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Miami, as you know, is primarily known for two things: hot women and
hotter women horrible sports fans. Sure, we have beautiful beaches, a vibrant Latin culture, the Orange Bowl and a stunning, neon-flecked skyline. But if you’re unfortunate enough to root for one of its four (sorry FIU, sorry Sunrise Panthers) semi-irrelevant to super relevant sports teams — and you take the further masochististic step of attending a game in person — odds are you’ll be sitting to the right of this guy.
Just before he named his newborn ‘LeBron’
In this sea of bandwagoners and frontrunners and tagalongs and boob jobs and Rick Ross, there is a small pocket of truly committed Miami sports fans who are most likely: a) middle-aged UM alums b) European transplants with soccer ties c) my friends PK and Ben or d) native Cubans and/or ex-teammates of El Duque. These people are not the subject of this post. I’m talking about the late arrivers and 790 call-ins — those self-loathing persons who can listen to four straight hours of Dan Le BeTerd.
Dan, in full Castro garb
Quite obviously, I have little faith in the segment of humanity who roots for the Dolphins, Hurricanes, or Marlings. But Heat fans, due to the boom-and-bust nature of their still-young franchise, are the worst offenders. A brief and half-assed summary of this franchise follows:
- The Miami Vice, As in “Our team is a vice against basketball,” Years (’87-’90): Expansion team features Rony Seiklay and 14 others you couldn’t pick out of a police lineup. Loses first 18 games. Gets worse from there.
- The We Suck, Nobody Cares Years (’91-’95): They suck. Nobody cares. Future Hornets star Glen Rice drops 56 on up-and-coming Magic in mid-’95. Avid Shaq devotee Robert Hilson, in attendance, is crushed.
- The Coach Slick Years (’95-’02): Fans hoping for Showtime Pt. 2 get slightly inferior version of early-’90s Knicks instead. Couldn’t get past the Bulls, and gawwwwwwd was the basketball ugly, but it was here that Riles, Zo, Hardaway and Co. built the foundation for future glories.
- The ‘We Shoulda Traded Up for Darko’ Years (’03-’04): They settle for Dwyane Wade.
- The Flash-Diesel Years (’04-’07): One of the ten greatest players of all-time roles in on an 18-wheeler that it is only slightly larger than his ego. Riles puts a hit out on coach Stan Van Gundy. Wade blossoms into one of the league’s most exciting stars. Antoine Walker is the best player on the team (in his own mind). Shaq wins his fourth ring… and starts eating.
- The SpongeBob Years (’07-’10): Shaq overstays his welcome. Smush Parker moves to South Beach. Suddenly, the team’s second best player is a weed-smoking 19-year-old with a lopsided afro and a love of Saturday morning cartoons. Wade threatens to leave, rightfully.
- The Chris Bosh Years (’11-present): Also, Riles lands a 6-foot-9, 270-pound Akron native. Hysteria/colossal expectations ensue.
In the highs (not the Beasley-type highs), droves of Miamiams turn out on Biscayne Boulevard. In the lows… people go to the beach. Eighteen months into LeBron, we are most definitely in the former curve — packing high-end sports bars in South Miami with No. 6 jerseys, Flash hats, and curvy South Americans rocking plastic tits and… Flash hats. It’s a funny, bewildering spectacle, really. This is not normally the environment one goes to see people erupting in gleeful cheer and fist-bump over a second quarter alley-oop against a bad Knicks team in late winter. For a second, you’d think they actually care about this team. But give it time. Ultra’s right around the corner.