As the lights in the Orange Bowl turn off for the final time for Hurricane football, the words of William Shakespeare’s Juliet seem worthy of mention. “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”
These words accurately depict the sentiments that Miami Hurricanes football players had for the final game at the OB, except for the ‘minor’ detail: There will be no tomorrow.
“I don’t want to say that it’s going to be hard to leave, but it will,” safety Kenny Phillips said. “We all have a lot of memories of the OB. Saying goodbye is going to be something else.”
Moving out of the OB and into Dolphin Stadium will be a tough move in terms of the memories and the history the OB holds.
To make the move a little easier, the team plans on continuing with the same traditions it had at the OB. This includes running out from under the University of Miami helmet with the smoke from the fire extinguishers, firing Touchdown Tommy and recognizing the Ring of Honor. Additionally, the team will continue with its practice of staying at a hotel the night before a home game. Despite these similarities in practices and traditions, though, the move will still be difficult.
Leaving the OB was a tough endeavor for all the Hurricane football players. Irrespective of how many games each individual athlete on the current roster played at the OB, they all understood the history and meaning the stadium holds.
“This is a historic place to have played,” linebacker Colin McCarthy said. “So many great games have been played here. To think of all the players who suited up in the very same locker room we suited up in is amazing. The OB is anything but short of history.”
Some players reminisced about what coming to the Orange Bowl as a fan meant to them.
“I remember coming to the OB as a kid,” running back Javarris James recalled. “I remember my first ever game at the OB, and I came to a lot of games. I remember getting to watch Edgerrin [James] when he had 299 yards against UCLA. After the game, he took me down to the field, and I ripped off a piece of the grass to take home. I’ve got so many memories like that.”
And while fans were busy trying to absorb their last moments in the Orange Bowl, players held on to the memories that they would take with them, as they walked off the field for the last time.
“I remember my very first game and my very first start at the Orange Bowl,” quarterback Kyle Wright said. “My first game at the OB was against Florida. I remember telling Devin [Hester], a good friend of mine, that he was going to return the opening kickoff and then he did. These are the types of memories I will take away.”
Amid recalling all of these jovial memories of the OB, there is no doubt that they were rather bittersweet.
At this final juncture, it was running back Graig Cooper who said it best.
“I’m happy I got the opportunity to play here,” Cooper said. “I just feel blessed to have gotten the chance to play here.”
Pravin Patel may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.