A bittersweet symphony

When the final gun sounded on Thursday night, I did not know whether to laugh or cry.

As I sung the alma mater and watched the senior players take a group photo for their last home game, I realized that this was truly the end of an era.

For me and so many other seniors, this game is representative of the vast unknown awaiting. It was the last home game for this class, which may, in future years, become known as the “Lost Generation” of Canes.

This class saw a lot of bad football. We watched Kyle Wright and Kirby “Kirnobyl” Freeman; we watched Lance Leggett and the collapse of the Orange Bowl.

Now, as we prepare to leave, we watch a team with so much promise begin to spread its wings; five years from now there will be seniors graduating who have known nothing but winning.

For this senior class, our football-watching careers have now come full circle.

Freshman year was highlighted by a nationally televised stomping of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. That night the Miami defense was dominant and the offense did what it had to and nothing more.

On Thursday night, the exact same scenario played out.

The former marked the end of an era of success and the beginning of the descent into chaos.

The latter is the end of a long drought and the clearing of a major hurdle.

Beating the Hokies gives Randy Shannon his first signature win.

It gives the seniors a little redemption.

My brother goes to a big SEC school. After the game, he sent me a message that read, “You earned that.”

I could not agree more. No class has had to stick through so much in thirty years. I personally feel a fog lifting off of my entire life as this team progresses.

They say that a football game is like a symphony. Everything has to come together just right. If it doesn’t, the team will be out of sync and the performance will suffer.

This game was as close to a symphony as Randy Shannon has put together. The defense was the key, but the offense controlled the clock, and the special teams won the field position battle.

It was a pleasure to watch this game. After so many bad times and bad losses, it was almost relieving to watch the Canes win this type of game.

When it was over, I did not know how to respond. So I sat. As everyone filed out around me, including all of my friends, I sat and absorbed. I took in the field as it cleared. I listened to the sounds.

The end of every game has a ring to it, a unique kind of din.

The sound of this game represented a cathartic moment; it was truly symphonic.

And for those of us who depart, it was bittersweet.

November 16, 2008


Dan Stein

Senior Sports Writer

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