Posts Tagged ‘Miami Hurricanes’

It was a real honour to be able to witness two of the most storied NCAA College Football universities the Miami Hurricanes and the Oklahoma Sooners.

I can’t say for sure that some of the young men I watched will become NFL stars in 2010 and beyond, but I am pretty confident that the Miami Hurricanes will have better success in the draft next year, when compared to this.

 

The build up was impressive to say the least with smoke, and more band than you could shake a bloody long stick at.I happened to have the Oklahoma Sooners on my side of the field, and despite being quite high up managed to get some fun shots like the one below.

I don't know the collective name for a big bunch of Sooners

I don't know the collective name for a big bunch of Sooners

No it wasn't time to evacuate Land Shark Stadium - this smoke was planned

No it wasn't time to evacuate Land Shark Stadium - this smoke was planned

The game was a real see-saw for Miami Hurricane quarterback Jacory Harris, who threw two early air balls that were picked off.
He did come raring back to toss three touchdowns and that was JUST about enough to beat the Sooners 21-20.
Jacory Harris warming up lets one rip......from his right hand

Jacory Harris warming up lets one rip......from his right hand

Harris looked good after he calmed down and got the nerves out of his system.
He was given a massive helping hand by his stud running back #5 Javarris James – yes a relative of U alumni Edgarrin James.
JJ ran hard and was devoted to getting that extra yard wherever he could, just like a young Edge when he joined the Colts.
I reckon JJ could be a top 50 pick in 2010 after positive reports prepared by drooling NFL scouts.
Huddle up Hurricane style - some future NFL playaz in that U huddle

Huddle up Hurricane style - some future NFL playaz in that U huddle

Watching the game at Land Shark Stadium was a blast apart from some idiot that sat in fromt of me and jumped up everytime Miami did anything good.
I swear he had poured a packet of Birds Eye chilli seeds down his pants, because no other normal human being would have the need to stand up so many times. We all know what it’s like to have a mildly itchy nut sack but his testes must have been on fire.
No I hadn't been drinking this was supposed to be an arty shot

No I hadn't been drinking this was supposed to be an arty shot

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There are fans and THEN there is this guy Mr U Head!

There are fans and THEN there is this guy Mr U Head!

This was my third ever college football game, having seen California play Air Force in 2002 and the University of Central Florida v University of Texas El Paso.

This was however by a country mile the biggest, most historic and most important game my wife and I have ever attended.

Having moved the kickoff from 1pm to 8pm to reach a national television audience, seeing Miami v Oklahoma was going to be a classic.

What is tailgating without giant inflatable mascost?

What is tailgating without giant inflatable mascost?

 Above all taligating is about eating , drinking and having fun.

Whilst we did not perform a traditional tailgate bar-b-q as we had a hire car and no propane (Hank Hill would have been most upset with me) we did have some beers and some giant pulled pork rolls.

Not that anyone wants to see any more pictures of me on this blog but I could not resist having a snap taken with the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Football trophy.  It's all about the bling here in Miami

Not that anyone wants to see any more pictures of me on this blog but I could not resist having a snap taken with the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Football trophy. It's all about the bling here in Miami

Nothing beats being with all the fans in the Florida sunshine
Nothing beats being with all the fans in the Florida sunshine

Having the opportunity to go to Land Shark Stadium in Miami with my lovely wife to watch football games two days in a row was an unforgettable experience, firstly getting to see the University of Miami Hurricanes play the Oklahoma Sooners before seeing the Dolphins under 24 hours later.

We picked up the Dolphins tickets on the Friday before the game, and when we were there the Oklahoma Sooners truck, with what I imagine was all the players uniforms inside, was just departing the car park outside Land Shark Stadium’s main entrance.

The Sooners truck was dropping off pads and helmets in Miami

The Sooners truck was dropping off pads and helmets in Miami

The main shop at Land Shark Stadium was packed with merchandise for Dolphins and Hurricanes fans alike.
One of the more amusing gifts is below.
 
I swear I took a picture of cuddly Dolphins

I swear I took a picture of cuddly Dolphins

 
The shop was pretty impressive, not so sure about the day-glo chimps.
 
Being at the stadium when it was empty was a slighty weird experience but it was fun.
 
 
I was certainly bitten by the bug of Land Shark Stadium

I was certainly bitten by the bug of Land Shark Stadium

 
Rather oddly in the three visits my wife and I made to the stadium we did not drink a single Land Shark beer.
 
I did have one at a cool pizza place on Collins Avenue though, it was no Red Stripe though.
 
Mine's a Red Stripe please but I'm not in Jamaica

Mine's a Red Stripe please but I'm not in Jamaica

 
 

It’s official I have the best wife in the world. I’ll now explain why.

For our one week road trip to Miami, which was going to be heavily sports dominated, I thought I would look for a non-sporting event for us both to go to, so I visited the Miami American Airlines Arena website to see if there were any concerts.

It was a miracle, between a sandwich of Disney on Ice was a lone The Killers concert on the Saturday night at 8.00pm. Perfect I thought, my wife loves The Killers, all that ‘somebody told me you had a boyfriend that looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year’.

I did let my wife know that the Miami University v Oklahoma football game would be earlier that day at 1.00pm, but she did not mind, and despite my football excitement my wife told all her work mates she was seeing The Killers live in Miami – very cool.

It wasn’t until the night before we flew to Miami that I had an email from Ticketmaster saying that unfortunately the Miami U game had been moved from 1.00pm EST to 8.00pm EST because it was the nationally televised Saturday evening college game of the week.

Shit I thought. My wife however was that amazing that she sacrificed seeing The Killers to enable us to go and see Miami U v Oklahoma at Land Shark Stadium instead.

The worst part for my incredibly gracious wife was that the American Airlines Arena is situated right next to the carpark entrance to the Bayside area of Miami, the place you go to visit the Hardrock Cafe or catch a boat tour to see the likes of Vanilla Ice’s house or Will Smith’s luxury pad.

I think this is Will Smith's Miami pad - not bad eh!

I think this is Will Smith's Miami pad - not bad eh!

We did collect The Killers tickets as souvineers, but the look on my wife’s face as she played a Killers tune from her mobile phone standing outside the Arena was enough to make a grown man cry.

Categoric proof that my wife is in fact the best wife in the world

Categoric proof that my wife is in fact the best wife in the world

 

I have promised my wife free tickets to see The Killers when they next come to the UK, but I guess it will never quite sound as cool as saying ‘I saw The Killers in Miami’.

Dearest wife I am forever in your debt for this and I love you for the sacrifice you made.

I loved the trip to the University of Miami Athletics Hall of Fame so much that I thought you would all like to see some other pictures of stunning memorabilia.

A shoe of the #8 overall pick in 1979 NFL draft Otis OJ Anderson - who went on to win a Superbowl ring with the NY Giants

A shoe of the #8 overall pick in 1979 NFL draft Otis OJ Anderson - who went on to win a Superbowl ring with the NY Giants

 
This is the 1992 Orange Bowl won after the U beat Nebraska 22-0 behind  Heisman winning QB Gino Toretta

This is the 1992 Orange Bowl won after the U beat Nebraska 22-0 behind Heisman winning QB Gino Toretta

 
The Seminole war canoe is perhaps the greatest sports trophy EVER!

The Seminole war canoe is perhaps the greatest sports trophy EVER!

 
The best trophy in all the Hall was incredibly one that was over 250 years old and not even kept  behind a glass cabinet.
 
The Seminole War Canoe was the highly sought after trophy for the winner of the  Miami v Florida Gators annual matchup.
 
In the  1990s the rivalry deteriorated and Miami U put the  full size canoe into the Hall of Fame.
 
It wasn’t until a few years ago when the NCAA Football computer game started featuring the prize trophies for the winner of rivalry matches that the University of Florida remembered that they fought for the old canoe.
 
The U have said that they will put the canoe ‘back in play’ providing the Gators agree to an annual matchup.
 
Simply awesome – what an amazing artefact.
 
The real Seminole war canoe trophy

The real Seminole war canoe trophy

 
Yep here I am with the Miami U awarded real 1986 Heisman Trophy

Yep here I am with the Miami U awarded real 1986 Heisman

The old saying goes that good things come to those who wait.Well it is true as my wife and I had to wait outside the Univeristy of Miami’s Sports Hall of Fame in their Coral Gables campus for over an hour as the Florida sun beat down on our pasty white skin.
Peering in the window I could see two of the NCAA Division 1 Crystal Footballs that the ‘U’ football team won as national college champions.
I could also see what looked like one of those cheerleader cones that they shout down to rally the troops in the fourth quarter.
Thankfully after two visits to the University of Miami athletics office next door to the Hall of Fame someone did manage to find a key, and then beat this – they let my wife and I into the Hall of Fame and just left us in there alone.
Now there is trust but this was downright amazing – I was left with two Championship crystal footballs and memorobilia that was enough to make a grown man cry with joy.
The price to get in – $0.00. I was in shock that the ‘U’ let you into this absolute treasure trove of NCAA football and NFL football past and present for nothing, it is a mindlblowing cavalcade of history and modern achievement and a place I did not want to leave.
This helmet was signed by all 5 Miami National Champion quarterbacks

This helmet was signed by all 5 Miami National Champion quarterbacks

One  of the most fun objects inside the Hall of Fame was some 1940s NFL contracts.
No million dollar signing bonuses – just one page of legal jargon and a couple of signatures.
Seeing this sort of history is priceless and awe inspiring.
A real NFL contract from 1948 - Show me the moneeeeey

A real NFL contract from 1940 - Show me the moneeeeey

There were also helmets of all shapes and sizes including a 1940s leather NFL one.
Just imagine getting tackled 70 years ago – boy it must have hurt.
Turn it upside down and it could be a retro handbag

Turn it upside down and it could be a retro handbag

Ill leave you with a National Championship trophy.
I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.
You become the best College team and you win this sexy bit of glass

You become the best College team and you win this sexy bit of glass