Believe it: A fresh, new Miami Hurricanes season arrives next Friday. As you ponder what to grill at the tailgate before the annual thrashing of Florida Atlantic University, it's the perfect time to count down the biggest signs that you bleed orange and green.
You will throw up "The U" at any occasion: The word "university" isn't unique to Miami, but boy did the school ever claim it. Often imitated but never replicated, "The U" for better or for worse will forever be synonymous with the University of Miami. You wouldn't understand; it's a Canes thing.
Uncle Luke is your hero: Uncle Luke and the University of Miami ruled Miami in the '80s (well, in non-cocaine-related Miami things, that is). 2 Live Crew just fit with Miami football at the time, and vice versa. You take the good and the bad when it comes to the relationship, but you take them as a package. To this day, Luther Campbell remains a diehard Canes fan, while coaching local high school kids and giving his two cents as a columnist right here at Miami New Times.
Six Signs You're a True Canes Fan
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When you see an FSU fan, the first thing you think is "wide right": "The snap... it's up... missed it to the right!" That was Keith Jackson on the call as number-two Miami knocked off number-one FSU 17-16. The Hurricanes would go on to win the national championship, beating Nebraska 22-0 in the Orange Bowl (I was there; they kicked their asses). The following season, lightning struck twice as "Wide Right 2" happened in a 19-16 Miami win. Later in the storied rivalry, there would be two more Wide Rights and one Wide Left for good measure. Over two decades later, Canes fans who were not even born at the time throw Wide Right in Seminoles fans' faces.
You are very familiar with NCAA probes: Canes fans will tell you they have had a target on their backs since the '80s, unrightfully persecuted and scrutinized by the NCAA time and time again. The last saga has yet to fully unfold as the NCAA takes its pretty-ass time deciding just how bad it wants to spank its orange-and-green-headed stepchild. The mere mention of the name Nevin Shapiro raises blood pressures in Miami.
You know 2001 was the greatest year in sporting history: The greatest college team of all time, the 2001 Hurricanes were truly unfair. National champions, finishing 12-0, these Hurricanes hosed everyone but Virginia Tech, whom they beat by two. Clinton Portis, Jeremy Shockey, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Jonathan Vilma, Ed Reed... the list goes on and on. In all, more than 40 players that were in that locker room went on to be drafted in the NFL. You want the peak of Hurricane dominance and swag? 2001 was undeniably it.
You still grieve for the Orange Bowl: Built for $340,000 in 1937 the Orange Bowl will forever be in the hearts of Hurricanes (and Dolphins) fans. January 26, 2008, the stadium closed it doors and was demolished on May 14, 2008, much to the dismay of the majority of Canes fans. It may have smelled like pee, but it was our pee. In its place now sits Marlins Park, a stadium that will in the end cost Miami north of $2 billion after interest, a stadium and decision that most regretted before it was even finished. Five Super Bowls were played in the Orange Bowl, along with literally hundreds of epic Miami Hurricanes games. Between 1985 and 1994, the Hurricanes won 58 straight at the OB. The stadium was known for the sound the steel structure and seating would make as Canes fans cheered on their team. The Orange Bowl was truly one of a kind and will forever be the house the Hurricanes grew up in.