Do you remember in 2010 when LeBron James called a press conference on ESPN to announce where he would play professional basketball after spending the first seven years of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers?
His words, not mine: “In this fall, this is very tough, in this fall, I’m taking my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”
James may be the most prolific scorer in NBA history, but no matter how hard he tries, it’s not likely he can hit his jump shot from 4.9 miles – no matter how many times he flops. That’s the distance from South Beach to the arena where the Heat play.
Professional sports have an issue with geography. It’s like nobody owns a map. For James to compete at the Heat’s arena, he would have to be able to score from the other side of Biscayne Bay. Good luck with that.
I was reminded of that lack of geographical common sense this week as World Wrestling Entertainment prepared for its biggest weekend – WrestleMania. The professional wrestling organization has promoted for months its biggest show was coming to Hollywood.
The reality is WrestleMania will be at SoFi Stadium in Englewood, California. The problem is Hollywood is nearly 12 miles away. So if you want to see oiled-up men lifting weights and surgically-enhanced women, you can go to Hollywood, but most of them will be in Englewood.
It doesn’t make sense, like driving on a parkway or parking on a driveway. And South Beach and Hollywood aren’t the most significant mistakes when reading Google Maps.
Did you know the New York Giants and New York Jets NFL football teams don’t play in New York? They play across the Hudson River in New Jersey – a state that’s too ashamed to name any of its colleges after New Jersey. The official state university in New Jersey is Rutgers. The other 49 states have universities named after their state, like the University of Florida and Florida State University.
Speaking of universities, whose idea was it to name the school in Tampa, South Florida University? Didn’t those educators realize South Florida University is nearly 300 miles north of the state’s southern border?
Also, Florida Southeastern University is in Lakeland, which is west of Central Florida.
Even in NASCAR, where the driving directions are clear – go fast, turn left. Go fast, turn left – doesn’t know how to read a map.
The Atlanta Motor Speedway is two counties away from Atlanta in Hampton. The Charlotte Motor Speedway is in Concord. The Phoenix International Raceway is in Avondale. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is in Speedway. The Nashville Superspeedway is in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Did you know the Cincinnati airport isn’t in Cincinnati? Or in Ohio? It’s across the river in Covington, Kentucky.
While we’re on the subject of airports, have you ever flown into the Denver Airport? It’s 25 miles from Denver. The airport in Pittsburgh is a $45 one-way cab ride, plus tip, from downtown.
Imagine how disappointed I was when I learned there are no hills in Mt. Dora. I’ve also been to Grand Isle, Nebraska, and I can tell you it’s neither grand or an island.
Early explorers must have been sampling rum when they named Iceland and Greenland. Iceland is green and beautiful. Greenland is an ice cap. I guess after a few mugs of alcoholic nectar, it would be easy to be confused.
So before you go, check Google maps. A day at the beach in Greenland might be a bit nippy.