There've been whispers in the past few days regarding the alleged harm and devastation mega-star LeBron James will bring to the Miami Heat's regional sports competition.
Ok, well, just the Panthers. "'Phins to Winnipeg!" hasn't quite crossed the wires yet. But I'll check Twitter one last time.
Will his presence - along with the acquisition of Chris Bosh and re-signing of Dwyane Wade - spur a Cats relocation to Hamilton (gonna throw a saucy language warning on this, BTW)? That's perhaps a bit of a stretch; no reason exists to believe a successful hockey club can't share a market with a winning basketball team. Even this funky market, as shaky and bandwagon as it has understandably proven to be in difficult times, undoubtedly has the room and dollars to spare. And of course we're including the Dolphins and Marlins in this discussion. The Fish are getting a new bazillion-dollar stadium, and the NFL club will always be above the fray.
Each is a singular entity which overlaps the other three; the amount of overlap certainly varies, and if a prototypical - and entirely theoretical - South Florida sports fan was asked to rate the four clubs in order of preferrence, the Panthers are undoubtedly going to be at the aft end of the rankings.
But that's fine; they don't need market domination to survive. Just an ingrained ability to compete hard, win
six three times more than they lose, and give the folks an honest effort every night (a postseason splash is, without question, an extraordinarily critical aspect). As long as Dale Tallon's doing his job (and oh yeah, coach Peter DeBoer), the crowds will grow despite the TMZ-style madness in Dade. And they can have it.
For the record, the Cats had their own other-worldly presence in the form of Pavel Bure, but surrounded by nothing, the club went nowhere. Hockey's an entirely different animal than hoops, so let's leave him out of the argument.
Disclosure: I am not a prototypical South Florida sports fan; I'm a hockey guy first and last. I respect the existence and popularity of the others but still find them foreign and unapproachable. Just stubborn ole me.
Anyway, on to the poll (and once more, check out Dave's fantastic Heat coverage at Peninsula is Mightier)...
LBJ: locally helps or hurts the Florida Panthers...
Helps: a superstar player - from any sport - has a kickback effect which elevates all of the region's teams (78 votes)
Hurts: No way the Panthers can top this, namewise. Given the ticket choice, on-the-fencers will unquestionably go Heat (91 votes)
LeBron who? (45 votes)
214 total votes