By now you know that I write a story about the opposing team's city for those thinking about making the journey with the Texans. If you're unaware of this, you've been missing out. My agent would like to have a word with you.
This week it's Miami. It's never enough to just say Miami or 'South Beach.' South Beach is actually a very small part of the area and not my first recommendation of a place to just go enjoy the water.
I've been to South Florida almost every year of my life and lived there from 1999 through Spring of '02 as the Voice of the Hurricanes before coming to Texas (I got here as fast as I could).
The area is loaded with attractions, most of which I won't get to here. I started to go to South Beach in the mid 90's. My dad actually had a place there and you can see the building in the aftermath of the chainsaw scene in Scarface.
By the time Dad got there, the area had transformed from a sleepy senior citizen community to a hopping ultra-cool destination. My father just liked the people watching.
Models and actors peppered South Beach in those days. Ten to 15 years later, it was still fun and pretty cool but much of the jet-set had largely relocated elsewhere. Still, it's a sight to see as the old Art Deco hotels are protected historic sites.
There are plenty of great clubs in Miami. Don't ask me about any one of them as I left that demographic somewhere between the popularity peaks of Don Johnson and Enrique Iglesias.
I love driving along A1A, the closest road to the ocean, and seeing all the hotels and how the neighborhoods change as you move north.
There are tons of beaches. In fact, it's virtually all beach. Some of which get extremely crowded. I always liked going to Key Biscayne, which is off a causeway just outside the downtown area. It's nice and relatively quiet.
The University of Miami is in Coral Gables. It's a beautiful campus and not the huge state-type university you might expect based on the history of the football program. The Hurricanes share Hard Rock Stadium with the Dolphins, far from campus. The Orange Bowl was an electric place to watch a game that was about 25 minutes from campus.
Don't bother looking for it, it's not there. The Marlins digs are there now. I'll argue that there's no building in the country that hosted as many iconic games as the Orange Bowl. A few off the top of my head:
- Super Bowl III – Namath guarantees and gets win.
- San Diego–Miami 41-38 OT thriller
- Hurricanes beat Nebraska 1982 Orange Bowl
- Hail Flutie
Anyway, try some Cuban food. Versailles is a popular spot on Calle Ocho. Even if you don't eat there, get the Café Cubano from the to-go window. This is a big tradition all over the city at various places. Once you drink Café Cubano, be prepared to not sleep for about three days.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.