Every episode begins the same. A dead body. Forensics on the scene. And CSI Lt. Horatio "H" Caine, played by superserious, melodramatic David Caruso getting debriefed on the situation. Caine looks at the body, assesses the situation, slowly and deliberately puts on his sunglasses, and blurts out a really bad pun such as "Looks like this guy was taken to the cleaners." Cue Roger Daltrey screaming, "Yeah!" as The Who belts out "Won't Get Fooled Again" during the opening credits, and you have CSI: Miami. The popular CBS program follows Caine and his Miami-based forensics team as they solve murder cases throughout the Magic City using state-of-the-art science and Horatio's undaunted instincts. Each episode does its best to capture the city's diverse ethnic culture while seemingly advertising the 305 as a town where one can play hard and sometimes die hard. Like most shows set in Miami, it's not actually shot in Miami, with buildings and canals in Long Beach and Los Angeles doubling as South Beach scenery. And like most shows set in Miami, each episode takes place in a backdrop of tropical beauty and beautiful people. So what if it's not really Miami. The setting is Miami. And every Monday night, the city looks beautiful and dangerous — as it should. Detective: You know, H, this show is shot mostly in California. Horatio: California, you say? Well, I guess you can't spell SoBe [puts on sunglasses]... without la-la."Yeaaaaah!
We've all seen some things in this city — dirty, nasty, criminal, soul-crushing things. Most of us, with our trademarked 305 cynicism, tend to ignore them. But an anonymous man, going by the Internet handle of DC Vision, is paying attention. In 2007, he began taking photographs of the prostitutes and drug addicts who line the streets of downtown Miami. They wind up on his Tumblr, titled the Street. The site's header ominously reminds us: "This is an exploration of other people's lives. Look around you, there are streets like this in every town. They are all connected." Recently, he began posting mug shots and arrest info for some of the girls he has photographed. Sadly, many of them wind up right back on the streets. The effect is haunting, especially when much of the blatant activity takes place in broad daylight and most of the subjects wear the marks of hard lives on their faces. Some people might see it as exploitation, but it's a chilling reminder that the city has a long way to go to clean up its streets and that we should be thankful our lives don't resemble the images in these photos.
When the Miami Dolphins made Chad Henne the 57th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, no one was really sure what the team was getting. (This has been the case with any quarterback drafted or signed since Dan Marino retired in 1999.) Hailing from the University of Michigan, Henne was a big kid with four-year starter experience, a bazooka for an arm, and Mr. Spock's immutable disposition. He seemed to embrace the challenge of being a future franchise quarterback. This could mean that Chad Henne is, in fact, a robot from the '50s. But it could also very well mean Henne is the long-sought franchise savior. Still, the Chad Henne Era wasn't supposed to begin until 2010. But that plan was scrapped during week three of the 2009 season when San Diego Chargers linebacker Kevin Burnett crushed starter Chad Pennington's shoulder into peanut brittle after a vicious hit, knocking Pennington out for the season. Henne came in and finished the game with 92 yards passing, no touchdowns, and one pick-six. But because robots are devoid of memory and shame, Henne bounced back with big wins in his next two starts, against the Bills and in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football against the Jets, where he threw for 241 yards and two TDs — including a 53-yard strike to Ted Ginn Jr. Henne also proved he could hang with the likes of Tom Brady, as he did when he led the Fins to their week 13 come-from-behind win against the Patriots. Even with a mediocre receiving corps, Henne had a fine first season. He finished the year with 12 TDs and a respectable 75.2 QB rating. Now it's all about finding the Robot some weapons. Once he gets a playmaker or two to pitch in, it will be all systems go. The Dolphins appear to be in excellent shape for the next decade at the QB position. Not bad for the 57th overall pick.
Ignacio Rodriguez's title for South Florida's chronically anonymous pro-soccer team is a bit oxymoronic — like being a real estate agent to the homeless, or head of the Israeli shellfish harvesters' union. Attendance at the team's tin-bleachered Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale rarely exceeds the single-digit thousands, and the front office has taken to frequent gimmicks in order to stave off extinction: They signed elderly one-named former fútbol demigod Romário and then two recently defected Cuban phenoms, and the players volunteered to shave their heads if fans showed up. But the bleachers remained nearly empty. Through all of these thwarted shenanigans, Rodriguez has remained friendly, attentive, and upbeat — the kind of flack who literally won't let us off the phone until we promise to show up at either media day or the season opener. Given that most sports flacks act like they're guarding a stable of 25 popes rather than a bunch of dudes who get sweaty on Sundays, its awfully refreshing to deal with a PR shield eager to make even the most audacious press requests happen, and always prefers a sit-down lunch to an email exchange.
For some inexplicable reason, Miami Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra has a habit of starting Michael Beasley and then sitting him down during the stretch run of games. Even on nights when the team is down a crapload of points in the fourth quarter and in desperate need for someone other than Dwyane Wade to put the ball in the basket — which is something Beasley is especially astute at — Spoelstra has kept his starting forward on the bench, towel over his head, looking pitiful. This has angered many Heat fans, forcing them to jump on Twitter and say nasty things about Spoelstra's mother in 140 characters or less. But the vitriol is justified. The only thing B-Easy seems to do when he's on the court is smash opponents' faces via smooth jumpers and ball-crushing defense. Selected second overall in the 2008 NBA Draft, Beasley has shown flashes of the badassery he displayed as a freshman phenom at Kansas State, averaging 15.3 points per game and displaying an innate ability to take over games whenever he hits a hot streak. Beasley's shooting range is sick. He can knock down shots from pretty much anywhere on the court and can slam-dunk with the best of them. Plus he knows how to crash the boards like a man possessed. And he's only 21 years old. Let that sink in for a minute. It's painfully obvious that Michael Beasley is the perfect Robin to D-Wade's Batman. He's a kid with unlimited potential and All-Star talent. If only his head coach were aware of this!
Tom Falco's Coconut Grove Grapevine community blog can be irritating. When he's writing about threatening to take photos of kids "posing" as school basketball players — only to watch them "scatter like rats" — or railing against a woman in a food truck poaching customers from Grove restaurants, Falco has all the perspective of a Picasso. But Merriam-Webster's definition of a gadfly is one who "stimulates or annoys, especially by persistent criticism," which might as well be the Grapevine's mission statement. There is no louder voice for a community — in his case, the Grove's business owners — in Miami.
OK, so shortstop phenom Hanley Ramirez is the best Marlin — until the day he absconds to a bigger market or enters the Hall of Fame with a portrait of a gasping fish on his cap. But baseball connoisseurs will tell you there's more than one potential superstar on the team. Big Josh Johnson, at six-foot-seven and 252 pounds, is Randy Johnson Lite, a flamethrower who, when healthy, is one of the game's strongest pitchers. It's been a bumpy early career for the Marlins draft pick, who made his Major League debut in 2005. After an extremely promising rookie season, his elbow blew out in 2007 and he underwent Tommy John surgery. Johnson recovered from the serious arm operation in near-record time, retaking the mound only 11 months later and wrapping up his abbreviated 2008 with an I'm-back-bitches 7-1 win-loss record and an ERA under 4. In 2009, his first full season in the Bigs, Johnson was absolutely unhittable at times, boasting a 15-5 record and a 3.23 ERA. The surgery appeared to have left him stronger than ever, and we're pegging him as a perennial Cy Young candidate from here on out. Remember, he's only 26.
You might not have heard any songs by Fort Lauderdale rapper Lyrikill.com — yes, his stage name is a web address — but if you regularly watch network news, you've probably seen his work. The dreadlocked white boy has taken self-promotion to obsessive, highly invasive new levels. For three years, he's been bum-rushing live telecasts while screaming and holding signs bearing his name. The practice has made him public enemy number one among the perfect-hair-and-mike-lapel set — he's been threatened on-camera by a pole-wielding producer and had his YouTube account suspended for copyright violations — but the possibility of a Lyrikill.com sighting makes boring ol' nightly news worth watching.
Turns out the Florida Panthers might have known what they were doing back in 2001 after all. For years, fans have looked at the '01 draft — when the Cats held the fourth overall pick and a chance to turn their struggling franchise around — as a massive missed opportunity. The Panthers took a quick-skating center from Ontario named Stephen Weiss — and then watched him languish for almost a decade. Before 2010, Weiss had spent more years in the minors than the Bigs and had topped out with a 20-goal effort in 2006. Well, consider Weiss the Grandma Moses of the NHL, a classic late-bloomer, because this season, he has straight-up carried Florida's hockey franchise. Weiss leads the team in goals and points thanks to a season of inspired runs at the net, hard scuffles in the corner, and artful stick work. With fan fave David Booth injured most of the year, it was Weiss who kept the Panthers in the playoff hunt past the Olympic break.
If you want to instill some peace in angry, hot-headed inner-city youth, have them, like, grab a board and become a mellow dude riding the waves. That's the idea Maurice "Maui" Goodbeer came up with while surfing the South Beach shores after his brother's death in 2003. Goodbeer had delivered his slain brother's eulogy and promised his family he'd find a way to reach out to inner-city kids and help reduce the violence. The organization he launched, Streetwaves Foundation, mentors at-risk youth from Miami's inner cities and introduces them to the soul-and-sport lifestyle of surfing. Maui's goal was to create "stewards of the ocean," focusing the kids' energy on the holistic effects that surfing could bring to their lives. So every Saturday, he rounds up his troops from local youth centers and takes them out for free lessons. It has gained such good vibes that Streetwaves is up for a much-needed Pepsi Refresh Project grant. The group also needs volunteers to pick up the kids, drop them off, transport equipment, boost them into a wave, and help get the word out. Streetwaves has even tugged the heart of Brooke Hogan, who was spotted on the beach in early May helping instruct students.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®