Chilly Teams? Add Heat

Optimism returns to Miami’s sports fanatics

Miami sports fans haven’t had much to get excited about lately. The Marlins recently concluded a last-place finish in a season that saw attendance averages rival that of the Hialeah Bingo Hall. Wayne Huizenga and company have abused the Dolphins so badly that Greenpeace should protest outside the stadium. Rumor has it there’s an ice hockey team in South Florida, but no one seems to know where. Yet a beacon of promise remains: The Miami Heat, only 16 months removed from a downtown victory parade, commence their season tonight against the hated Detroit Pistons.

The Heat is not without problems. Wade starts the season on the injured reserve, and Shaq has his normal bumps and bruises. Coach Pat Riley and company failed to sign a difference-maker in free agency but were able to coax Penny Hardaway from his canasta league at Century Village to test out his new prosthetic knees over an 82-game schedule. They also acquired a guy named “Smush.” Regardless, the Heat offers Miami sports fans the rarest of commodities these days: hope. Cross your fingers and head to the American Airlines Arena at 8:00.
Thu., Nov. 1, 8 p.m., 2007

 
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