So, the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship. Whoopty doo. I say that for two reasons. First, it is basketball. And even though it could have been the most exciting series ever, it wasn't. I found myself forcing myself to watch the games. Basketball stinks - and it is getting worse. The officials gave games 3 & 5 (and maybe 6) to Miami. I saw enough to know that. [I'm not going to harp on that because Bill Simmons at ESPN did a good enough job destroying the refs in his article found here.] Combine all that with the fact that even the most "humble" player on Miami (Dwayne Wade) came off as an arrogant turd. There are few, if any, likeable and admirable players in the NBA. Of course, I already covered most of this in my award-winning post last summer.
The second reason for my lack of interest is that, in my esteemed opinion, Miami is the biggest waste of a sport city in the universe. Now I know that is a bold comment, and I haven't been everywhere. And there may be a real rathole on Glaxagore Prime that makes Miami looks super-dee-duper. But I find that hard to believe. (Besides, Glaxagorns are PASSIONATE about hackysack.) I grew up in West Palm Beach, just an errant Daunte Culpepper lob north of Miami - so I am VERY familiar with that sports scene. I had every iota of useless Miami sports crammed down my throat every day in the local papers. And since then, if possible, that place has gotten worse.
Let's analyze the Miami sports world, shall we?
NFL - Miami Dolphins - Established 1966
History: Five Super Bowl appearances, two victories (1972, 1973), twelve division championships - All time winningest coach in the NFL - All time passing leader in NFL - Only perfect season ever for a team
Recent History: An amazing ability to start the year great and collapse down the stretch has been replaced by complete ineptitude, and then by an amazing ability to start the year horribly and get hot down the stretch.
Outlook: Very strong - Good coach, good lineup, good fanbase (uncharacteristically loyal and even national)
NBA - Miami Heat - Established 1988
History: One NBA Championship (2006), six division championships
Recent History: Conference runner up and then league champs - Boasts one of the biggest young stars in NBA (Dwayne Wade) and one of the biggest old stars in NBA (Shaq), and a bunch of marginal and washed-up big names.
Outlook: You would think great, especially with Wade. But the old men on the team are going to start collapsing soon. And the fan base is pathetic - their flaws include not selling out playoff games (what??), sitting down during exciting parts (huh??), and having a jawdroppingly poor knowledge of the game (doh!).
MLB - Florida Marlins - Established 1993
History: Winner of two World Series (1997, 2003)
Recent History: Their entire history is recent. They follow a weird cycle: stink really bad, sell off big names players for prospects, prospects grow up, team gets good, get in the playoffs as the Wild Card, win the World Series, sell off the parts, repeat.
Outlook: The fans have grown to hate the team. Every time they get successful, the team dismantles everything and then sucks. They fight all the time with the city. No one goes to their games. They have empty seats during the playoff runs. They won't build them a stadium. They are leaving town.
NHL - Florida Panthers - Established 1993
History: One Stanley Cup appearance and loss.
Recent History: Sucking
Outlook: Always one of the teams talked about in the NHL's long-awaited contraction talks.
NCAA - Miami Hurricanes
History: Football has won five national titles, baseball has won four
Outlook: One of the biggest college teams in the country and will continue to be so forever. Plus, it is one of the most prolific sources of professional football players.
So, three of the professional franchises can't find a fan base (even though two of them have won championships). Why? Well the NBA and MLB both expanded to include teams into a city that had a very devoted fan base -- to other teams. It is like why the Devil Rays don't have any fans in Tampa because everyone there is a Yankee fan. Well, in Miami, there are tons of Lakers and Celtics and Bulls fans and tons of Yankees and Red Sox and Braves fans. The newness of these teams means that the long time city residents already chose teams. In addition, there are two UNBELIEVABLY popular teams (Dolphins & Hurricanes) in Miami that already take people's time and money. As a result, you have a fractured fan base. No one really likes the Marlins, so no one is going to be willing to put up ridiculous amounts of money to keep them there.
So, Miami has had twelve national championships for their major teams in the past 25 years. TWELVE! There are cities like Cleveland that are dying for ONE. Their fans are unbelievably dedicated and hardcore. But their teams just can't win. It's the same for Philadelphia. But Miami, who doesn't even appreciate it, gets a crapload of titles and then hates the teams that bring them. It cracks me up. So, now they have won another piece of metal to put on the mantle, and don't care. Next year or the year after next, when Shaq retires, Zo retires, and a few of the others get contracts elsewhere, the Heat will fade back into the pack. American Airlines Arena will be empty again. And the local fanbase and newspapers will again ridicule the team. And the Cavaliers fans will keep crying for a title. Blows your mind.