The Miami Hurricanes and Duke Blue Devils face off this Saturday at 12:30 EST on some regional sports network no one’s ever heard of. Yay. It’s 2022, and there are roughly 842 streaming services. Yet I have to go to my local bar to watch Miami, despite me LIVING IN THE SAME STATE. What year is it again? Are we sure it’s 2022? I swear, it was easier to watch sports on TV thirty years ago. (Deep breath).
Although my creative preview vs Texas A&M did not help the Canes win, let’s run it back for an original comparison between these two ACC Coastal foes!
Nightmare matchup for Duke right off the bat. I think Miami could win the nightlife argument with just about any other college in the country, let alone one located in Durham, North Carolina. Just to list some of the main attractions in South Beach: Clevelander South Beach Club, Bleau Bar, STORY nightclub, and of course, LIV at Fontainebleau. I filled out a table request form for LIV, just to see how much it costs for a group of eight people on the main floor. It’s only $3,000. So, if you don’t feel like paying rent for a month or two, a table at LIV is a great way to spend that cash. I’m not even mentioning all the unique cocktail bars (Ball & Chain was a personal favorite, located in the Calle Ocho neighborhood), dive bars and beach bars from Fort Lauderdale down the coast. This is a no-brainer.
Up in Durham, you have slightly fewer and more depressing options when it comes to spending a night on the town. Three of the top ten options for nightlife on Tripadvisor are: #3 The Glass Jug Beer Lab (what a name, blegh), #6 Quarter Horse Bar & Arcade (says it’s for families; that’s not nightlife!), and #8 Biker Bar NC (it’s called Peddle Pub in Jacksonville; just a mobile bar that takes you to other bars, plus you have to pedal! Lame). No wonder Duke students perform so well in school; there’s nothing else to do!
There is so much great food to choose from in Miami. If you want to get fancy and have a first-class steak and seafood dinner, there’s Joe’s Stone Crab. The place is a legendary Miami staple; it has been around since 1913. Some of the most famous people in the world have dined at Joe’s, including Amelia Earhart and J. Edgar Hoover. Make sure to save up before coming, as the jumbo stone crabs cost $129.95. If you don’t want to spend an absurd amount of money on dinner, there are plenty of places serving up authentic Cuban food. Espresso Cubano in Coral Gables is a great spot for a Cuban sandwich and Cuban coffee. While you’re there, be sure to get some papa relllenas, beef empanadas, and picadillo to-go. I’m hungry now and there isn’t any good Cuban food in Jacksonville. Damnit!
Barbecue is king in North Carolina. I love smoked meats. I’ve eaten at The Pit in Raleigh and it was delicious. That said, BBQ is great for a treat; it gets old after a while. There’s a great BBQ place by me, but I haven’t been in months because I am bored with the menu. Diversity in food is important, and Miami has everything there is to offer. Durham, not so much. American food is what you’ll get there; not much of an international food scene. There is an Asian Fusion restaurant in town, but it’s called JuJu Durham. Hmm. Sounds kind of racist to me, but whatever. Let’s move on.
Okay, this one isn’t in the least bit fair, but too bad. Miami has the world-famous South Beach. The views are incredible. The people are better looking and in better shape than me, or anyone I know for that matter. If you’re looking for somewhere less trendy, South Florida has you covered. There’s Miami Beach, Hollywood Beach, and Fort Lauderdale Beach to name a few. If you want even more peace and tranquility, take the quick drive up I-95 to Pompano Beach or Delray Beach; both are beautiful options. The beaches in Florida are a big reason why people move here. Being a born-and-raised Floridian, I can tell you none of the beaches are nicer than the ones in South Florida. Good thing it’s not beach season now, because I really need to get back in the gym. Yikes.
The closest beach to Durham is over 100 miles away! It’s also in another state, so there’s that. Pamlico River is the name and it’s in Beaufort, South Carolina. I was actually in Beaufort a couple months ago, and it stinks. The beach isn’t anything special and there is nothing to do there at night; everything closes at 9 pm. I tried to get a late dinner and had to go to the Chick Fil-A by my hotel. Give me a break. No wonder students line up for days to go to basketball games, there aren’t any nearby beaches for weekend chill time.
Since the start of the 2021 season, Miami and Duke have split their two matchups. Both teams went far in the NCAA Tournament, with the Hurricanes reaching the Elite Eight and Duke getting to the Final Four. What’s that? Since 1980, Duke has 5 NCAA National Championships, appeared in 13 Final Fours, and won 28 ACC Championships (regular season and tournament combined). Well, I’m not here to talk about the past. Coach K is gone for Duke, while Coach L seems to be ageless for Miami. The Canes have some solid transfers and recruits coming in for this season. The future is looking bright for Miami Hurricanes basketball!
If we expand to professional basketball, the city of Miami wins hands down. The Miami Heat have three NBA Championships and are an Eastern Conference contender just about every season. Meanwhile, the Hornets had a nice run in the 1990s with Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. And, that’s as good as it got. After changing their name to the Bobcats in 2004, Charlotte made two playoff appearances in ten years, winning zero playoff games. Don’t worry, in the eight years since they went back to being called the Hornets, they have one playoff appearance, losing in the first round in 2016 to...the Miami Heat.
Kickoff return magic
Yes, this one is less fair than the beaches matchup. So what? I remember sitting on my old couch in my Orlando apartment for this game. I was drowning my sorrows in Bud Lights as Miami was about to lose to Duke, in football, for the second time in three years. Al Golden had been fired and the season was lost. My attitude didn’t change for the first half of the kickoff sequence. It wasn’t until #29 Corn Elder received a lateral on the far side of the field with blockers in front of him. From then on, it was a lot of running, jumping, fist-pumping, yelling, and cursing directed at anything and everything Duke. I mean me, not the team. Although they were doing all that as well. Miami’s 2015 season was wholly forgettable, except for the most exciting game-winning play in recent memory. Lastly, former Duke head coach David Cutcliffe’s reaction made the win that much sweeter. “Bitter, party of one? Your table’s ready.”
Well, there you have it. Miami wins before kickoff again. Will the city of Miami’s nightlife, great food, and beaches be enough to help the Hurricanes overcome Duke this Saturday? It absolutely cannot be ruled out.
Tell us what you think Miami’s biggest advantage is over Duke.
What is Miami’s biggest advantage over Duke?
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Kickoff return magic