepGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH DAVE PARKER, ROY BELLAMY OUT NOW!: Our 15th podcast of 2021 (57th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 57 we've done HERE for free. In our new Ep15 we welcome in two special guests: Former Pittsburgh Pirates star Dave Parker (pictured in his swaggery days), and, from the Le Batard Show, Roy Bellamy. Parker has a new autobiography out and he speaks about being denied the Hall of Fame, his fight with Parkinson's disease and more. And get to know the inscrutable Bellamy in a fun chat about his bucket list, what scares him and more. (And do we get Roy to sing? Find out). Also: The Mount Gregmore of all-time best food genres and dishes. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

KpittsMIAMI DOLPHINS NEED TO MAKE ONE MORE BOLD DRAFT TRADE AND GO ALL-IN FOR THIS PLAYER: The Miami Dolphins have been the most interesting, active player in the buildup to the NFL Draft, trading down from the third overall pick to the 12th and then moving back up to the sixth. But their work shouldn’t be done. The Fins’ aggressiveness and daring have one bold move left before they are on the clock in the first round come April 29. Miami should do what it must to get in the Atlanta Falcons’ ear and trade up two spots to the fourth pick, and there should be a determined urgency for one reason: Kyle Pitts. There is no one in this draft who would be a greater difference-maker for the Dolphins over the next 10-plus years because there is no one else in this draft who would be a greater difference-maker in what quarterback Tua Tagovailoa becomes. His Florida Gators coach, Dan Mullen, called Pitts a “unicorn.” I’d call him a generational talent who had to have been created in the laboratory or imagination of some day-dreaming offensive coordinator. For our full latest column, visit The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts.

WON'T FIX THE WORLD, BUT MATSUYAMA'S MASTERS WIN LIFTS JAPAN IN A TIME OF ANTI-ASIAN HATE: Sometimes sports delivers us a result that just feels right, like there is a heart behind the hand of fate. The Masters golf tournament did that for us Sunday. Hideki Matsuyama did that. You couldn’t help but feel good, for Hidekithe player, for the Japanese people — and for more than that — as he wrapped himself into the most beautiful ugly green jacket in the history of men’s wear. No event in sports means to tug at the heartstrings or does it better than the Masters, an air of history and reverence within golf’s singular cathedral, the gentle description of CBS’ Jim Nantz the perfect soundtrack. The troika of treachery called Amen Corner. The riotous bloom of azaleas. The impossible quaintness of Butler Cabin. The Masters unfurls as a visually stunning tableau, an oil painting come to life. An infamous past is a part of the portrait. For too many decades Georgia’s Augusta National Golf Club was a society open only white men. Blacks and women need not have applied. The Masters deserves little praise for being goaded reluctantly to join the 21st Century. That is why this particular Masters felt special. Different. It felt that way in Thursday’s annual ceremonial start, when old-timers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were joined on the first tee by Lee Elder, who 46 years earlier had become the first Black man permitted to play this tournament. Now 86, Elder was not up to hitting a tee shot but rose elegantly from his chair, with help, to acknowledge the applause of onlookers. The ceremonial honor given Elder, better late than never, was book-ended Sunday when Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win the Masters — the first man from golf-mad Japan to win any major. In a time of anti-Asian racism and hate, this victory lifted the spirits of a nation. And that felt right. For our full recent column, visit It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

Our most recent other columns: Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / and The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft. Also: Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / and In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time.

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ARCHIVES:

Other recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / and Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive.

Select other columns: Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

April 10, 2021

Talk of U.S. Olympic boycott reminds us sports, politics mix -- but that's good. New column; plus how Kawhi Leonard-to-Heat could happen, Dolphins' 6 options for great No. 6 pick in draft, new Greg Cote Show podcast (is that Dick Stockton singing?) & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 10. I was back in my regular Tuesday spot this past week on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Check it out on the show's podcasts. Includes the return of Bitter Mickey Mouse. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast with broadcasting legend Dick Stockton & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

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

BeijingolysTALK OF U.S. OLYMPIC BOYCOTT REMINDS US SPORTS, POLITICS ARE ENTTWINED. AND THAT'S GOODThe United States and allies weigh boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics n China. Megan Rapinoe rips Draymond Green’s pay-gap comments. Major League Baseball moves its All-Star Game from Atlanta because of a new voting law. Remember when sports stuck to sports and didn’t mess with politics? Yeah, me neither. Those simpler times, a.k.a. good old days, are a fallacy, a figment. In my lifetime, at least. (And chances are pretty good I’m older than you). They are snapshot memories in black and white. Cassius Clay becoming Muhammad Ali in 1964 and later refusing military induction to object to the Vietnam War. Tommie Smith and John Carlos with black-gloved fists raised from the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics. Billie Jean King’s 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match a shot fired for gender equality. The inseparability of sports and politics always has existed; it only seems magnified now because ESPN and social media and the rest make it all instant and amplified. The latest example of the intermingling: Talk that the U.S. and allies may consider boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over China's human rights record. For our full latest column, visit Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good.

Kawhi LeonardIT'S WHALE SEASON AGAIN, AND HERE'S WHY MIAMI HEAT LANDING KAWHI LEONARD COULD HAPPEN: Kawhi Leonard to the Miami Heat. How’s that for getting right to the point? Kawhi Leonard to Miami demands a question mark at the moment, but that could turn to an exclamation point by this summer if the smoke we’re seeing becomes a fire involving the Heat. This is what sports has become. How it has evolved through the years for both fans and media. It’s less and less about what is and more and more about what’s next. The result of a given game is seldom as big or important as where your team is headed. In the draft. In trades. In free agency. What’s next? As players broker increasing power, and more so in the NBA than in other sports, the landscape is in constant flux. Smart teams (or lucky ones) are one seismic move from instant relevance and championship contention. So: Leonard (pictured) to the Heat. It exists for now in that murky world where rumor and speculation are in a Petri dish and might or might not grow into eventual truth. But the possibility of it, the plausibility of it, is so tantalizing as to demand a public airing. It is the whim of one player from happening. From giving Miami a Big 3 era 2.0 with Kawhi, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. It feels like there could be a legit chance this time. Heat president Pat Riley, at 76, is cast in this drama as Santiago, the fisherman in Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” Santiago was obsessed with a giant marlin. Riley prefers whales.We have seen in recent years his lines cast in expeditions involving Kevin Durant and then James Harden and then (until he signed an extension with Milwaukee) Giannis Antetokounmpo. But Miami landing those whales never seemed likely. Now feels different. For our full recent column: How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen

THE MIAMI DOLPHINS' 6 CAN'T-LOSE OPTIONS FOR A GREAT NO. 6 PICK IN THE NFL DRAFT: Quietly, the Miami Dolphins in the buildup to this month’s NFL Draft have reminded anyone paying attention how confident this front office is in its plan and direction. This is a franchise that sees itself close to being playoff-good and sustaining that level — with a vision Kylepittsthat smartly isn’t all about right now. We saw that with the two recent aggressive trades that shook up the first round. The result was Miami bumping down slightly from the third to the sixth overall pick this year but gaining an extra 2023 first-round selection. That was brilliant because A) it showed a vision to think beyond this year, or next, and B) it was tailored to April 29 in particular. Unless all of the Mel Kipers and other draftniks have it wrong, the first three players chosen — maybe the first four — will be quarterbacks. That means the Dolphins knew they would get a player they covet and need even with the dip from third to sixth. The teams wishing to trade up made it a ripe market for the Fins to move down, and they took advantage. The first-round maneuvering also verified that coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier have been truthful in their publicly stated he’s-our-guy faith in second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Deshaun Watson megatrade speculation that flared earlier this spring has cooled to near nonexistence (the spate of sexual misconduct allegations against Watson part of that). And the willingness to move down from three to six shouts loud that the Dolphins have zero intention of spending a second consecutive No. 1 pick on a QB. The aim with the sixth pick should and will be help for Tagovailoa, building around the faith in him. With the top pick certain to be Trevor Lawrence to Jaguars and the next two all-but-certain to be Zach Wilson to Jets and Mac Jones to 49ers, the draft will get interesting for Dolfans starting at four. The Falcons at four and Bengals at five might poach players that interest Miami, but with a little luck at least one might not. Atlanta really likes North Dakota State QB Trey Lance, and if like turns to love the Falcons drafting him to groom as Matt Ryan’s replacement would make sense. Cincy is expected to select a wide receiver for Joe Burrow, but a trade-down could be tempting if, say, New England or Denver are desperate to move up and select a QB such as Lance or Justin Fields. Here is our “Six at Six” list of players at the top of Fins’ radar for their first pick (Kyle Pitts, pictured, is one of them), ranked in order. For our full recent column, visit: The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft.

 

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

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Our other most recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / and Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness.

Other recent columns: Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / and Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive.

Select other columns: Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

February 20, 2021

These 2 questions will guide Dolphins' decision on Watson vs. Tua. New column; plus Serena's legacy firm yet unfinished, and Marlins double down on youth; also, latest Greg Cote Show podcast has ESPN's Tim Kurkjian and Valentine's surprise & more

1) It's SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20. The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, three most recent columns, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Search out Tuesday's podcasts of the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz for way too much of me including the new 'Back In My Day' (Shoes!).

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: LATEST EPISODE WITH TIM KURKJIAN AND ROMANCE IN THE AIR!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted last March and our new Episode 7 of 2021 (49th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 49 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. In the new Ep7 of '21, we bring in ESPN expert Tim Kurkjian to baseball and Marlins as MLB spring training unfurls. Also, Greg and Chris reveal the genuinely (and uncharacteristically) romantic thing they did to surprise and delight their wives on Valentine's Day. Plus the return of Greg's Mail Sack and a new Mount Gregmore. Hear all of that and more in our latest podcast. Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review!

TWO QUESTIONS (AND ANWSERS) WILL DETERMINE DOLPHINS' DECISION ON WATSON VS. TUA: At sports’ most important, celebrated and focused-on position bar none — quarterback — we have never seen an offseason such as the one the NFL is smack dab in the middle of. The Tom Brady-Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl just past was the reminder nobody needed: Deshaun WatsonThat a great QB is only about as important to your franchise as oxygen, or air-conditioning in South Florida. And that mediocrity at the position is a curse that can rob you of relevance for decades. QB greatness as the sport’s towering Holy Grail is why five more golden arms led by Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence surely to Jacksonville No. 1 overall are pegged for the first of round of April’s NFL Draft by ESPN guru Todd McShay in his latest mock. He has QBs going 1-2-3-4. Which has never happened. Like never before, though, this offseason finds passer-hungry teams weighing whether to trust the draft for their answer, or dive into the treasure trove of available veteran quarterbacks. Matthew Stafford already has been traded, from Detroit to the L.A. Rams for Jared Goff and two first-round picks. Thursday, the Eagles traded Carson Wentz to the Colts for two picks. Philip Rivers has retired. Drew Brees looks like hes about to. And we’re just getting started with this game of QB roulette, a Wheel of Fortune. Deshaun Watson, very publicly demanding a trade out of Houston. Dak Prescott, a free agent in Dallas. Aaron Rodgers, reigning league MVP, uncertain about his future in Green Bay. Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo — all the subject of available-for-trade reports and speculation. With Stafford and Wentz traded and most experts believing Prescott and Rodgers will stay put, the intriguing grand prize is Watson. It’s a staring march as the player vehemently want to be traded but the Texans thus far indicating no intention to do so. Who will force whose hand? Who blinks first here? About a third of NFL teams would consider a hard run at getting Watson — the Miami Dolphins at or near the top of that list. For our latest column, please visit These Two Questions Will Determine Dolphins' Path On Watson Vs. Tua.

SerenaSERENA'S LOSS AT AUSSIE OPEN LEAVES HER LEGACY FIRM YET STILL UNFINISHED. LATEST COLUMN: She wore this black designer T-shirt the other day with her name in bright white block letters — except the last four letters of her surname were intentionally gray and barely visible. So SERENA WILL is what you saw. It looked a declaration. A promise she intends to keep. But today it is fair, again, to ask: Will she? Serena Williams, iconic athlete and tennis great, aimed for a record-tying 24th career major singles title at this month’s Australian Open. She faced young rival Naomi Osaka in a semifinal match Thursday in Melbourne, one of the children she raised as she grew the sport. Naomi was not yet born when her idol turned pro in 1995, and had not quite turned 2 when Serena won her first major, a U.S. Open, in 1999. “She’s Serena,” said Osaka when the semifinal pairing was set. “I’m intimidated when I see her on the other side of the court.” The outset of the match (played late last night, U.S. Eastern) went like that. An early service-break put Serena in command, 2-0. But it unraveled from there for the woman chasing history, as Osaka roared back to win, 6-3, 6-4. For our full recent column on Serena denied history yet again, please visit Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished.

MIAMI MARLINS DOUBLE DOWN ON YOUTH PLAN AS REST OF NL EAST SPENDS BIG. COLUMN: Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter and primary owner Bruce Sherman (pictured) availed themselves to Djetermedia on a 45-minute Zoom call Monday, and had it been a drinking game and you had the word “progress,” you’d have left that meeting swaying like Tom Brady being helped off a parade boat. Progress, they want as the fourth season of their ownership unfurls with the start of spring training. No timetable on that road to sustained winning, no guarantees, no predictions. Just progress, please. “I’m not one to make guarantees, but I will guarantee you this,” Jeter said with a wry smile. “Our attendance will be higher in ‘21 than it was in ‘20.” It will indeed. After the pandemic-tossed 2020 season was limited to 60 games and no fans, Jeter announced a “limited capacity just north of 20 percent” would be welcomed back this year starting on Opening Day April 1. That would mean around 8,000 or so per game, should that many fans feel comfortable going with COVID-19 still around. There are no plans for COVID-sniffing dogs at Marlins Park such as the Miami Heat have. “Maybe I’ll let one sit outside my house,” kidded Jeter. Having fans back is hugely important for this ballclub more than most because Jeter/Sherman are doing more than trying to build a winner. They are trying to prove (against prevailing doubt) that Miami can be a baseball town. Seeing that progress on the field in 2021 will be a big ask. For why that is and our full recent column, please visit Marlins Stick With Youth Blueprint As Rest Of NL East Spends Big.

Our other most recent columns: Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? We Weigh InInter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / and Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company

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ARCHIVES:

Super Bowl With a Smirk series: Smirk V starring Dolphins up for NFL Honors including Zach Thomas for Hall of Fame; Smirk IV starring Top 10 Super Bowl scandals/controversies; Smirk III starring sad, gradual death of the mystique of the Super Bowl commercial; Smirk II starring Brady-Mahomes as bitter Joe Exotic/Carole Baskin/Tiger King rivals; and Smirk I starring a virtual Super Bowl Week not remotely like usual.

Select other most recent columns: Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Why A Brady-Mahomes Super Bowl Is Torture For Dolphins Fans / Chad Henne: Ex-Dolphin An Overnight Sensation, 13 Years Later / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / Dolphins' Re-Commitment to Tua is Smart, And Well-Timed / Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing CollapseIt Was the Overshadowed Bowl, but A&M and UNC Deliver An Exciting OB / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to FinalsMarlins postseason run last column: Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

February 13, 2021

Weighing in on the anthem-at-games controversy. New column; plus Inter Miami's David Beckham risks stepping into massive, avoidable mess, Brady belongs in sports' all-time pantheon but has company, new Greg Cote Show podcast with Stugotz out now & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13. Don't forget Valentine's Day is Sunday. You're welcome! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top10, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: STUGOTZ JOINS US IN NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted last March and our new Episode 6 of 2021 (48th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 48 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. In the latest Ep6 of '21, Greg and Chris discuss the Super Bowl rout by Brady's Bucs over Mahomes' Chiefs, and Greg blasts the football Hall of Fame for again denying Zach Thomas. And Stugotz to talk Super Bowl, the future of the Le Batard Show, and the recent death of his mom. Also, a new Mount Gregmore centered on the University of Miami. Hear all of that and more in our sixth episode of the new year! Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, rate, review and subscribe.

AnthemNO NATIONAL ANTHEM AT GAMES AT ALL? WHAT STARTED WITH KAEPERNICK HAS TAKEN SHARP TURN: It is a good thing that the people who make their living playing sports are exercising their social conscience. It’s almost as if there is a bit of guilt — making tens of millions of dollars for hitting or throwing or bouncing a ball — that must be atoned for by taking advantage of an outsized platform for something more important than endorsing a sneaker. Colin Kaepernick reignited this movement in 2016 but didn’t invent it. His controversially kneeling during the national anthem to protest systemic social and racial injustice — a foretelling of the national protests in the summer of 2020 — was an echo. It was an echo of Jackie Robinson. Of John Carlos and Tommie Smith raising fists during the anthem at the 1968 Olympics. Of Cassius Clay becoming Muhammad Ali to underline his conscientious objection to the Vietnam War. You tell LeBron James to shut up and dribble and he says hell no and gets louder. More power to him. Segue to the news of the week, the story that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had ordered his team to stop playing the national anthem before games. Then the NBA quickly overriding and saying all teams must play the anthem as part of the league’s long-standing policy. We weigh in on this issue as it arises anew, including my personal feelings, in our latest column. For that column in full, visit Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? We Weigh In.

INTER MIAMI'S DAVID BECKHAM AND REPORTED DEAL WITH QATAR A BUDDING, AVOIDABLE MESS: David Beckham unquestionably is the handsome, charismatic face of Inter BeckhamMiami as the club prepares for its second season in Major League Soccer. Is he now also the face — dubiously, controversially — of Qatar? The Daily Mail newspaper in London reported Beckham has agreed to be the “media-friendly face” of that Middle Eastern country in its buildup to hosting the soccer World Cup in 2022. The report said the role would pay Beckham at least 10 million British pounds, or $13.85 million U.S.In effect, that means Inter Miami’s club president and part owner has agreed to be the goodwill ambassador for the Persian Gulf state that is as notorious as it is wealthy. If the report from London is true it would seem an odd partner for Beckham to climb into bed with. The former England football captain’s name is an international brand cultivated and manicured with care. Aligning with Qatar sounds an odd, dissonant chord. The very fact Qatar is hosting the World Cup at all is enmeshed in controversy. It is a small nation of about 3 million and smaller in size than Connecticut, one with a minimal history in soccer and with a brutal summer climate. The U.S. Department of Justice alleged that massive bribery was involved in Qatar being named host by FIFA, the sport’s world governing body. The international group Human Rights Watch also notes Qatar’s blemished record including anti-LBGTQ laws that make being gay in Qatar illegal. For my full recent column, visit Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess.

TOM BRADY BELONGS IN SPORTS' ALL-TIME PANTHEON. BUT HE HAS COMPANY: Here is what Tom Brady was doing Sunday night when the Super Bowl was won, really won: He was watching, Tbon the sideline. He was marveling, like the rest of us, as his defense spent the entire game hounding Patrick Mahomes without relent and forcing the worst game of his young professional career. That was the difference and what defined the Tampa Bay Bucs’ 31-9 pounding of the Kansas City Chiefs. It was not Brady’s excellence, which we have spent 20 years assuming. It was the utter erasure of Mahomes as any factor in the game. It was seeing Wonder Boy hopeless and hapless for the first time. I say this not to diminish what Brady has done by even an iota, but to remind that football is the ultimate team sport in a way that baseball and basketball are not. It is worth noting as we read and hear the breathless anointing now of Brady as the greatest ever in the history of sports. As if Sunday night settled that, and removed any room for argument. What Brady is is the most accomplished, decorated quarterback or player at any position in the history of the NFL. He just won his seventh Super Bowl. The most by any one franchise is six. Fathom that. But Brady was the quarterback G.O.A.T. even before Sunday added yet more blingy of trophy room. His place in sports history hardly needed Sunday, and needs no hyperbole. The plain facts speak. (Remember facts? Those are provable statements on which all of us could agree, back before the simple concept of truth somehow became the stuff of controversy). Ten Super Bowls. Seven championships. Five Super Bowl MVPs. Staggering, those facts. It’s Tom, then a canyonesque gulf, and then second place. Nobody else has come close in the 55-year era of the Super Bowl, and nobody will be close 55 years from now. No, not even the anointed prince put in his place Sunday by the old king. Still, though, the collective need now by the media to place Brady above all others, any sport, any time, is unnecessary, not to mention impossible, because it compares what cannot be compared. For my full recent column, visit Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company.

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ARCHIVES:

The Super Bowl With a Smirk series: Smirk V starring Dolphins up for NFL Honors including Zach Thomas for Hal of Fame; Smirk IV starring our Top 10 Super Bowl scandals/controversies/things gone wrong; Smirk III starring the sad, gradual death of the mystique of the Super Bowl commercial. Smirk II starring Brady-Mahomes as bitter Joe Exotic/Carole Baskin/Tiger King rivals; and Smirk I starring a virtual Super Bowl Week not remotely like usual.

Select other most recent columns: Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Why A Brady-Mahomes Super Bowl Is Torture For Dolphins Fans / Chad Henne: Ex-Dolphin An Overnight Sensation, 13 Years Later / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / Dolphins' Re-Commitment to Tua is Smart, And Well-Timed / Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing CollapseIt Was the Overshadowed Bowl, but A&M and UNC Deliver An Exciting OB / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue yet Again / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / and Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener.For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to FinalsMarlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

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

January 18, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now!; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated)! See who or what reigns; also, MLK Day, NFL Divisional Round playoff picks & more

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

Mlk1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 18. It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in America, a time to celebrate the life and works of the slain civil rights leader and to keep on the work of moving his dream forward. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Wild Card Weekend playoff picks, Hot Button Top10, Dolphins' recommitment to Tua, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

NFL Divisional Round playoff picks!: Four games, one upset. Off a 5-1 playoff start last week, find all our latest picks at NFL Divisional Round Gems.

Say cheese! Packers' Rodgers wins elusive first Herald NFL QB season title: The details including the final season Top 35, here: Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings.

Alabama, king Saban reign in Miami with CFP title: For our full column off the 52-24 rout of Ohio State at Hard Rock Stadium: Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and our new No. 3 episode of 2021 (45th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 45 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free; please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the new Ep3 of '21, we welcome in friend of the pod (FOP) Amin El Hassan, who explains why he left ESPN after eight years and is betting on Dan Le Batard. Amin also talks Heat, James Harden and NBA. Also, a new listener song, "Greg Cote Killed the Radio Show," the last Mount Gregmore topic you'd ever expect, and a new edition of the popular segment, "Greg Doesn't Know Movies." Hear all of that and more in our third new episode of the new year! Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, rate, review and subscribe.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 17-18): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUTOur blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. NFL: It's Bills-Chiefs, Pack-Bucs in final four set today: The weekend's NFL Divisional Round results have sent Green Bay and Tampa Bay to the NFC final and Buffalo and Kansas City in the AFC. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes. Gee, you get the feeling quarterbacks matter a lot in this sport or what?

2. NBA: Blockbuster Harden trade shakes up basketball: James Harden traded from Houston to  the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal, joining Kevin Durant and (when he's agreeable to be an adult and play) Kyrie Irving. The Beard dropped a 30-point triple-double in his debut vs. Magic Saturday night. Yay, a new Super Team to hate!

3. PANTHERS: Yandle sparks Cats' win in delayed season opener: Puck drops on Florida's 27th NHL season Sunday night with a 5-2 win over Chicago in the Sunrise home rink, a season opener delayed when Thursday and Friday games vs. Dallas were postponed due to the Stars' COVID outbreak. Florida defenseman Keith Yandle scored his 100th career goal and kept his consecutive games streak alive at 867, fourth longest in NHL history, when earlier in week it seemed he might be a healthy scratch.

4. INTER MIAMI: Beckham hiring former teammate as new coach: David Beckham and Inter Miami have agreed to terms to hire as new coach Beckham's former Manchester United teammate, Phil Neville, to replace departed Diego Alonso for Miami's upcoming second MLS season. Neville most recently coached England's national women's team.

5. DOLPHINS: Speculation around QB enlivens offseason: Coach Brian Flores has re-confirmed his re-commitment to Tua Tagovailoa amid swirling rumors that disgruntled Deshaun Watson may want out of Houston and into Miami. Then there's that Herald story in which three unnamed Dolphins questioned how good Tua is. Those three players' names? Lame, Weak and Cowardly.

6. HEAT: Reeling Miami loses third straight: Heat, reigning NBA Finals runnerup, fell to 4-7 with Saturday's 20-point home loss to Detroit a third straight L. Miami hosts Pistons again Monday, needing to get healthy and prove last season's postseason run introduced a team on the rise ... and wasn't an aberration or fluke.

7. NFL: Former star college coach headed to Jaguars, NFL: Urban Meyer, former Florida and Ohio State championship coach, has entered the NFL fray with Jacksonville. Less splashy but arguably a better hire: the New York Stinkin' Jets landed prized 49ers defensive chief Robert Saleh.

8. UM BASKETBALL: Things go right when Canes men go Wong!: Victory of the year Saturday night for Miami's men's team: a 78-72 home upset of No. 16 Louisville, led by Isaiah Wong. Jim Larranaga's guys are now 6-6, with some tailwind. UM women are 6-5 after Sunday's loss at No. 24 Syracuse.

9. HURRICANES: Diaz finalizes '21 football coaching staff: The Miami Hurricanes hired Jess Simpson as defensive line coach and promoted DeMarcus Van Dyke to cornerbacks coach as Manny Diaz finalized his 2021 staff. Three other new additions led by new defensive coordinator Blake Baker previously had been announced. Also notable: Diaz said he'll call defensive plays from now on, after horrible D in the last two games ended 2020's 8-3 season sourly.

10. TENNIS: COVID already shadowing Australian Open: Three coronavirus cases were detected among charter flights carrying tennis players, coaches and officials to Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, the year's first major set to begin February 8. A total of 47 players from the two affected flights are now in a tightly enforced 14-day quarantine.

Missing the HB10 cut: Josh Gordon has been suspended again. Or did that go without saying? ..... After 17 years with Coca-Cola, LeBron James is signing with rival Pepsi. Hey, a man's tastes can change! ..... As MLB free agency continues, like a lifeguard surveying a crowded pool, I am looking for a big splash from the Marlins. Bring back J.T. Realmuto? Just sayin' ..... Former Hurricane LB Dan Morgan made the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame -- which lets in way too many people, but, somehow, shamefully, not Howard Schnellenberger ..... Still can't wrap my head around it: Nick Saban crowned college football's all-time G.O.A.T. coach in Miami, of all cities ..... Dolphins coaches will be on one sideline for the January 30 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. What'd they do, lose a bet? ..... A Mickey Mantle baseball card sold at auction for $5.2 million. Sounds like a good deal, if the card was attached to a check for $5.1 million made out to cash ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 45 (No. 3 of 2021) is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,989 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. 

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select other mots recent columns: Dolphins' Re-Commitment to Tua is Smart, And Well-Timed / Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing CollapseIt Was the Overshadowed Bowl, but A&M and UNC Deliver An Exciting OB / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue yet Again / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / and Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener.For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

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

xxx

January 04, 2021

G16: Buffalo 56, Dolphins 26: Collapse! Miami finds a way to miss playoffs. Our column off game; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), our Orange Bowl column, NFL Week 17 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast new episode out! & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 4. The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hurricanes Rally But Fall in Cheez-It Bowl, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy Week 16 results, Greg Cote Show podcast's Holiday/Year-End episode & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

'Greg Cote Tuesdays' era ends on ESPN: Last week was our final Tuesday cohosting on the Le Batard Show under the ESPN umbrella. Thank you all much for the outpouring. The show's next and final day on ESPN will be Monday January 4. It will continue as a pirate ship on January 5 until it finds a new home. Will my role on the show continue? Ya neva know! (Stay  tuned...).

No. 5 Texas A&M makes its case in 87th Orange Bowl game: For or column off A&M's OB win over North Carolina: It Was the Overshadowed Bowl, but A&M and UNC Deliver An Exciting OB. Other most recent columns: 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue yet Again / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener / and For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach.

MiabufG16: BUFFALO 56, DOLPHINS 26: MIAMI FINDSWAY TO MISS PLAYFFS: Fins finish a credible 10-6 but miss postseason. Our column off the game: Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing Collapse ..... Original post: Buffalo. Early January. Temps in the 30s. Snow showers likely. That’s the Dolphins’ opponent today (1 p.m., CBS). Oh, and the AFC East champion Bills, too. The point spread, given the weather, should be favoring Buffalo by maybe double the 3 points it is. Heck, Bills were only favored by a mere 1 1/2 before Miami lost insurance-QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a COVID test-positive Thursday and the bet-line doubled. So what gives? 1) Bills are locked into AFC’s No. 2 or 3 seed, with no clear advantage to either. Makes it likely or at least very possible Buffs will rest key starters. As a template for what we might expect: When Week 17 didn’t matter much one year ago, QB Josh Allen played only seven snaps. 2) Dolphins make playoffs with a win, or if either the Ravens, Browns or Colts lose. No guarantees there, though, so Fins looking at this as must-win. Buffs at full strength, in this climate, are clear faves. But Bills’ big edge is on the attack, and fall from Josh Allen to backup Matt Barkley is steep, so that’s a difference maker if indeed Allen plays little or at all. Having said that, it’s all-or-nothing with Tua Tagovailoa Sunday, because the backup goes now from super-reliable Fitzpatrick to thoroughly untested Jake Rudock. It’s an all-Sunday, all-division games schedule to wrap this NFL regular season, and the slate is a minefield of games like this where the pick is at the mercy of who starts and who plays how much. Bottom line? If Sean McDermott goes all-out and Allen is slinging 40 passes, I may be in trouble picking Miami. If it plays out as I imagine, the weather will limit the score and play into the Fins' defense-first modus operandi. The league’s most improved D has gotten the Fins this far. Time to bring it home. (P.S., please do take the day off Josh Allen. You earned the rest!). My pick: Upset! Dolphins (+3), 20-17. For all of our latest picks: NFL Week 17 Gems

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANJUARY 3-4): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:\

HButton1. DOLPHINS: With playoffs on line, Miami suffers monumental collapse: The Dolphins would have made the playoffs Sunday with a win, or if either the Ravens, Browns or Colts lost. Sorry, none of it happened. Leaves Miami as the NFL's only 10-win team to not reach the postseason. Sad ending to an otherwise upbeat season. 

2. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 'Bama, Ohio State coming to Miami for CFP finale: No Doubt I: Alabama over Notre Dame 31-14. No Doubt II: Ohio State over Clemson 49-28. Result: Crimson Tide an early 7-point favorite over Buckeys in College Football Playoff national championship game January 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Oh, and Dabo Swinney keeps insisting he doesn't regret voting Ohio State 11th in the coaches' poll. Admit it or not, Dabo, you were your own team's worst enemy with that motivation-on-steroids for the opponent.

3. HEAT: Embarrassment vs. Bucks tops Miami's slow start: Defending NBA Finals runnerup Miami is only 2-3 entering Monday's game vs. Oklahoma City. Lowlight: A 144-97 blowout home-loss to Milwaukee as the Bucks avenged its playoff ouster by the Heat three months earlier. Milwaukee made an NBA-record 29 3-point shots (of 51 tries) in burying the Heat. Miami allowed fans in the arena (about 100 family and friends of players) for the first time. Pity they had to witness such a night. 

4. HURRICANES: Cheez-It Bowl loss continues UM's recent bowl woes: The Canes fought nobly from an early 21-0 deficit in losing 37-34 to Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl to finish 8-3. That's 'A' for effort but still a failing grade overall, with two straight losses to end the season, and a 10th defeat in the past 11 bowl games dating to 2008. (Also, when you are a five-time national champion whose season ends in the Cheez-It Bowl, sorry, but you cannot call that a successful year.

5. ORANGE BOWL: Texas A&M beats North Carolina in overshadowed OB: The No. 5-ranked Aggies handled No. 13 North Carolina, 41-27, in he 87th Orange Bowl game Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium, the same city and stadium that will host the CFP title game next Monday. Did A&M make its case that it should have been in the the four-team playoff. Not convincingly.

6. PANTHERS: Cats set to open camp as NHL season nears: Florida opens preseason training camp today/Monday with a 39-man roster. The Panthers begin their 27th season with a four-game homestand starting January 14 vs. the Dallas Stars.  

7. LE BATARD: ESPN era ends for Miami-based personality: The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz bids farewell to ESPN's airwaves on Monday, then continues Tuesday as an independent enterprise before announcing its next destination. Exciting times ahead!

8. MARLINS: Back to earth for Fish in first '21 rankings: Miami unexpectedly made the expanded MLB playoffs last season and won a series, yet the Marlins are ranked only a mid-pack 17th in MLB.com's initial 2021 pre-spring rankings. Miami also ranks fourth of five in the NL East, ahead of only the Nationals. Still waiting for new GM Kim Ng to make some splash moves.

9. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men, women try to shake doldrums: Both UM teams began the new season 3-0. Now the Miami men are 4-4 after Saturday's 1-point home loss to Clemson, and the women are 5-3 with Sunday's win, also vs. the Tigers. 

10. MLB: Did someone forget to turn on the Hot Stove?: Yeah, pitchers Blake Snell and Yu Darvish have been traded. Otherwise there hasn't been a lot of major action in the major league offseason.

Missing the HB10 cut: Happy New Year, all! Hot Button Top 10 happy to be back after a week off ..... Johnny Manziel is coming out of retirement to play in something called the Fan Controlled Football league. The FCF is to debut with four teams in February. Over/under on the startup league folding: June 1 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 43 is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,003 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. 

PicksNFL WEEK 17 PICKS: DOLPHINS-BILLS, 4 BIG UPSETS, PLAYOFFS ON LINEWeek 16 holiday-gifted us a nice bounceback from a recent lull. We went 12-4 overall and 10-6 against the spread — solid on both. We bull’s-eyed yet another Upset of the Week with Steelers over Colts (“Aawwk!”), nailed a second outright upset with Cowboys over Eagles, and also hit on a trio of ‘dog-covers by 49ers, Falcons and Bengals. This is our 30th season of picks in the Herald and we thank you for following along! Now comes the tough part as Week 17 is wrought with games where it isn’t certain to what degree one team will be resting starters vs. playing to win — Bills-Dolphins one of those. No excuses, though. Let’s finish strong to toast 2021! Topping our Week 17 marquee: Fins at Buffalo, an unusual Game of the Week, four (!) upsets and a slew of game that will shape who's in the playoffs and out. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print. For all of our latest picks to wrap the regular season, visit NFL Week 17 Gems

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and our No. 1 episode of 2021 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 43 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free; please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the latest Ep1 of '21, ESPN star Sarah Spain discusses the Le Batard Show on Dan's last day at the network, Greg and Chris chat up the Dolphins' massive collapse in Buffalo and, oh no, Mount Gregmore is back! Hear all of that and more in our first new episode of the year! Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, rate, review and subscribe.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

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

December 28, 2020

Do you believe in (Christmas) miracles? Dolphins win at Las Vegas, 26-25, as Fitzpatrick leads rally; plus NFL Week 16 picks, Heat and Dolphins columns, my last Le Batard Show for ESPN, Greg Cote Show podcast news & more

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

Xmas201) It's MONDAY, DECEMBER 28. Hope y'all had enjoyed the long Christmas Weekend! 2) Hot Button Top 10 had Sunday off. See you back here next Sunday. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins handle Patriots, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 41 & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

The 'Greg Cote Tuesdays' era ends on ESPN: Today was our final day cohosting on the Le Batard Show under the ESPN umbrella. Thank you all so much for the outpouring. The show's next and final day on ESPN will be Monday January 4. The show will continue as a pirate ship on January 5 until it finds a new home. Nothing is official, but I hope my role on the show might continue. Stay  tuned.

Miami Heat a Disrespected Returning Finalist, and Opening Loss Won't Help: My column off Wednesday night's season-opening Heat loss to the Magic in Orlando: Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener.

MialvG15: DOLPHINS 26 @RAIDERS 25: MIAMI GREATLY INCREASES PLAYOFFS CHANCES WITH MIRACLE RALLY!: The Christmas Weekend miracle in one word: FitzMagic ..... Original post: I of little faith picked Dolphins to lose to New England last week and took a big L. Well, I’m nervous for Miami again in this prime-time end to NFL Week 16’s Saturday tripleheader (8:15 p.m., NFL Network). High stakes for sure. Miami hangs onto seventh and last AFC playoff ticket and can ill afford a loss here. Vegas, with more time to prepare after playing last Thursday, needs a win and a miracle. A wrench in this pick: QB Derek Carr (groin) is cleared to play, but there has been some thought Jon Gruden may surprise and go with Marcus Mariota, who offers more of a dual-threat with the run. Either way, Raiders’ offense will struggle vs. Fins D. And Vegas’ defense should be little match for a Dolphins attack that hopes to have back RB Myles Gaskin as well as top receivers DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki and Jakeem Grant. That could make it a big-numbers night for rookie Tua Tagovailoa. So why am I nervous for Miami? A) Vegas is home and Gruden is as desperate to win as a man can be. And B) Following the Dolphins closely the past 20 years has made me mistrust the idea of good things happening. Still, there are two comparatively productive offenses in this game but only one quality defense — one great defense vs. one awful one, actually. That’s enough to steer any pick with some confidence. My pick: Dolphins (-3), 30-20. For all of our latest picks: NFL Week 16 Gems. Our column as rookie QB navigates his most telling month: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach.

FinsneTHE KING IS DEAD! DOLPHINS VICTORY SUNDAY ENDS DYNASTY FOR BELICHICK, PATRIOTS: The king is dead. There when it happened Sunday, causing it, the Miami Dolphins — the once downtrodden-now-rising franchise that had suffered so long under the ruler’s iron hand. Miami’s 22-12 home victory against the New England Patriots advanced the new-era Fins, now 9-5, closer to an NFL playoff ticket and continued the fresh bloom on the blossoming era of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It did more than that, though. It ended Bill Belichick’s Patriots dynasty. The loss eliminated the now 6-8 Pats from postseason contention, ending a run of 11 consecutive playoff appearances for Belichick, and a run of Super Bowl championship-gilded excellence going back ever further. Tom Brady left Belichick during the offseason. The greatest epoch in football history left the old coach Sunday, becoming a thing of memory, of history. Of used to be. The postgame handshake might as well have been a symbolic passing of a baton as Belichick met his protege, Brian Flores, who in his second season here, ahead of schedule, has transformed the Dolphins with a winning culture and should be NFL Coach of the Year. For our complete column off Sunday's Miami win, visit The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats.

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 15 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Mixed, but another tough hit ATS: Week 15 was another tough one as the late-season sledding turns rocky. We were an OK 10-6 overall but (ouch) only 4-9-3, as the Colts, Cardinals and Chiefs wins all pushed. Missed two other games by 1 and 2 points against the spread. We did bull's-eye another Upset of the Week with Cowboys beating 49res ("Aawwk!"), and Washington covering over Seattle, but not much else went right. Nothing to do now but shake it off and finish strong! This is our 30th season of picks in the Herald and we thank you for following along! Greg's Lobos: A win, but no joy: Lobos improved to 6-9 with a playoff win, 108-99, thanks to 28 point from Marvin Jones and 25 from Aaron Jones. But it's the consolation playoffs, so no celebrating here.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: WHAT'S AHEAD AFTER HOLIDAY WEEK OFF: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and our latest Episode 41 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. We're taking this holiday week off but you can find all 41 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. It's a great week to catch on up on what you've missed so please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the latest Ep41 we welcome in a renowned animal psychologist who talks about how to raise happy dogs and cats in an informative, fun conversation. Also, Greg and Chris discuss the Dolphins, Canes and Heat. And the Mount Gregmore Name Game reaches its end with the X's, Y's and Z's. (But will it be the end of Mount Gregmore? Listen to find out!) Hear all of that and more in the latest podcast -- and stay tuned for a special new year-end episode dropping December 28! Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out our latest Ep41 now.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

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

December 08, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select recent columns: Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move/ and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

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

November 05, 2020

Stop the silly noise! Give Dolphins' Tua time and fair chance. New column; plus change coming to Le Batard Show, our Tua tribute song in new Greg Cote Show podcast, NFL Week 8 Pix 'n Fantasy results, Election Night in America & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5. For Le Batard Show faithful: Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Tua debuts as starter in Dolphins win, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 35 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

"The presidential candidate who this morning trails in both electoral votes and in the popular vote -- he's the one who prematurely declared victory last night. Or, did that go without saying?" --Greg Cote

TuavslaSTOP THE SILLY NOISE AND SPECULATION. DOLPHINS' TUA DESERVES TIME AND A FAIR CHANCE: Tua Tagovailoa had it easy in his maiden start, thanks to big plays by the Dolphins’ defense and special teams. The kid was modestly OK, completing 12 of 22 passes for 93 yards, with a short touchdown pass and no interceptions. Me? I was impressed. His decision-making was sharp, he took but one sack, he looked quick and mobile. Whether his hand in it was big or not, he piloted an impressive win. But the narrative afterward? "We still don’t know much about Tua. We don’t know what we have yet." Seriously? What kind of extreme were we expecting, exactly? A morph of Dan Marino and Patrick Mahomes who threw for 400 yards and five TDs? Maybe four picks followed by a reinjured hip? I saw from Tagovailoa exactly what I expected: A raw rookie who was going to be asked to do no more than was required as he dipped a toe into the NFL. A kid who needed but was denied a chance to find some sort of real-time comfort zone in preseason games. Now, more noise in the wake of his winning first start. For my full latest column, please visit Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance. And, our column off Sunday's win over the Rams: Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 35 OUT NOW: INCLUDES PREMIERE OF TUA TRIBUTE SONG!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 35 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 35 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep35, myself and Chris dive deep into the first career NFL start of new Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa -- and Greg debuts his new tribute song! Also, a new 'Greg's Top 10' segment and Mount Gregmore -- the R's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

Picks LoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 8 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Mixed bag: Went 8-6 straight-up (not OK) this past week, and also 8-6 (decent) against the spread. The pandemic season continues to mess with us. (I know how you feel, Belichick). Our bounceback week ATS was led by a bull's-eye on our Upset of the Week with Dolphins beating Rams outright. ("Aaawwwk!") ESPN's experts were 0-for-10 on that one; I nailed it. Also called Denver's outright mini-upset over the Chargers, and had three other 'dogs-with-points in covers by Patriots, Vikings and Steelers. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: More misfortune: Lobos lost a second straight, 98-86, falling to 4-4 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. Got 23 from Matthew Stafford and 22 from DeeJay Dallas, a smart late pickup, but had too many misfires. A season strewn with bad luck, starting with Dak Prescott and Michael Thomas injuries. Also had Aaron Jones and Chris Carson both out injured last week. With full health I'm thinking championship. As is, I'm hanging onto the sixth and last playoff seed with five weeks left in regular season.

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

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THE ARCHIVES:

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

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

Select other recent columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

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

October 29, 2020

Justin Turner's outrageous, ignorant selfishness. New column; plus Welcome to Tua Week in Miami, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now, NFL Week 7 Pix 'n Fantasy results and QB Rankings, new Back In My Day video (Potato Chips!) & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 33 & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

NFL Week 7 QB Rankings: Old G.O.A.T. Tom Brady wins week, rockets to third overall. Details and updated Top 20: NFL Week 7 QB Rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 34 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 34 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 34 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep34, myself and Chris engage in a sometimes contentious debate over the Dolphins quarterback-change drama, Chris reveals his first career parenting faux pas, and we offer a new edition of 'Greg Doesn't Know Movies.' And of course a new Mount Gregmore, too -- the Q's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

TurnerSELFISH JUSTIN TURNER -- WITH COVID -- JOINING DODGERS CELEBRATION A SADLY FITING END TO SEASON: Baseball’s World Series gave us an absolutely perfect ending to the 2020 season, the strangest of all time. It was not perfect from a baseball standpoint, except of course to a Los Angeles Dodgers team winning it all for the first time in 32 years, since Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson. No, it was a perfect ending as a mirror on America in this year of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The final images of the season reflected so damned accurately a country literally playing in a pandemic, and not taking seriously enough a plague whose American death toll on Wednesday stood around 227,000. And climbing. We should be talking today about the Dodgers finally getting over the hump to win the franchise’s first World Series since 1988. About L.A. celebrating yet again just 17 days after the Lakers won the NBA Finals. We should be talking baseball and second-guessing the manager! Can you believe Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash giving the early hook to Blake Snell when Snell was dominating? Over-managing gone way wrong. Instead, we must talk about what is more important, and what kicks dirt on the Dodgers’ triumph: Justin Turner and his outrageous selfishness. (The literal grinning fool, in the red beard, is pictured). For our full latest column, visit Turner -- With COVID -- Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season.

TuandFitzDRAMA, CONTROVERSY, TORQUED-UP PRESSURE: WELCOME TO TUA WEEK IN MIAMI: In ways ceremonial and real, Monday began the Tua Tagovailoa Era in Miami. Let’s capitalize era for added gravitas — such are the expectations, pent up around here for 20 years, ever since we said goodbye to to Dan Marino and waited (and waited) for another like him. We will know by degrees over time whether Tua possesses that potential. We have had but a two-minute blink. The first real hint comes with his first start this coming Sunday against the visiting Los Angeles Rams. This week would have been one of great anticipation maybe tinged with trepidation under any circumstances. Is the kid ready? After two NFL minutes and two short passes? Dial back to 1983 and remember that Marino, before his first start, had seen extensive action in two games, completing 23 of 39 passes for 240 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. That after the full preseason that Tagovailoa was denied by the COVID pandemic. (And Marino did not bear the shadow of injury history, of hip surgery). But to all of that already entailed in Tua Week, we added something expected. We add elements of drama, pressure, even controversy. All of that is courtesy the man benched to make way for Tagovailoa, the veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has caused this not with malice or ill intent, but with plain, raw honesty. For our full recent column, visit Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami.

Most recent other stuff from me: NFL Week 7 picks, Dolphins' QB change and fun time in Miami sports: NFL Week 7 GemsDolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right MoveHeat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 7 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Ouch!: Went 9-5 straight-up this past week. Can live with that. Went 5-9 against the spread. Can head straight to the poorhouse with that. Our worst week yet ATS, by a lot. Had a few nice hits, including Pittsburgh's mini upset at Tennessee, and 'dogs-with-points covers by Panthers and Jets. Also had some bad luck with blown leads and near misses. Still, no excuses for three what-was-I-thinking picks: Texans over Pack, Cowboys over Washington and Pats over Niners. Somebody slap me. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald. Promise a big bounceback week. Greg's Lobos: Ouch 2.0: Lobos had been hot. Man did that end. 'Bos got clobbered 127-73 to fall to 4-3 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. Hard to win when your top scorer with 18 points is newly signed Matthew Stafford. We were scrambling, with Dak Prescott lost for the year, two starters on byes and Michael Thomas and Aaron Jones both injured. The good news? Still tied for 3rd in hunt for four playoff spots!

NEW 'BACK IN MY DAY': POTATO CHIPS!: Fresh out the oven, this one. Premiered earlier today on the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio and TV. Hope you enjoy:

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THE ARCHIVES:

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

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

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

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

Select other recent columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

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