Wednesday, June 21, 2006


There are several obvious and subtle similarities between the 2006 Heat and 2003 Marlins, both improbable champions.

1) Sunshine
*Both teams played in Miami

2) Coaches
*Marlins Manager Jack McKeon took over after Jeff Torborg managed the team to a 16-22 (.421) record
*Heat coach Pat Riley took over after Stan Van Gundy coached the team to a 11-10 (.524) record

3) Strong finishes
*The Marlins went 75-49 (.605) under McKeon
*The Heat went 41-20 (.672) under Riley

4) Anticlimactic
*The Marlins played the Yankees in the World Series after the American League champs played an epic 7-game series against the rival Boston Red Sox in the ALCS
*The Heat played the Mavericks in the NBA Finals after the Western Conference champs played an epic 7-game series against the rival San Antonio Spurs in the Conference Semis

5) Blunders
*Game 4: Instead of Mariano Rivera, the Yankees brought in Jeff Weaver who gave up a game winning home run in the 12th inning
*Game 5: The Mavericks called a timeout after the Heat's first of 2 free throws with 1 second left in overtime.

6) Similar ending
*After the Yankees went up 2-1, the Marlins won the last 3 games to win the series 4-2
*After the Mavericks went up 2-0, the Heat won the last 4 games to win the series 4-2

7) The future is now
*Phenom Josh Beckett was World Series MVP
*Phenom Dwayne Wade was NBA Final MVP

8) The Boss
*Eccentric, wacky George Steinbrenner saw the Marlins clinch in New York
*Eccentric, wacky Mark Cuban saw the Heat clinch in Dallas

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