Sports & Recreation

  • Personal Best

    Mickey Groody

    Pompano Beach's Mickey Groody, an 18-year-old senior at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, has helped his football team reach the Division 5-A State Championships for three years running. This year, the star punter, who averages an NFL-worthy 42.3 yards per kick (about what Minnesota Vikings kicker Chris Kluwe, a longtime pro, averaged last year), is headed off to college --… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Hanley Ramirez

    For any Marlins fan who remembers the 2003 World Series and the insanely good pitching that won it, the name Josh Beckett should be honored. Enshrined. Hell, can we apply for sainthood? Alas, Beckett was traded away to the Red Sox and left some mighty big cleats to fill. One of the players who came here in return for Beckett,… More >>
  • Best Heat Player

    Jason Kapono

    With D-Wade injured, this honor must now go to a mere mortal. Jason Kapono is most definitely human, flawed by his slow feet and inability to fly. But the six-foot-eight swingman possesses a laudable knack for pouncing on loose balls, plus an unselfish impulse for making the extra pass. He's a dexterous ballhandler and a fearless shooter, and he ranks… More >>
  • Best Dolphins Player

    Jason Taylor

    Chicago Bears (and former Gator) quarterback Rex Grossman put it best: "Jason Taylor is a beast." That utterance came after Taylor single-handedly whipped a then-undefeated Bears team. In the first half alone, Taylor intercepted a Grossman pass that he returned for a touchdown and, in the very next possession, sacked Grossman, forcing a fumble. It's just a shame that Taylor,… More >>
  • Best Sports Enigma

    Ricky Williams

    After one year in the remote football exile known as the Canadian Football League, Williams is homesick for our Miami Dolphins, and superagent Leigh Steinberg is trying to make it happen. The question is, who's the real Ricky? Was that him in 2002, rushing for a league-leading 1,853 yards? Or was that him in 2004, when he retired from the… More >>
  • Best FAU Player

    Mickey Storey

    A Fort Lauderdale native who graduated from Deerfield Beach High School, Mickey Storey arrived at FAU in 2005 and immediately made his case as the best baseball pitcher in school history. He posted a record-low 1.70 earned-run average and won ten games that first season — one against sixth-ranked Georgia Tech. The skinny, six-foot-two, 183-pound Storey was the NCAA's Freshman… More >>
  • Best Boxer

    O'Neil Bell

    As the reigning WBA/WBC cruiserweight champion, O'Neil "The Supernova " Bell is the hottest commodity in Seminole Warriors Boxing, a promotions firm based in Hollywood. And Hollywood's Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has been the site of some of Bell's defining moments as a professional: a 12th-round knockout against Dale Brown and an 11th-round knockout against Sebastian Rothman, both in… More >>
  • Best Panther Player

    Jay Bouwmeester

    Panthers fans will probably tell you that the best Panthers player is, uh, on another team right now. Management has a nasty habit of trading beloved players (Roberto Luongo, anyone?) for unremarkable ones (we won't name names). Now, after seven seasons without a playoff game in sight, fans — and the athletes themselves — are tired of all those marks… More >>
  • Best Jai-Alai Player

    Arriaga Andoni Echaniz

    No one at Dania Jai-Alai wins as much or finishes in the money or produces as many highlight reel plays as Arriaga Andoni Echaniz. A native of Markina, Spain, the 32-year-old Echaniz has no peer in the jai-alai frontcourt. That position calls for lightning-quick reflexes and swift lateral movement — Echaniz has those, in addition to a crowd-pleasing habit of… More >>
  • Best Coach

    Ron Rothstein Miami Heat

    So what is it that Pat Riley has for short, chubby, bald sidekicks? First, he had Stan Van Gundy, who might have been hopping barrels in a game of Donkey Kong rather than coaching an NBA team of giants. Now there's Ron Rothstein at Riley's side. Neither man looked all that impressive or had a stellar rise in the game.… More >>
  • Best Reason Coaches Should Stick to Sports

    Pat Riley's Political Speech

    Back in March, the Heat coach decided to break his longstanding silence on political issues. It was a move most of us have since come to regret. On the Iraq War, he said, "When you're in a fight, you just can't blame. You've just got to win the fight and then figure it out. We've got guys over there that… More >>
  • Best LeisureActivity

    Going to the Beach

    Most of us moved to Florida for the sun-drenched coast, but then, paradoxically, never actually go to it. "I don't have any quarters for the meter," we say. "Ugh. Can't deal with traffic on 595." "Bed, Bath, & Beyond is having a sale! It's air-conditioned in there!" Think swimming, scuba diving, sand castles, snorkeling, sailing, surfing, sunrises, sunsets, starry nights,… More >>
  • Best Beach in Broward

    Deerfield Beach

    All beaches are not created equal. Some are lonely; others are crowded. Deerfield Beach splits the difference. Where A1A makes a pretty little S-turn just where it meets Hillsboro Boulevard, some lovely establishments have nestled into this cozy curve along the ocean. The setup offers not only the holy triumvirate of surf, sand, and sexy people but also stuff to… More >>
  • Best Beach in Palm Beach

    Delray Municipal Beach

    The best beaches have a split personality: wholesome family fun center by day, make-out/skinny-dip destination after dark. The prior requires cheap and copious parking with a choice of nearby casual dining. The latter requires soft sand, a somewhat deserted feel, lax law enforcement, and a bit of natural lighting to deflect the crazies. Delray Municipal Beach has it all and… More >>
  • Best Snorkeling Spot

    John D. MacArthur Beach State Park and Nature Center

    JDMB bills itself as an "island in time," and that's not a vacant marketing slogan. Where else in South Florida are you going to find a two-mile expanse of beach with no condos on it? With 438 acres of protected wildlife refuge? With a beach that's wider than a football field is long and sans those neon-lit seawalls? JDMB gets… More >>
  • Best Surf Spot

    Lake Worth Beach A1A and Lake Worth Road Lake Worth

    A couple of years ago, during a surf contest on Lake Worth Beach, a local surfer — who wasn't in the contest — took major offense at being asked to move out of the break so contestants could get some waves. In utter defiance of the golden rule of surfing, he dropped in on the same wave that a contestant… More >>
  • Best Day Trip/Best Way to Dispose of a Body

    Lion Country Safari

    First, a huge piece of advice: If you own a cherry ride, get a friend to drive to Lion Country Safari. That's because the 500-acre park has 1,000 wild animals who just don't respect a high-end paint job. Oh, and convertibles aren't allowed. And your windows must remain up at all times. The rules are there for a reason. Lion… More >>
  • Best HorseTrainer

    Ronnie Gurfein

    Being a good horse trainer requires a "gift from God," says Ronnie Gurfein, a recent inductee into the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Horse trainers use similar techniques, Gurfein declares in a booming New York accent, but the drafting of young horses — much like the drafting of NBA or NFL talent — is the most important factor.… More >>
  • Best Place to Bird-Watch

    Rose Drive just north of Davie Boulevard

    Urban legend has it that the peacocks of Rose Drive are a legacy, but about half of the neighbors would rather use the term infestation. Allegedly, a rich eccentric once lived in the street's largest house — it's the one resembling a cross between a castle and a compound. The decrepit man loved peacocks so much that he raised a… More >>
  • Best Dance Classes

    Almost entirely composed of Mai Kai ex-pats, the hip-shaking, fire-juggling temptresses of O'Tahiti Teie are a spectacle of rhythmic tradition. When the women initially founded the Tahitian dance company, their goal was to be as much a Tiki-party staple as rum and pineapples. It worked. Soon word spread around town and the gals were being asked to jostle their grass… More >>
  • Best Recreational Club

    Fort Lauderdale Bondage Club

    Titillated by the possibility of electric shock? Does your libido kick into overdrive when you hear the word mummification? Do you have a good sense of humor and the ability to remember a "release word"? Well, you might be eligible for one of Broward's best social groups: the Fort Lauderdale Bondage Club. Gay men 18 and older are learning the… More >>
  • Best Shooting Range

    E.W. Revere Gunshop and Range

    Channeling stress is key to a happy, healthy existence. For the limber, that's done by posing in the plow at yoga class. For foodies, it's preparing intricate meals. But for the trigger-happy, well, happiness is a warm gun. For them, mecca is known as E.W. Revere Gunshop and Range. What sets E.W.'s apart: inexpensive gun rentals. Just come inside and… More >>
  • Best Tourist Trap

    Flamingo Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuary

    So many South Floridians are scared to venture west. University Boulevard may as well be the Everglades to them, and names like Nob Hill and Hiatus sound like faraway, mythical realms. When out-of-town visitors come calling, by all means take them to the beach. But then take them to a place where some wild things roam. Precariously poised at the… More >>
  • Best Pool

    Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

    At Hollywood's Hard Rock, the pool bar is not poolside — it's pool-middle, at the center of the swimming hole. But there's more here than just chlorine and tap water. There's sand too. Think of it as Hollywood Beach Inland. And no, you don't need to be a registered guest to dip your feet in. If the nearby slot machines… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Holiday Bowling Center

    Just before 10 p.m. every Thursday through Saturday, the lights over Holiday Bowling Center's 16 lanes go dim and projection screens descend from the ceiling. If it's Thursday, expect videos from a barrage of indie-rock bands — or at least erstwhile indie rockers who've since landed big record deals, like Modest Mouse. If it's Friday or Saturday night, the projection… More >>
  • Best Poker Game

    Seminole Casino of Hollywood

    In the poker world, they're referred to as "the fish," and it basically means they're easy money. We're talking about those hoary folks who sit at poker tables all day, betting on every whim and giving up their retirement funds to the savvy 20-somethings who fold ace/king suited if the flop doesn't mesh. You find these suckas at the Seminole… More >>
  • Best Public Park in Broward

    Tree Tops Park/Pine Island Ridge

    The highest elevation in Broward County is a whopping 29 feet above sea level, and it happens to be an important archeological site. These days, it's called the Pine Island Ridge, a massive live oak hammock that'll have you feeling oh-so-Hobbity. Since Tree Tops Park is located in Davie, you'll see plenty of horses here, but there's a lot to… More >>
  • Best Public Park in Palm Beach

    Grassy Waters Preserve

    One day while walking the nature trail at Grassy Waters Preserve, Janjay Gehndyu noticed that more bromeliads tended to flourish near wax myrtles. The green-minded, khaki-vest-wearing Palm Beach Atlantic University biology student happened to be doing his senior thesis on air plants, so he decided to study the effects of the wax myrtle using the natural environment of the park.… More >>
  • Best Place to Kayak

    Loxahatchee River Canoe Trail at Riverbend Park

    Although it may seem like an odd hobby reserved for eccentrics who like to flail their arms but not move their legs, kayaking is actually a popular South Florida watersport. There are sunrise kayak excursions in Hollywood and midnight kayaking along Fort Lauderdale's New River. But you can't call either of those activities "communing with nature." For that, you need… More >>
  • Best Nature Trail

    Cypress Creek Trail at Fern Forest Nature Center

    In South Florida, getting "close to nature" often means fishing off a crowded pier or getting spritzed with juniper-berry body spray in the mall. But it doesn't have to be this way. At the Fern Forest Nature Center, easily found just south of Atlantic Boulevard on Lyons Road, you can stroll one of five very different trails. They range from… More >>
  • Best Mountain-Biking Spot

    Markham Park Mountain Biking Trail

    Ever since Hurricane Wilma did more damage to trees than buildings, mountain-biking trails have been the slowest places to recover. As an example of how a trail can be fixed up like new, look to Sunrise's sandy gem: the Markham Park Mountain Biking Trail, tucked into the 666-acre park just west of the Sawgrass Expressway and north of State Road… More >>
  • Best Jogging Path

    Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

    Runners need oxygen, and a trip to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park puts them close to the source: trees. The running path, so dense with green that runners need to duck under low-hanging branches, is a triumph of photosynthesis. Leave the iPod at home and listen to the symphony of subtropical birds overhead. And while there's only about one-in-a-million chance… More >>
  • Best Pickup Basketball Game

    Holiday Park

    "McGrady's playin'," a scrappy Puerto Rican with a ponytail announces. "Aw, shit" is the collective answer from the group of young basketball enthusiasts that includes neighborhood teenagers from varied ethnic backgrounds and maybe a has-been or two. "McGrady" — as in Tracy McGrady — is an appropriate nickname for the resident badass of Holiday Park. If you cover too closely,… More >>
  • Best Place to Throw Around Your Plastic

    Disc Golf at Tradewinds Park

    Some folks' idea of fun may be a jaunt over to the Galleria Mall to drop five or six large on a fresh spring fashion. On the other hand, you could buy yourself some used plastic — that's slang for Frisbee-like discs — for five or six bucks at the Tradewinds Park disc golf course and have a funner time… More >>
  • Best Dog Park

    Happy Tails — Seminole Park

    Urban sprawl just isn't good for beasts, be they people or Pekingese. Yes, you and Fido need to escape that postage-stamp yard behind your place and get out for a little exercise every now and then. To do this properly, get your mangy four-legger in the car and drive him to the local dog park, where he can meet like-minded… More >>
  • Best Bar Sport

    Tequila Ranch's Mechanical Bull

    In the real rodeo, the bull tries to throw its cowboy. The mechanical bull at Tequila Ranch invites another kind of adversary: young women, provocatively dressed. And the mechanical bull is more about finesse than brute force. It doesn't buck so much as gyrate. And shimmy. Doing it, sometimes, in sync with a 50 Cent ditty. This brings prurient thrills… More >>
  • Best Place to Ditch the Kids

    Wannado City

    Parents who didn't nab the three-day grace period to ditch their kids can now leave the brats at the firehouse for a day, just so long as it's within the city limits of Wannado. You can unload your pint-sized handfuls at the theme-park city where kids do what they wanna, getting to try their hands at a number of professions.… More >>

Best of Award Graphics

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