The end of the dog days are finally in sight as the Miami Dolphins return to the practice field, the Florida Marlins season is winding down and the hockey season is right around the corner! Expectations are certainly high for the Dolphins while the Marlins have been a disappointment. There has been a lot of excitement in recent weeks in South Florida as the Miami Heat has taken over the national sports spotlight. With the additions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, to go along with Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat have formed a “superteam” that the city of Miami hopes will bring lots of titles. However, if you’re reading this, you’re probably wishing that the Heat could spread some of the wealth around to the Panthers.
There is a famous saying, “high tides raise all boats,” that has been discussed recently around these parts. Dolphins writers are worried that Miami is about to become a Heat town, leaving behind King Dolphins for King James. However, the Panthers have taken the recent acquisitions in stride, even offering “Seats Fit for a King” and taking out a full-page ad in the newspaper welcoming the newest superstars to Miami. The recent attention that South Florida is receiving, and can expect to throughout the NBA season, can only help a franchise such as the Panthers, desperately needing some local and national attention to improve.
Never before has Miami been in this position nationally when it comes to our sports teams. Known for being fair-weathered and late-arriving, Miami is not considered an excellent sports town. However, it always seems that Panthers games draw reasonably well for a southern, sun-drenched city. If they can keep afloat while struggling to win games this long, the Heat’s preeminence in the media can only help. So could winning a few more games.
Unfortunately, for us Panthers fans, the summer is still rolling on and we all can’t play in the Senior US Open like Dale Tallon to pass the time. As it currently stands, I believe the roster is set except for those training-camp battles to be decided. Finally, we have some competition up the middle and some young guys that should be ready to take the next step after putting up solid minutes at the end of last season. Personally, I’m excited to see what newly acquired Michael Grabner can add to our offense and if the #3 Draft pick, Erik Gudbrandson, makes the team out of camp. This will be a rebuilding year as evidenced by the summer being pretty quiet, however, I think this team is ready to compete for a spot in the playoffs. Hopefully, come May we’ll have two teams fighting battles for their postseason lives. We know we’ll have at least one.