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Home / Articles / Columnists / Sports Feature /  Watchword For 2021? Potential
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Monday, January 4,2021

Watchword For 2021? Potential

By Mark Tudino  
So, who wants to hear about more COVID-19 stories?

More cancellations?

More confusion and sickness? No one, right? Especially not your humble writer.

Trust me. After nine months of depressing, desultory news – punctuated by occasional blasts of optimism – I assure you, good reader, no one is more anxious to move back to the land of ballin’ and scorin’ than am I. So let’s do it.

Turn the page. Turn over a new leaf. Turn towards a new day (notice a pattern?). Well, that‘s exactly what we’re gonna do, with a slight detour. Normally, our December issue would have featured achievements by the local dudes and dudettes, specifically the championships earned by those title-winning teams. But your loyal scribe was in a unifying mood, hence the screed on wishing and hoping.

In football (as of this writing) American Heritage-Plantation and Miami Central are playing for state titles, as are St. Thomas Aquinas, Cardinal Gibbons, Champagnat Catholic, and Chaminade-Madonna.

Unfortunately, impossible scheduling because of the “C” word eliminated much of the regular competition this school year, but we give a hearty Thank You to all competitors, officials and parents who braved the unknown to make sure scholastic participants had a chance to compete. It was an important diversion for all of us. Now it’s on to 2021.

As the headline states, it’s all about optimism. We begin with our most successful and arguably, our most popular professional sports franchise – ladies and gentlemen, your Miami Heat! (with apologies to the great P.A. announcer Mike Biamonte). Fresh off a stunning run to the NBA Finals, where they took the heavily-favored Lakers to six games before succumbing, Patrick James Riley and company knew they needed more bulk up front. Scoring they had plenty of, with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic. But their future may be Precious and Herro-ic – thanks to secondyear breakout star guard Tyler Herro, and bruising first-round power forward, Precious Achiuwa. Say what you will, Riley and Co. always know how to plug in the right pieces. Now it’s just a matter of health, chemistry – and luck.

Once Spring rolls around the Marlins will be back in play, looking to follow up their surprising playoff success last year with a similar run, this time over a full 162-game schedule. Co-owner Derek Jeter took a lot of heat for being a dilettante in a pros game, but thanks to young stars like Brian Anderson, Jesus Aguilar and Miguel Rojas, they are a team to watch. Yet their biggest move was off the field when they named former Dodger executive Kim Ng their team’s general manager, thereby becoming the first North American major league sports franchise to have a woman general manager – Bravo!

Not to be left out are the Dolphins, who may be ending a 20-year period of incompetence and irrelevance.

Coach Brian Flores has his guys in a position to make a run in the playoffs, and the future is only getting brighter: remember, it was this intrepid scribe who foresaw a run to this year’s AFC title game for Miami, and I stand by that prediction.

So, adios 2020 – who needs you? 2021, I’m all in.

Cheers!!!

 

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