Or so says Indiana Pacers radio announcer Mark Boyle.
Typically, the Heat are considered "winners." If you ask Boyle, though, their fanbase is comprised of nothing but losers.
Speaking late in the fourth quarter of Indiana's Game 2 win over Miami, Boyle ripped the Heat's so-called "fans" for leaving with their team only down by three.
“We are literally sitting in the crowd here," he said, via Beyond The Buzzer. "These losers are leaving, they are flocking to the exits with their team down by three. This city does not only not deserve this team, they don’t deserve any team.”
Boyle wasn't taking any hyperbolic jabs, either. He simply boarded the bandwagon that exists only to scorn the Heat's alleged bandwagoners.
The Miami faithful are often chastised for being, well, unfaithful. They're depicted as trend addicts who follow the Heat out of sheer convenience rather than altruistic supporters who remain vested in their team no matter what.
Forget that the Heat ranked third in attendance this past season. Loyalty isn't found in numbers. It's found in suffering and unconditional countenance, neither of which are rites of passage current Miami fans have been known to endure.
But is Boyle's assessment fair? Is he correct to categorize an entire fanbase under one stereotype? Does Miami, in fact, not deserve the Heat?
Cases can be made for both sides. Miami was 15th in attendance during the 2009-10 season, when the Heat finished fifth in the Eastern Conference. After the Big Three's formation, their average attendance skyrocketed to fifth in the league, an increase that is hardly indicative of earnest fidelity.
To classify all of Miami as losers, however, is overly harsh. The Heat have bandwagon fans. All winners do—especially when those winners house the greatest player in the world, LeBron James.
Staunch Heat fans do exist, though. There are those who have reveled in the Heat winning before and languished in agony when they've lost. Yet the Miami of today continues to be defined by its pseudo fixtures, those who came out of the woodwork after Dwyane Wade orchestrated the arrivals of LeBron and Chris Bosh.
That isn't entirely fair.
Criticize those who cheer on the Heat for appearance's sake, but don't loop in the allegiant patrons who will remain resolute in their support regardless of the score.
What Boyle declared was all-encompassing and therefore wrong—as politically incorrect as those fans who abandoned their seats in a tightly contested game.
Besides, Boyle should have been encouraged by their departure. It lessened the likelihood of Paul George and the rest of the Pacers being flipped the bird on their way to the locker room.
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