We're a week into 2020, which means your new year's resolution is in jeopardy of being broken or it's already gone and forgotten like a fart in the wind. For most people, a new year brings an urge to do better. Whether "doing better" means losing weight, quitting smoking, or just being a better person in general, staying on the path to change is a lot easier said than done, especially after eight glasses of champagne.
For Miami sports fans, 2020 offers a lot of promise. Our teams seem to be on a clear path to "doing better." Miami sports fans, though, owe it to themselves and the teams to take a good look in the mirror and recalibrate their fandom.
In other words, you can do better, Miami sports fans. Don't be that fan. Here are a few kinds of Miami sports fans you shouldn't be in the new year, for the betterment of the entire fan base.
5. Don't be that Miami Heat fan who wants to trade half the team after a loss in February. Thanks to the ESPN Trade Machine, any fan with a Twitter account can now play general manager and post their theoretically ingenious trades on the internet. It's undeniably fun. The problem: The Miami Heat has started this season on fire, has players who seem to genuinely like one another, and is in no way broken.
There isn't much reason to trade away any parts of the current Heat blueprint, much less its major parts. If you're talking about trading Dion Waiters and James Johnson, two players the Heat never lets see the court, you're onto something. If you're talking about trading Kendrick Nunn or Duncan Robinson — who are paid next to nothing compared to most NBA players — you're wasting your time.
A loss to the Orlando Magic in January doesn't count any more or less than a win against the Houston Rockets in October. Don't overreact. The Heat looks great.
4. Don't be that Miami Hurricanes fan who lives in the past. The Miami Hurricanes have one of the best resumés in college football. Even though the Canes only truly became a football powerhouse in the early '80s, they boast five championships. Hundreds of NFL players — including many Hall of Famers — came from Miami.
In 2020, none of that matters. The last time Miami won a title, DVDs were a new thing and Cast Away was the number one movie. Dan Marino had just retired. It's over.
Hurricanes fans need to live in the now, assess the college football landscape (which is different in almost every way), and realize Miami is closer to being a school like University of Central Florida than being Alabama. It'll take some serious luck and amazing coaching for Miami to overcome its obstacles and get back to being a dominant program.
Canes fans should have reasonable expectations. Chances are you'll be a lot less disappointed when the next 7-5 season rolls around.
3. Don't be that Miami Dolphins fan who settles for less. It's time for the Miami Dolphins to get it right, and it's time for fans to demand major changes that go above the coach and even the general manager if this rebuild doesn't stick. For years, Dolphins fans have pretty much laughed off losing. The team's mediocrity has become a running joke. The thing is, in many towns, not winning a playoff game for almost two decades is cause for an ownership change, not just a head coaching change.
Dolphins fans must demand better this year. No more jokes. No more apathy. No more chances. Next season, there should be clear and immediate signs this franchise is on the rise. If there aren't, it's time for owner Stephen Ross to hear it and for fans to stop wasting their hard-earned money.
2. Don't be that person Miami Marlins fan who bashes them for things this ownership didn't do. Aren't you tired of hating on the Miami Marlins yet? The franchise deserved the ire of the fan base for past broken promises and lack of spending, but it's 2020, and the new ownership has clearly done everything possible to turn the Marlins into a perennial contender rather than a Ponzi scheme.
Hating the Marlins is a useless exercise at this point. You're free not to care about the team, but to act as if Derek Jeter and the other new owners will stoop to the levels Jeffrey Loria and David Samson stooped is unfair. From the looks of the Marlins' farm system and future financial health, baseball is about to matter in Miami again. Supporting the team and rooting for its success is much more useful than crying about things that happened years ago.
1. Sports are meant to be entertaining — don't take them so seriously. If there's one thing that ruins a sports experience, it's not letting yourself enjoy it. Miami sports fans are known for having a sense of humor when it comes to their teams' failures, but unfortunately, they're also known for ditching teams when the going gets tough.
This year, as our teams crawl back into serious contention, it's important Miamians remember that in the end, sports are a break from our usual lives. Fighting on social media makes us all dumber and isn't healthy. Enjoy the process, and enjoy the games. Don't take the losses or wins too seriously. In the end, it's just sports.
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