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Which sport is Miami's sport? It's a little complicated

I got to thinking after reading a post from Henry Abbott (a/k/a the Godfather of the TrueHoop Network) on Thursday asking the following: Is Miami a basketball town? I've only lived here five years, but I love the city and I think I've picked up what it's all about. And because of that, I think it's a harder question to answer than just picking a sport. Miami is an event town. People in Miami want to see a show, something that really moves them to get off the beach and into an arena or stadium (I know it's cliche Miami locals, but it's the best way to explain). That's why the Dolphins and football always tend to be the dominant sport. Football was the first major professional sport to show up in Miami, with the Miami Seahawks of the All-America Football Conference, an early rival of the NFL, in 1946. It folded after a year, but the city would try again by welcoming the Miami Dolphins and the AFL in 1966. Of course, the merger happened, the perfect season happened, Dan Marino happened, and the city was tied to one team. Basketball would follow in 1988. Baseball and hockey came in 1993. But by that time, football was ingrained in the city. Plus, it's the perfect sport for the attitude of Miamians. It's rarity makes every game an experience, even if the team is middling. 81 games for baseball, or 41 for hockey or basketball, isn't very unique. But there are times when the other sports can break through. In 1996, fans organically developed the tradition of throwing plastic rats on the ice as the team reached the Stanley Cup Final. Over 67,000 turned out to World Series games in 1997 as the Marlins beat the Indians in seven. And the city was draped in white as the Heat ran all the way to the Larry O'Brien Trophy in 2006. The problem is this: none of those teams sustained. The Panthers are currently in the longest streak without a playoff appearance in NHL history. The Marlins won again in 2003, but much like in 1997, the team couldn't afford to pay its stars and shipped them off. The term "fire sale" has now become synonymous with the team. And the Heat got old and content after that title, save for Dwyane Wade. But now is another opportunity for the Heat. And this time, there appears to be sustainability. Barring a horrific work stoppage next year, this team will be contenders every year they take the court. Plus, they will likely gain a crucial mid-level exemption next year, allowing them to pick up another quality piece. Long-term winning is probable, and with that comes a show. And if the Heat can bring the show night in and night out, the supremacy of the Dolphins will be given its biggest test since the 1960s. Only time will tell. Update: I completely forgot a huuuuuge item I wanted to mention, but got off on the event tangent and forgot arguably the most important factor. Commenter Alex Ortiz reminded me of it. Long story short, a lot of transplants from the northeast and a lot of non-natives makes Miami a non-monolithic city. Lots of rooting interests, a lot of which aren't even in this country. He gets into in more (and does it well, so read it), but that's the gist, and it's a very important point. Thanks, Alex.