Flat Pigskin
Mike Gorman

Flat Pigskin

THU 1/1

We're not happy about it either, Jeb. Alas the Bowl Championship Series computer oracle has spoken: The Canes, who beat the Seminoles in an October slosh-fest, must face the team again on New Year's Day. Any real Floridian prefers a Buckeye-Cane Orange Bowl matchup. And Cane fans, like the Govenuh, seek redemption from the double-overtime loss to Ohio State in last year's championship game. Our hotels will be forlorn, our beaches desolate, our coffers lighter without those tanning and tipping Midwestern hides. Instead we must greet the year by wagering our hard-won bragging rights. Miami is also slated to take on the Tallahassee tribe for next season's opener. The teams could meet yet again in the ACC championship. One might be saddened thinking of so much free Sunshine State PR lost to the rest of the nation while our teams exhaust themselves with incestuous competitions. But 'tis the season to be as jolly as Cane Guard Chris Myers, who told a Miami Herald sportswriter he got goose bumps upon learning he was to live the drama of a drawn-out, in-state rivalry. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. at Pro Player Stadium, 2269 Dan Marino Blvd. Tickets range from $75 to $130. See www.orangebowl.org. Call 305-623-6100. -- By Victor Cruz

Counting Beaks

Birders keep tabs on winged wonders

SAT 1/3

They have their eyes peeled to the heavens searching for fine feathered friends. They are birders, in this case members of the Tropical Audubon Society, who are counting the number of winged species they see flying, swimming, or just hanging around parts of Coot Bay and Flamingo in the Everglades. The count is a yearly tally that reveals avian migratory patterns and activities. Be prepared for flamingos from the Yucatan and visiting warblers, as well as a good number of egrets, herons, and cardinals. The bird count starts at dawn at various locations throughout Flamingo. Admission is by donation. For details and directions call 305-380-0814. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez


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