If the Miami Dolphins can conjure up a quarterback and an offensive line, Ricky Williams will set rushing records for years. Combining speed and agility with Riggins-esque old-school muscle, Williams was the only moving part in the Dolphins' offensive engine last season. Williams's personality also makes him more interesting than your average hunnerdtenpercent-givin' jock: The 230-pound Heisman winner has dealt with social anxiety disorder all his life, and at one point only consented to interviews while wearing his helmet and Vaderlike visor. The eerily soft-voiced bruiser was also, for a time, unable to leave his house for fear of having to interact with people who recognized him. But a well-documented recovery (thanks to therapy and medication) and a trade from New Orleans to Miami in 2002 have resulted in a more confident Williams, on and off the field. Now all the Dolphins need to do is fire their coach, shore up the defense, and bring in the aforementioned QB and offensive line.

The Florida Panthers are a mediocre team with an outstanding goalie. Despite tepid group play all around him, Luongo has been stellar this season, racking up six shutouts by late February, when he led the National Hockey League in saves and was second in the league with a stingy .934 save percentage. Luongo has gotten better over three seasons with the Panthers, turning himself into one of the league's top goalkeepers. Unfortunately (and like Miami's biggest sports star, Ricky Williams) Luongo isn't getting a lot of help from a young, inexperienced Panthers defense. Part of Luongo's one-step strategy for filling up the net: Be big. At six feet three inches and 205 pounds, there's simply not much space to squeeze a puck around him.

How did they get all those people on I/O's little stage? That was the recurring question during Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra's sweaty set there this past December. With a full horn section, percussionists, and an organist rounding out the fourteen-piece band, it was a wonder the singer didn't find himself crashing into either of the guitarists. Antibalas didn't leave too much time for thinking, though. Firm believers in the maxim that if you free your ass, your mind is sure to follow, the band never let up for a minute. Channeling the spirit of fabled Nigerian Afro-beat pioneer Fela Kuti (via their own hometown of Brooklyn), they whipped through a set of thick funk that had the diverse crowd of hipsters, indie rockers, and barefoot Deadheads all frugging madly. Just imagine the cream of James Brown's get-on-the-good-foot riffs, not only taken to the bridge, but spun out for an entire evening. Yeah, it was that good.

How did they get all those people on I/O's little stage? That was the recurring question during Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra's sweaty set there this past December. With a full horn section, percussionists, and an organist rounding out the fourteen-piece band, it was a wonder the singer didn't find himself crashing into either of the guitarists. Antibalas didn't leave too much time for thinking, though. Firm believers in the maxim that if you free your ass, your mind is sure to follow, the band never let up for a minute. Channeling the spirit of fabled Nigerian Afro-beat pioneer Fela Kuti (via their own hometown of Brooklyn), they whipped through a set of thick funk that had the diverse crowd of hipsters, indie rockers, and barefoot Deadheads all frugging madly. Just imagine the cream of James Brown's get-on-the-good-foot riffs, not only taken to the bridge, but spun out for an entire evening. Yeah, it was that good.

What's the difference between Aquabooty and its competition? This well-established company, a partnership between Joe "Budious" Gray and Tomas Ceddia, emphasizes intimate dance parties in small to midsize venues over monstrous gangbang sessions at superclubs such as Space and crobar. Instead of impersonal, mechanical tribal trance, it programs lush, soulful house music spun by the likes of long-time residents DHM and special guests such as L.A.'s DJ Harvey and Neil Aline. It also creates high-quality events, not glorified meat markets; an Aquabooty party is more than just a booty call. In fact Aquabooty is part of the movement that has made DJ appearances into concerts, a major revolution in music that once required bands, or at least solo musicians, for an event to qualify as a "concert."

What's the difference between Aquabooty and its competition? This well-established company, a partnership between Joe "Budious" Gray and Tomas Ceddia, emphasizes intimate dance parties in small to midsize venues over monstrous gangbang sessions at superclubs such as Space and crobar. Instead of impersonal, mechanical tribal trance, it programs lush, soulful house music spun by the likes of long-time residents DHM and special guests such as L.A.'s DJ Harvey and Neil Aline. It also creates high-quality events, not glorified meat markets; an Aquabooty party is more than just a booty call. In fact Aquabooty is part of the movement that has made DJ appearances into concerts, a major revolution in music that once required bands, or at least solo musicians, for an event to qualify as a "concert."

The tight end finished second in receiving for UM this past season, but first in catching hell for his explosive verbal slants. One somehow morphed into a long bomb. The game in question: a humiliating 10-6 loss to Tennessee. Winslow, son of NFL Hall of Famer turned TV commentator Kellen Winslow, Sr., was peeved by the cheap shots Volunteers took at his knees. Then, while tackling Winslow after a 22-yard reception, Vols tore the helmet off his head. Other witnesses said Winslow spiked the ball too hard, and refs flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct. After the game, in which the junior caught 7 passes for 88 yards, quoth he: "It's war. They're out there to kill you, so I'm out there to kill them.... They're going after my legs. I'm going to come right back at them. I'm a fucking soldier." Now that's the fighting spirit UM pays its professional student-athletes to whip up. But Commander Coker (Larry's a coach, not an English professor) issued orders for an apology, in case Winslow's military metaphor had offended any U.S. soldiers fighting real wars. "A-N-A-L-O-G-Y! What's that spell? ANALOGY! What's that spell? ANALOGY!" Winslow blamed the refs for squelching freedom of expression. "I can't even get hyped up after a play," he told reporters. "I can't even get my crowd hyped up." But you can bet he'll get many millions of dollars when he moves to the NFL, which he's been ready to do since he was a freshman. And which he will in fact do this year.

Another of Miami's lovely thatched-roof, moderately priced but excellent seafood joints, the Hut used to be something of a secret best kept, but management has reached out to local promoters (Surf Night is the third Thursday of every month; live entertainment is offered on Fridays). The biggest success -- even restaurant managers were stunned -- has been Saturdays, when Latin rock acts take the stage. Audiences for these shows have often ranged from 500 to 800 people, although at least a few of them might have been there for the shrimp and beer. In any case, it's quite a cool paradox: Latin rock's premier venue is a seaside bistro on the Key? Argue otherwise, but you'll be arguing with hundreds and hundreds of fans.

Another of Miami's lovely thatched-roof, moderately priced but excellent seafood joints, the Hut used to be something of a secret best kept, but management has reached out to local promoters (Surf Night is the third Thursday of every month; live entertainment is offered on Fridays). The biggest success -- even restaurant managers were stunned -- has been Saturdays, when Latin rock acts take the stage. Audiences for these shows have often ranged from 500 to 800 people, although at least a few of them might have been there for the shrimp and beer. In any case, it's quite a cool paradox: Latin rock's premier venue is a seaside bistro on the Key? Argue otherwise, but you'll be arguing with hundreds and hundreds of fans.

It was a slow year for trades involving South Florida's major sports teams, but one that was executed with little fanfare turned out to be instrumental in a championship run. That was the trade for Jeff Conine by the Florida Marlins. One of the franchise's original players, Conine returned to his old club this past July, smack in the middle of a playoff chase. After years of consistently trading away good players, the Marlins finally revived trust and support among fans by acquiring a batter who was both productive and, more crucial, productive in the clutch. They had to give up nothing more than a couple of minor-league prospects. When there was a need for a timely hit at the end of close games, Conine was often the man. He played a major (league) role in the Marlins winning the World Series.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®