Miami is about to enter the worst sports week of the year. Over the past decade, July 10 through 16 has proven to be the least active seven-day stretch for local fans. Only Christmas Day rivals these next few days when it comes to inactivity in sports, and even then, fans are usually treated to quality NBA games over the quantity we see on even the busiest of days.
At some point during this stretch, ESPN throws its self-created ESPYs award show on television just to break up the monotony. And it's even worse for South Florida sports fans this time of year, because it's an annual tradition for the Marlins to have already killed your will to watch them play by mid-July.
So what are South Florida sports fans supposed to do? Don't worry — there are a things that might keep you occupied until Hurricanes and Dolphins games are back in the picture.
The Marlins suck, but every fifth day, Cuban Jesus makes them interesting.
Yeah, the Marlins are garbage water — but Jose Fernandez is back to provide you with just the right amount of awesome to get you through nine innings of their crap. If you didn't already know, hitting a home run in his debut should have reminded you — Jose is happy pills for the depressed South Florida sports fan.
At this point, it doesn't matter if the Marlins win anymore. Their season is over in regards to accomplishing anything meaningful. Jose Fernandez is back to entertain us — we'll take anything we can get from this franchise.
This is the Year of Ryan Tannehill.
Ryan Tannehill is unquestionably the leader of the Miami Dolphins; you couldn't say that at any other point before this past offseason. When a team gives a player $96 million, it changes narratives. In this case, Tannehill will have zero room for failure. Over the next month and into late August, the Dolphins will conduct training camp and preseason play in preparation for one of the most important seasons in franchise history. Much is riding on this season for head coach Joe Philbin — he's been given all he needs to succeed.
Beyond Tannehill-watching, South Florida sports fans need to pay attention to who will be protecting him. The Dolphins' offensive line is full of talent, but the puzzle pieces seem to fit awkwardly at the moment due to injuries and youth.
The Justise Winslow hype-train is gaining speed.
Pat Riley — a guy who almost never has a use for young players — is obviously head-over-heels for Justise Winslow. That's all you need to know about how hard Miami will fall for Winslow heading into next season. Sports fans are unrealistic in almost every situation, but Heat fans never expected Winslow to fall to the Heat's tenth pick in the draft. The fact that he did has Heat fans wishing the season started tomorrow, and coupled with the return of all the starters from last year is providing a lot of positive vibes at a time things could have gone badly.
Winslow might be the one acting more mature about his arrival in Miami, and he's 19 years old.
Brad Kaaya is ready to lead the Miami Hurricanes out of mediocrity.
Hurricanes fans thought last year might be their year, but that thought went up in late-season flames. This year, the Canes are looking to not only get themselves out of the quicksand they've been stuck in for a decade-plus, but also do so with less proven talent. Luckily for Hurricanes fans, Brad Kaaya is in the picture, and they can look forward to knowing he will not be the problem in 2015-16.
Hurricanes fans can look forward to seeing their team come together over the next two months and, hopefully come September 5, look like a much improved team around Kaaya.
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DeVante Parker is on the way, and he might be the most exciting Dolphins wide receiver since the '90s.
It seems as if DeVante Parker is somehow slipping under the radar. The Miami Dolphins acquired one of the best players in this year's NFL Draft, but as of now, his hype machine is set on low volume because it's just not that time of year yet — we aren't used to caring about the Miami Dolphins in July. Well, soon we will all be reminded of what a talent the Dolphins picked up a few months ago and just how much he can change our Sundays for a long time.
Looking forward to DeVante Parker, and the Miami Dolphins, will make these next few months roll by much faster than normal.