"From nobody to upstart. From upstart to contender. From contender to winner. From winner to champion. From champion to dynasty." -- Pat Riley
Game 7, the two greatest words in sports. Tonight the Miami Heat will stand 48 minutes from back-to-back championships, while at the same time standing just 48 minutes from their second NBA Finals loss in three years -- it's remarkable how much is on the line tonight.
While the pressure on the Heat players is immense, they aren't the only ones whose blood pressure will rise come 9 p.m. Fans will be on the edge of their seats deep into the night, and when the clock strikes midnight, it's either a party or a funeral in South Florida. It has all the feel of a beautiful day on Miami Beach where there just so happens to also be a 50 percent chance of a Category 5 hurricane named ESPN making landfall.
Tonight is the biggest night in Miami Heat history. It could be either the best day of your Miami Heat fandom or one of the worst (I say "one of" because we once signed Smush Parker). You need to be prepared for both outcomes, because no matter what happens, shit is hitting the fan come midnight.
So how do you prepare? How do you plan to cope with the outcome? I'm almost afraid to ask. Do you head to the streets with pots and pans in the event of a victory, or call in to work the next day if they lose? Is winning and losing the difference between blasting that "Yeezus" dancing around your house or headphones under the covers with some Adele? Maybe you have a story from the past two seasons, each of which spread an entirely different vibe across all of South Florida. There are no wrong answers -- this is more of a support-group post than anything. We need to stick together and share stories in this time of great stress.
Whatever it is you do, or don't do, enjoy the game tonight and remember to represent Miami Heat fans well. Take it all in, because it doesn't get any better than this. This truly is the NBA Super Bowl.