With a mediocre sports year featuring but one championship and one playoff appearance, South Florida best leaves 2012 in the rear view mirror.
Kudos to Pat Riley, Mickey Arison, Slash, Flash, Bosh, Miller, Anthony, Chalmers, Coles et al., and the Heat for taking home the bacon in a star-studded, exciting NBA effort. Being the villain sometimes is not so bad.
Not far behind considering the franchise history, the Florida Panthers made a valiant effort and landed in the NHL playoffs for the first time in 10 years. A gritty bunch of grinders put together by Dale Tallon and coached by Kevin Dineen, the Cats set an excellent platform for years to come and, lacking star power, gave the local puckheads optimism.
Not to diminish the efforts of the Florida Gators and FSU Seminoles football programs, which delivered, but not to the promised land. The UM, FIU, USF and FIU teams were collectively boring, underperforming, and mediocre. UCF was a shining light in Conference USA.
The NFL entries in the state’s football derby weren’t surprising. The Dolphins and Jaguars continue to rebuild. However, Greg Schiano showed significant progress with the Bucs. The MLB contestants were not up to par, either. The Rays just never fired at the end of the year but remained competitive and fun to watch. The Marlins never fired. Period.
Here are our New Year’s Resolutions for Florida owners, coaches, players and fans for a much better 2013:
Mike Redmond resolves to win 60-plus games with the NEW Marlins. (Good luck with that, Mike).
Al Golden (Miami football coach) resolves to get a new sideline shirt and tie soon as the NCAA sanctions are announced (maybe March).
Pat Riley resolves to get another championship ring so he can fill all fingers on both hands.
Tiger Woods resolves to stick with Rory McIlroy from Pebble Beach to Congressional.
Greg Schiano resolves to follow NFL etiquette and let Bucs take a knee.
Jeff Gordon, winner of the Homestead Miami NASCAR race, resolves to pummel Clint Bowyer on lap one of the Daytona 500 in February.
Joe Philbin resolves to draft a real pass catcher, or two.
A-Rod resolves to limit parties at his Beach house from 11 a.m to 5 a.m.
Martin St. Louis and Kris Versteeg resolve to stay in touch (with Tampa Bay) from Europe.
Johnny Velasquez resolves to ride at Gulfstream Park at least once a week, which is one time more than Ramon Dominguez.
John Brunetti, president of Hialeah race track, resolves to put slots in no matter what the state says.
Billy the Marlin resolves to chase the team cheerleaders around the stadium no matter what the score.
All five legal racinos in the state resolve to find some way to get table games.
The Seminole Tribe resolves they won’t.
The ACC resolves to upgrade the football programs with the addition of Syracuse and Pitt; not to mention sooner than later Notre Dame.
Hulk Hogan resolves to simmer himself with his SoBe antics.
Tino Martinez, new hitting coach for the Marlins, resolves to stay through May.
Don King resolves to put a few known fighters on his Casino Miami Jai Alai cards this year.
Dale Tallon, Panthers GM and architect, resolves to purchase the HPK team from Hameenlinnan (Finland) and paint Panthers on their jerseys.
UM acting athletic director resolves to move the 9/7/13 home date with the Gators to 9/7/2025.
Ray Allen resolves to pick up the tab at the Forge every time he goes over 40.
Lebron James resolves to pick up the tab at the Forge until Ray Allen gets 40.
Heat owner Arison resolves to buy the Forge.
Frank Stronach, owner of GP, may expand the outer dirt track to Bimini if it will get him the Breeders’ Cup soon.
A-Rod resolves to keep his face time on South Beach to once a night per club.
South Floridians resolve to keep whining about the Dolphins. Hey, it’s only been 40 years (and counting).
Mark Buerhle, Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes resolve to hire Ben Bernanke to figure out the tax hit they’re taking by being traded to Toronto and bill the difference to Jeffrey Loria
Pat Riley invites Bruce Springsteen to sing the National Anthem at a Heat game Jan. 21, and the Boss accepts!!! Inaugural Ball in DC may be a slight conflict.
So, therefore, let it be resolved that Florida in 2013 will show progress on many sporting fronts.
From spear fishermen depleting the ghastly infestation of lionfish in the keys; to large scale tanks engaging the overpopulation of giant snakes in the Everglades.
To a new roof and many future super bowls for Sun Life Stadium; to the 88 car winning the 2013 chase at Homestead by .001/second.
To all the racinos adding chemin de fer and keno; to the Panthers actually playing any games.
To the Marlins surprising everyone and finishing third in the NL East, while the Devil Rays surprise everyone and finish second to the Blue Jays in the AL East.
To Tiger winning the Sony, Doral, TPG, Arnold Palmer and Innisbrook.
To Serena and Venus winning the Sony Ericcson doubles and playing for the title in the singles.
To the Heat defeating the Lakers in the NBA championship and leading a parade from St. Augustine to Islamorada.
For the UM to get a mild spanking from the NCAA and immediately schedule back-to-backs with Ohio State, North Carolina and Penn State.
To FSU and Florida both being in the first NCAA playoffs against each other; and, last, but certainly not least, every fan of anything in the state finds their team(s) in the win column.
Happy, Healthy New Year everyone!
Baird Thompson and William Hutchinson bring a combined 80 years of gaming marketing and administration experience to Gaming Today. Contact them at [email protected].