07 March 2011

This Week in Sports: The Miami Heat and Jumping on the Bandwagon

I don't talk enough about Sports around here, it's equally as unimportant as Movies, TV and Music and certainly an intriguing bit of Pop Culture Entertainment. I suppose in all actuality there's less to rake from Sports, it's not like Jenn Sterger shrieking at Brett Favre's dick means a whole lot to our Collective Pop Conscious. Well maybe it does...

Anyway, I did think of an interesting facet of Sports this week and that's based off a comment made by some ESPN reporter, it may have been Steve Gottlieb, but who cares, those guys are pretty interchangeable. Except John Buccigross. That guy rules. Back on track then, someone who's not John Buccigross asked if the current Miami Heat is the most hated Sports Franchise of all time. There are plenty of reasons to agree.

I'll add some context to those cinephiles who are lost right now. Think of this as a story, because hell, that's really all Sports are, stories. That's why people follow teams, become invested in games, the season is their narrative and the players are characters, filtered through agents, press conferences and media like ESPN. The Story of the Heat so far is a tragedy, cursed by hubris.

Last summer reigning MVP of the NBA LeBron James abandoned Northeast Ohio where he had played his entire prolific High School and NBA career for the sunny shores of South Beach. He did this after single-handedly transforming a joke NBA Franchise (The Cleveland Cavaliers) into a regular Championship Contender. A Contender only though, never a Champion. This pissed off King James, tho many blamed him for not knowing how to win at the most clutch moments and giving up during the playoffs. They call him a big whiny man-child who was given everything except what he needs to earn on the court at too young of an age. He's immature, selfish and needlessly seeks attention (See: The Decision). He left a city that only had the Cavs going for it in order to bring back a ring with his buddies in Miami. You can see how that turned out.

The thing is though, that last summer many pundits predicted that we'd all hate the Heat because they'd be unstoppable. The first team to go 82-0, automatic championship, blowing out Kobe by 50+ points a night. You'd think they'd be the United States in Barcelona. The thing is though...the Heat kind of suck. They've put together a streak or two this season and were contending for the first place in the Eastern Conference but after a 4-game slide of embarrassing losses and huge comebacks from opposing teams, it's not looking great. I'll say that, they don't look great. They look good, but they aren't great, which was everyone's expectation.

They capped things off this week with a 1-point loss to the Chicago Bulls which cost them second place in the East (to Chicago). The heat are winless against Top Conference Teams (Boston, Chi-Town, San Antonio and Dallas), but did pull off a Christmas Day win against the Lakers. That's it. There's certainly a winning record there but they're practically like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year - they've somehow managed to only beat Teams with worse records, securing their place as Kings of Shit.

With that all said I'll finally move on to the question proposed in the title of this entry - is cheering for the Heat right now really jumping on the bandwagon? A team that everyone in the country universally hates that isn't really even that good? What bandwagon? No one is on the Heat bandwagon. There is no bandwagon. Last year at this time Miami was hovering right around .500 (meaning in the East they were still a Playoff Team that lost to the Celtics 4-1 in the First Round). It's very possible they don't end this year all that different. So why does everyone hate them? They don't have 27 World Series like the Yankees or Three Super Bowls like the 90s Cowboys or 2000s Pats. They haven't won anything!

It comes down to character. That selfish, championship-grabbing character. It's why we can easily cheer against Rapist Ben Roethlisberger or Lothario Tiger Woods. LeBron just seems like a douche. Crying after the game doesn't help. Still, what happens if they don't win? What happens if after all this endless bullshit they don't win? They'd just be pathetic. Can we hate pathetic teams? No one gangs up on the Clippers because they're the fucking Clippers. It's like ganging up on a Penguin with a broken leg. It's just cruel. If the Heat just lose and cry do we hate them? Or just feel sorry.

At this point all I'm saying is that you're not on the damn bandwagon if you proclaim yourself to be a Heat fan and no one likes you. A bandwagon is supposed to have widespread support and love because they're winning. The Heat aren't winning. And because of that Character would winning even earn them some support? Hell no, losing is the only thing they've got going for them right now. It makes them human. This is really why LeBron should have stayed in Cleveland another fifteen years even if he never won a championship there. The city was enjoying him anyway and he brought them a lot of attention. If LeBron wins or not in Miami he's a sell-out to varying degrees of patheticity. Either way I don't understand how this team could have a lot of fans or you could be considered a sell-out for supporting them. It's hype rather than reality that has sold this team. They haven't dominated the sport so much like the Yankees that they aren't fun to cheer for. Neither are they unlikeable because of their fanbase like every Boston and Texan team in history. They're also not as classless as the Jets, as evil as the Raiders or the Flyers or as sad as the Lions or Pirates. See, you can't have your team lose all the time. You need a good .500 team to cheer for (This is basic psychology). And in a Sports World full of Rapists and Murderers, LeBron's just the right level of professional asshole.

So naturally through all this I made my decision of who to support this season a long time ago.

Go Heat!

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