How many weeks has it been? Two? Feels like two days.
Anybody else still in Heat Hangover? Even more so than 2006, the rest of this sports summer so far feels like the day after a humongous rave.
Can the local channels just replay the last seven Heat playoff games on a loop with each game preceded by the post-Big 3 signing celebration from 2010? What, reruns of shows we DVR’d if we wanted to see them in the first place, infomercials — or worse, The View and its rip-offs — count as superior programming?
I didn’t enjoy the Heat title run as a fan. You work in this business long enough, you stop being a fan. Not of the sport, but of individual franchises. This team, that team, shrug. I never get tired of seeing great athletes perform well or championships won and awarded.
Besides, I recall what one of my peers said the night of the 2006 conference championship games, after about 40 done-with-writing reporters refused to leave the TVs in Chicago’s Soldier Field press box until the New England-Indianapolis AFC title game finished.
Relieved at Indianapolis’ dramatic win, he said, “I want to see the narrative change.”
Like me, he wearied the simplistic “Peyton Manning can’t win the big one” storylines. Similarly, I got tired of “LeBron can’t win the big one.” I also found childish the strange enmity directed at employees who took control of their own careers in a way we all wish we could (envy?), superstars and role players who took less money to have team success together.
We used to understand great players could play for bad teams and good teams had role players who weren’t great players, but were just great at what they were asked to do. Instead, now, we yell, “How many titles did he win?” as if it’s changed that individuals win trophies, teams win championships. Three juggernauts in North American team sports — Jim Brown, Wilt Chamberlain and Mario Lemieux — were on five championship teams in a combined 41 seasons.
Anyway, now the narrative changes on LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Because Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, then Mike Miller threw it down when necessary.
So what now? A look over to that baseball team with the new roof sometimes over their heads provides little re-boost. All that money spent by everybody and the Marlins, our expected bridge from Heat heights to Dolphins regular season, sit at 38-42. That’s the same range they were in on this date last year (38-46), 2010 (37-43) and worse than this date in 2009 (41-40).
Maybe we just should’ve spent the money on a plumbing inspection of the Arsht Center.
Their closer, Heath Bell, to paraphrase Sheriff Buford T. Justice, can’t close an umbrella. Their ace, Josh Johnson, is pitching more like a four of clubs. Jose Reyes could have his worst batting average since becoming a big-league regular. Hanley Ramirez’s average would be his second-worst.
As a team, it’s ugly: 14th in National League hitting; 13th in on-base percentage; 11th in slugging percentage; 10th in fielding percentage; tied for the sixth-most errors in the NL; 12th in team ERA; 14th in total runs allowed; and tied for 10th in opposing batting average.
That’s offense and defense. No special teams in baseball.
Don’t talk to me about Dolphins training camp. I’ve seen too many practice phenoms and preseason one-game wonders to get a hop in my step about NFL football before Game 1 of 16.