Bienvenido a Miami

If you know anything about Deerfield Beach, Fla., you know it's about 45 minutes north of Miami. Obviously I don't know anything.

I got off of our plane at the Ft. Lauderdale airport Friday afternoon fully expecting to be headed to our hotel in Miami. Visions of South Beach nightclubs and Cubans danced in my head.

My first inclination that something was amiss was our bus: an old, rusted and smelly thing complete with a "For Sale" sign in the front window. Perfect. But I figured the budget had to be cut somewhere since we had this awesome beach front hotel in Miami.

My second clue was when we came to a Miami exit off of Interstate 95 and didn't take it. Instead we took a Deerfield Beach exit. The bus driver must have his own way to get there, no worries.

Of course I was terribly wrong, but I didn't find this out for another few hours. I was still convinced that we were a mere few miles from South Beach in our quaint hotel (read: ridiculously nice suites with two flat-screen TVs and two bathrooms) until one of my fellow band members was trying to organize a trip to the city.

Me: "Oh cool. How far is it?"
Informed Friend: "Oh about 45 minutes."
Me: "..."
IF: "Yeah, we're thinking about getting a cab. It should only be like $100."
Me: "..."

So I never go to see Miami, but Deerfield Beach was pretty cool. It was your typical little beach town that is totally dead when it's not the summer. About a mile down the beach from our hotel there were some nice restaurants and little bars. It made for decent entertainment both nights.

Deerfield Beach is apparently also Couples, U.S.A., the hook-up capital of the world. Saturday night I was walking down the beach and saw countless couples making out in every possible way: on benches, standing on the sidewalk and -- the most popular option -- under a couple of blankets on the beach. I'm not kidding. I saw at least 10 couples under blankets. I can only guess at what they were doing. And the best part is that no one cared!!

Well I figured I would get to at least see part of Miami when we went to the game on Saturday. Not to be. Dolphin Stadium, the stadium where the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami Hurricanes play football, isn't in Miami. It's in Miami Gardens. Not the same thing.

But whatever. That game Saturday made up for everything. The first half was abysmal. I was ready to leave at half. Then something happened. Cam Sexton, yes, the same Cam Sexton that couldn't make a pass in 2006, led the Heels to a comeback victory that I still can't believe. I was caught by ESPN praying that Sexton wouldn't screw it up and throw an interception at the end of the game. The next play he threw the game winning touchdown.

But the last play of the game made my heart stop for a good minute. From our angle it was hard to see the end zone that the pass was thrown to. All I can see is a Miami player jump in the air, the ball hit his hands and him starting to fall. I just knew he caught it and it was all over. It took my friend turning to me and saying "Corey, he intercepted it!!" for me to realize what happened. It was like a movie: everything went into slow motion and sappy inspirational music came on. Awesomeness.

As we were leaving the stadium one Miami fan said "Just wait until basketball season. We'll beat you then."

Seriously? Let's talk about basketball. This was your chance to beat us.

Anyway, the weekend was good and I can't complain too much about being far from Miami. I didn't pay for a damn thing.

My favorite quote of the weekend from a man in the airport:

"Are y'all a ping pong team?"

Yessir, we're headed out to China to play in the world championship! Wish us luck!

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