Most Recognizable Athletes & Coaches: Miami
In a cybertour of the major professional sports cities in America, we are exploring the most recognizable athletes and coaches in each city. This stop on the tour brings us to Miami, FL, and my favorite beach in the world, where there are only a few names to choose from in terms of popular athletes. That being said, I’m giving it a try anyway.
Ronnie Brown – If Ronnie Brown doesn’t play another down for the Miami Dolphins or in the NFL, he will still go down in history as the first player to perfect the Wildcat formation in professional football. What he did, accounting for 5 touchdowns against the New England Patriots, was beyond belief. What’s even more amazing though, is the type of season he had last year despite the fact that he was coming off knee surgery. To put up 214 carries for 916 yards on a reconstructed knee is unbelievable. Entering 2009, with what we’ll assume is a much healthier knee, he should be even more dominate and return to putting up the type of numbers we saw him boast in 2007 when he was running roughshod all over the NFL.
Chad Pennington – This man single-handedly resurrected a franchise. When Pennington decided to bring his cool and calm demeanor to the Miami Dolphins huddle, who would have imagined that he could have had this 1-win team, from a year ago ,winning the AFC East and in the playoffs? But that’s exactly what he did. He didn’t do it with flashy scrambling, a rocket arm, or a loud mouth. Pennington just went about things as he always did, in a cool and calculated manner that was efficient and got the job done. With a little help from the “Wildcat” formation, Pennington led the Dolphins to their best record in years, and now the entire city of Miami is expecting their football team to win—something they haven’t been able to do in a long time.
Hanley Ramirez – No one shows up to Florida Marlins games, but the folks of Miami still know who this guy is. Ramirez is one of the best young talents in all of baseball. He hits like a 1st baseman, but at shortstop, he makes some of the most dynamic defensive plays in the sport. We don’t hear much from Ramirez, but he lets his back do a lot of speaking. As a result, Ramirez has kept the Marlins relevant on a national scale, and it’s probably because of his play, that the city of Miami still has a baseball team at all.
Jason Taylor – It’s no surprise that a man who was on Dancing with the Stars is one of Miami’s biggest ones. After a brief stint in the nation’s capital, Taylor has humbled himself and has returned to his playing roots in Miami, where he helped pioneer some of the Dolphins more impressive seasons. Taylor has always been an outspoken individual who demands a lot of media attention. He spoke about getting out of Miami, he spoke up when he thought he should have won Defensive MVP (and he did win), and he spoke up when he said he didn’t really care much for Bill Parcells. Now, he’ll have to battle for microphone time with teammate Joey Porter, but I think they’ll strike a balance just enough to allow Taylor to be who he is, which is a sacking, media talking, twinkle toes star at the defensive end position.
Dwyane Wade – There’s no question that Wade is biggest star that the city of Miami has to offer. Dwyane is a menace on the basketball court, and he proved that this past season as he captured the league’s scoring title for the first time in his career. Of course, his dominance as a player was solidified back in the summer of 2006 when he single-handedly carried the Miami Heat to an NBA championship with 4 straight remarkable performances on the NBA’s biggest stage. He also helped lead Team USA to gold in the 2008 Olympics, where he was an integral part of the Redeem Team. And while the Heat have seen better days, Wade remains the lone bright spot on an up and coming roster. Nevertheless, Wade isn’t bored at all during an extended off-season, as I’m sure he keeps him self quite busy on the isles South Beach.
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