MIAMI -

The Miami Heat come home tonight to finish off a no-holds-barred, physical, in-your-face series against the Chicago Bulls, in the first home game since we met the Heat fan now known as Bird Lady.

Because most everything everyone does in public is on camera somewhere, people all over the country -- the world, actually --  now know much more about Filomena Tobias than they probably ever wanted.  The freeze-frame image shows the Palm Beach heiress flipping off Bulls' Center Joakim Noah from her pricey season seats as he left the court after Game 2's Chicago loss. 

That less-than-gracious winners' move made headlines around the world.

No doubt, Ms. Tobias delivered some of South Florida flavor from the NBA playoffs.  It was less game-crazed passion than nasty disrespect.  When cooler heads prevailed, was there an apology or regret?  Nope.  Tobias' daughter told the Sun-Sentinel her mother said "she was just having fun, and people need to get a life." 

Well, "what people think" turns out to be pretty important to our little corner of the globe.  Compare the "bird" seen around the world to those beauty shots aired during big televised events here -- the ones the tourism chiefs call priceless public relations for our tourist destination.  They somehow calculate those images as worth millions for South Florida's positive exposure.

That image of Bird Lady, finger flipped hard, bitter expression on her face -- that makes us look like "The Rudest Place in America," which is a title South Florida actually received in some magazine a few years ago. 

With fans like Bird Lady, I hope Game 5 cues up some serious beauty shots.

READ: Tobias' statement |