Now that Thanksgiving and all the leftovers are in the rear-view mirror, holiday shopping season has officially arrived. Whether that means fighting the crowds to buy a $6.99 waffle maker for Uncle Jim or signing into Amazon to get your mom a pair of AirPods she'll have no idea how to use, it's time to turn up Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas," kiss the available balance on your credit cards goodbye, and spend money on others in the name of the season.
If you're reading this article, your loved ones are likely fans of at least one of the local sports teams. You probably plan to buy them a few sports-related gifts, like a Miami Heat #ViceWave shirt or, if they're a Dolphins fan, a jersey with no number on the back. Likewise, we'd like to imagine a world in which our local teams give each other gifts — you know, like a family, only way richer. They have the connections and resources to buy things for each other, so why not imagine what those things might be?
Here are a few gift ideas if Micky Arison, Stephen Ross, and Derek Jeter are listening. Think of us as elves.
5. The Heat could give the Dolphins some of that sweet culture. The Miami Heat is the cream of the crop when it comes to South Florida sports franchises. Nobody does it better. The franchise demands players work hard and do the right things to be the best employees possible, just as professionals in any other billion-dollar business would be expected to do.
The Miami Dolphins, on the other hand, well, they do not have a similar track record. They're sort of all over the place in the culture department. They could use a hand.
For Christmas, the Heat should give the Dolphins some free "culture seminar" coupons so the Fins can get an inside look at what in hell they've been doing wrong for the past two decades, how the Heat is so damn good at constantly not embarrassing itself, and how to put together an organization from top to bottom that is respected and taken seriously not only by the fans but also by other teams and free agents. It would be the gift that kept on giving if some of that sweet Heat culture rubbed off on the Dolphins.
4. Inter Miami and the Heat could help the Marlins dress better. When the Miami Marlins announced their #OurColores campaign a couple of years ago after Derek Jeter took over the team, most images were missing, like, colors. What Marlins fans got were largely black-and-white Marlins uniforms that feel nothing like Miami.
The Marlins need some help in the branding department. They need a stylist. Between Inter Miami and the Miami Heat, there are plenty of folks in town to get the Marlins' outfit game much tighter this holiday season.
Inter Miami and the Heat get it. The Heat's new aqua-blue and hot-pink #ViceWave jerseys are arguably the best of the NBA's alternate-jersey bunch, and Inter Miami's pink, white, and black color scheme has the Miami vibe down pat. The Marlins should look to those two teams, ditch the black dress shirts and gray ties, and add some colors to their life so they look like Miami, not an open house in the Broward suburbs.
Updated Miami Marlins Farm System Rankings:— Danny M. (@DannyM_MIA) August 14, 2019
Baseball America: 8th
MLB Pipeline: 4th
The Miami Marlins are now a consensus Top 10 Farm System, 1.75 years after beginning their rebuild. pic.twitter.com/CnQSKbANN1
3. The Marlins could give the Dolphins a realistic rebuilding blueprint. For some reason, everyone likes to point to the Heat as the model for how the Dolphins should rebuild, when in reality it's the Marlins' style of rebuilding that would be more relevant. In basketball, one player changes the entire franchise — draft or sign LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, and the rest is history. In baseball and football — where winning takes much more than one amazing player (see: Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, etc.) — building a strong foundation of young, affordable players is much more realistic.
The Marlins have turned chicken shit into chicken salad. They sold the furniture, burned the house, and rebuilt from the foundation. The Dolphins took the first step in that process when they traded Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick earlier this season, and the second step when they purposely lost nearly every game thereafter. Now the Dolphins need to find a quality crop of prospects, invest their money wisely, and strike when the iron is hot in free agency.
The Marlins should be able to help. They've done it well thus far.
2. Dolphins coach Brian Flores can teach Miami Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz how to act after a tough loss. Manny Diaz takes losing pretty badly — not in a "I hate to lose because I'm a competitor" way, but more in a "fire up the excuse machine and rewrite history damage control" way. He's truly bad at mansplaining losses, and Diaz could take notes from Dolphins coach Brian Flores, who calmly and logically breaks down the realistic ways Miami can improve while taking ownership of the team's terrible performance on the field.
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Diaz has recently alluded to the Canes' being too cocky and pretty much feeling themselves too hard, which has led to letdowns against lesser opponents such as FIU. The thing is, Diaz is the one who introduced the Turnover Chain and has encouraged the "New Miami" swagger that the program lost in its recent down years. Now he wants to tone it down. Nah. He needs a talking-to from Flores, a man who is the opposite of the '80s Hurricanes but definitely wouldn't talk from both sides of his mouth and who takes ownership of his program's downfalls.
1. The Heat could donate some fan loyalty to Inter Miami. Of all the presents David Beckham and his nascent Major League Soccer team could receive this holiday season, a built-in fan base with a loyalty that's been groomed through decades of goodwill would be the greatest of all. The Heat has some of the best fans in the NBA, if not all sports, because of the team's positive attitude and respectful treatment of the community over the years. Win or lose, Miami loves the Heat.
Beckham and Inter Miami could use that sort of love right off the bat so soccer gets off on the right foot in South Florida. Fans seem optimistic about the team, but the process of getting it off the ground has taken so long that some of the momentum has been lost. As with all local teams, the Heat will likely work with Inter Miami in some fashion, so it would be great if some of that good fortune rubbed off on Beckham's team its first few seasons.