September 28, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): History! 4-way tie for 1st: Marlins in playoffs, Heat in Finals vs. LeBron, UM crushes FSU, Fins crush Jax; plus our Six Pack 'O Takeaways from Canes-Noles, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 30 out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28. If you missed who won the week, who leads the early season Top 20 and where Fins' Ryan Fitzpatrick lands, check out our NFL Week 2 QB Rankings2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): xxxHeat G5xxx, Dolphins crush Jacksonville, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 29 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

Our latest NFL picks: NFL Week 3 Gems.

HEAT IN FINALS VS. LEBRON!: For my column off last night's Game 6 win that catapulted Miami into the NBA Finals, visit Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron. Off Game 5: Heat Lose, Still Lead 3-2. The Prize? An NBA Finals Date With LeBron. Game 4: Conquering Herro! Rookie's 37 Has Heat 1 Win From NBA Finals. G3: The Fun Starts Now As Heat's Joy-Ride Postseason Finally Hit a Bump. G2: Miracle Or Magic, Miami Heat's Stunning Postseason Run Continues. G1: Unexpected Playoff Run Makes Miami Heat the Most Fun Ride In Sports Right Now].

Newest Dolphins columns: Off Thursday night's big win in Jacksonville: We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw. Off Game 2: Power Outage, Lightning Delay, No Pass Defense As Dolphins Drop Home Opener to Bills. Off Game 1: Dolphins Lose to Pats, But Win With No-Hurry Plan On Tua.

SixpackCANES 52, FSU 10: OUR SIX PACK 'O TAKEAWAYS: For our column from last night's UM win, visit Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is. Six Pack 'O Takeaways: 1. King D'Eriq. Transfer D'Eriq King continues his excellent play and is nominating himself as UM's best QB since Ken Dorsey closed out the glory years. 2. Putting the No in Noles. After losing seven in a row to its state and ACC rival, Miami has now beaten FSU four straight times. 3. Kickin' It. After the field goal and extra point nightmare that contributed to 2019's 6-7 record, transfer kicker Jose Borregales has been a godsend. 4. Monster D. Six sacks, seven hurries 13 tackles for loss. Canes defense had its way. P.S., Noles QB James Blackman? Not very good. 5. Discipline. Miami needs more of it. Two defensive ejections last night, too many penalties. Against better foes, those things can beat you. 6. Next, please. As the gist of my game column stressed, UM's 3-0 start gets its ultimate test at No.1 Clemson on October 10. Are the Canes teasing us again? Soon we find out.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 27-28): 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:

HButton

1. MARLINS: Miracle Fish make playoffs for first time in 17 years!: They did it. One year after losing 105 games, in a pandemic season that began with much of the team COVID-positive, the Marlins somehow made the playoffs for the first time since 2003. It'll be a best-of-three vs. Cubs to follow the 60-game season. Amazin'!

1. HEAT: Miami wins East to get to LeBron and Lakers: Heat beat Boston last nibght for a 4-2 series and an NBA Finals berth vs. old friend LeBron James and the L.A. Lakers. 

1. HURRICANES: UM crushes rival FSU, heads for top 10: Miami's 52-10 rout of Florida State last night at Hard Rock was the biggest in the series since 1976. The 3-0 Canes now have leaped to No. 8 (from 12) after two teams above UM lost Saturday. But is The U really that good? We all find out October 10 at Clemson.

1. DOLPHINS: Miami crushes it in Jax. Who are these guys!?: A Dolphins team we hadn't seen the first two games showed up and crushed host Jacksonville 31-13 Thursday night. Ryan Fitzpatrick was 18-for-20 with two TDs passing and one running. The defense dominated. It was a night when Miami's improvement and potential showed itself, and rather gloriously at that!   

5. INTER MIAMI: Expansion team back in action, falls in Philly: Miami returned to the pitch on the road Sunday night vs. a strong Philadelphia Union squad and lost 3-0. Despite two straight lopsided losses, Inter Miami since an 0-5 start has won three and drawn two of its past nine matches. Miami now has with it recently signed Gonzalo Higuain, the former Juventus striker.

6. NHL: Stanley Cup Final Game 6 is Monday: Tampa Bay leads Dallas 3-2 after the Stars staved off elimination Saturday night. The Lightning will win it all, or be forced to a Game 7, on Monday night. 

7. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Weak! Pac-12 follows Big Ten back into play: Two of the Power 5 conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12, said they would not play in 2020 over COVID-19 concerns. Then the weak Big Ten caved and agreed to begin play in late October. Now the weak Pac-12 has caved and said it will play a seven-game schedule starting in November. Sad.

8. NASCAR: Michael Jordan buys into race team: With NASCAR in the midst of its playoffs, Michael Jordan has become a team owner for next season. The basketball legend has teamed up with NASCAR star Denny Hamlin -- currently second in the playoff standings with seven races left -- and with Bubba Wallace, the Black driver whose fight led to the sport banning Confederate flags from its tracks.

9. PANTHERS: Florida NHL club signals win-now mode with trade: New Panthers general manager Bill Zito swung a trade acquiring veteran forward Patric Hornqvist from Pittsburgh in exchange for defenseman Mike Matheson and forward Colton Sceviour. Hornqvist, 33, appeared in 52 games with the Penguins this season scoring 17 goals with 15 assists.

10. WNBA: Seattle, Connecticut can advance to Finals Sunday: The Seattle Storm beat the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday for a 3-0 series win and a spot in the WNBA Finals. The Connecticut Sun and Las Vegas Aces are tied 2-2 in their semifinal in the Bradenton bubble heading into a deciding Game 5 on Tuesday.

Missing the HB10 cut: The majors keep a-comin'! Next: Tennis' French Open starts Sunday. Rafael Nadal has won a record 12 French Opens and is the strong betting favorite to make it 13, with Novak Djokovic the second pick. Simona Halep is a less-sure favorite on women's side, with Serena Williams a distant fourth ..... Conor McGregor says he'll fight Manny Pacquiao. Oh lord! ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 30 is out now! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,101 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Hopefully we'll have crowds in stadiums again by then?

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 30 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 30 is out now! A new episode drops early every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 30 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. (Start on Episode 1 and catch up!) In new Ep30 we welcome back special guest Izzy Gutierrez of ESPN for Iz 2.0. Last week we talked sports and silly stuff. This week -- vey different. On the fifth anniversary of his coming out publicly as gay, Izzy talks about his life since, including the heartache and a very recent loss. It's emotional, and a must-hear. Of course there's a new Mount Gregmore, too -- the M's. Hear all of that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast now!

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THE ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

August 17, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Marlins back home, college football chaos, Heat playoffs ... see who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 24, links to newest columns & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 17. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Fractured college football mirrors America's divide on pandemic, Big Ten and Pac-12 set a moral compass, On Panthers moving on from GM Tallon, Marlins home opener (finally!), Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 24 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: A WEEK OFF, THEN NEW EPISODE 25!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and Episode 24 is out now. After a week off (no new episode Monday), we'll celebrate our silver podiversary with Ep25 on August 24. New episodes drop Monday mornings on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart or wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 24 we've done so far RIGHT HERE. Free! No paywall! Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Episode 24 Greg reveals his likes and dislikes about being on Le Batard Show. Also, hear from a screenwriter with a movie on Netflix who also happens to be running for Broward County supervisor of elections. And a guy who wrote a book about baseball cards ... and a double dose of Mount Gregmore (G's)! All that and more in new Ep24! 

Our most recent columns:

For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August

Also: Fractured College Football Mirrors America's Divide On How to Handle a Pandemic / Fall Without Football: Big Ten, Pac-12 Set Moral Compass for NFL, Others to Follow / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off and Here's Why Nobody Should Rule Out Heat Reaching NBA Finals

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 16-17): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. MARLINS: Hear ye, hear ye! An actual game actually happened in Miami!: For the first time in 156 days, since the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports on March 11, an actual game happened in South Florida -- the Marlins' long-delayed home opener Friday night, albeit sans fans. The Heat, Panthers and Inter Inter Miami have been playing elsewhere; this was the first time in just over five months a local team had played an actual home game. Seven-game Fish homestand vs. Braves and Mets continued Sunday with Marlins wearing throwback Miami Giants uniforms (a 1930s semipro team) in honor of 100th anniversary of Negro Leagues. Atlanta won to take two of three.

2. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Seismic! Big Ten, Pac-12 to skip 2020 season: In the biggest sports story of the pandemic since the cancellation of March Madness, two of the Power 5 football conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12, announced they would not play in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. They're hoping to play in spring of '21 instead. However, the SEC, Big 12 and ACC/Miami Hurricanes plan as of now to play this fall as scheduled. Miami is to open September 10 at home vs. UAB, though likely without fans or with a very limited number.

3. HEAT: Playoffs! Miami-Indiana best-of-7 series starts Tuesday: NBA playoffs start Monday and Heat-Pacers first-round series begins Tuesday, all in the Orlando bubble. Miami finished only 3-5 in the eight-game regular season restart, including a split of two games with the Pacers. Derrick Jones Jr. left on a stretcher Friday with a "neck sprain."

4. INTER MIAMI: Team announces major signing as MLS resumption nears: Portland Timbers beat Orlando City 2-1 to win the MLS is Back tournament, now the league's regular season has resumed. Expansion team Inter Miami returns to play next Saturday, August 22, vs. Orlando in its temporary stadium in Fort Lauderdale -- its first-ever home game, although sans fans. Miami is 0-5 in its rookie year but just signed French international midfielder and former Juventus star Blaise Matuidi, 33, who helped France win the 2018 World Cup. Meantime speculation persists that David Beckham's Miami is hot after Barcelona striker Luis Suarez.

5. DOLPHINS: Club to honor Shula with jersey patch this season: Miami would be one game into its exhibition schedule had the whole preseason not been canceled. Now, with the September 13 season opener at New England less than a month away, Dolphins announced players would wear a 'Shula/347' jersey patch this season to honor the late Don Shula. This will be first time club has had a uniform patch to honor an individual.

6. PANTHERS: Cats get unlucky in NHL draft lottery: NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are underway, as Florida continues its search to replace general manager Dale Tallon, sacked after a play-in series fizzle vs. Islanders. (Might former Cat Scott Mellanby be a candidate?) Meantime Panthers got no luck in NHL draft lottery. Had a 12.5 percent shot at the overall No. 1 pick but will select 12th instead. Draft, delayed from June, is scheduled to be done virtually October 9–10.

7. SOCCER: UEFA Champions League semifinals are set: UEFA Champions League being held in Portugal is down to its semifinals. It'll be Paris-St. Germain vs. Leipzig on Tuesday, and Bayern Munich vs. Lyon -- which stunned Manchester City 3-1 on Saturday. Semifinal winners will meet for the European crown on August 23, with Bayern now a stout favorite.

8. HIGH SCHOOLS: FHSAA green lights fall sports: The FHSAA, governing body for Florida prep sports, voted 11-5 to allow fall sports including football to go on beginning later this month despite the pandemic hitting this state harder than most. To the five adults in that room, thank you for trying, at least.

9. UFC: Miocic pummels Cormier into retirement: Stipe Miocic beat Daniel Cormier in a unanimous decision in UFC 252 Saturday night in Vegas to cement his status as the sport's heavyweight G.O.A.T. The loss pushed Cormier to say he's retiring. Over/under on his coming out of retirement: Three months.

10. HORSE RACING: Delayed Kentucky Derby to allow some fans: The 146th Kentucky Derby, delayed by the coronavirus from early May until September 5, plans to allow some 23,000 spectators, or 14 percent of capacity. Meanwhile activists are calling for the race day to be cancelled and accuse police of cracking down on social-justice protests to put a happy face on Louisville as the race nears.

Missing the HB10 cut: R.I.P., Aubrey Hill. FIU''s wide receivers coach, 48, passed away on Sunday after a long battle with cancer ..... The Miami Hurricanes impressed in a football scrimmage Sunday night,with D'Eriq King throwing for four TDs. That was according to UM. Since no media were there to see it, did it really happen? ..... The Masters at Augusta, delayed by the pandemic this year from the spring to November 12-15, announced it would go on with no spectators allowed at the course ..... Along with some 70 players who have opted out of the coming season (including Dolphins Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns), at least seven NFL game officials have opted out, ESPN reported. Five are on-field officials and two are replay-booth guys ..... "TUA," a documentary on the Dolphins' rookie quarterback Tagovailoa (unless by some wild coincidence somebody else goes by Tua), premieres on Sunday, September 6 on Fox ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast will return August 24 with silver pod-iversary Episode 25 after a week off ..... Update: Countdown now 2,143 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup, always presuming the world still exists at that point.

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THE COTE ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 15, 2020

Marlins' home opener: Empty stadium, but full of promise. New column; plus Fractured college football mirrors U.S. divide on handling pandemic, Big Ten and Pac-12 set moral compass, on Panthers/Tallon, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 24 out now & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, AUGUST 15. Our Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 24 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

FOR MARLINS, A HOME OPENER -- AND FIRST PLACE -- IN MID-AUGUST. CAN THIS YEAR GET ANY WEIRDER?: [From Marlin s Park and last night's 8-2 win over Atlanta in Miami's much-delayed home opener]: Oh my how the Miami Marlins tried. Did everything they could to make their much-delayed first home game of the season Friday night feel special. Only in Marlinsbaseball does Opening Day get capital letters, and so for their return to Marlins Park — finally! — they hung red, white and blue bunting and even called the full team to the baseline for pregame introductions. Like it was April. Like everything was the same. When absolutely nothing is. The jumbo video screens were lit and the PA announcer enthusiastically called out the Marlins to a sea of 37,000 empty blue seats. Manager Don Mattingly has been in 31 big-league home openers as player, coach or manager, and he wasn’t even going to try to pretend. "I know it’s a home opener, but it doesn’t feel like much of one," said Donnie Baseball via a remote Zoom hookup, de rigeur now for coach and athlete interaction with media. "It’s another game, honestly. It ends up being a regular game." Well, not that, either, though. Not in a time when hardly anything in 2020 is regular, in sports or in life. That includes the Marlins themselves, more happily for Mattingly. His team unexpectedly held onto first place in the NL East with an 8-2 home-opening win led by Pablo Lopez’s eight-strikeout, no-walks gem. One month ago Lopez, 24, was grieving the sudden death of his father to a heart attack. Now he’s a big reason why Miami is an unlikely feelgood story in MLB. (Pictured: Lopez and first baseman Jesus Aguilar during the game]. "We were eager and excited to come home," Lopez said. "A really fun game all around." Clutch hitting, speed, great base running including another steal of home, a pair of highlight-reel defensive plays in left field by Matt Joyce -- all of that happened on a night that would have set the ballpark rocking, had there been fans in it. "A well-rounded game for us," Mattingly understated it afterward. "Kind of got contributions from all over the place. Speed is a difficult thing to deal with. The bats are coming alive." (Can it be real? The Marlins look good). The Fish became the first South Florida pro team in more than five months — in 156 days, since March 11 — to play a home game that actually was at home, following a 24-day, 12-game road trip to begin the delayed MLB season. It was the latest home opener by any team in the sport’s 144-year history. For my full latest column on a night both eerie and exhilarating, please visit For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August.

FRACTURED COLLEGE FOOTBALL MIRRORS AMERICA'S DEEP DIVIDE ON HOW TO HANDLE A PANDEMIC: Who is in charge here? Anyone? We haven’t seen this before. Not at any time, in any major sport. It has elements of anarchy. Mutiny. Insanity, even. Hello, NCAA? Anybody home? Like pandemic-plagued 2020 itself, what we see happening in college football Collballahead of this fractured 2020 season is unprecedented. Wait. No. There was the Spanish Flu of 1918 as a pandemic precedent. But in terms of sports? Nope. This is a first. College football always has been an entity of many conferences at different levels, but with a cohesion to it. One sport under one umbrella, under one governing body. Now we see a sport splintered, going in starkly different directions. The Power 5 Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences announcing Tuesday they would not play football in 2020 was the biggest sports headline of this coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Other smaller conferences and individual colleges already had done so. Now the onus is on the sport’s three other major leagues — Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and Big 12 — to follow the path of safety first, of prudent caution, or be seen as recklessly putting revenue over the health of their student-athletes. And all indications are they will follow the money, of course. But even that is a crapshoot in a fluid time of uncertainty. "We’re going forward. The Big 12, SEC and ACC have made their decision," as director of athletics Blake James of the ACC’s Miami Hurricanes told us Wednesday. "But we can’t say anything with certainty. Can anything change? Without a doubt." College football's divide on whether to play in 2020 mirrors America's division on how best to handle a pandemic. To read our full recent column, please visit Fractured College Football Mirrors America's Divide On How to Handle a Pandemic.

FALL WITHOUT FOOTBALL: BIG TEN, PAC-12 SET MORAL COMPASS FOR NFL, OTHER SCHOOLS TO FOLLOWSomething amazing and nearly unimaginable is happening. Major college sports is doing the right thing. Not the popular thing. Not the best thing for its financial bottom line. But the right thing. If reports are true the Big Ten and Pac-12, major Power 5 Bigpacconferences, will not play college football in the fall of 2020. Reports are official announcements from both leagues are expected Tuesday. The much smaller Ivy League and Centennial Conference previously had opted out of football season. The Mid-American Conference joined them to become the first FBS-level league to do so. But the Big Ten and Pac-12 opting out takes this to a whole new level. This is the biggest news in sports since the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic turned everything upside down exactly five months ago. It is a monumental development because it a powerful message that our government — federal, state and local — should hear and heed: That in the ongoing national struggle to balance health and economic concerns, there should be no real debate. Lives are more important than dollars. The adults in the room, in this case Big Ten and Pac-12 presidents, commissioners and athletic directors, are saying as much, loudly, on behalf of their student-athletes. They are saying so even knowing acutely that football is the big dog on campus producing the revenue that sustains entire athletic programs. This also is a seismic development for what it may portend, for the huge domino that may have just tipped. Because, now, how can the Southeastern Conference, the Big 12 and the University of Miami’s Atlantic Coast Conference go on with their seasons as planned? How reckless will they seem, putting money ahead of safety, now that the Big Ten and Pac-12 have taken hold of sports’ moral compass? Same with the mighty NFL. To read this full recent column, please visit Fall Without Football: Big Ten, Pac-12 Set Moral Compass for NFL, Others to Follow.

AS FLORIDA PANTHERS MOVE ON FROM GM TALLON, WHO'S NEXT MIAMI TEAM EXECUTIVE FACING HOT SEAT?: When you don’t know what else to do, you fire somebody. When you’re out of answers and excuses, fire somebody. This is the way it works in big-time sports. Coaches and team executives are not often let go based on incompetence, but rather because the team owner Tallonran out of patience, felt pressure and needed a fall guy. Needed a bold stroke to convey action, perhaps to divert attention from his own inability to find a winning combination. Change merely for the sake of change is sometimes enough, and it erased Dale Tallon from the South Florida sports landscape on Monday. The Florida Panthers’ longtime general manager — 10 years is a lifetime in sports — leaves the hockey club by what is being called a "mutual agreement," because a respected 69-year-old NHL lifer deserves that, at least. Plainly, his contract expired when this season did and would not be renewed. It is understandable, this move. I am sorry to see it, and to say, but it is justifiable. Said team owner Vincent Viola: "When we purchased the Panthers in 2013 we did so with a singular goal, to win a Stanley Cup. We have not seen our efforts come to fruition." Tallon thanked fans and Viola in a parting statement issued through the club, but he is hurting. I texted Dale on Monday to ask if we might speak. He replied and, politely, wrote, "I will hold off at this time." Ironically, Tallon’s own successes as a GM raised the bar that ultimately caused his sacking. His Cats made a cannonball splash during the past offseason in hiring star coach Joel Quenneville (pictured with Tallon) and top free agent goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. The moves screamed win-now-or-else. Let Tallon’s departure be a warning that applies elsewhere in this market to others who are feeling job pressure, should be, or might be soon. Because not many get the 10 years Tallon got, and everywhere you look in South Florida — outside of the steadily competitive and stable Miami Heat — you see potential change. For my full recent column, including who I see as the next Miami team executive to feel pressure, please visit As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat?

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

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THE COTE ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 10, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 9-10): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. MARLINS: Finally! Much-delayed home opener is this Friday: Marlins are 5-2 since the restart and 7-3 overall, all on the road, and depleted by COVID-19 absences. Don Mattingly for manager of the year! Fins will have played 12 straight away from home before finally debuting at a fan-less Marlins Park this Friday vs. Atlanta. BTW, Mattingly's 282nd win passed Jack McKeon for club record.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE COTE ARCHIVES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 03, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 2-3): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: Miami wins season (re-)opener as NBA returns: NBA resumed with an eight-game regular season starting Thursday, and Heat (after going 1-2 in scrimmages) tipped off Saturday with an impressive 125-105 win over Denver in the Orlando bubble. Bam Adebayo, back from a bout with COVID-19, scored 22 for Miami as did Jimmy Butler. Next, Heat face Toronto Monday. Eight games each for the 22 teams still alive will determine playoff seedings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 27, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Our most recent other columns:

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

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

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

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

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

HButton1. MARLINS: Baseball's back, but Fish postpone home opener amid outbreak: Baseball's delayed, truncated 60-game regular season is underway minus fans in the stands because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The good news: Marlins opened by winning two of three in Philly led by Miguel Rojas' 7-for-10 bustout. The overarching bad news: Four Fish missed Sunday's game after testing positive (Jose Urena, Jorge Alfaro, Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez), and club postponed Monday's home opener with at least 14 players and two coaches now infected.  Oy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

Our columns from this past week:

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

Marlins Captain Miguel Rojas On Pandemic And Playoffs As Baseball Returns

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

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

HButton1. MARLINS: Play ball? It's (finally) Opening Week for MLB: Ready or not, smart or not, the truncated 60-game season-in-a-pandemic is upon us. Miami opens this Friday with three in Philadelphia, then opens at home next Monday July 27 vs. Baltimore. No fans allowed for the foreseeable future, but it'll sound like there are, sort  of. MLB will play crowd noise from its official video game through ballpark sound systems during games. Somewhat bizarre, if you ask us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 13, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 12-13): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 11, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 06, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 5-6): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. NFL: Redskins finally weighing name change: Under increasing pressure at a time of demand for social justice, the Washington Redskins now say they are considering a nickname change (Redtails, anyone?) after pressure from main sponsor FedEx, the D.C. mayor and Native American groups. Baseball's Cleveland Indians are now considering a new nickname, too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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