Saying goodbye to a second home

The first time I stepped foot in the Orange Bowl was before I could walk. My father and his father went to games there back when they lived in Little Havana, many years ago. For University of Miami students, the Orange Bowl is a place to get drunk while watching Kyle Wright make almost inconceivably bad decisions. For the city of Miami, the Orange Bowl has meant much more. It’s a rowdy atmosphere, but there are still many families in attendance.

And it goes beyond football. I remember after an exhilarating game against Louisville, I went up to sideline reporter Jill Arrington and asked her for an autograph. In case you don’t remember her, she was like the Erin Andrews of the ’90s. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything for her to sign. I decided to ask her to sign my shorts. She signed right above the knee. That was the last time I ever wore those shorts. They are currently hanging in my closet.

The last few years have had fewer moments like those. Winning is important, but it’s not as important as we think it is. Everyone remembers Bryan Pata’s shocking death a little more than one year ago. After the Boston College victory on Thanksgiving night, Hurricanes players brought out a banner that had his face drawn on it. They took it to the middle of the field and huddled around it, in quiet remembrance. One bright spot from last season was that these players, unlike most of us fans, had not lost perspective.

In the coming months, perhaps the Marlins will move there. Perhaps they’ll just knock it down indefinitely. Regardless of what happens to it in the future, they can’t knock down what happened there in the past. And for those times, I say THANK YOU, OB.

Anthony Vega is a sophomore majoring in finance and English. He may be contacted at