This week, both the Miami Heat and Florida Panthers have the chance to make it to their respective final four. At the same time, the Tampa Bay Rays are on the road in Baltimore and New York, continuing their hot streak. It’s an exciting time to be a fan with Florida sports killing it, and it’s been that way for years.

It’s fair to say the three Florida NFL teams, sans Tom Brady retiring, are on the rise, and the University of Florida just had six players drafted into the NFL.

While some of this is not a new experience for the Sunshine State, it does deserve a moment of recognition to appreciate how much there is to be excited about with Florida pro sports. Though 2020 will forever be remembered as a grueling challenge due to the pandemic, the Tampa teams had banner years during that time. The Bucs beat Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the Super Bowl as the host city. This was the first time a team won in their own stadium. A few months prior, the 2020 World Series saw the Rays take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Finally, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup in both 2020 and 2021.

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

So far this decade, Florida has seen many of its sports teams raise banners. For the Heat, Panthers, and Rays, there is undoubtedly still a lot of work to be done. However, all three teams have given fans reason to have faith. They are also coached by credible seasoned leaders who have their squads focused.

The Future is Bright

Many of Florida’s pro teams consist of young, hungry players who are improving each week. The same can be said for the Miami Dolphins who have one of the game’s most interesting minds in head coach Mike McDaniel.

Let’s take a deeper look at the six reasons Florida sports are killing it right now.

  • Florida Panthers

    With a win tonight at home, the Panthers will reach the conference finals. After losing their first game to the Boston Bruins in round one, the Panthers have gone 7-2, including winning the last six games in a row. They are an aggressive team who plays relentlessly every night until the final buzzer. Let’s not forget they were a #8 seed that knocked off a #1 Bruins team that had just broken the record for the most wins in a regular season ever.

    Florida Panthers

  • Miami Heat

    After beating the New York Knicks Monday night, the Heat are also one win away from advancing to the conference finals. Every game of the postseason, we are again learning why Jimmy Butler is called both Jimmy “Buckets” Butler, and “Jimmy Playoffs.” He is willing his way through, and the rest of the team is also playing with the heart required to make a championship run. Coach Erik Spoelstra is one of the best in the business.

    Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler

  • Tampa Bay Rays

    Let’s get right to the point, they are 29-8. Not only are they standing alone in first place atop the American League East (where each team has a winning record), but they also have the best record in all of Major League Baseball right now. The Atlanta Braves are second with 24 wins. The Rays started the season by winning the first 13 games in a row. They have only lost two out of 11 series so far. With their young nucleus, a lineup that plays team baseball, and top notch manager in Kevin Cash, this should only continue.

    Tampa Bay Rays celebrate

  • Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Everyone understandably has their fingers crossed on Dolphins Quaterback, Tua Tagovailoa. However, the Dolphins also have the fastest receivers (and offense) in the NFL. This offseason they also traded for Jalen Ramsey, one of the best defenders in the game. Coach Mike McDaniel is a player’s coach with a very unique approach to the game.

    The Jags have one of the best quarterbacks in Trevor Lawrence. They were an exciting team towards the end of this past season that peaked at the right time. Now with extra young talent around Lawrence, they will be going into the 2023 season as a team to watch out for.

    The Bucs are an unknown with Tom Brady’s retirement. This will be a future-defining year, after being a solid playoff team three years in a row, and throwing a Lombardi Trophy parade after their Super Bowl LV victory.

    Trevor Lawrence vs. Miami Dolphins

  • College Football

    Ten players from the Florida “Big 3” were drafted last month by NFL teams. Anthony Richardson, out of the University of Florida, was the biggest name, being selected fourth by the Indianapolis Colts. Florida State has been penciled in at #7 in the early NCAA 2023 rankings. The Miami Hurricanes have one of the top-rated quarterbacks with Tyler Van Dyke.

    Anthony Richardson, Florida Gators

  • Honorable Mention

    Florida EverbladesThey beloved Tampa Bay Lightning had a good season, before losing in the first round of the playoffs. They are consistently a winning team with an all-world goalie.

    Nuzzled between Fort Myers and Naples you will find the Everblades continuing their success. This minor league hockey team (affiliated with the Panthers) won the Kelly Cup last season, and are currently in the second round of the playoffs themselves.

    The Miami Marlins have some work to do. Centerfielder Jazz Chisolm Jr. is an electric player who makes the game fun to watch. The team’s manager, Skip Schumaker, is a young coach who is considered to be a mastermind of the game.

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