Wel­come, Or­ange Bowl vis­i­tors A foot­ball fan’s guide to eat­ing, drink­ing and Hamil­ton­ing in South Florida

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - SPOTLIGHT - By Ben Crandell

The 2018 Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off Semi­fi­nal at the Cap­i­tal One Or­ange Bowl brings play­ers and fans from the Uni­ver­sity of Alabama and the Uni­ver­sity of Ok­la­homa to South Florida this week for a Dec. 29 show­down at Hard Rock Sta­dium in Mi­ami Gar­dens.

Both teams not only wear red, they both call their dom­i­nant team color crim­son. In some parts of the coun­try that would cre­ate con­fu­sion, but not here. We know the dif­fer­ence be­tween you Alabama fans and Ok­la­homa fans. Bet­ter yet, we un­der­stand you.

I mean, are there two other bor­der-shar­ing states be­sides Florida and Alabama that could have spawned the cul­tural spec­ta­cle of MTV’s “Floribama Shore”? Now, we get that in the 1700s the western Florida Pan­han­dle may (or may not) have been stolen from Alabama, pos­si­bly a sore sub­ject for Crim­son Tide devo­tees. But we kind of feel like Lynyrd Skynyrd, a Florida band, giv­ing you “Sweet Home Alabama” set­tled the score.

And Sooner fans, you will not have to look around here very long be­fore you find some­one who shares your an­i­mos­ity for Nick Sa­ban. Hat­ing the for­mer Mi­ami Dol­phins short-timer is some­thing of a re­li­gion in South Florida. You may think we’re mis­pro­nounc­ing his last name when we sub­sti­tute a “t” for the “b.” No mis­take. That’s how we say it.

In the spirit of all that we have in com­mon, here are some things to know about Or­ange Bowl fes­tiv­i­ties, plus places to meet, eat, drink and lis­ten to some mu­sic near ho­tels in Mi­ami, Mi­ami Beach and Fort Laud­erdaleHol­ly­wood. No one goes home un­til a Sooner sings “Sweet Home Alabama” and a ‘Bama fan does (Tulsa na­tive) Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.”

At the game

The Cap­i­tal One Or­ange Bowl is 8 p.m. Satur­day, Dec. 29, at Hard Rock Sta­dium, 347 Don Shula Drive, Mi­ami Gar­dens. The game is a sell-out, with Tick­et­mas­ter Ver­i­fied Re­sale tick­ets

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