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).

September 03, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 3-7): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive (usually) Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HURRICANES: Canes clobbered by Bama in season opener: The No. 14-ranked Canes were 19 1/2-point underdogs to reigning national champion and No. 1 Alabama Saturday in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta -- and the odds were underlined in the Crimson Tide's 44-13 rout. Bryce Young thoroughly outplayed D'Eriq King  in the QB battle and it was men against boys on defense. So is The U "back'?" Next question, please.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARCHIVES

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 30, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARCHIVES

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 23, 2021

Time to go all-in, start believing in Tua, Flores and Dolphins. New column; plus Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; also, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 23. Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins and Canes should require fan's proof of vaccination to attend home games, Ode to Udonis Haslem as he re-ups for 19th Heat season, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 'FANTASY FOOTBALL PREPISODE' OUT NOW!: Our 33rd episode of 2021 and 75th 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. You can find all 75 we've done HERE, for free. In our new episode: Hear fantasy football expert Sia Nejad (CBS Sports, Sirius XM, Win Daily Sports show) share tips to help you dominate your draft and league. (Can he save Greg's Lobos?) Greg shares detailed update on his holdout from the Le Batard Show. Pet peeves at the roulette table. And two new songs! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

TuaWHY IT'S TIME TO GO ALL-IN, FINALLY START BELIEVING IN TUA, FLORES AND MIAMI DOLPHINS: Faith can be a tricky thing. Sometimes it takes a leap to get there. Whether it’s falling in love, going all-in on a bet or trusting that this is finally the year for your team, you have to believe in something. Your heart. Your gut. Just a wisp of a feeling. Something. It gets complicated when, for example, your football team has mostly let you down for the past 20 years or so. When your franchise’s best days are your father’s memories, not yours. That is when optimism gets calloused, replaced by cynicism. When the easiest thing to trust is that your team will let you down again. What I am about to say, in this context, comes from both the innately skeptical veteran journalist and from the young boy who attended that first ever home game with his Dad in the Orange Bowl in 1966 — because those two are the same. It is time to start believing in the Miami Dolphins again. Believing that last year’s 10-win season was not a mirage. Believing that Brian Flores is just the right coach. Believing that Tua Tagovailaoa’s doubters are falling away, one by one. Believing that a corner has (finally!) been turned. For our full latest column, visit Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins.
 

Other most recent columns: Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated and An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season. Also: Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2 Tua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 22-23): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Tua, Fins sail in big fake-game home: Miami squared its preseason record at 1-1 with a 37-17 rout of Atlanta in its only home exhibition Saturday night. Tua Tagovailoa completed 16 of 23 passes for 183 yards and a TD and LB Sam Eguavoan had four sacks (one for a safety) to lead the domination of the Falcons' reserves. Fins wrap up preseason next Sunday at Cincinnati.

3. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons win fourth straight at home: Rodolfo Pizarro scored twice and Robbie Robinson once as Inter Miami handled visiting Toronto 3-1 Saturday night. It was the fourth straight home win for Miami, now 6-9-4 overall but 4-1-2 in its past seven matches. Herons have climbed within five points of playoff pace with 14 games left.

3. MARLINS: Stinkin' Fish lose seventh straight game: Marlins are 51-74 (12-24 since the break), last in the NL East and have dropped seven straight after being swept in Cincy. Miami now returns for a six-game homestand vs. Nationals and Reds.

4. HEAT: Miami reveals season schedule as bookies set win totals: Heat announced its 2021-22 season schedule will begin with six preseason games starting October 4. Miami will make 22 national TV appearances, with five each on ESPN and TNT and 12 on NBA TV. Heat will tip-off its 34th regular season at home vs. reigning NBA champion Milwaukee on October 21. Caesars Sportsbook's win-total over/unders put Brooklyn on top at 54 1/2, with Heat tied for eighth of 30 teams at 47 1/2. Heat prospects finished 4-3 in Summer League play, 2-0 in Sacramento and 2-3 in Las Vegas.

5. SOCCER: Messi's PSG debut expected next Sunday: Seven more days. Can you wait? Lionel Messi's debut with new French club Paris Saint-Germain is now expected to be next Sunday August 29 in a league match on the road at Reims prior to the international break.

6. BRYAN PATA: Finally a charge in 2006 Pata murder: A former teammate was arrested this week in the 2006 murder of Miami Hurricanes football player Bryan Pata. A longtime suspect, Rashaun Travon Jones, now 35, was charged with first-degree murder. The modern-day, No. 14-ranked Canes, after a closed scrimmage Saturday, open the season in 13 days vs. No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta. "I'm super confident," QB D'Eriq King told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.

7. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Three big leagues including ACC talking 'alliance': First it was Texas and Oklahoma announcing intentions to leave the Big 12 and move to the SEC. Now, the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 conferences have begun exploring options for an ill-defined  counter move of some sort. The three league have formed an "alliance committee" including athletic directors from each league and the three commissioners. 

8. PANTHERS: Cats set roster for developmental events: Panthers announced a 24-man roster for their September 10-14 development camp in Coral Springs and the September 18-21 Tampa Bay Lightning-hosted Prospect Showcase Tournament in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Roster includes three former first-round picks in Anton Lundell (12th overall in 2020), Spencer Knight (13th, 2019) and Grigori Denisenko (15th, 2018).

9. BOXING: End for Pacquiao after upset loss?: Manny Pacquiao lost decisively to Yordenis Ugas in Vegas Saturday night, leaving fans to wonder if the great Pacquiao, nearing 43, had fought his last fight.

10. TENNIS: Major hits to U.S. Open men's side: Rafael Nadal joined Roger Federer in withdrawing from the U.S. Open, the season's final Grand Slam event that starts August 30 in New York.  That means the men's side will be missing five players who have won the event in 12 of the past 17 years.

Missing the HB10 cut: Miguel Cabrera hits 500th home run! (Nice trade, Marlins) ..... The annual Little League World Series is on in Williamsport, Pa., with 16 teams in two divisions hoping to reach the championship game next Sunday. One Florida team, Palm City in Martin County just north of Palm Beach, is competing ..... Former Heat star Ray Allen is the new boys basketball coach at Miami's Gulliver Prep high school ..... Oregon and Oregon State became the first Power 5 schools to announce they will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for fans over age 12 to attend football games. The NFL's Saints and Raiders previously did the same ..... A 2-year-old filly named Bold And Bossy escaped before a race in Henderson, Ky. Saturday and ran onto a highway alongside cars before being apprehended ..... Electrifying MLB: Shohei Ohtani ..... Embarrassing MLB: Trevor Bauer ..... Getting close: Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame induction is September 11 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,772 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 12, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 11-12: WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARCHIVES

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

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

July 05, 2021

Happy 4th (and 5th) of July! Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): 'NIL' vs. NBA. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus thoughts with Surfside, links to recent columns, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

4th1) It's MONDAY, JULY 5. Hope y'all had a Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans! And made it a safe one. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): 'NIL' means new era in college sports, Greedy NBA gets the asterisk champ it deserves, Panthers to host 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend, Time for sports to tell Cole Beasley he's wrong, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

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

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

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JULY 4-5): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUTOur blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

Overriding everything, prayers and sympathy to the victims and families affected by the Surfside condominium collapse that has killed at least 24 and left more than 120 unaccounted for. 

HButton1. HURRICANES: King, UM lead way as game-changing 'NIL Rule' kicks in: Name. Image. Likeness. (NIL). It joined the lexicon of college sports this past week as athletes became eligible to barter themselves for financial profit. Canes QB D'Eriq King quickly struck a deal with College Hunks Hauling Junk movers, a Tampa car dealership and The Wharf Miami restaurant/bar. Also, UM launched 'Ignite,’ an initiative to help athletes grow their brand and make money off their NIL.

2. NBA: It's a Bucks-Suns NBA Finals: An NBA postseason steered by injuries has left us a Milwaukee-Phoenix Finals that few outside of those fandoms can be all that thrilled about. Suns eliminated the Kawhi-less Clippers, then Bucks got past a Hawks squad with Trae Young hobbled. Milwaukee seeks its first title since 1971 and Phoenix its first ever starting with Game 1 Tuesday.

3. HEAT: Spoelstra to coach USA Select Team this week: Miami coach Erik Spoelstra was named head coach of the USA Select Team that will help prepare the main U.S. men's national team (which includes the Heat's Bam Adebayo) for the Tokyo Olympics beginning in three weeks. The training camp will be this Tuesday through Friday in Las Vegas. The 14 Select Team members, mostly young NBA players, include Miami's Tyler Herro.

4. MARLINS: Big homestand on deck closes first half: After completing a road swing with a loss in Atlanta Sunday, Marlins finish the first half of the schedule heading into the All-Star break with a seven-game homestand. It starts Monday with four against the red-hot Dodgers, then three vs. the rival Braves. Miami has disappointed so far at 35-47, good for the NL East cellar. Meanwhile the Fish swung a minor deal, acquiring INF Joe Panik and RHP Andrew McInvale from Toronto for OF Corey Dickerson and RHP Adam Cimber.

5. PANTHERS: Florida to host 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend: Cats were supposed to host in '21 but the pandemic canceled the event. The '22 weekend went to Vegas. Better two years late than never, the Panthers will host the league's '23 All-Star Game and surrounding hoopla. Meanwhile, Florida added Tuomo Ruutu to the coaching staff as an assistant. He'd been in player development with the Rangers.

6. SOCCER: Euro '20 reaches semifinals! Finally England's time?: Italy vs. Spain on Tuesday. England vs. Denmark on Wednesday. Winners for the UEFA championship of Europe next Sunday at Wembley Stadium. Spain has won two Euro title and Italy and Denmark one each, while England is still seeking it first. Finally time foe the nation of the throne to be crowned at home?

7. NHL: Lightning embarrassing Canadians in Final: Tampa Bay is up 3-0 on Montreal and by a combine 14-5 score in a lopsided Stanley Cup Final. Canadians try to save face and stay alive and avoid being swept in Game 4 Monday/tonight at home. Canada is trying to claim its first Stanley Cup since Montreal won it in 1993, but needs a miracle on ice.

8. INTER MIAMI: Miserable skid continues for Team Beckham: Inter Miami is 2-2-7 with five straight losses after Saturday's 1-0 fall at Montreal. The second-year squad is now next-to-last in the MLS standings as David Beckham and coach Phil Neville search for missing answers. Miami doesn't play again until July 17.

9. TENNIS: Wimbledon at midpoint finds top seeds still alive: No.1s Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic won Monday to lead a full slate of fourth-round matches to kick off the final week of Wimbledon in London. Results will bring us  to the quarterfinals starting Tuesday. Though depleted of some starpower by injuries and key withdrawals, at least the top seeds survive to front the 16 men and 16 women still contending for major hardware.

10. SOCCER: Copa America semifinals, title match this week: It'll be host Brazil vs. Peru on Monday and Lionel Messi's Argentina vs. Colombia Tuesday in a stout Copa America semifinal round, the winners advancing to next Saturday's championship match in Rio de Janeiro. Copa America is tantamount to the South American championship. It would be Messi's first trophy in a major senior tournament.

Missing the HB10 cut: Sha’Carri Richardson should be running in Tokyo ..... Joey Chestnut seeks his 14th mustard belt today in the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog-Eating Contest --- the most vile, stomach-turning event televised ..... Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers are betting picks over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in The Match IV on Tuesday in Montana ..... The CONCACAF Gold Cup, the main soccer tournament for region of North and Central America and Caribbean -- dominated by Mexico and the U.S. -- begins next Saturday July 10 and runs through August 1. U.S. is not fielding its A-team; no Christian Pulisic, for example. Americans will be in Group B (and play in Kansas City) with Canada, Martinique and a team to be determined in a prelim round running in Fort Lauderdale through Tuesday among Barbados, Bermuda, Haiti and St. Vincent and the Grenadines ..... NFL fined Jaguars $200,000 and Sneaky Urban Meyer 100K for violating OTA practice restrictions. Cowboys and 49ers were fined lesser amounts ..... Vladimir Guerrero and Fernando Tatis were leading vote-getters in each league for the July 13 MLB All-Star Game in Denver ..... MLB Draft begins next Sunday July 11 ..... Tour de France update: The loony woman with the sign got arrested. Updates as needed ..... NFL has had a gay player (Carl Nassib) for more than a week now and league is still operating. Everything is OK! ..... Mark Richt revealed he has Parkinson's. Our best wishes are with him ..... Mississippi State beat Vanderbilt to win the men's College World Series ..... Latest Dolphins Challenge Cancer event raised a record $6.3 million, club announced, bringing 11-year total $45.5M ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,821 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: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

June 28, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Carl Nassib, Surfside tragedy, NBA playoffs, looming Olympics. See who's No. 1and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now! & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 28. I was back on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this past Tuesday, though briefly because I didn't feel well. Check out that day's show podcasts . 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Bosh X Bosh with new podcast and column, Why Carl Nassib is sports' most significant 'first' since Jackie Robinson in 1947, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 25th episode of 2021 and 67th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 67 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our latest episode Greg and veteran TV reporter Ari Odzer of WTVJ-NBC6 discuss the Surfside tragedy, and Ari shares stories from victims' families. And ESPN's Izzy Gutierrez stops by the pod to discuss the significance of the Raiders' Carl Nassib becoming he NFL's first openly gay active player. Iz also talks NBA playoffs, and scoffs at a Ben Smmons-to-Miami rumor that Chris tries to float. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: 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 / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / and Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 27-28): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

1. SURFSIDE TRAGEDY: Heat lends aid in deadly condo collapse: Heat guard (for now) Tyler Herro was working out Thursday morning with assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Eric Glass when word spread of the tragic Surfside condo collapse that has killed at least nine but with more than 150 others still unaccounted for and feared dead. The three headed to the site 15 minutes north of the arena and lent aid any way they could, including helping load a truck with food, water and other essentials.

HButton2. CARL NASSIB: Finally! NFL Has first openly gay, active player: The Las Vegas Raiders defensive end is a journeyman 28-year-old with his third team in five years. But this week, forever more, Carl Nassib was to be defined for his history making more than his football. Not since Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 has sports had amore groundbreaking 'first.'

3. NBA: Suns, Bucks take leads in conference finals: Bucks took a 2-1 lead on Hawks Sunday in the East, while Suns won again Saturday for a big 3-1 lead over Clippers and can clinch series win Monday. Meanwhile in the NBA Draft lottery Detroit won the No. 1 overall pick on July 29, with Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham expected to be the top choice.

4. OLYMPICS: Heat's Bam Adebayo makes stacked U.S. team: Bam Adebayo reps Miami on the gold-favored U.S. Olympic team as the squad preps for its Summer Games opener July 25 against France in Tokyo. Kevin Durant, seeking his third gold medal, will be the only returning member of the 2016 team that won it all in Rio. Others on the roster include all-stars Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker.

5. SOCCER: U.S. women set Olympic roster; why mess with success?: The gold-favored U.S. women will send proven chappions to the delayed-from-'20 Tokyo Games next month. Carli Lloyd (at 39 the oldest U.S. soccer Olympian ever) and Tobin Heath will be fourth-time Olympians, while stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan head the list of three-time Olympians.

6. TENNIS: Depleted Wimbledon begins today: Year's third of four tennis majors took a  major star hit when both Naomi Osaka, defending champion Simona Halelp and Rafael Nadal all withdrew. Novak Djokovic is now the odds-on men's betting favorite, with Ashleigh Barty a narrow women's pick over Serena Williams. Tourney runs Monday through July 11. (Serena meanwhile said she would not compete in the Summer Olympics). 

7. NHL: Oh Canada! Its a Montreal-Tampa Bay Final: Montreal upset Vegas 4-2 in one Stanley Cup semifinal and reigning NH: champ Tampa Bay won a Game 7 Friday over New York Islanders to set up a Canadians-Lightning best-of-7 starting today/Monday. No team from Canada has won the Stanley Cup since Montreal did in 1993, and none has reached the Final since Vancouver in 2011.

8. SOCCER: Euro '20 moves on toward quarterfinals: With group play done, round-of-16 matches continue through Tuesday, with survivors advancing to the quarterfinals July 2-3. Semifinals are set July 6-7, with the championship match July 11. Italy, Belgium and Netherlands were the only three teams to go through group play an unscathed 3-0.

9. MARLINS: Max tops Sandy; now Fish hit the road: Marlins are 33-44 after Sunday's 5-=1bhome loss to Washington -- Max Scherzer outdueling Sandy Alcantara. Miami now sets out on a six-game roadie. Finalists in All-Star Game voting were announced Sunday. No Marlins made it; Jesus Aguilar came closest. But Miami may yet have a pitcher or two selected.

10. INTER MIAMI: Struggles continue for Team Beckham: A 2-1 home loss to rival Orlando Friday night left Inter Miami 2-6-2 after a fourth straight loss, and 11th in the 14-team MLS Eastern Conference. Off the field, after 2 1/2 years of negotiations, the controversial no-bid deal to build a $1 billion soccer stadium complex for Inter Miami  still faces many obstacles, according to internal documents obtained by the Miami Herald.

Missing the HB10 cut: Simone Biles made the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team. Or, did that go without saying? ..... The Tour de France got underway with all the excitement you'd expect as a fan jutting a giant sign into the racecourse caused a massive collision and pileup of bikes ..... Cole Beasley, what an odd hill you have chosen to die on ..... After missing last year because of the pandemic, Canes football's Paradise Camp was back Saturday in an annual recruiting-aimed tradition begun by Mark Richt and continued by Manny Diaz. Paradise Camp is a made-up event/marketing tool intended to woo recruits but has taken on legitimacy with excessive and fawning media coverage ..... It's A Vanderbilt-Mississippi State College World Series best-of- 3 finals starting Monday in in Omaha ..... Proposal for an expanded 12-team College Football Playoff inched closer to reality when the 11 college presidents with final say over the format authorized the 10 FBS commissioners to "begin a summer review phase" to determine feasibility and how and when it might be implemented ...... Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a ruling that provides for incremental increases in how college athletes can be compensated and opens door for future legal challenges to NCAA's current business model ..... Wander Franco did not disappoint when the Rays called up MLB's top prospect. First game: Doubled, home run, three RBIs ...... Two matches Sunday and two more Monday close group play in Copa America, with quarterfinals beginning July 5 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,828 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: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club NeedsMiami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

June 21, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated) with NBA, golf and sizzlin' Adam Duvall. See who's No.1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with Chris Bosh out now, Father's Day & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 21. Hope my fellow padres had a Happy Father's Day! 2) I was back in-studio on the Le Batard Show last week for my regular Tuesday appearance. Check out that day's show podcasts for much too much of me. 3) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Top 5 Dolphins concerns exiting minicamp, On Spoelstra and Lillard and Miami Heat, Men's tennis and golf at a crossroads, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow BoshongcsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH CHRIS BOSH OUT NOW!: Our 24th episode of 2021 and 66th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 66 we've done so far HERE for free. Our latest episode features special guest Chris Bosh, Basketball Hall of Famer and former Heat star, discussing his new book, the Big 3 era, how basketball ended for him, and finding peace. Also: Victoria's Secret, Vincent Van Gogh, Cole Beasley and a new Mount Gregomre. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our columns from the past week: Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / and Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf. Other most recent columns: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / and Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 20-21): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. NBA: Hawks oust Sixers in Game 7 to complete semifinals: Bucks advanced past Nets 4-3 with Saturday's Game 7 OT triumph as Giannis' 40 points bested K.D.'s 48. And Sunday the Hawks stunned the Sixers in Game 7 to advance to the Eastern finals vs. Milwaukee. Out West it's a Clippers-Suns final after Phoenix swept Denver and LAC beat Utah 4-2. Suns won Game 1 Sunday.

2. GOLF: Rahm wins U.S. Open at Torrey Pines: Two weeks after a COVID test positive forced him out of a tournament he led and give up a $1.7 million check, Jon Rahm of Spain won the U.S. Open Sunday with a 6-under at tough Torrey Pines outside San Diego. Louis Oosthuizen finished one shot back in the year's third of four majors. Meantime golf's best and silliest feud continued as Bryson DeChambeau videobombed a Brooks Koepka interview. And grumpy Phil Mickelson (who barely made the cut) complained about being distracted by cell phone cameras during an opening round 75.

3. HEAT: Big week for news ... but mostly for rumors: Jimmy Butler made the All-NBA third team, and Jimmy and Bam Adebayo both made the All-Defense second team. Oh, and the portion of NE 7th Street from Biscayne Boulevard to NE 2nd Avenue downtown is now officially Dwyane Wade Boulevard, so start stealing the street sign. In other Heat (non) news, speculation Portland might try to woo Erik Spoelstra as its new coach fizzled fast, and flimsy rumors link Miami to disgruntled stars Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic.

4. DOLPHINS: 'X' marks the mess as Fins end offseason work: Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard was a no-show at the team's three-day minicamp that ended offseason work this past week. It's a holdout for a renegotiated contract (a.k.a. more money), if that didn't go without saying. It's a mess that must be solved (or traded away) before full preseason training camp gets underway in late July.

5. MARLINS: Duvall en fuego but Fish fall short of sweep at Wrigley: After losing four straight with bats quiet the Marlins exploded for back-to-back 10-2 and 11-1 wins over the Cubs at Wrigley Field thanks to four home runs in two days for Adam Duvall. Alas, bays turned quiet again as Miami fell to 31-40 with Sunday's 2-0 loss. Fish open a six-game homestand starting Tuesday vs, Toronto.

6. INTER MIAMI: Beckham's lads return from break with a loss: The time off for MLS' international break did Inter Miami no good. David Beckham's outfit fell to 2-2-5 (five losses) with Saturday's 1-0 defeat at D.C. United. Meantime coach Phil Neville refuted rumors that midfielder Rodolfo PIzzaro is unhappy in Miami. And striker Gonzalo Higuain admitted MLS is tougher than expected after saying, "I thought I could play with a cigarette in my mouth." Next up: Miami hosts Orlando Friday night.

7. TENNIS: Major stars Osaka, Nadal both withdraw as Wimbledon nears: The fortnight in London, the year's third of four majors, begins next Monday on July 28, but stars Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal won't be there. Osaka, after last month dropping out of the French Open, continues her mental health-related break. Nadal said he withdrew "after listening to my body." Nadal also will skip next month's Tokyo Olympics but Osaka, a Japanese citizen, will play.

8. SOCCER: Euro '20 wraps up group play Wednesday: Italy was first to finish a perfect 3-0 as Euro '20, the UEFA European Championship delayed from last year, wraps up group play on Wednesday. The knockout round of 16 will be played June 26-29, the survivors advancing to the quarterfinals.

9. HURRICANES: Tickets to football opener on sale; Auburn added: Tickets to Canes' September 4 opener vs. national champion Alabama in Atlanta go on sale Tuesday to general public. Meantime UM announced a two-game home-and-home series with Auburn in 2029 here and 2030 there. This is very exciting news for aspiring Canes players presently in 5th grade.

10. NHL/PANTHERS: Stanley Cup semifinals continue; Barkov honored: Vegas tied Montreal 2-2 with Sunday's 2-1 win and Tampa Bay and the N.Y. Islanders are knotted 2-2 entering Game 5 Monday in NHL semifinals. Meantime down in Catsville, Aleksander Barkov won league award as NHL's top defensive forward. Bill Zito was a finalist for general manager of the year and Joel Quenneville for coach of the year but neither won. 

Missing the HB10 cut: Possibility of expanded College Football Playoff from four to 12 teams lives on. A CFP committee agreed to present the proposal to the 11 university presidents who have the authority over the format for a vote Tuesday in Dallas ..... Celtics traded Kemba Walker, their 2021 first-round pick and a 2025 second-rounder to Thunder. OKC gets Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick ..... Prepare to begin the one-month countdown to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, delayed a year due to the pandemic. The Games are set for July 23 to August 8 despite a resurgence of COVID-19 in Japan ..... Copa America group play continuing through June 28 will eliminate only two teams, with the other eight in quarterfinal play beginning July 2 ..... Vanderbilt is betting pick in the eight-team men's College World Series that began Saturday and ends June 30 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,835 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES:

Heat/Panthers playoff columns: Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Heat Fans Showed Up For Game 3. Their Team Did Not / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Time For Heat Fans To Help Lift Their Team Back Into This Series / Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports / Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs / This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.

Select other recent columns: Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Pirate Ship Sails! Details, Guests For Le Batard Show's 24-Hour Relaunch / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / 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).

June 19, 2021

Dolphins' biggest concerns (besides Tua). New column; plus Rumors and truth: On Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat; also, Men's tennis, golf both need a 'Next Big Thing,' Juneteenth, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with Jessica Smetana & more

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

Juneteenth1) It's SATURDAY, JUNE 19. Today is the first Juneteenth as a national holiday, celebrating the end of slavery. 2) I was back in-studio on the Le Batard Show this week for my regular Tuesday appearance. Check out that day's show podcasts for much too much of me. 3) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Mejess CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH JESSICA SMETANA OUT NOW!: Our 23rd episode of 2021 and 65th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 64 we've done so far HERE for free. Our new episode features Jessica Smetana, newest member of the Le Batard Show Shipping Container. (Did the chat get too personal?) Also, hear DeArdo The Magnificent flex his encyclopedic knowledge of sports. Plus, what's in the Queen's handbag? Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

TuaHERE'S WHAT ELSE HAS TO GO RIGHT (BESIDES TUA) TO KEEP DOLPHINS' MOMENTUM GOING: Been a long time coming, but the sense of a franchise and team trending upward is palpable. The Miami Dolphins are in the midst of a smartly calculated rebuild that will include eight first-round draft picks in the four year span of 2020-23. The Fins were 10-6 last season, the best team in the NFL to miss the playoffs. Brian Flores has been a prize catch as head coach. If the future isn’t quite now, it’s getting here at a gallop. Areas of concern remain, though, as the Dolphins completed their offseason work Thursday with the finish of a mandatory three-day minicamp. Fins won’t gather on a field again until the late-July start of full preseason training camp. There is a reason Miami is no better than middle of the pack, tied for 16th, in current betting odds to win the Super Bowl. Here are the five biggest concerns, the things that need to go right, if the Dolphins are to build upon the promise of last season. For our full latest column including of course those five concerns, visit Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum.

Miami HeatWHEN RUMORS FLY, AND LAND WITH THUD: THE TRUTH ON SPOELSTRA, LILLARD AND HEAT: Portland Trail Blazers interested in Erik Spoelstra! Wait. Really? Damian Lillard interested in Miami Heat! Wait. Hold on. Heat fans have been fed reasons this week to turn their attention to northwest Oregon. The question worth exploring: Why? I try to not be a self-loathing journalist — the anti-media crowd is loud enough without my help — but occasionally the business of reporting, of what a “report” even is, makes me cringe a bit. So Tuesday there were reports the Trail Blazers, looking for a new coach, had the Heat’s Spoelstra on their radar. Except the reports were just other media outlets regurgitating the original report that wasn’t actually a report at all. It was Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports Network tweeting this: “We have multiple sources saying Erik Spoelstra’s name has been discussed internally regarding their coach opening. We are NOT reporting contact has been made, or that Spoelstra has any intention of leaving Miami.” It might well have been accurate. Portland supposedly is cobbling a list of potential candidates that might be three dozen long. That’s a lot of internal discussing. Front-runners seem to include Chauncey Billups and Mike D’Antoni. Becky Hammon and Dawn Staley are also in the reported mix, in case Portland works up the nerve be be actual Trail Blazers. But it made sense in terms of speculation that the wide net might include Spo, who grew up in Portland and played for the local university, and whose father Jon is a former Trail Blazers executive. I know Ethan. He’s a former Herald colleague. He’s legit. Knows the NBA. He isn’t some uninformed fan writing in a blog from Ma’s basement. He also has since-deleted the tweet that started this, that other outlets passed along as some variant of news. In the social media age, deleting a tweet is akin to renting a billboard on I-95 that reads, OOPS. It happened to be Skolnick this time but it could have been any of us in the mad rush to be first. For our full recent column, visit Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat.

MEN'S TENNIS, GOLF BOTH AT A CROSSROADS, IN SEARCH OF THEIR NEXT BIG THING: With the French Open in tennis just past and the U.S. Open in golf this week, the majors show us two men’s sports at a crossroads and searching. If there is a Next Big Thing in either worthy of the capital letters and able to stir the imagination, we’ll take a show of hands, please. Please? Novak Bigthree GolftwoDjokovic rallied from two sets down Sunday to win on the red clay of Roland Garros in Paris. It was a remarkable comeback. It also was the latest reminder how men’s tennis is drowning in its own predictability in the Big 3 era (pictured left) of Djokovic, 34; Rafael Nadal, 35; and Roger Federer, who’ll turn 40 in August. Since 2004 those three have combined to win 58 of the sport’s 68 major men’s titles, or 85 percent. There hasn’t been a run like that in any individual sport, ever. That it goes on, though, speaks less of those three’s continued excellence than it does the absence of sustained challengers. Or even one. The slow death of American men’s tennis has played a big role. No American man has won a tennis major since Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick both did in 2003, just as the Federer/Nadal/Djokovic steamroller was beginning its roll. On the women’s side Serena Williams fades by degrees, but there is a young heir in Naomi Osaka, Japan-born but living in the U.S. since age 3. In men’s tennis, very good players such as Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem have failed to become household names outside of the sport’s hardcore fandom, or hasten the past tense on the Big 3 era. And no American man ranks higher today on the ATP than No. 32. That’s a person named Reilly Opelka. He is notable for being 6-11. He is not notable for winning anything of note. In men’s golf the search for the Next Big Thing, the next big era, (Brooks Kopeka and Bryson DeChambeau are pictured right) is similar as the U.S. Open begins Thursday at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, near San Diego. For our full recent column, visit Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, Golf.

Other columns from the past week: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger  /  As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling  /  and Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs.

Other most recent columns: Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph  /  The Pirate Ship Sails! Details, Guests For Le Batard Show's 24-Hour Relaunch  /  and The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal.

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ARCHIVES:

Heat/Panthers playoff columns: Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Heat Fans Showed Up For Game 3. Their Team Did Not / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Time For Heat Fans To Help Lift Their Team Back Into This Series / Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports / Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs / This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.

Select other recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / 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).

June 14, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Mad scramble in bunched field. Fins? Inter? NBA? CFP? Euros? See who's No. 1 and what else falls where; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast with Jessica Smetana out now!, recent columns & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JUNE 14. After surviving the 24-hour marathon show I was back on the Le Batard Show last Tuesday for my regular weekly appearance. Check out that day's show podcasts including my latest Back In My Day. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Our Top 15 Miami pro athletes 25 and younger, the galling disrespect of Aaron Rodgers, Messi-to-Miami is getting real, The Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Coteshow MejessGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH JESSICA SMETANA OUT NOW!: Our 23rd episode of 2021 and 65th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 64 we've done so far HERE for free. Our new episode features Jessica Smetana, newest member of the Le Batard Show Shipping Container. (Did the chat get too personal?) Also, hear DeArdo The Magnificent flex his encyclopedic knowledge of sports. Plus, what's in the Queen's handbag? Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod now simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our columns from the past week: Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger  /  As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling  /  and Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs.

Other most recent columns: Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph  /  The Pirate Ship Sails! Details, Guests For Le Batard Show's 24-Hour Relaunch  /  and The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 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. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Fins wrap offseason with minicamp; preseason set: King Team wraps up its offseason work with a mandatory three-day minicamp this Tuesday through Thursday. Next stop: Full training camp starting in late July. Meantime NFL put out its preseason schedule. Dolphins are at Bears August 14, home vs. Falcons August 21 and at Bengals August 29. Real season opens September 12 at Patriots.

2. INTER MIAMI: Owner says he's 'optimistic' on getting Messi: Inter Miami principal owner Jorge Mas calls himself "optimistic" his club will land Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for the 2023 and '24 MLS seasons as part of deal currently being negotiated that we wrote about last week. Inter Miami, in its second season, has won two and tied two of its first eight matches and resumes play this coming Saturday June 19 at D.C. United.

3. NBA/HEAT: Suns first to conference finals; Riley fined: Suns beat Nuggets Sunday for  4-0 sweep, making Phoenix the first team through to conference finals. Utah and Philly carry 2-1 leads into games today. Nets and Bucks are 2-2. Meantime Miami Heat prez Pat Riley got fined by $25,000 by NBA for innocuous comment about LeBron James during the Le Batard 24-hour show. (I think Dan should pay the fine, don't you?) 

4. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: CFP to consider expanded 12-team playoff: The College Football Playoff management committee will consider expanding its playoff from four teams to 12 when it meets in June 17-18 Chicago. The proposed bracket would include the six highest-ranked conference champions, with the six remaining highest-ranked teams determined by the CFP selection committee.

5. SOCCER: Euro 2020 begins with major medical scare: The UEFA European Championship (Euro 2020, delayed from last year) got underway Friday and runs through July 11, with Portugal the defending champ but England and France narrow betting favorites this time. Major scare when Denmark's Christian Eriksen collapsed during the Danes' opening match vs. Finland and needed CPR and a defibrillator. He is resting comfortably. Match was suspended before Finland's eventual 1-0 win. Euro 2020 is the biggest soccer event since the pandemic. Meanwhile Copa America (a South America-based event) began Sunday and runs through July 10, with host Brazil the reigning champion and betting fave.

6. TENNIS: Djokovic rallies for French Open men's title: Top-seeded Novak Djokovic ousted 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in four sets to reach Sunday's Roland Garros final, then rallied from two sets down to win a five-set thriller over little-known Stefanos Tsisitsipas. In Saturday's who's-that! women's final, 31st-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia faced unseeded Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, Krejcikova winning in three sets.

7. NHL/PANTHERS: Playoff semifinals underway; 2 Cats up for awards: Stanley Cup playoff's semifinals began Sunday with a 2-1 New York Islanders win at Tampa Bay. Vegas-Montreal get going Monday. Panthers are still alive on the awards front, with Joel Quenneville a finalist for the Adams Award (coach of the year) and Aleksander Barkov for the Selke Trophy (forward who also excels on defense).

8. GOLF: U.S. Open tees off this week at Torrey Pines: The U.S. Open, the year's third of four men's golf majors, runs this Thursday through Sunday at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Jon Rahm is betting favorite at 10-1, ahead of Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Speith and Justin Thomas all bunched at 14-1.

9. MARLINS: Fish hit the road: Miami is 29-36 after Sunday's loss to Braves ended a three-game win streak fashioned on Trevor Rogers' seventh win, another quality start from Sandy Alcantara and Zach Thompson's first career win. Marlins set out now on six-game road trip starting tonight in St. Louis.

10. LE BATARD: 24-hour marathon proved a ratings home run: Last week's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz 24-hour marathon ('Freedumb') show drew almost 3 million views across YouTube Live and social platforms, with the total watch-time nearing 430,000 hours. Analysts credit the live Greg Cote Show podcast that aired from 4 to 5 a.m. (OK I made up that last part).

Missing the HB10 cut: Leon Edwards won the fight but Nate Diaz won the night in UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona. Diaz, fighting for first time since November 2019, owned the crowd and social media after the bout ..... Vanderbilt and Stanford won their NCAA Super Regional are on to the men's College World Series. The other six best--of-3 regionals continue today and Monday ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode dropping Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,842 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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

ARCHIVES:

Our Heat/Panthers playoff columns: Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Heat Fans Showed Up For Game 3. Their Team Did Not / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Time For Heat Fans To Help Lift Their Team Back Into This Series / Heat Fall, Panthers Need Miracle On Ice As Both Lose On Big Day for Miami Sports / Panthers, Hopes Of Fans In Peril After Game 2 Loss, 2-0 Series Hole Chasing Respect, Florida Panthers' 5-4 Home Loss A Crushing Start to Playoffs / This Looks Like Best Florida Panthers Team Ever. But The Proving Starts Now.

Select other most recent columns: Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Iffy Trades That Cost Them Pitts Mean Dolphins Better Hit Big With Waddle / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / The Case For Dolphins Trading Up, Going All-In For Kyle Pitts / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / The Miami Dolphins' Six Can't-Lose Options For a Great No. 6 Pick in NFL Draft / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / No-Splash Free Agency Indicates Dolphins Going All In On Upcoming Draft -- And Tua / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Marlins Stick With Youth As Rest Of NL East Spends Big / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / 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).