Aside from the 12 lifelong Miami Heat fans that actually exist (for whom I am genuinely happy), the millions of frontrunning, post-Decision Heat fans, and the people that for some reason actually changed their minds about this team after they won something (who are the worst), most of the country faces an unhappy sports news cycle for the remainder of the year: a news cycle in which the Miami Heat are world champions. Here are some tips on how to cope.
MAKE ANYONE THAT BRAGS ABOUT THE HEAT TELL YOU THEIR ENTIRE NBA ROOTING HISTORY. THEN QUESTION THEIR FANHOOD/
MANHOOD/WOMANHOOD (AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS, KICK THEIR CAR HOOD).
Like I said, there are approximately 12 fans that have the legitimate right to be happy. Good for them. Seriously, post-2006 and pre-Decision, you had some pretty horrible teams. BUT. If anybody—friend, foe or stranger—tries to brag about this championship in your presence, and they are not one of these 12 people, call them out on it immediately.
First, ask if the Heat have always been their favorite team. If, surprisingly, that is the case, ask them to name five former Heat players (players who are not on the 2011 or 2012 rosters). If they somehow pass that test, ensure they are either from Florida or have a close family member that influenced them to root for the Heat. Most people will not make it this far. When you find out they are indeed a bandwagoner, tell them that they will never be loved because they don’t understand commitment and loyalty.
If they pass the final test, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper. Lie. Use hyperbole. Random ad-hominem attacks. Say Pat Riley’s career peaked when he was The Godfather. Claim LeBron is an alien and therefore ineligible. Tell them you’re a fan of “real” sports and thus only interested in Euro 2012. Compare The Decision to JFK’s assassination. Just say anything. They’re Heat fans; they don’t subscribe to typical human logic. You don’t have to be coherent to beat them in an argument. I reiterate: THESE PEOPLE ARE WORSE THAN THE PLAGUE.
The only way to truly defeat a bandwagon fan, though, is to make them understand why they’re wrong. You’ve gotta go all Mark-Cuban-on-Skip-Bayless on them. Poke fun at them. Have them identify that mysterious “Udonis Haslem” fellow whom they once heard the announcer mention. Ask them how it was being a Bulls and Yankees fan in the 90s. Ask them why they’ve never been to any of their favorite team’s games. Tell them what it’s like to have a sports argument based on statistics, facts and logic. Quiz them on anything sports related, especially things relating to losing teams. Even easy ones, like, who did the Heat lose to in last year’s playoffs? No one, bro! We’re da best! Number one! EFF THE HATERS! Ask them about the mysterious regular season (they probably will have no idea what you’re talking about). Tell them about heartbreak. About loyalty. Have them show you Heat merchandise from pre-2006. And capture their dumbfounded reaction to all of this. They’ll be speechless. And you’ll need to remember this face for your morale’s sake the upcoming year. Tell them about the Charlotte Bobcats. The Kansas City Royals. The Pittsburgh Pirates. About losing. SMACK THEM IN THE FACE WITH THEIR OWN OBLIVIOUSNESS. MAKE THEM FEEL WHAT DAN GILBERT IS FEELING.
MOVE TO RUSSIA, WHERE YOU WILL NOT BE REMINDED OF THE HEAT.
You need a safe haven. In America, there’s ESPN and the LeBron-jersey-wearing bandwagoners everywhere. You can’t escape the reminders. You need to leave the country. Canada is too close. South America, Africa, and Asia are too hot. The heat will remind you of the Heat. Lots of Asia is basketball-crazy. In the EU, they don’t know that the Heat are evil. Every basketball fan there has a number-six Miami jersey. Antarctica is unrealistic (but ideal, if you can pull it off). So what’s left? Russia, which is essentially its own world. They aren’t big basketball fans, and it’s really cold. Heat is nowhere to be found. And while living in a place with a quasi-dictatorial government, you’ll have more important things to worry about. Putin doesn’t tolerate free agency. In Russia, team pick you! Oh, and there’s vodka. Lots of good, cheap vodka.
PLAY AN NBA 2K12 SEASON, TURN THE DIFFICULTY ALL THE WAY DOWN AND WALLOW IN THE HEAT’S DEFEAT.
Self-explanatory. If you have any skill, you will win the NBA Championship. Then take screenshots of whatever team you chose winning the Larry O’Brien trophy, blow it up and post it all over your walls, pretending that video games are reality. Show this to Heat fans, who will believe you and assume they merely dreamt their championship win.
MAKE AN ANGRY FACEBOOK STATUS AND ENJOY YOUR 500 “LIKES.”
Something along the lines of “LeBron James is still a little bitch and stinks a lot and the Heat are dirty cheaters!!!!!! The refs stunk and were cheaters too!!! And Heat fans are worse than Kim Kardashian!!!” Include a lot of nonsense, misspell words in your rage, curse and throw in some angry abbreviations (OMG, WTF, FU, SMH, SMD, et al.). Make sure to be as irrational as possible. Exclamation points and all caps are bonuses. The likes will flow in faster than Chris Bosh running in Jurassic Park III. This is how you win at Facebook.
CLAIM THE NBA IS RIGGED.
This always works.
MAKE FUN OF SOMEONE LESS FORTUNATE THAN YOU.
I’m kidding. But, like, what else is there to do?
– Get really rich and give your net worth to Dwight Howard and Deron Williams in exchange for their promises to play for the Thunder for the minimum salary, long-term.
– Eat lots of pizza and ice cream.
Other than that, just do what is typically recommended for people experiencing depression. Hang around positive people. Do fun things. Maybe get a new hobby, like knitting. Knit “Good Job, Good Effort” scarves for the Thunder. Stay positive. Keep yourself occupied. Form a support group with other sufferers. Recall the “…not five, not six, not seven…” schpiel. Point out that they have seven more to go.
And remember, at least these players aren’t rich on top of all their glory and fame. (CORRECTION: I’m told that professional athletes make millions of dollars per year. Fuck. It’s gonna be a long year.)