Fins, Canes creating a football revival in South Florida – Miami Herald (blog)
I had a feeling it had been a while but had no idea just how long. Call it something else for South Florida football fans to appreciate this week of Thanksgiving.
Don Shula was still roaming jut-jawed along the Dolphins sideline, and Dan Marino was in the prolific heart of his career. Across town, new Hurricanes coach Dennis Erickson was bearing in on the school’s third national championship.
It was that season, 1989, when Miami’s two flagship football teams last both had at least a three-game winning streak entering the national holiday that turkeys hate.
Go back even further, to 1985, for the last time the big two had a longer combined streak entering Thanksgiving than the eight victories in a row currently co-fashioned by the Fins (five) and Canes (three).
The dual fire is all the more remarkable because, for both teams, it arose from ashes.
Pro Miami was 1-4, Dolfans beginning to join in another sad chorus of “Same Ol’ Dolphins.” Now, at 6-4 and at home this coming Sunday vs. the awful 49ers, Miami has become a viable playoff contender.
College Miami had been sunk by four consecutive losses in October. Now the Canes are 7-4 and big favorites at home in this coming Saturday’s regular-season finale vs. Duke. Bowl prospects are growing again.
The refresh button has been hit on the sense of optimism and new direction that began each team’s season. I’d also add Miami’s third-biggest football team, Florida International University, to the conversation because, as the Dolphins and UM began saving their seasons, FIU won big, too — and it had nothing to do with a scoreboard.
The sense of renewal is rooted in all three teams’ coaching hires.
Adam Gase has delivered youth and enthusiasm to the Dolphins, and a sense of fight