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Hurricane and Thankful

Hurricane and thankful. This is the time of year when families gather together to give thanks and the College football regular season draws to an end. Despite heading into the final regular season game with a losing record, the horizons are bright. That is, if you so choose to view it that way. There are some legitimate reasons to be thankful if you are a Miami Hurricane fan. Here are some of mine.

The Administration

It wasn’t too long ago that ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit had a verbal autopsy for the world to see. In his estimation it wasn’t until the President, Board of Trustees, AD and Head Coach were on the same page, that meaningful change would occur.  We heard the narrative far too often. Rival fans choked us with the over simplification of it. The Hurricanes don’t have the money. And they certainly don’t want to spend it on football.

Despite the season being a forgettable one, never once did that particular narrative pop up. The administration did care. There was a renewed commitment that was never seen before. It was the underlay and interwoven fabric of change that was necessary. The big business of college football rapidly passed the Miami Hurricanes by but that changed in 2022. The administration whole heartedly and fiscally committed. And for that, I am thankful.

Josh Gattis

Perspective is everything. Despite being part of the vocal majority who wants him replaced at the end of the season, there is a lesson. It ties in with the previous bullet point. A Broyles Award winning coach wasn’t outside the realm of possibility any longer. The Miami Hurricane program was never afforded such things in the past. Statistically it never amounted to much in this Gattis matrimony, but initially the hire was robust. It was, if anything else, noteworthy.

And there is another thing I am optimistically hopeful for via this endeavor. I think they finally learned. I really do. The Hurricanes will look back on this season and see a reflection of who they are and where they need to go. Offense is king. The catastrophic failure of this season’s offense won’t be met with blind apathy. It will change. Regardless of whoever is calling the plays, it has to. And for that, I am thankful.

Recruiting 

The one thing I never worried about with Coach Mario Cristobal was in terms of his recruiting. Nick Saban referred to him as one of the best recruiters he has ever seen. He won a recruiter of the year award in 2015. Cristobal blessed the Oregon Ducks football program with its best recruiting classes ever. No matter what insignia is on his shirt, the man will recruit. That is evergreen.

Very few men could amount the season the Hurricanes just had yet still be able to attract talent the way Cristobal has. The 2023 class sits top 10 with two five star recruits who are the top of their respected positions. Cristobal is tireless and relentless on the trail. It is an incessant way of life for him. Undoubtedly the talent at Miami will improve. And for that, I am thankful.

Kam Kinchens

Speaking of talent, Kamren Kinchens sits atop the college football world in interceptions. He very well could be a microcosm of things to come. He is the embodiment of culture the head coach requires. Kinchens also possess the talent and skillset which have allowed him to shine in a season riddled with dull. Mario said his job was to surround Kam Kinchens with a team filled with Kam Kinchens’. That is high praise.

Was it a perfect season? No. There was times even under his self admission that he gambled a bit too much. The Hurricanes secondary were seemingly weekly victims to big pass plays over the top. But there was improvement. Week to week you saw a metamorphosis to better. Kinchens became the guy in the midst of some early season adversity. And for that. I am thankful.

The Boys

The Orange Bowl Boys were an idea and an accident. But over the years we have established a voice. One in which we use occasionally with unabated intent. We have never been afraid to let you know how we feel. We are one of you. We are the fans. The genesis for us has always been in our namesake. The Orange Bowl. The Little Havana milestone that was the epicenter of our fandom. That place was where our first memories were born.

The memories continue. With every show and every article. I couldn’t be more thankful for this ride we are on. I still have no idea where we are going but I am sure we will figure it out when we get there. Toast, Scoop, thank you for being my brothers and friends. We have always been different, but we have always been the same. Hurricanes are in the heart of it all. We are one of three fans in one of the greatest fandoms on planet earth. And for that, I am thankful.

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About the Author: Roman Marciante

Born and raised in South Florida. Local Boy. Husband. Tali and Franco’s dad. “Hey grandpa, is there a local college team we can watch?” “Do they throw the ball?” They don’t run the option do they?” Thus the love affair was born. Proud supporter of St Thomas Aquinas Raider nation and alum. One day got in a studio with two other buddy’s and started a conversation about a local team and the rest was history. A former pro athlete who secretly had a CIA job and some people call “Chief.” Yells “Bang” a lot. “It is not wrong, it is just different.” Managing Editor for the OBB Legend, host of X’s and Ro and Student of the Game connoisseur. I still remember the day I beat Mike Tyson in a fight. 007-373-5963. Thanks for all your help Mac. I couldn’t have done it without you.

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