Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.
Miami Heat fans are a funny bunch. They’re funny like “That’s a hilarious tweet; you’re so funny!” and funny as in no two Heat fans are exactly alike. Describing anyone as a snowflake has lately taken on a whole new meaning (Thanks Obama!), so we won’t go there, but it truly does seem like no two Heat fans are created equal. Maybe that’s because the team didn’t exist until some current fans were in middle school. Maybe it’s because just in the last 15 years there has been the lowest of the lows and the highest of highs any sports fan across all sports could possibly experience. Maybe it’s just because Miami. Who knows?
While Heat fans might be incredibly unique and hard to predict, we can still categorize them. Here are the five most common types found in Heat nation.
5. The name-on-the-front-of-the-jersey Heat fan
Sports is not unlike politics, really. Take this type of Heat fan, who sides with the team, regardless of the circumstances. If we are being honest, more often than not this Heat fan is the most loyal of the bunch. And in fairness, this team has more than earned these fans’ unquestioned support over the last two decades. Push Dwyane Wade out the door? How dare you?! Are you nuts, Riley?! This type of Heat fan wasn’t among those jumping on Twitter to lob those kind of questions at Riley. They are all-in with whatever the team thinks is best — and more times than not, they’re rewarded for that devotion.
4. The name-on-the-back-of-the-jersey Heat fan
We just dove from the lovely jacuzzi that is the best group of Heat fans straight into the freezing cold ice bath that is the worst kind of Heat partisan. LeBron James is coming to Miami? These people suddenly must be seen at a Heat game! Their entire motivation for going to a Heat game is to tell people on Facebook about that time they went to a Heat game — all because it’s the in thing to do. Luckily in 2017, these fans — better known as frontrunners or bandwagoners — are long gone now. The minute they heard about Luke Babbitt joining the Heat, they were running to the cash-out window. Now they want back in, like Ray Allen just tied the game or something.
3. The cocky Heat fan
Once a regular on the show, this Heat fan is only now reemerging from the shadows. When this team had an 11-30 earlier this year, Cocky Heat fan was sort of just creepily whispering to themselves, “They’ll see. They’ll all see.” Now, as the Heat approach .500 and a spot in the playoffs, this Heat fan is back and cockier than ever. They told you never to doubt the Heat’s culture, but you wouldn’t listen. Do the Heat have a chance to beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs? Pfffft. Are you even a fan of basketball? Of course, the Heat can beat the Cavs. Pay attention! Cocky Heat fan still believes the air conditioning in San Antonio is the only reason the Heat don’t have another banner hanging in the American Airlines Arena.
2. The outraged e-Heat fan
This is the Heat fan the rest of the country hates. Why? Because this is the Heat fan who spends all day on Twitter. The e-Heat fan only exists on social media, and even though they seems to know so much about everything, in reality they only catch every third game or so. They’re quick to demand that the team fire Erik Spoelstra. They don’t care about loyalty to Udonis Haslem. They defend Heat home-crowd sizes, but haven’t been to a Heat game themselves since the first year LeBron came to Miami, even though they live ten minutes from the arena. This Heat fan just wants to complain or to be outraged. When the Heat are winning and everything is going well, you barely hear from them.
1. Your Dad
Your Dad calls you to ask you when the Heat game is on, even though you got him an Amazon Echo for Christmas and he could just ask it. He really just wants to talk Heat basketball with you so you’ll talk to him at all. Your Dad isn’t on Twitter, so fringe Heat news you won’t find in a newspaper takes a couple weeks to hit him. “Did you know Wade could come back to the Heat this offseason?” he’ll ask you next week. What your Dad lacks in up-to-the-minute Heat knowledge, though, he makes up for in loyalty to the team. He believed at 11-30 they could still make the playoffs. He thinks that Wayne Ellington could be the team’s next Ray Allen. He still can’t understand why Dwyane Wade would leave the Heat, but he sides with the team. Your Dad is the best Miami Heat fan.