Dear America: Stop Criticizing Miami Heat Fans

Dear America:

We address you as ambassadors of sorts from the culturally sovereign nation of Miami-Dade. It has recently come to our attention that the "Miami Heat," a professional sporting concern that represents our city in your National Basketball Association, has advanced to a series that will crown this organization's annual champion. This pleases us greatly. Yet we can't help but notice that many American citizens and assorted riffraff known as sports "journalists" and bloggers do not find our fans to behave in a manner they find satisfactory. In an effort to further cultural understanding between our separate nations, we would like to explain why the good people of Miami are a different breed of fan, and then we would like to kindly invite you and yours to "suck on it" and "shut up."

As we understand it, many Americans grow up attending professional sporting games with their families. They are brainwashed, in a manner not so dissimilar to the troubling propaganda efforts of some of our mutual enemy nations, into pledging blind allegiance to a particular team from an early age. They are conditioned, according to a popular American propaganda song, to "root, root, root for the home team." It is our understanding that many Americans find the lack of this kind of fandom in Miami disturbing.

As you may not, however, be aware, according to a 2004 study by the United Nations, 59 percent of Miamians were born outside of the country in which the city is located. That is a far higher percentage than any city in the entire world. No other even comes close.

So you see, America, many of our citizens do not originally hail from countries that have much of a basketball culture. Many did not grow up going through the requisite "true fan" brainwashing programs that many American cities institute. In fact, our Miami Heat team was established only in 1988, which does not help matters. We are trying to catch up in this area, but we reserve the right to deem your criticism of our fans in this matter as "sort of racist" until then.

As you may also not be aware, our recent past experiences with sports have left us somewhat disillusioned. We have heard these folktales of how our Miami Dolphins once completed the most perfect season in all of sports history. Though a great local hero named Dan Marino led us through many a battle (but never all the way), the team recently has devolved into a teal-colored shit show that hardly remembers what a quarterback is actually supposed to do, topped with a J.Lo cherry in the owners' box.

Meanwhile, our Marlins once won the World Series only to completely sell every star player off in the off-season. Actually, wait, that happened twice. The Marlins hold the dubious distinction of being the only MLB team to have never lost a postseason series, and have recently decided to screw us with the bill for their new stadium. (We also are told there is something called a "hockey" team right over our border. We do not understand what this "hockey" game is and refuse to respond to it.) So surely you can see why pride in local sports has been low of late.

We are also of the understanding that many Americans have come to view a tribe of people known as "Rich Douches" as representative of all Miami Heat fans. Do not misunderstand, relations between Rich Douches and real Miamians are sound. We greatly appreciate the economic impact of the Rich Douche people and regularly court their tourism.

Yet, they do not represent our culture as a whole, and many of us do not fully understand their customs. They seem to wear sunglasses inside, show up to events (often late) just so that they can brag that they were there, and, thanks to cocaine-addled attention spans, cannot concentrate on much. Unfortunately, these Rich Douches have more disposable income and time to spend on increasingly expensive sporting tickets, and show up to Heat games in great numbers. Yes, the Rich Douches are a part of the cultural tapestry that is Miami-Dade, but most Miamians are simple, hard-working people who do not own bedazzled T-shirts.

In fact, as you might be aware, the recent economic downturn has greatly affected our nation-state. An American magazine known as Forbes ranked us the second most miserable city this year. Our unemployment rate sits at 13.3 percent, far greater than other major American cities. The foreclosure crisis hit us especially hard, and our real estate market sits in shambles.

The recent success of the Miami Heat has given us a bright spot of pride during an especially bleak economic time, yet you surely understand why the Rich Douches dominate our court-side seats.

However, the recent success of the Miami Heat, led by a man known as LeBron James (who we understand why you hate -- we are not completely oblivious), has gotten us excited. We have celebrated wildly after series wins over the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls. Apparently this does not please you Americans. We are struggling to understand why you criticize us for not being good enough fans and then slam us for celebrating our team. Someone must please explain this to us.

We hope our explanation clears matters up. Though, if you would like, we could also further explain the fact that we are on our own system of timekeeping known as the "Miami Time Zone," the fact that our city features many other diversions and we do not tend to spend as much time sitting at home drinking Budweiser alone while yelling at ESPN, or the simple fact that celebrating your teams when they are doing well and tending not to take it too personally when they kind of suck leads to a much happier state of mind. (Because, honestly, we have enough misery of our own that we prefer not to latch onto the misery and miscalculations of our millionaire athletes and the teams' rich owners.)

The Culturally Sovereign Nation-State of Miami-Dade

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Kyle Munzenrieder