February 28, 2021

The new Hot Button Top 10: Tiger, NASCAR, boxing and hot Heat in the mix. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday, links to recent columns & more

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

1) It's SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28. Farewell February, month of love. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Feels like fresh new era as NASCAR visits Homestead, Tiger Woods lucky to be alive, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Mjnascar TigerNASCAR/Homestead, Tiger Woods, other most recent columns: Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead This Week and Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive. Also: These Two Questions Will Determine Dolphins' Path On Watson Vs. Tua / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth Blueprint As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? We Weigh In / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / and Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company.

GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 1ST ANNIVERSARY EPISODE DROPS MONDAY!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted last March and our 1st Anniversary episode -- ninth of 2021 and 51st Coteshowoverall -- is out Monday! A new pod drops Monday mornings on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 50 we've done so far HERE for free. In our latest Ep8 of '21, we welcome special guest Greg Camarillo, the ex-Dolphins receiver. He discusses why he was recently trending on Twitter and his unique place in Fins history. It may be the best, most revealing interview we've done on the pod. Also on the menu: Greg and Chris discuss Cam Newton getting heckled at a youth football camp; Greg reveals big news on the horizon regarding his podcast and Sirius XM radio; you'll hear a new parody song making fun of all the “ums” and “ahs” and throat-clearing beleaguered producer Chris has to to clean out of the podcast each week to make Greg sound (somewhat) professional; and there's a special edition of Mount Gregmore marking the podcast's 50th episode. Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review!

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 1): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. GOLF: Tiger Woods suffers serious leg injuries in major car wreck: Thirteen months after a helicopter crash killed Kobe Bryant, sports nearly lost another all-time great tragically this week when Tiger Woods' SUV careened several hundred feet down a Los Angeles hillside, flipping multiple times. Woods, 45, suffered serious leg injures that will require many, many months of rehab and further delay if not imperil his career. But he survived. He's alive.

2. NASCAR: Homestead-Miami Speedway on stage for Sunday's big race: Denny Hamlin is the betting favorite followed closely by defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick in Sunday's Dixie Vodka 400, for which Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa will serve as grand marshal. A pandemic-limited crowd of some 10,000 is expected. Austin Cindric won Saturday's Xfinity Series undercard race. 

3. HEAT: No all-star picks, but hot Miami bouncing back in standings: Neither Bam Adebayo (who should have made it) or Jimmy Butler (who was borderline) were picked as reserves for the March 7 NBA All-Star Game. But offsetting the snub, Heat have won five straight to climb to 16-17. They're back on playoff pace and only a half-game from fourth place in East with three games left before the ASG break starting Sunday vs. Atlanta.

4. PANTHERS: Pinch me. Are the Cats, like, really this good!?: Florida is 13-4-3 and tied atop the NHL Central even after Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss vs. Carolina. Cats face the Hurricanes in the Sunrise rink again Monday.

5. MARLINS: Doubts all around as spring schedule begins: Miami ended its 17-year playoff drought last year but oddsmakers don't see a repeat in the tough NL East. ESPN projects Fish for 67 wins, last in division and 1 percent playoff shot after a low-key offseason it graded C-minus. We begin gradually see about '21 Fish for ourselves as 24-game spring training schedule begins Sunday vs. Houston in West Palm Beach and Monday vs. rival Mets in Jupiter. Regular season opens (no fooling) April 1 with six-game homestand vs. Rays and Cardinals.

6. BOXING: Canelo Alvarez wins easily in title defense at Hard Rock: Mexico's Canelo Alvarez, 30, dominated Avni Yidirim in a third-round TKO at Hard Rock Stadium Saturday night, the first boxing match ever held there. Álvarez, now 54-1-2, defended his WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine super-middleweight titles.

7. TENNIS: Miami Open reveals star-studded entry list: The March 22-April 4 Miami Open looks like a tennis fan's dream. Tournament announced the 77 top-ranked men all have committed, led by Australian Open champ and No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic and all-time greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Women's field shows 75 of the top 78 players led by No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, Aussie Open champ Naomi Osaka and 8-time Miami winner and fan favorite Serena Williams. 

8. INTER MIAMI: Second-year club beefs up roster as preseason camp unfurls: Training camp is underway for Miami's second season in Major League Soccer and first for new coach Phil Neville. The club signed midfielder Gregore from Brazil's Esporte Clube Bahia and added veteran defender Ryan Shawcross from Stoke City of England's Premier League. MLS season begins April 17, with the announcement of the 2021 schedule expected shortly.

9. SOCCER: Champions League on to second leg in Round of 16: UEFA Champions League Round of 16 play resumes March 9 with second-leg matches. After the past week's conclusion of the first leg, four teams enjoy cushions of two-plus goals on aggregate: Paris-Saint Germain, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Up by one-goal margins are FC Porto, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Real Madrid. 

10. UM BASKETBALL: Do Canes women still have postseason prayer?: Katie Meier's Miami women's team has climbed to 10-10 off two straight wins entering Sunday's regular season finale at Clemson. Might an impressive run in the March 3-7 ACC Tournament in Greensboro N.C. earn the team a postseason invite to, say, the WNIT? No such hope for Canes men, who are a miserable 7-15 after Saturday's loss at Clemson and close Monday at No. 15 Virginia and Friday vs. Boston College. UM men are stumbling to their worst season since 1993-94.

Missing the HB10 cut: ESPN's Mel Kiper revealed his first-ever mock draft with trades. He has Miami standing pat at No. 3 and 18. Kiper's Dolphins picks are Alabama WR DaVonta Smith and Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah ..... Choosing the most dramatic way possible to admit his guilt, former USA Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert died by suicide Thursday, hours after being charged with two dozen crimes stemming from allegations he physically, emotionally and sexually abused gymnasts ..... Canes baseball, 3-2 and No. 8 in USA Today/Coaches poll, hosts Virginia Tech today in rubber game of three-game series ..... After 13 years in retirement, 10-time majors winner Annika Sorenstam has rejoined the LPGA Tour at age 50 ..... U.S. Women's National Team routed Argentina 6-0 to win soccer's SheBelieves Cup in Orlando. Megan Rapinoe scored twice in the finale; Rose Lavelle was named MVP ..... Seven-day countdown to next Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta that nobody seems to want played ..... America's Cup sailing (remember that?) gets underway this coming Saturday in New Zealand ..... ESPN rankings for the July MLB Draft show one top-10 local player: Miami Hurricanes catcher Adrian Del Castillo at No. 9 ..... Tokyo Olympics announced its four-month Torch Relay would commence March 25 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's celebrates its 1-year anniversary since debuting last March 2, with its ninth episode of 2021 and 51st overall dropping Monday morning ..... Update: Countdown now 1,947 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Why A Brady-Mahomes Super Bowl Is Torture For Dolphins Fans / Chad Henne: Ex-Dolphin An Overnight Sensation, 13 Years Later / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing Collapse'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Super Bowl With a Smirk series: Smirk VSmirk IVSmirk IIISmirk IISmirk IHeat NBA Finals last column: LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to FinalsMarlins postseason run last column: Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

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

February 22, 2021

The new Hot Button Top 10 (updated): NASCAR, boxing and Canes baseball even crash the top 10. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus our most recent columns, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

1) It's MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22. Search out last Tuesday's podcasts of the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz for way too much of me including the new 'Back In My Day' (Shoes!). 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Two questions steer Dolphins' path on Watson vs. Tua, Serena's legacy firm but unfinished, Marlins double-down on youth as spring training opens, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Dolphins, Serena, Marlins: Our three latest columns: These Two Questions Will Determine Dolphins' Path On Watson Vs. Tua / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / and Marlins Stick With Youth Blueprint As Rest Of NL East Spends BigOur other most recent columns:Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? We Weigh In /Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / and Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE DROPS MONDAY!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted last March and our new Episode 8 of 2021 -- our 50th overall -- is out Monday! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 49 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. In our latest Ep7 of '21, we bring in ESPN expert Tim Kurkjian to talk baseball and Marlins as MLB spring training unfurls. Also, Greg and Chris reveal the genuinely (and uncharacteristically) romantic thing they did to surprise and delight their wives on Valentine's Day. Plus the return of Greg's Mail Sack and a new Mount Gregmore. Hear all of that and more in our latest podcast. Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review!

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (FEBRUARY 21-22): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUTOur blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: Miami gets needed spark with upset of Lakers: Miami improved to 13-17 with Saturday night's 96-94 win at LeBron's L.A. Lakers, who were without injured Anthony Davis. Kendrick Nunn's 27 points sparked the Heat. Miami is 3-3 on this seven-game road trip ending Monday at Oklahoma City. The 72-game season still is young(ish), but Heat are on pace to miss the playoffs just one season after reaching the NBA Finals.

2. TENNIS: Osaka, Djokovic win Australian Open: Japan's Naomi Osaka, after ousting hero idol Serena Williams in the semis, beat American Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 in Saturday's championship match for her fourth career major win. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic beat No. 4 Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's men's final for his nintg Aussie crown and 18th career major, third all-time in men's tennis.

3. PANTHERS: Fire on ice! Cats continue hot start to NHL season: Florida took two of three from rival Tampa Bay and was 11-2-2 and atop the Central Division after Friday's 7-2 win at Detroit, before falling 2-1 to the Red Wings Saturday. Panthers return for a five-game homestand starting Monday. Jonathan Huberdeau and a goaltending spark from Chris Driedger have the Panthers looking strong under second-year coach Joel Quenneville.

4. MARLINS: Spring has sprung, with first game one week away: Miami full-squad practices are under underway in Jupiter, with the first of 24 scheduled spring games next Sunday. pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Jupiter this week with the full squad soon following and the first spring game set for February 28. Expectations are low (a common wins over/under is 67 1/2) for a young, building team that unexpectedly ended a 17-year playoff drought last season.

5. NASCAR: Racing returns to Homestead next weekend: NASCAR invades Homestead-Miami Speedway for a doubleheader weekend of racing Dixie Vodka 400 next Sunday in the main NASCAR Cup Series, following Saturday's Contender Boats 250 in the undercard Xfinity Series.

6. NBA: All-Star Game reserves to be named Tuesday: March 7 in Atlanta is the NBA All-Star Game nobody seems to want, including top players in it and the mayor who has advised fans not to travel in for the game. LeBron James and Kevin Durant were named capatins of the West and East starting teams. Seven reserves in each conference will be announced Tuesday. Miami's Bam Adebayo is no certainty but has a good chance to make it, with Jimmy Butler a longshot.

7. CANES BASEBALL: UM takes season-opening series vs. Gators: Coach Gino DiMare and Canes baseball, ranked No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, opened its season with a three-game series in Gainesville and took two of three vs. the nemesis and No. 1-ranked Florida Gators. UM lost the opener 7-5 on Friday but won 10-9 in 13 innings Saturday and won 8-6 Sunday.

8. INTER MIAMI: Season 2 in MLS kicks off as camp opens Monday: Miami's second season in Major League Soccer begins with the start of training camp Monday under new coach Phil Neville. The season begins April 17, though the schedule has not yet been announced. Inter Miami finished 7-13-3 in its inaugural season.

9. BOXING: Canelo Alvarez in title defense at Hard Rock: Hard Rock Stadium will host its first boxing match this coming Saturday February 27 as Canelo Álvarez defends his WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight titles against Avni Yidirim. Bout will be available on pay-per-view in U.S., with limited fans at the stadium.

10. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Sport returns (sort of) with spring season: Alabama won the 2020 national championship just one month ago, but the 2021 college football season is underway. Sort of. It's the little guys of the FCS level (nee Division 1AA), playing a shortened spring schedule, Glomming much attention: The debut of "Coach Prime," Deion Sanders, whose Jackson State Tigers of Mississippi clobbered Jacksonville's Edward Waters College 53-0 in their season opener Sunday. Saners ranted that his belongings had been stolen from his coaches office during the game, later sayng, oops, they'd been placed elsewhere for safekeeping and weren't swiped after all. 

Missing the HB10 cut: Sad seasons are winding down for Hurricanes men's and women's basketball. UM men are 7-13 (3-12 ACC) with Saturday's loss to Georgia Tech, and now with point guard Chris Lykes done for the year. Four games left starting Wednesday vs. No. 16 Florida State. Canes women are 9-10/6-10 with two games left: Thursday vs. Wake Forest and next Sunday at Clemson ..... Eagles trade Carson Wentz to Colts ..... Padres sign Fernando Tatis Jr. to mega long-term deal ..... There are two NHL Outdoor Games this weekend at Lake Tahoe, with Saturday's paused eight hours by bad ice. Better luck today? ..... UEFA Champions League soccer has resumed with first-leg matches in round of 16 ..... Miami Open tennis will allow limited fans later this spring ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new 50th episode (No. 8 of 2021) is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,954 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Why A Brady-Mahomes Super Bowl Is Torture For Dolphins Fans / Chad Henne: Ex-Dolphin An Overnight Sensation, 13 Years Later / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing Collapse/ 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Super Bowl With a Smirk series: Smirk V, Smirk IV, Smirk III, Smirk II, Smirk IHeat NBA Finals last column: LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to FinalsMarlins postseason run last column: Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

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

February 20, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day, all! The new Hot Button Top 10: Post-football, see who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus our most recent columns (anthem, Beckham/Qatar, Brady), new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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

Valday1) It's MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15. Happy Valentine's Day! You better have remembered, husbands and boyfriends. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Playing national anthem at games takes new turn, Inter Miami's Beckham risk mess with Qatar, Tom Brady's place in sports' pantheon, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE DROPS MONDAY!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted last March and our new Episode 7 of 2021 (49th overall) is out Monday! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 48 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. In the latest Ep6 of '21, Greg and Chris discuss the Super Bowl rout by Brady's Bucs, and Greg blasts the football Hall of Fame for again denying Zach Thomas. And Stugotz is on with us to talk Super Bowl, the future of the Le Batard Show, and the recent death of his mom. Also, a new Mount Gregmore centered on the University of Miami. Hear all of that and more in our latest podcast. Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review!

National anthem, Beckham/Qatar, Tom Brady. Our most recent columns:

Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? We Weigh In

Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess

Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (FEBRUARY 14-15): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: Miami's win streak ends in Utah: Heat are 11-15 after Saturday night's 112-94 loss in Utah ended a season-best four-game win streak. Miami, one game off playoff pace, is two games into a seven-game western road trip. One other thing: Max Strus!?

2. PANTHERS: Rival Lightning clobbers Cats: Florida 8-2-2 after Saturday night's back-to-Earth 6-1 loss to rival and nemesis Tampa Bay on home ice. Cats had beaten Lightning 5-2 the game before. Rubber game is Monday upstate. Meanwhile a COVID outbreak on five teams (Florida not among them) postponed 11 games in past week as NHL tightened protocols. 

3. MARLINS: Spring training unfurls this week: Miami pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Jupiter this week with the full squad soon following and the first spring game set for February 28. Marlins made big splash by hiring Kim Ng as sport's first female GM but have had a quiet offseason as far as major deals. Fish are relying on a second-ranked farm system (per ESPN) with six Top 100 prospects. 

4. TENNIS: Serena advances as Aussie Open reaches midpoint: Tenth-seed Serena Williams beat No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka in three sets Saturday night to reach the quarterfinals at the midpoint of the Australian Open, the year's first tennis major. Serena is after her elusive record-tying 24th career major. Meanwhile defending champion Sofia Kenin was out in the second round, Rafael Nadal laughed off a female heckler, and COVID lockdown restriction have caused some late-night matches to be suspended to the dismay of fans.

5. NASCAR: Flag drops today as Daytona 500 kicks off new season: NASCAR revs and vrooms and begins its 2021 season today at Daytona with the circuit's first and biggest race. Denny Hamlin is a small favorite over Chase Elliott to take the checkered flag.

6. NFL: Swagger 'n stagger as Brady celebrates boat parade: Tampa celebrated the Bucs' Super Bowl win over Kansas City with a boat parade, and the only thing outnumbering fans watching were (evidently) tequila shots flowing down Tom Brady's neck. The ageless QB of the seven Super Bowl rings had to be helped off the boat by an aide as he staggered and swayed onto dry land. BetOnline.ag used geotagged Twitter data to determine whom each state considers the all-time G.O.A.T., and four athletes won multiple states. Brady won 20 states (including Florida), Michael Jordan and Le Bron James won 11 states each, and four went for Serena Williams.

7. KOBE BRYANT: Probe calls tragedy 'entirely preventable': Federal investigators concluded the helicopter crash one year ago that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others was "entirely preventable." The National Transportation Safety Board said charter pilot Ara Zobayan pushed the limits of bad weather flying rules, climbed into clouds and became disoriented in making a left turn into a cloud-obscured hillside.

8. INTER MIAMI: Beckham risk Qatar mess as MLS season nears: As MLS season nears (training camps open February 22), Inter Miami president David Beckham risk a public relations mess for his club with news out of London that he has agreed to be a goodwill ambassador for Qatar in the buildup to the 2022 World Cup behind held there. The problem: Qatar's notorious record on human rights, including it being a punishable crime to be gay there.

9. NFL: An early mess for new Jags coach Urban Meyer: Jacksonville Jaguars' new director of sports performance Chris Doyle, the former University of Iowa strength coach accused of racist remarks and bullying players, resigned hours after the Jags were criticized for the hire by the Fritz Pollard Alliance. It was a blunder by first-year Jaguars coach Urban Meyer, who released a statement saying he failed to properly consider the impact of hiring Doyle.

10. UM BASKETBALL: Canes try to end strong as regular season wanes: UM men are 7-11 and an ugly 3-10 in ACC entering Sunday's game at Notre Dame, while Canes women are 8-8 (5-8) going into today's game at Florida State. With a handful of games left in regular season and then the ACC Tournament, both teams will need a big finish for any shot at postseason invites.

Missing the HB10 cut: Happy Valentine's Day! And if you needed that to remind you, chances are you're in trouble ..... The Dolphins are second favorites to win the AFC East in 2021 at 5-2 odds, per sportsbetting.com. Bills are on top at 2-3. Patriots are 6-1 and Jets 15-1 ..... Coach Manny Diaz announced that Hurricanes spring football would begin March 13, with 15 practices over one month. QB D'Eriq King will miss spring work as he rehabs from a knee injury suffered in the bowl game. UM returns 19 of 22 starters from a team that finished 8-3 and ranked 22nd ..... The Texans obliged J.J. Watt's wishes and released him. The market for the aging edge rusher has been buoyant ..... The Chiefs did not renew Britt Reid's contract following his alcohol-related accident that left a child fighting for her life. Imagine losing the Super Bowl not being the worst thing to happen to Andy Reid that week? ..... UEFA Champions League play resumes Tuesday with round-of-16 first leg matches featuring Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain, the latter without injured Neymar .....Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori, 83, will resign after making demeaning and sexist comments about women during a public meeting ..... Major trade week in the WNBA included 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Natasha Howard heading to the New York Liberty and Dallas landing the No. 1 overall draft pick ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new 49th episode (No. 7 of 2021) is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,961 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

February 08, 2021

Brady, Bucs dominate Super Bowl Sunday! It's the latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated); plus new Greg Cote Show podcast is out now with Stugotz as special guest & more

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

Bhm1) It's MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8. Celebrate Black History Month February 1-March 1. Some of that history has only recently happened with the birth of the BLM movement. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): The Super Bowl With a Smirk column quintet, Super Bowl LV preview and pick, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

My Super Bowl pick: Bucs-Chiefs. Brady-Mahomes. Who wins tonight's game in Tampa and why? For the preview and pick, visit Super Bowl LV Gem.

Hitting the trifecta on Le Batard: A new, well-received Back In My Day. A Greg's Lobos update (a.k.a. PFPI Gala/podcast plug). And an unexpected return of Soup of the Day. Hear it all here, in Hour 1, at Magic Tuesday

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (FEBRUARY 7-8): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. NFL: All Brady, all Bucs as Tampa dominates Super Bowl!: Kansas City and Aspiring G.O.A.T. Patrick Mahomes were 3-point favorites last night to repeat as NFL champs over Tampa Bay but got schooled by Old G.O.A.T. Tom Brady, 31-9, in Tampa. The Super Bowl took on an ugly shadow Thursday night when Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid -- head coach Andy Reid's son -- was implicated in an apparent alcohol-related car accident that hurt two children, one with reported life-threatening injuries.

2. DOLPHINS: Zach Thomas once again denied Hall of Fame: Eighth time on the ballot, second straight year as a finalist, but still no Canton for Zach. Boo on you, voters. Maybe next year. Brian Flores and Xavien Howard also were finalists but fell short for coach of year and top defensive player at Saturday night's NFL Honors awards show held virtually. Meanwhile, ESPN reported the Fins will go with co-offensive coordinators in Eric Studesville and George Godsey. Hmm. Sounds weird. But benefit of doubt to Flores.

3. Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning top awards night: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was named league MVP at the NFL Honors awards show Saturday night. The five modern-era inductees who were elected to the Hall of Fame were easy choices Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson along with Calvin Johnson, Alan Faneca and John Lynch. Lynch was the big surprise, and likely the pick who bumped Zach Thomas.

4. HEAT: Did Miami's rough season finally just turn a corner? Heat had lost seven of past eight and fallen to 7-14 before routing Washington 122-95 Friday night for team's biggest win in a month. Kendrick Nunn's 25 off the bench led the way as Wizards' Bradley Beal (rumored on the trade block with Heat perhaps interested) began 0-for-13. Miami followed that by beating the Knicks Saturday; Heat play NYK again Tuesday.

5. PANTHERS: Cats finally lose in regulation: Florida at 6-1-2 after Sunday's unexpected 4-1 home loss to Detroit. Cats had been the only NHL team to have not lost in regulation prior to Sunday. Panthers host Detroit again Tuesday then play three straight against rival Tampa Bay.

6. TENNIS: Djokovic, Barty top seeds in Australian Open: Novak Djokivic and Ashleigh Barty are top seeds as the tennis year's first major begins Monday in Melbourne. Meanwhile Serena finally, 39, tries yet again to win her elusive 24th major title to tie Margaret Court's all-time record. Serena last won a Grand Slam singles title in 2017 and withdrew from a tuneup event last week with a sore shoulder.

7. HURRICANES: Uneventful National Signing Day for UM: The Miami Hurricanes signed nobody Wednesday on National Signing Day, and that was no surprise, and just fine. Because UM had signed all 24 of its newest recruits in December's early signing period. ESPN ranks Manny Diaz's third and latest class 11th nationally, up from 30th in 2019 and 17th in 2020.

8. NASCAR: Daytona 500 kicks off new season next Sunday: Denny Hamlin and 2020 series champion Chase Elliott will be near co-favorites in seven days when the NASCAR season begins with its first, biggest and most prestigious race of the year.

9. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men lose heartbreaker: Canes men fell to 7-11 with Saturday's 80-76 OT loss at No. 16 Virginia Tech. UM is back in play Monday at North Carolina and needing close to a run-the-table finish for any shot at an invite to March Madness. The UM women are now 8-7 after beating Florida State Sunday for coach Katie Meier's 300th UM victory.

10. BOXING (SORT OF): And ... Jose Canseco embarrasses himself: The $20 pay-per-view gimmick-fight was over in just seconds Friday night as former baseball player Jose Canseco was punched to the canvas by a Pardon My Take podcast intern who had challenged him. A grimacing Jose then faked a shoulder injury to end the "fight."

Missing the HB10 cut: The latest strong indication that Drew Brees plans to retire: The Saints QB has agreed to reduce his 2021 salary from $25 million to the veterans minimum of $1.075 million to free up salary-cap space ..... LeBron James and growing number of other NBA stars are coming out against plans to hold an All-Star Game in March ..... MLS and its players have reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, clearing the way for Inter Miami and other teams to open training camps on February 22 ..... The Marlins' Lewis Brinson (career .189) has spent his offseason working as a fashion model. Requirements: Pretty face, not high batting average. It's back to baseball work soon, as pitchers and catchers report for spring training on February 17 ..... Panthers former goalie and now special adviser Roberto Luongo has been named one of three assistant general managers for Canada's 2022 men's Olympic team ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new 48th episode (No. 6 of 2021) is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,968 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. 

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ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

February 01, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus Curt Schilling has only himself to blame, Why Brady-Mahomes Super Bowl is torture for Miami fans, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1. Welcome, February. Be good to us. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, AFC and NFC title-game picks, Chad Henne's moment, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: MAGILL TALKS GOATS, PFPI GALA IN NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted last March and our new Episode 5 of 2021 (47th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 47 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free; please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the new Ep6 of '21, we christen Super Bowl Week as special guest Ron Magill discusses goats and how that foretells the Brady-Mahomes matchup, and we also bring you exclusive highlights from Sunday's legendary PFPI Gala, the Cote family tradition since 1969. Also, a new Mount Gregmore of TV insurance ads! Hear all of that and more in our fifth new episode of the new year! Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, rate, review and subscribe.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 31-FEBRUARY1): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: Butler back and Miami ends slump as Beal rumors swirl: Heat beat Sacramento Saturday to end a five-game losing streak with Jimmy Butler back from his COVID-protocol absence and scoring 30 points. Miami still is only 7-12 on the year. Meanwhile speculation swirls over the Heat's supposed interest in trading for Washington scoring star Bradley Beal, who may be on the trade block. Miami hosts the Wizards Wednesday and Friday this week. 

2. NFL: Super Bowl Week underway in Tampa!: Aspiring G.O.A.T. Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs remain a 3-point betting favorite at most sportsbooks despite Old G.O.A.T. Tom Brady's Bucs playing in their home stadium, a Super Bowl first. Meantime the canceled Pro Bowl would have been today. The national group, People Who'll Miss It, will meet this afternoon at the Waffle House. Corner booth.

3. MLB: Zero make Baseball Hall in latest vote: Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens -- all denied, again, in the 2021 vote for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Bonds and Clemsn can blame steroids and Schilling his far-right politics, including recent support of the rioters in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Sore-loser Schilling then asked to be taken off the 2022 ballot (his final year of eligibility) but may not get his wish.

4. DOLPHINS: Fins staff returns from Senior Bowl amid Watson chatter: The Dolphins staff is back from Mobile, Ala., where it coached the winning National team to a 27-24 win in Saturday's Senior Bowl. Now it's on to a deep dive of preparation for the April NFL Draft -- but with one eye on Deshaun Watson as his demand of a trade from Houston has much of the NFL's attention including Miami's. Alabama WR Devonta Smith says he and Tua Tagovailoa have talked about him joining Tua in Miami. But will Tua still be here...?

5. PANTHERS: Cats stay hot out the gate in NHL: Fast-starting Florida is 5-0-1 in the young NHL season after winning in Detroit again Sunday. Two first-year Cats, young Carter Verhaeghe (arrived via free agency) and veteran Patric Hornqvist (by trade) lead the team with five goals apiece including one each Sunday.

6. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men host Duke Monday: Struggling Canes men's team is 6-10 (2-9 ACC) after Saturday's loss at Wake Forest made it four losses in a row. Team hosts an unusually average Duke on Monday. UM women -- who recently nearly upset No. 1 Louisville, losing 79-76 -- are 7-7 (4-7), with Sunday's game vs. Boston College postponed. 

7. HURRICANES: UM benefits from ACC football announcement: The ACC announced it will return to its normal eight-conference-game, two-division format in 2021, with Notre Dame as a non-conference independent. Canes will benefit from being back in the easier (i.e. no Clemson) Coastal Division.

8. MARLINS: Fish place five on top-prospects list: MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects for 2021 has Miami RHP Sixto Sanchez 15th, OF J.J. Bleday 20th, RHP Max Meyer 28th, SSS/2B Jazz Chisholm 66th and RHP Edward Cabrera 68th. Sanchez impressed in seven starts last season while Chisholm struggled in 56 at-bats. Bleday and Cabrera figure to debut this coming season, with Meyer likely in '22.

9. TENNIS: Australian Open begins next week: The year's first tennis major begins February 8 with anti-vaxxer Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka the betting favorites. The big question: Can Serena Williams finally win her elusive 24th major title to tie Margaret Court's all-time record. Serena last won a Grand Slam singles event in 2017.

10. INTER MIAMI: Will MLS labor talks delay start of Year 2?: Season 2 for Inter Miami and new coach Phil Neville is nearing, with training camps set to open February 22 and the season on April 3. That's if MLS and its players union agree on a new CBA, with talks still ongoing.

Missing the HB10 cut: Matthew Stafford to Rams for Jared Goff and picks ..... Florida chief financial officer Jimmy Patronis has told the IOC of Miami's willingness to host the 2021 Summer Olympics if Tokyo is unable to because of the pandemic -- even though the IOC and Tokyo insist the Games will go on there. This would be high in our HB10 if Patronis' offer had more than a 0.000001 percent chance of fruition ..... The canceled Pro Bowl was supposed to be today. "I'll really miss it," said nobody at all ..... The big boys of college football will play in the fall, but spring football season begins this coming Saturday for more than 310 schools and 35 conferences at the FCS), Division II, Division III and NAIA levels ..... NBA All-Star voting is underway. With Jimmy Butler out, Bam Adebayo is Miami's best hope ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new 47th episode (No. 5 of 2021) is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,975 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. 

CurtsCURT SCHILLING HAS HIMSELF TO BLAME FOR FALLING SHORT OF HALL OF FAME: I am one of the 401 voters who cast a 2021 ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I voted for Curt Schilling — yet am glad he fell short and didn’t get in when results were revealed Tuesday night. This may seem odd, but it is a conflict many voters feel in the time of virulent politics, steroids and the “character clause” that voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America are free to let steer their vote, or to ignore. It is a weird and winding road that can lead a player to the shrine in Cooperstown, New York, or block his path. It happens when you ask a consensus of hundreds of voters who bring different criteria to the ballot. The continuing denial of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens is a classic example of how voters can judge one player so differently. Now, so too is Schilling. For our full latest column, please visit Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall

TompatWHY A BRADY-MAHOMES SUPER BOWL IS ULTIMATE TORTURE FOR MIAMI AND DOLPHINS FANS: There is a word for this newly minted Super Bowl matchup, from a Miami perspective. Torture. The matchup is Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, except, really, of course, it is Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes. So there it is, shoved right in the face of Dolphins fans for the next two weeks: The one player most responsible for Miami not reaching the Super Bowl any time this century — Brady, the Old G.O.A.T. And the one player most likely to prevent Miami getting there any time in the foreseeable future — Mahomes, the Aspiring G.O.A.T. For our full recent, please visit Why A Brady-Mahomes Super Bowl Is Torture For Dolphins Fans.

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THE ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

January 04, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

November 23, 2020

G10: Dolphins fall at Denver 20-13. Tua benched but still starter; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas 57 years ago yesterday. Never forget. 2) Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. But the blog still chugs on! 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 11 picks, Hurricanes season rocked and postponed by COVID, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 37 & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Some of our most recent stuff: Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Herald Week 10 NFL QB Rankings / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / and In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 38 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 38 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Ep38 we welcome in special guest Christie Cote to share family secrets and embarrassing stories about her husband Chris and father-in-law Greg. She also talks about being a fan of the winless Jets -- the Dolphins' next opponent. Greg and Chris also chat up Sunday's Fins loss in Denver. And of course there's a new Mount Gregmore (U's) and more. Appreciate you listening each week and check out the new ep!

MiadenverG10: DOLPHINS FALL AT DENVER 20-13. TUA BENCHED BUT STILL STARTER: Miami was due a loss after five straight wins, and Tua was due a less than stellar start. Both happened Sunday as the Dolphins missed a great chance to tie for the AFC East lead and solidify their playoff hopes. Original post: Tua Tagovailoa is 3-0 as a starter with five touchdown passes and zero interceptions — only the second rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era (Carson Wentz, 2016) to start 3-0 with zero picks. If Tagovailoa bags a fourth consecutive victory Sunday to begin his career he will be only the second rook since 1976 to do that, and the first since Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. Heady stuff, the way the Golden Samoan has introduced himself to Miami. He has helped make the Fins one of 15 teams with six-plus wins, the most ever entering Week 11. He also is a win in Denver Sunday (4:05 p.m., CBS) from hoisting Miami into a tie for the AFC East lead with idle Buffalo. This might give us pause: Miami somehow has lost 10 consecutive road games vs. teams with losing records. Except: Denver has lost eight of the past nine at home vs. teams with winning records. Mile High is no longer a scary visit. The Broncos are in shambles. QB Drew Lock (ribs) is iffy to play and has 10 interceptions in past five games when he does play. The once-proud Denver defense has allowed an average of 36 points during the past four games. The Broncos’ decline and the way Miami is playing are a stark contrast. Can’t recall when last I said what I’m about to: Miami losing on the road Sunday would be a huge surprise. My pick: Dolphins (-3), 27-13. For all of our latest King Sport picks (we're coming off an 11-3 week against the spread), visit NFL Week 11 Gems.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (NOVEMBER 22-23): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

1HButton1. DOLPHINS: Tua Train pulls into Denver, gets derailed in loss: Favored at Denver Sunday and with Jets and Bengals next, we thought Miami could very plausibly be 9-3 after a dozen games. Now, maybe 8-4? The playoffs still loom realistically, by Miami likely must win the next two to have a cushion entering a much tougher four-game stretch to end the regular season. A bit of pressure on Tua Tagovailoa now, too, after his benching late in Sunday's 20-13 loss.

2. HEAT: Miami nabs Memphis forward in NBA Draft, re-signs Dragic: The Heat selected Memphis 6-9 forward Precious Achiuwa 20th overall, seeing him as a big who'll back up Bam Adebayo. Precious has sisters named Grace and Peace, and brothers named Promise, God'sgift, God'swill and God’slove. If Precious is as good at basketball as his family is at naming babies, Miami just won the draft. Free agency opened two days after the draft and Miami quickly re-signed Goran Dragic and role player Meyers Leonard, but is lsing Jae Crowder to Phoenix.

3. HURRICANES: COVID outbreak disrupts, postpones UM season: No. 12 Canes -- how do you win and then drop three spots in The AP poll? -- were supposed to host Georgia Tech Saturday night. But the global coronavirus pandemic had something to say about that. A COVID outbreak got in the way, with much of the UM team including coach Manny Diaz in isolation after positive tests. Presuming no further outbreak, Hurricanes won't play again until December 5 at Wake Forest.

4. INTER MIAMI: Quick playoff exit ends strangest of rookie years: Inter Miami has finished its inaugural expansion season in Major League Soccer with a 7-14-3 record after Friday night's 3-0 loss at Nashville in the first round of the expanded playoffs. Miami had won its final regular season match to clinch the 10th and last spot in the East playoffs. Inter Miami starters Gonzalo Higuain and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez did not play Friday after ill-timed COVID test-positives.

5. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: First CFP ranking due as virus ravages season: The first College Football Playoff raking is out Tuesday and good luck to the committee making sense of this season. Nineteen more games were canceled (12) and postponed (7) this week, including ppd's for Miami-Georgia Tech (see above) and FSU-Clemson. Some games were played. Among results: Gators beat Vandy, FAU won and FIU lost (again).

6. NBA: Crazy week as free agency rolls out two days after draft: A whirlwind: Chris Paul to Suns. Jrue Holiday to Hornets. James Harden turns down $50 million to stay as he attemts to broker deal to join Nets. Anthony Davis not recommitting to Lakers just yet. Giannis mulling options. Toronto re-signs Fred VanFleet. Oh, and Raptors will open season in Tampa after Canada says no home games in Toronto just yet. 

7. UM BASKETBALL: It's opening week for Canes and college hoops: Under the shadow of a pandemic, college basketball gets underway Wednesday, with Gonzaga (AP) and Baylor (coaches) No. 1 in the men's polls and South Carolina dominant in the women's rankings. It's a season of low expectations for UM, with neither team ranked or receiving votes. Canes women open Wednesday at home vs. Jacksonville; Miami men launch next Sunday vs. North Florida.

8. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Champion LSU rocked by scandal: Ed Orgeron's reigning national champion LSU Tigers program is under fire after a USA Today investigative report found systemic mishandling of sexual misconduct and dating violence complaints against the school's football team. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was "deeply troubled" and has called for an investigation, and the NCAA won't be far behind.

9. SOCCER: Champions League play resumes this week: UEFA Champions League group play continues Tuesday toward a winnowing to the round of 16. Barcelona, one of four team that are a perfect 3-0 thus far, plays Tuesday. The other three perfectos, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool, get back at it Wednesday. Two more weeks of play will follow to complete the group stage.

10. THANKSGIVING: Time to give thanks, if at all possible: Thursday we eat (a lot), watch football (a lot), and enjoy the company of loved ones (but not too close). Many of us, when we say grace before the Thanksgiving banquet, count the blessings of the year. In cursed 2020, that could make for a record-short grace. "Thank God this !@#$%in' year is almost over! Let's eat."

Missing the HB10 cut: Waiting for that first big Marlins offseason deal to trumpet GM Kim Ng's arrival ..... R.I.P., Jake Scott, Dolphins career leader in interceptions. Free safety, free spirit, gone at 75 ..... As MLB free agency rolls out, sport suspended Mets 2B Robinson Cano an entire season for PEDs. So long, Cooperstown ..... Baseball Hall of Fame ballots have been mailed, and I (a voter) received mine. Rudy Guiliani is standing by to contest the results of the election ..... The wife of Lions QB Matthew Stafford on Instagram called Michigan a "dictatorship" for its COVID lockdown rules, was shouted down by rational people aware there is a pandemic, and had to apologize ..... LaVar Ball vs. Michael Jordan 1-on-1? Yes, please. But only if it is guaranteed MJ will crush and humiliate the world's most annoying sports dad ..... Florida Panthers have entered into an affiliation agreement with the ECHL's Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Minor-league nicknames rule! ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 38 drops Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,045 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Select other most recent columns: Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move/ and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

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THE ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

November 19, 2020

Our thoughts on Heat top draft pick Precious Achiuwa; plus Marlins hiring Kim Ng an historic home run. My column; also, Mina Kimes on latest Greg Cote Show podcast, tonight's Cardinals-Seahawks pick, NFL Week 10 Pix 'n Fantasy results/QB rankings & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19. Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. That's why, for example, I have no column on last night's Miami Heat draft pick. However, find my quick thoughts on the pick below. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins beat Chargers for 5th straight win, Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 37 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Pick for tonight's Cardinals-Seahawks game: No result would surprise ... except either team being held below 30 points. For our preview and pick: NFL Week 11 Thursday Gem. Look for all of our Week 11 picks online by mid-afternoon today.

Updated Herald NFL QB rankings: Old G.O.A.T. wins Week 10 and a virtual three-way dead heat for the season lead. Check out Herald Week 10 NFL QB Rankings.

PreciousQUICK THOUGHTS ON HEAT'S FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: They hit big with Tyler Herro 13th overall last year and with Bam Adebayo 14th in 2019 (no pick in '18). Now we begin to find out if Miami made it three straight Grade A first rounders last night with Precious Achiuwa 20th overall out of Memphis in the delayed, virtual NBA Draft. Achiuwa (pronounced ah-CHEW-uh and pictured) is a Nigeria-born 6-9 power forward who is 21 though playing only one year in college. He was American Athletic Conference (AAC) Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, averaging 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.87 blocks and 1.10 steals while shooting 49.3 percent from the field. He was All-AAC First Team and the only freshman in the nation to average a double-double. Pat Riley: "We were looking for bigs like him that were quick, athletic, that could run, that could handle. Obviously, he’s an explosive player, plays above the rim. We were very, very impressed with him. He was in our wheelhouse." Thought they might have leaned point guard, but Achiuwa will fit nicely as a backup for Adebayo and give Miami some of the size it was shown lacking last season in its unexpected run to the NBA Finals. And do not scoff at Memphis or the AAC. His teammate, center James Wiseman, was taken second overall last night. Recent NBA players out of that Memphis program have included Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose. ESPN graded Miami's selection a 'B.' That sounds about right. You don't expect stardom out of a 20th pick, but Heat envision a rotation guy, an immediate contributor with big upside. Fun fact about Precious: He has brothers named God'sgift, God'swill, God’slove and Promise.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 37 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 38 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 37 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the new new Ep37 we welcome in ESPN star Mina Kimes to discuss Tua and the Dolphins, the Marlins hiring Kim Ng and other fun stuff. Also: Greg's thoughts on the contentious Le Batard Postgame show last Wednesday, a little bit of Masters golf, a new Mount Gregmore and more. You all made last week's Greg Cote Show easily the most downloaded and most listened-to in our history as it climbed to as high as No. 3 among all sports podcasts in the national Apple rankings. So thank you! Appreciate you listening each week and check out the new ep!

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 10 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Best week yet vs. the line!: Pleased to report our Week 10 results showed a strong 10-4 overall and a really strong 11-3 against the point spread -- best of the season thus far ATS. Called the Colts' mini-upset win at Tennessee, nailed Washington covering at Detroit in our Upset of the Week, and also had 'dog covers by Houston and the Giants. Needed that big week against the evil point spread. Now let's keeps it going! Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: Ill-timed slide continues: Lobos lost a fourth straight game and embarrassingly, 118-61, to fall to 4-6 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. Nice 21 from Chase Claypool but everyone else underperformed their projections. Dak Prescott injury killed me, Michael Thomas nightmare has too and now Chris Carson is hurting us. Been a Lobos season full of bad luck. Still a playoff shot, but likely need at least two wins in last three weeks.

MIAMI MARLINS HIT HOME RUN WITH HISTORY-MAKING HIRE OF GM KIM NG: Historic. Ground-breaking. Ceiling-shattering. Such language is so often hyperbole, applied too casually. Here, it fits. Heck, it might qualify as understatement. The Miami Marlins’ hiring of Kim Ng as new general manager has kicked down one of sports’ most stubborn barriers. A woman, and one of Asian- KimngAmerican descent, is now running a Major League Baseball front office for the first time. When the outpouring of congratulations are coming from the likes of Michelle Obama and trailblazer Billie Jean King, your franchise has made not a typical hire, but a transcendent one. One that feels as much about proof of equality as it does about baseball. She calls King a hero of hers, along with Martina Navratilova. The congrats from Obama she called “humongous.” This has been a long climb for her. “I’ve been defeated and deflated numerous times, and it is difficult going through that failure publicly,” Ng said Monday, in an introductory news conference done via Zoom, as she sat seated near home plate at Marlins Park. “But you always keep hoping, and plowing through.” Ng (her surname pronounced ang) turns 52 on Tuesday. Happy birthday, indeed. This woman’s climb is one of perseverance, indefatigable persistence and 30 years of dues-paying to finally get the phone call she had dreamed of: The offer of a big-league general manager’s job. On the other end of the line: Derek Jeter, Marlins CEO and part owner. “The idea this has affected this many people is just extraordinary,” Ng said of the reaction she has gotten. “I thought it would be a big deal, but this is beyond my expectations. People are looking for hope, looking for inspiration. I’m happy that this is a part of that.” For my latest column in full, visit Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM.

Our most recent other columns: Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in BlacksburgCanes Keep Beating Teams They Should (If Barely) / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right MoveDolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

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THE ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

October 22, 2020

Dolphins turning to Tua now is risky timing -- but right move. Newest column; plus it's been a magical little run in Miami sports, tonight's Giants-Eagles pick, latest Greg Cote Show podcast, NFL Week 6 Pix 'n Fantasy results & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins blank Stinkin' Jets and Tua debuts, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 33 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

Tonight's Giants-Eagles pick: Go to NFL Thursday Gem for the pick on tonight's Week 7 kickoff.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 33 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote, debuted in March and the new Episode 33 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 33 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep33, 'Growing Up Cote II,' we welcome back my older brother for Uncle Dick 2.0. He makes fun of explains the phenomenon of PFPI and the PFPI Gala, shares how Greg is so odd on a golf course, and reveals what he really thinks about how Dan Le Batard treats his little brother on the air. Also, Greg and Chris chat up Tua's long-awaited Dolphins debut. A new Mount Gregmore, too -- the P's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

TuaWHY MIAMI DOLPHINS TURNING TO ROOKIE QB TUA NOW IS RISKY TIMING -- BUT THE RIGHT NOVE: The scene: Bourbon Street in New Orleans at the height of Mardi Gras, pre-pandemic. The boulevard is packed with revelers, beads are flying. It’s an undulating, nonstop party. And there’s that one guy on a milk crate with a bullhorn, warning all of the sinners to repent. The Miami Dolphins quarterback change as reminded me a little of that. The vast majority of Dolfans are in party mode, cheering the elevation of rookie Tua Tagovailoa to the starting job. Beads and hope are flying. I’m old enough to have been at the very first Dolphins expansion game with my Dad in 1966, know this franchise better than I know any other, and I have not felt the fan base this excited in 20 years. Not since Dan Marino. Ah, but there is that one segment of fan on that mile crate with a bullhorn, shouting, “But why now!?” Miami has won two in a row and three of the past four to get to 3-3 and join the NFL playoff hunt — all under the able aegis of veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and his glorious Viking beard. Take a photo of the standings for posterity because hallelujah the Fins are above the New England Patriots. Is now the time to hand the ball to a rookie whose 2 minutes 27 seconds of NFL experience came in Sunday’s garbage time against the Jets? Short answer: Yes. Make that: YES! For my full most recent column, go to Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move.

HEAT, MARLINS, CANES, NOW TUA. MISERABLE 2020 SUDDENLY A GREAT TIME TO BE A MIAMI FAN: The sun had just set when hope began rising. An October Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, late in the game and the future is rising up off the bench, warming up on the sideline. Fans in the spaced-apart, pandemic crowd of 10,772 were rising up, too, with a cheer that became an ovation. That joyous noise, pent up for how long? Years? Two decades? Maybe ever since Dan Marino limped off a football field for the last time on January 15, 2000? That big noise the small crowd was making — it was the sound of the future arriving, becoming real. “Tua! Tua! Tua!” All of a sudden, it seems, what a time it is to be a sports fan in South Florida. It has been a so-depressing 2020, sustained misery, the COVID-19 death toll now past 220,000 in America and cases spiking anew. Social unrest, political divide, even the common ground of shared values seeming to run away from us. It is strangely in this oppressing context that Miami sports has pushed through and picked curses 2020 to create such an exhilarating ride. We all needed a lift? We got one. For my full recent column, visit Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan. [My column off Fins win over Jets: For Dolphins, 4th Straight Good Game -- And Tua, Too!]

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 6 RESULTS: NFL Pix--We took our hits: Went 7-7 straight-up in Week 6, never OK under any circumstance. Also went 7-7 against the spread, which is decent, at least. Example of our struggles: Had Texans over Titans in our Upset of the Week. Texans lead by seven with less than two minutes left. Texans lose in OT. Had the right idea, jus needed Houston to close it out. Had a trip of 'dogs-with-points in covers by Broncos, Eagles and 49ers. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald. Onward and upward! Greg's Lobos: Hot 'Bos win again!: Lobos won yet again to improve to 4-2 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. We're on playoff pace as we near midseason. This win was unexpected, 89-88. We were dead in the water but got 36 big points Monday night including 20 from Amari Cooper. The miracle of 4-2 is that we've done almost all of it wthout top draft pick Michael Thomas. Now we've lost starting QB Dak Prescott. Can the underdog Lobos keep it up? Stay along for the ride and find out!

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THE ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

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