Ranking the Greatest All-Time Traditions in Miami Hurricanes Football History
The University of Miami Hurricanes are a team that is widely recognized as one of the elite programs in the country, even when they are having a down year.
The Hurricanes have captured five national championships, with the last victory coming in the 2002 Rose Bowl against Nebraska at the close of a dominant 2001 season where they beat opponents by over 30 points per game.
Such a dominant program doesn't come without a lot of traditions that make being a Miami Hurricanes fan such a fun experience.
From the Hurricane Walk to the flashing of the "U" symbol, the Hurricanes have a lot of traditions that have carried on through the years.
Here is a list of six traditions that the Hurricanes call their own ranked from six to one:
6. The Orange Bowl Factor
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The Orange Bowl was and will always be a historic memory for the Miami Hurricanes football team. The stadium was the site of many triumphs and many painful defeats.
The Hurricanes played their first game at the stadium in 1937. They had a 58-game winning streak at the Orange Bowl from 1985-1994; that became an NCAA record before being ended by the Washington Huskies during that year.
The stadium's last year in 2008 saw the Hurricanes get destroyed by the Virginia Cavaliers—the home team dropping the contest by a lopsided score of 48-0.
A lot of people have since said that the Hurricanes have not been the same since the iconic stadium was demolished, and many longtime Hurricanes fans have since stopped watching the team because of the team moving to Sun Life Stadium.
The Orange Bowl is fondly remembered for its sometimes distinct home-field advantage.
Fans and students in the West End section would often stomp their feet on the steel super-structure to make a noise that would be loud and sometimes unbearable to opposing quarterbacks and Florida State kickers in 1992, 2000 and 2002.
5. Touchdown Tommy
Thanks to OperationSports.com for the photo!
The iconic cannon is stored by the university's Sigma Chi fraternity. Touchdown Tommy is an iconic shot that was heard all around the Orange Bowl and now Sun Life Stadium.
Whenever the 'Canes score or they hold on for a hard-earned win, Touchdown Tommy is fired.
Touchdown Tommy's predecessor is Lil' Joe, which was the cannon before the current one that served the same purpose.
This cannon is handled by qualified military personnel who are trained in its safe use.
4. Sebastian the Ibis
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Sebastian the Ibis has been the icon that stood for the University of Miami and it's ideology since 1926.
The mascot is named after the Ibis, a local marsh bird.
It is often said that the Ibis is "the last sign of wildlife to take shelter before a storm, and the first to reappear after the storm." (University of Miami Official Site: http://www.miami.edu/index.php/about_us/achievements_and_traditions/traditions/)
Since it's creation, Sebastian the Ibis has become one of the most recognized college mascots in college football history.
A favorite memory of Sebastian the Ibis is during a Miami/Florida State game in 2000, Sebastian comes out for the game and holds what looked to be his own version of Chief Osceola's staff and breaks it, thus mocking Florida State's iconic mascot.
3. Flashing of "The U"
Another big-time tradition is for Hurricane coaches and players to flash "The U" symbol.
One of the biggest traditions in school history is when recruits and players proudly flash the logo of the school that they have dreamed of attending classes at or playing sports for.
Flashing "The U" symbol is one of the most popular things that fans and members of the university community keep strong to this date.
You can often find who supports the 'Canes just by looking for the iconic symbol.
2. The "Hurricanes Smoke"
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Another classic tradition, the "Hurricane Smoke," blows from the team's entrance tunnel at Sun Life Stadium. This tradition has been the Hurricanes' biggest since the 1950s.
According to the official University of Miami website, the smoke was started by Bob Nalette who was the University transportation director at the time.
He had come up with using fire extinguishers to create the smoke and had also added the sound of a hurricane to the team's entrance tunnel, as he would spend all of his spare time constructing the tunnel to what it is today.
Atop of the entrance tunnel are also flags that blow, to symbolize the calm before the storm.
The team has added the "Hurricane Walk" to its home-games' entrance, which fans and students alike form a human tunnel to which the team comes out to the field in the iconic smoke.
1. Four Fingers
The biggest tradition in Hurricanes' history, is when the team and the fans hold up four fingers.
In the fourth quarter, fans and players signal that games are won in the final quarter.
The Hurricanes have not played all 60 minutes this season, as they have suffered close, last-second losses to Kansas State and Virginia Tech as they have been leading and gave up a game-winning touchdown or had been driving to score the game-winning touchdown
When I was at Kenan Memorial Stadium for the matchup against the Tar Heels, I saw the Orange-clad Miami fans in the fourth quarter holding up their four fingers, because they saw their Hurricanes starting to choke the life out of the home team.