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The Orange Bowl may be useful after all and I, for one am glad. They're going to tear the old girl down, don't get me wrong. It's the place of many a Super Bowl, the home of the Flutie miracle November 23rd of 1984, sealing the Heisman for him or a scene where San Diego carries a dehydrated Kellen Winslow off the field after the Chargers beat the Dolphins in overtime in 1982. It's time has come. Even the best of stadiums and arenas go down, Fulton County Stadium, the Omni, Ebbets Field, the list goes on.
That area will be reincarnated. No, not like Shirley McClain. The Florida Marlins announced on the team's website that they have tentatively reached a deal with the new stadium, which will have a retractable roof, to open in 2011 The official announcement will be made Thursday.
It's about time, guys! You needed this for quite some time. You've had to share the place with the Dolphins and Florida Atlantic University, who may be moving into their own new digs on campus in 2010. You'll also have to share the place with the Miami Hurricanes. You've had to endure rain showers, a grounds crew that couldn't pull a tarp properly and having to reconfigure a football stadium for baseball 81 times a year. You've been the redhaired stepchild of Miami-Dade and those days are (hopefully!) over.
At the same time, you've had your share of joys. The 1997 team winning the World Series against Cleveland in extra innings in a game seven that was talked about for years, making you the first Wild Card team as well as the first expansion team to win the Commissioner's Trophy. The teal caps and jerseys were fun, too. They added some color to all that orange and aquamarine of the Dolphins.
To the Dolphins, thank you for being gracious hosts. Although I wish you could have played some of your home games in the old Orange Bowl until baseball season ended, you at least didn't kick them to the curb like a cheating boyfriend. To the ownership of the Marlins, you should have made this move sooner. But I tip my cap to you. Good luck in the new digs.
Just be sure Billy Marlin takes his head when you leave.