Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What about tradition?

Here in Miami the big story is about the Orange Bowl and the decision that was pending, until today, about whether the University of Miami was going to move its home games up the road to the newly refurbished Dolphin Stadium. This morning I was listening to a local talk radio show and this was the topic. The host was asking for callers to opine and the first predictably asked, "what about tradition?"

The first thought that crossed my mind was "tradition of what?" The tradition of having mystery fluid drip on you as walk through the decrepit stadium's tunnels? The tradition of having rust fall on your head if you sit in the lower bowl as the whole stadium begins to rock back and forth when Miami has a big opponent in town. The tradition of averaging 50,000 or less a game in attendance? The tradition of tailgating on the front lawn of one of the Orange Bowl's Little Havana neighbors?

Tradition lies with a program, not in a building. We've seen historic stadiums like Tiger Stadium in Detroit and others come down. We'll eventually see the most hallowed stadium in Baseball, the house that Ruth built, torn down. Fenway Park will eventually be torn down. That's life.

I don't see how fans of "Da U" can see this as anything but positive. Sure there is some nostalgia and a feeling of mourning but things change. They can even make a little shrine to the OB on Campus if they feel so strongly about it. But the inescapable reality is that the Orange Bowl is a public facility and the University of Miami is a private entity. As much as Miami fans would like to blur the lines between the school and the city, they have two different constituencies.

Anyway, it's now official. The Hurricanes will play their last game in the Orange Bowl this season. This will more than likely open the way for a new Marlins ballpark on the land the OB currently sits on. Though not the best site for a ballpark, it resolves a lot of issues for the local politicians who are pretty united in trying to keep the Marlins in Miami-Dade county. I say, PLAY BALL!

1 comment:

Gatorboys said...

I dont like this. I dont care how bad the conditions are at the OB, its still a much better place for Miami to play than Dolphins stadium. Imagine how jealous Miami fans must be of UF. We have a cool stadium on campus with much better fans. Football games in the swamp are my favorite events ever.