We came to “the U” because football matters to us. We wanted to spend four years of our lives on sacred football ground. Little did we know that we would care far more about the game-and its greatest stage-than our own university administration.
Football-real football anyway-was invented at the Orange Bowl.
Joe Namath did the initial testing. His efforts were reinforced by the likes of Lynn Swann, Roger Staubach, Kellen Winslow, Larry Czonka and a fellow named Dan Marino.
On New Years Day 1984, a band of ragamuffins from Miami-Dade County changed the nature of college football. They did so at the OB.
In 1972 a professional franchise forgot how to lose a game.
Their base of operation was the OB.
In 1984 an undersized and under-rated quarterback threw the most memorable pass in the history of college football. Doug Flutie did so in the OB.
In the venerable horseshoe, the “U” managed to win 59 straight games. In the decrepit park in Little Havana, a tiny school on the edge of the continent manages to win five national titles in 25 years while simultaneously redefining the entire sport before a stunned and envious nation.
The Orange Bowl is the single most important venue in all of football. It is what the game once was, can remain and always should be.
The simple fact of the matter is that Miami football cannot and should not be played if it is not played in the OB. The home of the “U” means more to the gridiron game than Wrigley or Fenway means to baseball. The Orange Bowl is football. Anybody who says otherwise is a politician trying to sell you something.
The fact that Donna Shalala and the trustees think that students can be distracted by plasmas, comfortable seating and more food choices is evidence that they don’t understand what college football is all about-tradition.
Throughout the history of football at the “U” coaches, players, students and university figures have changed. The one constant, the home of everything that makes us bleed orange and green, has been the Orange Bowl.
Those who support and played a role in this deplorable decision would like those opposing the move to believe they have no voice. Well, you have a voice-but it must be used in a way that will be heard. Don’t step foot into the soulless structure called Dolphin Stadium. And don’t buy a ticket that supports the dollar signs behind this act of treason against all those who love the “U”. Support the team by cheering for them as they board the bus, and meet them on their return. Don’t let the administration strong arm us all into giving up the one thing that unites us. Don’t let them make us suffer while they profit.
Hell no, we won’t go!
Stacey Arnold may be contacted at email@example.com.