When Joakim Noah was ejected during Game 2 of the Heat series in Miami, he was greeted by the middle finger of a now-infamous Heat fan, a woman identified as Filomena Tobias, whose colorful back story was widely circulated afterward. However, few people commented on the statement given by Tobias' daughter Victoria Racanati, who told the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale that her mother is a Heat season ticket holder who attends every game.
A crazy Heat fan who flips off players? That won't surprise Bulls fan and seven-year Miami resident Robbie Karver, 29, who gave RedEye the breakdown on the three kinds of Heat fans.
1. The Transplants
They're arguably the worst, because they're traitors. It would be like me moving to Chicago seven years ago and becoming a Bulls fan. It's the lowest on the totem pole.
I know a couple of Canadians who moved down here, and they'll be Heat fans. You ask them about the history of the Heat and they have no knowledge. You're like, "Well, why don't you like [the Raptors]? You're from Toronto." And they're like, "I used to like them, but the Heat are a better team." These guys will wear the jerseys. In [some cases], it seems real, but in other cases it seems fake. Like wearing the jersey gives you a little extra power in Miami.
2. The Scenesters
Number two are the second worst. They're scenesters. Well, bandwagon/scenester. You ask them "Where did LeBron James play before the Heat?" and they don't know... But then they defend him. They'll watch games and yell: "That was a bogus call!" And you look at them and you're like, "You don't know what you're talking about."
They'll leave [playoff games] early. I'm sure a couple Bulls fans left during Game 4 against the Nets, but that Heat stadium would have been half-empty. I was at a game a year and a half ago against the Utah Jazz when the Jazz scored like eight points in the final two minutes. [Editor's note: trailing 98-90 with 37 seconds left, Utah ended the fourth quarter on a 14-6 run and won in OT.] And the people were already leaving. Their job was done. They were seen watching the game. Thought the game was over. And left.
3. The Real Fans
The last group is just your normal fans. And it's few and far between. Miami's too transient of a city – I mean, you have your born-and-raised Heat fans. They're the most tolerable ones. Well, they were tolerable pre-LeBron James. Post-LeBron, everyone's got this air of superiority because LeBron chose Miami and Bosh chose Miami. They think it's all part of the grand master plan that Miami rules the world.
So are there any Heat fans whom you have respect for?
Yeah. One of [a friend's] good friends. He loves the Heat. It's obnoxious though – once you have LeBron James on your team, every argument becomes one-sided. "Well LeBron's won four MVPs. He's the best player in the NBA." Even when the Bulls [won Game 1] and you say to people "It's 1-0," it's all excuses now. "They're too tired," or "They had their head up their ass," or "We're still going to finish you in Game 5." All that stuff. I don't know man. No respect. None of these Heat fans have passion, so there's no respect for the passion the Bulls have.
Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. Say hey @readjack.
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