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Monday Musings: Canes lifting spirits; Best/most painful games ever?

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Monday Musings are back, bringing you random football tid-bits from the far recesses of my gourd.

Seminoles vs Hurricanes Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

On with it….

1. Canes’ make a young man’s dream come true. Some of you might know this, but 13-year old Jordan Quintero of Tampa has an aggressive form of brain cancer that keeps him from leaving St. Joseph’s hospital in Tampa. He’s also a huge Canes fan whose father is a long-time season ticket holder. His wish is to meet some of his sports heroes, and the Miami Hurricanes are on that list.

And the Canes came through. Lorenzo Lingard, who might be my favorite player to come into the program in some time, trekked to Tampa and met with Quintero at the hospital, with pictures posted on his Twitter account. Jaquan Johnson did too. I think Malik Rosier was planning on going, although I haven’t seen that confirmation on social media, or in news reports or press releases from the school. Mike Pinckney also sent Jordan a message of encouragement. (There may be others; I just can’t find confirmation at this point; feel free to share in the comments.)

Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse on earth than sick children. It makes me want to cry sometimes seeing friends whose children have battled childhood illnesses, while counting my blessings and hugging my kids even tighter.

And kids just want something to lift their spirits when their down, and I can’t even imagine the difficulty of the battle that Jordan is facing. To all of the Canes’ players, coaches, fans, and community that reached out to Jordan and made him smile, thank you for your selfless and heartfelt acts. Just another thing that makes me proud to be a Hurricane.

Beat this thing, Jordan!

2. Best game you’ve seen live…..and on TV??? You know…..I saw this on Twitter, and it got me thinking…..I’ve seen a hell of a lot of college football games in person over the years….and WAY too many more on TV. Is it even possible to whittle down the best I’ve ever seen in person and on TV?

Well, here it goes……..If I had to go with one in person, I’d have to say it’s a tie between Florida at Tennessee in 1998….or Florida at Miami in 2003. Both games were legendary, and at the end of the day, resulted in special seasons in differing ways. After a tightly-contested matchup between the teams that carried into overtime, UT’s Jeff Hall kicked a FG to put UT up 20-17. Incredibly, a worn Tennessee defense stopped the Jesse Palmer/Doug Johnson QB duo, forcing a FG attempt. Collins Cooper lined up and pulled it wide left, ending the misery for Tennessee fans. Tennessee ended a six-game losing streak to Florida, the Neyland goalposts were torn down and carried out and tossed in the river, fans were everywhere on the field, people were walking down the middle of the strip in Knoxville with open beers…..and Tennessee went on to claim the 1998 national championship. An all-timer.

Equally an all-timer was Florida – Miami. I did the writeup for Games We Love on this one, so just check it out here. It was the most thrilling comeback I’d ever seen over the school I hate the most. It was the first time the schools had played in the Orange Bowl since 1987. And the Canes followed it up with a sweep of Florida State to finish 3-0 against the schools two biggest rivals (in my opinion) and raise an Orange Bowl trophy.

I guess I’d pick the Florida – Miami game by a hair because of the furious comeback, but I’m not even sure about that.

As for the most thrilling game I’ve ever seen on TV, I’d say watching Tennessee come back in 2003 to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 5 overtimes, being inches away from defeat multiple times only to rally for an improbable 51-43 win that stands as Tennessee’s last win at Bryant Denny Stadium. Almost needed a defibrillator after that one…

(I graduated from Tennessee AND Miami. Cut me some slack, y’all…..)

3. Top 5 most painful moments in sports fandom??? This one is easy, or at least the two at the top are. You know the first, so I’ll fill in the rest….

1. 2003 Fiesta Bowl; you know it, let’s not relive it.

2. 2011 World Series; Rangers were one strike away, twice, from the title; Nelson Cruz couldn’t catch a fly ball at the ball to win the decisive game either.

3. Florida vs. Tennessee September 2000; Gators escape after Jabar Gaffney gifted a drop into a touchdown by Vandy grad and incompetent official Al Matthews.

4. Watching the BCS computer spit out FSU to the Orange Bowl, Miami .3 behind in third place in December 2000. That was an all-time gut punch.

5. Tennessee defense stops LSU in 2010 in Tiger Stadium at the goal line as time expires to win the game. Fans in Tiger Stadium exult, including yours truly. Players run on the field. Game over. Wait…penalty flag, too many men on field. Tennessee rushed to sub players in same amount of time as LSU, mayhem and confusion ensue, and Vols have 13 defenders on the field. LSU gets one last play, Stevan Ridley bulldozes in, game over.

4. Old Canes game I’m watching this week: #3 Miami 23, Florida 15; Sept. 6, 1986. Always enjoy watching the 86 team play, so why not watch them beat a rival?

So what are the most exciting games you seen in person and on TV? What are your Top 5 most painful sports memories??? Let’s hear them…………….