By Daniel I. Dorfman–
CHICAGO (WSCR) There are certain things that are popular in American culture and I’ve never understood why, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are two examples that come to mind. But every so often the American public gets it right. And we might have just seen an example of that as a magazine devoted to the Miami Heat didn’t get very far.
Ad Age reported on Tuesday a publication titled Skyboxx intended to be filled with coverage of the Heat didn’t make it past the first issue as sales were far short of expectations. Despite our gloomy weather, that fact should add some sunshine to our collective lives.
It is always easy to loathe teams filled with superstars. That is why people have loved to hate the New York Yankees for generations. Some of the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raider teams were not exactly filled with warm and fuzzy characters. But the Heat seem to have taken distaste to a new level.
Of recent generations, the sucker punching, cheap shot filled Detroit Pistons teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s might be the only group to compare with Miami right now.
We all know the Miami got off to a bad PR start with “The Decision,” the ESPN goofiness centered around LeBron James’ signing last summer. The team only made matters worse with the tacky spectacle of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh being displayed to the Miami crowd the next day. With all the negative backlash they received for those events, given the MIAMI HATE T-shirts that popped up, it would have been plausible to think some PR strategies would have been changed over the course of the season and now in the playoffs.
Just this week, Charles Barkley called the Heat a “whiny bunch” and characterized them as “thin-skinned,” because they don’t take criticism well. In Wednesday’s New York Times, an article showed how Wade and James insist on being interviewed as a tandem, presumably fearing what one might say when they are left alone. And then there was the “celebration” of winning their series against Boston, which was merely the second round. Compare that event to the way the Bulls left the court after they closed out the Atlanta Hawks.
This is not meant as some type of Chicago provincialism. There have been plenty of unlikable Chicago teams as well. This city fell in love with the ’85 Bears, but the boasting that was adored here was justifiably despised in many other parts of the country. The 2004 Cubs may be remembered for their collapse in the final week of the season, but when you have an organization that chases off the broadcasters and had their star player abandon the team on Fan Appreciation Day, they are not going to be looked back on all that fondly. So Chicago is in no position to look down on other cities.
Still, the Heat seem intent on making themselves the Darth Vaders of the NBA. If it is by design, the Skyboxx failure indicates this is not a great strategy.
As impressive as the Bulls Game 1 victory was, the fact remains no one should be completely shocked if Miami came back and grabbed this series. But if the Bulls do go ahead and win and send the Heat home early, for almost everyone who follows the NBA, that would feel really good.
Do you agree with Daniel? Post your comments below.
Daniel I. Dorfman is a local freelance writer who has written and reported for the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe among many other nationally prominent broadcast, online and print media organizations. He is also a researcher for 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @DanDorfman To read more of Daniel’s blogs click here.