Seasoned Canes: Fans Share Their Stories
Bob Hindmon’s love for the Hurricanes runs deeper than most.
Some of his fondest memories? Taking the bus near his house in the Edison area on 62nd Street all the way to the Orange Bowl – on Wednesday nights.
Yes, you read that right. Those midweek trips to the OB were reserved for the freshman games, for those Hurricanes not yet on varsity, in the 1960s.
“A lot of people are like, ‘Freshman games?’ We’d take the bus back, 10 or 11 o’clock at night. We were just 10 years old,” he says with a laugh. “Can you believe that?”
Bob’s dad drove for Greyhound, meaning a lot of relocations for him and his three siblings – older brother Steve, older sister Linda and younger brother Earl, with seven years’ difference between each. Born in Stuart, Fla., he moved to Miami at a young age, where his love for the Hurricanes first developed.
Though his dad wasn’t a big football fan, his mother was – and he remembers joining her for his first packed house at the Orange Bowl in a game versus Notre Dame.
“There were three Notre Dame fans behind us. Back then, they didn’t stop you from bringing alcohol into the game,” Bob said. “I didn’t know she was as tough as she was until that night.”
After politely asking the fans to stop spilling on her and her son, Bob’s mother had had enough late in the game.
“She turned around, stood up and said, ‘If you spill any more whiskey, I’m going to kick your you-kno-what!’ I don’t even remember my mom cussing before that night.”
Now, Bob shares his love with the Hurricanes with his son, Matt, who is an even bigger fanatic. Bob’s granddaughter, Bella, went to her first Miami game at Hard Rock Stadium last fall. He makes the 200-plus mile drive down from his home in Lakeland, Fla., for every Hurricanes home game.
“I’ve had so much fun over the years, going to every game,” Bob said. “Even if we lost, it’s not just about the Hurricanes – it’s about family and Canes, and that time together. People flying in from different areas that we haven’t seen in a year or longer, friends and family. That’s what makes it special.”
The laugh is infectious as Lewis Matusow recalls the story – one straight from a Hollywood script.
Whitey Campbell, Miami’s running backs and special teams coach at the time, had left the practice field and headed up to his office to search for the latest edition of The Miami Hurricane, scanning the pages for the note about student tryouts for the open placekicker job at Miami.
“He expected six or seven, maybe even 10 people there,” Lewis Matusow said. “It was only me. He couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t get the ball off the ground. I was terrible.”
Only one student had shown up that day – coincidentally, the same student Campbell had asked to publish the article in the first place. Lewis was a regular out the practice field as the sports editor for both The Miami Hurricane and the Ibis Yearbook.
The Coral Park High School graduate aspired to one day play for the Hurricanes, but blew his chance with a 102 degree fever and a nightmare of a tryout session. Lewis never forgot the look on Campbell’s face when he realized what had transpired
“He comes downstairs, he has the paper in his hand and he said, ‘There’s no story here!’ Even though it’s not a stretch for me, I had to play dumb,” Lewis recalls. “I said, ‘What? It didn’t get in? It must have gotten bumped. Coach, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe that happened!’
“The jig was up.”
Though he never suited up for the Hurricanes, Miami Football has been a lifelong passion for Lewis and his family. When a job opened up in the business manager’s office in the late 1960’s, Lewis’ mother pounced on the opportunity, knowing her son would be able to attend his dream school via the university’s tuition remission program.
“As far back as I can remember, our family has been Canes-oriented,” Lewis said. “We’ve always loved the University of Miami. My father used to take me to football games when George Mira was quarterback and Andy Gustafson was head coach.”
During his undergraduate career at Miami, Lewis interned for famed sports information director George Gallette – which led to a life and career in public relations, including a heavy focus on sports in South Florida.
“The University of Miami has meant everything to me,” Lewis said. “I first fell in love with the University of Miami as a junior high kid and always followed the sports teams. I lived my dream by going to Miami. I met my wife at UM. This December we’ll be married 46 years. I met my wife in a summer child psychology class, which I tell everybody prepared her for life with me.
“Our daughter, like many of my cousins before me, went to UM. Being a Cane is something I always dreamed of, and it really means everything to me.”
It wasn’t as much the result of the game – historic as it may have been – that stands out to David Mosier.
It was more about the trip home.
Having traveled to Atlanta for Miami’s first bowl appearance in 14 years, Mosier and three friends watched their beloved Hurricanes topple Virginia Tech, 20-10, in the 1981 Peach Bowl. After the win, the 6-foot-2 Mosier and his buddies friends piled into a Ford Pinto for a rather uncomfortable drive back to Miami.
“It was a blast. We had a really good time up there,” Mosier said with a laugh. “It just cemented things for me.”
Mosier’s fandom begins in the early 1970s, when his mother, Joyce, took him to his first game at the Orange Bowl. His planned postgraduate career as an Air Force pilot took a slight turn, and he was eventually hired as an air traffic controller by the FAA. From 1982 to 1988, he relocated to Minneapolis for the job – nothing but a slight road block in his support of the Hurricanes.
“We had a very unique schedule where, every four weeks, you rotated backwards one day,” David explained. “For example, for the month of August, you worked Sunday through Thursday, you’d have Friday and Saturday off. Come September, you’d have to work Saturday through Wednesday and have Thursday and Friday off, and so on.”
David had adjusted his schedule to make sure that, when his fall shifts were over at midnight on Saturday, he would hop on the first flight from Minneapolis to Miami to attend Hurricanes games. The Northwest Airlines pilots got to know him on a first-name basis for how frequent he would make the trip.
David now often attends games with his wife, his good friend Mike – a three-time UM alum – and other friends and family. Some of his fondest memories include traveling to games with his mom, who he called a “rabid” fan – including a trip to the Meadowlands to watch Miami play Ohio State.
He’ll never forget his first game after the passing of his beloved mother Joyce – a game he attended solo.
“The start of the second quarter, one of the players – and I have no idea why – walked over towards about the 10-yard-line on the southern side of the stadium and looked right up into our section,” David recalled. “It was almost as if to say, ‘Where’s the noise that always came from up there?’
“For about 10 seconds, he just looked around. It was a very surreal moment and something I’ll never forget.”