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My story is not necessarily how I became a Miami Hurricane fan, but why I am still a Miami Hurricane fan. I never had a choice to be a Seminole fan or to be a Gator fan: my only option was to be a Miami Hurricane. Both my parents attended the University of Miami. From 1987-1991, they spent their Friday nights at The Rat and Saturday gamedays at the Orange Bowl. They watched Hurricane legends like Michael Irvin, Cortez Kennedy (Rest In Peace), Russell Maryland, and Gino Torretta dominate the Big East and win national championships. Unfortunately, I was not a witness.
As much as I can try to relive the winning tenures of Jimmy Johnson and Butch Davis through ESPN’s 30 for 30 Series, I can only watch. I was born in 1999, making me two years old when Miami won their last national championship. When Miami beat Nebraska in the 2002 Rose Bowl, I can guarantee that my mom dressed me in orange and green, but I don’t remember it. All I have to remember, all I have ever witnessed, is disappointment. Year after year, under coaches like Randy Shannon and Al Golden, I have been teased by Top 25 rankings, statement wins, but my wishes of a national championship, even an ACC Championship, have never been granted.
I know, in this article so far, I sound like what every Hurricane fan every season by mid-November sounds like: pessimistic. So far, many of you are most likely doubting my loyalty, calling me “fair-weathered” or a “bandwagon”. Many of you are also probably wondering why I’m still a Hurricane fan, and the answer is simple. It’s the same reason why you are, the same reason why you renew your season tickets every year and frequently read State of the U articles. It’s because we all believe.
The beauty about being a Miami Hurricane fan is belief. Typically, as Hurricane fans, we are mocked by Seminole and Gator fans for living in the past. Although there is some truth to that, our past gives us hope. The Hurricane tradition created by Howard Schnellenberger in the 1970’s and the swagger adopted from Jimmy Johnson in the 1980’s are still what defines the University of Miami. When I watch highlights of Michael Irvin dance in the end zone and get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, that’s what I define as a Hurricane. The University of Miami swagger, the big hits, the big catches, are all still here. I still see that swagger-or at least glimpses of it-in our current team.
For me, there was never a certain game or moment where I became a Miami Hurricane fan because I have always been a fan. I have always been a loyal fan.
I was there in 2013, in Section 119 (where my season tickets since 2011 are), when Miami beat Florida 21-16.
I was there in 2014, when Denzel Perryman picked up and viscously crack-backed a Wake Forest Wide Receiver.
I was even there in 2015 when Miami lost to Clemson 58-0 ; in fact, I stayed the entire game, sitting in Section 119.
Now, as a high school junior, in the midst of deciding where to apply, the University of Miami is at the top of my list. When I visited the University of Miami in February, the palm trees, the great weather, and the swagger my dad experienced when he first visited from Missouri are the same qualities I noticed. I believe the University of Miami swagger and tradition is still present, and that is the reason why I am still a Miami Hurricane.
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