Whoa! Thursday night I awoke from a two and a half week slumber to the sounds of people celebrating on the streets. What's going on? Any big news? Did Fidel finally die?
Oh, we signed some guy from Akron, Ohio. Good to have Jason Taylor back on the dolphins, I knew he wouldn't be able to stand New York for that long.
All kidding aside, the formation of the Miami SuperFriends has been a boom not just to the Heat but to South Florida as a whole.
Heat season tickets are sold out, and good luck getting individual game tickets.
One team that has taken advantage of that is the Florida Panthers, who unveiled a new promotion: select lower bowl season ticket seats will cost $23. Upper bowl seats will cost $6. They also go on to mention in the advert that Heat games will be sold out, but that plenty of seats will be available at the Bank Atlantic Center for Panthers games.
The Panthers do stand to benefit from LeBron signing with the Heat for another reason. Even with the few individual tickets that will go on sale (and eventually sell out) once the NBA's schedule is released either later this month or in early August, some fans might find themselves priced out of Heat games.
The Panthers however have remained steady in their prices, and could potentially benefit from Heat fans priced out of Heat games deciding instead to go North to see the Panthers.
Basketball fans might also find new interest in FIU or UM basketball. FIU is coached by Isiah Thomas, which could go one of two ways. It could either be comically bad, or surprisingly good.
Then there's The U's basketball team. Frank Haith has done a good job recruiting and putting competitive teams in a tough ACC on the floor at the BankUnited Center.
Usually the seats are empty, but maybe LeBron-amania will inspire more enthusiasm for basketball in the area, and The Canes will get a few more fans in there.
Speaking of The U, and on to a different sport, how big does OSU-Miami on September 11 sound now? As if there wasn't enough buzz because of the names on the marquee, the possible showdown of Heisman candidates Jacory Harris vs. Terrelle Pryor, and the residual bad blood from the 2003 Fiesta Bowl when THE Ohio State University stole, pardon me, won the National Title from Miami, now there's the fact that The Once proclaimed (by the media, Dan Gilbert, and the State of Ohio and Cavs fans) King is now in Miami.
That same King, LeBron James, has stated that he'd "probably" have played for Ohio State had he played football. Of course he was recruited in football by Miami AND Ohio State. What should be interesting about this game, other than everything else that's going into it is will LeBron show up, and which team will he root for?
I have a prediction: LeBron will actually enroll at The University of Miami during the off-season next year. As for this season, expect him to become a Canes season ticket holder. This is more likely than what Jemele Hill suggested in this tweet: I'll bet $ right now that LeBron never wears Cowboys stuff in MIA, and instantly becomes a Dolphins fan.
Highly doubtful. Miami does have a lot of Cowboys fans, this stems from the 90's during their Super Bowl run when their head coach was Jimmy Johnson. LeBron won't embrace the phins. Sure he'll go to some games and you'll see shots of him in a luxury box, and you might even see him hanging out with Ronnie Brown or Brandon Marshall at a club. But becoming a Dolphins fans? Highly doubtful. We won't crucify him for being a Cowboys fan, nor will we crucify him for being a Yankees fan. But becoming a Canes fan? Totally in play, he might even throw up "The U" from time to time.
But speaking of The Dolphins, they're about to find out what its like to be No.2 in Miami.
We've always have and will always be a football town. Dolphins have been here longer, Canes have had more success. But the buzz, both locally and nationally, will be on The Heat.
This actually works out well for the Dolphins.
It used to be that if the Dolphins choked in the playoffs, no matter how great the weather was, it was a miserable winter. Now, they might choke, and it might hurt, but A. Miami sports fans will be upset until the Heat play the next day and blow out the Clippers or Grizzlies, and B. No one will feel bad for Miami sports fans, which brings me to my final point.
No one will feel bad for Dolphins fans if they choke.
The Dolphins have had a reputation for craptacular choke jobs that no one talks about. Even the usually anti-Miami Bill Simmons stated during a podcast with LeBatard that he respected Dolphins fans and respected Miami as a football town, yet the Dolphins aren't considered a "tortured franchise" on par with The Vikings, Bills, or Browns, despite the fact that its been 37 years since our last Super Bowl title and have had some of the biggest chokes in the NFL post-season, had to deal with Nick Saban, and saw one of the greatest to ever play quarterback retire without a ring.
Now its even worse, every Miami sports team, not just the Heat, will have the tag of villains. The Marlins, who the national media usually looks at as a "scrappy young team" will have no sympathy if they go three more years without a post-season appearance. The Panthers will be dismissed that nobody in Miami cares about them, the Hurricanes will still be the Hurricanes and be hated as such, and the Dolphins will get no sympathy if they choke, the fans will get no sympathy if we don't bring home a Super Bowl anytime soon.
Then of course there's the Heat. Now it's championship or bust. Any season without a Finals win, not appearance, but win, will be looked at as a failure by Miami fans and the national media, and will bring on laughter from fans of other teams.
Miami is about to become the new Boston in other words. People will get tired of us. People will get tired of the city's sports teams. The backlash has already started and will be intense.
Of course here in Miami, we relish that. It's going to be a fun ride.