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Home / Articles / Columnists / Sports Feature /  As 2014 Closes The Show, Lots For South Florida To Remember
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Tuesday, January 6,2015

As 2014 Closes The Show, Lots For South Florida To Remember

By Mark Tudino  

Traditionally, sportswriters/ commentators like to use the end of the year as a chance to sum up the sports year – and to look ahead to the coming battles/stories which might grace our sports consciousness next year. I generally shy away from so-called “list’ columns, as they don’t offer much depth and often don’t give the reader much perspective. However, last month’s “Give Thanks” column, wherein I offered a few items each sports fan should be thankful for, was positively received, so as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (Nevertheless, I promise this will be the last “list” column – at least for now). So, let the countdown begin; of course feel free to disagree, or to add your own story, but remember the item must deal – at least in part – with some South Florida angle.

10. Sun Life Stadium Improvements I know, you might be thinking, “who cares if a rich guy improves his own sandbox?” Well, at first blush the $350 million dollar project paid for by Dolphin’s owner Steven Ross to improve Sun Life might seem irrelevant – until you realize that big events – including Super Bowls – were not going to be in our area until the facility was improved. By 2016 all renovations – including a retractable roof – will be complete and I guarantee you most fans will be glad it was done.

9. High School Bonanza We don’t pay enough attention to our younger athletes but multiple championships in football by Washington (Miami) High School, American Heritage - Plantation (a repeat winner), St. Thomas Aquinas and Miami Central High all deserve our attention – and congratulations.

8. UF Fires Will Muschamp Again, this might be one of those, “who cares?" stories, until you realize the Tri-County area is home to over 25,000 UF alumni who care very much who coaches their football team.

7. NFL Blues: As well as our colleges have done, that’s how poorly the professionals have fared; the Dolphins, in particular, will miss the playoffs for the 6 th straight year. By the time you read this they may even have a new head coach.

6. FSU to the first “Final Four”: Despite – or maybe because – of the adversity visited upon their program, watching FSU football this year was liking watching a man juggle dynamite while walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon. Yet, at the end of the day, they are one of four schools who will play for the national title. Well done.

5. 30 in a Row for Florida Hoops: I don’t care if you win 30 tiddlywinks matches in a row, winning 30 NCAA basketball games in a row, which is what Florida’s Men’s team did, is impressive. They made it to the Final Four and lost – but still had an amazing year.

4. Who’s buying? Giancarlo Stanton: Why? Well, let’s just say he has 325 million reasons to do so, after having been signed to the richest professional contract in MLB history. More amazing still? It was the Marlins who signed him!

3. Adios, Lebron: Whenever the best hoops player on the planet leaves town it’s a major story – even if it does sting to say it.

2. FSU wins BCS title: As a UF guy it pains me to say it, but right now they are the gold standard in college football, riding (at the time of this writing) a 29-game winning streak. Impressive.

1. Heat Get 4 Straight: Yes, I know they got waxed by the Spurs in the Finals, but when you consider only two other NBA franchises had ever done what they accomplished, it belongs on this list – in this case, right at the top.

So, that’s it sports fans. Hope your 2014 was memorable and enjoyable, even if your team didn’t win it all. And here’s hoping that each and every one of you enjoy a safe and prosperous 2015.

Happy New Year!

SPORTS

Mark Tudino is an attorney with offices in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties, whose practice specializes in all areas of civil litigation. He has lived in South Florida for more than 20 years. Prior to attending law school, he was a political and sports reporter for television stations across the country. His career allowed him to cover everything from presidential elections to national championship sports teams, and he still maintains a passion to observe and discuss the world of sports.

 

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