Monday, June 26, 2006

A Scorching Day. A Semi-Hot Chick. A Championship Parade. Let's Do It Again Next Year!!

The Dude's Report From The Miami Heat Parade of Champions …

First off, let me just say that I chose to be here because I wanted to experience the whole championship parade celebration thing. God knows I’ve waited long for this day to come and I was not going to be kept from it. Let me also say that as parades go, this one was pretty lame. Not sure if it was because of the weather or the fact that over 200,000 people showed up (a quarter of them not real Heat fans in my book), but it kind of sucked. BUT – a lame championship parade beats NO championship parade any day. I’ll take burning in the sun while waiting to catch a glimpse of Antoine Walker wigglin’ on a championship duck-boat with 199,000 other people, over whatever the hell was going on in downtown Dallas that afternoon.

So here’s how my day went down: I get there with the intention of meeting some friends. My buddy Cash had been there for hours, holding a nice spot for us. I call him on the cell while I wade through a sea of sweaty, pit-smelling Heat fans languishing about like zombies in the sun soaked afternoon. It was friggin hot, which is why I came armed with two water bottles. The Dude is always prepared. Cash didn’t pick up right away, so I walked towards the Freedom Tower that had a large banner draped over the front that read Congratulations To The World Champion Miami Heat. Very cool. Just then, a pretty girl and some of her friends approached me and asked me where I got my bottle of water. Being the smooth Dude that I am and, as always, looking to seize a moment with a pretty girl, I pulled out the other bottle of water from my shorts pocket and offered it to her. She refused. I insisted. She thankfully accepted and we stood there drinking water and shooting the breeze.

Eventually, Cash called. After finding out where he was standing, I said my goodbyes to, I’ll call her Amanda, and turned to meet Cash. I’m a loyal friend that way. But as I turned, Amanda asked if she could come watch the parade with me. “No, you can’t come with me! What are you? Some kind of leech? First you take my water now you want to use me to get a better look at the parade?” Actually, that’s not what I said. Just checking to see if you’re still paying attention. She was semi-hot. So I said, “Yea.”

We met Cash, who had himself a pretty decent spot on the north side of the parade route. We stood there in the hot, hot sun. Amanda asking me about myself. Me asking Amanda about herself. Eventually, the parade got started. Thank God. Did I mention that it was hot?

First came a convertible moving at 1 MPH filled with a bunch of people none of us knew. Two whole minutes later came a fire engine. Mind you, this fire engine was about half a foot behind the convertible. This frickin thing was like watching a glacier move, except that instead of freezing our asses off we were burning to death. On top of the fire engine was Burnie, looking very merry and waving with unbridled, flippant enthusiasm at us. I think I can capture 100% of the people’s sentiment when they saw that cute, lovable rambunctious orange-red colored fuzzy-wuzzy waving at us with such adorable flair and frivolousness from the top of a Dade County fire engine: Get the f$#@ out of our faces! Nobody wants to see you! I hope you’re melting in that dumb-ass costume you lame excuse for a mascot! Move along! Move along, damn it! I’M BURNING UP!!!! GO ALREADY!!!!

Mercifully, the fire engine moved on, revealing the next car: another convertible filled with more people we’ve never seen before in our lives. Again, the crowd’s sentiment was pretty unanimous: Who the hell are those people? Where the hell is Shaq? MY SKIN IS BLISTERING AND BUBBLING!!!!!

Finally, Cash spots a duck-boat heading our way. The crowd slowly starts to build up a powerful crescendo. The duck-boat floats past us. It’s Shaq! This is the closest I’ve ever seen him! Holy, he’s huge!! There’s Pat Riley! Where? Right there! He’s shooting a water gun at us! Wait let me take a picture! Hurry up! Wait! Hurry up! Okay … got it! Who else is on that float? I don’t know. I was looking at Pat Riley. Wait, where’d they go? They’ve moved along. What? Is it me, or did we catch a longer glimpse of Burnie than we did of Shaq? Ok forget that, forget that … the next vehicle is coming. This should be better.


That’s right – another convertible. This time the Heat dancers are on it, so that’s pretty good. Still, they look oddly out of place. They each have this Darryl Hannah semi-smile on their faces like they sort of know why they’re here but they’re not a hundred percent sure. They’ve stopped right in front of us. Why couldn’t Shaq’s float stop like this? Why are they still waving and smiling? This is getting a little Stepford Wives creepy. Okay, that’s enough. If I wanted to get a long look at fake boobies and dumbfounded looks on bubble-headed bleached blondes, I’d do it on the internet in the air-conditioned comfort of my own home. MOVE IT!!!

Another duck-boat coming up. Who’s that up there? Is that Gary Payton? I’m not sure. The duck-boats all have these make-shift tents over them to shade the players. And they’re all dressed in white. And their faces are all covered in the shade. Damn, did I just take a picture of James Posey or Khalid El-Amin??? Look, Dwyane Wade!!! Where? On the other side. Other side? What the hell, you got x-ray vision? How can you spot him on the other side? Look, he’s right there. Where? Right THERE! Where? Oh wait, is that him? I think so! Let me take a picture! Crap, that dude’s bald spot just got in the way! Let me try again … Oh … the duck-boat is gone. Crap it all!! Damn you bald headed man! I hope your bald spot burns like gonorrhea on a fat hooker in the middle of the equator!!! You son-of-a b...Wait … Here comes another car!

It’s Mickey Arison. Fantastic! I saw Shaq for two whole seconds, I may or may not have snapped a shot of James Posey, I caught an obscure, bald headed blocked-out glimpse of Dwyane Wade but, hey – Mickey Arison’s car has been standing there for a full minute. Lucky me! Take a picture! Go f%$# yourself!!

The parade once again gets going. Car after car passes with people I could give two craps about waving back at me. Another duck-boat finally comes by. Look! It’s Zo!! You know what? I don’t care. My tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth. My sweat feels hot and cold at the same time, which can’t be good. And thanks to this 90+ degree weather, much like Lindsey Lohan, I am now officially a fire crotch. That might as well be a topless Maria Sharapova up on that duck-boat and I wouldn’t give a crap. Just get me to some shade and give me some water!

Like the others, Zo’s float speeds past us like Jeff Gordon is driving the duck-boat. Is it that all the floats are going at the same speed but in my excitement it seems like they’re zipping by? Or did we just park ourselves in the worst possible spot for the parade? Later on, I found out that further along on the parade route, Shaq got off his boat and started walking around among the people. This is what it must have felt like for the one town with lepers that Jesus did not stop to see. I want to leave. Cash and Amanda want to see the presentation on the stage in front of the arena. We wait for an hour for the parade to come back. Instead of it coming back our way, it hangs a quick right and heads off to the back of the American Airlines Arena. Seems fitting in a very sadistic way. The back of my neck feels like a solar panel.

The rest of the day has been well documented:

-Shaq makes Riley dance.
-Riley makes the team dance to Springsteen’s The Rising.
-Shaq introduces the players. He says Antoine Walker has a head the size of the Larry O’Brien trophy. He says Jason Kapono is the coolest guy on the team (what else can he say about a guy who saw as much playing time in the Finals as I did?). He says D-Wade is sexy. He starts an “Uno mas” chant when Zo took the mic.
-Mickey Arison tells the most culturally mixed city in America to “Stay White.”
-The team shows the crowd Antoine Walker’s head. That is, the Larry O’Brien trophy.
-Shaq says we’re going to do it again next year.
-They reveal the new billboard that hangs over the front of the AAA. It’s a team picture that reads 2006 NBA Champions. The team is in their best X-Men pose. Jason Williams’ whiteness stands out in a profound, almost blinding, way.

The ending was a bit anti-climactic. But I was able to hang out with Amanda until later that night. The partying and celebrating lasted all weekend long for us. You can fill in the details yourself. Go Heat!!!

All in all, I’m happy I went. It was a great experience and I do hope we can do it again, like Shaq said. Only next time, I’m going to see what I need to do to be one of the unknown people riding in the convertibles. If not, then I’ll just invite Amanda to watch it on my TV with a couple of beers. In fact, yea … that’s officially the plan. I’ll ask Cash to e-mail me the pictures.

Stay white everybody!

Labels:


Comments:
Strangely enough, I felt like I was there and yet didn't want to be and yet I did. Still, I would love to read more about Amanda. You're a tease, Dude. Not cool!

yay heat!!!
 
this is the funniest thing you've written in some time (i know, you've been caught up with the finals. it's hard to be funny when you're all tensed out, blah blah blah).

you described the experiemnce perfectly. "happy to be here celebrating its but hot as hell and when is this thing over???" the only difference is you hooked up with a chick while i did not. i hate you. bastard!
 
You forgot to mention the serious lack of port-o-potties out there.

Still, even though it was blistering hot, and there was nowhere to take a piss or shit in sight and the turn out was more than expected, it was AWESOME to be there celebrating our Heat!

2006 World Champs baby!!!!
 
Y.A. -- haven't heard from you in a while. Where were you during the NBA playoffs?

The Amanda thing is a side-bar. I didn't mean to make her the focus of the piece (didnt mean to tease). Mainly, I just wanted to share my whole experience at the parade, as awesome/unpleasant as it was. If I had to do it all over again, I would. Like I said, standing in the scorching sun watching a championship parade beats no parade.
 
i read everything you wrote during the playoffs. i did not comment the entire time for fear of jinxing the team. see -- it worked!

p.s. sorry about the typos. i'm at work and must read and type fast.


lets go heat!!!!!
 
Dude, you gotta know even sem-hot chicks are NEVER a side bar.

By the way, I was among the people who walked with Shaq when he got off his duck boat. Beyond awesome! That made my day.

But everything else you wrote I think nailed it perfectly. Still, for those non-Heat fans reading all this, I hope they understand that we're not complaining. I loved being out there and partying all night at Mangos.

Feels good to be a champ.
 
So awesome Dude. Glad you had a great time. I was stuck at work sitting in the breakroom watching the parade on a 10" TV with rabbit ears on Univision.

Your recap made up for that crap experience.
 
"10" TV with rabbit ears on Univision." Ha ha ha ... thats funny JD. Sorry to hear that. But at least you were cool and well hydrated.
 
Good post. If I'd been in the same situation, the entire narrative would have been about Amanda. I would have missed the entire parade.

You, sir, are a dedicated fan.
 
Haha, CC ... That's because you are The Closer. You come in and it only takes you 1 1/3 innings to close the deal. I'm more of a complete game guy. Gotta take my time, gotta select the right pitches. Gotta make sure I don't blow it.

Thanks for stopping by!
 
The Finals may be over, but we South Floridians can continue the celebration through more awards...

Vote for D-wade for Best Championship Performance, the Miami Heat as the Best Team and/or Pat Riley as the Best Coach in the ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) awards on ESPN @
http://espn.go.com/espy2006/index.html

The awards will air Sunday, July 16 (9 P.M. - EST) on ESPN.
 
Excellent stuff. I felt the same way about the parade's lameness. Luckily, though, I was at the front of the crowd when it broke free into the streets, and nothing but awesomeness followed.

But I went with my dad, not a semi-hot chick not named Amanda, so you win on that front.
 
Hey (sports)Dude,
I ran into your blog while searching for a blown up photo of the Heat AAA banner and found the account of your experience entertaining.
If you or any other Heat fan want a momento/documented footage of the parade that day, you can buy the DVD which I produced, at my ebay store.
Every Heat fan will enjoy this 2 Disc set maybe more so than the Sports Illustrated DVD cause it has all the parade footage and it was edited creatively by a die-hard-Heat fan's perspective.
Check out the description below:

ONE-OF-A-KIND Collectors edition 2 DVD set:
The story of The Miami Heat 2006 WHITE HOT Championship Season - 15 Strong:
Relive the all the excitement and drama of the Miami Heat's 2005-2006 roller coast journey to the NBA Championship.
Disc ONE
Includes Highlights of all the post season beginning with the 1st round all the way through to the Game 6 victory of the NBA Finals. Also included is rarely seen footage of post-game and locker room interviews throughout the playoffs.
Disc TWO
Includes Live local news coverage of the Parade of Champions in downtown Miami – 3 hours of coverage IN ITS ENTIRETY! Also included is rare footage of the HEAT PRIVATE PARTIES at the Dallas Hotel (the night of their Championship win), Pride 112 Miami Beach Steak House (later that week on Thursday).
The Live coverage of the 'White Hot Champions parade' is of excellent quality, compelling and in its entirety. Also, the quality of this DVD production, particularly the DVD menus, are top notch in part because they are rich with inspiring transitions and montages. The LIVE coverage gives you a close-up perspective you won’t find anywhere else unless you were there or watched it in South Florida as it happened. From cameras and local reporters on the street, to keen insights from the players during press conference interviews, and even interviews with fans on the streets, When you relive that day through the lens of Miami’s hometown media, you’ll understand why Pat Riley said he’d never experienced such love and support like the fans of Miami showed on that joyous day.
Compared to the few minutes of parade coverage the Sports Illustrated DVD provided at the end with the credits, this DVD was created for True Fans who want to be taken onto the streets and up close to all the pageantry of that day.

************************************************************************
SNEAK PREVIEW
View a trailer of this DVD set by going to:

www.themecca.net/promos/heat_dvd_preview.html
************************************************************************
Yet another set of features that separate this item from the many DVD's that have recently gone on sale at ebay is:
- the creative and well organized chaptered menus that allow you to go straight to memorable moments of the parade, celebrations and television appearances by members of the Heat organization.
Other special features you'll find on this DVD set are:
- Commentary by former Heat great, point guard Tim Hardaway, during the live coverage of the Parade.
- Pat Riley's appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno
- The dramatic and somewhat suspenseful moment in the parade when Shaq improvs and steps off the Float (with wife Shauny) to touch his fans causing a sort of Malay as fans trample the barricades and flood the streets in a frenzy - footage you didn't see on sports center and that you're only familiar with if you watched it live in Florida.
- Footage from the summer youth camps of Dwayne Wade and Tony Fiorentino when they made their appearances.
- Mark Cuban's post game Tirade with reporters - 10 minutes of uncut footage!

- Dwayne Wade Highlight montage with Flash's theme song track (not available anywhere else)

- Shaq's highligh Reel with Superman's theme song (you won't find this anywhere else)

- Footage of D.Wade's neighborhood in Pine Crest, FL including interview with his neighbors.

- Local stories that happened during the Finals series that WERE NOT Covered by the national media including:
a) the war between Mark Cuban's Yacht and a Miami city official who forced the yacht out of Miami;
b) A local DJ Mav fan who got pegged with eggs after the Mavs lost the series;
c) local DJ's drop a 1972 Maverick from a crane and then parade the crushed car through the streets of downtown Miami during the Heat Parade.
d) and much more!

All this footage and the media coverage from local Miami personalities give this DVD a hometown feel and perspective you will not find anywhere else - not even on the Sports Illustrated DVD! Produced and edited by local visual artist, Blake Paris from www.themecca.net.
This is a one-of-a-kind collectors item and a treasure of a gift for every Die-Hard Heat fan.
 
I almost forgot to include the address to the store. Prices are very reasonable for what you get.

Available now at

http://stores.ebay.com/Rare-Gifts-Great-Buys
 
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