For some, Miami finished off San Antonio by closing the same door in game seven the Spurs couldn’t close in game six; the Heat’s 95-88 win brought confetti to the court on South Beach but awoke the echoes of “the wrong team won”. We fall for sports as kids thinking that good vanquishes evil and the that myth translates to the field, diamond, court or ice. We want to believe that if we want it enough and try our hardest-we can outwork more talented teams. But great talent trumps smart strategy…and excellent execution exceeds fantastic chemistry. So you can say the wrong team won…but whenever the Heat needed to make a play in the postseason they responded.

But I will admit the Miami Heat aren’t the easiest team to embrace. From “The Decision” to Dwyane Wade being a dirty player to Chris Bosh being a Zeppo Marx in shorts, the South Beach Big Three has more than its share of baggage. There’s the Birdman and his technicolor tatoos. There’s coach Eric Spoelstra, the Chachi to Pat Riley’s Fonzie. Then there is the fair-weather image of the Heat fans that left the arena with under a minute to play only to try to re-enter once their team they gave up on sent the game into overtime. Compared to the humble image of the San Antonio Spurs, who wouldn’t suffer on some level?

Over the years I’ve enjoyed and covered sports, there have been a few teams that I just couldn’t embrace. And while I give props to the two-time champions, I welcome them to a select club. Now I’m sure there are those that still have it in for the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970’s and how they slugged their way past the smooth skating Buffalo Sabres…just like there are Houston haters who maintain they wouldn’t have won if Jordan hadn’t retired. Your comments are welcome if I’ve missed somebody or if you have these team’s posters hanging in your room.

College Football–1984 BYU–who did they play? Definitely not anybody good in the Western Athletic Conference while the Oklahomas, Washingtons, Floridas and Nebraskas were beating each other’s brains out. Who did they play in the Holiday Bowl? A 6-5 Michigan team that was Bo Schembechler’s worst.

NHL–1995 New Jersey Devils–hello neutral zone trap…effectively bringing Mike Fratello’s Cleveland Cavaliers to the ice. Successfully turned back the hockey clock to 1934 and helped secure second class citizenship for the league (no truth to the rumor Commissioner Gary Bettman was still on the NBA payroll).

NFL–1995 Dallas Cowboys–brash, arrogant and poorly coached by a bumbling Barry Switzer. This me-first bunch boasted a gloating Michael Irvin and self-congratulatory Deion Sanders…who joined the team midseason after baseball’s spotlight waned. Thanks to a pair of poor passes by Neil O’Donnell, this smirking squad never got its comeuppance.

Baseball–1997 Florida Marlins–while some were pointing at the New York Yankees as the best team money could buy…the Marlins were actually pieced together in a mercenary style that would put the Boba Fett and IG-88 to shame. Buoyed by a pair of classic clubhouse cancers in Gary Sheffield and Bobby Bonilla, the Marlins won a World Series and then held a fire sale–setting the standard for cut-and-run franchises.

College Basketball–2012 Kentucky–we know college hoops is more about hoops than college, but the rotating door of one-and-dones in Lexington recently made 90210’s Valerie Malone look stable. Add the Big Blue royal expectations…a subpar SEC…and a coach who took two schools to the Final only to have both trips vacated by the NCAA…and you’ve got a champ you appreciate but can’t really embrace. And that’s not even accounting for Anthony Davis’ unibrow.

Advertisements