Given the chance that the world and our small
part of it in South Florida could be firmly and
fatally knocked-off its axis at the possibility of
the New York Jets actually making it to a
Super Bowl being played in South Florida
two weeks hence, and the Jets even using
the Dolphins training facility in Davie as
their practice facility if they beat the Colts
later this afternoon -to the apparent delight
of the smug, not-so-bright marketing
geniuses dumb enough to be quoted by name
here, in the perfectly predictable Herald
pre-Super Bowl puff piece full of cliches
I wanted to bring up a heretofore unmentioned
yet positive reason to root against the Jets:
Not that another is really needed for the most
devout South Florida sports fans, who continually
despair of continually seeing a certain crowd
who loves to flaunt their so-called 'individuality'
by their wearing of a New York Yankees or
Mets caps, like lemmings.
This is always grating, but most galling when
observed among young kids or adults who
never actually lived there when anyone named
Seaver or Mattingly were playing.
Their much-older counterpart are equally
known to us, droning on incessantly about
stick ball really being... blah, blah, blah...
Sorry, I've already tuned you out.
This isn't 1947 and you aren't some skinny
Italian nine-year old kid in Brooklyn, capisce?
You also aren't Pele wrapping string and tape
together in your poor neighborhood in Brazil
in the early '50's to make a ball because you
are so jaw-droppingly poor.
You're from the largest city in this country,
and yet you are continually crowing and
bragging about things that have nothing
at all to do with anything you or your family
ever did or said.
And need I remind you, you are
living here, too, no?
End of diatribe, sort of.
Well, except to remind you that when the
Jets beat the Colts, Nixon still hadn't been
That reason to bear the Jets animus maximus
is the possible infusion into rude and antagonistic
South Florida of some well-needed Midwestern
friendliness, or if you will, some Hoosier
The nice welcoming cool breeze to wash away
the unrelenting torpor of humid heat and
smugness that so often pervades this place.
Sort of like what we had regularly around the
holidays in the '70's and early '80's when the
Big 12 Conference Champ always played in
the Orange Bowl Game, and tons of
well-mannered alums from Nebraska,
Oklahoma and even Colorado were all over
Miami spending money and enjoying
themselves, sometimes even saying how
much they envied us living down here
with the weather and the water.
The very same ones that grew fed-up with
bad service, high prices and non-English
speaking personnel -esp. in hotel
parking garages- and the ever-present
threat of crime near downtown Miami
and the OMNI when that was actually
something and not just an
And they were chased away, too, based on
my conversations with those fans, here and
in other towns where I met them years later.
They felt unappreciated.
If the Colts win as I expect and hope, do you
really think you'll run into quite so many
people playing know-it-all smart aleck
over at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino
in Hollywood, over at The Clevelander
on South Beach or eating somewhere on
A1A in Hollywood, talking far too loudly
about real estate, and how they speculated
in South Florida real estate for years
-hello Radius and Duo!- but were
smart enough to get out in the nick of time,
as we would if the Jets are here?
Let me answer my own rhetorical question:
No, you won't.
Before you watch today's AFC Championship
Game between the Colts and Jets, be sure
to read this almost three-years old piece by
TIME's Miami Bureau Chief Tim Padgett,
a proud and brilliant grad of Wabash College
by way of Carmel, Indiana, and, as it happens,
one of the most prescient Latin America
political reporters in the country.
And I'm not just saying that because he's a
In Tim's case, a Hoosier-by-birth, as
opposed to my sister and I, who were
Hoosiers-by-choice, as she followed me
from North Miami Beach HS to Bloomington
three years later, in 1982, even staying in
Briscoe Quad, the same dorm near
Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium
where I lived for my first two years there.
Why does that name Padgett sound so
Yes, because in September, as you read here,
Tim wrote the definitive analysis piece on
South Florida in the 21st Century.
His piece was an Internet sensation nationally
precisely because it resonated with everyone
who knows anything about this area, whether
they live here or just visit.
See my original Sept. 6, 2009 post about his
article, which I titled,
Dear Florida, California, Michigan & Illinois:
It's over. See ya in the rear view mirror!
Florida Exodus: Rising Taxes Drive Out Residents
By TIM PADGETT/MIAMI
A short amusing TIME piece by Tim on
his hometown of Carmel, north of Indy,
and their seeming love affair with roundabouts
or traffic circles, was here:
You Want a Revolution
By TIM PADGETT
September 4, 2008
Carmel in the early '80's was sort of like...
well, for our purposes here, like Miami Lakes
in the late '70's when that was almost like
Dolphin City, with so many coaches and
players living there.
Except Indy had no NFL team then, as that
was Bears and Bengals territory, and we got
all their telecasts on CBS and NBC on the
Carmel was very affluent, well-educated,
and had lots of smart kids, just like HML
back when they were also the dominant
South Florida high school in sports, even
having lights on their HS field, which meant
the baseball team could play at night when
more people could watch and that their
elite football team could practice in
something other than 94 degree sunshine.
(My senior year, the HML valedictorian
famously ripped the school's emphasis
on competition and sports at their graduation
ceremony, which everyone heard about
as there were both School Board members
and Channel 4 TV cameras present.)
When I was at IU, Carmel meant Mark
Hermann, the Purdue QB, who'd been
a HS star for the Greyhounds.
Carmel bad, Purdue bad!
A Purdue QB from Carmel?
Well, as it was explained to me, not unlike
what Richard Lewis would say about his
dating: two wrongs don't make a right!
IU students from Carmel, like people who
went to Harvard, were always quick to let
you know it.
Didn't mean they were bad, just perhaps
a little too quick to pat themselves on their
back for something that had nothing to do
with them personally.
Hey, that's just like that class of former
New Yorkers in South Florida I was just
impugning a few minutes ago!
By the way, while I was at IU, the NCAA's
HQ was located in Kansas City, and didn't
move to Indy until a few years after I'd said
au revoir, http://www.ncaa.org/
If any of you are interested in the job,
nominations for people interested in becoming
the NCAA President must be received by
Revenge of the Hoosiers By Tim Padgett
February 5, 2007
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007