NCF Illustration
By Ivan Maisel |

The Miami Dolphins said goodbye in 1986, the Orange Bowl game left in 1996. On Saturday night, after the Miami Hurricanes play the Virginia Cavaliers, the Miami Orange Bowl itself says goodbye at age 70. It is a victim of old age that will be fondly remembered, if not entirely missed. spoke to several coaches and former players about their memories of the stadium. Other remembrances herein are taken from books and audio recordings. Enjoy:

Orange Bowl memories
Saturday's Virginia-Miami matchup marks an end of an era at the Orange Bowl. looks back at the top 30 plays that took place in the vaunted stadium and gives you a 360-degree tour of the OB.

Launch: Orange Bowl gallery
Research: Top 30 moments

Art Kehoe played at Miami in 1979-80 and coached there for the following 25 years. While no one has made it official, it seems clear that the current Ole Miss offensive line coach has participated in more college football at the Orange Bowl than anyone.

"That might be right. I was there 27 years. We had about 325 games and won about 260 of them. I'm going to add that up one of these days.

"It's just a unique place. It's so neat. All those years, driving down I-95 and you make that little half-moon where you see downtown Miami on one side and the stadium on the other, and I always used to look at it and say to myself, 'That's the best home-field advantage ever.' We had the longest [home] winning streak [58 games] in history."

1952 Orange Bowl

Jan. 1, 1952
Georgia Tech 17, Baylor 14
"Baylor was undefeated. They had more yards [299] than we did [191]. It was played in the daytime and it was hot as hell. I mean hot. We saw in the film later that some of their guys at Baylor were upchucking on the sideline."
-- Georgia Tech All-America linebacker George Morris; he later worked three Orange Bowls as the head linesman.

1965 Orange Bowl

Jan. 1, 1965
Texas 21, Alabama 17
"Just before the game ended, Joe [Namath, the Tide quarterback] got us to the Texas goal, and on a fourth-down quarterback keep he came that close to winning it. Tommy Nobis met him head on. Our guys thought he scored. Afterward, one of the writers asked me who called the play. I said I had (I always call the ones that don't work.) He said, 'How can a $12,000-a-year coach call the plays for a $400,000 quarterback?' I admitted he had a point."
-- Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, "Bear," Bryant with John Underwood, 1974

1966 Orange Bowl

Jan. 1, 1966
Alabama 39, Nebraska 28
"What I remember from that game is we had the best team. I loved [Nebraska coach] Bob Devaney. I thought Bear Bryant outcoached him. Bryant realized they wouldn't hold up against us. We were really a big, physical team. We fumbled in the red zone. They started throwing all over the place. They went down the field and scored and they got three straight onside kicks and got ahead 24-7. They just didn't give us the ball." -- Wisconsin athletic director and former Nebraska linebacker Barry Alvarez

1969 Orange Bowl

Jan. 1, 1969
Penn State 15, Kansas 14
The Jayhawks stopped the Nittany Lions' two-point try, only to be penalized for having 12 men on the field. Former Kansas All-American defensive end John Zook:

"The thing that people don't realize is that after they completed a long pass down inside the 5, we put in a goal-line defense. When we checked the film, we played three plays with 12 men. They scored on a busted play, a broken play, against a 12-man defense.

"I thought the huddle was a little crowded [laughs]. No, I didn't notice. Late in the bowl game, the bands are on both ends of the field, and the hoopla for the postgame is fixing to start. It was a backup linebacker. I guess they scored on a 4-4-4 defense. I always tell everybody, I was the 12th man alphabetically."

When Penn State trailed in the fourth quarter, 14-7, the mother of Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno, watching in Flushing, N.Y., began crying, took out her rosary beads and locked herself in the bathroom to pray. Evidently, it worked.

"Art Rooney Sr., owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who grew up in a family that produced a priest and two nuns, sent me a telegram: I'LL TRADE MY BROTHER AND TWO SISTERS FOR YOUR MOTHER, EVEN UP."
-- Joe Paterno, "Paterno: By the Book," with Bernard Asbell, 1989

1984 Orange Bowl

Jan. 2, 1984
Miami 31, Nebraska 30
No. 1 Nebraska twice rallied from at least two touchdowns back, and with :48 to play, scored a touchdown to pull within 31-30 of No. 5 Miami.

"I was a graduate assistant. Usually I would be one of the first guys out [during warm-ups]. I would take the centers, snappers, holders, kickers and punters out. Most of the time, the people are still tailgating. We brought them out. The kickers didn't even have their shoulder pads on. As we left, we lined up and kicked an extra point, and 50,000 people in the Orange Bowl gave us an ovation for an extra point in warm-ups! I got chill bumps. It was a magical night in a magical city. If we beat them, even though we were No. 5, we were going to be national champs. The crowd was so into the game, 50,000 were there an hour and 50 minutes before the game."
-- Art Kehoe

"After Nebraska called timeout, after it was 31-30, I motioned for Jimmy Harper, the referee, to come over. He walks over and says, 'What is it?'

We were down toward that end zone, out of the press box we were toward the right end, out where the hash marks are.

"I said, 'I got something bothering me.'

"'What's bothering you?'

"'We've got a full stadium. We're being televised across the country. There are 75,000 people here. They want to know what the hell we're talking about.'

"'What's bugging you?'

"'Jimmy, did we ice that beer down in the locker room for after the game?'

"He said, 'You son of a gun.'

"I told him, 'You looked a little tense. I thought I'd pull you over and loosen you up.'
-- Head linesman George Morris

The transcription of play-by-play announcer Sonny Hirsch on the University of Miami Football Radio Network:

"Forty-eight seconds left in the game. Nebraska will go for two. Turner Gill has Schellen behind him. He's got Fryar split to the right. Smith in the slot right. Going for two. Gill, fades, looks, rolls, throws. Deflected away! Deflected away! Miami leads, 31-30! They tried for two and didn't make it! Everybody's crowding the field, and they better move back. We got 48 seconds to go. Nebraska cannot stop the clock."
-- University of Miami Football Radio Network, "Heartstoppers and Hail Marys," Ted Mandell, 2006

"It was what it was. The queen of any country can be beautiful or ugly. She's still the queen. She was the queen. She was the best. Everybody wanted to go to the Orange Bowl."
-- Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, who took the Sooners to nine Orange Bowls, winning six of them

Nov. 23, 1984

Boston College 47, Miami 45
The radio call of the final play of the game, by Dan "Duke" Davis, the Boston College play-by-play announcer:

"Well, here we go. Here's your ballgame, folks, as Flutie takes the snap. He drops straight back. Has some time. Now scrambles away from one hit, looks, uncorks a deep one for the end zone. Phelan is down there. Did he get it? TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN, BOSTON COLLEGE! HE DID IT! HE DID IT! FLUTIE DID IT! HE GOT PHELAN IN THE END ZONE! TOUCHDOWWWNNN! MY GOODNESS! WHAT A PLAY! FLUTIE TO GERARD PHELAN! 48 YARDS! NO TIME ON THE CLOCK! IT'S ALL OVER! IT IS OVER! BOSTON COLLEGE HAS WON THIS FOOTBALL GAME!"
-- Heartstoppers and Hail Marys, 2006

1987 Orange Bowl

Jan. 1, 1987
Oklahoma 42, Arkansas 8
"We're down about the 4- or 5-yard-line, and the guys in the press box see that Arkansas only has 10 guys on the field. Jamelle [Holieway, the Sooner quarterback] goes to the line. He always looks to see where the safeties are, just like we taught him. You can see that they're not balanced on one side of the line. Instead of going there, he goes to the other side, where they are balanced. We score anyway.

"Jamelle comes off the field, I said, 'Didn't you see they were missing a man?' He said, 'Yeah, I saw they were short. But they ain't stopped us running what we're running. It didn't make any difference. I'm going to execute what we been doing.'"
-- Switzer

"I can't tell you how many times on the road recruiting that coaches from Boston College, from Syracuse, would tell me they've never been in a place where they couldn't hear themselves speak on the sidelines, where they had to scream to get anybody to hear them on the headphones."
-- Kehoe

Nov. 25, 1989

Miami 27, Notre Dame 10
"I can remember getting off the bus in '89 to go into the locker room. People were lined up and roped off. We had beaten them [in 1988], ended their winning streak. People were yelling at us, and swinging at us. Lou [Holtz] used to tell the guys, 'Don't let the crowd get to you. They aren't playing.'

"When we got in the locker room, I said, 'Coach, I'm not too sure these people aren't coming out of the stands. They may think it's World Cup soccer.'"
-- Alvarez, the 1989 Notre Dame defensive coordinator

1991 Orange Bowl

Jan. 1, 1991
Colorado 10, Notre Dame 9
Colorado had to punt late in the game. Here's the radio call from Tony Roberts and Jack Ham of Westwood One:

Roberts: "Notre Dame, 10 men up on the line of scrimmage, Raghib Ismail now up at the 12-yard-line. The snap, and the punt by Rouen. High, sails down, the Rocket under it, gonna try to run it back. At the 10, cuts to the right, gets to the 15, gets up to the 20, bounces out of the pack! To the 25, to the 30! 35! 40! And away! 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 5, touchdown! Will it hold up? There's a penalty marker back at the 36-yard-line. Will it be called back?"

Ham: "OK, Tony, this looks like it will in fact be called back from the 36-yard-line, but what a great run when Notre Dame needed it, Rocket Ismail breaks it all the way down the sideline. And Colorado fans here are cheering because it will in fact be brought back."
-- Heartstoppers and Hail Marys, 2006

Florida State-Miami

Kehoe's Miami teams as a player and coach went 9-4 against the archrival Seminoles at the Orange Bowl stadium.

"We had those titanic battles with Florida State. It was [usually] the first week of October. CBS or ABC would always make us play at noon. It was always double 90s -- 90 percent humidity, 90 degrees. We came in one day from the game, and I'm looking at our team. We had won, pulled it out. We got three or four guys lying down, four or five guys taking IV bags in the training room. I'm thinking, 'Man, this kind of resembled what you imagine after a battle, after a war had taken place.'

"Two or three of our equipment guys came into the locker room. One of them said, 'We just took over 100 pounds of ice and 100 towels to Florida State. It looks like Vietnam in their locker room. There are guys on the floor with their legs up, IVs in their necks, legs cramping.' I felt relieved. If we're in pain, you're in pain, too. That was the price you pay."

Ivan Maisel is a senior writer for Send your questions and comments to Ivan at

Photo credits: AP Photo: Rick Bowmer, Kathy Willens, Lynne Sladky, Luis Alvarez, Alan Diaz, Hans Deryk, Phil Sandlin, Wilfredo Lee, Raul Demolina, J. Pat Carter.

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Orange Bowl Field

Orange Bowl

Orange Bowl entrance

Tennessee-OU 1939 Orange Bowl

Penn State-Kansas, 1969 Orange Bowl

Bear Bryant and Joe Namath

Barry Switzer

Joe Bellino

Steve Spurrier

Barry Switzer and Thomas Lott

Jimmy Johnson

Ken Dorsey

Marc Edwards crying

Lou Holtz

Doug Flutie

Florida State fans, 2001 Orange Bowl

Sinorice Moss vs. Florida State in 2004

Miami-FIU fight

Goodbye Orange Bowl