We have all seen the movie. Brad Pitt takes a team of players no one thought would do anything, and turns the team into a dominant one. Sounds familiar? It should. So called experts had not one but two of our beloved South Florida teams listed as cellar dwellars last season, and by all rights they should have been.
However a funny thing happened to both teams as what little so called star power went to their respective benches with unforseen injury after unforseen injury. Both teams rallied amongst themselves, and outpaced Las Vegas, and other so called experts’ expectations by a large margin. Not only did they start winning on both fronts, but they started winning a lot. One team the Miami Dolphins making it to a Wild Card spot with ten wins, while the other Miami Heat narrowly missed their chance to see the Post season.
With the last remaining player from the big three era making it a second consecutive year spending a majority of time on the bench, and the Dolphins’ own Ryan Tannehill being sidelined for the first time in his career, a funny thing started happening. Miami's other role players stepped up in a big way.
A huge nod goes to the two South Florida Head Coaches. Both Coach Spo, and Adam Gase took their respective clubs and fed them a buffet of a never say die mentalities, and the end result spoke for themselves. Excitement filled the Miami fan bases as we saw multiple countdowns occur, and playoff races that simply promoted new possibilities for a once demure set of seasons.
Looking back, we can truly say this was a year to remember. With youth movements being made on both fronts, both teams went from being teams looking for stars willing to shine, to two teams decidedly breeding them in bulk.
We also saw the somewhat re-emergence of players on both fronts. Dion Waiters for the Heat, as well as others who were simply outcasts of a low tiered quality actually live up to the promise that once earned them a call on draft day. For the Dolphins, it was Kiko Alonso, and Byron Maxwell that managed to make the Florida NFL franchise look like geniuses.
Take a look at the two rosters. Tell me how anyone other than the front office figureheads could see an ability to manipulate both core groups into something so spectacular, so unabashed, and even so promising with moves that we once deemed illogical. After all, our own Dolphins made the playoffs without a defense in the top ten, and a running back whose three biggest games compiled over 50 percent of his overall gains on the ground. The team defied the odds, and crushed a formula that had worked for over a half century. The Heat on the other hand almost made the playoffs, and they did so on the backs of a barrage of three pointers and defense, and in the meantime, setting a record of their own.
I tell you what, not once but twice last year, Miami teams showed us the stuff that dreams are made of, and in ways that would make Brad Pitt's character in Moneyball proud.