Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Why There is Hope For Miami Sports Fans

By Kevin Ferra

I really feel bad for Florida as of late, especially Miami. In the past several months, they have had to deal with the humidity of the summer, the hurricanes that followed, and the torture of watching their professional and college football teams fall apart.

We are all well aware of what is happening to the Miami Dolphins. I don't think there is a rock big enough to hide under to miss that. But just in case you have been sleeping for the past several months, here is a reader's digest version of what has happened to them this season: everyone quit, got hurt, or didn't show up on Sunday. I feel for the loyal Dolphins fans. What do they have to turn to now? I guess they can always turn to the dominating Miami Hurricanes!

Guess again. This year doesn't look as promising as the years in the Big East. This season, they already have losses to Clemson and North Carolina, both unranked teams. The Miami Hurricanes have had an unusual year in which they are actually looking at stiff competition this late in the season. Last year, they were full of pro-caliber talent. "The 2004 NFL draft was one of the strongest in over a decade. The same can't be said for the 2005 class." And this has shown on the field.

Well what about the Florida Gators? Ask their coach what he thinks about this season, as well as next. Head coach Ron Zook is on his way out and that can't be good for recruiting.

So what's left? You, the Florida faithful, deserve better. You deserve a team that can dominate, that can play defense, which can impose its will on the competition. Look no further, Miami, you already have it, the only thing is that it's in basketball.

In a blockbuster offseason trade, the Miami Heat acquired the most physically dominating player to ever play the game. Try to argue that, I dare you. He may not be the best player, or even be able to hit a foul shot, but there isn't really anyone that has his physical capabilities. Ever.

This size, listed at 7-1 and 340 lbs. is immovable in the center of the court. He makes everyone around him better; just ask fellow teammate Dwayne Wade. "Everyone is focused on him," Wade said. "I've never seen anyone get the attention he does. When [he's] on the floor, things open up for me. It's been a little easier for me to pick and choose my spots. The attention that he draws makes things a lot easier when he's on the floor." To stop this Miami team, you have to stop him first. Go ahead stop him; he has enough of a supporting cast to take this team deep into the playoffs.

If all things go well for the Heat, it won't be such a bad year in Miami after all. At 5-2, they are in first place in the Southeast Conference, and tied for the best record in the East. Yes, the season is early, and yes, they already have lost to San Antonio and Dallas, but they got something L.A. could not learn to appreciate and he has the credentials to turn their dream into a reality. He is a threea-time NBA Finals MVP, the 1999-2000 Most Valuable Player, nine-time all-star selection, two-time regular season scoring champion, and a gold medal winner.

He is everything a Miami fan needs, especially right now. His presence is overwhelmingly huge, in a city that is desperate for some sort of success. Yeah, they were good last year, but they were definitely missing something: something that instantly gives any fan something to cheer about, to brag about. To save face on tough days in Miami, they needed the help of superman, and they just may have found him. That's just how big this guy is to the city.

In fact, he's so big; I never even had to mention his name.

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