The mere mention of a specific year can mean so much to a sports fan. Say 1986 to a Mets fan, they think Bill Buckner. In Boston, 2004 will always be the year the Red Sox broke the "Curse of the Bambino." Here in South Florida, 1972 might as well read "Undefeated."
Good or bad, a memorable sports moment from a particular year acts like a bookmark in your mind, reminding you where you were and who you were with when it happened. In Miami, 2013 had its ups and downs ... well, really one HUGE up, and a lot of little, very predictable, not so memorable downs. The Miami Heat capped off one of the most exciting playoff runs in NBA History with a seven-game, emotionally draining back-and-forth NBA Finals victory over the San Antonio Spurs -- their second title in a row, and third in franchise history.
That was the good. That was the unforgettable. The bad? The Dolphins, Panthers, and Marlins all missed the playoffs, mostly in all too familiar epic fail fashion.
That was bad. Nobody is remembering their 2013.
Outside of the Heat, there wasn't a lot of winning going on in South Florida in 2013, but that doesn't mean there weren't any memorable moments. Hell, I'm sure even Lamar Odom and Khloe had some good times before it all went downhill.
Without further ado, your Top 2013 South Florida Sports Moments. Goodbye 2013, hello 2014.
11. LeBron rejects Tiago Splitter in the NBA Finals
Really, you could pick ten moments JUST from last June's NBA Finals, but this is high on that list. The play turned into a Ray Allen three that pushed the Heat lead to 22 in Game Two of the Finals. It was a game the Heat had to have after losing Game One. They got it, it was awesome. Tiago Splitter was never heard from again. His parents are probably worried.
10. Giancarlo Stanton gives your Mom a Monster Dong
Mike Stanton had a sub-par season, but he did have a few Giancarlo moments, and this Mother's Day walk-off grand slam was the best of them. It's always awesome when Rich and Tommy lose it like they just got a Nintendo 64 for Christmas.
9. No LeBron, No Wade, No problem. Bosh beats Spurs with late three
With the Big Three, it seems like we get one Bosh game every season. We get one game where LeBron and Wade wear buttoned up dress shirts and fall all over themselves celebrating on the Heat bench Def Comedy Jam style. It might even be in Bosh's contract that he gets this one game to himself, and with all the sacrifices he makes for this team, I'd re-negotiate in a few more of them. Nothing is better than Boshua Q. Bear, he makes me so freaking happy.
8. The Miami Heat do the Harlem Shake
CON LOS TERORISTAS! There you were, scrolling your Twitter timeline, then KABLOOOOSH -- the Heat dropped this epic shit on your ass, WORKDAY OVER. You had to watch it at least ten times when it first came out, not even because you loved it that much, just to figure out who was what where how and huh? Any time a guy in a Horsetronaut costume is dancing, I'm in. Just tell me where to be, I'll make arrangements.
7. Introducing Jose Fernandez
Twelve wins, 187 strikeouts, and Rookie of the Year honors later. it appears the Marlins, in fact, did not rush Jose Fernandez to the Majors. The Marlins had another miserable season, but Fernandez made was must see entertainment every fifth day.
6. "That Jet got grounded!"
"I saw him down there. I guess he didn't see me." -- LeBron James
Ah yes, that moment where we all witnessed a man die. So many things are my favorite about this play, where do I begin? I especially love the look Norris Cole has afterwards, it's as if he just saw a guy get hit by a bus, he's so terrified, but he wants to laugh. Jason Terry can pretend he's still living, but he's a liar. He died here, we all saw it. His family can't see him anymore, but they feel his cold presence in the room from time to time. It was the Miami Heat's purge of the year.
5. Jose Fernandez swag got turnt up, Braves bitched about it.
Jose Fernandez stroked one in the final at bat of his rookie year, then he very nearly stroked one watching it sail out of the park. The Braves were then all like "NO RUNNING IN THE HALLS, AND ALSO, NO HAPPY LATIN PEOPLE!" Then the teams did that thing where they act like they are going to fight, but they just make faces and point fingers. It's like the shittiest WWE Raw ever, starring Brian McCann, and seven different guys named "LaRoche." You ain't the boss of me, Braves. You ain't got the answers Braves, you AIN'T GOT THE ANSWERS!
4. LeBron wins Game One at the buzzer in OT versus the Pacers
The Pacers want so badly to be Coca-Cola, but they will always be Pepsi. Sure, some people think they are better, and those people have a right to their wrong opinion. Just another moment from the best season in Miami Heat history, and just another moment where the Indiana Pacers learned they are Pepsi.
3. LeBron James "ain't got no worries".
It just felt so right. The Heat had just sealed their second straight NBA title, when LeBron was asked what he had to say to all his critics. His answer ended up being almost as memorable as the series itself. LeBron James had an entire room in his house filled with worries two years prior, but not anymore, not after back-to-back titles. Meme these LeBron James nuts, Internet, your jokes are invalid, LeBron James wins.
2. Cam Wake releases the Halloween Kracken to beat the Bengals in overtime
This literally never happens. The Dolphins winning on a safety in overtime is just below looking over at a stop light, and seeing a unicorn smoking a cigar in a tuxedo driving a Hummer on the "things you're likely to see" list. Sack. Done. Dolphins win. Wake galloping around the stadium in his smedium t-shirt that makes us all slightly scared, a little uncomfortable, and mostly ashamed to look at ourselves naked in the mirror.
1. "The Shot"
"Rebound Bosh, back out to Allen, his three-pointer, BANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!"
/jizz a million times //two arrow rewind ///repeat
I know people that now care about sports because of this shot. Ray Allen talks about how all fans want to talk about with him is where they were when this glorious thing happened. LeBron's three bounced off the rim, and at that moment the Heat season was over. The realization that everything Heat you had invested in since October, was slowly crashing to a ground with a thud in June.
Then Bosh soared into the picture, got Allen the ball ,and sports sported harder than sports has ever sported. Slow motion, SPLASH. Tie game.
The rest, very literally, is history.
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If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and read Sports Illustrated's "Anatomy of a Miracle", a piece released this week documenting every moment of the final 28.2 seconds of Game Six.
Ray Allen's Game Six shot was the undisputed best South Florida sports moment of the year. Here's to hoping 2014 brings us anything remotely close.