The city of Miami hasn't had a very favorable reputation as a sports town for quite some time now, and whatever's left of that reputation took an enormous hit on Tuesday when the hometown Heat hosted the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. With the Heat trailing by as many as six points in the final two minutes of regulation, many of those in attendance at the American Airlines Arena hit the exits early as it appeared Miami's season was about to end two wins shy of an NBA Championship.
As everybody knows by now, what those people missed was a historic comeback that pushed the game into overtime. Miami would then go on to pull out a 103-100 win to force a decisive Game 7 on Thursday night. A game that Heat power forward Chris Bosh said on Wednesday he'd rather those doubters stay at home to watch than show up again at the AAA.
Something tells me those with tickets won't listen, but the guilt-stricken fans who don't will be given a chance at redemption by a minor league baseball team on the opposite coast in Florida. That would be none other than the Fort Myers Miracle, a Class-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
The Miracle are offering a "Big Three" deal for Miami fans that come to Thursday night's game against the Jupiter Hammerheads at Hammond Stadium. Fans wearing Heat gear will get a $3 ticket, but must enter the ballpark through the exit gates. To get the $3 deal, Heat fans must stay through the entire nine innings on a Thirsty Thursday.
Any attempt to leave the ballpark early will cost Heat fans "good money" and incremental amounts of "good money" will be commensurate with the timing of the fickle Heat fan's exit.
If the Fort Myers Miracle name rings a bell, it might be because they're the same team that announced plans for a "Marco Rubio Water Bottle Night" following his awkward sip during the Republican response to the State of the Union Address.
Well, it's either that or you're a Twins fan.
Anyway, I say a good deal is a good deal, even if you're getting called out on the carpet in the process. But the problem here is that the offer only stands on Thursday night, which means it will overlap Game 7, at least for a little while. I have a feeling everybody's eyes will be fixated on Miami in anticipation of a Game 7 that can't possibly live up to the hype — or can it? — meaning they'll be left with a very small Heat contingent in Fort Myers.
Still, regardless of its success, this is a pretty fun idea and I do hope at least a couple people take advantage of it by entering through the exit. I'm sure they'd even honor an old Bimbo Coles jersey if you still have one of those in the closet, so go for it if the current NBA product isn't your thing.
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