Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes Football History

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The Orange, Green & White

UM�s school colors were selected in 1926. The colors of the Florida orange tree represent UM. Orange symbolizes the fruit of the tree, green represents the leaves and white, the blossoms.

The "U"

In 1973, UM�s Athletic Federation, the fund raising arm of the athletic department at the time, commissioned a local public relations expert to Miami football historydevelop a distinctive logo. The University had gone several years with a variety of helmet and uniform changes and the Federation noted that a number of major colleges have the initials UM. Miami designer Bill Bodenhamer suggested the "U" idea, which lent itself to slogans like "U gotta believe" and "U is great".

Why "Hurricanes"?

It began in controversy. Some reports say the 1927 football team held a team meeting to select Hurricanes, hoping they would sweep away opponents just as the devastating storm did on September 16, 1926. Another version holds that Miami News columnist Jack Bell asked end Porter Norris of the 1926 team what the team should be called. Told that the local dignitaries and University officials wanted to name the team for a local flora or fauna, Norris said the players wouldn't stand for it and suggested "Hurricanes" since the opening game had been postponed by such a storm. From time to time, opposition has arisen to the name that would "reinforce Miami�s negative reputation as a weather-beaten community living constantly under the threat of destruction." But as one UM official rationalized in the 60�s, "Does anyone think Chicago is overrun by bears just because the town has a football team by that name?

Lil' Joe & Touchdown Tommy

"Lil� Joe" was a forerunner to the present "Touchdown Tommy" cannon fired by the Sigma Chi fraternity after each UM score.

Four Fingers

At the beginning of the fourth quarter at every home football game, Miami players and fans can be seen holding up four fingers. The sign indicates their belief that a game is won in that crucial final period. True Hurricane fans and players use the sign as a symbol that they own that last quarter.

The "Smoke"

The traditional Hurricane "smoke" entrance in the Orange Bowl began in the 1950s. In an attempt to increase fan interest, UM transportation director Bob Nalette came up with the idea of using fire extinguishers to produce the now-famous smoke that Hurricanes run through as they enter the field. In his spare time 40 years ago, Nalette welded the pipe together that even today billow smoke from the top of the Hurricanes� entrance tunnel. The original set up included flashing lights, two large hurricane flags and a tape of a hurricane being blasted over the loud speaker. The flags and lights are now gone but the smoke and sound track still remain.

Sebastian the Ibis

Folklore maintains that the Ibis, a symbol of knowledge found in the Everglades and Egypt, is the last sign of wildlife to take shelter before a hurricane and the first to reappear after the storm. The local marsh bird was considered UM's first unofficial mascot when the school yearbook adopted the name "Ibis" in 1926. Its popularity grew among the students during the 50�s. In 1957 San Sebastian Hall, a residence hall on campus, sponsored an Ibis entry in the homecoming celebration. The next year, student John Stormont performed at games in an Ibis costume that was glued, sewn and pinned together and was the forerunner of today's bird. Through the years, the Ibis has become one of the most recognizable college mascots in the United States.

Alma Mater and School Songs

Southern suns and sky blue water,
Smile upon you Alma mater;
Mistress of this fruitful land,
With all knowledge at your hand,
Always just to honor true,
All our love we pledge to you.
Alma Mater, stand forever
On Biscayne's wondrous shore.

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