Heat, Tiger Woods lead bully domination parade

A painful memo to all mortal souls in the planet:

'Tis the year of the all-mighty bully.

Tiger Woods is roaring again. The Miami Heat are soaring to another NBA title. And the Los Angeles Lakers appear to have awakened from their sleepy, dysfunctional slumber and are shoring up their chances of making a viable playoff run.

The little guys have been demoted to irrelevance once again. There is no March Madness for the underdog unless it's the NCAA basketball tournament.

You'll have to get your spunky underdog fix hoping the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles pull off another big-time upset when they play the Florida Gators Friday night.

CNN and other network big-shots came to document the goings-on at FGCU this week. The Eagle "chicken dance" is in vogue, and rightfully so.

But here's what Tiger, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have to say about that:

Yawn.

Been there, done that at an elite pro level, and have the T-shirts and the rings and championships to prove it.

Tiger is once again the Pied Piper of the pro golf tour. The gallery follows him like lemmings, no longer fixated on his personal shortcomings but his professional reincarnation. Just witness the throng that followed him for 18 holes during the Tavistock Cup on Tuesday. Not bound by typical "outside the ropes" protocol, Tiger was surrounded by a bevy of fans as he helped his team win the Tavistock title.

He will walk along more prestigious grounds during the Masters tournament starting April 11th, likely the No. 1 golfer in the world and the man favored to be King of the Azaleas once again.

For the Heat, it's a business as usual deal. They came to Chicago Wednesday night hopped up and happy, riding a 27-game winning streak. Interest has mushroomed as the Heat got closer to a collision course with the NBA record 33 consecutive victories set by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1971-72 season

"You'd think it's the Finals with all the media here," former local sportscaster Ryan Baker, who now works in Chicago, wrote on his Facebook page.

Heck, even ESPN switched from its planned programming to come to our little burg to chase the Heat Monday night. They are rock stars, the Rolling Stones of the NBA. Minus the AARP cards, of course.

It was fashionable to hate the Heat with the Big Three thing first started, with James bolting from Cleveland in such a pretentious fashion, followed up by the annoying press conference in which Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined James in promising to deliver multiple championships to South Beach, or thereabouts.

It was fun for many fans to see them struggle in the first year as they lost in the Finals. But no more.

The multiple championships promise is very much a reality.

The funny thing is, the other 'super powers' team just might be strong enough to provide credible resistance on Miami's path to world domination.

Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers, anybody?

Don't laugh.

The banged-up Lakers (see Metta World Peace, latest casualty) could be the most dangerous No. 8 seed in NBA history this season. It would have to be pretty much of a perfect storm, but what if Howard and Kobe officially clicked? They seem far more comfortable dealing with their idiosyncrasies on the court, recently.

And Howard presents the toughest challenge for the Heat: A Big Man with Game. Bosh, their official starting center, can't match up with Howard. Backup Joel Anthony is worthless expect for the six fouls he is allotted.

Of course, Howard, Bryant and the rest of the Lakers would have to scratch their way into the Finals with tough matchups and no home court advantage.

But imagine that All-Star slugfest in the NBA Finals.

Don't be surprised if Tiger Woods showed up at courtside to fist-bump his fellow bullies.

Read George Diaz's blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/enfuego or e-mail him at gdiaz@orlandosentinel.com

CHICAGO

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