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The Ted Ginn-ing of Michael Beasley

After reading Surya's fantastic Michael Beasley post earlier this month, I've been thinking. The modern sports fan has an unrealistic expectation for success. He or she looks at isolated incidents of immediate success (Dwyane Wade, Joe Flacco/Matt Ryan, and most recently, Stephen Strasburg) and places those expectations on the shoulders of their promising prospect. Expectations are natural, especially for fans of a team eying possible greatness like the Miami Heat is. But over-inflated expectations lead to disappointment, and disappointment leads to anger. And anger usually leads to poorly-thought-out decisions. And we've seen that just this year. Ted Ginn Jr. has been and remains one of the most reviled figures in Miami sports. After being drafted No. 9 by Cam Cameron in the 2007 NFL Draft, Ginn was hated off the bat. Expecting to draft savior quarterback Brady Quinn, Ginn was a major reach by the now-former coach of the Dolphins. From Day 1, people waited for Ginn to screw up. And, of course he did. After three seasons of derision and venom, he was finally set free by the Fins, traded to San Francisco for a fifth-round draft pick. Problem solved. Except now the team is without the only receiver who got the best of Darrelle Revis last season. And the guy who returned two kick-offs in one game. And the guy who had about eight games to work with a quarterback who could maximize his skills. And in return, the team got a fifth-round pick, which amounts to about as much promise as a Powerball ticket. Beasley seems to be heading down the same path. After being drafted with the No. 2 pick, enormous expectations were heaped on his shoulders. He's a player who scored like nuts in a system that worked well for him at Kansas State, but was never called on defensively, and therefore never worked on that part of his game. When you draft someone under the age of 20, a learning curve should be expected. But Beasley never seemed to get that, neither from the fans nor his team. Numbers that were a little below average for a young and underdeveloped forward were devastating to a fanbase expecting the forward version of Dwyane Wade. A coach (who I normally defend) fell in line with the public and stunted his growth, refusing to give him "crunch-time" minutes in games which meant absolutely nothing in the long run. And now, on the precipice of a franchise resurgence, when players would be brought in who could open Beasley up and finally let him flourish on the offensive end, the team seems eager to get rid of him for pennies on the dollar. As the draft looms this week, everyone seems to be counting down the days until Beasley could be dealt. I've long been a defender of Beasley, but it seems my calls seem to fall on deaf ears. If that's the case, and the Beasley experiment has run its course in Miami, the fanbase must hope that Pat Riley can hit the lottery on whatever he gets back. Otherwise, he'll be left clinging to what amounts to a Powerball ticket and a prayer.