It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Well, in this case, it’s the worst of times for two cities (or shall I say areas) for a sports fan. Miami and Ohio are reeling from down seasons, NCAA investigations and over-hyped teams. From Lebron James to Nevin Shapiro to Jim Tressel, the fans of these two areas are looking for a silver lining. Spoiler alert: this post isn’t going to provide one. Let’s take a look at what has sports fans in Ohio and Miami so upset.
The U The news this week has been filled with scandal from the University of Miami. A former booster for the Hurricanes, Nevin Shapiro, has come forward to Yahoo Sports with claims of major NCAA double infractions. Stories of the now-jailed Ponzi-schemer providing everything from cash, cars, yacht parties, women and even an abortion have blown through the internet like, well, a hurricane. Miami seemed like a team that after a few down seasons was heading back in the right direction, only to now be faced with severe punishment from the NCAA, possibly even the “death penalty.” Even fans of The U, which are usually a very proud bunch, can be nothing but disgusted with the news. We have yet to see what type of punishment will get handed out, but one has to think this is going to be more than just a slap on the wrist. WFNZ’s own QCB compared Miami to Tupac, saying they were nothing more than thugs. Well, one thing is for certain: All Eyez on Miami.
The Ohio State University Buckeyes fans this summer have had their own fair share of turmoil. The whole “trading memorabilia for money and tattoos” story led to the resignation of head coach Jim Tressel back in May. Terrelle Pryor decided to enter the NFL instead of serving a five-game suspension with OSU, only to find out he will get the same suspension with whichever team decides to pick him up in the supplemental draft. OSU had been a team that boasts a national championship, a Heisman trophy winner and six Big Ten titles in the past ten years. After all was said and done, Ohio State was forced to vacate the 2010 season, and several other player still face a five-game suspension. None of this looks good for the Buckeyes to dot the “I” in national title in 2011.
The Miami Heat For most fans, making it to an NBA championship is a great achievement. But for a self-described Dream Team, this had to be a letdown. From Lebron James’s self-serving “Decision” to the Big Three’s preemptive pep rally, it felt like the Heat were setting themselves up to fall flat on their faces. Who goes out and predicts that they are going to win not one, not two, not three, but seven championships? Come on, Lebron, you sound like some type of a bad infomercial. Maybe with the lock out you can sell Shamwows or something. “Not one, not two, but SEVEN Shamwows for the low price of $19.99!” After several collapses in the fourth quarter of the finals, one can only wonder whether James can get even one title. While the big three still have more time left to get a title, I am sure the people of Miami would have loved to have a trophy to go along with all the talent that was brought to South Beach. Seems like a classic case of counting the chicken before it’s hatched (lesson to be learned here, kids).
Cleveland I am going to include both the Browns and the Cavs in this paragraph because, quite frankly, they are both so bad they don’t deserve their own paragraph. After the aforementioned Lebron left town crushing all hope the Cavaliers had for last season, they managed to put forth a 19-63 record. They weren’t the worst team in the NBA last year, but they were next to it. The only joy Cavs fans had last year was relishing in the fact that the Heat didn’t win. The Browns weren’t much better either – they finished 5-11 and were ranked in the twenties for three of the four major NFL statistical categories: passing yards, rushing yards, passing yards allowed and rushing yards allowed. Only one other team finished with a worse record (4-12) in the AFC North, and guess where they are from? Cincinnati, Ohio.
If sports fans had sympathy, they would almost feel bad for Ohio and Miami. But since we are fans and we have our own teams to worry about, we don’t. In fact, we almost get joy out of seeing other teams fail. Watching these teams is like watching Jackass, sure there is something wrong with seeing a guy take a shot to his nether region but it’s funny all the same. I say all these things because I can relate, as a UNC, Panther, and Bobcat fan. I am no stranger to NCAA suspensions, a 2-14 dead last in the NFL season, and an NBA team that basically threw in the towel on last season to build for the future. The future is what keeps us as fans going. We know deep down that no matter how bad it is right now we will bounce back (unless you get the death penalty). With that being said I am going to turn on my flux-capacitor and hop in my Delorean, I’ll see you in the future.