The new Hot Button Top 10: Dolphins-Pats Opening Day, UM wins, U.S. Open ends, upsets rock CFB; plus our NFL Week 1 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND
1) It's SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11. This is the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. that killed almost 3,000. Never forget. 2) Be the change! Visit Change.org/MountGregmore and sign our petition to change the name of Mount Rushmore. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 1 picks, 2022 NFL Team Rankings, Why Hill/Waddle will be Fins' best WR duo since Clayton/Duper, new Greg Cote Show podcast, Mount Gregmore of columns.
GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE DROPS MONDAY!: Our 39th episode of 2022 and 130th overall is out Monday! New episode drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify and wherever you pod. Find all 129 we've done so far HERE. In our most recent episode: Anthony (10-Day Tony) from the Le Batard Show joins us for a fun chew on fantasy football, and Greg reveals an invention for a whole different kind of fantasy league. Also in the new ep: Season 2 premiere of HARD KNOCKS: GREG'S LOBOS, Farewell to Serena Williams, Are the Fins for real? and more. Hit up GCS2238 for full story on latest ep, and watch our weekly YouTube preview. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review, follow, subscribe and so forth. We simulcast on Sirius XM, too, Mondays from 5-6 p.m. ET. And now our podcast has a website and merch store! Check it out at TheGregCoteShow.com and visit the store by clicking 'Shop'. New items! Also check out our podcast's new YouTube channel.
Our NFL Week 1 picks!: The Upset Bird and I are back for (hard to believe) our 32nd season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald -- and it's debut week! Visit NFL Week 1 Gems for our picks for Dolphins-Patriots, our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week and all the rest. We pick three big upsets out the gate. Got off to a bad start Thursday night and I mean baaad. Liked champion Rams as a home dog and sort of dismissed all the hype around the Bills. Well I (and the Rams) got schooled, 31-10. Ouch. But have the whole week left. Let's go!.
MOUNT GREGMORE OF COLUMNS: OUR LATEST FIVE:
Hilltop: The five columns before that: As Optimism In Dolphins & Canes Spikes, Miami Flexes As A Football Town / Tribute: Community Was One Place Dolphins Won Big -- Because of Jason Jenkins / Tua's Preseason Debut Was Most Impressive 4 1/2 Hours Before It Began / Watson Punishment Will Go Way Beyond HIs Extended NFL Suspension / No Doubt Now: Deshaun Watson Knows He'll Be Pariah In Stadiums Across NFL
HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 11-12): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:
1. DOLPHINS: New-era, high-hope Fins open season today vs. rival Pats: Miami opens its 57th season at home Sunday vs. AFC East rival New England, ushering in a new-look team led by new coach Mike McDaniel and new star recievr Tyreek Hill. Not new but improved (?): Third-year QB Tua Tagovailoa, expcted to reach a new level thanks to Hill, a revamped running game and a (theorteically) improved offensive line. Hope are high. Time for the Fins to justify them.
2. HURRICANES: UM wins big again. Now the real season starts: UM's perfunctory 30-7 home rout of Southern Miss (with RB Frank Gore Jr.) on Saturday followed the 70-13 season-opening home rout of Bethune-Cookman to put the No. 15-ranked Hurricanes at 2-0 with expected big wins over smaller opponents. Now? Now the real season starts with this coming week's game at No. 6-but-not-for-long Texas A&M, which was stunned Saturday at home by Appalachian State. That will make A&M an even tougher first test for the Canes in six days in College Station.
3. TENNIS: Swiatek reigns, U.S. Open men's final today: No. 3-ranked Carlos Alcaraz faces No. 5 Casper Ruud on Sunday -- both after their first Grand Slam title -- in an unexpected men's final of a U.S. Open whose emotional centerpiece was the likely final singles appearance of retiring G.O.A.T. Serena Williams. Alacaraz won his semifinal over No. 22 Frances Tiafoe, who was trying to become the first event's first American man to win in almost 20 years. On Saturday, No. 1 seeded Iga Swiatek handled No. 5 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in straight sets for her third Grand Slam title and first U.S. Open crown.
4. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Alabama escapes, but upsets litter the Top 25: No. 1 Alabama escaped 20-18 at unranked Texas but seven upsets in the Top 25 sent the early season upside. The unexpected losers: No. 6 Texas A&M, UM's next opponent, to Appalachian State; No. 8 Notre Dame, 9-Baylor, 12-Florida 17-Pitt, 19-Wisconsin and 25-Houston.
5. SOCCER: Messi coming to Miami! (Well, for a friendly, at least): Argentina's national team -- with Lionel Messi in the traveling party -- will play a World Cup tuneup vs. Honduras in a friendly at Hard Rock Stadium on September 23, with tickets selling fast. Speculation of Messi eventually signing with Inter Miami have floated for a good while. Meantime, at least we get him for a night.
6. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): No. 12 Florida beaten in Swamp; FIU falls: No. 20-Kentucky was an upset winner at overranked No. 12 Florida, 26-16, putting the Gators at 1-1. Elsewhere, FIU is 1-1 after being clobbered 41-12 at Texas State; 2-1 FAU pounded Southeast Louisiana 42-9; favored UCF lost at home to Louisville 20-14; and South Florida handled Howard 42-20. Florida State (2-0) was off this week.
7. HEAT: Hardaway becomes 6th to wear Miami uniform in Hall of Fame: Miami is nearing the opening of its training camp ahead of the start of the NBA preseason on October 4. But first, Heat welcomed former guard Tim Hardaway into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday. He joins Ray Allen, Chris Bosh, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O'Neal and Gary Payton as former players enshrined. Also in: Current president Pat Riley, former executive Billy Cunningham and ex-assistant coach Bb McAdoo.
8. INTER MIAMI: Third-straight loss leaves Herons in scramble for playoffs: Inter Miami is 10-6-13 with three straight losses after Saturday's 3-1 loss at Chicago Fire left the Herons five points from the seventh and last MLS East playoff spot with five regular season matches left. The now-desperate Herons host Columbus Crew on Tuesday.
9. MARLINS: Only drama left in sad season: Can Sandy nail down the Cy Young?: Marlins are 57-81, winning two of three after a nine-game losing skid, entering Sunday's game vs. Mets as an eight-game homestand continues. Ace Sandy Alcantara is next on the mound Tuesday vs. Philly, still the NL Cy Young betting favorite despite his surrounding team and looking to nail down what would be a franchise-first Cy for the Fish.
10. MLB: Baseball passes major rules changes for '23: MLB, doing something right, voted to implement a pitch clock and ban defensive shifts to quicken pace of play and encourage action. The competition committee, consisting of six ownership-level reps, four players and one umpire, approved a pitch clock of 15 seconds with empty bases and 20 seconds with runners on, and a defensive alignment that must include two fielders on each side of second-base bag with both feet on the dirt. New rules also will limit pickoff moves and expand the size of bases.
Missing the HB10 cut: : The death of Queen Elizabeth II at age 96 led ghe English Premier League to suspend this weekend's soccer matches as a mark of respect, with several other sporting events across the U.K. also postponed. Tributes across the sports world have poured in for Britain's longest-serving monarch, who reigned 70 years ..... No suprise: Scottie Scheffler was an overwhelming winner of PGA Tour Player of the Year honors ..... Connecticut Sun are at Las Vegas Aces today/Sunday in Game 1 of the best-of-5 WNBA Finals. Either would be a first-time champion. Vegas, led by league MVP A'ja Wilson, is the betting favorite ..... NASCAR star Kyle Busch reportedly is leaving Joe Gibbs Racing after 15 years to join join Richard Childress Racing starting in 2023 ..... Florida Panthers, ahead of training camp and September 26 start of preseason games, is sending 26 young players to the Carolina Hurricanes-hosted Prospect Showcase from September 16-19. The young Cats (Kittens?) will play three agmes against Carolina, Tampa Bay ad Nashville ..... The U.S. team is favored over the International team in golf's Presidents Cup starting September 19 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte ..... Canada defeated Team USA 2-1 in the IIHF women's ice hockey world championship final in Denmark ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,372 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.
IT'S UPSET BIRD WEEK AND GREG'S LOBOS WEEK IN AMERICA!: Week 1 of NFL season means only one thing. Well, OK it means a lot of things, but two of them are the Upset Bird launching his 32nd (!) season of NFL predictions in the Miami Herald, and Greg's Lobos beginning defense of their league championship in PFPI Fantasy:
NFL picks -- A Herald tradition since 1991, our predictions appear online Thursday afternoons and in print Fridays every week starting this week. (Our pick for Thursday night games appear separately online Wednesday and in print Thursday). Each week we offer our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week (courtesy the Upset Bird: "Aawwk!"), a longer, more detailed predix capsule on the Dolphins game, as well as picks for all the other games. We also update you every week, and here in the blog each Tuesday, on how we're doing with our won-lost records both overall and against the point spread. We have fun but take our picks seriously. Longtime Upset Bird fans, welcome back! Newbies, glad to have you!
Greg's Lobos -- America's Most Famous and Popular Fantasy Football Team (AMFAPFFT) begins defense of its PFPI Fantasy crown this week in our 10-team friends' n' family PPR super-flex league. Had our draft the other day and our Big 5 to start the season are QB Lamar Jackson, RBs Dalvin Cook and Nick Chubb, and WRs CeeDee Lamb and Tee Higgins. You like? We'll update you in this blog every Tuesday morning on how we did that week and how we're doing in the league. You ready to howl, Lobos Nation? You ready to get in the Loboat and row? Join us for the ride!
THE LIST: HEAT-IEST HEATERS IN HALL: Nine men with an affiliation to the Miami Heat are now in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, including the latest, Tim Hardaway, inducted Saturday. Pat Riley (of course) is and Billy Cunningham was an executive and Bob McAdoo was an assistant coach. Of the six men who played for the Heat, who was the Heat-iest? We rank them based on percentage of career games played in a Miami uniform:
Player Pct. Heat games/Total
Alonzo Mourning 70.77 593 of 838
Chris Bosh 43.00 384 of 893
Tim Hardaway 42.33 367 of 867
Shaquille ONeal 16.98 205 of 1,207
Ray Allen 11.69 152 of 1,300
Gary Payton 11.16 149 of 1,335
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Thank you!: Was honored to have again been named by Associated Press Sports Editors as national Top 10 columnist for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won: Inter Miami’s David Beckham and Qatar a budding, avoidable controversy / Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson knows biggest victory happened in own family / Scorned, but does he deserve empathy? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Dolphins sabotaging Tua with interest in Watson
Select other recent columns: Who Dolphins Are Was Hidden In Opening Win. 5 Questions That Still Need Answers / Butch Davis On Retiring, His 50-Year Career -- & Canes Twice Almost Bringing Him Back / Why Has Brady Skated On Tampering Role & Does He Still Have Future In Miami? / Miami Raised Mario Cristobal. Payback? Come Home & Make Canes Football Matter Again / Goodell Kept The Power, After All. It's Why Watson Still Faces Much Harsher Ban / Ross NFL Cheating Scandal A New Low For Owner Who Embarrasses Dolphins / 11 NBA Titles Not Where Bill Russell's Legacy Starts. Tribute To An Epic Life / Deshaun Watson's 6-game NFL Suspension A Slap-On-The-Wrist Affront / Ranking South Florida's Top 20 Biggest Sports Stars (2022 Edition) / If Miami Marlins Trading For Juan Soto Sounds Laughable -- That's The Problem / Dolphins' Tua: The Disrespected Underdog QB About To Prove Everybody Wrong / How Matthew Tkachuk Brings Needed Swagger, Bravado To Panthers / Barkley, Djokovic, Lia Thomas: Being Sports Fan Never Harder -- Or More Interesting / How Super Mario And The Cheetah were Sent To Save Football in Miami / How Messi-to-Miami Became the Biggest, Longest Tease In Sports / Why LeBron (of All People) Chiming In On Griner's Russia Detention Is Ironic / Heat Luring Donovan Mitchell Involves Friend D-Wade, Arch-Enemy Ainge, Too / Why Miami Heat Should Re-Think, Go All-In For King-Whale Kevin Durant / Cup Of AK-47 Coffee At Cowboys Games? Nuthin' Wrong With That, Huh Jerry? / Cy Young Alert: Marlins' Ace-On-Fire Sandy Alcantara Does It Again / Nobody Wins, Everybody Loses, As NFL Weighs Deshaun Watson Punishment / The End Isn't Here, But It's Coming. Miami Sports Has Had Nobody Like Heat's Pat Riley / Title IX Empowered Women. The Supreme Court Has Done The Opposite / Florida Panthers Swap Coach Of Year Finalist For Guy No. 1 In Career Losses / 20 Cases Settled, But Deshaun Watson Won't Begin To Clear Name Without Remorse / Tua Will Handle Scrutiny & Pressure. Question Is If Rest of Miami Dolphins Can / 'Black Cloud' Over U.S. Open Amid Golf Civil War In Time Of Revolution In Sports / Curry's 4th NBA Title, 1st Finals MVP Opens Path To Michael/LeBron Best-Ever Talk / Heat Season Ends One Win (One Shot?) Short Of NBA Finals In Game 7 Loss / No Consolation, No Excuse: Panthers Swept From Playoffs In 2-0 Loss A Brutal End / Why'd World Cup pick Miami? Thank Dolphins Founder & Unlikely Soccer Visionary Joe Robbie / Serena Playing Wimbledon Still Matters, Maybe More Than Ever. Because It Feels Like Goodbye / Whatever Happened To Don King? Famed Boxing Promoter Back At 90 For Last Bow in Miami / Mickelson, Johnson et al Are Saudi Pawns Pocketing Blood Money / Dolphins Denied It, But Deshaun Watson Lawyer Reveals How Close Miami Was To A Deal / A Lesson In Sioux City: Sports And Real Life In Age Of Mass Shootings / ‘Centerpiece of futbol in world’: Dream is green-lit. Now can Inter Miami deliver? / Only In Miami: Ex-Marlins Prez Samson Joins Fight vs. 'Boondoggle' Soccer Stadium / Blowing Up Dolphins' Brady-Payton Plan Parting Shot Of Flores Lawsuit. For Now / Rotation Set, Lineup Improved, Excuses Gone. Time For Marlins To Win / Could Have Died. Nearly Lost a Leg. Tiger Playing Masters Means He's Already Won / Marlins Owner Sherman Said He'd Spend. Payroll Says It Hasn't Been Enough / Crushing End Short Of Final Four, But Miami Hurricanes' NCAA Run Was Exhilarating Milestone / Tyreek Hill Trade, Terron Armstead Signing A Win-Now Power Play By Dolphins / When Spoelstra Joined Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach / Why Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia / Brady A Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win / An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim Ng Hire As GM / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me
Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors 2021 writing awards again ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in '22 voting in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.
Finding Greg: Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Columns. Podcast. Podcast on Twitter. Podcast on Instagram. LeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).