July 01, 2020

New Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 18 out now! Stars Tim Kurkjian, another Greg Cote, debut of Mount Gregmore; plus Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots are back (latest column) & more

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

1) It's WEDNESDAY, JULY 1. Farewell, June. Another bad one. Welcome, July. You cannot be any worse. Can you?? 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 18 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

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

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

CamnUH-OH. THEY NEVER LEFT, BUT CAM NEWTON MEANS BILL BELICHICK AND PATRIOTS ARE BACK!: America awakened Monday to the perfect little juxtaposition of NFL news, the timing of it exquisite. Top headline on ESPN.com: ‘Sources: QB Newton joins Patriots on 1-year deal.’ Headline right below that: ‘NFL fines Pats $1.1 million, takes pick for sideline film.’ I was raised being told, "Cheaters never prosper." Hmm. Really, ma? The cheaters just prospered. The rules-bending, corner-cutting New England Patriots — prematurely written off as a dead dynasty when Tom Brady departed for Tampa Bay — just signed free agent prize Cam Newton (pictured) to replace him. Crreeaak. The coffin lid lifts and Bill Belichick sits bolt-upright, a maniacal grin on his maw. He winks. The wink says, "Not that I ever left — but I’m back!" The dynamic in the AFC East just shifted dramatically if Newton is fit and can again be the three-time Pro Bowl player who was league MVP in 2015. He missed almost all of last season with a Linsfranc fracture of his foot and also has labored through a shoulder injury but is said to be fully healthy. And when he is, he’s a dual-threat offensive force as good as most anybody. Miami will find out first. Season opener, presuming there is a season: The Newton England Patriots host the Dolphins on September 13. To read our full latest column, please visit Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back.

Most recent other columns: Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction  /  Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess?  / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street  /  Should Sports Take the Rest Of 2020 Off? There's An Argument  /  and Amid Pandemic And Protests, 'America's Pastime' Is Letting American Down

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

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

June 27, 2020

Here's why embattled Star-Spangled Banner should remain in American sports. New column; plus Baseball has return plan. But is sports walking into giant mess?, Le Batard and Papi on new Greg Cote Show podcast, Noose in Bubba Wallace's garage & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JUNE 27. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 17 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

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

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

HERE'S WHY EMBATTLED STAR-SPANGLED BANNER SHOULD REMAIN A PART OF AMERICAN SPORTS: You thought kneeling during the national anthem was controversial? How about eliminating the national anthem? Erasing its place at sporting events altogether? It is a conversation we will be having. The signs already are here. A debate will arise from the ongoing nationwide Flagmovement for social justice and against police brutality and racial inequality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and others. Symbolism matters in all of this. It is why Confederate statues are toppled and why Aunt Jemima got retired. It’s why we leaped to a false conclusion over the noose in Bubba Wallace’s garage. Sometimes, overreaction is better than no action at all. Now, the maelstrom of conscience the nation is in will lead some to wonder what the "Star-Spangled Banner" has to do with games, anyway? It already has. And if you ever doubted that we are polarized, far more divided than united, all the evidence required is that even the national anthem might be seen as a lightning rod of controversy. Former U.S. men’s national soccer team coach Bruce Arena, to ESPN’s Taylor Twellman: "I think it puts people in awkward positions. We don’t use the national anthem at movie theaters and on Broadway, other events in the United States, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a national anthem before a baseball game, an MLS game." This week we saw the first team to take Arena up on his suggestion. The Tulsa Athletic of the lower-tier National Premier Soccer League announced it no longer would play the national anthem before matches, and would replace the "Star-Spangled Banner" with another patriotic song, Woody Guthrie’s "This Land Is Your Land." What sports will be this summer in its restart from the coronavirus/COVID-19 delay could be the excuse sports needs to move from the national anthem as an every-game routine. No fans in the stands would be that excuse. MLS already has said it would not play the anthem before games in empty stadiums. Whether this becomes any sort of trend, we shall see. I hope it does not. Unlike many of my media brethren, I support continuing to play our national anthem before sporting events. To read our full most recent column, please visit Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction.

MlbBASEBALL JOINS IN WITH RESTART PLAN, BUT IS SPORTS WALKING INTO A MESS IT WILL REGRET? LATEST COLUMN: Step aside, Fubon Guardians and Rakuten Monkeys. Thank you for your service, Hyundai Unicorns and Kiwoon Heroes. Riveted as we have been by the Chinese and Korean brand of baseball, the Yankees and Dodgers will take it from here. Baseball is back! Sort of. Sports is back! Or at least this bizarre, pandemic version of it. MLB finally has a resumption plan to belatedly join the NBA, NHL and MLS in summer restarts, and the NFL and college football still hope to play as scheduled this fall — but with an asterisk as big as a cardboard golf check attached to every sport as 2020 plays out. So our leagues and teams move forward. But are they stepping into a giant mess they will regret? For our full recent column, please visit Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess?

NOOSE LEFT IN BUBBA WALLACE'S NASCAR GARAGE TAKES UNEXPECTED TURN: [Update: FBI found that the noose in Wallace's garage was being used to hold a door open and had been there since October -- not placed with Wallace in mind. "It was still a noose," said Wallace] Original post: It took a single coward in the cover of darkness, or was it a few? It took this one act to remind us how far we have not come, how far we have yet to go. It took this one gut-churning symbol of hatred and inequality to verify to all why America is in the streets right now — exactly Bubba Wallacewhy a national movement is marching for change. A noose, placed in Bubba Wallace’s garage. A noose, at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, placed in the workspace of the NASCAR Cup Series’ lone Black driver. A noose, someone’s answer to the man who led and won the fight to see NASCAR recently step forward and ban Confederate flags at all of its tracks. A noose, in 2020 America, and suddenly we are in the 19th century again, where men in pointy white hoods carried torches, where 41 persons of color were found hanged in Gainesville, Texas, in 1862, where 30 years after that the governor of South Carolina, Benjamin Tillman, said, "We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will." Wallace never saw the noose, only the unimaginable prejudice and gall that put it there. A member of his team found it late Saturday night and immediately informed NASCAR. "Today’s despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism," Wallace wrote on Twitter. "We will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate." This is why Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem. This is why thousands nationwide — Black and white — march for George Floyd and for Breonna Taylor and for all of the other victims of the systemic racism that can foment deadly police brutality. To read our full recent column, please visit Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred.

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

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

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

June 20, 2020

NFL team that dares sign Kaepernick will be champion of the streets. New column; plus Should sports take rest of 2020 off?, Greg Cote Show podcast Ep-16, latest Back In My Day video, America's Pastime is failing America, Happy Juneteenth & more

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

Juneteenth1) It's SATURDAY, JUNE 20. Hope you had a reflective and Happy Juneteenth. It felt especially relevant in 2020, this celebrated commemoration, dating to 1865, of the ending of slavery in the United States. 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 16 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

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

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

ColinkONE NFL TEAM WILL BE CHAMPION OF THE STREETS -- THE ONE THAT DARES SIGN COLIN KAEPERNICKProtests continue in the streets as the reasons why continue in the news. Confederate statues topple along with the ideology that raised them. And, yes, if you want an oddly perfect little symbolic visual for what’s happening: Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben walk hand in hand into forced retirement, disappearing into the past. Tectonic plates are shifting beneath our feet. It feels like the beginning of actual change, the kind that can only happen when it grows from the national conscience. We could be living in the middle of a new American revolution forcing evolution. It would be about equality. It would be about time. Some might say a bottle of syrup and a box of rice being retired for the racial stereotypes of their brands is political correctness to a fault. That it’s going too far. Maybe going too far is called for when you haven’t gone far enough for most of 244 years. Another sign of progress must come now. Another step forward. In the larger picture it might be symbolic, but it also would be significant, meaningful: Colin Kaepernick, back in the NFL. Now, please. There might not even be a 2020 NFL season, let alone one with fans in stadiums, thanks to the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, one brave team (or maybe just one that needs a proven quarterback as a backup?) needs to sign Kaepernick — give him the chance he’s been denied going on four years. To read our full latest column, please visit Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

SHOULD SPORTS PLAY IT SAFE, PACK IT IN AND TAKE REST OF 2020 OFF? THERE'S AN ARGUMENTShould sports resume at all in 2020? Even without fans at games? The question seems increasingly reasonable to ask as we come upon 100 days without live sports — even as we all miss the cheering, the touchstone of normalcy that our teams can offer. We all dream of the TV Faucicornucopia this fall, the promise of the NBA and NHL, of baseball and soccer all in the midst of their resumed seasons as the NFL and college football begin. It could happen. Looks like it will happen. The sports plate could be full, albeit with stadiums and arenas empty, presuming MLB ever gets its act together and reconciles on a restart plan as the other leagues have. But is that safe? Is it smart? Beyond the economic infusion, is it right? Dr. Anthony Fauci (pictured), the science in the storm, the voice of reason above the fray of politics, said something interesting this week. It did not get the attention it was due because he didn’t say it from a White House pulpit. To the Los Angeles Times, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and infectious Diseases warned of the potential dangers of a restarted baseball season going beyond the "core summer months" and into fall when the weather gets cold. "I would avoid that," Dr. Fauci said. He meant "the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave [of coronavirus/COVID-19]." He was speaking specifically of MLB, but the NBA, NHL and MLS all would be returning along a similar timeline and playing into fall. And football would be playing in the heart of fall and winter, when concerns about a recurrence or spike in coronavirus cases would be greatest. To read our full recent column, please visit Should Sports Take the Rest Of 2020 Off? There's An Argument.

RobmlbBASEBALL'S SHAME: AMID A PANDEMIC AND PROTESTS, 'AMERICA'S PASTIME' IS LETTING AMERICA DOWN: What an opportunity this was. Batter up. Fat pitch, grooved right down the middle. Should have been a towering home run. Nothing but cheering. Everybody uplifted. Instead? Whiff. Baseball struck out. There was every opportunity for owners and players to set aside their mutual greed, find a compromise, lead sports out of this pandemic and help a nation that needs it find its way back to normal. It would have been symbolic: America’s pastime stepping up to reclaim the mantle it lost. Baseball, there for us when we needed it most. There had been a grand plan, once, remember? Start the season around the Fourth of July. Perfect. Baseball, fireworks and apple pie. Instead, it is the other sports that have a plan. The NBA, NHL and MLS soccer all have come to agreements on reporting dates later this summer, a no-fans resumption plan. The PGA Tour and NASCAR already have restarted. Even the NFL and college football have plans in place. While MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred (pictured) fail to agree on a plan. While America’s Pastime continues to let America down. To read our full recent column, please visit Amid Pandemic And Protests, 'America's Pastime' Is Letting American Down.

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

NEW 'BACK IN MY DAY': TELEPHONE OPERATORS!: The latest BIMD premiered Tuesday on the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio and ESPNews. Went over well. I like it:

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

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

June 13, 2020

Return of sports promises historic TV smorgasbord in fall. New column; plus Homestead is NASCAR test lab for fans again, revealing chat with Ron Magill in latest Greg Cote Show podcast, R.I.P. Kurt Thomas, our George Floyd-related columns & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JUNE 13. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 15 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

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

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

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

ReturnofsportsNEED GOOD NEWS? WE ARE HEADED FOR AN HISTORIC TV SMORGASBORD OF MAJOR SPORTS! (MAYBE): Into the Great Unknown: America, 2020. As summer turns into autumn and winter, what will life be like and what part will sports play? The "unknown" right now is far more certain than the "great." Pandemic. Protests. Politics. Sports must find a way to matter amid all of the stuff far more important. Or is it that sports matters expressly because of everything else weighing on us? Save us, sports? It is something to look forward to — that feeling in and of itself a valuable commodity in 2020. Imagine. Playoffs leading to the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final, MLS Cup and World Series, all being contested in the midst of NFL and college football seasons. It can’t be known yet, because end dates for basketball, hockey, soccer and baseball restarts haven’t been set. But it’s possible, even likely. Then you mix in the delayed Kentucky Derby, the Masters and U.S. Open golf, tennis majors and more. Imagine. LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Alex Ovechkin, Carlos Vela, Mike Trout, Justin Verlander, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods — everybody, all at once. It could be an unprecedented TV smorgasbord ahead, with week after week of major sports and the biggest stars to watch almost every night as leagues finish truncated seasons with asterisk champions while football plows on, unstoppable as time. Might be nobody there cheering at any of the games. Just us in our living rooms. But we will take what we can get. We’ll hope the coronavirus doesn’t rise up and shut everything down again, and that our sports smorgasbord actually happens. More of that Great Unknown. To read our full most recent column, please visit Return Of Sports Promises Historic TV Smorgasbord.

NascarnofansHOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY WILL BE TEST LAB SUNDAY AS NASCAR GRADUALLY WELCOMES BACK FANS: This racetrack in the middle of farmland 30 miles south of Miami helped us heal and get back to a sense of normalcy once before. Fate and the most unforeseen circumstances imaginable have cast Homestead-Miami Speedway in that role once again, 25 years later. The motorsports mecca was born of the ashes and rubble of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, rising like a phoenix to open in ’95 as a symbol that one far-flung agricultural community would survive its deadly devastation. Now it is amid the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic that South Florida’s major racetrack embraces its role. "We were a sign of hope three years after a catastrophic force of nature," said track president Al Garcia this week. "Now, we again feel a lot of pride, but a lot of responsibility, to be another sign of hope, a step to whatever the new normal will be." Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 culminating race weekend in Homestead will be the first major professional league sporting event since the pandemic to welcome fans in the stands. Not a full crowd of paying customers, as caution continues to prevail, but up to 1,000 guests. "Putting our toe in the water," as Garcia put it. For our full recent column, please visit Homestead Is Test Lab As NASCAR Gradually Welcomes Back Fans.

KthomasAMERICAN GYMNASTICS LOSES HISTORY-MAKING PIONEER WITH DEATH OF MIAMI-BOEN KURT THOMAS: In Strasbourg, France, in 1978, at the gymnastics world championships, the medal ceremony for the floor exercise was delayed before starting. Nobody knew why. It was because The Star-Spangled Banner had not been queued up to play. That was because organizers never thought they would need it. With good reason, they never thought an American man would medal — let alone win gold.Kurt Thomas changed all of that. To read my recent column in full, please visit R.I.P. Kurt Thomas, an American Gymnastics Pioneer.

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

Other recent columns: How Can A Man 6-7 Seem So Small? That's Pierce On LeBron / No Controversy Here. Dolphins Have Ideal QB Situation / Welcome to Sports Without Fans, the New Normal / As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More Trivial / Anticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami / Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19 / Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped / and Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

AlsoDolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in No-Fans Florida Derby / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

Select columns from earlier in 2020Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

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

June 06, 2020

Dear Sports: We need you. Now more than ever. New column; plus Protest diversity shows it took George Floyd to finally wake up white America, Goodell's NFL response to Floyd killing a hypocritical joke, latest Greg Cote Show podcast w/ Uncle Luke & more

1) It's SATURDAY, JUNE 6. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 14, most recent columns & more. 3) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

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

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

ReturnSPORTS' GRADUAL RETURN OFFERS AMERICA RELIEF, A SMALL RESPITE. AND WE'VE NEVER NEEDED IT MORE: Man, do we need our games back! Sports, please. Please. A diversion. A respite. A little minute to feel good. Sports does not have the power to heal us as a nation, or to magically return us to normalcy. But they can help. Even as a symbol, they can play their part. I have had internal conversations with myself the past three months over the place of sports in society. Existential debates, almost. The frivolity of watching basketball games (as if they were actually important) when the growing coronavirus/COVID-19 U.S. death toll sits at around 110,000. The odd notion that having live sports on TV again might mitigate the desperation of those among a record American unemployment rate in an economy just now beginning to inch out of its shutdown. The idea of cheering for our teams again when so many thousands are in the streets, chanting for justice for George Floyd. For me there is something close to guilt attached to diving back into sports fan mode or writing about games as if they were important, right now, amid all of the grave challenges weighing on our country. Except they are important, right now. That realization comes to me not from rational thought but from the heart, where emotion lives. For us, right now, sports can be the hand of consolation on your shoulder after the tears. The gesture that seems to say, "It’s going to be alright." It’s OK to cheer, right now. Because we need to. To read our full latest column, please visit Sports' Gradual Return Offers America Relief, a Respite We Desperately Need

IT TOOK THE SHARED OUTRAGE OVER GEORGE FLOYD'S DEATH TO FINALLY WAKE UP WHITE AMERICA: The killing of unarmed George Floyd while on the ground and handcuffed has seen sports stars out front and outspoken against police brutality and in support of protesters because black athletes are aware even fame and money do not insulate them from racism or Protestsprejudice. They have lived it. "Am I next?" said young, black tennis star Coco Gauff after the Floyd killing. Dwyane Wade said something about the murder of Floyd that hit me. It was simple, what he said, but I felt it. I heard it. "Justice will not be served," the Miami icon and former Heat star wrote on Instagram, "until the unaffected are as outraged as those who are." He wrote it in all capital letters. Followed by 10 exclamation points. The unaffected. That’s me. That might be you. That is most anybody in this country who gets to sail through life with the wholly unearned luxury of not feeling racism or prejudice or a policeman’s knee on our neck solely because we happened to be born white. It is an embarrassment of privilege. Not that white folks get to enjoy it — but that everybody doesn’t. It is the shame of our country — its very name, the United States of America, sounding like a lie in a time of staggering divisiveness — that young African American parents still have to figure out the right time and the right words to tell their children what being black in America requires of them. A talk white parents needn’t broach. It is past time for the unaffected to stand up, and join a national chorus for change. For an end to police brutality, unequal rights and the toxicity of white supremacy. If in the killing of George Floyd we are seeing some sort of tipping point, an impetus for actual change, his legacy will be enduring. To read my full latest column, please visit It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America. As an addendum: Former President Barack Obama observed yesterday that he has never seen in his lifetime demonstrations of protest as racially diverse as those on behalf of George Floyd and against police brutality.  

WHY ROGER GOODELL's NFL RESPONSE TO GEORGE FLOYD KILLING IS HYPOCRISY AT ITS MOST IRONIC: From his mountaintop, NFL commission Roger Goodell offered his execuspeak on the police killing of George Floyd and the protests that grew nationwide and continue. "The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country," he said in a statement. "The
Goodellprotesters’ reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel." The irony and hypocrisy made me wince. The sentiment is years late. He could have made it in 2016 in standing behind the cry for social justice began by Colin Kaepernick, but he did not. His league wanted nothing to do with the kneeling during the national anthem to protest the very situation we have seen recur. Kaepernick, a quarterback then 28, in his prime and coming off a great season, approaches his fourth season of being blackballed by the NFL. His punishment for a cause so needed, now more than ever as we see again, is one of the great injustices in sports history. The where-were-you-when-we-needed-you reaction to Goodell was swift. "Shame on you. This is beyond hollow and disingenuous," said outspoken American filmmaker Ana DuVernay. "Your actions show who you are. You’ve done nothing but the exact opposite of what you describe here." Houston Texans receiver Kenny Stills, the former Dolphin, was rather more direct: "Save the bulls---," he advised Goodell. A former NFL executive, Joe Lockhart, said "now is the moment" for an NFL team to sign Kaepernick and suggested the Minnesota Vikings because the Floyd killing took place in Minneapolis. The thing is, Kaepernick should have a job on merit, not as a token symbolic gesture to, quite literally, put out fires. For our full recent column, please visit Goodell's NFL Response to George Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic.

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

Other recent columns: How Can A Man 6-7 Seem So Small? That's Pierce On LeBron / No Controversy Here. Dolphins Have Ideal QB Situation / Welcome to Sports Without Fans, the New Normal / As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More Trivial / Anticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami / Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19 / Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped / and Dolphins Are Winning Rebuild With 3-Year Plan That Won't Rush Top-Prize Tua

AlsoDolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in No-Fans Florida Derby / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

Select columns from earlier in 2020Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

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

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

May 30, 2020

Death of George Floyd is why Kaepernick & sports must continue fight for justice. New column; plus MLB players picking really bad time to demand more $$$; amid a pandemic, an outrage in Alamance County; new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 13 out now & more

1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 30. I was pleased to be host last night's Miami Herald All-County Athletic Awards, an annual tradition since 1957 -- but virtual this time because of the pandemic. We honored Miami-Dade & Broward's best in prep sports on the Herald's Facebook & YouTube pages. 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 13, Memorial Day tribute video, our Shula tribute columns & more. 4) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

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

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

ThisiswhyGEORGE FLOYD IS WHY KAEPERNICK & SPORTS MUST CONTINUE TO LEAD FIGHT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE: The images are appalling. They evoke disgust, and sorrow, and anger. The cellphone video depicting the violent death of a man is right there for everyone to see. It is in living color — but all black and white. Here was a white officer killing an unarmed black man. Again. Again. George Floyd died with his hands in cuffs behind his back and gasping for air, as Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin pressed a knee on his neck for almost eight minutes, until the defenseless man stopped breathing. Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of trying to pass a counterfeit bill. Surveillance video refutes the officers’ claim that Floyd had resisted arrest. Chauvin and three other involved officers were fired. It isn’t enough. Not nearly. Firing isn’t the justice demanded here. A small-town Mississippi mayor had the gall to say he saw no wrongdoing by the officers in that video. In the video you hear Floyd moaning in pain and saying “I can’t breathe.” Those were the same words said by another black man, Eric Garner, before he died in 2014 in the choke hold of a white New York City officer. There have been far too many other such incidents in between. Garner’s death gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement and inspired former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest for social justice by kneeling during the national anthem before games. The irony in that is bitter. That Minneapolis officer used his knee to wrongfully kill a man. Kaepernick used his peacefully, in a cry for the end of deadly police force against unarmed black men. To read our full latest column, please visit George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice.

DEAR MLB PLAYERS: DEMANDING MORE MILLIONS, RIGHT NOW, IS NOT A GOOD LOOK, FELLAS: Everybody is wrong. Nothing is right about baseball’s money-centered negotiations to restart its season. The owners are wrong and the players are wrong. There are two sides to every argument, sure ... but with if both sides are lame? MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and the 30 clubs Maxsare wrong because the added pay cuts they want players to accept as outlined in this week’s proposal are way beyond the originally discussed prorated salaries based the number of games played in the eventual season. For example, in the shortened 82-game schedule baseball proposes, players would have made 50 percent (plus one game) of their contracts based on a 162-game schedule. That seemed reasonable. Mathematically logical. That’s why the MLB Players Association agreed to it. But management now wants pay cuts well beyond the prorated total, on a scale that hits big-money superstars hardest. As an example, over 82 games, Mike Trout’s prorated 2020 salary would have been just over $19 million. In the new proposal it would be just under $6 million — a pay cut of more than 80 percent. Seems excessive. Arbitrary more than logical. That’s why the MLBPA flatly objects and will counter-propose playing more games with no pay cuts beyond the full prorated sum. Now here is why the players are wrong, too: The optics. The timing. Even if players have a legit beef about the added cuts MLB wants (and they do), players will come off as greedy at the worst possible time and be the big losers in all of this. If perception is reality, the perception is ready to crush them. Consider: If Trout is forced to play for "only" $6 million this year, that still amounts to more than $70,000 per game — per game — over 82 games. And yet Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer (pictured), a powerful leader of the MLBPA executive subcommittee who makes $36 million a year (non-prorated), insists players will not abide the additional pay cut. But, do players really want to be playing the more-money card right now? During a pandemic that will prevent fans from attending games? During a COVID-19 plague that has now killed more than 100,000 American? In an economy-crushing scourge that has seen more than 40 million Americans file for unemployment? Now is when you want to be the union seen complaining that $70,000 to play one baseball game is unfairly not enough? For our full recent column, please visit MLB Players Demanding More Millions, Right Now, Is A Bad Look, Fellas

OUTRAGE IN ALAMANCE COUNTY: ONE SMALL REASON WHY SPORTS WON'T BE BACK TO NORMAL ANYTIME SOON: Engines were revving Saturday night as Ace Speedway in Alamance County, North Carolina, ran its first race of the season. The bleachers were filled with some 4,000 fans (pictured) sitting shoulder to shoulder, hardly any of them wearing protective face coverings. AceraceMemorial Day on Monday found huge crowds at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, in Daytona Beach, in New York City and around the country, social distancing not a part of the partying and mandates against large gatherings be damned. The United States death toll from the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 plague was on the verge of 100,000 on Tuesday and likely will have surpassed that grim milestone by the time you are reading this. Meantime MLB and the NBA, NHL and MLS all plan to resume their seasons with no spectators allowed, the games television-only for fans. Football, the NFL and the college game, still hope to proceed on time and as usual in the fall, with full stadiums, although that prospect seems more and more in doubt. Sports fans, you may not be seeing your favorite teams in person and being among a large, cheering crowd again for a long while, and the reason goes being the pandemic itself. Blame the idiots among us. Blame the morons who packed Ace Speedway. Blame the racetrack’s owners. And the local sheriff, Terry Johnson, who refused to enforce the state’s shutdown order, refused to do his job, because he found the order "unconstitutional." Blame the countless thousands who gathered on Memorial Day in defiance of local edicts — laws designed to save us from ourselves. Blame the reckless, dangerously selfish among us who simply lack the resolve to be patient, to not socialize. Blame the science deniers, the conspiracy theorists who thought this coronavirus thing was all a hoax. Blame anybody who thought it was fake news when they heard about those two Missouri hairdressers who worked while positive with the virus and quickly infected an estimated 140 customers, who in turn then immediately put everyone around them at risk. The spread of the pandemic and the death toll will never be adequately contained, it will only linger malignantly and metastasize, if enough Americans adopt the mindset of those race fans in North Carolina and those holiday party people who gathered so obliviously in crowds on Monday, volunteering themselves as modern day lepers. Sports — its full stadiums and arenas the ultimate example of large social gatherings — will never get back to normal, to cheering crowds, until the virus is contained enough to do so safely, something delayed exponentially by examples such as the outrageous scene at North Carolina’s Ace Speedway. To read our full recent column, please visit Amid a Pandemic, An Outrage in Alamance County

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

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

Also: Dolphins Aim High, Win Big With Tua Tagovailoa Pick / Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft / Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever / Amid a Pandemic, to Florida, Pro Wrestling is 'Essential' / A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins / Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players / NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in No-Fans Florida Derby / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks

Select columns from earlier in 2020: Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

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

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

May 23, 2020

Annoying Paul Pierce escalates beef with LeBron. New column; plus why Dolphins have the perfect QB room, sports' no-fans New Normal, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 12 out now!, new Back In My Day video, Don Shula tribute columns & more

1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 23. I'm pleased to be hosting this year's Miami Herald All-County Athletic Awards, an annual tradition since 1957 -- but virtual this time because of the pandemic. Mark it: We'll honor Miami-Dade & Broward's best in prep sports on Wednesday May 27 at 6 p.m. on the Herald's Facebook & YouTube pages. 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 12 now out, our Don Shula tribute columns & more. 4) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

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

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

LebronppPAUL PIERCE TAKES LOW ROAD (AGAIN) IN ESCALATING BEEF WITH LEBRON. NEW COLUMN: Paul Pierce stands 6-7. By most any measure he is a big man. So why does he seem so small? He opens his mouth and shrinks to the size of an insect. A mere irritant. He has done it again. Even in retirement, the former Boston Celtics great leads the NBA in annoying. Miami Heat fans remember that during Dwyane Wade’s farewell season Pierce went on social media to note he had a better career. And there was no doubt ... that Pierce was delusional. That nobody outside of Bahston actually believed that, and that basketball history surely wouldn’t. (To underline that ESPN recently named the all-time greatest 74 players for the league’s 74 years, and Pierce was ranked 54th to Wade’s 26th. Not close). Pierce was at it again this week. This time the target of his pettiness was even bigger than Wade, as was how dumb he sounded. (That same ESPN ranking has LeBron No. 2 all time, behind only Michael Jordan). Pierce rationalized that LeBron never built a champion or sustained one in saying his top five consisted of Jordan, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. He said it on a four-way Zoom video and as he spoke, fellow analyst Jay Williams had his head in his hands as Paul pierced the ear with indefensible nonsense. I remember that as a kid, my older brother and I would get in sports arguments all the time and I would drive him crazy by saying, "An opinion is never wrong." Except sometimes it is. It was Shaquille O’Neal who gave Pierce his nickname, The Truth. But there is no truth behind Pierce’s slight of James. It is calculated and comes from a bitter place. To read our full latest column, please visit How Can A Man 6-7 Seem So Small? That's Pierce On LeBron

RyanfitzQB CONTROVERSY? HARDLY. WHY RYAN FITZPATRICK IS PERFECT FOR TUA TAGOVAILOA AND DOLPHINS: The Miami Dolphins do not have a quarterback controversy. They have the opposite. They have an ideal situation, with just the right veteran incumbent, just the right incoming rookie and the luxury to not hurry the latter onto the field before he is entirely ready. It is one of the best situations in the NFL, in fact, for reasons we will explain. Yet the specter of controversy arose this week when old vet Ryan Fitzpatrick, appearing on an ex-teammate’s podcast, said he still wants to start; it’s why he re-signed. Well, no duh, right! He is still playing at a high level. He was Miami’s team MVP last season. He competes; it’s what he does for a living. Fitzpatrick also said he will be an "open book" for first-round rookie Tua Tagovailoa — a willing mentor. And there is zero doubt about that. But all the football world heard is that Fitzpatrick won’t step aside. This is what happens in the void of sports, of actual games and results. Sports coverage is all peripheral now. It’s why the little back and forth on Instagram between Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker and Saints counterpart Michael Thomas became bigger news than was merited this week. It is something to chew on in the void. Heck, why do you think I’m writing about it? Rhetorical question. Answer: Because I can’t write about the Heat’s playoff run or Inter Miami’s inaugural season or how the Marlins are doing — all erased by the coronavirus/COVID-19shutdown. For our full recent column please visit No Controversy Here. Dolphins Have Ideal QB Situation.

CARDBOARD CUTOUTS, ROBOTS, FAKE NOISE? WELCOME TO SPORTS WITHOUT FANS, THE NEW NORMAL?: In hibernation going on 10 weeks now, the giant bear opens its eyes in the darkness, blinks, begins to stir. Slowly it unlimbers and lumbers toward the light. By degrees, sports is returning or planning to, but not sports as we know it. America gradually reopens from the full lockdown of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic that began hitting us in March; all but two states have now eased restrictions. Sports follows the timeline, but it is a Cardboard fansnew normal that we enter, and it will be with us into the summer and perhaps into fall. Maybe longer? Sports will return without fans, a jarring, almost eerie sight. Is sports even sports at all without fans? As the new normal seeps in, we understand the resumption of sports, even sans fans, will lift the country’s spirits. Our teams if only symbolically can play a role in the national healing. And so NASCAR has resumed with zero spectators. The PGA Tour is inching back. MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS all plan to resume at some point this summer but with no fans for the foreseeable future. The unknowable question is how the NFL and college football — King Sport — will be affected later this fall. We already are beginning to see what sports with no fans looks like — including the comical side of it. This is the verbatim first paragraph of a soccer story on ESPN.com: Leading South Korea club FC Seoul apologized to fans after inadvertently substituting supporters in the stands with sex dolls during their 1-0 win over Gwangju FC on Sunday. (The funniest part of hat sentence? Inadvertently). A 67-page document on MLB’s resumption, optimistically planned for the regular season to start in early July, includes music in stadiums. Fox Sports’ Joe Buck revealed his network’s broadcast of NFL games this fall, assuming no fans, would include piped-in noise of a cheering crowd along with fake images of fans in the stands. I’m just hoping somebody in the Fox control room presses the wrong button after the home team scores and instead of cheering we hear a boisterous laugh track from a 1960s sitcom. Anything goes in the temporary (we hope) age of no-fan sports. Well, except inflatable dolls, apparently. For this full recent column, please visit Welcome to Sports Without Fans, the New Normal.

NEW 'BACK IN MY DAY': ROBOT VACUUMS!: This premiered Tuesday on ESPN Radios' Le Batard Show. Enjoy!:

Featured most recent other columns:

As NBA, MLB Plot Return, We Miss Them -- Yet Sports Have Never Seemed More Trivial

Anticipation of Relevance, Excitement Is Tua's Gift to Miami

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

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

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

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

And: Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in No-Fans Florida Derby / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

Select columns from earlier in 2020: Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

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

May 02, 2020

Hall of Famer Andre Dawson on owning funeral home amid COVID-19. New column; plus Miami sports today if coronavirus never happened, Dolphins winning rebuild with Tua-led 3-year plan, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 9, latest Back In My Day & more

1) It's SATURDAY, MAY 2. Welcome, May! You can't be any worse than March and April Can you!? Hang in, stay apart and eventually we rise together! 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow both at TheGregCoteShow. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, your vote on Tua pick, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 9 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and Episode 9 is out now! Find a new show every Monday on Apple, Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Megaphone, Stitcher or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all nine episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show: Sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when necessary) serious. In Episode 9 we review the virtual NFL Draft and the Dolphins' Tua-led bounty, welcome guests Tim Kurkjian and sound-alike son Jeff, and talk to former BBWAA president Clark Spencer about his racehorse and about who didn't vote for Derek Jeter.

The new Back In My Day: Face Masks!: This one premiered on Tuesday's Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio. Visit BIMD: Face Masks! to watch.

HALL OF FAMER ANDRE DAWSON ON BASEBALL -- AND OWNING A FUNERAL HOME -- IN THE AGE OF COVID-19Andre Dawson got his nickname as a young boy growing up in Miami. An uncle would hit him ground balls. Said most kids his age would be afraid of the baseball but that Andre would "attack it like a hawk." And there it is today, in bronze, on his Hall of Fame plaque in image from images.app.goo.glCooperstown, New York.: Andre Nolan Dawson. "The Hawk." Around that same time, as a child, sometimes Andre would be made to dress up and attend the funeral of a relative or family friend. He hated that. "I was frightened by the sight of death," Dawson, now 65, said Thursday, by telephone. "Didn’t like seeing someone laying in a casket. It was like a teenager watching a horror movie. You can’t sleep. As a kid growing up the funeral home was my fear factor." Strange how life sometimes turns out, right? Today Dawson owns and runs the Paradise Memorial Funeral Home in Richmond Heights, a small city in southwest Miami-Dade County. He has been in the business for 12 years, when Dawson and his wife took it over from relatives. Once, Dawson accompanied employees to a home in Liberty City to oversee the removal of a deceased body of an older man. The grieving son kept staring at the tall gentleman in the dark suit. Through tears he finally spoke two words. "The Hawk!?" Yes it was. We haven’t had much occasion to speak with Dawson since he retired from baseball as a Florida Marlin in 1996 and was inducted into Cooperstown in 2010, but the spring of 2020 — a time like no other — seemed the right time to catch up. The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is killing people and has shut down sports, and Dawson is a former ballplayer now in the business of death. It has "turned everything upside down" for his work and erased the sport he loves. Pictured: Dawson, in protective mask, at his funeral home. For my full latest column, please visit Hall of Famer Andre Dawson On Baseball and Owning a Funeral Home Amid COVID-19.

WHAT IF: HOW MIAMI SPORTS WOULD LOOK TODAY HAD CORONAVIRUS NEVER HAPPENED AND GAMES NEVER STOPPED: Mickey Muse was born in 1928. Disneyland opened. The Lion King and Frozen set box office records. Now, to any list of notable achievements in the annals of The Walt Disney Company, please add that one very strange time in late April of 2020, when America image from images.app.goo.glwas bored at home in the throes of a coronavirus pandemic, starving for sports — and there came Disney-owned ESPN to the rescue. "The Last Dance," the 10-part miniseries on Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, has been the most watched documentary in ESPN history. And in the middle of that the virtual NFL Draft set all-time records for most viewers as we all tuned in for Roger Goodell calling players’ names from his basement. It was proof our hunger is for any sports right. Not necessarily live games. Not necessarily anything current. Just sports. If the next chapter is leagues resuming without fans, yes, we’ll be there, too, watching live baseball played in eerily quiet, empty stadiums. The spread of COVID-19 shut down sports in a flurry on March 11-12. I thought it would be fun to imagine what we’d be in the middle of in South Florida team sports right now had the coronavirus never existed, or, put more depressingly, all we’ve missed in the 50 days since sports stopped. If the Miami Heat and Florida Panthers seasons had continued. If the Miami Marlins and Inter Miami’s inaugural soccer season hadn’t halted. If Miami Hurricanes football had gone through spring practice. Join us on the our flight of fancy. No face masks required. For our full recent column, please visit Miami Sports Right Now If Coronavirus Never Happened and Games Never Stopped.

TuaDOLPHINS WINNING REBUILD WITH 3-YEAR PLAN THAT INCLUDES PATIENCE WITH TUA: The NFL Draft and free agency are past, and now the Miami Dolphins and other teams await what the coronavirus threat will allow. When will teams be able to go from virtual meetings to hands-on with their newest players? When will football fields go from empty acres to crawling with activity again? Will the season start on time? Will it start with no fans allowed? None of those answers are yet known. But this is: The Dolphins keep reminding us that things are different now. For everybody, yes, on account of the deadly COVID-19 virus. But I mean for one long-forlorn franchise in particular. For one team picking itself up and –- in the midst of a pandemic -– spreading nothing but hope to its hungry fans. The feeling is palpable. The once-proud, long-off radar Dolphins are building something here. There is a plan. There is a clue. General manager Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores are fronting an organization that, for the first time in some 20 years, seems to finally know what it is doing again. For our full recent column, please visit Dolphins Winning Rebuild, Won't Rush Tua.

Our column on Miami's top draft pick: DOLPHINS AIM HIGH, WIN BIG WITH TUA TAGOVAILOA PICK

FEATURED MOST RECENT OTHER COLUMNS:

Greg Cote's 2020 NFL Mock Draft

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

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

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

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

A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins.

Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players

NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent.

Other featured recent columns: NFL Draft, Tiger 'n Phil Not A Good Look Right Now / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Saturday's No-Fans Florida Derby / In Midst Of Pandemic, A Horse Race / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National Mood / Le Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

Select additional recent columns: Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Beckham, Inter Miami Survive To Finally Reach Opening Week / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / It's Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

* * * * *

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

April 21, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10: It's NFL Draft Week in America! (Pandemic Edition); plus new Greg Cote Show Episode 8 podcast out now!, our annual Mock Draft drops today, Radio Tuesday, recent column links & more

1) It's TUESDAY, APRIL 21. Hang in, stay apart and eventually we rise together! 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow the show on both platforms at TheGregCoteShow. 3) Find our latest Back In My Day from the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio HERE. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins GM Grier's pre-draft Zoom, why Tua and coronavirus make this weirdest draft ever, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

It's Radio Zoom-Room Tuesday!: I'm back remotely on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz today from 10 to 1 on ESPN Radio. Also listen for the local-only hour linked from the show social media accounts. 

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

Our annual Mock Draft is almost here!: Look for our 29th annual Official Miami Herald NFL Mock Draft online beginning late Tuesday, and in Thursday's print editions.

Our most recent columns: Dolphins' Grier Says He Has An Idea On Top Pick. He'd Better Be Right and Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 19-20): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the (non)sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Only four days 'til Miami selects [fill in the blank]: The NFL Draft begins Thursday night with the Fins holding the fifth, 18th and 26th picks in the first round -- but will it be Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or a surprise to Miami at No. 5? In this case "surprise" is defined as, "What!? They didn't take a quarterback first!? You've got to be @#$%ing kidding me!" Tua, by the way, is reported to have scored a very low 13 on the Wonderlic intelligence test given all draft prospects. No worry. He's being hired to throw a football, not to explain the quantum physics of how atoms work. 

2. NFL: Draft is on as scheduled ... but hardly as usual: Joe Burrow expected to go No. 1 overall to Cincy hasn't changed and the dates are the same. But nothing else is. The seven-round draft is Thursday through Saturday, but commissioner Roger Goodell will be reading picks from his home in New York, teams will be making them from their own cities, and players will be spread across the country in their living rooms -- all of it televised via videos. Welcome to the Bizarro World, Pandemic Edition NFL Draft.

3. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT updates you each week on how many local pro sports games have been lost to the coronavirus shutdown. Through today/Sunday -- 58 games lost: Marlins 22, Heat 18, Panthers 13, Inter Miami 5. Marlins have missed first 22 games of regular season. Heat has missed last 17 games of season and would already have hosted first-round playoff game Sunday night, based on NBA standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 season games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last five.

4. ANTHONY FAUCI: Virus expert maps out return of sports: Hugely trusted Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's leading infectious diseases expert and the face of the U.S. coronavirus fight, says this on the foreseeable resumption of sports: "Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play. Have them tested like every week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family and just let them play the season out." In other words, it'll be awhile before you're going to games again, Joe Fan.

5. ESPN: Much-touted Jordan docu-series begins Sunday: NBA fans are swooning in anticipation of the 10-part "The Last Dance" series, documenting Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls season. I'm not all that excited, but since I get a Disney/ESPN check every week, I think it's going to be greeaat!

6. VON MILLER: Broncos star tested positive for virus: Denver Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming perhaps the most prominent active sports star to do so.

7. NBA: Ouch. Withheld pay is near: Commissioner Adam Silver said there still is no timetable for a resumption of the season, while the NBA begins reducing player paychecks by 25 percent on May 15. Fellas, let me check my wallet. If things get tight, just ask, OK? In other league news, Utah's Mike Conley won that ridiculous HORSE tournament that I'm proud to say I watched for a grand total of, like, 10 seconds. And the NBA is now selling (of course!) team-logo face coverings. 

8. HURRICANES: Mompremier taken in WNBA Draft: Miami's 6-4 power forward Beatrice Mompremier went in the second round, 20th overall to the Los Anegles Sparks -- lower than expected because of a January foot injury that cost her half of her senior season.

9. NASCAR: Rising star Larson fired for racial slur: Chip Ganassi Racing fired budding star Kyle Larson and sponsors dropped him left and right after he was heard using the n-word during a live-streamed virtual race. Unannounced but surely planned: An I'm-truly-sorry tour and an eventual second chance. Meanwhile, NASCAR still hopes to resume no-fans racing in May. 

10. GOLF: PGA Tour plots summer return: The PGA Tour is planning a mid-June return with no fans, assuring the look and ambiance of it will have all the excitement of a Tuesday practice round. Meantime, GolfTV reported exclusively that the gum Tiger Woods chews on a golf course is orange-flavored Trident. Run to the store and start hoarding!

Missing the HB10 cut: Our 29th annual Official Miami Herald NFL Mock Draft is coming. Watch for it online Tuesday. OH, and the Greg Cote Show podcast, new Episode 8, is out Monday morning! Please listen, subscribe, rate, review and stay home ..... MLB's Arizona Plan, with all 30 teams playing sans fans in Phoenix, remains the top likelihood. So bizarre ..... Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry has reopened city beaches, generating a wide range of reaction dominated by, "Jesus, what an idiot!" ..... Please remember to watch your hands often, practice social distancing and keep booing the sign-stealing Astros ..... Update: Countdown now 2,261 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hopefully we're all done with quarantine by then.

FEATURED MOST RECENT OTHER COLUMNS:

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

A Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins.

Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players

NFL Draft Will Offer Blunt Verdict on Canes' Talent.

Other featured recent columns: NFL Draft, Tiger 'n Phil Not A Good Look Right Now / Ultimate All-Time South Florida Major Sports Trivia Challenge / Sports Should Stop Pretending It Will Resume Anytime Soon As Coronovirus Rages / How a Longtime Herald Sport Writer Came to Own a Top Contender in Saturday's No-Fans Florida Derby / In Midst Of Pandemic, A Horse Race / Time for NBA, NHL to Shut it Down, End Seasons / Backlash Over NBA Coronavirus Testing Mirrors Growing Anxiety, the New National MoodLe Batard Show Deals with Coronavirus-Related Upheaval / Dolphins' Most Important Rebuilding Is Yet to Come / Brady Leaving Patriots for Tampa. Will Belichick Be Proved Right In Letting Him Go? / Desperate Fans Turn to NFL After Reality Of First Weekend With No Games / Miami Sports Now Utterly Engulfed By Coronavirus Threat -- But Precaution Is Justified / It's Dominate Or Bust For Dolphins GM Grier Over Next 6 Weeks.

Select additional recent columns: Repentant Cheater A-Rod Slams Astros With Lesson On How to Handle Their Own Scandal / Inter Miami Is Market's Sleeping Giant As Home Opener Nears / Beckham, Inter Miami Survive To Finally Reach Opening Week / Jeter Arrives At Camp, Calls Marlins 'Layered With Talent' / Dwyane Wade, His Transgender Daughter And A Lesson In Love / Pressure On Marlins for Big Improvement Now -- and It's About Time / It's Time For Anonymous Lone Voter Who Denied Jeter To Step Forward / Heat And Gloriously Impatient Riley Win In Trade For Iguodala / Return Of Ed Reed, Even If Mostly Symbolic, Leads Surge By Canes Football / Poor Dolphins Finally Getting Rid Of Brady Only to Have Mahomes Take His Place / Our two-part series: How One Man Long Forgotten Changed Everything For the Miami Dolphins and How Shula Made Dolphins Perfect and Made Miami Matter, And the Coach Today at 90 / Kobe's Death Sends Sports World Reeling, But Immortality Is His / Jimmy Johnson's Biggest Triumph? Knowing When To Quit -- And Why / and Announcing Miami Dolphins' 2010-19 All-Decade Team

* * * * *

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

April 18, 2020

Dolphins' Grier says he has 'idea' on No. 5 pick. He'd better be right. New column; plus coronavirus, Tua make this Fins' weirdest, biggest, most interesting NFL Draft ever; also, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 7 now out!, latest Back In My Day & more

1) It's SATURDAY, APRIL 18. Hang in, stay apart and eventually we rise together! 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram! Follow the show on both platforms at TheGregCoteShow. 3) Find our latest Back In My Day from the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio HERE at about the 21-minute mark. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast, links to recent columns & more. 5) Join us on Twitter.com/gregcote and Instagram.

Latest 'Back In My Day': Simpler Times!: From the Zoom Room, this latest BIMD premiered on Tuesday's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Listen and watch HERE.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 7 OUT NOW!: Our new(ish) Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in early March and Episode 7 is out now! You can find a new Greg Cote Show out every Monday on Apple, Spotify or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all seven episodes we've done so far right here. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! Our podcast is a variety show, sports and non-sports, 3-0-5 and national, fun and (when necessary) serious. In Episode 7 we welcome special guests Stugotz from the Le Batard Show for a ton o' fun. We also talk coronavirus financial impact with the god of sports business, Rick Horrow. Check it out now HERE! Le Batard Show fans will especially want to hear it.

DOLPHINS GM GRIER SAYS TEAM 'HAS AN IDEA' ON NO. 5 PICK IN NFL DRAFT. HE BETTER BE RIGHT: Chris Grier is just about a Miami Dolphins lifer as he begins his 20th season with the club and fourth as roster-shaping general manager. Now, with the team owning three first-round picks in next week’s NFL Draft for the first time, and a league-leading 14 picks overall, Grier has Cgriernever had a bigger spotlight on him. Or a hotter one. The opportunity and results will illuminate Grier as a bright, rising young GM if he nails it, or burn him and leave permanent professional scars if he doesn’t. The coronavirus has limited ability to directly meet with prospects, but that’s true of all teams. There will be no excuse for bad choices. Draft night will be a very different, technological challenge, but, again, no excuses. “We really don’t have any apprehension about this process,” he said. Way back when, Grier happened to have majored in journalism at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. So when he hopped on a coronavirus-age predraft video conference call with media on Thursday, he knew precisely what to do: Say as little meaningful as possible. In a 20-minute remote chat with 53 invited journalists, Grier steadfastly offered no real hint, to reporters or to rival teams, as to the Dolphins’ thinking or intentions entering the April 23-25 draft, which also will be done remotely amid the stay-home orders caused by the COVID-19 threat. Grier wasn’t the general manager Thursday. He was closer to the Minister of No Information. He did admit, “We have an idea of who we like” for the top pick, but would not acknowledge what most everyone would bet their life savings on — that Miami almost surely will target a quarterback with the No. 5 overall pick, and that Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon’s Justin Herbert (or vice versa) are the primary, likeliest possibilities. He admitted the onus is on him — and on owner Stephen Ross, coach Brian Flores, new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and the rest of the Fins decision makers, to get this right. Very right. For our full latest column, please visit Dolphins' Grier Says He Has An Idea On Top Pick. He'd Better Be Right.

CORONAVIRUS, TUA MAKE THIS DOLPHINS' WEIRDEST, BIGGEST, MOST INTERESTING DRAFT EVER: The bell has rung. It’s the 10-day countdown (now nine) to the NFL Draft and, astonishingly, all of the following statements are true to various degrees of arguably-so to absolutely-certain: This 85th NFL Draft will be the weirdest of them all. This 55th Miami Dolphins Tuadraft will be the most interesting in franchise history. The most important, too. And the most pressure filled. Oh, and Tua Tagovailoa (pictured) — whom the Dolphins should either be wisely targeting or should avoid like somebody standing too close and coughing, depending on one’s point view — is a figure of controversy and wildly differing opinions such as few drafts have ever seen. Not counting Bullygate or other intermittent pratfalls like an offensive line coach snorting cocaine from his office desk, the Dolphins have not been the center of NFL attention probably since Dan Marino led them into their most recent Super Bowl appearance to end the 1984 season. But all eyes will be back on this usually off-radar team the night of April 23 as Miami sits at the poker table with the tallest stack of chips — three first-round picks, the fifth, 18th and 26th overall, and a league-leading 14 picks overall — in club history. And as Miami covets, most believe, the all-or-nothing risk named Tua. That means all eyes will be on the front-office team of owner Stephen Ross, general manager Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores, the triumvirate with much to prove and now tasked with making the once-proud Dolphins matter again, and reanimating a large but worn down fandom. To read our full recent column, please visit Coronavirus, Tua Make This Dolphins' Weirdest, Most Interesting Draft Ever.

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BigtwoA Pie Chart of QB Possibilities For Dolphins -- Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert with Miami's first pick (fifth overall) on April 23? A trade-up for Joe Burrow? Something else entirely? We have the percentage likelihood for every option.

Baseball's Bizarre Restart Plan Would Be Unfair to Players -- One option MLB is considering -- starting the season as soon as next month with every team playing in Phoenix, and no fans -- would separate players from their families for 4 1/2 months.

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