MORE ABOUT U AND ME...
My site name, 86 Cane, comes
from the fact that I graduated from "The U" in 1986 with a BA in Psychology and Communications. But, my Canes
history goes back much further than that, in fact all the way to 1974. Canes blood (orange and green of course!)
runs deep in my family, as both my father and mother worked at UM and my older sister graduated from the U in 1979.
My first Cane memories are of attending
games at the Orange Bowl back in 1974 when my Dad would get employee discount tickets in the upper deck of the OB and we'd
go watch Chuck Foreman, Otis Anderson, Burgess Owens, Fred Marion and the gang play in front of 20,000 fans (maybe).
Coaches named Curci and Selmer were
there and lost more games than they won. It wasn't until Lou Saban came in and brought back some recognition to
the program that things started to change. Even then the program was at risk of being abandoned by the U when Howard
Schnellenberger took over and as they say: "The rest is history!"
After a few years away from the OB, I started attending games again in 1981
when I enrolled at UM. I was there in 1983 when the gruff, pipe smokin' (imagine that today!) hard core Bear Bryant
and Don Shula disciple named Schnellenberger brought home our first National Championship. I was there for the great
Florida, Notre Dame and Oklahoma games back in the mid 80s. I was there for "The Scramble" that probably won
Vinny the Heisman Trophy.
I was there for Hail Flutie and the entire 58 game win streak and the loss to Washinton that ended it.
I ran on the field after the UCLA game (the ONLY time I can ever remember that being allowed to happen) that brought us back
was there in 1986 when we may have had our best team ever that went down in defeat in the Fiesta bowl to Penn State.
And I have followed the Canes through Championship seasons in 1987, 1989, 1991 and 2001 and tough losses over the years since
then. I've watched and met Coaches Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis, Larry Coker and now Randy Shannon.
I was born in Miami, grew up there, and still have family in Kendall, but recently
moved to the Orlando area with my wife of 16 years, Maria. We have been to games at the Swamp, the Doak and at
NC State and still attend games at the OB. You can look for us in
Section C, last row against the fence under the upper deck. We hope
to see you all there in 2007!
Tom Popadak / 86Cane