Saturday, June 15, 2013

Miami: Best and Worst in Sports: Let's Go Heat Report Card

Getting towards June, the slow season begins to reveal its soggy spectacle. The barometer swings like a pendulum, skies snap, crackle, and pop, and the mercury rises till it blasts out of thermometers. Dogs lie listlessly, lawnistas get that pep in their step, and the resplendent poinciana preside throught the zone 11 region. By the middle of May -- what’s left? Well, hopefully -- the Heat are nearing another crown, the Marlins have two or three seats filled, the Dolphins are getting ready to tantalize its fickle fan base, and the Canes are hoping that everything ends up golden.

The Heat are Miami’s best, classiest, and most fashionable. Aside from the gruesome linoleum rose, Versace thing somebody talked him into wearing after the Heat put a 37 point whupping on the Bulls and those skimpy Capris, Dwyane Wade continues to dazzle everyone with both Euro steps and ensembles. His brother LeBron brings the edgy eyewear and sartorial system to an All-Star altitude on par with his game -- strictly big, big time. Chris Bosh rocked a lavender Cardigan like an 8 foot rim, and Chris Andersen’s, mini-Birdman imitators inspire -- I don’t know what to call what parents are doing to kids dressed like him. Even Coach Erik Spoelstra in his basic blacks and grays does a service to our collective, South Florida self-image. If you consider all of this and then factor in those old Floridian throwback jerseys and Pat Riley’s haircut circa 1985, what you have here now is a perfect storm of tropical excellence. Grade: A++
The Marlins, unfortunately, continue to punish us with their futility on the field and in the white elephant to which we all foolishly contributed. Far be it for me to cast aspersions on the young men chewing tobacco and spitting on the grass in that gigantic Smurf-like coliseum which rose in the ashes of the Orange Bowl, but one can spare the stadium designers no such slack. Forget the cost, the aesthetic was simply the grandest swing and a miss of all time. Given the beauty of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, also known as the ballpark which forever changed the look of baseball, San Francisco’s waterfront AT&T Park, and all the other glorious, retro creations throughout the fruited plains, ours resembles some crass blue fruit cocktail imagined by a third-grader in love with Chuck E Cheese. It’s also the coldest place in Miami next to the beer aisle in Winn Dixie. Owner Jeffrey Loria miraculously managed to get everything wrong, and when he attends a game in person as he almost never does, the cavernous stadium is so empty that there is no one there to even boo him. Grade: F-

Before they get cooking in the official preseason, the Dolphins host what they call interactive football experiences for boys and cheer camps for girls in June with tasteful giveaways like Under Armour jerseys and pom poms both certain to find their way to thrift shops, yard sales, and landfills within a few short months. Here in South Dade, the good news is that the Dolphins are in North Dade. Grade: C

Last but not least, the University of Miami will offer young prospects the opportunity to get maximum exposure at the same venue as the Canes. As he enters his third season as the leader of the U’s football fortunes, Coach Al Golden spotless rep and striped rep ties will be the rudder for the formerly colorful but oft punished gridiron heroes at the Al Golden Football Camp. While all of us wish the Canes the best of luck, you can be sure that our fans, the worst in the ACC, will be two losses away from jettisoning Coach Al without a golden parachute. Grade: I

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