A Game That Canes Fans Will Never Forget

I was at the last game in the Orange Bowl, and witnessed that 48-0 loss to Virginia. I watched for seven years FSU beat around the Canes, and completely dominate the state of Florida. For the past 15 years, I’ve witnessed the demise of Miami Hurricane football, and have seen the program go from perennial national champion contenders, to NCAA violations, to half empty Dolphin Stadium crowds, losing to USF, Randy Shannon and Al Golden, Jacoby Harris, Nevin Shapiro, no bowl wins for a decade. For the majority of my youth, the University of Miami football team has been a laughing stock, and an embarrassment to South Florida.

 

All of last week, from the end of the Virginia Tech game, all the way to the opening kickoff against Notre Dame was a special seven days. You could feel the excitement building up around the college football world, and I’m sure the city of Miami was alive.

 

Former Canes, from Ray Lewis to Michael Irvin, from Ed Reed to the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, they were all supporting the U on social media, getting the team ready to play the Irish.

 

College Gameday was actually on campus, the show was in Miami was for the first time in 16 years.

 

All week long I listened to Dan LeBetard, Stugotz and Mike Ryan all talk about this team, and how they may not be ready to beat the Irish, though Mike sounded like me, excited as can be.

 

Miami, the orange and green took the field on Saturday night, and Hard Rock Stadium was packed. You saw guys like Reed, Clinton Portis and Warren Sapp on the sideline, and you just thought, “there is no way that the Canes are losing tonight.”

 

And then the game began.

 

To say that Miami was dominant is almost an understatement. The Hurricanes defense alone looked by a pack of lions attacking a single poor animal. Josh Adams, the Irish running back who was in the Heisman conversation, was held to 40 yards on 16 carries. Notre Dame’s rushing offense that was ranked third in the nation, produced only 109 yards, averaging just 3 yards per carry.

 

The famous turnover chain was out early. Brandon Wimbush, the Notre Dame quarterback threw two interceptions in the first half, as he looked like a truck had just ran over him. Wimbush was benched in the second quarter for Ian Book, who himself threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown with just seconds to go in the half.

 

With the Canes up 27-0 at halftime, Hard Rock Stadium was a non-stop party. The game was over in the second quarter, and the fans knew it. Even watching the game on television, that was the loudest Hurricane crowd I had heard since the days of the Orange Bowl.

 

Two years ago, this program was a complete mess. Miami had just suffered a 58-0 home loss to Clemson, fired their head coach, and it seemed that the program wouldn’t be back for a while.

 

Fast forward to this Monday, Miami is ranked 2nd in the AP poll, they are 9-0 for the first time since 2002, are going to the ACC championship game, and have a real shot at potentially playing for the national championship.

 

For those Canes fans who have suffered like I have, that win on Saturday was for you, so enjoy it.

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Things South Florida Sports Fans Don’t Say

  • “The 30 for 30 about the U wasn’t even that good.”

Thanks to that production by Billy Corben, kids nowadays are still throwing up the U even with the last decade of pathetic football.

  • “Man, I really miss Al Golden.”

Al Golden, though he had the misfortune of taking over the program when the Nevin Shapiro crap hit the fan, Golden took this team to the depths of hell. He never beat Florida State, zero bowl wins, and his last ever game as head coach? A 58-0 home loss to Clemson.

  • “The Orange Bowl? I don’t miss that piece of crap.”

If you ever hear somebody say, punch them square in the face. Yes I’ll admit it, the Orange Bowl was a piece of crap, but that’s why we loved it. Yes there were food trucks outside the stadium, where you really weren’t sure what you were eating, over the PA announcer that sounded like he was talking into a cup. All that being said, the Orange Bowl is the greatest stadium in the history of South Florida, and that place would rock. When FSU would come to town and they’d add in the stands in the endzone, when the fans in the upper deck would bang their shoes on the signs, the stadium would literally be shaking.

  • “I call it Hard Rock Stadium”

Any local of South Florida, or somebody who has been here for twenty plus years either calls it Joe Robbie, Pro Player, or they make of fun by calling the stadium one of 47 names it had before Hard Rock.

  • “Oh tonight? Sorry I can’t, gotta watch the Marlins game”

Not to be rude, because I’ve been to hundreds of their games, but nobody in South Florida cares about the Marlins, a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in 14 years.

  • “I wish there were more Jets fans here!”
  • “I wish there were more Yankees fans here!”
  • “I really think Glenn Sharpe committed that pass interference penalty”

-The worst call in the history of the University of Miami football program. That blown call against Ohio State in the 2003 National Championship cost the Canes a repeat title, and also a downward spiral of the program happened after that game. Miami hasn’t been back to a title game since.

  • “I’m glad Tony Fiorentino isn’t coming back for Heat games”

Ever since the 2004-2005 season, Tony and Eric Reid, have done the tv broadcasting for Heat games, and they were the voice of my childhood and thousands of other Heat fans. It was announced that this will be Tony’s last year.

  • “I think Kyle Wright and Jacoby Harris got too bad of a rep”

The two worst quarterbacks for UM in the 21st century, especially Wright.

  • “The Dolphins fight song is really pretty stupid”

-The best fight song in professional sports.

  • “Dan Marino was pretty overrated”

Next to Jay Cutler, the greatest quarterback in franchise history, and there will never be another one like him (unless Cutler wins a ring).

  • “I was so happy when the Marlins got rid of Miguel Cabrera”
  • “Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas? Who are they?”
  • “I have season tickets to the Marlins”
  • “The fake spike game was cool, but Fins fans overhype it way too much”

Every Dolphins fan will tell you that the “fake spike” game between the Dolphins and the green team from New York is one of the greatest games in franchise history.

  • “I love how committed Miami fans are! They show up early, and definitely don’t leave at halftime”
  • “I didn’t have a D Wade jersey growing up”
  • LeBron is my favorite Heat player of all time”
  • “D Wade isn’t my favorite Heat player of all time”

The single most important player to the Heat in franchise history. You can say that LeBron is, but you’re wrong. When Wade pretty much single handedly brought a championship to Miami in 2006, that was one of the greatest moments in South Florida history, even better than the other two won by LeBron and co.

  • “The Mavs were definitely better than us in 2011”

I’ve been a Heat fan all my life, I’ve watched South Florida teams all my life. That series loss to the Mavericks in 2011, was the single biggest disappointment in South Florida sports history. The Mavericks came in with Jason Kidd using a cane to dribble the ball up court, and Dirk Nowitzki who obviously had his 2K sliders up, and embarrassed the Heat, who had a guy named Lebron, who promised not one, not two, not three….

  • Can’t wait for Canes basketball to start!”

Does UM have any other sports besides football?

  • Nevin Shapiro was probably a good guy”

The devil incarnate

  • The Dolphins are great at drafting”

-Dare I say Ted Ginn Jr.?