By Jeremy Wilkerson
FlustSports uses a lot of its time tracking down and following the latest on recruiting, but today we wanted to take the time out for the fans. We get that coaching and recruits play a big part in a programs success, but let’s be honest the fans are just as big in the success of a program as well. Fans have to live constantly with the ups and the downs, the constant trolling of rivals when things are bad, and the lifetime memories of the should of could of would of’s. But being a fan goes deeper than just showing up to games cheering, cutting on your televisions and cheering, and even wearing your teams apparel faithfully. It’s about the bonds you build over time with people with the same love and passion for your team that you either meet or have met at games, bars, or even via social media.
The Miami Hurricanes are blessed to have a ride or die traveling fan base or shall I say family. This big family is known to most as CanesUnited. I was formally introduced/invited to this group by a fellow Miami Hurricanes fan Bryan Callahan, in which we met and crossed paths first through various Miami Hurricanes Facebook groups. He reached out to me one day and asked me to check them out. And so I did just that.
So now that the new season is upon us and the Manny Diaz Era has began, i figured I would catch up with Bryan and just get more information and details of what CanesUnited is all about, so that more of our fans/family can know how great this group is.
So I opened up by asking Bryan, how did CanesUnited begin?
He replied “CanesUnited was started roughly 10 years ago. There was already a tailgating group that we really enjoyed but it was dying off and coming to an end so we wanted one that was different. We wanted it to be easy, we wanted to gather as many Canes fans as possible, we wanted it to be non profit, and we wanted it to be drama free. I messaged a few of my close friends within the group and told them I was going to create a page on Facebook and we could communicate our plans easier that way. They all loved the idea and the name so 2,000+ members later here we are. It all began with about 20 of us. “
So I then asked, what is it about the tailgates that you love the most?
He then said, “What I enjoy most is most definitely the friendships I have developed over the years. Family is the truth when it comes to this group. We know everywhere we go we all have one another’s backs and it’s going to be an awesome time.”
And while we was on the topic of the tailgates I asked which tailgate is his most memorable?
“My most memorable tailgate has to be Virginia Tech 2005. This tailgate is the one that truly inspired me to create CanesUnited. Both teams were ranked in the top 5 coming on espn prime time with the gameday crew covering the game. We had a film crew documenting our tailgate the entire day. My legs hurt for 3 days from jumping and my voice was completely wasted. To top things off the Canes won in dominating fashion 27-7. “
Since Bryan has been a great part of this family I wanted to know about some of the feedback that he has received over the years?
“I guess I would say receiving a shout out from Blake James saying that he had heard about a group called CanesUnited and they sure traveled and supported and most of all made a lot of noise in the stands cheering on the team. So far we have never received any negative feedback. The way we do things just makes it easy on everyone and everyone who comes always has an option to do things the way they want to do them. If they want to be fed, we provide that. If they wanna cook for themselves then they are more than welcome to do so. We don’t dictate what their good time is. We simply tell everyone where we are meeting and they can decide if it’s for them or not.”
So now looking into the future of CanesUnited, I then asked Bryan about what he is looking forward to this upcoming season?
“I’m definitely looking most forward to Orlando. We always plan a tailgate but for this one we have gone all out like never before. We have everything a huge tailgate party should be and it’s been a while since I’ve been with my Canes family so the first road game of the season is more like a family reunion.”
After being around Bryan over the course of last year, one thing I can say is that he wants the CanesUnited tailgating experiences to be the best of the best. So during this conversation I just had to ask him does he think anyone can do it better than CanesUnited?
His reply back was, “I don’t think anyone will ever do it better than CanesUnited. Maybe a 1 hit tailgate here and there but not week in and week out. We do something for EVERY road game. I even plan road games I can’t even attend. We will always be there for the fans that are traveling to support the Canes! No matter if it’s in Tallahassee or the hills of Boone, NC to take on App. St, we will have a tailgate that is non profit and drama free. See you at the road games!”
And as the wild, fun, and humble dude I know Bryan to be, he wanted send out several thank you’d and shout outs along the way.
“I always want to give shoutouts to my crew that helps make everything possible. I live in Va. so it’s extremely difficult planning sometimes. Sherri Wright handles a lot of group ticket purchases whenever possible to have everyone not only tailgate together but also sit in the game together. Jake Johnson is our hotel guy. He always post hotel suggestions for every road game so everyone can stay at the same places. Will Toler is the heart of CanesUnited. There isn’t anyone more passionate about the group or Canes football than this guy. He is also the banner man. He brings our Banner so everyone knows exactly who we are. Lito Contreras teams up with us for the games in the state of NC to really put on an amazing tailgate with the famous ice luge. He also provides an open bar options for these games and we are excited to have him in Orlando as well. And last but not least is Chef Andrew Hughes. It’s always nice having a professional chef traveling with us to every road game and always catering and providing everyone with a food option at reasonable prices. He is for sure the hardest worker in our group and he makes it all possible!”
Getting a chance to share this is special to me because I got a chance to spend my first season traveling with this fun group this past season. From Dallas, Ohio, Atlanta, and Virginia. We all shared the ups and the downs together, ate together, drank together, and most of all just had a hell of a time together! Take it from me, if you want to do something different this season just come enjoy the family……CANESUNITED
Make sure you don’t miss out on one of the most anticipated tailgates this season in Orlando!!!! Details below: