April 04, 2022

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): It's the most jammed, heavyweight HB10 ever! NCAAs. Marlins. Masters. Heat. Fins. Tennis, USMNT. Cats. So much!, See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus Greg Cote Show new epsiode out now! & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, APRIL 4. Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's album -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Brian Flores has already won, Why is America rooting against perfect ending in Final Four?, Marlins payroll still too low, Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow NwrGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH NICK WRIGHT OUT NOW! Our sweet 16th episode of 2022 and 107th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 107 we've done HERE, free. In the new episode: Fox Sports rising star Nick Wright (pictured) sits in and talks stealing Greg's Back In My Day idea, Tyreek Hill, Miami Heat, professional poker and more in a wide-ranging, fun convo. Also in the new episode: Greg and Chris detail plans and events for their upcoming Father vs. Son Olympics, Can Greg reel Tony Kornheiser into the boat?, Punctuality vs. tardiness, the Final Fours and -- whoa! -- Chris reveals a job offer that would have him leaving Le Batard Show. Hit up GCS2216 for full story on that episode, and watch our weekly YouTube preview. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod also simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET).

Personal note and thanks: I'm 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 us APSE distinction: 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

MOUNT GREGMORE OF COLUMNS: OUR LATEST FIVE:

FloresrossCoachkNEW! The Lawsuit, 2 Months Later: Why Flores Has Already Won, And Dolphins Are Still Nervous NEW! 

NCAA Final Four: Why (Was) America Rooting Against The Perfect Ending?

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

Peacocks? Coach K? Hurricanes, The 'Football School' In Elite Eight, Deserve Love Too

Hilltop: The most recent five after thatTyreek Hill Trade, Terron Armstead Signing A Win-Now Power Play By Dolphins  /  Hurricanes Storming Sweet 16 Shades of George Mason '06 for Larranaga  /  Dolphins' Moves Help Tua, But Isn't About Surrounding Cast. It's On him  /  Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror  /  Brady's Comeback Not About Another Ring. It's About Holding Onto Who He Is

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (APRIL 3-4): 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, but from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

HButton1. NCAA TOURNAMENT (M): No Coach K, it's Kansas-UNC for men's national title: March (into April) Madness is ready for its crescendo! From 68 teams it's down to two survivors for both the men and women. Duke saw its season end and Coach K his career Saturday night in a semifinal loss to No. 8-seed rival North Carolina, which now will meet No. 1 Kansas for the men's national title Monday night in New Orleans. Jayhawks are 4 1/2-point favorites.

2. MARLINS: It's Opening Week for Miami's 30th season!: Yes, it's been 30 springs since Charlie Hough's knuckleball danced in 1993. The latest iteration of the Marlins opens the 162-game regular season with a five-game road trip starting this Friday at San Francsico. Thie Fish are 7-6 this spring, with final tuneup on Tuesday. Miami's home opener will be April 14 with a four-game set vs. NL East rival Phialdelphia.

3. GOLF: Time for The Masters. But will Tiger play?: The Masters, the year's first of four golf majors, runs this Thursday through next Sunday ar Augusta. Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth are betting favorites in a bunched field. It will be the first Masters since 1994 without Phil Mickelson. But the big question: Will Tiger Woods make the Masters his first full-field event since an auto wreck mangled his leg 13 1/2 months ago? He had not made his decision public as of early today/Monday.

4. HEAT: Heat get got, Hardaway makes Hall: Playoff-clinched Miami has won four straight (to flip a four-game skid) after Sunday's win in Toronto and lead the East by 2 games. Miami is down to three games left in regular season starting Tuesday vs. Charlotte, the first-round playoff opponent yet to be determined. Meantime old Heater Tim Hardaway finally earned 2022 induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame in his 15th year of eligibility.

5. DOLPHINS: Miami trades Parker, extends Howard, sets offseason schedule: After a big free agency period led by the blockbuster trade for Tyreek Hill and Friday's huge deal to extend cornerback Xavien Howard, the Fins weren't done yet and Saturday worked a rare in-division trade with New England. Pats get WR DeVante Parker and a 2022 fifth-round pick. Miami gets a 2023 third-round pick, giving Fins two 1sts, one 2nd and two 3rds in '23. Meanwhile club announced that offseason work under new coach Mike McDaniel would begin today/Monday. Other key dates: Voluntary minicamp April 19-20, NFL Draft April 28-20, and OTA workdays May 16-17, 19, 23-24 and 26 and June 6-7 and 9-10. Full preseason training camp typically starts in late July.

6. NCAA TOURNAMENT (W): South Carolina tops UConn in blueblood womens final: South Carolina has been the No.1 -ranked team all season and goes wire to wire for the national championship with Sunday night's 64-49 win over 11-time champ UConn.

7. TENNIS: Swiatek, Alcaraz win Miami Open. But Osaska did, too: Naomi Osaka, former world No. 1, entered the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium unseeded and ranked 77th, recently beset by mental health issues. But Osaka reached Saturday's women's final before falling 6-4, 6-0 to Iga Swiatek, who will take over No. 1 in WTA rankings in replacing the now-retired Ashleigh Barty. In Sunday's wholly unexpected men's final, 14th-seed Carlos Alcaraz beat No. 6 Carlos Ruud to become the youngest Miami Open men's winner and third-youngest of any ATP Masters 1000 event. He turns 19 on May 5.

8. SOCCER: U.S. drawn into World Cup Group B with England: The U.S. men's national team was drawn into Group B for soccer's 2022 late-year World Cup in Qatar. The group also includes mighty England, Iran and the winner of the final available European spot. That last team in USMNT's group will be decided in June, with either Scotland or Ukraine facing Wales for the coveted ticket. Brazil, France and England are early betting favorites in the 32-nation field. The U.S. is an 80-1 longshot but given even-odds of joining England in advancing out of group play. 

9. PANTHERS: Cats top 100-point milestone, clinch playoffs: High-flying Panthers are 48-15-6, have won four straight and 13 of past 16, and are now nine points up in NHL Atlantic after Sunday's win in Buffalo. Florida was first in East to reach 100 standings points, done only once prior (2016) in franchise history. Cats are back on ice Tuesday vs. Toronto.

10. INTER MIAMI: Another loss, and stadium vote delayed again: Inter Miami still is winless in Year 3 in MLS, now with four losses and one tie after Saturday's 3-1 home loss Houston. Herons are back on the home pitch next Saturday vs. New England. Meanwhile the Miami City Commission vote on the club's Miami Freedom Park stadium proposal was delayed to April 28, the fourth postponement since February.

Missing the HB10 cut: UEFA Champions League quarterfinals this week are Liverpool vs. Benfica and Manchester City vs. Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, and Bayern Munich vs. Villarreal and Real Madrid vs. Chelsea on Wednesday. Liverpool and Man City are betting picks to win it all, followed closely by Bayern ..... Canes baseball climbed to No. 17 in polls and is 21-6 and on an eight-game win streak after Sunday's sweep at Duke ..... Bruce Arians stepped down as Bucs coach and the absurd old Tom Brady-to-Dolphins rumors began to regurgitate because the Internet evidently is bored ..... Canes spring football had its ninth of 15 practices Saturday. Spring Game is Apeil 16 in Fort Lauderdale ..... Orange Bowl Committee inducted Jim Courier into the OB Tennis Hall of Fame. He won back-to-back OB titles as a teen in 1986-87 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,548 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Other recent columns: When Spoelstra Joined Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach / Why Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia / The Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears  / Chris Cote To Save Sport Of Jai-Alai / Brady A Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen / Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart / Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / 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 / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / 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

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / 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 / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL? / 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 / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).

March 28, 2022

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Canes out in Elite Eight, Fins land Tyreek, Heat unravel, U.S. soccer. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus UM hoops column, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

Eltonj1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 28. Belated happy 75th birthday to one of my heroes, Elton John. Still standing! 2) Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins' mega-trade for Tyreek Hill tops latest Mount Gregmore of columns, new Greg Cote Show podcast including emergency bonus episode on Tyreek.

Coteshow GolfGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 15th episode of 2022 and 106th overall is out now! A new pod drops each Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 106 we've done so far HERE, free. In the new episode: Golf with Le Batard Show (left), Platonic lip kissing, Does Chris only call his mother when he needs something?, Bowling beef, Early planning stage of Cote Olympics, Another try at Gerdle word game, Mayor of a city in Georgia sings song he wrote about Greg, and Funeral songs. Hit up GCS2215 for full story on the new episode, and watch our weekly YouTube preview of latest episode. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod also simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET).

Personal note and thanks: I'm 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 us APSE distinction: 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

MOUNT GREGMORE OF COLUMNS: OUR LATEST FIVE:

Caneselite8NEW! Crushing End Short Of Final Four, But Miami Hurricanes' NCAA Run Was Exhilarating Milestone NEW!

Peacocks? Coach K? Hurricanes, The 'Football School' In Elite Eight, Deserve Love Too

Tyreek Hill Trade, Terron Armstead Signing A Win-Now Power Play By Dolphins

Hurricanes Storming Sweet 16 Shades of George Mason '06 for Larranaga

Dolphins' Moves Help Tua, But Isn't About Surrounding Cast. It's On him

Hilltop: The most recent five after that: Why Do We Love March Madness This Much? First, Look In The Mirror / Brady's Comeback Not About Another Ring. It's About Holding Onto Who He IsWhen Spoelstra Joined Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach / Why Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia / The Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears 

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 27-28): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature --back after a one-week hiatus -- 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. UM BASKETBALL: Canes' exhilarating NCAA run ends in crushing Elite Eight loss: UM men's basketball crashed the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for first time and led No. 1 Kansas by six points at halftime on Sunday before eventually falling hard, 76-50 [column link above]. It was a second-half collapse. Still, 20 minutes from the Final Four after going 10-17 a year ago is a hell of a milestone for Coach Jim Larranaga's program.

HButton2. DOLPHINS: Miami makes power-play leap into relevance with Hill, Armstead: The Dolphins quaked the NFL offseason with a blockbuster trade for Chiefs elite WR Tyreek Hill, just hours after signing the No. 1-rated free agent in Saints OT Terron Armstead. Hill has made Pro Bowl all six NFL seasons. Armstead is such an upgrade the Fins quickly released Jesse Davis, who had started 72 games over the past five seasons.

3. NCAA TOURNAMENT: It's Duke-UNC, Kansas-'Nova in Final Four: North Carolina ousted Cinderella St. Peters Sunday and will meet ACC rival Duke and retiring Coach K in the Final Four, while Kansas advanced past Miami and will meet Villanova in the other FF semifinal in New Orleans. And after all the madness ... four pedigreed basketball programs are the only left standing.

4. HEAT: Spo/Butler fireworks in midst of slump jar Heat season: Jimmy Butler gives lousy effort on D on a 3 by Golden State. Timeout. Erik Spoelstra yells at Butler; Butler yells back. It escalates. Udonis Haslem steps in. A clipboard flies. National news! All of this as Miami has now lost four straight and six of nine, along with its lead the East. Heat did clinch division title, but there are bigger problems at the moment. Miami is back at it Monday/tonight vs. Sac-Town as the playoffs draw ever nearer.

5. PANTHERS: Hot Cats land Giroux to fortify Stanley Cup hopes as playoffs near: Florida made a major deadline trade with Philly, obtaining veteran forward Claude Giroux essentially for Owen Tippett and a future No. 1 draft pick. Giroux, with 291 career goals, joins Sasha Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe on the top line. The Cats are 44-15-6 after Sunday's loss in Toronto ended a four-game win streak and still lead by six points in the NHL Atlantic.

6. SOCCER: U.S. all but in Qatar World Cup after Sunday win: Coming off a 0-0 qualifying draw at Mexico, the USMNT on Sunday routed Panama 5-1 behind Christian Pulisic's hat trick to all but clinch a spot in this year's World Cup in Qatar. The U.S., in Wednesday's CONCACAF qualifying finale vs. Costa Rica, will clinch a ticket to Qatar with a win, or a tie, or a loss by five goals or fewer.

7. NFL: Browns introduce Watson, who denies allegations: A second grand jury in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson. Browns acquired Watson from the Houston for three first-round picks and other draft picks, and a five-year contract worth $230 million guaranteed -- by far the most guaranteed money in one deal in NFL history. When introduced, Watson denied all charges by the 22 women alleging sexual misconduct during massages.

8. TENNIS: Withdrawals, upsets mar Miami Open at its midpoint: Call it a depleted Miami Open, with men's Big 3 Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer not playing, and the women's side missing suddenly retired Ashley Barty, Serena Williams and No. 1 seed Aryna Sabalenka and U.S  Open champ Emma Raducanu, both to early exits. Women's side seems wide open, entering round of 16 with Naomi Osaka still alive. Daniil Medvedev appears in control among the men.

9. MARLINS: Is Miami a sneaky-smart playoff darkhorse?: Marlins top an MLB.com list in a story headlined, 'Don't sleep on these 6 teams as playoff contenders,' projecting a 15-win Marlins improvement from last year's 67-95 record to 82-80. Fish are off to a solid spring start at 5-3 on the Grapefruit League diamond.

10. INTER MIAMI: A nightmare start to MLS Year 3 for Team Beckham: Miami has tied one and lost three of its first four MLS matches, been outscored 10-2 and sits dead-last in the East as coach Phil Neville struggles to right the listing ship. Herons are back on the pitch next Saturday April 2 vs Houston, five days before the city of Miami's delayed vote on whether to green-light the club's Miami Freedom Park stadium plans.

Missing the HB10 cut: Penn swimmer Lia Thomas won the NCAA title in the 500 freestyle at the women's national swimming championships, hailed as a trailblazer by some and as a fraudulent winner by others -- because she is transgender ..... Canes baseball is 17-6 and poll-bound after a three-game home sweep of No. 13 North Carolina ..... Quarterfinal matchups are set in the UEFA Champions League, and it will be Liverpool vs. Benfica and Manchester City vs. Atletico Madrid on April 5 and Bayern Munich-Villarreal and Real Madrid-Chelsea April 6. Premier League powers Liverpool and Man City are betting picks to win it all, followed by Bayern ..... Miami UFC star Jorge Masvidal was taken into custody in Miami Beach for aggravated battery for allegedly punching rival Colby Covington outside the Papi Steak restaurant in Miami Beach. Masvidal tagged Covington in a tweet and said, "You talk that s---, you got to back it up. That's how my city rolls, man" ..... Hurricanes spring football neared its midpoint Saturday with the sixth of 15 offseason workdays ..... R.I.P. Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters drummer ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,555 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Other recent columns: Chris Cote To Save Sport Of Jai-AlaiBrady A Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen / Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart / Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / 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 / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / 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 and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / 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 / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

March 14, 2022

Latest Hot button Top 10 (updated): Brady back, Brackets set, Baseball back, NFL free agency. Who's No. 1 and what else falls where?; plus our Riley/Spo column, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now! & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 14. Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture -- which includes a song by me and reached No.1 on iTunes chart! 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): The moment Riley anointed Spoelstra to lead Heat, Brittney Griner stuck in Russia started with low WNBA pay, The resurgence of Canes basketball, Le Batard musical reaches No. 1, latest Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow Joey JtdalyGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 12th episode of 2022 and 103rd overall is out now! A new pod drops each Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 103 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest pod, we welcome two special guests: JT Daly, production mastermind of the new Le Batard Show musical, and Joey -- the Babe Ruth of American jai-alai. (They are pictured). Hit up GCS2212 for the full story on the new ep. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, review and follow. Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET). And watch for our weekly YouTube previews of latest episode HERE.

A PERSONAL NOTE, AND THANKS: I am honored to once again be named by Associated Press Sports Editors as a national Top 10 columnist in the major-outlet category for 2021 in '22 judging. The four nominated columns that won us the APSE distinction: 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, too? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Miami Dolphins sabotaging Tua, season with misguided interest in Watson

Heat, Brittney Griner, Canes: Our newest, basketball intensive columns from past week:

The Moment Spoelstra Joined Miami Heat's 'Inner Circle' And Became Riley's Next Coach

Brittney Griner Is Lost In Russia Because Of Low WNBA Pay -- And NBA Failing To Help

Larranaga, Meier Enjoy Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears

Other most recent columns:  Le Batard Show Anoints Chris Cote To Save Jai-Alai /Tom Brady. Miami Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen and Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart, Ended In Divorce

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 13-14): 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:

HButton

1. NFL: He's baaack! Brady coming back after six week's 'retirement': G.O.A.T. QB Tom Brady, 44, now says he will play another season with the Tampa bay Buccaneers.

2. COLLEGE BASKETBALL/CANES: Selection Sunday sets bracket for Canes, Madness: Brackets ready? Selection Sunday set the fields for the men's and women's NCAA Tournaments -- a.k.a., March Madness. Miami's 80-76 loss to Duke Friday night in men's ACC semifinals would not hurt its NCAA standing, and the UM women's 3-0 run before an ACC final loss certainly would not. Miami men are a No. 10 seed and open vs. No. 7 USC in the Midwest region. On women's side, Canes are a No. 8 seed and open vs. No. 9 Souht Florida in the Greensboro region. Madness tips off Tuesday and runs through April 4.

3. MLB/MARLINS: Play ball! Lockout settled, spring games on deck: Baseball's 99-day lockout (finally) ended with a new CBA agreement, and a full 162-game season preserved. Teams report this weekend for a few days' practice before spring play starts. Marlins' first spring game is this coming Friday, with regular season Opening Day on April 8 at the Giants. Meantime free agency has begun again. Tim to open up the wallet for big bats, Marlins. Kris Bryant? Nick Castellanos? Yes, please!

4. PANTHERS: Cats' 5=game streak ends in L.A.: Florida is 40-13-6 after a loss in L.A. Sunday night ended a five-game win streak, but Florida still is up four points over Tampa Bay in the NHL Atlantic, with the league's highest scoring team (by a lot) and Sergei Bobrovsky in a groove at the net. Florida's five-game streak was its best since opening the season 8-0.

5. HEAT: Miami loses but still out front in East: Miami is 45-24 but still 2 1/2 games up in the East after Saturday night's 113-104 home loss to Minnesota despite Tyler Herro's 30 points. Jimmy Butler sat out with a sore toe. Markieff Morris (six points, 17 minutes) played his first game in four months since suffering a whiplash injury in a November 8 one-rounder with Denver's Nikola Jokic. Heat continues its seven-game homestand Tuesday vs. Detroit. 

6. NFL/DOLPHINS: Major QB news as free agency frenzy underway: Aaron Rodgers re-ups with Green Bay. Seattle trades Russell Wilson to Denver. Interest in Deshaun Watson revives as grand jury declines to criminally charge him. (Oh, and Indy trades Carson Wentz to Washington). NFL free agency has begun! Watson still faces 22 civil suits over alleged impropiety during massage sessions, but the lifting of the criminal cloud is huge. Maximbet.com has Tampa Bay (3-1) and Pittsburgh (4-1) most likely to sign Watson. (Don't sleep on Carolina). Dolphins, with money to spend, should be active in FA. Guard Laken Tomlinson is someone to keep an eye on.  

7. INTER MIAMI: Still winless through 3 games; stadium vote delayed: Inter Miami is now 0-2-1 (two losses, one tie) to open Year 3 in MLS after Saturday's 2-nil home loss to LAFC, with only one goal scored in three games. Herons return to the pitch next Saturday at Cincinnati. Meantime city of Miami delayed yet again a final vote whether to green-light the new Miami Freedom Park initative. Vote was to be this past week but is now set for April 7.

8. TENNIS: Miami Open one week away; Djokovic withdraws: The Miami Open at Hard Rock begins next week, March 21, with a strong field -- but one weakened by the withdrawal of Novak Djokovic. He cannot travel to the U.S. because he remains steadfastly unvaccinated against COVID. Djokovic is a 20-time Grand Slam winner and No. 2 in the wpr;d but continues his quixotic stance against the vaccine for no apparent reason.  #smh  Good riddance.

9. WNBA: Griner remains detained in Russia amid invasion of Ukraine: Phoenix Mercury WNBA star Brittney Griner remains detained in Russia after her arrest on likely concocted drug charges -- now seen as a retaliation pawn as the U.S. and much of the rest of the world levies economic sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, English Premier League disqualified Roman Abramovich as a director at Chelsea when the club's assets were frozen after the UK imposed sanctions on Abramovich, one of seven Russian oligarchs targeted in the eake of the invasion.

10. GOLF: Tiger inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame: In a foregone conclusion, Tiger Woods officially was inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame this week, introduced by daughter Sam, 14. Woods was elected March 2020 for induction in '21, but the ceremony was delayed by COVID. Woods, 46, conrinues his recovery from serious leg injuries suffered in a car wreck 13 months ago.

Missing the HB10 cut: Did I mention the Le Batard Show musical was No. 1 on the national iTunes chart? Yeah that was a thing ..... Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Real Madrid have claimed the first four spots in the UEFA Champions League final eight, with the other four teams to be decided by matches this Tuesday and Wedneday. (Real ousted Messi and Paris-Saint Germain). The quarterfinal draw will be held Friday. Championship match is set May 28 in Paris, moved from Russia becase of its invasion of Ukraine ..... The Spurs' Gregg Popovich won his 1,336th game to surpass Don Nelson for all-time NBA coaching wins ..... Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and longtime GF Brittany Matthews got hitched in a lavish Hawaii wedding ..... Broadcaster Joe Buck is leaving Fox Sports for ESPN to become the voice of Monday Night Football ..... Four-time major tennis champion Naomi Osaka was heckled by a spectator during a second-round loss at Indian Wells ..... Weather has ravaged The Players Championship, which likely won't finish until Monday (or even Tuesday) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida ..... LeBron (Ain't Done Yet) James dropped 50 on the Wizards. But can the Lakers scramble to even make the playoffs? ..... Canes baseball, out of the Top 25, is 10-4 entering today's rubber game of a three-game home series vs. Boston College ..... Hurricanes spring football practice, three workdays in, is off until resuming March 22 ..... Canes rewarded men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga with a two-year contract extension ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,569 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Other most recent columns:Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

Other recent columns: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /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 and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot /  Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention /  Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer /  Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / 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 / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

March 07, 2022

The resurgence of Miami Hurricanes basketball, and of Larranaga and Meier, as March Madness nears. New column; plus Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), Le Batard's plan to save jai-alai, our Brady/Dolphins column, new Greg Cote Show podcast now & more

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

Biggame1) It's MONDAY, MARCH 7. Visit BIG GAME: THE MUSICAL for Le Batard Show's latest venture. Includes our original 'Back In My Day' song. I'm back in with Le Batard Show on Tuesday. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Tom Brady a Dolphins part owner, Why Jeter-Marlins marriage fell apart, Personal note and thanks, Le Batard Show musical drops, NFL's mosy disliked people, new Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow WiltGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 11th episode of 2022 and 102nd overall is out noe! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 102 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest pod, we are joined by Gary Pomerantz, author of "Wilt, 1962: The Night Of 100 Points & The Dawn Of A New Era.'' He shares rich details of that epic game, shares the truth about that infamous 20,000 women claim and more. Also in the new ep: Greg’s wife has been out of town for a week, and he shares something that might or might not make him a bad husband; the bizarre reason Greg never walks around his house naked even he’s when the only person there; Yeti Blanc, our resident musician, leads an impassioned analysis of the Le Batard Show’s newly released musical; debut of new podcast sponsor Lobos Mints; and Greg messes up while making fun of dumb people on “Wheel Of Fortune.” Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Mondays 5-6 p.m. ET). And watch for the debut of our weekly YouTube previews of the new episode HERE.

ApseA PERSONAL NOTE, AND THANKS: I am very honored to once again be named by Associated Press Sports Editors as a national Top 10 columnist in the major-outlet category for 2021 in '22 judging. The Miami Herald also was named a Top 10 daily section, and Top 10 in special projects for ours on the 5-year annniversary of the Jose Fernandez tragedy, a project that also included myself. Some of you asked, so: These are the four nominated columns (earliest to most recent) that won us the APSE distinction: 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, too? Behind who Aubrey Huff became and Miami Dolphins sabotaging Tua, season with misguided interest in Watson

UmhoopsMARCH GLADNESS: HURRICANES BASKETBALL, COACHES LARRANAGA AND MEIER ENJOYING RESURGENCE: It is a season of resurgence and redemption for Miami Hurricanes basketball, women and men. Not everyone is paying attention. Associated Press Top 25 voters, for instance. The UM women reached the ACC Championship Game for the first time ever Sunday. The team is 20-12 despite almost half of their games (14) being against nationally ranked opponents. The Canes men, preparing for its ACC tournament opener Thursday in Brooklyn, is 22-9 and has the best road record (10-2) of any Power 5 conference team. Here is where the two teams are ranked in the latest Top 25s: Nowhere. That includes zero mention even in the “others receiving votes” category. This is the 60th season for UM men’s hoops and the 50th for the women’s program, and only the fifth time both have had a 20-win season and made the NCAA Tournament the same year. (The official invite to March Madness won’t come until Selection Sunday, but both are seen as certain to get in, each pegged a No. 10 seed in ESPN’s latest Bracketology projection). It can be a long climb to respect. For our full latest column, visit Larranaga, Meier Enjoying Resurgence Of Miami Hurricanes Basketball as March Madness Nears.

Our most recent other columns:  Le Batard Show Anoints Chris Cote To Save Jai-Alai /Tom Brady. Miami Dolphins Part Owner? Why It Could Happen and Why Derek Jeter-Marlins Marriage Fell Apart, Ended In Divorce 

Other most recent columns: Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast / Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (MARCH 6-7): 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. The latest HB10:

HButton1. CANES BASKETBALL: UM women fall in ACC title game: Jim Larranaga's UM men and Katie Meier's Canes women both figure to hear good news next week on Selection Sunday in comeback seasons leading to the NCAA Tournement. The UM women are now 20-12 and 11-9 in the conference after Sunday's championship game loss in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro followed a 3-0 run. UM men ended regular season 22-9 (14-6 ACC) with Saturday's 75-72 win at Syracuse, and now prepare for this week's ACC tourney in Brooklyn, their first game Thursday. 

2. MLB: Don't Play Ball! Jeter-less Marlins wait as lockout cancels games, delays season: The Marlins and CEO Derek Jeter parted ways last Monday, and one day later MLB commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the first two weeks of the regular season when a deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement passed without resolution. And the stalemate continues. Miami is now scheduled to begin spring training March 18 and the now 156-game season April 8 -- but a further delay and more canceled games looms large.

3. INTER MIAMI: Team loses big, now new-stadium vote looms: Herons began MLS Year 3 with a 0-0 draw at home in Fort Lauderdale and on Sunday got clobbered 5-1 at Austin in Game 2. More important, this Wednesday will be the city of Miami's delayed vote on whether to finally green-light the proposed Miami Freedom Park stadium near the airport. Inter Miami wanted to win Sunday but is vitally desperate to win Wednesday.

4. HEAT: Heat stay hot, grow lead as long home stretch begins: Miami is 43-22, on an 11-2 run and now atop the East by 3 games after Saturday's 99-82 home win over second place Philly fueled by 21 each from Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler. Miami will be home for 10 of the next 11 games starting tonight/Monday vs. Houston, which could mark the return of Victor Oladipo from a long injury absence.

5. PANTHERS: Florida now 1 point back in Atlantic race: Florida is 37-13-5 but now one point back in the tight NHL Atantic even after Saturday' nights 6-2 home domination of Detroit after a rough February that saw the Panthers a mortal 3-4. Cats are back on ice Monday in Buffalo.

6. HURRICANES: Bittersweet day for Cristobal as spring football kicks off: UM launched the first of 15 spring practice workdays on Monday as the Mario Cristobal era got its tangible start with former Dolphins great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jason Taylor joining the staff in an off-field capacity. Cristobal left right after practce to attend his mother's funeral.

7. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: 94-81 loss Coach K's home farewell, Champ Week top sport: The men's regular season is over and conference championships will be decided this week prior to Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. But first: The emotional pull Saturday as Mike Krzyzewski of No. 4-ranked Duke -- retiring this season after 42 years and five national titles -- worked his final home game at Cameron Indoor, a thunderous farewell despite a 94-81 loss. Tickets were going for at least $3,450 for the historic event.

8. NFL: Scouting combine, trade rumors talk of league: The four-day NFL Scouting Combine wrapped up Sunday in Indianapolis -- the last major talent parade before the NFL Draft April 28-30 in Las Vegas. Meantime the offseason percolates with rumors about the destination of Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Ruussell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Amari Cooper, DK Metcalf and others.

9. WNBA: Phoenix star Griner detained in Russia: Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner was detained by Russian authorities for allegedly trying to leave the country with the drug hashish hidden in vape pens. In somewhat related news, the Haas Formula One team has terminated Russian driver Nikita Mazepin's contract over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Formula One had previously  canceled the Russiam Grand Prix.

10. TENNIS: Miami Open rallies with strong field as tourney nears: After a down entry list last year due mostly to COVID, Miami Open tennis will boast 73 of the top 75 ranked players on both the ATP and WTA tours when play begins March 21 at Hard Rock Stadium. Notable exceptions: Fan favorite Serena Williams continues out with a mending hamstring, and Novak Djokovic likely will not be allowed to enter the U.S. due to his non-vax status. There also is speculation Rafael Nadal may withdraw due to a foot injury.

Missing the HB10 cut: Colby Covington dominated Jorge Masvidal in a unanimous decision in the UFC 272 main event Saturday night in Vegas ..... The NFL suspended Calvin Ridley for the entire 2022 season after determing the Falcons WR bet on NFL games in '21 ..... No. 22 Canes baseball is 8-3 after dropping two of three at home to nemesis Florida ..... UEFA Champions League round-of-16 play resumes this Tuesday ..... Jackson Mahomes says, "The media is destroying my life." Dear Patrick's Lil' Bro: You invite attention on Tik-Tok, by dancing on Sean Taylor's field logo and by your entitled behavior. Your 'celebrity' is weird and unearned but somehow you crave it. Quit being so dramatic ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,576 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True  / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /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 and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

Select other columnsDolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot /  Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention /  Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer /  Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / 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 / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 31, 2022

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Bengals-Rams, G.O.A.T. out, Fins lose Daboll, Olympics, Nadal. See who's No.1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast (Non-Sports Olympics, NFL, Brady, Le Batard) out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 31. Farewell January, out with a chill. See ya next year! 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Defending Antonio Brown, Final Rejection of Bonds/Clemens a Shame, Mahomes-Allen show Dolphins how far they have to go, Greg Cote Show podcast.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NON-SPORTS OLYMPICS, NFL, BRADY, LE BATARD. NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 6th episode of 2022 and 97th overall is out now. A new pod is delivered every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 97 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest episode, we introduce The Greg Cote Show Non-Sports Olympics, and offer a hotline for you to call and leave a message offering your own categories. And Greg disrespects a beloved Winter Olympics sport. Also in the new episode: Minnie Mouse in a pantsuit, the Mount Gregmore of Silliest Winter Olympics Sports, and Greg's escalation of his beef with Buzzkill Billy Corben is interupted by a phone call from Dan Le Batard. The latest episode wraps up in the Le Batard Show studio studios as we talk Super Bowl matchup and Tom Brady's (reported) retirement. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

THE G.O.A.T. OUT OF NOWHERE: FROM 199TH DRAFTED TO HISTORY, A SALUTE TO TOM BRADYFootball and American sports have had forever to be ready for this day, a decade, anyway. The day arrived on Saturday. We still weren’t ready. A 44-year-old man retired, crazy-old for an NFL quarterback or for any player. And yet it felt too soon. We Bradystill weren’t ready to say goodbye to Tom Brady. “End of an era” is one of those terms we apply too casually. So is the G.O.A.T. appellation — Greatest Of All Time. Here there is no question they apply as if each was coined just for this man as we fathom suddenly putting the past tense on a career both epic and itself an epoch. In the NFL, his career has been the biggest and best ever, and no debate, please, no “among the” hedge. Beyond football, bring in Michael Jordan and whomever you wish, across all sports and all time. But have no doubt: Tom Brady’s spot on Mount Rushmore is reserved. The news broke in an afternoon report by ESPN, which delivered it as unequivocal fact, not speculation. Not “expected to” retire, but a done deal. It is thought Brady will wait until after the Super Bowl to himself make the news official. (Meantime ESPN is praying he won’t change his mind after Saturday’s World War III ‘BREAKING NEWS’ headline.) On Saturday, Tom Brady Sr. told KRON-TV in San Francisco that his son (“Tommy”) had not yet made a decision. Brady’s agent Don Yee did not confirm or deny the report but said an announcement from his client would be forthcoming. Brady’s own company, TB12, initially tweeted out the retirement news then deleted it. NFL Network confirmed ESPN’s report. But reports later Saturday indicated a decision had not yet been made. From my perspective, it sounds like Brady’s camp is not thrilled to be scooped by ESPN on their own announcement. Assuming the veracity of report — that Brady has played his last game — there is hardly a way for hyperbole here even if that were the intent. For our full latest caolumn, visit The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady.

Newest other columns from this past week: Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemsn A Shame on Voters, Baseball / and Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be.

Select other most recent columns: Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /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 and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 30-31): 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:

HButton1. NFL:It's a Bengals-Rams Super Bowl!: Bengals upset Chiefs 27-24 Sunday for the AFC crown and then Rams topped 49ers 20-17 for the NFC title to set up a Cincinnati-Los Angeles Super Bowl on February 13 in the Rams' home stadium. That factors into L.A. as an early 3 1/2-point favorite. Rams were in the SB as recently as it in 2018 but have bot win since 1999 (as the St. Louis Rams). Cincy was last in SB in 1988 and has never won. Cinderella + Cincinnati = Cinderatti! (Patent pending). 

2. NFL: Tom Brady retires after 22 season, 7 Super Bowl rings: xxxESPN reported it Saturday. Others confirmed it. Brady's own company, TB12, seemed to before deleting gthe tweet. Now his camp is saying "no decision yet." Bank it, though. The G.O.A.T. will make it official after the NFL playoffs end. Most TDs, most passing yards, most Super Bowls. Any questions?

3. DOLPHINS: Ouch! Fins lost top coach-candidate Daboll to Giants: Miami has been very deliberate in its head coach search. Problem is, wirh eight other openings, available gjuys are being snatched up. Example: Fins losing top candidate Brian Daboll, the Bills offensive coordinator, to the Giants -- a big loss. Top guys left appear to be OC's Kellen Moore of the Cowboys and Mike McDaniel of the 49ers.

4. OLYMPICS: Host's human-rights record, COVID loom as Beijing Games Winter Games begin: The Olympic Winter Games begin this Friday in Beijing, China and run 17 days through February 20. The U.S. has a diplomatic boycott but its athetes will compete. Norway is predicted to lead the medals table followed by the ROC (Russia) and Germany. After that comes Team USA pegged for seven gold medals, 22 overall.

5. TENNIS: Electric championship finish redeems Australian Open: Year's first tennis major was minus plenty of starpower, but the two winners crowned were movie-script perfect: Rafael Nadal rallying from two sets down to Daniil Medvedev for his record-setting 21st career Grand Slam title, breaking the tie with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. After Ashleigh Barty became the first Aussie woman to win in Melbourne since Yvonne Goolagong in 1978. 

6. INTER MIAMI: Date set for vote on Miami Freedom Park plan: Nothing moves fast in 3-0-5 politics, but a February 23 date has been set for Miami-Dade to vote whether to go ahead with or scrap plans for MLS team Inter Miam's proposed 73-acre commercial and professional sports complex featuring a new soccer stadium. Three days after the vote, Inter Miami opens its third season at what it hopes is its temporary home in Fort Lauderdale.

7. HURRICANES: Cristobal hoping for big NSD finish to recruiting: National Siging Day in college football is this Wednesday, though not the splash it used to be since there is now early signing day in December. UM's first class under mew coach Mario Cristobal is ranked 49th nationally by ESPN and ninth in the ACC led by TE Jaleel Skinner and CB Khamauri Rogers but should climb with new signings this week.

8. MLB: Ortiz gets Hall call, but end of line for Bonds, Clemens: Red Sox icon David "Big Papi" Ortiz was the lone former player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemsn falling short in their 10th and final year pf eligibility, and Alex Rodriguez way short in his first year on the ballot. The reminder from voting BBWAA baseball wrters: Steroids and Cooperstown do not mix. 

9. HEAT: Miami sets out on road trip awaiting All-Star nods: Heat is 32-18 and atop the East even after Saturday's 124-120 triple-OT home loss to Toronto -- despite Jimmy Butler's 37 points. NBA All-Star Game reserves to be announced Thursday, with Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro all in the mix. Miami sets out on a five-game roadie starting Monday in Boston.

10. PANTHERS: Cats sailing, but challenge to be better on road looms: Florida is 31-9-5 and atop the NHL East after Saturday's 5-4 home win over San Jose, but Panthers will be road-tested much of the rest of the way. Cats are a surreal 23-3 at home but only 8-6-5 away, and play 22 of their last 37 games on the road including the next five straight starting Monday at Columbus.

Missing the HB10 cut: USMNT faces Canada today/Sunday in a top-of-the-table showdown in the middle of three winter CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches in seven days. U.S. began the stretch with a 1-0 win over El Salvador the table. Five matches for remain in WC qualifying ..... Canes men's basketball (16-5) continues atop the ACC at 8-2 entering a Wednesday visit by Notre Dame. UM women are 11-7/4-4 and host No. 5 Louisville Tuesday ..... LeBron James and Kevin Durant again were named captains for this year's NBA All-Star Game February 20 in Cleveland. All-Star reserves, selected by coaches in both conferences, will be unveiled Thursday ..... Though the MLB lockout continues, threatening the start of spring training, the Marlins' Minor League Development Camp is this Tuesday through Friday up in Jupiter. The organization’s top prospects will be in attendance, incuding pitchers Eury Perez, Max Meyer and Dax Fulton ..... Saturday's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl began the spate of postseason showcase games. Upcoming: East-West Shrine Bowl this Thursday, Reese's Senior Bowl next Saturday and HBCU Legacy Bowl February 19 ..... The Pro Bowl is next Sunday. Get ready to not watch ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,611 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame BallotGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 24, 2022

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now! NFL's greatest weekend ever, chat with Robot Umpire; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), time to parole Pete Rose, my 0-for-4 shame & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 24. Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Time is right for MLB to resinstate Pete Rose, NFL Divisional Round picks, New Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow Robotump GreenmmGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NFL! ROBOT UMPIRE! NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 5th episode of 2022 and 96th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 96 we've done so far HERE, free. In our brand new episode, Chris and Greg exalt over the NFL's most exciting playoff weekend ever, and have an exclusive 1-on-1 chat with a Robot Umpire. Also in the new ep: Bomb dog retires;  M&Ms scandal; Greg apologizes to Newlywed Mark for referring to a part of his wedding as a 'nightmare' on Le Batard Show; Yeti reports live from a hospital bed. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL Divisional Round playoff picks: OOF!: They were four great games. Except for me. We went 0-4 overall and 0-4 against the spread in the Divisional Round -- a near impossibility and an unfortunate first for us. The sad truth: NFL Divisional Playoff Gems. Previous: NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

ProseTime for MLB, in bed with gambling, to end hypocrisy and reinstate Pete Rose. New column: Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose.

FlapOther select recent columns: 'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consquences, as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / and Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner. Also: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

HButtonHOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 23-24): 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. NFL: It's Chiefs-Bengals, Rams-49ers in final four: It hadn't happened since 2010 but it happened Saturday: Both No. 1 seeds losing in the NFL Divisional Round playoff. Green Bay fell to visiting San Francisco Saturday night after Tennessee was beaten by upstart Cincinnati. Sunday, reigning champion Tampa Bay fell at home to the L.A. Rams Kansas City held off Buffalo. That's four great games three upsets and a final four few expected.

2. HEAT: LeBron shines in return, but Miami wins: Miami is 30-17 and back atop the East, with Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler finally both healthy at once, after Sunday's 113-107 home win over the L.A. Lakers. Old friend LeBron James dropped 33 in his return as Miami opened a four-game homestand. 

3. PANTHERS: Cats fall in Seattle but still in East lead: Florida is 28-9-5 at the midpoint of the NHL regular season -- and 10-2-1 since a four-game COVID postponement in December -- even after Sunday's surpring 5-2 loss in Seattle to the expansion Kraken. Cats and Tampa Bay are fighting for East lead in a rivalry that seems destined for a renewal in the playoffs.

4. CANES BASKETBALL: Miami men fall to nemesis FSU again: The Miami men -- after an upset win over No. 2 Duke and a 28-point win over North Carolina -- were 14-4, an ACC-leading 6-1 in conference and just outside the Top 25 entering Saturday's home game vs. nemesis Florida State, only to fall to its nemesis rival, 61-60, and cede the ACC lead. Canes women, off first road win at FSU in eight years, are 10-7/3-4 after Sunday's loss at Boston College.

5. DOLPHINS: Fins casting wide net in ongoing coach search: Who isn't Miami interviewing to replace the unexpectedly fired Brian Flores? Seven men already have been grilled, with more ahead. The lean seems to be toward an offensive coach with a track record. Keep an eye on four OC's: Brian Daboll (Bills), Mike McDaniel (49ers), Nathaniel Hackett (Packers) and Eric Bieniemy (Chiefs) -- all among the final eight teams playing this weekend.

6. MLB: 'Big Papi' to head 2022 Hall of Fame class: With the big reveal set for live TV Tuesday night, David (Big Papi) Ortiz is the only certain '22 inductee to Cooperstown based on early voting results made public. Steroids-tainted Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens both seem likely to finally make it but are not sure things. Tainted A-Rod is being punished in his first year of eligibility and didn't come close.  

7. TENNIS: Depleted Australian Open reaches midpoint: Defending women's champion Naomi Osaka was ousted in the third round, reigning men's champ Novak Djokovic was banned over his no-vax stance, and fan favorites Roger Federer and Serena Williams aren't in Melbourne for health reasons. Marquee wattage is dimmed, but the year's frst tennis major goes on, with Ash Barty and Rafael Nadal leading the march into the quarterfinals. 

8. OLYMPICS: Countdown 11 days 'til Beijing Winter Games: Host China is infamous for its human rights violations and COVID remains a health cloud, but let the Games begin! Winter Games are February 4-20. The U.S. announced a diplomatic boycott, but American athletes will compete, led by champion slalom skiier Mikaela Shiffrin.

9. HURRICANES: Cristobal absorbs first loss as UM coach: Canes fans have been in parade-mode euphoric since Mario Cristobal got hired as football coach 17 days ago and it's been all smooth sailing ... until this week's hiccup. Miami targeted Arkansas' Kendal Briles as its next offensive coordinator, but he turned 'em down to remain with Razorbacks.

10. NASCAR: 'Junior' makes the Hall of Fame: Dale Earnhardt Jr., never a main-series season champion but 15 times voted most popular driver, has joined his father in the Hall of Fame. Junior topped the marquee among three inductees into NASCAR's 12th Hall of Fame class. "When I stumbled, you guys were right there ready to lift me back up,'' Earnhardt said to his fans.

Missing the HB10 cut: Inter Miami opened training camp for MLS Year 3. Season begins February 26 ..... NCAA voted to streamline itself and reduce the responsibility of the association at the national level. Layman's terms: The NCAA is weakening, with power ceded to confereces and schools in a turbulently changing landsacpe for ollege sports ..... The Tampa Bay Rays' controversial plan to split their home schedule with Montreal was rejected by MLB, ending team's 2 1/2-year plan for a "sister city" schedule. Meantime, how must half-wanted Tampa fans feel? ..... The NFL's Pro Bowl is February 6, so mark it on your calendars to not watch ..... And the MLB lockout drones and drags on ..... R.I.P. to entertainers Sidney Poitier, Meat Loaf and Louie Anderson ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,618 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 20, 2022

Greg Cote Show podcast: Greatest all-time TV sitcom characters! New episode out now!; plus Florida Panthers a team that would not be derailed and Djokovic has only himself to blame. 2 latest columns & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, JANUARY 20. I was back in with Le Batard Show yesterday. Check out the show's Wednesday podcasts, especially the Local Hour. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, State of Miami Sports as we grade all the teams, Greg Cote Show podcast.

Coteshow SitcomsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: GREATEST TV SITCOM CHARACTERS! NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 4th episode of 2022 and landmark 95th overall is out now. A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all we've done so far HERE, free. In our latest episode, Greg, Chris, younger son Michael and guest Alex Benson from the Shut The Funk Up podcast argue, debate and give their verdicts on the greatest all-time TV sitcome characters. Spoiler alert: Greg wins. Hear why. Also in the new episode: Ranking best friends; Panthers are best hockey team on Earth; Bills' perfect game; and Greg's live report from a wedding on Amelia Island. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

CatsFLORIDA PANTHERS AT MIDSEASON: THE TEAM THAT WOULD  OT BE DERAILEDIt was minus-5 degrees outside but not as cold as it had been when we spoke Wednesday, Bill Zito on the phone from Edmonton. Even for a hockey man raised in Wisconsin winters, western Canada in January is its own kind of freezing. Zito is the general manager in charge of the best hockey team on the planet, or at least the one that leads the NHL in goal scoring and sits atop ESPN’s power rankings. It is a Florida Panthers team that believes it can win the first Stanley Cup in the franchise’s 28 seasons. Ask Zito if he knew going in that his team might be this good. There is a long pause. “As a manager I loathe to answer the question honestly,” he says. “It’s like asking a supermodel, ‘Do you think you’re attractive.’ “ When he does get around to that honest answer: ”Yes.” For our full latest column: 'There Was A Pall On Us.' The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed.

DjokovicDJOKOVIC OUT OF AUSSIE OPEN OVER NO-VACCINE? SERVES HIM RIGHT: The year’s first tennis major, the Australian Open, is underway in Melbourne. The world’s best tennis player, defending champion Novak Djokovic, isn’t in it. He very much wanted to be. He’s healthy. But they kicked him out against his will. Deported him, in fact. Good riddance. Enjoy your stay in the 19th Century, Novak, when science and medicine were not yet reliable things. Enjoy the pointless crusade of yours and others like you, a crusade one might call Quixotic. It qualifies as that for the impracticality, though clearly not for the idealism, or for any shred of nobility. For our full column: No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consquences, as Djokovic Was Reminded.

Our most recent other columns: The State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom / Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Also: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later/No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

NFL WILD-CARD ROUND PLAYOFF RESULTS:

Picks(*) OUR PICKS: DECENT START TO PLAYOFFS: We went 4-2 straight-up and 3-3 against the spread on Wild-Card Weekend to begin our playoff run. Two of our wins were near Exactos. Bengals won 26-19; we had it 27-20. And Bucs won 31-15; we had 31-13. But we misfired badly on picking an upset by Cardinals, and did not see the Cowboys loss coming. Onward, upward! Watch for our Divisional Round picks online Thrsday afternooon and in print Friday.

(*) GREG'S LOBOS: STILL CELEBRATIN' OUR CHAMPIONSHIP!: Happened two weeks ago but it bears repeating: Greg's Lobos are PFPI Fantasy champions for the first time in the league's 13-year history!

(*) HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS: BUCS' BRADY WEARS CROWN: Tampa's Tom Brady won Week 18 to seal a runaway 2021 season championship to end our 24th year of rankings in the Herald. Miami's Tua Tagovailoa finished No. 22. In case you missed it: NFL Week18/Season Final QB Rankings.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 16, 2022

The new Hot Button Top 10: Guess who's No. 1 and what else ranks where this week?; plus We grade all of Miami's biggest teams. New column; also, NFL playoff picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY-MONDAY, JANUARY 15-17. I'm off to a wedding for a couple of days. Be back around sometime Monday. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): State of Miami Sports as we grade all the teams, Dolphins firing Flores an unjustifiable travesty, NFL Wild-Card playoff picks, Greg Cote Show drops 2 (!) new podcasts, NFL Week 18 results for picks/final QB rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT MONDAY MORNING!: Our 4th episode of 2022 and landmark 95th overall is out Monday. A new pod drops every Monday morning at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all we've done so far HERE, free. We dropped two episodes this past week. Our main, regularly scheduled epsiode features a fun conversation with friend Ron Magill of Zoo Miami, and a season-finale Hard Knocks celebrating Greg's Lobos' PFPI Fantasy championship. A shorter bonus episode -- the first we've ever done -- is on the Dolphins' sudden, illogical firing of coach Brian Flores. Dan Le Batard joins us. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

Our NFL first-round postseason picks: NFL Wild-Card Playoff Gems.

Big fourSTATE OF MIAMI SPORTS: GRADES FOR FINS, HEAT, PANTHERS, MARLINS, INTER MIAMI AND CANES FOOTBALL & MEN'S HOOPSOne team is in sudden flux with an unforeseen coaching change. One is chasing a championship and another might be. One has new life after major changes. One is the comeback story nobody’s talking about. Two others are still searching for the elusive map to victory. This is our sort-of annual New Year’s State Of Miami Sports, in which we grade each of our Big Seven teams based on where they are right now and the short-term, but also put in the context of the broader, bigger picture. We identify the Big Seven as the Miami Dolphins, Heat and Marlins, Florida Panthers, Inter Miami soccer and Miami Hurricanes football and men’s basketball. Sorry if we left your favorite team out. (But not that sorry). Here are our grade rankings, high to low, best to worst. For our full latest column including the team-by-team grades, visit The State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom.

Most recent other columns: Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Also: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later/No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 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. The latest HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Off-course Fins searcing for new coach, respectability: Most agree Brian Flores did not deserev to be fired after three seasons -- the last two with winning records totaling 19-14. As Stephen Ross tries to save face we await the replacement, likely someone now in the playoffs, with offensive coordinators Brian Daboll of Bills and Mike McDaniel of 49ers among those being mentioned.

2. NFL: Six Wild-Card games begin road to Super Bowl: Will Tom Brady and Tampa be NFL's frst repeat champ in 17 years? As top-seed Packers and Titans wait with byes, the other 12 playoff teams play must-win games this weekend. It's Raiders-Bengals and Patriots-Bills Saturday; Eagles-Bucs, 49ers-Cowboys and Steelers-Chiefs Sunday and Cardinals-Rams Monday night.

3. HEAT: Imagine Miami with a healthy roster?: Miami was at 26-15 at the midpoint in the schedule, on a 3-game win streak and tied for second in the East entering the weekend. And much of that has been wthtout stars Bam Adebayo or Jimmy Butler healthy. Erik Spoelstra better be on your coach of the year short list.

4. TENNIS: Djokovic vaccine drama, no Serena cloud Aussie Open: The year's first tennis major, the two-week Australian Open, begins Monday, but likely without reigning men's champ Novak Djokovic, whose visa was revoked over his failure to meet the country's COVID vaccination mandates. And Serena Williams won't play on medical advice.

5. PANTHERS: Huberdeau named all-star as high-flying Cats near midseason: Jonathan Huberdeau will represent Florida on NHL All-Star Weekend February 4-5 in Las Vegas, and Aleksander Barkov still might if he wins a last-man-in vote. Panthers entering the weekend had won six-of-seven and were fighting for best record in East, perhaps inspired by Twerkin Kodak Black?

6. HURRICANES: Cristobal mania grows, but no poll love just yet: Excitement is growing around new Canes football coach Mario Cristobal as he fills out his staff, but it hasn't translated to high expectations for the 2022 season -- not yet, at least. UM is nowhere to be found in ESPN's way-too-early first Top 25, which did include ACC teams N.C. State, Clemson and Wake Forest.

7. INTER MIAMI: Year 3 open with start of training camp Monday: With a roster shakeup following two losing seasons, David Beckham's guys begin Year 3 in Major League Soccer with start of training camp Monday. The regular season opens at home, back in Fort Lauderdale again, on February 26.

8. CANES BASKETBALL: UM men poll-bound, but can they solve Florida State?: Canes men at 13-4 and 5-1 in ACC are poll-bound after beating No. 2 Duke, even though they then lost to FSU for eighth straight time. UM faces North Carolina Tuesday then has a rematch with Noles. The 8-5 Canes women host ranked GeorgiaTech and Duke Sunday and Tuesday.

9. MLB: Dear Baseball: Get your ass in gear!: First paragraph of a story I read: "On Thursday, MLB's owners and players had their first CBA negotiations since the lockout began on December 2. Owners made a proposal, but it doesn’t seem any common ground was found. The session lasted about an hour." Delayed season, here we come!

10. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Anybody else worried sport has created a transfer monster?: Will the last college football player to not enter the transfer portal please turn out the light?

Missing the HB10 cut: The champion Georgia Bulldogs planned to celebrate their first national football crown since 1980 with a parade leading to a stadium party on Saturday. Nick Saban will not attend ..... Colombia and Honduras play a soccer friendly Sunday at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Laudderdale ..... With the Baseball Hall of Fame reveal January 25, latest voting trends made public suggest David Ortiz is the only man a strong bet to get in. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are tracking to get in on their last year of eligibility, but both have lost support as more votes are known. Stay tuned ..... In soccer, FA Cup competition resumes February 4 ..... The Hurricanes were shut out on the 2002 College Football Hall of Fame induction reveal. Ken Dorsey, Bryant McKinnie and coach Larry Coker were finalists but none made it ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday, January 17 at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,625 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsGeorgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next / Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

January 09, 2022

The new Hot Button Top 10: Fins-Pats, Dawgs-Tide, Canes hoops, Heat, Cats. See who's No. 1 and what else lands where; plus NFL Week 18 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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

1) It's SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2022. When do we start looking at somebody funny for still saying "Happy New Year"? Not yet, or yes now? 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 18 picks, new Greg Cote Show year-end best-of podcast, Why Saban 'what-if' still haunts Miami, No playoffs and no firm idea on Tua worst way for Dolphins to end season, NFL Week 17 results for picks/Lobos/QB rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL NEW YEAR-END BEST-OF EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 2nd episode of 2022 and 93rd overall drops Monday morning! A new pod is out every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 92 we've done so far HERE, free. In our latest episode: It's GregFest: Our Best-Of Year-End Extravaganza (with new stuff, too). We relive our greatest hits 'n bits from the past year: Interviews, Songs, Greg Doesn't Know Movies, Hard Knocks/Lobos -- the fun don't stop! Inlcuding a new Mount Gregmore of OUR favorite epsiodes from '21. You won't want to miss it! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL WEEK 18 PICKS: DOLPHINS-PATRIOTS, BIG UPSET, FINAL PLAYOFF TICKETS, ALL THE REST: Our second-half heater resumed in Week 17 as went a big 12-4 overall (again) and 8-8 against the spread. Nailed another Upset of the Week in Steelers beating Browns  Monday night. With one week to go our overall season total has risen and our number against the Evil Betting Line is above what it was a year ago. Time to finish strong! In Saturday's doubleheader we were 2-0 straight-up, 1-1 against the spread. For our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week, Dolphins-Patriots call and who's getting the final three unclaimed playoff tickets, visit NFL Week 18 Gems.

Our most recent columns: Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Georgia Crushes Michigan in OB. The Bad News? 'Bama Next /and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude. Also: Party, Meet Hangover: Tua, Dolphins Out Of Playoff Chase With Loss at Titans / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / Duuuuuke Lifts Fins to 6th Straight Win, .500 Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / and Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 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. The latest HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Fins end roller-coaster season hoping for winning record: The season began with high hopes after an upset win at New England. Seven straight losses followed. Then seven wins in a row. Then a crushing loss at Tennessee. Now, at 8-8, it ends back home like it started: Against the rival Patriots. No playoffs, but a winning record the consolation prize. Meanwhile Jaylen Waddle was named team MVP -- Tua Tagovailoa not winning it in his second season another indication of disappointment in him.

2. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Georgia favored but 'Bama feels like favorite in Monday's CFP final: Betting odds say Bulldogs are 2 1/2-point picks over Crimson Tide in Monday night's College Football Playoff national championship game in Indy. Hmm. 'Bama has beaten Georgia seven straight under Nick Saban, including 41-24 for the SEC title December 4. Now Tide are after their seventh national crown under Saban while 'Dawgs aim for first and only since 1980. Has a favorite ever seemed more like the underdog?

3. HEAT: Miami keeps winning without two biggest stars: Miami is 25-15 and up to third in the East after Saturday's 123-100 win at Phoenix. In initial fan voting for All-Star team Jimmy Butler is running 5th and Bam Adebayo 8th among Eastern frontcourt guys, despite Bam missing 22 games injured and Butler missing 17. Tyler Herro is 8th among East guards. Miami is back in play Wednesday in Atlanta.

4. CANES BASKETBALL: UM men poll-bound after upset win at No. 2 Duke!: Canes men's basketball is 13-3, 5-0 in the ACC and on a ninet-game win streak after Saturday's 76-74 upset win at No. 2 ranked Duke, led by leading scorer Kameron McGusty's late winning layup. UM, back in action Tuesday at FSU, has not been ranked all season but that's about to change. The COVID-hit Miami women are 7-4 (0-1 ACC) entering Sunday's game vs. No. 5 N.C. State.

5. NFL: Week 18 to complete playoff picture with final three teams: Eleven teams are in the postseason and three tickers remain entering Week 18. The Colts and 49ers are win-and-in, as is the Chargers-Raiders winner Sunday night. Saints are in with a win if the Niners lose. Steelers and Ravens are alive but need a win plus much other help.

6. PANTHERS: Cats are back on top in NHL East: Florida is 23-7-5 and now atop the East after Saturday's 4-3 OT win at Carolina, and leading the NHL in goals at 3.92 per game led by Aleksander Barkov and Anthony Duclair with 14 each. Cats are back on ice Tuesday at home vs. Vancouver.

7. INTER MIAMI: Roster undergoing shakeuo entering Year 3: Inter Miami will open training camp January 17 for its third Major League Soccer season missing some familiar faces as part of a massive roster shakeup following two disappointing seasons. Two of three Designated Players -- midfielders Rodolfo Pizarro of Mexico and Blaise Matuidi of France -- are not expected back. The third, Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain, reportedly will return.

8. HURRICANES: Cristobal continues to raid Oregon to fill out his staff: New Canes football Mario Cristobal keeps populating his UM staff with guys lured from his former staff at Oregon. The latest: Alex Mirabal as assistant head coach and offensive line coach, and Joe Salave’a as to the position of Miami Hurricanes’ defensive line coach, associate head coach/defense and defensive run-game coordinator.

9. TENNIS: Djokovic vaccine drama clouds runup to Aussie Open: The year's first tennis major, the January 17-30 Australian Open, is embroiled in a vaccination drama with reigning men's champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The noted anti-vaxxer had claimed a medical exemption from the tournament's COVID-19 vaccination requirements, but the Aussie government ultimately denied his visa and tuned him away. Stay tunedc.

10. SOCCER: Colombia, Honduras set for friendly in Fort Lauderdale: The match next Sunday January 16 at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale will be a World Cup tuneup for Colombia, which is bringing a quality roster for what is being called a preparation for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Argentina in the runup to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Missing the HB10 cut: From 217 names on the ballot, 18 players and three coaches will be announced Monday as 2022 inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame. Nominees included three former Miami Hurricanes: QB Ken Dorsey, OT Bryant McKinnie and coach Larry Coker ..... Warriors star Klay Thompson will play today for first time since June 13, 2019, when he tore his left ACL in Game 6 of the '19 NBA Finals ..... Marlins spring-training tickets are now on sale. The bad news: The MLB lockout has the start of spring training anybody's guess ..... The FA Cup, in which England's lower-league Davids take on the Premier League's Goliaths, continues with 32 matches taking place Friday through this Monday ..... The back-for-another-try USFL announced its first four head-coach hires. They include former NFL head coaches Todd Haley and Mike Riley. The spring league opens  in April. I'd set the over/under on its surviival at 1 1/2 seasons ..... Former NFL and Canes star Clinton Portis was sentenced to six months in prison for his role in a medical fraud scheme ..... Wait. Antonio Brown in the midst of a controversy!? No way! ..... The 2022 Baseball Hall  of Fame inductees will be revealed January 25 live from Cooperstown on MLB Network. David Ortiz, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens (the latter two in their final year of eligibility) are expcetd to be inducted based on early voting trends made public. First-tme eligible Alex Rodriguez, thank to steroids, will not make it on his first try ..... NFL announced a public memorial for John Madden would be held February 15 in Oakland ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday, January 10 at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,632 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columnsUM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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

November 15, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins' huge win, Canes' latest heartbreak, Butch Davis out at FIU, Heat 'n Cats, viva U.S. men! See who's No. 1 and what else lands where this week; plus NFL Week 10 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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

1) It's SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14. Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Dolphins end skid in win over Texans, Is Manny Diaz saving himself after 3rd straight win?, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE DROPS MONDAY!: Our 44th episode of 2021 and 86th overall is out now! New pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 85 we've done HERE, free. In our most recent episode: Hear Greg's live on-stage routine and more from Le Batard Show's mini-Mas Miami fan event. Also: Toy Hall of Fame inductees, Yeti live report from Braves' championship parade, how to pronounce "Tuesday," an homage to Villa Rose (R.I.P.), Big Bird gets the vaccine, NFL's wild weekend, Greg's Lobos update, stern message from the National Respect The Pumpkin Foundation & more. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

My column off Saturday's UM loss at FSU: Just Another Cursed, Heartbreak Finish for Diaz And Hurricanes

Column off Thursday's Dolphins upset win: Miracles Happen: Huge Defense, Tua Off Bench Help Fins Stun Baltimore

Our other most recent columns: Oh Brother! Heat-Nuggets' Family Feud Spices Season / Fins End 7-Game Skid -- But Only Because Texans Were Even Worse / Is Manny Diaz Saving Himself? Coach, Comeback Canes Win 3rd Straight. Also: Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Buffalo's Late Classlessness Aside, Miami Out Of Answers In 7th Straight Loss / U-Turn: UM Season, Diaz Future Looking Up With 2nd Straight Big Win / and Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal.

PicksNFL Week 10 picks: Week 10 began with Dolphins hosting Ravens Thursday night and winning, 22-10. That result blindsided me; didn't think the Fins had it in 'em. Hope the rest of my week goes better! Here are our picks for our Game of the Week and Upset of the Week along with an additional upset and all the rest: NFL Week 10 Gems.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (NOVEMBER 14-15): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Stunner! Miami shocks Ravens with big defense, Tua off bench: Awesome defense and a late lift from Tua Tagovailoa in relief were plenty as the Dolphins stunned Baltimore, 22-10, Thursday night. Lest we forget, play of the game honors to 330-pound guard Robert Hunt for his TD that didn't count ... except as fabulous! The second straight win puts Fins 3-7 and with schedule softening, starting with the Jets next Sunday. Late miracle-rally to playoff contention, anyone?

2. HURRICANES: UM trails, leads, blows it in wild loss at FSU: An early 14-0 hole. A late 28-20 lead. An eventual 31-28 last-second. Ho hum, just another hear-attack finish for Canes and their fans -- the seventh game decided by four points or fewer. Miami now 5-5, 3-3 in ACC, out of the Coastal race and still not bowl-eligible with two games left.

3. HEAT: Miami cools off but wins in Utah: Heat started 6-1 but was 7-5 before Saturday's 111-105 win in Utah fueled by Duncan Robinson's six 3's, despite Jimmy Butler missing second straight game with ankle injury. Miami ends its wesern roadie Monday at Oklahoma City. Meantime NBA's probe into possible pre-free agency tampering by Miami in the Kyle Lowry signing is  nearly complete. (League also is investigating Chicago's Lonzo Ball deal).

4. FIU: Longtime AD Garcia steps down, Butch Davis headed out, too: Veteran FIU athletics boss Pete Garcia stepped down after 15 years, not a huge surprise and good news to many on campus. Now comes word that the school already is advertising to replace football coach Butch Davis after this season. Davis is 1-9 this season and 1-16 since shocking the Hurricanes late in 2019. 

5. SOCCER: U.S. scores huge win over Mexico in WC qualifying: The U.S. men's national team won its third straight over rival Mexico, 2-0, in a World Cup qualifier in Cincinnati. The Americans next CONCACAF-region qualifier is Tuesday vs. Jamaica. U.S. men sit pretty to reach next year's World Cup in Qatar.  

6. PANTHERS: Hot Cats cool with fourth straight loss: Florida's 10-2-3 record still shines, but it's four losses in a row now, the past two in added time including 3-2 in OT Saturday in Tampa. Team was 7-0-0 when coach Joel Quenneville stepped down. Panthers begin four-game homestand Tuesday vs. New York Islanders. 

7. MLB: Looming lockout, free agency on the plate: The CBA is expiring and a possible lockout looming as baseball enters free agency. The question in South Florida: Will the Marlins break recent tradition and be big spenders for the bat(s) they need to augment solid pitching? They say yes. Let's see. They swung a minor deal for reliever Louis Head, but offene is the need.

8. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men, women await early big tests: UM men are 1-1 after Saturday's 95-89 home loss to UCF, while Canes women are 3-0 after beating Stetson Sunday. The men play six games before ACC play begins. The women's first big tests are November 27 vs. No. 8-Indiana and December 2 at 4-Maryland.

9. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators win, but rather embarassingly: Florida limped to 5-5 with 70-52 win over Samford. How do you give up 52 to Samford!? Tough week for state FBS teams (non-UM division), with losses by FIU, FAU, UCF and South Florida.

10. INTER MIAMI: MLS playoffs start (sans Miiami) this week: The 14-team Major League Soccer playoffs begin this coming Friday. Inter Miami ended its second season a disappointing 12-5-17 (that's 12 wins in 34 matches), and well out of the playoff hunt.

Missing the HB10 cut: Tennis' ATP and WTA Finals are going on. Woemn finish up this Wednesday and the men next Sunday ..... Rams signed Odell Beckham Jr. ..... Jon Gruden is suing the NFL saying he was forced out as Raiders coach. Dear Jon: WHo wrote those hateful emails? The NFL? Or you? ..... Six more Top 25 football teams lost, but none higher than No. 8 Oklahoma ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,688 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Dolphins Sabotaging Tua Season Over Misguided Infatuation With Watson / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Loss In Tampa Has Dolphins Season In Free Fall As Embarrassments Pile Up / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / With Ghosts Of Glory Days Watching, Dolphins Showed Inept Effort in Third Straight Loss / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

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