This article was written by Canespace blogger by "Mike":
I was a Cane’s fan before I even knew what they were. As a kid I listened to my grandmother scream at the TV when the Cane’s played. I listened to the stories my uncle passed on about this place called the Orange Bowl that he sold t-shirts at. I remember, although a little blurry, listening to a national championship game on the radio in the car with my grandmother. I heard the names of Gino Toretta and Lamar Thomas. I didn’t know back then the love I would have for my Canes and that beautiful place called the Orange Bowl.
Growing up in the parts of Miami I did as a kid and teenager, people didn’t have money to watch a game in the OB, only the TV. But once I was in my early twenties, had a little money and started my own family, I decided to watch a game live. It’s funny how when I was growing up something like going to the OB never crossed my mind. I assumed it to be too much money, or maybe to far away. But now I was grown, and it was time.
My neighbors at the time were this older couple in their 60’s who have been season ticket holders since the 70’s. They convinced me to go and sit in this placed known as General Admission, aka The West End Zone. She said to get there early to get a good seat. I didn’t realize I would be just feet away from the Cane’s I loved so much.
At first the traffic and parking sucked. But once I got into the stadium, I was truly in awe. I didn’t move from my seat the entire game. I was on the first row behind the handicap section in the West End Zone watching the warm-ups, listening to the visiting team get talked to like they just robbed our house.
Then came the helmet. I remember that moment, just waiting to explode when I saw that smoke. I was so close, how could I be this close! I don’t even remember who we played that day, I just remember the stadium, the west end zone crew, the atmosphere, the smell…the Orange Bowl.
I only wish I would of come sooner, before the recent decline, when Dorsey led us to win after win. But in my short time in the OB, I witnessed enough to know that it was a special place to me, a place I will miss dearly. I can only imagine how badly the people who have gone there for longer will miss it. I remember the FSU games, and the comeback game against Louisville when I watch Devin Hester return 3 punts, one of which was called back. That night was special. I know there were a lot of special games bigger than that, but for me I remember high-fiving and hugging complete strangers.
After the game the round circle walk-way was crowed with fans leaving the stadium and every single one was singing “It’s great to be a mi-am-i hurr-i-cane”. Then we yelled: "We got some Canes over here, whoosh whoosh." It was truly special. The Orange Bowl was special.
I had the pleasure of watching such greats as Sean Taylor, Antrelle Rolle, Frank Gore, Roscoe Parrish, Eric Winston, Kellen Winslow, Devin Hester, Vince Wilfork and more. There is no doubt I will see more great players, but not how I saw them at the OB, close to the field in the West End Zone.
The parking in someone’s yard or walking through Little Havana until the stadium appeared; the old ladies selling arepas and something alleged to be “chicken” on a stick. Sometimes I still can’t believe all that is over. Anyone who has witnessed at least one game in the in the West End Zone will tell you that it will never be the same at Dolphin Stadium. I agree that the OB was an old run down stadium, a dump even, but it was MY beautiful dump.
I will continue to go to games and root on my beloved Canes, but I will never have “that” feeling like I did at "The Old Girl". Most likely, none of us will.