September 17, 2012 | 9:15am
Remember the good ol' days when the Florida Marlins played at Sun Life and the blinding sight of tens of thousands of empty orange seats mocked the athletes toiling inside the echoing, empty stadium?
It was throwback day in Miami Gardens on Saturday, as Canes fans -- still burned by a horrific beatdown at K-State
-- stayed home in droves from a creampuff-fest against the Bethune-Cookman Culinary Arts Academy.
The Canes officially announced an attendance of 39,435 for the game, but photos of the stadium and first-hand accounts suggest chopping the last digit off that figure might provide a more accurate headcount.
Take a closer look at those stands, and feel the CANES PASSION:
Granted, a contest against Bethune-Cookman -- not actually a chef school, but a Football Championship Subdivision college in Daytona Beach -- is not exactly the kind of hot rivalry that cooks up college football passions.
But Donna Shalala has got to be worried about how much of the Canes fanbase has already decided to tune out the rest of this season after the K-State debacle.
On the upside, UM did manage to mangle the Wildcats, with freshman Duke Johnson entering the record books with four touchdowns, including a receiving, rushing and return score.
Will the crowds come back for the Canes next home game, against North Carolina State in two weeks?
Maybe it's time to take a page from the Marlins and book KC and the Sunshine Band to play postgame to bring some bodies through the gate.
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