How global is The U? Being an expatriate Canes fan living in the boondocks of the Orient, it is a rare occasion when I run into a Canes fan, or any college sports fan for that matter. Once in a while, I can spot a foreigner walking in the city wearing a college team’s hat. I usually rush through the crowd, knocking down some poor Japanese just to get to the guy, only to discover he is wearing a hat of a hated rival. I sadly turn away, hoping the day will come when I will see that beloved logo proudly displayed in this remote corner of the world.
That remote corner of the world is Kirishima, Japan, 7976 miles away from Miami. It has a population of 120,000 Japanese and one Floridian. Its main feature is the volcano Sakurajima, an active volcano that erupts almost daily and dumps ash all over everything. It’s hard to top the excitement of watching a huge column of ash shoot 10,000 feet up into the sky as I quickly call my wife to shut all the windows at home before all of our worldly possessions get covered in ash.
My predicament got me to thinking; "Where are the Canes fans? Are they all hunkered down in South Florida, fighting off the hordes of Seminoles and Gators as they attempt to recruit the finest away? Surely there must be Canes fans in other countries, even here in the Land of the Rising Sun. So in my attempt to locate my fellow Canes, I started a map of The U. After finding a site that would allow me to put in locations and mark them with the school logo, I started sending out the word to all the sites I frequent, hoping to get some responses and find some fellow Canes hiding in the sushi restaurants and karaoke bars.
After three months, I have located Canes fans in over 1200 locations. There are Canes fans in every civilized continent, almost every state, and we literally cover Florida with The U. There are Canes fans in Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Finland, South Korea, Honduras, New Zealand and the list goes on and on. The U truly is a global brand, represented by Canes fans who flash the U proudly.
The quest for finding a fellow Canes fan within driving distance goes on. If I ever do see The U logo, may that person forgive me for running up to him and giving him a brohug as if he is the first person I have seen on this remote island in several years. In the meantime, I will patiently wait with my volleyball I have named Sebastian and keep reaching out, spreading The U to every corner of the map.