Miami Heat fans have taken some gruff for not properly embracing their mega-team early this season. Have you ever considered that perhaps the Heat just hasn't ginned up energy and excitement properly?
Take a look at the Heat's intro video, which appears on the American Airlines Arena jumbotron as players are introduced. You expect Miami's finest to scream and whoop after feeding them Phil Collins?
There is so, so much to say about this thing.
First of all, I love Phil Collins. "In the Air Tonight" is a magnificent song, and Collins a genius. And trust me, I do not own many Jock Rock CDs. I do not appreciate the finer points of Gary Glitter. Ninety-nine percent of the songs played at arenas in the course of a game are awful, and the other 1 percent are by Journey.
But the player intro video is special, and has special requirements. And one of those requirements is that it is more than 50 beats per minute. Multi-layered lead vocals are generally a "no." Suits are OK, I suppose, especially if they come along with killer pocket squares -- word up to Juwan Howard!
But a scarf, LeBron James? There is fire raining down from the sky! A scarf is not required! It cannot possibly be cold in your extremely dark studio with the upholstered wall and bikini-clad dancers and fire rain. No scarves, man. No scarves.
The incredibly serious faces every player wears are so extraordinarily ridiculous given the context. Player intro videos can be stern, piercing affairs. But the atmosphere of the song, the falling sparks, the flaming puddles and the mesmerizingly splices of the Miami Viced-up dancer -- it's just too much to take. No wonder the Heat's home crowd won't get on its feet and hurl expletives at Paul Pierce. They're too busy laughing.
Here's the video in a larger size.