The Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes have played their last game in the Orange Bowl. The 70 year old land mark that served as home to both teams until 1987 closed out its final game on Saturday…a flag football game between the great Hurrican alumni and the Miami Dolphins greats. The Hurricanes would win, but it really wasn’t about winning as much as it was about saying good-bye.
I was lucky to have lived in Miami a short while, way back when, I was born across the street from the Bowl…again even “wayer” back when…yes, I realize that’s not really a word, but at my age, I can make things up.
My mother held me to her 4th floor window at Cedars of Lebanon and said “Son, that’s the Orange Bowl, and you WILL be a Dolphins fan”. To ensure that, they made me leave the hospital in a Jets outfit…a gift from some northern family idiot with a sick sense of humor…either way…I love the Dolphins and loathe the Jets…so it worked brilliantly.
As this weekends festivities came to a close, so did the history. Alumni from both squads signed pieces of the stadiums relics, lights, seats, a lot of everything in between, for auction in the near future.
It is the near future that will see the final swan song of a south Florida land mark, as it will be demolished. Nothing left but memories and those articles that will be sold off and split up. An empty space with no clear cut future. The Orange Bowl was once provided a menacing home field advantage unlike any other. The seating designed to make the players feel that the fans were on top of them…and yes, it was exceptionally loud.
The sun has set for the final time at the Bowl. The final game has been played. Perhaps fittingly, the stadium built for the Hurricanes saw the Hurricanes win the final game, made famous by the Dolphins, it was only fitting that Dan Marino opened the game with a long bomb to none other than Jason Taylor who made his first appearence in the stadium. Next year, the ‘Canes will play their games at Dolphins stadium.
Good-Bye Orange Bowl. We will all, in some way, miss you.
For a great read on the game and more of the history, click here.