As America is quickly finding out, there are two very different kinds of Miami Heat fans. There are fake fans, and real fans.
A real fan was born a Heat lover and has followed them since day one. They watched even before Dwayne Wade was drafted during the days of Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, the first great Heat players. The real fans watched rookie Wade, hit a buzzer beater shot in his playoff game to beat the Hornets in 2004. Real Miami Heat fans watched in stunned silence as the rival Pistons celebrated as they won the Eastern Conference finals during a game seven in Miami the very next year, in 2005. The real fans celebrated with the rest of Miami as their beloved Heat knocked off the Mavericks to win their first championship in 2006. They, the real fans of Miami, have seen the worst of the worst, in the 2007-2008 season when the Heat lost the most games in the NBA, and hit rock bottom.
However, the fake Heat fans nation was born in the summer of 2010, when free agent Lebron James decided to take his to talents to South Beach and join the Heat, who just days before that added Chris Bosh, another big name free agent. Born and raised in South Florida, living 20 minutes away from the American Airlines Arena, I have been a Heat fan all my life, ever since my dad (a former season ticket holder) started taking me to games at a young age. Now, living in Utah, most people throw me into the crowd of those fake fans, not knowing that I stayed up late watching those classic games against teams like the Pistons and Mavericks. Those fake fans, will not feel the horrible feeling of defeat that the real nation of Miami Heat fans will feel if we don’t capture the championship this year.
Living in Utah, a common thing I hear is how Ute fans talk about how Utah is the real U. I laugh at these people because they obviously don’t know what they’re talking about. Growing up in South Florida, I know who the real U is, and they are not the Utes. The whole country should know by now, that the real U is and will forever be the University of Miami.
This article isn’t me bragging, but being a die hard Hurricane and a former season ticket holder, I need to address my anger. No team will ever recapture that swagger and confidence that the Hurricanes created in the 1980’s and brought back in the early part of the 2000’s. Players like Michael Irvin, Melvin Bratton, and Jerome Brown are part of those historic teams that won three national championships in the 80’s under three different head coaches, and created the U. More modern players like Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, and the late Sean Taylor is who brought back this swagger and reminded doubters across the nation that nobody should mess with the team from Coral Gables.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Utes and will always support them. However, when the conversation comes to who the real U is, I get very protective and I will always talk about my Canes like the proud Miami native I am. A team with no national championships, and having their most famous alumn in the NFL probably being Steve Smith, can’t compare with the world famous and real U. Yes they have had their down years, but the Canes have proved the doubters wrong once, and they will do it again. So please, lets stop this silly argument and debate.
Its been 103 long years, for Chicago Cubs fans since their team last won a world series. And throughout the first weeks of this season, with the Cubs in last place, it might turn into a 104 year drought. Those fans have seen it all, from the collapse in 1969 when they lost the lead on the division to the eventual champion Mets, or the 1984 playoffs when they needed one more win against the Padres to advance to the world series, but lost the last three games in heartbreaking fashion. However, its the 2003 NLCS, against the young Marlins, that sticks out in peoples minds. Up three games to one, the Cubs were shutout by Josh Beckett, and couldn’t clinch the pennant in Florida. In Chicago, with their ace Mark Prior on the mound, and a three run lead, they were a measly five out away from heading to the World Series, when Luis Castillo lofted a pop fly into left field that started to drift into the stands. However, the ball seemed catchable for outfielder Moises Alou. As Alou went to catch the ball, a fan, named Steve Bartman, interfered with the ball, breaking up the play and infuriating Alou. A few batters later, with Castillo on base, rookie Miguel Cabrera hit a ground ball to shortstop Alex Gonzalez who bobbled a possible routine double play that could have ended the inning. When the inning finally did end, the Marlins had scored eight runs to break the game wide open, and the Marlins forced a seventh game. They had a chance to win the game a night later, but couldn’t hold a lead and eventually lost nine to five, ending their dream season and putting Wrigley Field into a state of shock, as well as the rest of Cubs nation. They have made it to the playoffs only twice since that loss to the Marlins, both times ending in a sweep. Fans should not have to suffer that much, especially fans as loyal as Cubs fans. Being a Yankee fan, I know I’m spoiled with our many championships, and its hard to see a team go that long with popping the champagne and celebrating a championship. I must even admit that I enjoyed going to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game, then traveling to the old Yankee Stadium to see a Yanks game. Singing “Go Cubs Go” after a Cubs win was an awesome experience to share with 42,000 strangers. Maybe someday, Cubs fans all around the nation will get to sing that song after Chicago finally is able to capture the title. However, until then, they will be continued to be known as the “lovable losers.”