Sports
Sports

6 reasons to mock--or pity--Heat fans

As a basketball team, the Miami Heat are a sight to behold. They pass. They dunk. They defend. And they have the best player in the world. What's not to like?

Everything else about the franchise, though, can get under your skin. And women who flip off Joakim Noah are just the tip of the iceberg. So if you're looking for reasons to tease the Heat, here are six good ones, with help from Bulls fan and seven-year Miami resident Robbie Karver.

1. Their fans needed to be taught how to cheer

Does a fan base that needs an instructional manual on how to cheer deserve such a fine team? Karver explains:

"About a year ago, they had to put instructions of how to cheer on every seat or every other seat [of American Airlines Arena]. They had guys walking around the stadium to let fans know when were the times to get excited and not excited, and when to make noise and not make noise, and things like that.

"I'm not making this up. Heat fans were so melancholy, they had to actually give them an announcement that was like 'Guys, you need to be louder. You need to get into the games, especially in the first and second quarter,' and then in the third and fourth quarters you had guys running around who work for the stadium trying to pump up the crowd."

2. Their fans have no passion

"They'll leave [playoff games] early," Karver said. "I'm sure a couple Bulls fans left during Game 4 against the Nets [when the Bulls erased a huge deficit in the fourth quarter], but that Heat stadium would have been half-empty.

"In Chicago, you might sell your ticket, but you're going to make sure to sell it to a Bulls fan. Heat fans don't adhere to that. They just sell their ticket to whoever. I'll always ask: 'Are you a Bulls fan?' 'Hell yeah!' And then you sell your ticket."

3. Their stadium is a "club"

American Airlines Arena opened in 1999, and like all modern basketball stadiums, it's filled with box seats, a loud sound system, lights, fan games, raffles and so on. But according to Karver, Miami has pushed these trends to new levels.

"The stadium feels like the inside of a club," he said. "There's a DJ. Their scoreboard feels like it was created out of like 'Alien vs. Predator' or something like that. It's a very strange experience. And the stadium is empty midway through the first quarter."

The Heat also like to brag that their stadium has "the largest digital LED display in the Southeast region of the United States." Quite an achievement.

4. They retired No. 23 … for Michael Jordan

You read that right. Before MJ's final game in Miami during the 2002-03 season, the Heat retired Jordan's No. 23, which hangs from their rafters. "No one will ever wear number 23 for the Miami Heat," said then-coach Pat Riley. "You're the best."

"Yeah, it's a joke," Karver said. "But you ask the real Heat fans, the only ones who I respect, and they kind of just shake their heads and say, 'Yeah, we retired Jordan. Whatever.'"

But wait – it gets better. Though the jersey now hanging is a standard red Bulls jersey, the jersey originally hanging from the rafters was half Bulls red and half Wizards blue.

Also, it was the first jersey the Heat retired. They later retired the jerseys of actual Heat players Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway.

5. A list of the franchise's most memorable moments would include …

>> The P.J. Brown vs. Charlie Ward brawl.

>> The Alonzo Mourning vs. Larry Johnson brawl, complete with Jeff Van Gundy hanging from Alonzo Mourning's legs.

>> The Decision.

>> That weird celebration party. You know what I'm talking about: "Not one, not two, not three …"

6. They probably wouldn't be embarrassed by anything on this list.

In fact, they probably stopped reading this halfway through.

Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. Say hey @readjack.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Lollapalooza style portraits

    Lollapalooza style portraits

    Concertgoers pose at the three-day fest in Grant Park.

  • Lolla day 2: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    Lolla day 2: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    And just like that, there’s only one day left of Lolla. Here’s what stood out to us from day 2. Best: The Tallest Man on Earth: Maybe it was just a right-mood, right-set situation, but boy this was the perfect mid-day act to take a breather, sit in the sun, and just chill and listen to and enjoy....

  • 50 Cent at Parliament and Wyclef Jean at The Underground

    50 Cent at Parliament and Wyclef Jean at The Underground

    Shots in The Dark at Parliament Nightclub with 50 Cent and The Underground Nightclub with Wyclef Jean and Joey Fatone July 31st

  • Lolla day 1: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    Lolla day 1: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    One day down! Here’s the best and worst we saw at Lolla on Friday, plus a few superlatives from day 1. Best: Anyone who knows me knows I was bound to pick Paul McCartney as my favorite act of the day. The Beatle came out and gave it his all with more than two hours of hits, tributes and jokes about...

  • Lolla day 1: Let's just rename it Paul-apalooza

    Lolla day 1: Let's just rename it Paul-apalooza

    What can you really say about Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, pop music pioneer, worldwide cultural icon, and all-around great guy, that hasn't already been said? I mean, seriously. With the Beatles changing music for the better, becoming a pop culture institution and being "more popular...

  • Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Chicago's ban on plastic bags starts to take effect at many big stores Saturday, but an alderman who helped craft the law already is talking about changing it in order to thwart a few large retail chains that he says are trying to skirt the new rules.

Comments
Loading
70°