April 18, 2021

The new Hot Button Top 10: Dolphins draft, slumping Heat, Inter Miami opener battle for the top. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus Greg Cote Show podcast, links to recent columns & more

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

Mecane1) It's SUNDAY, APRIL 18. We were back on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past Tuesday. Find that day's show podcasts, including a new Back In My Day. One of the reasons I love being on Dan's show is the fans. They are super loyal, engaged and talented. Example: Dan jokes on-air that I should adopt a royal persona and walk into press boxes carrying a scepter. So a bunch of stuff related to that turns up online including the photo shown. So sublimely ridiculous. Love it. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Why Dolphins should trade up in draft and go all-in for Kyle Pitts, Masuyama's Masters win lifts Japan in time of anti-Asian hate, Greg Cote Show podcast with Dave Parker and Roy Bellamy & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

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

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: LATEST EPISODE WITH DAVE PARKER, ROY BELLAMY OUT NOW!: Our 15th podcast of 2021 (57th overall) is out now! A new pod drops Mondays at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. However the pod is taking this Monday off with a new episode returning on Monday, April 26. So it's perfect time to catch up on our full catalog! You can find all 57 we've done HERE for free. In our latest Ep15 we welcome in two special guests: Former Pittsburgh Pirates star Dave Parker and, from the Le Batard Show, Roy Bellamy. Parker has a new autobiography out and he speaks about being denied the Hall of Fame, his fight with Parkinson's disease and more. And get to know the inscrutable Bellamy in a fun chat about his bucket list, what scares him and more. (And do we get Roy to sing? Find out). Also: The Mount Gregmore of all-time best food. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / and It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate.

Personal note: I'm on holiday for a few days. The podcast has the week off but will return with a new episode Monday, April 26. I'll miss this Tuesday's Le Batard Show but will be back on April 27. This week's Hot Button was written Saturday morning. We'll return with a blog update and a new column on Wednesday.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 18-19): 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: Countdown 11 days until NFL Draft: The April 29 start of the NFL Draft is coming like a locomotive, with Miami weighing what to do with the No. 6 overall pick, or whether to trade up or down. This week's latest mock draft by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. guessed the Fins will trade up to No. 4 and take Gators tight end Kyle Pitts. (In my dreams ... or in Brian Flores'). Meantime new Vegas over/unders on wins have Miami at 9 for the new 17-game seasons, or likely wild-card contention.

2. HEAT: Playoffs no given as slumping Miami hosts Brooklyn Sunday: An NBA Finals runnerup last season, the Heat is at risk of not making the playoffs this year after falling to seventh in the East at 28-28 after a third straight loss Friday night at Minnesota. Miami has 16 games left in the abbreviated 72-game regular season starting Sunday at home vs. star-laden Brooklyn.

3. INTER MIAMI: Year 2 in MLS unfurls Sunday for Beckham, new coach: David Beckham's Inter Miami hosts the L.A. Galaxy Sunday at it's-still-Inter Miami Stadium-to-me in Fort Lauderdale, with limited fans allowed. It's the debut for new coach Phil Neville. Miami's second match is the following Saturday at the Philadelphia Union.

4. PANTHERS: Cats remain in three-way fight for Central lead: Florida is 27-12-5 after Thursday's 3-2 OT loss at rival Tampa Bay, third in NHL Central but only a point off the lead entering Saturday's rematch at the Lightning. Cats bolstered for the stretch run with a flurry of minor deals ahead of the league trade deadline.

5. MARLINS: Fish shake off rough start, get hot: Miami shook off 1-5 start at home with a 4-2 road trip that including taking three of four in Atlanta, then won the first of three back home over the Giants Friday night with strong relief pitching and homers by Starling Marte and Jazz Chisholm. Marlins were 6-7 heading into Satrday and Sunday games vs. San Fran.

6. POLITICS: Florida House passes controversial transender bill: Florida's state Hour this week passed a bill that would ban transgender female athletes from joining women’s public high school and college sports teams. If signed into law the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would require athlete eligibility to be based on one's biological (at-birth) sex. The NCAA reiterated support for transgender athletes and announced it would not host college championships in states where discriminatory laws exist.

7. AUTO RACING: Formula One in Miami moves closer to reality: A Formula One Miami Grand Prix race in 2022 in the area of Hard Rock Stadium moved a step closer to reality this week when the Miami Gardens city commission approved a resolution to support the race, angering some residents.

8. HURRICANES: Team Diaz wraps up spring football practice: Offseason work wrapped up Saturday with the annual Spring Game at The Rock. Coach Manny Diaz's Canes open the season September 4 with the toughest possible game -- vs. reigning champion Alabama in Atlanta. Home-game individual tickets go on sale this Wednesday.

9. SOCCER: UEFA Champions League semifinals set: Results last week fashioned a heavyweight Champions League final four, with semifinals matching Real Madrid vs. Chelsea and Paris-Saint Germain vs. Manchester City. First-leg matches are set for April 27-28.

10. OLYMPICS: Are the Summer Games in jeopardy again?: A senior Japanese ruling party official said canceling this summer's Tokyo Olympics remains an option if the pandemic crisis becomes too dire, with Japan experiencing a fourth wave of infections less than 100 days from the Games' scheduled start.

Missing the HB10 cut: Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade is now a part owner of the Utah Jazz. A piece of the Heat or even the Bulls would-a made more sense, but when opportunity knocks you let it in, right? ..... The Basketball Hall of Fame announced Michael Jordan would present the late Kobe Bryant at the May 15 ceremony ..... Twenty women who have alleged inappropriate behavior or sexual assault against Texans QB Deshaun Watson have now disclosed their names. This is getting serious-real, folks ..... Two no-hitters in MLB the past week. When did that stop being a big deal? ..... WWE releases nine wrestlers in a budget cut, and this is where I pretend I've heard of or will miss any of them ..... The Florida Panthers' privately financed $65 million renovation of Fort Lauderdale's War Memorial Auditorium is underway with construction of a new team practice and community ice facility. It is scheduled to open in Summer 2022...... The NCAA loosened its transfer rule. Starting next season major college football and basketball players may transfer one time before graduating without being required to sit out a year of competition ..... ESPN is mad at Alex Rodriguez because its own MLB analyst gave the scoop to The Athletic, not to his own network, that he and a billionaire partner were buying the Minnedosta Timberwolves. Hilarious! ..... Hurricanes baseball had dropped out of the Top 25 entering its weekend home series vs. Clemson ..... Patriots receiver Julian Edelman retired. Five words: Not a Hall of Famer ..... Browns snared edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney with a one-year deal ..... Texas center Charlie Collier went No. 1 overall in this week's WNBA Draft. League's 25th season tips off May 14 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is off this week -- a perfect time to catch up on any of the 57 episodes you may have missed! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,898 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

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

Select other recent columns: No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has A Needed Fresh Feel As We Welcome Back March Madness / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me / and Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic.

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

April 05, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Marlins, March Madness, red-hot Heat and Panthers, Masters Week battle for top. See who's No.1 and what else lands where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with Dick Stockton out now & more

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

Eeaster1) It's MONDAY, APRIL 5. Hope ya'll had a Happy Easter Sunday and, to our Jewish friends, a celebratory 'chag Pasach sameach' to end Passover! 2) I was back in my regular Tuesday spot last week on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Check out that day's podcasts, including my latest Back In My Day. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Marlins Opening Week with columns off opener and season preview, Greg Cote Show podcast with Guinness Record-setting hot pepper eater & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 4-5): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. MARLINS: Play ball! Fans (partly) back as Fish open season: Marlins' season-opening six-game homestand continues with games Monday through Wednesday vs. St. Louis after Easter Sunday off. Fish opened 1-2 vs. Tampa Bay, with bats coming alive in Saturday's 12-7 win. Miami is allowing crowds up to 27 percent capacity this season (about 9,700 per game), although the first three games have averaged only about 6,500 or 18 percent capacity. Almost forgot: The ballpark's gruesome new corporate name is "loanDepot park." (It's still Marlins Park  to me).

2. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Men's title game set as Gonzaga, Baylor advance: Unbeaten Gonzaga goes for a wire-to-wire perfect season and Baylor stands in the way in its first title game since 1948 in the men's NCAA Tournament championship game Monday night in Indianapolis. Baylor routed Houston 78-59 in Saturday's semifinal while the Zags survived UCLA 93-90 on a buzzer-beating 3 by Jalen Suggs in OT.

3. HEAT: Topsy-turvy team is hot again as Oladipo joins the flow: Heat has won four in a row and risen to a tie for fourth place in the East after Saturday's win over Cleveland -- after previously losing six straight. Newly acquired shooting guard Victor Oladipo, the trade-deadline prize, made his Heat debut Thursday. In other news, Jimmy Butler appeared shirtless at a postgame news conference, drawing playful derision from Bam Adebayo. Team's back in play Tuesday vs. Memphis.

4. PANTHERS: Fire-on-ice Cats win sixth in a row!: Florida is 26-9-4, alone in first place in the NHL Central and on a season-best six-game win streak after the weekend's 5-2 and 3-0 home dominations of Columbus. Florida now sets out on a six-game road trip starting Tuesday at Carolina. Also last week, Florida signed goalkeeper Spencer Knight, the team's 2019 top draft pick, to a three-year contract.

5. GOLF: It's the week of The Masters at Augusta: With Tiger Woods watching on TV as he recovers from severe leg injuries suffered in his recent car accident, The Masters goes on without him this week at Augusta starting Thursday. Betting favorites are led by Dustin Johnson, Bryson Dechambeau and Justin Thomas. As for Woods? L.A. detectives have determined the cause of his wreck, but thus far are refusing to reveal their finings. Hmm. 

6. NFL: Fans cheer, players gripe as league OKs 17-game season: After 43 seasons with a 16-game regular season, the NFL is increasing it to 17 games beginning this year. Fans love it. More football. TV loves it. More revenue and ratings. Players don't love it and can't believe their union let it happen.   

7. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Stanford tops Arizona in women's championship game: Women's NCAA Tournament got an all-Pac 12 title game in which Stanford edged Arizona 54-53 on Sunday for the Cardinal's first national title since 1992. No. 1 seed Stanford had advanced by beating South Carolina 66-65 while No. 3 Arizona had stunned No. 1 UConn, 69-65. Results deprived America of a championship-stage look at UConn freshman sensation and AP Player of the Year Paige Bueckers, who was held to 18 points on 5-for-13 shooting Friday.

8. TENNIS: Ash Barty leads championship weekend at Miami Open: Defending Miami Open champ Ash Barty won again on Saturday, with ease when underdog opponent Bianca Andreescu retired injured in the second set outside of Hard Rock Stadium. A no-name, who's-that men's final four advanced 19-year-old Italian Jannik Skinner and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland to Sunday's men's championship match, won by Hurkacz. This year's Miami Open was back after taking 2020 off but was decimated by star withdrawals and gutted prize money.

9. MLB: Baseball moves All-Star Game to punish Georgia voting laws: Baseball announced it's 2021 All-Star Game and MLB Draft would be moved from Atlanta in response to Georgia's recently passed voter suppression law. Bravo baseball!

10. INTER MIAMI: Teams cancels preseason scrimmages over COVID concerns: Inter Miami canceled three scheduled exhibition games in Bradenton ahead of its second MLS season on account of COVID-19 concerns. David Beckham's outfit and new coach Phil Neville are prioritizing full health as team preps for its April 18 season opener.

Missing the HB10 cut: Countdown: 24 days 'til Dolphins draft ..... Houston police have now begun an investigation of Deshaun Watson as 21 women have now alleged inappropriate sexual behavior during massages ..... North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams is retiring after 18 years with the Tar Heels and 33 years in the sport overall ..... Also retiring: Veteran TV sports broadcaster Dick Stockton ..... No. 19 Canes baseball is 15-8 off four straight wins and goes for home sweep of Duke today ..... North Macedonia stunned Germany in a World Cup qualifying match ..... UEFA Champions League first-leg quarterfinal matches commence Tuesday with Manchester City-Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid-Liverpool ..... Oh, and Miami FC, the second-tier USL team, prepares to open its new season May 2 ..... Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, you embarrassed everyone on Earth by saying COVID testing should be done away with so as not to disrupt the Final Four ..... If anybody cares, Tampa hosts WrestleMania 37 next weekend ..... Hurricanes spring football practuce continues through April 17 ..... xxxxx ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's 14th episode of 2021 and 56th overall drops Monday morning on all major podcast platforms. Now Mondays 5-6 p.m. on Sirius XM Channel 145, too! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,912 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

March 29, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Huge week as Riley magic, Fins draft trades, Marlins Opening Week, R.I.P. Howard, Elite Eight fight for first; plus our Schnellenberger tribute column, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 29. Thanks to the Paul Castronovo Show for having us on this morning to talk Dolphins and Schnellenberger. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat and Riley steal Oladipo at trade deadline, Beckham keeps name-dropping Messi and Ronaldo for Inter Miami, Deshaun Watson's escalating off-field mess, Greg Cote Show podcast with Pablo Torre & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow MikejackGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 13th podcast of 2021 (55th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 55 we've done so far HERE for free. In our latest Ep13 we offer a tribute to the late great Howard Schnellenberger and welcome in two special guests. Meet Mike Jack (pictured), who just a Guinness World Record for eating the hottest pepper ever grown. And Jeremy Tache' of Bally (nee Fox) Sports Florida is on to discuss Heat, Marlins and Schitt's Creek. Greg and Chris also chew over Dolphins' big draft trades. And hear the return of Mount Gregmore! Thanks as always, pod family, for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (And remember: Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

HowardripHOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER, 1934-2021: MY TRIBUTE COLUMN: Like grown children do with aging parents, sports fans know the day is coming for beloved old coaches who have faded from sidelines and headlines but never from our hearts. We have so long to prepare for the day, so many years, yet somehow we always feel unprepared when the news hits. Howard Schnellenberger -- father of the Miami Hurricanes football dynasty but with an impact so much greater -- passed away early Saturday. He had turned 87 two weeks earlier. We forgive hyperbole in eulogies, but sometimes what might seem like a statement too big is just right: “Without him there is no Miami football,” the Hurricanes program tweeted simply. For my full tribute column, visit In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time.

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 28-29): 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: Slump deepens, but Miami, Riley win big at draft deadline: Bad news? Heat has lost a season-high six straight games and fallen below .500 (22-24) and tumbled from fourth place to eighth in the East after Friday's loss at Charlotte. Good news? Miami and Pat Riley killed it on NBA trade deadline day. Couldn't pry Kyle Lowry from Toronto, but acquired 20-point scorer Victor Oladipo and forward Nemanja Bjelica without having to part with valued pieces like Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson. No Lowry? No problem! Miami is back in play Monday at Knicks.

2. DOLPHINS: Miami trades down in first round, gets draft windfall in return: The Fins on Friday shook up the NFL draft's April 29 first round by trading down from the No. 3 overall pick. Miami in return got San Francisco's No. 12 overall pick, its third rounder this year and two future first-round picks -- one in 2022 and one in 23. Then, Miami got the No. 6 overall pick this year and a '21 fifth-round pick from Philadelphia in exchange for the '21 12th overall pick, a '21 fourth-round pick and a '22 first-round pick. Got all that? Bottom line: By moving down third to sixth in this year's first round, Fins gained a 3rd-round pick in '21 and a first-rounder in '23. Smart.

3. MARLINS: It's Opening Week for Miami's 29th MLB season!: Marlins open the regular season with a six-game homestand vs. Tampa Bay and St. Louis starting this Thursday vs. the Rays, with Sandy Alcantara on the mound for Miami. Low expectations for Fish in tough NL East, based on betting numbers, though Miami snapped a 17-year playoff drought last year. Season comes after a successful spring that saw Fish finish atop the Grapefruit League standings at 14-5 (not counting five ties) after Sunday's closing win.

4. HOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER: R.I.P. to Canes' first champion football coach: Howard Schnellenberger passed away Saturday at age 87. His leading the Miami Hurricanes' 1983 national championship touched off a dynasty that would lead to four titles more over the next 18 seasons. He later built FAU's program from scratch.  A true South Florida sports legend. R.I.P. 

5. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: March Madness' Sweet 16 turns to Elite Eight: The original 68 teams in the men's NCAA Tournament are down to the surviving Elite Eight after weekend results. Saturday, No. 1 Baylor advanced along with Houston, Arkansas and Oregon State. (Notably eliminated: Cinderella-designate Oral Roberts and Sister Jean's Loyola). Sunday, No. 1s Gonzaga and Michigan moved on along with USC and, in an upset, UCLA. Elite Eight games are tonight and Tuesday.

6. BOXING: Tyson-Holyfield III set for Miami in May ... or is it?: The third and last fight in the Evander Holyfield-Mike Tyson trilogy is set for May 29 at a socially distanced Hard Rock Stadium. But only if it ends up happening. It seemed set. Then Holyfield's camp announced Tyson had rejected the $25 million guarantee. Then, a day after Tyson proclaimed the fight was on, his reps told TMZ the boxer misspoke and wasn't aware how far apart the two sides are in negotiations. So stay tuned. Quick aside: Tyson is 54 and Holyfield 58. Tick tock, fellas!

7. HURRICANES: Spring football practice breaks for UM's NFL Pro Day: Midway through its 15 spring practices, UM pauses on Monday to welcome in scouts for its annual Pro Day in advance of the NFL Draft. Two ex-Cnes -- defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau -- are seen as certain first-rounders, though likely mid-round. Spring practice concludes April 17.

8. PANTHERS: Ekblad injured in Florida win: Florida is 22-9-4, third in NHL Central and only two points off the lead after a pair of wins in Dallas. Sunday's was was costly, though, as defenseman Aaron Ekblad left the ice on a stretcher with a serious left leg injury that will keep him out "an extensive time," said coach Joel Quenneville. Ekblad is a Norris Trophy finalist for NHL defenseman of the year award.

9. TENNIS: What's left of Miami Open reaches midpoint: Rocked by major late withdrawals including Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Novak Djokvic and Rafael Nadal and with its prize fund gutted, the remains of the Miami Open -- back with limited crowds after being erased by the pandemic last spring -- reached its midway point this weekend outside Hard Rock Stadium.

10. HORSE RACING: Known Agenda wins Florida Derby: Todd Pletcher-trained Known Agenda won Saturday's Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, a major prep race for Triple Crown season. Win qualified the horse for the Kentucky Derby. Known Agenda's owner? Vinnie Viola, who also owns the Florida Panthers.

Missing the HB10 cut: U.S. men's soccer failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics after Sunday's 2-1 loss to Honduras in Guadalajara, Mexico. It's the U.S. men's third straight missed Olympics ..... Year 2 for David Beckham's Inter Miami opened with a practice game vs. the USL Tampa Bay Rowdies Sunday, a 1-0 loss in St. Pete. After five friendlies will come the MLS regular season opener April 18. Meantime Beckham keeps name-dropping Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as among stars who could end their careers with Miami. We'll hold you to that, Becks! ..... Attrition clobbers Canes hoops. UM men's season ended at 10-17, worst in 27 years, and the hits keep coming. Guard Chris Lykes announced he's turning pro as expected, although at 5-7 it's unlikely he'll draw NBA Draft attention. Now leading scorer Isaiah Wong also is pondering an early departure, and shooting guard Kameron McGusty also is gauging NBA interest. Oh, and two others, Elijah Olaniyi and Earl Timberlake, have entered the transfer portal. Tough times for Jim Larranaga ..... Yeah, innocent until proven guilty. OK. But 16 civil suits against Deshaun Watson for sexual impropriety or assault? At what point might teams negotiating a trade with Houston have second thoughts? ..... Francis Ngannou KO'd Stip Miocic to win the UFC heavyweight title Saturday ..... A Miami Heat arena name change is at hand. It's going from AmericanAirlines Arena to FTX Arena, after a cryptocurrency exchange. Will players now be paid in Bitcoin? ..... No. 19 Canes baseball is 11-8 entering Sunday's series rubber game at Virginia ..... Upcoming: UEFA Champions League first-leg quarterfinal matches are next week on April 6; The Masters at Augusta is April 8-11; Tampa hosts WrestleMania 37 on April 10-11; and the Kentucky Derby is in one month, on May 1 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's 13th episode of 2021 and 55th overall drops Monday morning. Now Mondays 5-6 p.m. on Sirius XM Channel 145, too! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,919 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

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

Select other columns: 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 As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / 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 Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / '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 only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

March 26, 2021

No Lowry, but stealing Oladipo, keeping Herro a big win-win for Riley, Heat. New column; plus On Beckham name-dropping Messi and Ronaldo for Inter Miami, Deshaun Watson's colossal mess, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with Pablo Torre & more

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

Ej1) It's FRIDAY, MARCH 26. Happy Birthday, Elton John! Hard to believe you turned 74 Thursday. You have been a soundtrack of my  life and a continuing inspiration. Thank you. 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, Greg Cote Show podcast with Pablo Torre & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow PabloGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH PABLO TORRE OUT NOW!: Our 12th podcast of 2021 (54th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 54 we've done so far HERE for free. In our new  Ep12 ESPN's Pablo Torre joins us to discuss the impact and pain of Asian-American hate crimes such as the recent mass killing in Atlanta. We pivot to light and fun  stuff, too, of course, including his 'Con of Mammals' theory and his never-before-told revelation about his real name -- what his Mom calls him. Also on the menu: We record before a live studio audience, discuss pigs learning to play video games and more. Thanks as always, pod family, for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Also, our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Dolphins, Phil 'n Tiger, March Madness. Other latest columns: No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / and Why Men's NCAA Tournament Has Needed Fresh Feel As We Welome Back March Madness.

VicolaNO LOWRY? NO PROBLEM. MIAMI HEAT STEALING OLADIPO, KEEPING HERRO A BIG WIN FOR RILEY: Patience, as a virtue, can be profoundly overrated. Pat Riley has known that well in the 25-plus years he has been one of the best things ever to happen to sports in Miami. And Heat fans have almost always benefited from that lack of patience. The Heat team president quietly turned 76 a few days ago. Sometimes a man gets to feeling he doesn’t have all the time in the world to sit around crossing fingers on the status quo when there are dominoes to tip, deals to be made. Chances to take. And so Riley’s Heat was in the mix again Thursday, NBA draft-deadline day, working phones in the midst of a four-game losing streak that saw Miami fall to 22-22 and a tie for fifth place in the East. Getting through the conference and back to the NBA Finals this season has seemed a steep climb — hence, the interest Thursday in a deadline-day roster infusion. This happened: Miami acquired guard Victor Oladipo, a two-time all-star averaging 20.8 points this season, from Houston for Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk. The Heat also obtained power forward Nemanja Bjelica from Sacramento in exchange for Moe Harkless and Chris Silva. (Miami had earlier acquired forward Trevor Ariza from Oklahoma City for Meyers Leonard and a 2027 second-round pick). That’s a beefed-up rotation, added depth at forward and a 20-point scorer without giving up anybody they would truly miss, such as a Duncan Robinson. (And LaMarcus Aldridge might yet be added). Not bad. Now here is what did not happen Thursday: Kyle Lowry-to-Miami didn’t happen. Not for a lack of effort or desire, but because Riley, uncharacteristically, showed patience. For our full latest column, visit No Lowry, But Stealing Oladipo, Keeping Herro a Win-Win For Heat, Riley.

BecksBECKHAM KEEPS NAME-DROPPING MESSI, RONALDO FOR INTER MIAMI. CAN HE DELIVER?: David Beckham is dreaming out loud again. Putting his grandest, most high-reaching vision for his Inter Miami CF soccer club out there for all to see. It’s almost as if he is challenging himself — daring himself — to reach the bar he is setting. As they await the club’s second season in Major League Soccer (first match is April 18), South Florida fans are again being tempted and teased by Beckham to expect the best, to consider no player out of reach. Now all he has to do is deliver. When you whet the appetite for lobster, steak and caviar, what you actually serve will be under fair scrutiny, after all. So Beckham this week tells ESPN’s Taylor Twellman: “When we announced [a team in] Miami, there was always going to be talk about players we were going to bring in, whether it was Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar. There was always going to be those discussions. I actually don’t think it’s a tough one for players to decide, to be honest, because it’s a great place. Miami is a city that has that pull on players who have been playing in Europe that are big stars.” There are big stars, and then there are Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar, who are of a galaxy far beyond. “It’s not a difficult [sales] pitch,” added Beckham. “You say Miami and they’re, like, OK. There were reasons I chose Miami.” There has always been the assumption that the glamour and sizzle of Miami and the sexy international cache’ of the Beckham brand would be an intoxicating perfume to lure star power. For our full recent column, visit Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver?

DeshaunWOMEN KEEP ACCUSING DESHAUN WATSON OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT. BUT WILL IT MATTER TO NFL TEAMS?: The narrowing of possibilities for Deshaun Watson’s football future plays out in lockstep with the gradual disintegration of his reputation. The NFL has never seen anything quite like it. We watch in fascination, as we would a train wreck unfolding in slow motion. As free agency plods on and players change uniforms, the league‘s most coveted perhaps-available superstar quarterback continues the subject of pursuit by both teams and women alleging sexual misconduct. The women now outnumber the teams, which may or may not be related. It’s a mess from every angle. Watson signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension with the Houston Texans just months ago, but now is adamantly estranged from the club to the degree he is demanding a trade. The Texans are flummoxed on how to play this unexpected hand, continuing to say “Deshaun’s our guy” as if calling the bluff of a man who isn’t bluffing. They could have declared the trade window open and reaped the riches of a multi-team bidding war. Instead they have watched potential suitors sign other quarterbacks and come to realize Watson holds all the cards on where he might agree to be traded. The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi reported Watson has narrowed his choices to the Denver Broncos or San Francisco 49ers. Meaning he has eliminated reported, rumored or potential suitors notably including the Miami Dolphins, along with the New York Jets, Carolina Panthers and several others. Now, though, fans who might once have been devastated to see their team out of the Watson sweepstakes might now consider themselves lucky. For our full recent column, please visit Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams?

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ARCHIVES:

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

Select other columns: 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 As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / 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  / 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 only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

March 14, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Heat, Madness, sadness, free agency front a jammed, wild week. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now!, links to most recent columns & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 15. The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): On 1-year anniversary of sports' COVID shutdown, Heat's anti-Semitic mess, David Beckham's resolve tested by turmoil, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 11th podcast of 2021 (53rd overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 53 we've done so far HERE for free. In our new  Ep11 we welcome in ESPN star Sarah Spain for a fun chat about her new part-ownership in the Chicago Red Stars women's pro soccer team, Chicagio's Secret Door, dinner with Charles Barkley, her future and more. Also on the menu: A-Rod and J-Lo, March Madness, Marlins Park drones, a Mount Gregmore cameo by Patrick Ewing and more. Thanks as always, pod family, for the support. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review! (Also, our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Covid1Our three most recent columns: Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / and Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season.

CardsOther most recent columns: Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Dolphins' Tua-or-Deshaun QB Choice Strewn with Complications and What-Ifs / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 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 stays hot despite recent Leonard off-court mess: Heat is on a 10-1 run, 21-18 overall and alone in fourth place in the East after Sunday's win in Orlando led by en fuego Jimmy Butler. That despite the Meyers Leonard mess. The injured center used an anti-Semitic slur in a video-game livestream last week, was put on indefinite leave by the Heat and fined $50,000 and suspended by the NBA. Miami is back in play Tuesday vs. Cleveland.

2. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Gonzaga (no duh) tops Selection Sunday for NCAA Tournament: March Madness is back! (Sort of). After last year's was canceled by COVID-19, the NCAA Tournament returns this week, albeit with limited crowds and all games played in and around Indianapolis. It was Selection Sunday for the men's tourney, with Gonzaga the overall No. 1 as expected and Baylor, Illinois and Michogan other top seeds. Women's field gets set today.

3. COVID-19: Sports reflects on sad anniversary: March 11 marked the official one-year anniversary of when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic as sports shut down en masse on March 11-12. It was the least happy anniversary on record, although a torrent of vaccine availability lends hope for better days on road to normalcy.

4. DOLPHINS/NFL: Will Fins be players/spenders as NFL free agency begins?: Oh if I had  dime for every speculative media dart being thrown about what Miami will do as free agency begins this Wednesday. Best possibilities: Veteran QB to back up Tua, with Ryan Fitzatrick expected to sign elsewhere. An upgrade at running back. A quality receiver like Kenny Golladay or Juju Schuster-Smith. And an LB/pass rusher -- especially with productive Kyle Van Noy unwisely released. Lavonte David, perhaps? FA decisions will shape the coming draft as well.

5. PANTHERS: Yes, the Cats are Stanley Cup contenders: Florida is 18-5-4 after three straight wins including 4-2 Saturday vs. Chicago. Cats host Blackhawks again Monday. The Panthers are ranked No. 5 in the NHL in ESPN's latest power rankings. The bad news? Central Division rivals Carolina and Tampa Bay are ranked 1-2.

6. CHRIS BOSH: Popular ex-Heat star a Hall of Fame finalist: No surprise, but two-time Heat champion Chris Bosh is one of 14 new finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Notable other first-time finalists include Paul Pierce and (as a coach) Bill Russell. The five back for another try include former Heat star Tim Hardaway. Inductees for 2021 will be announced May 16.

7. HURRICANES: QB King recovering nicely as Canes open spring football: UM's first of 15 spring football practices is today/Monday. Quarterback D'Eriq King will miss spring work as he recovers from an ACL knee injury in the December bowl game, but coach Manny Diaz says King is "smashing every benchmark" in his rehab and should be ready for fall camp and the September 4 season opener vs. reigning national champion Alabama in Atlanta.

8. MARLINS: Winning and tying and drones at midpoint of spring: Miami is second in Grapefruit League standings at 5-2 (not counting five tie games including four straight at one point) at midpoint of spring training. Marlins resume play Monday at Astros. Meantime club announced it would use drones (!) to disinfect Marlins Park this season.

9. GOLF: It's Honda Classic Week in Palm Beach: South Florida's only PGA Tour event returns to Palm Beach Gardens this week with the Honda Classic this Thursday through next Sunday. Tiger Woods' recent serious car accident that badly injured his right leg remains the talk of golf. Woods had not entered to play the Honda prior to his accident.

10. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men show life in ACCs, but much too late: Miami's men had a nice 2-1 run in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., beating Pitt and impressively upsetting Clemson before losing narrowly to Georgia Tech. Still, UM's 10-17 final record marked its worst season in 27 years. Miami's women ended 11-11 after a one-and-done in the ACCs.

Missing the HB10 cut: R.I.P., "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, gone unexpectedly at 66. Hagler was a great middleweight in a golden age of boxing in the'80s ..... UEFA Champions League will advance four more to the final eight Tuesday and Wednesday, with advantages in leg 2 held by Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Chelsea. Advancing previously: Liverpool, Paris-Saint Germain, Borussia Dortmund and upstart FC Porto ..... Inter Miami's first preseason match ahead of the April start of MLS Year 2 is this coming Saturday March 20 vs. local USL club Miami FC ..... No. 8-ranked UM baseball is 7-4 off four straight wins after a two-game home sweep of Wake Forest ..... Miami and Hard Rock will be one of the 10 or 12 U.S. sites chosen to host 2026 World Cup matches. Let's please quit pretending there is any doubt whatsoever ..... Miami Open tennis outside Hard Rock Stadium begins a week from Monday, running March 22-April 4. Top-ranked players across the WTA and ATP tours will be here. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal top men's field and Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka the women. Eyes will also swivel to fan favorites Roger Federer and Serena Williams ..... New Zealand vs. Italy final continues in America's Cup sailing ..... Blake Griffin signing with Nets reminds us the NBA trade deadline is nearing at March 25 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's 11th episode of 2021 and 53rd overall drops Monday morning. Now on Sirius XM Channel 145, too! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,933 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: 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 As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Oh Say Can You See No Anthem At Games? / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Why Schilling Is To Blame For Falling Short Of Hall / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue / 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  / 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 only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with 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 13, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

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 25, 2021

The latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): See who's No. 1 and what falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now! & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 25. 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, Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 3 of new year, MLK Day, INauguration Day & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

AFC, NFC Championship Game picks: Buccaneers at Packers. Brady-Rodgers. Bills at Chiefs. Allen-Mahomes. For our previews and picks on both Sunday games that will determine the Super Bowl matchup: NFL Championship Game Gems. (Update: Please don't look. We were 0-for-2. Ouch). 

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted last March and our new Episode 4 of 2021 (46th 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 46 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free; please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the new Ep4 of '21, we welcome in a professional whistler, Robert Stemmons, a.k.a The Whistler (@TheWhistler.com). Meet and hear him in a fun interview about a job you may not even have known existed. Also, Greg and Chris discuss the newly minted Bucs-Chiefs/Brady-Mahomes Super Bowl matchup; a fond adieu to the dearly departed Hank Aaron and Larry King; Greg talks about what angered him about the Le Batard Show reaction to last week’s Back In My Day segment; Chris’ turn again on Mount Gregmore and he redeems himself (sort of) for his previous abysmal effort; and a little tease to what might be ahead on the podcast. Hear all of that and more in our third new episode of the new year! Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, rate, review and subscribe.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 24-25): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. NFL: It's a Bucs-Chiefs, Brady-Mahomes Super Bowl!: Bucs beat Packers Sunday for the NFC crown and Chiefs topped Bills for the AFC title to mint a Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl on February 7. The NFL announced SB LV will allow 22,000 fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, one-third of them vaccinated health care workers admitted free.

2. HEAT: Struggles go on for shorthanded Miami: Heat fell to 6-9 with Saturday's 128-124 loss at Brooklyn -- despite 41 from Bam Adabayo. Miami faces Nets with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving again Monday. Heat has struggled without Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro both out.

3. HANK AARON: Baseball home run king passes away: Home run king Hank Aaron passed away at age 86. And Hammerin' Hank would be the career leader in homers to this day had juiced up Barry Bonds not surpassed him with pharmaceutical help. #TheTrueKing 

4. INTER MIAMI: Team takes forward in MLS Draft as Neville takes over: As former England  national women's team coach Phil Neville settles in as David Beckham's hand-picked new coach, Miami selected forward Josh Penn 10th overall in the 2021 MLS Superdraft. He played for Indy Eleven in the lower-tier USL. The second-year club's two lower picks both were defenders.

5. UM BASKETBALL: Canes women play top-ranked Louisville: Miami women's team, 7-5 but 0-3 vs. ranked teams, visits No. 1 Louisville on Tuesday and then plays at No. 2 North Carolina State February 4. Canes men, despite a recent victory over No. 16 Louisville, are 6-8 after Sunday's home loss to Notre Dame.

6. PANTHERS: Cats finally back in action Tuesday, hopefully: Florida is a perfect 2-0-0 in the young NHL season but with five games already postponed due to COVID issues with Dallas and Carolina. Panthers are scheduled to next play at Columbus Tuesday night after an unscheduled full week off.

7. DOLPHINS: Fins staff in Mobile to coach Senior Bowl: Dolphins coaches will work one sideline of this coming Saturday's Senior Bowl game in Mobile, Ala., a talent show in the run-up to the NFL Draft. Gives Brian Flores and crew a chance for hands-on scouting as well as an opportunity to perhaps kidnap Alabama WR DeVonta Smith. That includes new QBs coach Charlie Frye. Hmm. The change a pretty clear sign the club didn't think Tua's progress was what it should be. P.s.: #DeshaunWatson 

8. NFL: QB Rivers retires, Stafford on block: Quarterback Philip Rivers, best known for never winning a Super Bowl and having about 45 kids, announced his retirement at age 39 after 17 seasons, the last as a Colt after being a career-long Charger. And The Lions announced intentions to trade veteran QB Matthew Stafford.

9. MLB: Mets fire new GM over texting scandal: The Mets fired GM Jared Porter after ESPN reported he sent explicit, unsolicited texts and images to a female reporter in 2016 while in the Cubs' front office. #Dumbass #GoodbyeCareer

10. SOCCER: FIFA delivers blow to 'Super League': World football governing body FIFA announced players who compete in a proposed breakaway European Super League (an alternative to the UEFA Champions League) would be banned from playing in FIFA competitions -- including the World Cup.

Missing the HB10 cut: For America's sake, best wishes and good luck to President Joe Biden. (Sadly, we have reached a partisan divide where the previous sentence might actually be seen as controversial) ..... Dustin Poirier upset Conor McGregor with a second-round TKO Saturday night in UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. Show of hands: Who else enjoys seeing the mouthy McGregor lose? ..... "OW! What the @#$%!? Dan Campbell just bit my kneecap!" ..... The Washington Football Team will promote Jennifer King to a full-time offensive assistant, making her the first Black woman to be a full-time coach in the NFL ..... The IOC denied a report that the already delayed 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics would be canceled ..... R.I.P., Larry King, the broadcasting legend who got his start in Miami ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 46 (No. 4 of 2021) is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,982 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Henne#HENNETHINGISPOSSIBLE: CHAD HENNE AN OVERNIGHT SENSATION, 13 YEARS LATER: Every once in awhile sports gives us — gifts us is more like it — a little story like this, unscripted, born of random circumstance. So Chad Henne gets to be the overnight sensation, 13 years later. “Who is Chad Henne?” read the CBSSports.com headline Tuesday. “Five things to know about the AFC divisional round hero.” Miami and Dolphins fans know who Henne is, of course. Fins drafted him in the second round in 2008, and he played four nondescript seasons here. Miami declined to re-sign him. But if was as if the rest of the football world had forgotten or never knew of him, until everything changed Sunday. All-world quarterback Patrick Mahomes goes down from a hard hit and leaves the playoff game woozy — all of Kansas City sagging. In comes the seldom-deployed, easy-to-forget understudy. The Chiefs led the Cleveland Browns 19-10 at the time, and would win 22-17. He didn’t get the win, but give Henne the save. He completed 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards, but it was his 13-yard scramble and then 4th-and-1 completion to Tyreek Hill that sealed the Chiefs’ triumph. “Nothing really changed for us,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “Chad uplifted us, we uplifted him and and we just rallied together.” #HenneThingIsPossible, tweeted Mahomes after the game, the hashtag instantly viral. For our full most recent column, visit Chad Henne: Ex-Dolphin An Overnight Sensation, 13 Years Later.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select other most recent columns: 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).