University of Miami President Donna "We'll Never Leave the Big East and Join the ACC Without Syracuse" Shalala announced on Tuesday that the Hurricanes will vacate the Orange Bowl for greener pastures in Miami Gardens. Commencing in 2008, the Hurricanes will play their home games in Joe Robbie Pro Player Dolphin Stadium.
The Canes enjoyed remarkable success playing in the Orange Bowl. They reeled off a 58 game home winning streak that Syracuse helped contribute to. Opposing teams cringed at the sight of the Hurricanes emerging out of the tunnel through smoke and onto the playing field.
The stadium hosted 5 Super Bowls and also was the site of arguably the greatest professional and college football games ever played. Kellen Winslow's San Diego Chargers outlasted the Fish 41-38 in a 1982 Divisional Playoff matchup.
For me, the Orange Bowl was all about college football. LittleChamp grew up in an era when the Orange Bowl would be the last game played on New Year's Day, and I'd struggle to stay up to see the end of the game on NBC. Back when "conference tie-ins" existed, the Orange Bowl game matched the champion of the Big 8 vs. an at-large team, often times with the national championship at stake.
In 1984, Tom Osborne made one of the gutsiest (and questionable) calls of all time. His failed two-point conversion cost the Huskers a national championship but earned him the respect of the college football world. Anytime you get a chance to replay this game as a "classic" in PlayStation World, take advantage of it. The talent on that field makes it a fun one: Mike Rozier, Irving Fryar, and Bernie Kosar. The Congressman from Nebraska would find redemption on the very same field in 1995 as his Huskers would be crowned national champions after defeating the University of Miami 24-17 in the Orange Bowl.
The old stadium also hosted the defining moment in Bettor's College history. The Flutie "Hail Mary" game, coupled with the Glenn Foley ND game encompass BC's entire athletic history. To quote Mr. Tony, "That's it! That's the list!"
The Dolphins would say goodbye in 1987 and the Orange Bowl game would follow in 1996.
LittleChamp dreamed of the day Syracuse would play in an Orange Bowl. I always thought, how cool would that be, the Orangemen playing in the Orange Bowl. In 1999, this dream was realized. Due to a Dolphins playoff game, the Orange Bowl returned to it's original home. Donovan McNabb's farewell performane was one to forget as the Orangemen fell to The Ole Ball Coach's Florida Gators 31-10. A game that was as ugly as the actual stadium.
The Canes will never enjoy the same advantage in their new antiseptic home. The electricity in the air for a night game was unmatched at the Orange Bowl.
It's very unlikey Syracuse will be making trips to a BCS game in the near futre, so maybe it's time for me to dream of the day LeMoyne plays in Dolphin Stadium.