Welcome to this week’s installment of the Game of the Week Game Day Guide which features the ACC match-up between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Miami Hurricanes. This is the fifth edition of the Game of the Week Game Day Guide and will continue each week of the 2010 football season. In this week’s edition we return to Miami Gardens and spend a game day with the Canes.
The North Carolina Tar Heels will travel south to take on Miami at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., a suburb of Miami. This Saturday should be a beautiful, sunny day with highs in the mid 80s, a South Florida benefit. From 1937 through 2007, the Miami Hurricanes played their home games at the Orange Bowl, in the Little Havana section of Miami. The Miami Hurricanes football team shifted to Sun Life Stadium in 2008, which is also home to the Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins and the Orange Bowl. Only two other stadiums in the country still host both NFL and MLB teams; Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and Rogers Center in Toronto. Sun Life Stadium is, however, the only stadium to house and NFL, MLB, and NCAA Division I College Football team. The stadium can hold up to 75,192 for football games.
Miamifootball games are known for the electric entrance of the football team. The Hurricanes enter the field through a large amount of white smoke at the end of a tunnel with the sound of a hurricane blaring over the audio system. A cannon, known as Touchdown Tommy, is also fired off when the Hurricanes take the field. As the Miami Hurricanes became a dominant program in college football in the 1980s and 1990s, many high school, college and professional football teams began to use a smoke entrance made famous by the Miami football program.
Another Miami football trademark is Sebastian the Ibis, the school’s mascot. The Ibis is a native bird to Miami and is said to be the bird leader when hurricanes loom off the Florida coast. This bird was chosen as the official mascot in 1926 and was given the name Sebastian in 1957 after the San Sebastian building through a homecoming competition. Sebastian leads the University of Miami football team through the smoke tunnel as the team enters the field. Sebastian the Ibis is one of the most recognizable mascots in college football.
Miamiis also a coastal town, so fans and visitors can make a long weekend out of the game day experience and enjoy the beaches Miami has to offer. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the beach and even get in the water, but the summer crowds have thinned since summer’s end. Enjoy a sunny, warm, football filled weekend in Miami that feels like a mix between summer vacation and fall football; to some this is a winning combination.