August 10, 2020

The new Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Flying Fish, dead Cats and Fins lead scrum for No.1 spot. See what falls where; plus Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 24 out now!, links to latest columns & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 10. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Football as 'perfect storm for virus transmission,' Don't rule out Heat reaching NBA Finals, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 23 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 24 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 24 is out now! A new Coteshowepisode drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 24 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 24 Greg discusses his likes and dislikes about being on the Le Batard Show. Also, hear from a screenwriter with a movie on Netflix who also happens to be running for Broward County supervisor of elections. And: A guy who wrote a book about baseball cards ... and a double dose of Mount Gregmore (G's)! Hear all that and more now in new Ep24! 

Our most recent columns: 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off and Here's Why Nobody Should Rule Out Heat Reaching NBA Finals.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 9-10): 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: Finally! Much-delayed home opener is this Friday: Marlins are 5-2 since the restart and 7-3 overall, all on the road, and depleted by COVID-19 absences. Don Mattingly for manager of the year! Fins will have played 12 straight away from home before finally debuting at a fan-less Marlins Park this Friday vs. Atlanta. BTW, Mattingly's 282nd win passed Jack McKeon for club record.

2. PANTHERS: Season done. Cats eliminated. GM Tallon out: NHL season ended Friday for Florida in a no-doubt-about-it 5-1 loss to the Islanders in the Toronto bubble, giving NYI a decisive 3-1 series win to advance into the full Stanley Cup playoffs. Given the big offseason -- hiring star coach Joel Quenneville, signing top goalie Sergei Bobrovsky-- call it yet another disappointing season for Florida. As a result: Monday, the club announced a mutual parting of the ways with longtime general manager Dale Tallon.

3. DOLPHINS: Coronavirus begins hitting Fins hard: Dolphins had been lucky as training camp began, but this week two players sure to have made the team and been major contributors -- receivers Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns -- opted out of the 2020 season over coronavirus concerns. And six more players were temporarily deactivated Thursday onto the COVID-19 list including prominent defensive linemen Shaq Lawson and Raekwon Davis.

4. HEAT: It's Miami-Indiana with seeding on line Monday: Miami is 2-3 in the bubble after Saturday's loss to Phoenix, and Heat's chances of reaching the NBA Finals seem slimmer after losses to East powers Toronto and Milwaukee. With three regular season games left before playoffs Miami is in fight for fourth place with Indiana -- and teams play Monday night.

5. HURRICANES: UM football loses sack-star Rousseau to opt-out: Canes' full fall training camp opened on Friday with some bad news. ACC sacks leader and likely first-round NFL draft pick Gregory Rousseau is opting out of the coming season (should there be one), a huge blow. UM receives votes in preseason coaches poll (34th overall). Miami's 11-game schedule includes No. 1 Clemson, 19th-ranked North Carolina and No. 24 Virginia Tech. Season opens Sept. 10 vs UAB, fans-or-no-fans to be announced.

6. GOLF: Who!? Morikawa win PGA Championship: Dustin Johnson could not hold a lead entering the fourth round and little-known Collin Morikawa on Sunday won the year's first major by two strokes in San Francisco. Tiger Woods finished strong but ended tied for 37th place. No fans were there watching, unless you count the seagulls. 

7. NFL: Final opt-outs at 67 players leaguewide: At this week's deadline 67 NFL players from 28 teams had opted out of the 2020 season related to the coronavirus. Patriots had the most with eight, while only teams with zero were the Chargers, Falcons, Rams and Steelers. Miami had two (see above). Players may opt out beyond the deadline, however, if they or a close family member contract the virus.

8. INTER MIAMI: MLS announces resumption of regular season: Orlando City and Philadelphia will play Tuesday in the Orlando bubble for the MLS Is Back tournament title, the winner qualifying for the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. To follow: A resumption of the MLS regular season. Expansion team Inter Miami is 0-5 -- every loss by one goal and all away from home -- returns to play on August 22 vs. Orlando City in Fort Lauderdale. Teams will play in home stadiums, but in most markets, including South Florida, fans will not be allowed.

9. SOCCER: UEFA Champions League reaches quarterfinals: Final eight are set in Champions League: Atalanta vs. Paris Saint-Germain this Wednesday; Leipzig vs. Atletico Madrid on Thursday; Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich on Friday; and Manchester City vs. Lyon on Saturday. Man City and and Bayern are betting co-favorites for the trophy.

10. TENNIS: Nadal opts out of upcoming U.S. Open: The Grand Slam event in New York is scheduled to go on August 31 to September 13 without fans -- and, now, with men's star Rafael Nadal. The former Capri pants-wearing Spaniard will skip the Open over coronavirus concerns. 

Missing the HB10 cut: The Mid-American Conference will not play football in the fall. The MAC becomes the first FBS-level league to opt out of the 2020 season over coronavirus concerns ..... A Patrick Mahomes-Josh Allen 'Throw-Off' to see who has the strongest arm? Headline I'm imagining: 'Star QBs Injure Arms in Dumb Throwing Contest' ..... Free agent Antonio Brown, looking for work at 32 and now suspended first eight games of NFL season? Don't even think about it, Dolphins ..... Green Bay Packers announce no fans for at least first two home games. Lamb-oh-no Field ..... Headline of the week: "A's Coach Sorry For Making Apparent Nazi Salute" ..... Are the Indians still the Indians? ..... T-shirt of the Week honors to WNBA players for 'Vote Warnock' ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 24 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,150 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Out of our face masks by then? Maybe?

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THE COTE ARCHIVES:

Marlins Hell Week Column Trilogy: Are Marlins To Blame For Own Outbreak? If So It Would Mirror America's Struggle / Marlins Outbreak Worsens, Sports Should Rethink Playing Again in 2020 / and Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports.

Other most recent columns: Marlins and Dolphins, In a Race For Relevance, Offer Hope At a Time We Need That / When Will Dolphins Unleash Tua? Exploring the Timetable as Rookies Report / Sports Resume, But Major Concerns Complicate Opening of Football Training Camps / He Made a Mistake, But Miami Knows Who Dwyane Wade Is And Knows It By Heart / Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns / Rest In Pieces, Redskins. Now Here Are Sports' Other Suspect Nicknames / 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear / Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision / Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope / The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1 / Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020 / Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back / Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction / Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess? / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / and Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

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

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

August 08, 2020

'Perfect storm for virus transmission': Why football is struggling to loft off. Latest column; plus Don't rule out Heat reaching NBA Finals, manager Mattingly's Marlins magic, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 23 out now & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, AUGUST 8. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 23 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

"The COVID-depleted Miami Marlins are now 5-0 since the restart, 7-1 overall. All on the road. With a makeshift team. Don Mattingly: Manager of the year!" -- Greg Cote

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 23 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 23 is out now! A new episode drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 23 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Episode 23 Greg and Chris are joined by two special guests. ESPN's Amin Elhassan is in to discuss the Miami Heat/NBA restart and leftovers. (Yes, leftovers). And Herald Marlins writer Jordan McPherson joins us to talk about working in a pandemic hotspot and covering the team whose season was derailed by a COVID-19 outbreak. New episode also includes the latest Mount Gregmore Name Game (F's). Hear all of that and more now in new Ep23! 

'THE PERFECT STORM FOR VIRUS TRANSMISSION': WHY FOOTBALL IS STRUGGLING TO LIFT OFF: Football season is struggling mightily to lift off in the pandemic year 2020. We are seeing it in the NFL and we are seeing it at the college level, and it is not the least bit surprising. We should have all seen this coming. Football in the fall is chugging at us like a malignant Nflvirus Cfbviruslocomotive. That the NFL and college game are still planning to play at all with schedules including travel, even in stadiums with few or no fans, lends a whole new shade of meaning to the idea this is a "dangerous sport." Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter, the new president of the NFL Players Association, wrote this in a recent communique with the league’s players: "More than any other sport, the game of football is the perfect storm for virus transmission." Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned the same, saying players, coaches and staff must be isolated in an "enclosed community" to safely play this season. And it’s common sense. Amid a coronavirus/COVID-19 plague not nearly contained, in a time when social distancing is a part of the lexicon, football oppositely demands close and violent contact. There isn’t a single play where sweat isn’t flying and bodies aren’t colliding. Health and safety protocols are fine (when followed) and frequent testing is fine; still, what Tretter said is true, and the danger is magnified by by travel, by airports, hotels and other stadiums — things outside that "closed community." My my full latest column, please visit 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off

Raptors_Heat_Basketball_47060HERE'S WHY NOBODY SHOULD RULE OUT MIAMI HEAT REACHING NBA FINALS: Heat now 2-2 in the restart after losses to East powers Washington and Toronto. Original post: This was something we hadn’t seen, in this strangest of all years, in almost five months, since March. A big game. It’s almost tough to remember what those were, but Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors felt like one Monday in the NBA’s Orlando bubble. It felt like a game that might mean something. Might tell us something. It did. Even in a 107-103 loss Monday, Miami reminded us it is on a level with the defending NBA champions, and that a deep run in the looming playoffs -- maybe even one reaching the NBA Finals -- is not an unreasonable notion. (pictured: Miami's Goran Dragic greets Toronto's Fred VanFleet). This arrived as a measuring-stick game for the one South Florida team best positioned to come out of this delayed, truncated, upside-down sports year with an actual shot at a title. This eight-game regular-season restart will be over and the playoffs will be here in a flash. Can the Heat actually get through the Eastern Conference? I say yes. Still. And I'm not alone. For my full recent column, please visit Here's Why Nobody Should Rule Out Heat Reaching NBA Finals.

Marlins Hell Week: Column Trilogy: As Miami's COVID-19 outbreak wreaks havoc with the roster and with MLB, putting the Marlins season on pause: Latest: Are Marlins To Blame For Own Outbreak? If So It Would Mirror America's Struggle / Middle: Marlins Outbreak Worsens, Sports Should Rethink Playing Again in 2020 / And first: Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports.

Other most recent columns: Marlins and Dolphins, In a Race For Relevance, Offer Hope At a Time We Need That / When Will Dolphins Unleash Tua? Exploring the Timetable as Rookies Report / Sports Resume, But Major Concerns Complicate Opening of Football Training Camps. And: He Made a Mistake, But Miami Knows Who Dwyane Wade Is And Knows It By Heart / Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns / Rest In Pieces, Redskins. Now Here Are Sports' Other Suspect Nicknames

Other recent columns: 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear / Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision / Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope / The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1 / Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020 / Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back / Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction / Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess? / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

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

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

August 03, 2020

Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 23 out now! Heat! Marlins! Leftovers! Mount Gregmore!; plus latest Hot Button Top 10. See who's No. 1 and what else ranks where; also, our Marlins Hell Week column trilogy & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 3. Welcome, August. Be nice. And thank you, Isaias, for going easy on us. 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Marlins Hell Week column trilogy, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 22 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 23 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 23 is out now! A new episode drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 23 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Episode 23 Greg and Chris are joined by two special guests. ESPN's Amin Elhassan is in to discuss the Miami Heat/NBA restart and leftovers. (Yes, leftovers). And Herald Marlins writer Jordan McPherson joins us to talk about working in a pandemic hotspot and covering the team whose season was derailed by a COVID-19 outbreak. New episode also includes the latest Mount Gregmore Name Game (F's). Hear all of that and more now in new Ep22! 

DonmatMarlins Hell Week: Column Trilogy: As Miami's COVID-19 outbreak wreaks havoc with the roster and with MLB, putting the Marlins season on pause: Latest: Are Marlins To Blame For Own Outbreak? If So It Would Mirror America's Struggle / Middle: Marlins Outbreak Worsens, Sports Should Rethink Playing Again in 2020 / And first: Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports.

Our most recent other columns: Marlins and Dolphins, In a Race For Relevance, Offer Hope At a Time We Need That / When Will Dolphins Unleash Tua? Exploring the Timetable as Rookies Report / Sports Resume, But Major Concerns Complicate Opening of Football Training Camps. And: He Made a Mistake, But Miami Knows Who Dwyane Wade Is And Knows It By Heart / Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns / Rest In Pieces, Redskins. Now Here Are Sports' Other Suspect Nicknames

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 2-3): 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 wins season (re-)opener as NBA returns: NBA resumed with an eight-game regular season starting Thursday, and Heat (after going 1-2 in scrimmages) tipped off Saturday with an impressive 125-105 win over Denver in the Orlando bubble. Bam Adebayo, back from a bout with COVID-19, scored 22 for Miami as did Jimmy Butler. Next, Heat face Toronto Monday. Eight games each for the 22 teams still alive will determine playoff seedings.

2. MARLINS: Miami returns from virus-outbreak 'pause' Tuesday: Marlins went 2-1 in Philadelphia to open MLB's 60-game season on an upbeat. Then all hell broke loose. Miami's next seven games including the home opener were postponed when 20 members of the team including two coaches tested positive for COVID-19 -- putting all of MLB on high alert. Uninfected players remained in Philly and will bus to Baltimore to resume season on Tuesday, further delaying the already delayed home opener. Also: Team traded for lefty pitcher Richard Bleier, a local kid from South Plantation High (his story here in a 2016 column by me), and young 2B Isan Diaz opted out of the season.

3. MLB: Marlins-led mess has entire season wobbling: What began with the Marlins is spreading across the league, causing other games to postpone and some players to begin opting out. Remember MLB's plan for a Phoenix bubble where everybody would play to avoid travel? And how it was vilified as a crazy idea? Looking pretty damn good right about now. Play ball? 

4. DOLPHINS: Tua cleared for full activity as training camp ramps up: The good news? Rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa passed his physical and was OK'd for all activity (no surprise), and the Fins so far have had no players opt-out of the season. The bad news? Oft-injured CB Xavien Howard is on the physically-unable-to-perform list, and the team has reassembled IN A PANDEMIC! 

5. PANTHERS: Cats fall to Islanders in series Game 1 of NHL restart: Florida is down 1-0 in its five-game play-in series vs. the New York Islanders after a 2-1 Game 1 loss on Saturday in hockey's straight-to-playoffs resumption in the Toronto bubble. Isles were up two goals  before Jonathan Huberdeau scored in the third period. Game 2 is on Tuesday, with Cats now two losses away from seeing their season end short of advancing to the Stanley Cup tournament.

6. NFL: Sport hit hard by growing list of players opting out of season: The latest number is 37 players opting out of the 2020 season so far over coronavirus concerns, including seven Patriots, star linebacker Dont'a Hightower among them, and Jets star linebacker C.J. Mosley. More than half of all teams have been affected by the opt-outs. Miami has lucked out. So far.

7. HURRICANES: UM football opens full preseason camp this week amid uncertainty: Canes will open their full fall training camp this coming Friday. ACC's no-divisions schedule brings Notre Dame into league. UM will not play Irish but will play at Clemson (Uh oh). Canes hope their season will open on Sept. 12, with fans or no fans still to be determined. UM AD Blake James admitted the whole thing is "aspirational."

8. GOLF: This week's PGA Championship is year's first major: There'll be no fans but a stellar field in San Francisco for the first major of the virus-wracked golf. The logjam of betting favorites includes Bryson Dechambeau, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka. Some guy named Tiger is playing, too. Starts Thursday.

9. INTER MIAMI: Expansion team preparing for August 22 restart of MLS season: As the MLS Is Back tournament moves toward its August 11 championship match, long-eliminated Inter Miami is preparing for a scheduled August 22 restart to the MLS regular season. An 18-game season is planned (9 home, 9 away), but the schedule is not yet announced. Inter Miami will resume play under pressure, its 0-5 start the league's worst ever for an expansion team.

10. SOCCER: Arsenal tops Chelsea for FA Cup crown: Arsenal rallied from an early hole to defeat Chelsea 2-1 in Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley, one of the major trophies in European soccer. Chelsea found no luck, including young U.S. star Christian Pulisic (Chelsea's goal scorer) erased by a hamstring injury early in second half.

Missing the HB10 cut: Seattle Kraken. Sorry. Not growin' on me ..... Free agent Antonio Brown, looking for work at 32, is now suspended first eight games of NFL season for "multiple" violations of personal conduct policy. Teams still interested, line forms here. Plenty of spots available ..... Patrick Mahomes is now a part owner of the Kansas City Royals. Still, all that money could not buy Pat better than a No. 4 in NFL.com's Top 100 ranking ..... Woj is back! He's in the NBA bubble. I think I'd rather be suspended ..... Still hanging onto that nickname, Indians? I hear 'Cleveland Baseball Team' is  still  available ..... Delayed WNBA season is underway in Bradenton bubble ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 23 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,157 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Full stadiums again by then?

Other recent columns: 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear / Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision / Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope / The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1 / Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020 / Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back / Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction / Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess?Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

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

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

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

July 27, 2020

The latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Marlins postpone opener amid COVID outbreak, Dolphins convene, Heat and Cats on deck. Sports in a pandemic!; plus new Greg Cote podcast out now!, links to recent columns & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JULY 27. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Marlins and Dolphins in race for relevance, When will Fins unleash Tua?, Concerns threaten football in the fall, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 21 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 22 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 22 is out now! A new episode drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 22 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 22 Greg and Chris are joined by special guest co-host Juju Gotti, the Atlanta rapper, for a fun and veering conversation. New episode also includes Greg's Mail Sack, the top 10 Miami sports stars of all time, and the Mount Gregmore Name Game (E's). Hear all that and more in new Ep22! 

MattinglyMARLINS POSTPONE HOME OPENER, BECOME SCARY LESSON FOR ALL SPORTS ON PERILS OF PLAYING IN PANDEMIC: For all the world to see, the Miami Marlins just became Exhibit A for all that can go wrong when you try to play games in a pandemic. It is this baseball club, situated in one of America’s continuing coronavirus/COVID-19 hotpots, that you look to now when you wonder if this whole sports restart — for our entertainment and so leagues can make money, not necessarily in that order — is worth the risk. The worst that can happen, happened. The Marlins (masked manager Don Mattingly is pictured) suffered a virus outbreak infecting half the team on the first road trip of the season. At least 12 players and two coaches have tested positive — forcing Monday night’s scheduled home opener at Marlins Park to be canceled. It is an historic happenstance in a year unlike any in American history as the U.S. virus death toll grimly approaches the 150,000 milestone while sports start back up in empty stadiums and arenas. The Marlins’ next game, when and where it will be — all to be determined. For our full newest column, please visit Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports.

Our most recent other columns:

Marlins and Dolphins, In a Race For Relevance, Offer Hope At a Time We Need That

When Will Dolphins Unleash Tua? Exploring the Timetable as Rookies Report

Sports Resume, But Major Concerns Complicate Opening of Football Training Camps

Also: He Made a Mistake, But Miami Knows Who Dwyane Wade Is -- And Knows It By Heart  /  Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns  /  and Rest In Pieces, Redskins. Now Here Are Sports' Other Suspect Nicknames

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (UPDATED): 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: Baseball's back, but Fish postpone home opener amid outbreak: Baseball's delayed, truncated 60-game regular season is underway minus fans in the stands because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The good news: Marlins opened by winning two of three in Philly led by Miguel Rojas' 7-for-10 bustout. The overarching bad news: Four Fish missed Sunday's game after testing positive (Jose Urena, Jorge Alfaro, Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez), and club postponed Monday's home opener with at least 14 players and two coaches now infected.  Oy.

2. HEAT: It's time. Basketball in a bubble starts this week: Miami is 1-1 in scrimmage games in the Orlando bubble, with one left Tuesday. NBA regular season resumes with eight games leading into the playoffs, with Heat opening this coming Saturday vs. Denver. Almost forgot: Inexplicably, Jimmy Butler sings the Hall & Oates song, "You Make My Dreams Come True" in a new commercial for Michelob Ultra. And he ain't half bad!

3. DOLPHINS: Training camp opens ... but what's ahead?: Miami's recent draft picks including Tua Tagovailoa and other rookies are here, and now the full team is to report this Tuesday as training camps open around the NFL. But, with the preseason already canceled, can we expect an on-time season? With any fans. Into the great unknown steps King Sport!

4. HURRICANES: UM football lands prized recruit in Williams: As Canes move toward an uncertain season (full preseason work begins August 7), the program and coach Manny Diaz landed their top class of 2021 recruit in Western High OLB/safety James Williams. He is ranked No. 8 in Florida and 33rd in the nation by ESPN.com, which currently rank UM's '21 class 11th overall. It's been a big backyard win thus far. The U's eight Top 300 recruits all are from Miami-Dade or Broward schools. (Oh, and in the least surprising news ever, UM named D'Eriq King as starting QB).

5. MLB: Dr. Fauci, Mookie, expanded playoffs highlight Opening Week: Baseball returned Thursday night with America's virus doctor (and Nationals fan) Anthony Fauci, in a mask, throwing out the first pitch. It was hilariously wide left by about a quarter of a mile. In other MLB news, the playoffs will expand from 10 teams to 16 for this season, at least. And Mookie Betts signed a record 12-year, $365 million contract extension with the Dodgers. (Brother, can you spare a dime?)

6. PANTHERS: Cats are back in action in 5 days: The Panthers arrived Sunday in the NHL's Toronto hub to resume preparation for the direct-to-playoffs season restart. Florida's five-game East qualifying series vs. the New York Islanders begins this coming Saturday, August 1. Isles won all three regular season meetings, by 3-2 (SO), 2-1 and 3-1.

7. NFL: Former Redskins adopt most boring name in history: Until it settles on a new nickname to replace the thankfully retired "Redskins," the cub announced it will be called Washington Football Team. And the funny thing is, I'm not kidding! I like Washington No Names better.

8. INTER MIAMI: Is expansion team's coach already on hot seat?: MLB Is Back tournament is in midst of its round of 16 knockout stage working toward an August 11 finale. Inter Miami failed (badly) to advance after its 0-3 tourney run left the team 0-5 this season -- worst start ever for an MLS expansion team. And, yes, coach Diego Alonso already is feeling the heat. Washington Post reported MLS hopes to follow the tournament with an 18 to 22 game regular season in home markets, but no schedule or confirmation has yet been made.

9. NEW YORK JETS: The J-e-t-s have a wild week: These things happened on the eve of training camp: 1) Disgruntled, trade-seeking star safety Jamal Adams ripped coach Adam Gase, saying he isn't the "right leader" and has no relationship with players. And 2) Jets owner Woody Johnson was accused of sexist and racist remarks in his role as U.S. ambassador to the U.K. But NYJ made it right on Saturday, trading Adams to Seattle for two first-round picks.

10. BOXING: Lookout! Old man Tyson is coming back: Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson -- who last fought 15 years ago -- is making a comeback. At age 54. He's fighting Roy Jones Jr. Who is 51. It'll be an eight-round exhibition on September 12, on pay-per-view, of course. Oxygen tanks in both corners, please.

Missing the HB10 cut: Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif  became the first NFL player to opt out of the coming seasons related to the pandemic. Who's next? ..... QB Alex Smith finally is cleared to play for the Washington No Names ..... Canes transfer QB D'Eriq King made the watch list for the Maxwell Award, given to the college player of the year. He earlier made the Davey O'Brien top-QB watch list ..... It'll be Arsenal vs. Chelsea in the FA Cup final this coming Saturday at an empty Wembley Stadium ..... Educate yourself, Sam Coonrod ..... The delayed WNBA season started Saturday in a bubble in Bradenton ..... Couldn't play in Canada this season, then Pittsburgh has turned 'em down. But the homeless folks, the Toronto Blue Jays, finally found a place to play in Buffalo ..... The Seattle Kraken, the NHL's new expansion team, nicknamed itself after a mythological sea creature. Will they be playing in the Bigfoot Division? ..... Woj: Unsuspended and back at work! ..... The Redskins may get company in the Graveyard of Shamed Nicknames. The Cleveland Indians are now considering a change and meeting with Native American groups ..... The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were supposed to start this week. Now there is concern a Summer Games in 2021 may not even happen ..... The FHSAA wisely voted to delay the start of fall prep sports in Florida ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 22 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,164 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. We still in our masks then or what?

Other recent columns: 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear  /  Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision  /  Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope  /  The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1  /  Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020  /  Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back  /  Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction  /  Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess?  / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred  /  and Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

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

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

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

July 25, 2020

Marlins win opener! Fish and Dolphins, in race for relevance, offer hope at right time. New column; plus When will Fins unleash Tua? We explore as rookies report; also: Is football in fall a sure thing?, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 21 & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 25. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 21 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 21 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 21 is out now! A new episode drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 21 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 21 we chat with Miami Marlins captain Miguel Rojas about Opening Week in a pandemic, and also about fun stuff. New episode also stars Greg's wife complaining about an odd habit of mine; the Mount Gregmore Name Game (D's); and some gossip about David Beckham that's blowing up the British tabloids. Hear all of that and more in new Ep21! 

OPENING NIGHT WIN FOR MARLINS!: FISH AND DOLPHINS, IN RACE FOR RELEVANCE, OFFER HOPE AT A TIME WE NEED IT: [Marlins won at Philly 5-2 last night behind a sharp start from Sandy Alcantara and a Jesus Aguilar home run] Original post: The Miami Marlins were flying to Philadelphia to begin their 28th season, one like none other, while back home, the Miami Dolphins’ coming season began to unfurl as rookies reported for training camp. Both restarts occur, of course, amid the peril and gloom of the Sandyongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic that is overshadowing all of life in America in 2020, with South Florida having it worse than most. Will the Marlins and MLB get through unscathed to finish their delayed, truncated 60-game season? Will an NFL season happen at all when expectations of the coronavirus worsening already have led some teams to announce they will play with no fans attending? The bizarre, frightening time we’re all in makes sports’ restart seem risky and small. Even as we hunger for the distraction of live games, leagues crowning champions in 2020 will seem almost a Pyrrhic victory for sports as we see the U.S. death at 145,000 and climbing. As one who writes and talks about sports for a living, I can tell you I cannot bring myself to see teams and athletes and games as mattering much these days, beyond the brief escape from reality that isn’t really possible. I recall I felt something similar on and after September 11, 2001, when my country suffered another deadly hit. That was the day I stopped using words like "tragedy" or "disastrous" to describe anything happening in sports. So, yes, for me, it is difficult today to focus much on the Marlins opening in Philly Friday night with Sandy Alacantara (pictured) on the mound. (The home opener in an empty Marlins Park with piped-in crowd noise will be Monday night). Just as it is hard to muster much gravitas on Tua Tagovailoa and other Dolphin draft picks and rookies showing up for work Thursday. I’m going to do my best, though. To talk sports. Fins coach Brian Flores calls a football field "a place to get away for a little bit" — away from the reality of a coronavirus plague and the racial injustice spawning protests nationwide. So here’s that rabbit hole for me as the Marlins and Dolphins both get back to work: The similarities between the state of the two franchises are stunning. The blueprints are identical as is the timing. The Dolphins and Marlins are in the midst of complete, ground-up rebuilds that saw both teams trading away all of their star players, one for high NFL drafts picks, the other for top MLB prospects. "Trust us," is the basic message as both teams continue in a race for relevance. For our full latest column, please visit Marlins and Dolphins, In a Race For Relevance, Offer Hope At a Time We Need That

WHEN WILL/SHOULD DOLPHINS UNLEASH TUA? EXPLORING THE TIMETABLE AS ROOKIES REPORT: He didn’t start until the sixth game of his rookie season. When Dan Marino Tuafinally did start, he threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns. It was electric. Palpably, the NFL’s next big star had introduced himself. I once asked Don Shula what he was thinking as he watched his new quarterback’s first start. "What took me so long!?" the coach answered, not kidding in the least. "Why didn’t I give him the ball sooner! He was that special right away." Thirty-seven years later, Miami Dolphins rookies report for training camp Thursday, five days ahead of the full team. The new quarterback is Tua Tagovailoa. He is the gift Dolfans cannot wait to unwrap and enjoy. Brian Flores is the man now who’ll decide when that happens. When, in effect, the Dolphins’ future — the next great chapter in franchise history — begins for real. Don’t hold your breath, folks. Every indication is that history will repeat and that Tagovailoa will begin his pro career as an understudy to Ryan Fitzpatrick just as Marino was to David Woodley, before the new No. 1 draft pick out of Alabama finally is handed the football and the keys to the team. I would love to be wrong. I would love to imagine that, in the September 13 regular season opener at New England, it’s Tua time, and the rookie is let loose like a rodeo bull leaving his holding pen. For our full recent column, please visit When Will Dolphins Unleash Tua? Exploring the Timetable as Rookies Report.

AS SPORTS RESUME, MAJOR CONCERNS COMPLICATE STAR OF NFLAND COLLEGE FOOTBALL CAMPS: It’s about to get real. Real exciting. Real scary. Real weird. Real Finsfast. This week into next, sports resumes in full — playtime in a pandemic. It might be a wonderful, needed boost to the American spirit. It might be closer to insanity. Sports is high on a 10-meter board, blindfolded, about to dive in. It might be water below. It might be concrete. The massive endeavor could prove a huge success, or collapse under the weight of enough athletes testing positive for COVID-19 to call the whole thing off. The only certainty is that nothing is certain. Major League Soccer has been at it for a while in the Orlando bubble; expansion Inter Miami played Monday, losing its third consecutive match since returning. Now all of the other major U.S. team sports step into the great unknown as well — including the NFL and college football, whose training camps are set to begin amid trepidation and uncertainty. Dolphins rookies are to report to training camp Thursday (two days later than first scheduled), with full camp starting July 28. The Hurricanes (at least three of whom have tested positive for the virus) are scheduled to open camp August 7. Major concerns hover, though, as football is the sport with by far the largest roster of players and coaches. And the one sport that, in an age of social distancing, mandates unavoidable physical contact on every play. For our full recent column, please visit Sports Resume, But Major Concerns Complicate Opening of Football Training Camps.

Other columns from the past week:

He Made a Mistake, But Miami Knows Who Dwyane Wade Is -- And Knows It By Heart

Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns

Rest In Pieces, Redskins. Now Here Are Sports' Other Suspect Nicknames

Other recent columns: 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear  /  Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision  /  Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope  /  The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1  /  Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020  /  Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back  /  Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction  /  Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess?  / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred  /  and Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

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

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

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

July 20, 2020

New Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 21 out now! Stars Miguel Rojas, David Beckham, Greg's wife; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), defending D-Wade, other recent column links & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JULY 20. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Defending Dwyane Wade, Marlins' Miguel Rojas on MLB in a pandemic, Good riddance Redskins nickname, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 20 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 21 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 21 is out now! A new episode drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 21 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 21 we chat with Miami Marlins captain Miguel Rojas about Opening Week in a pandemic, and also about fun stuff. New episode also stars Greg's wife complaining about an odd habit of mine; the Mount Gregmore Name Game (D's); and some gossip about David Beckham that's blowing up the British tabloids. Hear all of that and more in new Ep21! 

Our columns from this past week:

He Made a Mistake, But Miami Knows Who Dwyane Wade Is -- And Knows It By Heart

Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns

Rest In Pieces, Redskins. Now Here Are Sports' Other Suspect Nicknames

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 19-20): 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. MARLINS: Play ball? It's (finally) Opening Week for MLB: Ready or not, smart or not, the truncated 60-game season-in-a-pandemic is upon us. Miami opens this Friday with three in Philadelphia, then opens at home next Monday July 27 vs. Baltimore. No fans allowed for the foreseeable future, but it'll sound like there are, sort  of. MLB will play crowd noise from its official video game through ballpark sound systems during games. Somewhat bizarre, if you ask us.

2. DOLPHINS: Team will ban all fans at least through preseason: COVID-19 continues to pound South Florida particularly hard, which led the Miami Dolphins to announce they will bar fans from attending all training camp practices as well as preseason games. Also, no tailgating will be permitted throughout the season. The club still hopes a limited number of fans might be allowed in Hard Rock Stadium for regular season games starting in September. Training camp is supposed to start next Tuesday July 28, which I'll believe when I see it.

3. NFL: Washington drops 'Redskins,' now faces new scandal: Better (decades) late than never on dropping the racist Redskins nickname. Now, though, 15 women who previously worked for the organization have alleged sexual harassment, verbal abuse and a toxic culture under Dan Snyder's ownership. Astonishingly, the NFL says it will rely on the results of a (supposedly) independent investigation by lawyer hired by Snyder. Hmm. Meantime, NFL announced 72 players leaguewide had tested positive for COVID-19 in advance of the planned July 28 opening of full training camps. In a conference call with teams this week the NFL did not waver on its intention to start the season on time, although how many if any fans will be permitted remains to be determined. 

4. INTER MIAMI: Still a faint prayer of advancing in MLS Is Back tourney: Inter Miami, with two one-goal losses since the season resumed, must beat New York City FC this Monday and then get lucky with other results to advance to the knockout stage of the MLS Is Back tournament in Orlando. Tournament runs through August 11, after which the regular season will resume. Meantime, Fort Lauderdale CF — Inter Miami's lower-tier USL League One team — kicked off its inaugural season vs. Greenville on Saturday night, the first professional soccer game at the team’s new stadium in Fort Lauderdale on the old Lockhart grounds.

5. HURRICANES: Three football players test positive as camp nears: At least three University of Miami football players tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the cancellation of a scheduled Thursday workouts. Full training camp is supposed to start August 7, supposed to being the key phrase there.

6. HEAT/PANTHERS: Our other local teams 12 days from resuming seasons: With Inter Miami already back at it and Marlins playing again beginning this Friday, So Fla's other two spring and summer teams prepare to both resume their seasons August 1. Heat training camp ends July 29 in the Orlando hub. Cats have been practicing locally and travel to the Toronto hub July 26.

7. GOLF: Tiger returns, ending long layoff: He finished tied for 40th, 15 shots behind winner Jon Rahm in the no-fans Memorial in Ohio. The good news? At least Tiger Woods, 44, rallied to make the cut in his first PGA Tour event since February and first in the pandemic.

8. DWYANE WADE: Tough week for D-Wade after Twitter misstep: Wade tweeted support for Nick Cannon after ViacomCBS fired the TV host for anti-Semitic comments on his podcast -- and got buried for it. Tweet deleted, then the clarification/apology. Wade f'd-up but deserves benefit of doubt as a man of character consistently promoting inclusion and condemning hate speech.

9. NASCAR: Sports welcomes back fans, health risk be damned: NASCAR held its All-Star Race in Bristol, Tennessee this past Wednesday and let roughly 20,000 race fans attend, the most since the pandemic hit in March. Chase Elliott won the race and its $1 million prize, but shame on NASCAR for not doing as much as it can to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

10. WNBA: Women's hoops opens under Delle Donne cloud: The WNBA opens its season this coming Saturday July 25 in the Bradenton bubble amid the controversy involving Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne, reigning MVP and the league's best player. She requested a medical waiver to not play and still be paid because she suffers Lyme Disease, requiring she take 64 pills per day -- but was turned down. Mystics will pay her regardless, but, c'mon WNBA!

Missing the HB10 cut: No, Canada. The Toronto Blue Jays have been prevented from playing games in Canada this season due to he coronavirus ..... Power couple Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez have enlisted other investors in their bid to buy the New York Mets, all the proof you need that their pockets are way too light and that their bid won't succeed ..... Arsenal reached the August 1 FA Cup final by upsetting Manchester City on Saturday. Gunners will face winner of today's Chelsea- Man U match ..... ESPN announced the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz would be only two hours, not three, starting in August. Did the stock market plummet? ..... Dolphins coach Brian Flores says it is "hard to say" whether rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa will be physically ready to start the season. Which is just about the same as saying absolutely nothing at all ..... Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers have split up. OK who was cheating on whom? ..... Um, can somebody please explain to an apparently unenlightened Jorge Masvidal that QAnon is a far-right ideology that purposely and dangerously promotes utterly false and usually patently absurd conspiracy theories? ..... Speaking of James Harden (!) ..... The Golden Eagles, with a roster of mostly alumni from Marquette, won The Basketball Tournament (what genius came up with that name?) and its $1 million prize ..... #FreeWoj ..... The Buffalo Bills' stadium needs a new name sponsor, and a bidet company called Tushy is bidding. Decorum prevents us from noting that Tushy Stadium sounds like a pretty crappy name ..... A realtor in Alexandria, Virginia has trademarked all the likeliest new nicknames for the former Washington Redskins. As Stugotz might says: "Heady play!" ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 21 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,171 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. In front of crowds again by then, we hope?

Other recent columns: 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear  /  Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision  /  Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope  /  The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1  /  Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020  /  Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back  /  Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction  /  Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess?  / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred  /  and Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

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

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

July 18, 2020

He had a rough week, but Miami knows who Dwyane Wade is -- and knows it by heart. New column; plus Marlins' Miguel Rojas on pandemic (and playoffs!?) as MLB returns; also, Rest in pieces Redskins, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 20 & more

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

Johnlewis1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 18. R.I.P., John Lewis, 80, Congressman, civil rights giant, American patriot. 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 20 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 20 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 20 is out now! A new episode is out every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 20 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Episode 20 we chat ESPN's IT wizard Tim Cronin, who shares behind the scenes stories about working with the network's on-air stars, and about his recently being diagnosed with COVID-19. We also throw a pod-y party for our 20th podiversary, including a montage of Greg's greatest throat-clears, and bring you the controversial Mount Gregore Name Game (the C's). Oh, and we bury the Redskins name. Hear it all now! 

MIAMI HEAT ICON DWYANE WADE HAS DONE WAY TOO MUCH GOOD TO HAVE ONE MISTAKE DERAIL HIM. NEW COLUMNDwyane Wade made a mistake. He knew it and tried to fix it very quickly, but it’s never quickly enough in the age of social media and instant everything. When you tweet something you should not have to 9 million Twitter followers around the Dwadeworld, it’s out there, an echo reverberating. You can delete what you wrote, and he did, but you cannot make it disappear. D-Wade, retired Miami Heat legend and beloved icon, was defended by some but buried by consensus. The mea culpa came fast, the explanation, the carefully worded oops. It helped. But it’s never enough. In the offending tweet, Wade supported Nick Cannon after the TV host was fired by ViacomCBS for making anti-Semitic comments on his podcast. Wade tweeted at Cannon, "We are with you" and "Keep leading!" along with a black fist emoji. The national context made it worse, as both Cannon’s comments and Wade’s initial reaction come at a time of great tension in America over prejudice and divide. It is more than the ongoing protests for racial justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing. It is anti-Asian incidents ignorantly related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic originating in China. And it is a rise in hate crimes of anti-Semitism targeting those of the Jewish faith. Wade quickly wrote, "I want to clarify my now deleted tweet. I was not supporting or condoning what Nick Cannon specifically said, but I had expressed my support of him owning the content and brand he helped create." The emoji this time was prayer hands. Less than an hour later Wade said in another tweet: "I was too quick to respond without being fully informed about his hurtful anti-Semitic remarks. As you all know I have ZERO tolerance for any hate speech!" The first response was an explanation that fell short of contrition. The second was better, because it acknowledged that Cannon’s words were anti-Semitic, offensive and hurtful to many in the Jewish community — and because it rightly reminded the world what Miami knows very well about Dwyane Wade’s heart. Who he is as a man. For my full latest column -- free; no paywall! -- please visit, He Made a Mistake, But Miami Knows Who Dwyane Wade Is -- And Knows It By Heart.

MARLINS CAPTAIN MIGUEL ROJAS ON PANDEMIC, PLAYOFFS AND MONKEY MASKS AS MLB RETURNSMiguel Rojas has earned "face of the Marlins" status as far as players go. He is the starting shortstop, team captain, clubhouse leader, fan favorite and player rep to the MLBPA. He’s been in Miami the longest, since 2015, surviving the roster teardown to be a part of Rojasthe work-in-progress rebuild as a veteran at age 31. Now Rojas helps a young team navigate the great unknown, the return of baseball amid a coronavirus/COVID-19 threat that finds his team, his team, at the epicenter of one of the pandemic’s worst hot spots. So, naturally, when speaking with Rojas, you must get to the obvious serious question first: Will the postgame monkey be back? We’re looking for signs of normalcy here, ports in a storm, and for the Marlins one of them the past few years has been Rojas, in a rubber monkey mask, sneaking up with a whipped-cream pie to the face of the game’s hero after a win as the teammate is being interviewed on TV. That was before wearing a mask took on a whole new meaning in 2020. Alas, everything has changed. Players aren’t even supposed to shake hands or fist-bump now. Or spit. So pies to the face are on indefinite hold. "I think it’s gonna have to be on a Zoom call now," Rojas joked this week — on a Zoom call with us, as a matter of fact. "Maybe I’ll create a YouTube channel or something like that? This is the new normal. We have to be responsible. It was fun, the monkey thing, but we have to move forward from that. Our conversation with Rojas comes as the Marlins and MLB prepare for Opening Week in a pandemic next week. For that full recent column, please visit Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns.

REST IN PIECES, REDSKINS. NOW HERE ARE SPORTS' OTHER SUSPECT (OR JUST WEIRD OR DUMB) NICKNAMES: They are out there. Fans of the Washington football club formerly known as "Redskins" who are genuinely upset that their team is burying some of its tradition and heritage with the nickname change that the franchise Gameoverofficially announced Monday was coming. Which invites the question: Can you be indignant and angry while simultaneously wearing a rubber hog’s nose strapped on your face? Oft times elements of tradition and heritage are lousy things to celebrate. Slavery, for example. Fans angry at the disappearance of Redskins is the same misplaced outrage you see from folks attaching great significance to the Confederate flag and outraged to see it ceremonially lowered without salute. Racist symbols gotta go. The belated national consensus on that is some of the good to come from the hurt. From the George Floyd killing that forced an opening of eyes to social injustice and racial inequality. Sports is playing its part, that’s all, so NASCAR bans Confederate flags at its racetracks and now Washington is retiring Redskins and its Indian head logo, the new nickname yet to be revealed. Are the Nickname Police looking elsewhere now? Are other teams nervous about a forced rebranding? Nothing is as bad as Redskins — a dictionary-defined slur that some Native Americans saw as their N-word. Redskins was never really defensible, and team owner Dan Snyder needs to acknowledge that at some point. As for the other teams under related scrutiny? And what about teams whose nicknames are not so much controversial as just weird or dumb? We name 'em. For lour full recent column, please visit Rest In Pieces, Redskins. Now Here Are Sports' Other Suspect Nicknames.

Other columns from the past week: 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear  /  Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision  /  Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope  /  and The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1.

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Other recent columns: Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020 / Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back / Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction / Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess? / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

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

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

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

July 13, 2020

Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 20 out now! We chat with a COVID-19 survivor from ESPN and celebrate our 20th podiversary; plus latest Hot Button Top 10, links to recent columns & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JULY 13. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Racist Redskins nickname must go, Will football be smarter than other sports?, Rise of Miami sports is good news in tough times, the 2020 face of Miami sports, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 19 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 20 is out now! A new episode is out every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 20 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Episode 20 we chat ESPN's IT wizard Tim Cronin, who shares behind the scenes stories about working with the network's on-air stars, and about his recently being diagnosed with COVID-19. We also throw a pod-y party for our 20th podiversary, including a montage of Greg's greatest throat clears, and bring you the controversial Mount Gregore Name Game (the C's). Oh, and we bury the Redskins name. Hear it all now! 

Our columns from the past week: 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear  /  Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision  /  Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope  /  and The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 12-13): 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:

Final South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT has been a weekly update on how many major local pro games have been lost to the coronavirus shutdown between the stoppage of play March 12 and Inter Miami the first to return on July 8. Lost in between: 145-plus games -- Marlins missed first 96 games of regular season. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, then missed 19. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings then.

HButton1. INTER MIAMI: Soccer leads South Florida's return to live sports: It was a 2-1 loss to Orlando City, in the Orlando bubble, eerily before no fans. Still, it was live sports, the first for a Miami team in four months, since the coronavirus/COVID-19 shutdown on March 12. Two of 26 teams withdrew for too many test positives but the MLS Is Back tournament continues with expansion-team Inter Miami (0-3) seeking its inaugural franchise win again Tuesday night back in the bubble vs. the Philadelphia Union.

2. HURRICANES: UM loses game; is college football season in jeopardy?: First the Division 3 Centennial Conference canceled its 2020 season. Then the Ivy League did the same. Now the Big Ten conference announces it will play a reduced, conference-only schedule if it can play at all -- meaning the Miami Hurricanes' Sept. 26 game at Michigan State is canceled. Other major Power 5 leagues have not followed the Big Ten's lead. At least not yet. Meanwhile UM's preparation for the coming season (should there be one) gets underway Monday, when coaches may begin interacting with players. Formal training camp is to begin August 7.

3. NFL: Mahomes lands record contract with KC: The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes agreed on a record-shattering 10-year contract extension worth between $477 and $503 million, depending on reports and interpretations. It runs though 2031. Can you say "dynasty"?

4. MARLINS: MLB sets schedule for truncated season restart: Unless the whole thing collapses Miami will open its 60-game season July 24 with three three games at Philadelphia, and open at home July 27 vs. Baltimore. (Will some fans be allowed? Will Angels superstar Mike Trout be playing? Stay tuned). Notable: Fish host Red Sox for three in September and close season at Yankees. MLB also announced its full 2021 schedule. All teams open April 1 (no fooling), with Marlins hosting Tampa Bay.

5. HEAT: Riley notably absent as Miami hits the bubble: Pat Riley, 75-year-old club president, notably did not travel with the Heat as it entered the bubble in Orlando for a three-week training camp running through July 29. Twenty-two teams will play eight games to finish the regular season prior to the playoffs, with Miami restarting August 1 vs. Denver.

6. PANTHERS: Florida and rest of NHL open camps Monday: NHL teams including the Panthers opening training camps on Monday in their home cities, then travel to hub cities Edmonton or Toronto starting July 26 to prepare for the season's straight-to-playoffs restart on August 1. Florida will open with a best-of-5 series vs. the New York Islanders in the Toronto hub.

7. REDSKINS: Pressure mounts to erase racist nickname: The money is talking now. "Redskins" doesn't have a chance, Main sponsor FedEx has called for the end of the racist nickname, and retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target and Dick's Sporting Goods have stopped carrying team merchandise. So Redskins is headed to the same graveyard containing Confederate statues and Aunt Jemima. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the Washington ... Redtails?

8. GOLF: Tiger returns, ends long hiatus this week: Tiger Woods returns to competitive golf at this week’s Memorial Tournament at Muirfield in Ohio. This will be Woods’ first start since the PGA Tour returned from a hiatus of more than three months due to the pandemic. The 44-year-old last played a tour event in February. 

9. UFC: Miami's Masvidal loses on Fight Island: Dana White's wacky 'Fight Island' series debuted Saturday night with UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and richest city in the world. And the legend of Miami-born Jorge Masvidal took a hit as he lost a unanimous decision to Kamaru Usman in the main bout.

10. DESEAN JACKSON: Anti-Semite sets out on apology tour: Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson has apologized for a series of anti-Semitic Instagram posts over the weekend, although insisting his posts were misinterpreted weakened the apology. The team has condemned the posts. Meantime, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who is Jewish, has a production company about to release the documentary, The Meaning of Hitler, which explores our culture’s fascination with Hitler and Nazism against the backdrop of the current rise of white supremacy and normalization of antisemitism. Could be a learning tool for a certain receiver who just volunteered his own ignorance on social media.  

Missing the HB10 cut: FREE WOJ! ..... Tom Brady, Floyd Mayweather and Scott Boras are among sports figures whose companies have received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) government loans intended to help small businesses survive the pandemic. Hmm. That would be "Money" Mayweather, who owns more than 100 exotic cars, right? Just checking ..... The WNBA's scheduled July 24 restart in a bubble in Bradenton is going really well, not counting players complaining that their rooms have bugs, rodent traps and showers that don't drain ..... Two semifinals Sunday will determine who reaches The Basketball Tournament championship game Tuesday, with ESPN cameras and a $1 million prize lending the illusion of an actual major event ..... Miami Dolphins still planning to open full training camp on July 28. Wonder what a socially distanced huddle will look like? ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 20 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,178 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup, presuming the world hasn't exploded by then.

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Other most recent columns: Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020 / Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back / Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction / Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess? / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

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

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

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

July 11, 2020

Money is talking now, so racist 'Redskins' nickname is going-going-gone. New column; plus Football in fall looking less and less likely, The quiet rise of Miami sports, Greg Cote Show podcast out now!, naming the 2020 face of Miami sports & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 11. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 19 out now & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 19 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 19 is out now! A new episode drops Coteshowevery Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 19 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 19 we chat with the University of Miami's new Chief Diversity Officer for athletics, Dr. Renae Myles Payne, whose job takes on magnified relevance as America protests for social and racial justice. She talks about the anger, frustration and fear of many of her own Hurricanes athletes. For the fun  stuff, we bring you the latest installment of Greg Doesn't Know Movies, plus the Mount Gregmore Name Game B edition. Greg also talks Tuscaloosa COVID-19 parties and the (supposed) return of sports. Here it all in the new pod now! 

'REDSKINS' IS A RACIST, PEJORATIVE NICKNAME BASED ON A LIE. TIME FOR IT TO DISAPPEARThe money is talking now. You can ignore logic and even turn a deaf ear to conscience, but when the money starts talking, you must listen. The Washington Redskins’ nickname has no chance to survive what is happening. It has long been an offensive, racist, Redskinspejorative anachronism beyond any real argument, but only now is it falling like a Confederate statue. No matter how much longer Redskins owner Dan Snyder pretends to dig in and defend the nickname, it does not have a chance. Mammoth retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Nike and Dick’s Sporting Goods have eliminated Redskins merchandise from their websites. Now FedEx — whose name is on the NFL club’s suburban Maryland stadium — officially requested a nickname change. The franchise plans to build a new stadium and move within the D.C. city limits to better suit its first name, Washington, but officials there say it won’t if Redskins remains. Snyder is being backed into a corner with no way out. It seems only a matter of time before the commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL itself demand the change, the new impetus for which is borne of the national attention to race relations, fairness and justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing. The NFL has announced itself as woke by standing behind Black Lives Matter and (albeit four years late) supporting the Colin Kaepernick-led anthem kneeling representing a demand for social justice. Goodell must know that not entering the fray against the Redskins name is giving it tacit approval. This week it is reported the Redskins will remove all Native American imagery from the franchise. That’s a start. Of course that start must end with a different nickname altogether. Now. Before the 2020 season starts (presuming the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic allows one). Redtails, the choice of Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins, is the betting favorite at 3-1 odds. Other possibilities at 10-1 or better: Generals, Presidents, Lincolns, Veterans, Capitols, Americans, Memorial, Monuments. "Anything but Redskins" is the point. To read our full latest column, please visit 'Redskins Is Racist Nickname Based On a Lie. Time For It to Disappear.

AS OTHER SPORTS RESUME AMID PANDEMIC, DO NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL HAVE THE HEART TO BE SMARTER?: The Ivy League, the high-brow conference of Harvard and Yale, last claimed a national championship in football in 1927, when you could buy a new Ford Model A Roadster for $385. Ivy League teams appear in the Top 25 about as often as Halley’s CrowdComet appears in the sky. Yet the the Ivy League, where "student-athlete" actually still describes the priority, had the attention of all of college football Wednesday. It is because, in the void of definitive answers to the question, we are all looking for harbingers and hints. Signs. Will there be college football in the fall? Will there be pro football? Will it be on time, or delayed perhaps even to the spring? Will schedules be reduced? Will stadiums be full (as pictured), empty or somewhere in the great in between. Small signs emerge. The Division 3 Centennial Conference just suspended all fall sports for 2020, notably including football, due to growing concerns over a coronavirus pandemic not nearly contained and, in much of the United States, surging anew. Wednesday the Ivy League announced no sports will be played until January 2021, and the major Power 5 conferences were watching as they weigh their own path forward. If reports are accurate the Ivy League is headed for a reduced-schedule 2020 football season to be played in the spring of ‘21. Clearly, small-college football does not rule campuses and coffers the way it does in the Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and other giant leagues that rely on football revenue to primarily sustain their entire athletic budgets. The Centennial Conferences and Ivy Leagues et al have the luxury to make decisions with health and safety a dominant priority or even the only one. So should the Power 5 leagues and the NFL, obviously, but it isn’t that simple for them. They must marry their health-related concerns with the imperative of, well, money. It makes for an awkward marriage. A dangerous one, too. To read our full recent column, please visit Money Or Health? NFL and Major College Football Face A Decision.

NEED SOME FEEL-GOOD DURING TOUGH TIMES, FANS? LOOK TO THE RALLY AND RISE OF MIAMI SPORTS: Outside of my window today: Only bright skies, a cool breeze and three little birds telling me don’t worry ‘bout a thing ‘cause every little thing gonna be all right. The heart sings with optimism! I am trying to see if I can pull this off, folks. I have my Mheatdoubts. For reasons nearly medicinal I need to write a column seeing nothing but the bright side and the glass half full ... of Moet & Chandon! Call this exercise my armor against the relentless gauntlet that has been life in America the past four months. A deadly coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic that is only growing again because far too many in our country are too selfish or stupid to wear a mask and avoid crowds. Racial tension amid national protests demanding social justice in the wake of George Floyd and too many other unwarranted killings by police. It is a challenge to our national conscience, mettle and resolve such as I have not seen in my lifetime. Sports to the rescue as a diversion from the headlines? Not so much. Sports have been shut down by the virus since March. Now they attempt to inch back this month, but amid the pitfalls of players opting out and testing positive — reminders of the mess we’re in as we wonder if the games will soon shut down again just like the restaurants in Miami-Dade County have. Against everything bleak and depressing, I am here to offer a big fat slice of sunshine. I am Gene bleepin’ Kelly not only singin’ in the rain, but dancing in it, too. Brighter days are here or ahead in Miami professional sports. A corner is turned. A landscape barren too long begins to bloom. Winning looms. For all five of our major pro teams, optimism fits like one of Pat Riley’s Armani suits. (The Heat's Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are pictured, as an example). For our full recent column, a team by team snapshot of reasons for the optimism, please visit Tough Times All Around, But Rise Of Miami Sports Offers Hope.  

TuaTHE FACE OF MIAMI SPORTS IN 2020. OUR TOP 20: In our previous column we decide who is the face of Miami sports in 2020 among current athletes from our five major pro teams: Dolphins, Heat Marlins, Panthers and Inter Miami. Not a simple, or inarguable, answer. We list our Top 20 choices and arrive at a No. 1 that may surprise you. (As for your choice, we had a Twitter poll listing four choices, the max allowed, and your vote was Tua Tagovailoa 52.6 percent, Jimmy Butler 23.6%, Udonis Haslem 16.3% and Aleksander Barkov 7.5%). For our full recent column including my Top 20 list, please visit The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1.

Other most recent columns: Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020 / Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back / Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction / Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess? / Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

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

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

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

July 06, 2020

Washington Redtails, test positives and Makur Maker: the new Hot Button Top 10 (updated). See who's No.1 and what else ranks where; plus the face of Miami sports in 2020 (new column), Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 19 out now! & more

1) It's MONDAY, JULY 6. Hope you all had a happy and safe (!) Fourth of July weekedn. 2) Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): The 2020 Face of Miami sports, time to cancel sports for rest of year, Cam Newton and Belichick, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 18 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 19 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 19 is out now! A new episode drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you do your podding, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 19 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 19 we chat with the University of Miami's new Chief Diversity Officer for athletics, Dr. Renae Myles Payne, whose job takes on magnified relevance as America protests for social and racial justice. She talks about the anger, frustration and fear of many of her own Hurricanes athletes. For the fun  stuff, we bring you the latest installment of Greg Doesn't Know Movies, plus the Mount Gregmore Name Game B edition. Greg also talks Tuscaloosa COVID-19 parties and the (supposed) return of sports. Here it all in the new pod now!

TuaTHE FACE OF MIAMI SPORTS IN 2020. OUR TOP 20: In our latest column we decide who is the face of Miami sports in 2020 among current athletes from our five major pro teams: Dolphins, Heat Marlins, Panthers and Inter Miami. We list our Top 20 choices and arrive at a No. 1 that may surprise you. (Could it be the guy pictured at left?) For the full column and Top 20 list, please visit The Face Of Miami Sports in 2020: Our Top 20 And Who's No.1. 

Most recent other columns: Time to Abort Season Restarts and Call Off Sports For Rest Of 2020 / Uh-oh. Cam Newton means Belichick and Patriots Are Back / Saving the National Anthem From Sporting-Event Extinction / Baseball Joins In With Restart Plan. But Is Sports Walking Into a Giant Mess?Noose Left For NASCAR's Bubba Wallace's Only Grows Resolve to End Racial Hatred / Team That Signs Kaepernick Will Be Champions Of the Street

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 5-6): 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: Redskins finally weighing name change: Under increasing pressure at a time of demand for social justice, the Washington Redskins now say they are considering a nickname change (Redtails, anyone?) after pressure from main sponsor FedEx, the D.C. mayor and Native American groups. Baseball's Cleveland Indians are now considering a new nickname, too.

2. HEAT: Third Miami player tests positive as camp nears: Three Heat players have now tested positive for COVID-19 as the team readies for its July 9-29 training camp in the bubble in Orlando. If it happens, 22 teams will play eight games to end the regular season starting July 30 (Heat open August 1), followed by the playoffs.

3. MARLINS: Fish  begin spring work with four test-positives: Four players from the 60-man pool were absent after testing positive for COVID-19 as Miami began spring work at its stadium, preparing for a 60-game season set to start July 23 or 24 and run through September.

4. INTER MIAMI: No test-positives as Miami arrives in Orlando: All Inter Miami players tested negative on arrival (after one had earlier been positive), and the expansion team is set to restart its season this Wednesday night vs. Orlando City SC. Inter Miami's game will now be the first in the MLS Is Back tournament, after the league said Saturday it would postpone the scheduled first match after nine FC Dallas players tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Orlando.

5. NCAA: Did Makur Maker just change college basketball?: A nationally coveted five-star basketball recruit named Makur Maker just chose Howard University, an historically black college that was 1-15 last season in the MEAC, over powers such as UCLA. Season changer. Game changer. Sport changer?

6. NFL: League cuts preseason, stirs anthem debate: Hey something good has come out of the global pandemic! The NFL is reducing its excruciating preseason from four meaningless exhibtions to two. Also, NFL mired in controversy over report it will play the so-called Black National Anthem before games opening week. Relax, white folks. Put down the gun, Karen. Song's been around for decades. And it'll play before the Star-Spangled Banner, not in place of.

7. MLB: ASG cancelled; might sport lose trout, too?: Baseball announced a 2020 All-Star Game would not be played. The sport's planned July 23-24 restart wobbles as more players test positive or opt out. Now, the game's biggest star of all, the Angels' Mike Trout, says he is undecided whether to play the season, which, unlike other sports, will involve traveling and likely crowds in some stadiums. 

8. PANTHERS: NHL eyes two hub cities in Canada for restart: The NHL has singled out Toronto and Edmonton as the two hub cities where games will be played when a straight-to-playoffs season resumes in late July. Playoff-bound teams including the Florida Panthers will begin training camp in their home cities this coming Friday.

9. WNBA: Maya Moore's sacrifice pays off: As WNBA players return to practice this week, star Maya Moore fell to her knees in emotion when, after 22 years in prison, Jonathan Irons walked out of Jefferson City Correctional Center a free man and exonerated this past week. Moore quit basketball in her prime to crusade for Irons' innocence.

10. CORONAVIRUS: The updated South Florida Games-Lost Tracker: The SFGLT is a weekly update on how many major local pro games have been lost to coronavirus shutdown. We'll continue this until the first of our four spring/summer teams has resumed play. Through today/Sunday -- 141-plus games lost: Marlins have missed first 90 games of regular season. Inter Miami, after playing first two games of season, has missed last 19. Heat missed last 17 games of season and at least two first-round playoff games based on NBA standings when season stopped. Panthers missed last 13 games but would not have made playoffs based on NHL standings at time of stoppage.

Missing the HB10 cut: Hope y'all had a safe and happy Fourth of July, happy being a relative term in the wrenching gauntlet that is 2020 ..... Death. Taxes. And Joey Chestnut winning the Nathan's July 4 Hot Dog Eating Contest ..... As NASCAR runs at Indianapolis today, Jimmie Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 ..... Cubs pitcher Jose Quintana lacerated his thumb while washing dishes. Jose. You make big-league money. Look into this really neat invention. It's called a dishwasher! ..... Happy to hear Oklahoma State socked football coach Mike Gundy with a huge pay cut over questionable behavior in the race relations realm ..... Bryson DeChambeau won the PGA Tour event in Detroit by three shots Sunday. He led the field in both driving distance and putting. Look out ..... UFC's 'Fight Island' debuts this coming Saturday with Jorge Masvidal now in the main event vs. Kamaru Usman ..... 'The Basketball Tournament' is underway, and nobody but the participating teams gives a bleep ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with new Episode 19 on Monday ..... Update: Countdown now 2,185 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup, always presuming the world is still around then.

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

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

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