September 03, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Canes get schooled by Bama, Dolphins prep for Pats, Bosh's big day. See who's No. 1 (well no duh) and what else falls where as football takes over the world; plus Greg Cote Show podcast update & more

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

1) It's FRIDAY-TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3-7. We're off on a (rather spectacularly ill-timed) holiday for a few days. Back early next week. 2) Was back on the Le Batard Show this past Tuesday. Check out that day's show podcasts. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): The Hurricanes' best shot at beating Alabama, 2 columns on Dolphins' hell week fighting Watson rumors, Latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Lobos CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: GREG'S LOBOS AND PFPI FANTASY DRAFT OUT NOW: Our 34th episode of 2021 and 76th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 76 we've done HERE, for free. In our most recent episode: Join the Cote family and friends and hear all the fun banter during the PFPI Fantasy Draft featuring Greg's Lobos, and emceed by Greg, followed by pool time and a Paella Party. You'll feel like you were there! Also: Greg discusses the resurfaced Deshaun Watson-to-Dolphins rumors, and we debut a new song revealing Greg's Lobos on HBO's Hard Knocks. No new episode this coming week because we're on vacation. Perfect time to catch up with our whole catalog. Watch for a new episode September 13! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Featured recent columns: Canes-Bama, Dolphins drama & more

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 3-7): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive (usually) 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. HURRICANES: Canes clobbered by Bama in season opener: The No. 14-ranked Canes were 19 1/2-point underdogs to reigning national champion and No. 1 Alabama Saturday in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta -- and the odds were underlined in the Crimson Tide's 44-13 rout. Bryce Young thoroughly outplayed D'Eriq King  in the QB battle and it was men against boys on defense. So is The U "back'?" Next question, please.

2. DOLPHINS: Fins prepare for Pats, Mac Jones in opener as Watson rumors ebb: Miami prepares to visit AFC East rival New England in its September 12 NFL season opener. And it'll be Tua Tagovailoa vs. Mac Jones in a duel of ex-Alabama quarterbacks as the Pats cut Cam Newton and the Fins' reported interest in Deshaun Watson has borne nothing but ill-timed rumors as fruit.

3. HEAT: Bosh gets his due with Hall of Fame induction: Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021 -- including former Miami Heat star Chris Bosh -- is honored next Saturday (the 11th) in Springfield, Mass. Pat Riley and Ray Allen will present Bosh. Other notable inductees include Paul Pierce, Ben Wallace, Bill Russell (as a coach), Chris Webber, Rick Adelman, Jay Wright, Yolanda Griffth and Lauren Jackson.

4. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators, Noles, FIU debut; Orange Blossom Classic returns: In sequence: Thursday--FIU routed Long Island University 48-10; UCF rallied past Boise State 36-31; and South Florida got embarrassed at N.C. State 45-0. Saturday--FAU lost predictably at No. 13 Florida 35-14. Tonight/Sunday--No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State. Non-FBS-level but also notable Sunday: Deion Sanders' Jackson State vs. FAMU at Hard Rock in a welcome renewal of famed Orange Blossom Classic for HBCU teams, last played in 1978.

5. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (NON-STATE): Week 1 begins in full with Clemson-Georgia atop marquee: FBS-level college football had a soft opening with "Week 0" last week but began in full Saturday. Besides UM-Alabama, biggest Week 1 matchup nationally was No. 5 Georgia at No. 3 Clemson on Saturday -- and the Bulldogs were upset winners in a 10-3 defensive gem.

6. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons rally into MLS playoff chase: Inter Mia is 7-9-5 but on a 5-1-3 hot streak after a 1-0 win at Cincinnati Saturday night. The Herons' run of late -- one loss in past nine matches -- has drawn them within four points of playoff pace with 11 matches left. Meanwhile David Beckham signed his son Romeo, 19, to the club's Fort Lauderdale minor league team.

7. MARLINS: Fish escape NL East cellar!: Miami is 57-80 but a warm 6-4 lately and (for now) out of the NL East cellar. Miami continues a six-game homestand with three games vs. the Mets starting Tuesday.

8. GOLF: Cantlay wins FedEx Cup playoffs: The Tour Championship in Atlanta Sunday crowned the winner of the PGA Tour's three-event FedEx Cup playoffs -- and it was Patrick Cantlay protecting his lead to win the $15 million prize. Jon Rahm was runnerup as the PGA Tour completed its season.

9. OLYMPICS: Paralympic Games wrapping up in Tokyo: The 16th Paralympic Summer Games end today/Sunday in Tokyo, and the U.S. team finished fourth in overall medals and third in golds, with China easily atop both categories. U.S. is the all-time Paralympic medals leader but last led in gold and overall medals in 1996.

10. TENNIS: U.S. Open reaches its midpoint: The year's final tennis major is on in flash-flood-bothered New York and scheduled to end next Sunday, with notable stars including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams not playing due to injuries. No. 1 seed and betting favorite Novak Djokovic remains alive, But women's faves Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka both are eliminated.

Missing the HB10 cut: U.S. men's national soccer team played El Salvador to a 0-0 draw Thursday night in its first World Cup qualifying match -- but without star Christian Pulisic, who is recovering from a positive COVID test despite (he says) being vaccinated ..... ESPN gets duped by nationally televising a high school football game involving a fake team, "Bishop Sycamore." That's B.S. High, for short. Hilarious! ..... The course for the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix debuting in 2022 will be called the Miami International Autodrome. So there ..... Canada beat the U.S., the five-time defending champion, 3-2 in overtime to win gold in the women's hockey world championship ..... The Mets made Francisco Lindor and Javer Baez pretend to be sorry for giving thumbs-down gestures to fans after getting booed recently ..... Beginning to think creepy Trevor Bauer may never pitch again, and pretty damned happy about that ..... Honduran club Olimpia and Mexican club Pachuca meet Sunday in a soccer friendly at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale ..... Florida Panthers' developmental camp begins this Friday September 10 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,758 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Bobby  Bowden tribute column: College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden

Hall of Fame quartet: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Additional recent other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

Select other columns: Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

August 30, 2021

New Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins/Watson rumors return, Canes-Bama week, Messi/Ronaldo, hot Fish. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now (!) & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 30. Was back on the Le Batard Show last week for first time in awhile, the holdout suspended, not ended. Unsure about this Tuesday. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Only one way ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 alliance can out-SEC the SEC, Time to start believing in Tua and Dolphins, Greg Cote Show podcast, R.I.P. Charlie Watts & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE -- GREG'S LOBOS AND THE PFPI FANTASY DRAFT -- OUT NOW!: Our 34th episode of 2021 and 76th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 76 we've done HERE, for free. In our newest episode: Join the Cote family and friends on a fun-filled Saturday. Hear all the banter during the PFPI Fantasy Draft featuring Greg's Lobos, and emceed by Greg, followed by pool time and a Paella Party. You'll feel like you were there! Also: Greg discusses the return of Deshaun Watson-to-Dolphins rumors, and we debut a new song revealing Greg's Lobos being featured on HBO's Hard Knocks. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: There Is Only One Way an ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 Alliance Can Out-SEC the SEC / Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins / and Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated. Also: An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2 Tua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 29-30): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Watson talk resurfaces, ill-timed, as Fins close preseason: Miami ended the preseason 2-1 with a 29-26 win at Cincinnati Sunday, with Tua Tagovailoa not playing and Joe Burrow throwing one pass. Third-stringer Reid Sinnett led Fins with 343 yards passing. Meanwhile, with season starting in two weeks, distraction-with-a-capital-D-speculation about DeShaun Watson landing in Miami resurface with a Saturday Yahoo Sports report that Fins and Denver are the two finalists to trade for him. Houston wants three first-round pick and two seconds. That's a ton, given his well-known legal situation and the specter of a major league suspension apart from the civil/legal cloud.

2. HURRICANES: Football! Countdown 5 days 'til Saban and No. 1 Alabama: The No. 14-ranked Canes open Year 3 for Manny Diaz and QB D'Eriq King's senior season vs. No. 1 reigning national champion Alabama and Nick Saban next Saturday in Atlanta. King hasn't blinked, said, "I expect to finish No. 1. I don't expect to lose to any team." It's the ultimate statement game right out the gate. The statement one way or the other: "The U is back!" Or, "Not yet, Miami."

3. SOCCER: Messi makes PSG debut, Ronaldo back to Man U: Big week for the two greatest active players in international futbol. Lionel Messi made his debut for Paris Saint-Germain Sunday in a league match at Reims, setting viewing records in Spain. And Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is heading back to the Premier League and Manchester United, the team that turned him into a global superstar.

4. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons continue playoff chase Friday at Orlando: MLS All-Stars including Inter Miami's Rodolfo Pizarro beat Liga MX all-stars on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Los Angeles this week, with the game halted briefly as Mexican fans (as is their notorious, embarrassing custom) broke into homophobic chants. Inter Mia (6-9-4 but on a 4-1-2 hot streak) plays at Orlando Friday night as MLS league plays resumes.

5. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators, Noles, FIU and return of Orange Blossom Classic: In sequence: Thursday--Long Island University at FIU; Boise State at UCF; and South Florida at North Carolina State. Saturday--FAU at No. 13 Florida. Next Sunday--No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State. Not FBS-level but also notable next Sunday: Deion Sanders' Jackson State vs. FAMU at Hard Rock in a welcome renewal of the famed Orange Blossom Classic for HBCU teams, last played in 1978.

6. MARLINS: Fish heat up after 8-game skid: Miami is 55-76 having won four of past five after an eight-game losing skid with Sunday's 2-1 win over visiting Cincinnati to end a six-game homestand. Marlins now play three games at Mets.

7. TENNIS: Depleted U.S. Open begins on Sunday: The year's final tennis major began Sunday in New York -- but with notable stars including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams all out injured. Betting favorites are Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.

8. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (NON-STATE): We have liftoff! Six Saturday games just opened 2021 season: FBS-level college football kicked off Saturday/yesterday with five games, none involving a Top 25 team. Besides UM-Alabama, biggest Week 1 matchup nationally is No. 5 Georgia at No. 3 Clemson next Saturday. Three other Top 25 Week 1 matchups that day are 19-Penn State at 12-Wisconsin, 17-Indiana at 18-Iowa and 23-Louisiana at 21-Texas. 

9. OLYMPICS: Paralympic Games underway in Tokyo: The 16th Tokyo Paralympic Olympics Summer Games began this week and continue through next Sunday. U.S. has lagged early in the medal count. The U.S. is third in golds and overall medals, trailing China and Great Britain in both categories.

10. YOUTH SPORTS: Michigan teams reigns in Little League World Series: The Little League World Series ends Sunday with Taylor, Michigan beating Westside, Ohio from the same Great Lakes Region in the championship game. South Dakota pitcher Gavin Weir, who dominated the LLWS with two no-hitters and struck out almost everybody -- his team fell one win short of the title game.

Missing the HB10 cut: Patrick Cantlay won the BMW Championship on Sunday and goes to the Tour Championship next week with a 2-shot lead over Tony Finau in the final of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs ..... Honduran club Olimpia and Mexican club Pachuca meet next Sunday in a soccer friendly at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale ..... The Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix debuting in 2022 named veteran F1 race promoter Richard Cregan as chief executive officer ..... Upcoming: Florida Panthers' developmental camp opens September 10 ..... Also on deck: Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame induction September 11 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,765 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Bobby  Bowden tribute column: College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden

Hall of Fame quartet: Columns on the four men with strong South Florida ties enshrined last week in Canton: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Additional recent other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

Select other columns: Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

August 09, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Heat's big week, Messi to PSG. Olympics end, Bowden R.I.P., Xavien agrees, Canton. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus a new (and unusual) Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 9. I was back on the Le Batard Show last week with a new Back In My Day. Check out Tuesday's show podcasts. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hall of Fame columns on Jimmy Johnson, Edgerrin James, Isaac Bruce and Steve Hutchinson, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Coteshow MeandsonsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: LAUGHTER, EMOTION IN NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 31st episode of 2021 and 73rd overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 73 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our latest episode: It's (un)official. This episode sets a GCS record for most laughter, much of it from a new 'Greg Doesn't Know Movies' segment hosted by Greg's younger son, Michael. We also have a decal giveaway update that evolves into an emotional, at-times poignant discussion of the father/son dynamic of our show. (Is Chris too mean to his father?) Also in the new ep: Why most people hate good dancers. Lionel Messi to PSG. And the search for a man named Greg Lobo. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

BowdenOUR BOWDEN TRIBUTE COLUMN: College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden. 

The Hall of Fame quartet: Our columns on the four men with strong South Florida ties who were enshrined Saturday in Canton: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce to Canton column / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Our most recent other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / and Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?).

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 8-9): 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 signs Lowry, extends Butler: No whale splash. Plenty of big action, though -- led by signing Kyle Lowry in free agency (sign-and-trade) and locking up Jimmy Butler through 2025-26 with a four-year, $184 million extension. Lowry may have been the biggest FA to change teams -- although the NBA reportedly is now investigating possible tampering violations involving the sign-and-trade deals for both Lowry-to-Mami and Lonzo Ball-to-Chicago, so stay tuned. The Heat also notably added P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris, and kept Duncan Robinson and Victor Oladipo. Key losses: Bye-bye Goran Dragic. Also Kendrick Nunn, Andre Iguodala and Trevor Ariza. Meantime Heat prospects are 2-0 in Summer League as games move to Las Vegas beginning tonight vs. Denver.

2. SOCCER: Messi splits with Barcelona, agrees with PSG: In news that stunned the international soccer world, Barcelona announced that Lionel Messi would leave the club after the five-year extension they'd agreed upon did not meet La Liga financial requirements. Messi, 34, wasn't a free agent long, reportedly agreeing to a two-year deal (and third-year option) with French club power Paris-Saint Germain. Messi is widely expected to end his playing days in MLS after his European career -- with Inter Miami a likely destination.

3. OLYMPICS: Disappointments, yes, but U.S. soared in Tokyo as Summer Games end: There were letdowns, yes, notably Simone Biles' withdrawals in gymnastics, U.S. women's soccer settling for bronze and U.S. men's track flaming out in 4x100 meter relay. But as the Olympics ended with today's Closing Ceremony, the good -- and the gold -- outweighed the bad for the America contingent. That included swimmer Caleb Dressel leading all athletes with five golds, Katie Ledecky adding four total medals, Kevin Durant leading U.S. basketball to gold, and Allyson Felix becoming the most decorated Olympian in U.S. track history. Team USA comfortably won the overall medal title with 113, and edged China 39-38 for most gold medals.

4. BOBBY BOWDEN: Florida State legend passes away at 91: At home, surrounded by family including his wife of 72 years, Bobby Bowden died Sunday morning at 91. FSU's two-time national champion football coach had survived last year but recently was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He always said that after retirement there was only one big event left in life. He wasn't lying.

5. DOLPHINS: Fins, Xavien reach agreement; (pre) season opens in five days: Miami is winding down training camp, with the first of three exhibition games in six days, August 14 at Chicago. Meantime the Xavien Howard holdout/trade request got solved Sunday morning with an agreement. Not a surprise. Coach Brian Flores had said flatly the Fins "don't want to" trade Howard and I'd written: "(It says here) a compromise and reworked contract to keep Howard may be in the offing." 

6. HURRICANES: UM fall football camp underway: Coach Manny Diaz conducted the Canes' third fall practice Sunday night, and attention has riveted to quarterback D'Eriq King as he comes back from a serious right ACL knee injury sustained in last season's Cheez-It Bowl loss to Oklahoma State. King has not been held back and has looked sharp. Canes open season with their toughest test (by far): Reigning national champion Alabama on September 4 in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

7. HALL OF FAME: Peyton, J.J., Edge lead weekend in Canton: Saturday's delayed Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement of the Class of 2020 was notable for four men with strong SoFla ties: Former Canes and Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson, ex-UM running back Edgerrin James, Fort Lauderdale-born receiver Isaac Bruce and former Coral Springs High guard Steve Hutchinson. The Class of '21 led by Peyton Manning and Calvin Johnson went in Sunday.

8. MARLINS: Lost season drags on, but Luzardo wins debut: Fish are 47-65 (8-15 since the break) after a third loss in a row Sunday in a lost season now in the midst of a six-game road trip. What's ahead? 1) Can they at least escape the NL East cellar? And 2) awaiting the call-ups of young prospects including those recently obtained at the trade deadline such as lefty starter Jesus Luzardo, who won his Marlins debut earlier this week.

9. INTER MIAMI: Finally! Team stays hot(ish) with home win over Nashville: Since ending an eight-match winless streak Inter Miami has now gone tie-win-tie-win with Sunday night's 2-1 home win over fellow 2020 MLS expansion team Nashville. Inter Miami is now 4-4-8 and out of the Eastern Conference cellar as it remains hopeful Messi will end his career in Miami, although it can't be yet known how Messi leaving Barcelona might impact that. Next match: Next Saturday at New York City. 

10. NBA: Stars staying put the story of free agency: Stars led by Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry, Chris Paul and Julian Randle all res-signed to stay with their current teams as NBA free agency got rolling. Notable stars changing teams included Kyle Lowry to Miami, Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan to Chicago, Carmelo Anthony to Lakers and Kemba Walker to New York.

Missing the HB10 cut: There is little worse in sports than NFL exhibition games, and a reminder pored forth in Pittsburgh's 16-3 yawner over Dallas in a Hall of Fame Game bereft of star players. Full preseason Week 1 is this week with 16 scrub-filled games spread across Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday ..... Weekend headline: 'Florida COVID update: Record-breaking 23,903 new cases, more people than ever in hospital.' Um, could someone please wake Gov. DeSantis and tell him? ..... xxxxx ..... Monster Jam wraps up Sunday in Sunrise, for those of you who inexplicably are fans of big trucks with giant tires ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,786 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Other recent columns: Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other (fairly) recent columns: Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.

Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

August 02, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now! Jimmy Johnson joins us as he prepares for his Hall enshrinement; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Simone, Xavien, U.S.-Mexico, Marlins, NBA free agency & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 2. Welcome, August! May I call you Augie? 2) I was back in-studio this past Tuesday with the Le Batard Show. Check out that day's podcasts for lots of me including a new Back In My Day. 3Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now on TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Xavien Howard is right in Dolphins dispute, Simone Biles deserves empathy not scorn, top 10 NFL training camp storylines, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

JjGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPIOSDE WITH JIMMY JOHNSON OUT NOW!: Our 30th episode of 2021 and 72nd overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 72 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode: The great former coach Jimmy Johnson, on the week of his enshrinement into the Pro Footballl Hall of Fame, joins us for a fun, candid and at times poignant reflection on his passions: Football, family, fishing and Fox. We also ask J.J. for an appraisal of Manny Diaz and the Canes and Brian Flores and the Dolphins. Also in the new ep: Greg, Chris and Yeti discuss the small details of any marriage or relationship. Also: Simone BIles, MLB trade deadline and NBA free agency and the Heat. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / and Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?).

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 1-2): 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. OLYMPICS: USWNT beaten, Biles to return for beam final as Tokyo Games reach midpoint: Midway through the Tokyo Olympics the story of the Summer Games has been U.S. gymnastics star Simone Biles' withdrawal from most events for mental-health reasons, although she says she will compete in the balance beam final. Meantime Team USA men's basketball remains alive but U.S. women's soccer was beaten 1-0 by Canada and is relegated to the bronze medal game. As we update this Monday morning ET the U.S. leads the overall medal count by one with 62 but trails China by seven in golds with 21.

2. DOLPHINS : Star Xavien Howard requests trade but challenges Fins: The Fins' star cornerback -- NFL leader with 10 interceptions last year -- reported for start of training camp to avoid daily $50,000 fines but requested a trade as team continued to refuse to rework his contract. Howard on Saturday challenged the Fins to do just that and keep him. He is miffed to not even be the highest-paid CB on his own team (Byron Jones is) and has a right to feel disrespected. Fins need to fix this mess. First preseason game is August 14.

3. SOCCER: U.S. beats Mexico in Gold Cup final: A Miles Robinson header in extra time lifted the U.S. to a 1-0 triumph over arch-rival Mexico Sunday night in the championship match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in Las Vegas. The U.S. (beating Qatar 1-0) and Mexico (ousting Canada 2-1) won semifinal matches to advance to the final.

4. MARLINS: Fish deal Marte and Duvall, swept by Yankees: NL East-trailing Miami gave up on the season by trading away its top hitter Starling Marte (.306) and its top slugger Adam Duvall (22 homers) ahead of the MLB deal deadline. From the A's for Marte the Fish get coveted young pitcher Jesus Lazardo in a justifiable deal for both sides. From the Braves for Duvall Miami gets young catching prospect Alex Jackson. Fish are 44-61, 5-10 since All-Star break and on a four-game skid after being swept by Yanks ... and with manager Don Mattingly away from the team in COVID quarantine. Seven-game homestand continues vs. Mets.

5. NBA: Westbrook-to-Lakers as trades overshadow draft: A flurry of trades surrounded the NBA Draft, most notably the Lakers getting former MVP Russell Westbrook and two future second-round picks from Washington for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a first round pick (22nd overall) this year. Also notable: Celtics get Al Horford from OKC for Kemba Walker. In the draft, as expected Detroit drafted Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham No. 1 overall. Next: Free agency.

6. HEAT: No draft picks, but free agency and summer league ahead: Miami had zero picks in last week's NBA Draft and now turns attention to signing undrafted prospects to help fill its Summer League roster. Heat's summer team is to play two games in California Tuesday and Wednesday before beginning play in the full Las Vegas Summer League. Dwarfing the summer team, of course: Free agency. It begins today/Monday, but Miami already exercised its option to keep Goran Dragic. Heat is expected to have around $24 million in cap space to go shopping. Bradley Beal? Kyle Lowry? Damian Lillard? Ben Simmons? Wheee!

7. INTER MIAMI: Higuain stars, Miami (finally) end long winless streak: Gonzalo Higuain scored both goals to help Inter Miami beat visiting Montreal 2-1 Saturday and end a seven-game winless streak. The Herons, now 3-3-8, had lost six in a row before drawing 1-1 with Philadelphia in the previous match. Heat remains on first-year coach Phil Neville to see his team get on a run and somehow scramble into playoff contention. Or at least respectability. Miami visits Orlando Wednesday.

8. NFL: Rodgers, Packers end the drama. Sort of...: Disgruntled star QB Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay agreed to a deal that will keep him a Packer two more seasons, Or, more likely, this coming season, followed by more drama. Had to happen. Rodgers wasn't going to sit out the season. And Packers knew Jordan Love wasn't ready. 

9. MLB: Major stars on the move ahead of trade deadline: Veteran ace Max Scherzer from Nationals to Dodgers. Cubs send popular Anthony Rizzo to Yankees and Kris Bryant to Giants. Yanks get Joey Gallo from Rangers. Red Sox get slugger Kyle Schwarber from Nats. Those were some of the biggest of a flurry of deals as teams passed he 100-game mark and buyers stocked up for the season's stretch run.

10. PANTHERS: Cats quiet in NHL free agency thus far: NHL clubs spent a combined $576.7 million on the first day of free agency, but Florida has been quiet thus far with one minor signing: Goaltender Christopher Gibson to a one-year deal. But the Cats made two notable re-signings, locking up defenseman Brandon Montour and center Sam Bennett with long-term extensions.

Missing the HB10 cut: The Texas and Oklahoma college football secession from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference became official with the SEC's formal invitation and the two school's acceptance. Why isn't this way high in the HB Top 10? Because the change won't take effect until the 2026 season ..... The preseason honors -- and with them high expectations -- keep piling up for Hurricanes quarterback D'Eriq King. It was announced he is among 35 players selected to the watch list for the 2021 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. King previously made the watch lists for the Maxwell Award (college player of year) and Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s top QB) ..... Trucks. Big trucks! BIG TRUCKS WITH GIANT TIRES!! Monster Jam (inexplicably still a thing) returns to Sunrise and the Panthers arena next weekend August 7-8 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,793 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Other most recent columns: Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other (fairly) recent columns: Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

July 31, 2021

Xavien Howard right, Dolphins wrong in standoff. New column; plus Biles' Olympic withdrawal over mental health merits empathy, not scorn; also. Top 10 NFL storylines entering camp, new Greg Cote Show podcast with 'Ted Lasso' creator Bill Lawrence & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 31. Farewell, July. See you next year. 2) I was back in-studio Tuesday with the Le Batard Show. Check out that day's podcasts for lots of me including a new Back In My Day. 3) Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now on TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Medecal Tedl BilllGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH 'TED LASSO' CREATOR OUT NOW!: Our new 29th episode of 2021 and 71st overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 71 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode: Bill Lawrence (pictured), the creative force behind 'Ted Lasso,' joins us to discuss the hit AppleTV+ show whose season 2 is now streaming. Greg has a special request of Bill. Hear his response in a fun, wide-ranging conversation. Also in the new ep: Greg shares a Don Shula story; we discuss the origin of the phrase “shooting the sh--”; the amusement park-like slide at the Dolphins’ new $135 million training facility; the strangest Summer Olympics that ever were; NFL continuing to put the hammer down on unvaccinated players; a two-part live report by Greg and Chris from the recent 5-0 home loss by sad Inter Miami; and a new Mount Gregmore. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

XavienXAVIEN HOWARD IS RIGHT TO FEEL DISREPECTED, AND DOLPHINS NEED TO FIX THIS MESS: Many questions in sports might be argued because they are not always easy to answer. Who to draft? When to make a coaching change? Is he a Hall of Famer? What free agent to pursue? How good will Tua Tagovailoa turn out to be? Then there are other questions that should not be questions at all because they are not debatable. Such as: What should the Miami Dolphins do about the mess they have made with star cornerback Xavien Howard? Well, duh. PAY THE MAN! Player empowerment is sweeping sports. Now NFL players are seeing what started in the NBA, with influential stars exercising their leverage to get out of contracts, to get more money, to get to a new team. Howard, the player coaches and teammates call “X,” wants his share. No, demands his share. He deserves that, and his employer should see that. Instead Dolphins management, which has done a lot right the past couple of years, has fumbled this one. For our full latest column, visit Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess.
 
BilesNOT EVEN ON GOLD MEDAL STAND HAS SIMONE BILES EVER STOOD TALLER THAN NOW: The most stunning disappointment of the Tokyo Olympics is Simone Biles. Yet not even on a gold medal stand has she ever stood taller, or been a better role model. There is bravery in admitting anxiety, inner turmoil, the things no one else can see. There is bravery in admitting human frailty when the rest of the world looks at you and expects only strength, perfect landings, perfect endings. When the very ethos of sports has always been to run through proverbial brick walls, play with pain, tough it out. How long overdue is the dawning new reality: That athletes are not bulletproof. That they hurt like the rest of us beyond the injuries and physical pain that make the headlines. That there is nothing wrong and everything right about someone prioritizing their mental well-being, whether that someone works slinging fries or going for gold. For every young girl Biles has inspired to pursue Olympic greatness, there are an equal number or more who will now take heart that they have a new champion in their own struggles with mental health. For our full recent column, visit Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn.
 
RodgerswatsonTOP 10 NFL STORYLINES AS TRAINING CAMPS OPEN! (WHERE'S TUA?): Not counting the perpetual question of whether Tom Brady will ever start acting his age, here are our top 10 intriguing NFL story lines as the season unfurls this week with the opening of training camps: 1. Aaron Rodgers: This has been ncharted turmoil: The NFL’s reigning MVP might sit out the season, might abruptly retire to host “Jeopardy!,” might get his wish and be traded in a blockbuster deal, or might even reluctantly agree to player one more season in Green Bay. It began to seem like the latter, with NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reporting Monday afternoon: “Rodgers has indicated to people close to him that he does plan to play for the Packers this season,” but then softening that a bit with, “That is the expectation.” After boycotting the Packers’ mandatory June minicamp for the first time, it appeared the impasse would continue into training camp and the team’s first scheduled practice Wednesday. Rodgers had wanted out ever since Green Bay traded up to draft his replacement (Jordan Love) in 2020 without the courtesy of telling him — among other perceived slights and disrespect. The club’s olive branch was to make him the highest-paid player in the game. He turned it down, at least initially. (Rodgers and the No. 2 on our list are pictured). To read our full recent column with the rest of our top 10 storylines -- two directly involve the Dolphins -- visit Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?).
 

Other most recent columns: Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to OlympicsInjury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

July 26, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Olympics, Dolphins open camp, Cats' big week, Inter Miami and Fish out front. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with 'Ted Lasso' creator Bill Lawrence out now & more

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

Tiktok1) It's MONDAY, JULY 26. Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram -- and now on TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Sports teams with longest title droughts, Stephen Ross turns up heat on Dolphins, Anti-vax athletes are me-first not team-first, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Medecal TedlGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH 'TED LASSO' CREATOR OUT NOW!: Our new 29th episode of 2021 and 71st overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 71 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode: Bill Lawrence, the creative force behind 'Ted Lasso,' joins us to discuss the hit AppleTV+ show whose season 2 is now streaming. Greg has a special request of Bill. Hear his response. A fun, wide-ranging conversation. Also in the new ep: Greg shares a Don Shula story; we discuss the origin of the phrase “shooting the ****”; the amusement park-like slide at the Dolphins’ new $135 million training facility; the strangest Summer Olympics that ever were; NFL continuing to put the hammer down on unvaccinated players; a two-part live report by Greg and Chris from the recent 5-0 home loss by sad Inter Miami; and a new Mount Gregmore. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / and It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 25-26): 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. OLYMPICS: Team USA loses as COVID Olympics underway in Tokyo: Today/Sunday is the first marquee day of the no-fans, pandemic Summer Games amid a COVID surge in Tokyo. Team USA men's basketball lost this morning to France -- its first Olympic loss in 17 years. Gymnastics G.O.A.T. Simone Biles and team finished second in event qualifying. And swimming star Katie Ledecky debuted and settled for silver in the 400M freestyle. Saturday, U.S. women's soccer got back on track in group play, routing New Zealand 6-1 after earlier being shocked 3-0 by Sweden.

2. DOLPHINS : Training camp begins at lavish new site: Players report this week with the first preseason practice this coming Saturday at Miami's new $135 million training site adjacent to Hard Rock Stadium. Team unveiled the new digs this week, and owner Stephen Ross turned up the win-now heat, mentioning GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores and saying, “Now the pressure is on them. If you can’t win with a facility like this, you’re never gonna win!” Meantime Fins signed free-agent linebacker Shaquem Griffin to a one-year deal.

3. PANTHERS: Cats nab teen forward in NHL Draft, make semi-big trade: Florida drafted forward Mackie Samoskevich, 18, in first round of NHL Draft Friday, 24th overall, the club's lowest top selection since 2008. Samoskevich will play for University of Michigan in 2021-22. Earlier in the week, Cats lost goalie Chris Driedger to Seattle in the expansion draft. Cats also swung a significant trade, acquiring forward Sam Reinhart, 25, from Buffalo in exchange for Cats' 2022 first-round pick and goalie prospect Devon Levi. Reinhart led Sabres in scoring with 25 goals and 40 points last season. Florida opens regular season at home October 14 vs. Pittsburgh.

4. INTER MIAMI: Finally! Miami ends losing streak with tie: Second-year MLS club Inter Miami tried yet again Sunday night to stop the bleeding vs. the visiting Philadelphia Union and did, sort of, with a 1-1 tie. Miami is now a still-rotten 2-3-8 but its six-game losing streak (after a listless 5-0 home embarrassment vs. New England) is over. First-year coach Phil Neville's job is in jeopardy, and if it isn't it should be. Right, David Beckham?

5. HURRICANES: ACC kickoff, fall camp and an arrest: Coach Manny Diaz, QB D'Eriq King, receiver Mike Harley and safety Bubba Bolden repped The U at the ACC Kickoff media days in Charlotte. Canes will open fall camp on Friday, Augusts 6 ... but minus one player. UM booted safety Avantae Williams off the team after his arrest for domestic battery against a pregnant ex-girlfriend -- the latest athlete to detonate his future in one moment reckless stupidity.

6. MARLINS: Fish struggling but win second straight: Miami is 4-7 since the All-Star break, 43-57 overall and mired in the NL East cellar but won a second straight game Sunday to wrap up a four-game home series with San Diego today. Miami has disappointed thus far after last year's unexpected playoff spot.

7. NBA: It's Draft Week, but not in Miami: The two-round NBA Draft is this Thursday night but interest in Miami will be muted as the Heat have no picks and the Hurricanes will (barring a shock) have no one drafted. Detroit is nearly certain to make Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham the No. 1 overall pick.

8. SOCCER: U.S. tops Jamaica to reach Gold Cup semifinal: Will the U.S. and Mexico renew their rivalry in next Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup championship match? The American men took a big step Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Jamaica in a quarterfinal match in Arlington, Texas. Thursday's semifinals will pit the U.S. vs. Qatar, and Canada vs. Mexico.

9. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Texas, Oklahoma reported headed to SEC: Two traditional powerhouse programs, the Longhorns and Sooners, seem poised to ditch the Big 12 conference for the SEC within weeks, say multiple reports. ESPN reported the schools likely would owe the Big 12 about $76 million each to buy out the remainder of their share of TV rights in an agreement that runs until 2025 -- a buyout made easily affordable by the pending SEC windfall.

10. MLB: The Cleveland ... Guardians?: Cleveland will drop its contentious Indians moniker and become the Guardians after this season, trading a racist nickname for one just plain weird. The flimsy-ish justification: The locally famous "Guardians of Traffic" statues featured at the city's Hope Memorial Bridge. 

Missing the HB10 cut: So sorry to hear that former Florida State coaching great Bobby Bowden is terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. Our thoughts with him and his family ..... Naomi Osaka, representing host Japan, became first tennis  player to light the Olympic cauldron ..... Tens of thousands of Bucks fans flooded the Deer District as Milwaukee celebrated its first NBA title in 50 years and Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo ..... Tadej Pogačar of Slovenia won the Tour de France for the second time in a row ..... Tampa Bay turned up the heat on Boston in AL East by acquiring slugger DH Nelson Cruz from Minnesota for two top minor league pitching prospects. MLB trade deadline is this coming Friday ..... This Aaron Rodgers s--- gettin' real. He ain't coming back to Green Bay. Your move, Pack ..... Horizon: Only four more races until NASCAR playoffs begin ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,800 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Other most recent columns: Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? / Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / and Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money. Also: May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

July 19, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10: COVID Olympics, surging Bucks and Morikawa jockey for top spot. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JULY 19. I'll be back in my regular Tuesday slot this week (tomorrow) on the Le Batard Show. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast now on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Seat rankings for Miami coaches, Should Heat gamble on Ben Simmons?, Exhibition losses wakeup call for Team USA, Tokyo Olympics should be delayed yet again, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 28th episode of 2021 and hallmark 70th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 70 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our new episode: The big reveal on our show decal giveaway, golf with Tony and Roy, Messi mania in Miami, the COVID Olympics, a Legoland lifeguard and more. (Oh, and apologies in advance for the unseemly topic that opens the show). Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? / Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / and Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again, But It's Too Late. Why? Money. Also: May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 18-19: WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

Our thoughts and sympathy continue with the victims and families affected by the Surfside condominium collapse that has now left at least 97 confirmed dead and more still unaccounted for. 

HButton1. OLYMPICS: COVID-shadowed Tokyo Games start this week: Ready or not, smart or not, the delayed-from-2020 Summer Olympics begin this coming Friday in COVID-spiking Tokyo, and run through August 8. Two athletes there already have tested positive. United States is betting favorite to win most gold medals, followed by China and host Japan. First must-see day is next Sunday, when Team USA men's basketball (vs. France), swimming star Katie Ledecky and gymnastics G.O.A.T. Simone Biles all debut.

2. NBA: Surging Bucks up 3-2 in NBA Finals: The Phoenix Suns' 2-0 series lead is a distant memory now, after Giannis and Milwaukee on Saturday night won a third straight NBA Finals game. The Bucks can clinch their first league title since 1971 on Tuesday in Game 6 at home.

3. GOLF: Morikawa wins British Open: The fourth of the golf majors -- on the calendar and frankly in general interest stateside -- wrapped up Sunday with 24-year-old Los Angeles-born Collin Morikawa winning by two shots over Jordan Spieth. Morikawa also won the 2020 PGA Championship in his first attempt, as he did today in The Open in northern England.

4. MARLINS: Fish stumbling to begin second-half: Following the All-Star break and MLB Draft, the NL East-trailing Marlins took on a seven-game division road trip looking for a spark to begin the season's second half. Instead Miami dropped three of four in Philly and is 40-53 and mired in the NL East cellar. Fish try again with three at Washington starting tonight.

5. DOLPHINS : Fins set training camp schedule: Miami's King Team announced it would hold 14 open-to-fans practices at its new training facility during this year's training camp, which starts July 31. After training at Nova Southeastern University since 1993, the Fins this year move to a new 227,000-square-foot facility next to Hard Rock Stadium. Training camp segues to the preseason opener August 14 at Chicago.

6. SOCCER: U.S. beats Canada, advances in Gold Cup: The U.S. men beat Canada 1-0 Sunday night in Kansas City to end 3-0 and +7 on goals in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group play. Americans easily qualified for the knockout phase starting next Saturday. Tournament crowns the top team in the North and Central America and Caribbean region.

7. COLLECTIBLES: Heat, Panthers enter the NFT game: The Miami Heat and Florida Panthers have begun offering non-fungible token (NFT) digital collectibles. Heat is offering unique digital memorabilia via auction and sale celebrating the 15th anniversary of the 2006 championship, the club's first. Panthers have partnered with digital collectibles developer Fanaply to host, sell, trade and distribute Panthers NFT collections.

8. INTER MIAMI: Game postponed; Herons back in play Wednesday: Inter Miami, 2-2-7 and looking to snap a five-game losing streak, saw its game at the New York Red Bulls postponed by severe weather and lightning Saturday night. The Herons are back at it Wednesday night with a visit by New England Revolution. 

9. PANTHERS: Cats drop Yandle, prepare for NHL Draft: Florida released longtime defenseman Keith Yandle after buying out the last two years of his contract, and re-signed forward Anthony Duclair and defenseman Gustav Forsling. Cats will lose one unprotected player to the Seattle Kraken in Wednesday's NHL expansion draft (likely goaltender Chris Driedger, according to reports). The main NHL Draft is this coming Friday and Saturday. Florida picks 24th in the first round, the club's lowest top selection since 2008.

10. MLB: AL, Ohtani, Alonso win All-Star break: Angels' two-way star Shohei Ohtani was winning pitcher as AL won its eighth straight All-Star Game, beating NL 5-2. Blue Jay Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered and was game MVP. In the co-headlining event the Mets' Pete Alonso won his second straight Home Run Derby.

Missing the HB10 cut: Heat's 2021-22 preseason schedule will include home games Oct. 4 (Atlanta), Oct. 11 (Charlotte) and Oct. 15 (Boston), the team announced ..... A shooting outside Nationals Park that wounded three on Saturday postponed the Padres game ..... Ted Ginn Jr. and his family have announced their retirement from the NFL ..... For Sale (but not cheap): A slightly damaged Ben Simmons ..... Team WNBA beat Team USA 93-85 in the WNBA All-Star Game. Interesting format for an Olympic year ..... The Stanley Cup trophy got dented during Tampa Bay's boat parade. Gotta be a way to blame Tom Brady, no? ..... NBA Draft is July 29 but it's who-cares in Miami, with no Heat picks and no Canes likely to be taken ..... R.I.P., Biz Markie ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,807 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

July 17, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast: A rollicking Tahoe Special!; plus Hot Seat scale for 10 biggest Miami coaches; also, Should Heat try to fix Ben Simmons?, Exhibition losses were Team USA's wakeup call, Tokyo Olympics should be delayed yet again & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 17. I was back in-studio on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Thursday. Check out  that day's show podcasts for way too much of me. Will be back in my regular Tuesday slot next week. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast now on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 'TAHOE SPECIAL' EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 27th episode of 2021 and 69th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 69 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode Greg and Chris (and Chris Wittyngham, and Mardy Fish, and the lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire, and a pinch of Stugotz) come to you from Lake Tahoe with a rollicking review of their golf and casino trip. Fun! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

NevilleHOT SEAT SCALE: RANKING 10 BIGGEST COACHES IN SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS BY MOST TO LEAST JOB SECURITY: Like a wine paired to a certain meal, we can recommend a musical accompaniment to what you are about to read. It is the 1980s song, “Under Pressure,” by Queen and David Bowie. Pressure, pushing down on me, pressing down on you ... We identified the 10 most prominent teams in the Greater Miami/South Florida sports market (no offense, FIU hoops, Miami FC soccer and others who just missed) and then came up with a Hot Seat scale to rank which of the teams’ head coaches (or manager) are under the most pressure in terms of job security. The scale is 0 to 10 — 0 meaning the coach’s job presently could not be safer, 10 meaning the firing line is in view and the blindfold and cigarette are being offered. Our summer of ‘21 Hot Seat rankings include (alphabetically) FIU football's Butch Davis, UM football's Manny Diaz, Dolphins' Brian Flores, UM men's basketball's Jim Larranaga, Marlins' Don Mattingly, UM women's basketball's Katie Meier, Inter Miami's Phil Neville (pictured), Panthers' Joel Quenneville, Heat's Erik Spoelstra and FAU football's Willie Taggart. For our full latest column, visit Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security.
BensimmonsPERIL VS. POSSIBILITY: SHOULD MIAMI AND HEAT 'CULTURE' RISK TRYING TO FIX BEN SIMMONS?: This is a delicious dilemma for the Miami Heat, one fraught with peril and possibility. Ben Simmons. The Heat should avoid him like the proverbial plague. The Heat should inquire aggressively about his reported availability. The case for either polar direction is pretty strong. I know, I know. Here we go again, right? A prominent NBA player is out there dangling, either in free agency or via trade, and Miami always seems to get sucked into the conversation. There is hardly a rumor whispered that doesn’t somehow involve the Heat. It is because Pat Riley is a deal-maker loathe to stand pat. He is forever after the next big asset, the next whale making the next splash. Relevance. Another title shot. Part of it is also because half the fun of the NBA is what’s happening off the court. To most fans, the July 28 draft and the free agency/trade season that follows is more interesting than the Suns-Bucks NBA Finals going on. In Simmons’ case, Miami is a natural link because of the club’s culture-driven reputation as a place where broken players are repaired. Come to Miami, and be healed by the Heat Way! Former NBA player Brian Scalabrine of NBC Sports Boston, as an example, recently said, of Simmons, “The Miami Heat could fix him. Erik Spoelstra as a coach could fix Ben Simmons.” The question is, "Should they try?" The positives and negatives on Simmons both are huge. For our full recent column, visit Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? 
REDEEM TEAM: EXHIBITION LOSSES JUST THE FUEL TEAM USA NEEDS HEADING TO TOKYO: Concern. Worry. Panic? Isn’t it great? Ain’t it fun! There was plenty we expected from Team USA men’s basketball in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, but drama and adversity — and losing and being mocked on social media — were not among those things. Ten days from the start of TeamusaOlympics hoops, America’s Dream Team suddenly is cast as the Redeem Team, needing to reestablish itself as the (literal) gold standard against unexpected doubts. Exhibition losses first to Nigeria (a 28-point underdog) and then Monday night to Australia (a 17-point ‘dog) have superstar-laden Team USA, full of NBA max contracts, on its heels. And the losses have superstar coach Gregg Popovich in the unaccustomed position of looking for silver linings in defeat. “I thought we got better tonight,” he said after the loss to Australia in Las Vegas. Speaking of Vegas, the Americans remain betting favorites to win a fourth consecutive Olympic gold despite the rocky preamble, ahead of national teams like Spain and the Aussies. To most gamblers it’s still a safe bet that Popovich is going to figure it out — heck, that you or I could stand courtside and win gold with a roster that includes Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Jayson Tatum (and the Heat’s Bam Adabeyo, too, of course). Team USA’s talent and pedigree are why the consecutive exhibition losses have been, well, shocking. Consider: This is Durant’s fourth Olympic team and before this 0-2 stumble his teams had been 39-0 in the three previous Olympic seasons (including exhibitions). Team USA had been 54-2 overall since NBA players were first allowed to compete in the Olympics in 1992. That gold-gilded track record has fomented an almost jingoistic attitude surrounding Team USA, an assumption of dominance. Losses to Nigeria and Australia are reminders that things have changed, which is a good thing for Olympic basketball. For our full recent column, visit Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics

TokyoTOKYO OLYMPICS SHOULD BE DELAYED AGAIN, BUT IT'S TOO LATE. WHY? MONEY!: Sports amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a strange thing to experience over the past 16 months. Games postponed, seasons shortened, events canceled or delayed. No spectators to cardboard-cutout or digital fans to limited attendance and mask mandates. A whole new connotation to the word “bubble.” The importance of sports, the role of it in our lives, has been subject to reexamination. The notion of people playing games has seemed somewhat meaningless in the context of a global coronavirus pandemic whose death toll has now topped 4 million worldwide including some 606,000 Americans. Yet, at the same time, sports — the resumption of them, the continuation of them — have felt vitally importance as a symbol of normalcy, a signpost we’re on the road to that, at least. Games and the comforting routine of seasons as a life preserver of sorts. All of which brings us to the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The Games will begin July 23, ready or not — and whether they should or not. Sports’ place in a pandemic and the question, “Sports at what cost?” are open for fresh debate as the Olympics go on despite Tokyo just declaring a state of emergency due to a surge in COVID cases fueled by the Delta variant. For our full recent column, visit Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again, But It's Too Late. Why? Money.  

Other most recent columns: May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, GolfWhere's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

July 12, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Baseball, Bucks, England, Messi, McGregor. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus Greg Cote Show podcast's new 'Tahoe Special' out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JULY 12. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast now on Twitter. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): New Greg Cote Show podcast, our golf week in Lake Tahoe, Sha'Carri Richardson column & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 'TAHOE SPECIAL' EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 27th episode of 2021 and 69th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 69 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode Greg and Chris (and Chris Wittyngham, and Mardy Fish, and the lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire, and a pinch of Stugotz) come to you from Lake Tahoe with a rollicking review of their golf and casino trip. Fun! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / andNassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History. Also: Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / and Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 11-12: 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:

Still overshadowing everything, thoughts and sympathy to the victims and families affected by the Surfside condominium collapse that has now left at least 90 confirmed dead and 31 still unaccounted for. 

HButton1. MLB: HR Derby, All-Star Game, Marlins top picks: Plenty of fans prefer Monday's Home Run Derby to Tuesday's 91st All-Star Game -- both in this case featuring the Angels' Shohei Ohtani as the first star to make the team as both a pitcher and hitter. Events kicked off Sunday with the Futures Game, Celebrity Softball Game and first round of the MLB Draft. Marlins reps: Righty pitcher Max Meyer in the Futures Game and LHP Trevor Rogers in the ASG. Miami's two first-round draft picks were North Carolina prep SS Kahlil Watson 16th overall New York prep catcher Joe Mack 31st.

2. NBA: Desperate Bucks keep Finals hope alive: Phoenix, after its first NBA title, was the favorite; 13 of 17 ESPN hoops experts picked the Suns going in. Could Milwaukee, down 2-0, make a series of it? Answer came Sunday night. It was yes as Bucks won a desperate, must-win-feeling Game 3 at home.

3. SOCCER: England falls in Euro '20 final on home soil: Sunday's championship match of UEFA's Euro '20 found Italy winning its first European crown in 53 years and England denied its first ever in a shootout decision. Italy had twice lost in the final since winning in 1968. England sought to make history today at Wembley Stadium. No team has won on its home turf since France in 1984.

4. SOCCER: Messi, Argentina win Copa America crown: Argentina won its biggest title in 28 years Saturday with its 1-0 win over Brazil on Angel DiMaria's goal in the Copa America championship. It marked Lionel Messi's first major medal in a blue-and-white shirt.

5. UFC: Poirier finishes McGregor early in rematch: Dustin Poirier won his rubber-match trilogy fight over Conor McGregor Saturday night in Las Vegas to headline UFC 264. McGregor was done after the first round on a TKO (doctor's stoppage) after injuring his left leg. Dana White is already talking about a fourth fight? But has the fading McGregor earned one?

6. TENNIS: Djokovic, Barty on top at Wimbledon: Ash Barty won the Wimbledon's women's crown Saturday for her second career Grand Slam, beating Karolina Pliskova. Novak Djokovic in Sunday's men's final rallied past Matteo Berrettino for his record-tying 20th career Grand Slam win.

7. HURRICANES: Megadeal keeps UM out front of new NIL rule: The NCAA’s new Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) rule found Canes QB D'Eriq King out front with a handful of business deals last week. Now Miami has landed a huge $540,000 commitment from American Top Team, a mixed martial arts company and training gym based in Coconut Creek in Broward. The business is offering a $500 monthly contract or $6,000 per year to all 90 scholarship football players -- or $540,000 if all 90 sign.

8. MARLINS: Lopez sends Fish into All-Star break by making history: Pablo Lopez struck out the first nine Braves batters he faced Sunday at home to set an MLB record end a three-game Marlins losing streak to end the first half of the season. Miami enters the break 39-50 and lodged in the NL East cellar.

9. OLYMPICS: Team USA stunned in a tuneup for Tokyo: Team USA, starting five NBA all-stars, suffered a stunning 90-87 loss to Nigeria Saturday night in Vegas. The Americans had been 54-2 in exhibitions since professionals started playing, and five years ago had  beaten Nigeria by 43. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23 -- but with spectators now banned due to a COVID surge.

10. GOLF: Del Negro wins American Century Championship: Former NBA player and coach Vinny Del Negro beat ex-MLB star John Smoltz in a playoff to win the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. An emotional Del Negro won four days after his father passed away. (Myself, Stugotz and Chris Cote were thrilled to rep the Dan Le Batard Show in a Wednesday pro-am round).

Missing the HB10 cut: U.S. men beat Haiti 1-0 to open CONCACAF Gold Cup play in soccer Sunday night in Kansas City ..... Tampa Bay Lightning overwhelmed Montreal 4-1 in Stanley Cup Final for its second straight NHL crown. Canada's Cup drought is now 28 years. A somber note amid the Final: The July 4 fireworks-related death of Columbus goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks ..... Tom Brady and Naomi Osaka won best male and female athlete at ESPN's The ESPY Awards Saturday ..... Will Rachel Nichol's career survive or get canceled? Your move, ESPN ..... Let Sha'carri run! ..... Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers beat Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in 'The Match IV' in Montana ..... Inter Miami tries to end a five-game losing streak next Saturday at New York Red Bulls ..... Joey Chestnut won his 14th mustard belt for hot dog eating. Bor-ring! ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out now with a new 'Tahoe Special' episode  dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,814 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

July 06, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast: Greg and Chris go it alone ... until Le Batard shows up ... in a bathtub?; plus May Sha'Carri Richardson be last victim of Olympics' archaic marijuana rules. Latest column; also, my golf week in Lake Tahoe & more

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

1) It's TUESDAY-SATURDAY, JULY 6-10. Hope y'all had a Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans, and a nice long holiday weekend. 2) No Le Batard Show for me today. Expect to be back in my regular Tuesday slot next week. 3) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

AccLake Tahoe'in it!: The Le Batard Show will have a presence this week at the American Century Championship celebrity pro-am golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, and I'll be a part of it. Stugotz, Chris Cote and myself will be in a fivesome Thursday along with former tennis pro Mardy Fish and Earth, Wind & Fire lead singer Philip Bailey. It's part vacation/part work, as much of next week's podcast will be fun stuff recorded throughout our four days in Nevada. 

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: JUST GREG, CHRIS ... AND DAN IN A BATHTUB? NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 26th episode of 2021 and 68th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 68 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our new episode Greg and Chris go solo -- no guests. Well, OK, Dan Le Batard makes a brief but memorable appearance if that counts. The guys discuss this week's golfing trip to Lake Tahoe, where Greg and Chris will be in a fivesome with Stugotz, former pro tennis player Mardy Fish and Earth, Wind & Fire lead singer Philip Bailey. Also we discuss college sports' new Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) rule and the proposed expansion to a 12-team College Football Playoff. And there's a new Mount Gregmore! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Sha'carriLET SHA'CARRI RICHARDSON BE LAST VICTIM OF OLYMPICS' ARCHAIC MARIJUANA RULES: I’m a rules follower, maybe to a fault. Before I step into an express lane I scan the shopping cart to make sure I don’t have more than 10 items. When it comes to sports I’m old-school on cheating. I’m all for the wide net against performance-enhancing drugs. But this Sha’Carri Richardson situation — it felt wrong the minute it made news, and the more I’ve researched it, the more head-shaking angry I’ve gotten. Richardson, 21 (pictured), is a 5-1 blur of speed. She won the women’s 100-meter dash at the U.S. Track & Field trials last month in Oregon to earn a spot in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. She should be among gold medal favorites. Hers should be one of those stories you get to know over the next month. Instead her story is that she got suspended one month by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. It is the lightest, most slap-on-wrist penalty in the USADA penal code. It is just long enough to erase her Olympic dream. Richardson’s offense? She tested positive for marijuana after her race last month. She told NBC she had smoked a bit of pot — legal in Oregon, where the trials were held — to help cope with learning of the sudden, unexpected death of her bilogicial mother. NBC said she learned of her mom’s death during an interview with a reporter. So sorry for your loss, Sha’Carri. You’re suspended. For our full latest column, visit May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules.

Other most recent columns: 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History. Also: Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / and Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf.

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

ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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