Separated by just nine miles, it would seem like the University of Miami and Florida International University would be natural rivals.
But the fact that FIU is a young program with no real football tradition causes more than a few folks from Miami to look at the Panthers' program as nothing more than a Miami wannabe.
Miami is also a private school in Coral Gables—starkly different from FIU's public university campus in western Miami.
The 2006 game was supposed to be the first in an annual series between the crosstown schools, but the events of this first meeting changed those plans quickly.
By midway through the third quarter of an increasingly physical game, Miami took a 13-0 lead. Miami's James Bryant caught the touchdown pass and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after pointing to the crowd from the end zone.
During the PAT attempt, FIU's Chris Smith appeared to punch Miami's Matt Perelli in the chin and FIU's Marshall McDuffle, Jr. kicked Perelli in the head.
Numerous Hurricanes players came immediately to the aid of Perelli, but they did so by throwing punches of their own.
Within seconds, both benches had cleared, and chaos ensued.
One of the craziest moments from this stupefying brawl was Miami's Anthony Reddick running at several FIU players, swinging his helmet at them. Miami's Brandon Meriweather was also seen kicking an FIU player on the ground.
After several minutes—and police intervention on the field—the officials handed out 13 personal foul penalties, along with ejections. Bizarrely, Miami players took the opportunity provided by the delay to gather on the sideline and appear to celebrate their fighting.
In the end, 31 suspensions were handed out by the universities and respective conferences (13 Miami players and 18 FIU players were suspended).
Former Hurricane Lamar Thomas was providing color commentary for the game's broadcast on Comcast Sports Southeast and made the following comments during the fight:
Now, that’s what I’m talking about. You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don’t come into the OB [Orange Bowl] playing that stuff. You’re across the ocean over there. You’re across the city. You can’t come over to our place talking noise like that. You’ll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing...I say, why don't we meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don't come into the OB, baby. We've had a down couple of years but you don't come in here talking smack. Not in our house.
Oops. Thomas was fired the following day by Comcast.