I remember back in 6th grade watching my “then” Miami Hurricanes face a tough test on Thursday night against the Louisville Cardinals. In a contest that the top-5 ranked ‘Canes should’ve won handily, they found themselves down early and I found myself in tears – literally, tears — bawling as if someone had informed me that I had lost a loved one, but in fact, it had certainly seemed as if I did. Up until that point the Miami Hurricanes represented an ideal. An ideal of confidence and swagger that I wanted to personify in many ways but never quite had the gravitas to exude. In retrospect, those tears represented that aforementioned ideal slipping away.
Dating back to their dominance during the ’80s and early ’90s, Miami held a certain mystique that culminated for me during the 2001 National Championship game in which they took on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Fielding a team, that could be the best NCAA team of all time, they dominated the Cornhuskers and boosted my fandom.
14 years later, the team that drew my admiration and the team that challenged are suddenly intertwined in becoming a duo that will shift the swagger and sartorial cues of college football – courtesy of adidas.
Since the early ’80s, the Miami Hurricanes and the Nebraska Cornhuskers have had an eclectic history that blends in a myriad of ways. For starters, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have made 17 Orange Bowl appearances in their history, dating all the way back to 1955. In addition, the ‘Canes and Cornhuskers have played a total of 11 contest against one another, with five being in the city of Miami.
This weekend’s matchup will mark the twelfth meeting in their storied history and for us sneaker lovers, this game is arguably the most impactful game to date merely due to the unprecedented venture involving two incredible artist who will create custom 1-of-1 designs for each team. Miami will be utilizing the artistic talents of SolesBySir and Nebraska will be gaining cues from Mache275.
Each artist will build upon the storied tradition and history of each team. For starters, SolesBySir sat down with the Hurricanes and gathered each individual’s preferences within a questionnaire. Incorporating personal sayings, tributes and features, SolesBySir crafted over 50 different models from the starting quarterback in Brad Kaaya to walk-on members of the ‘Canes.
As he would state during a September interview, that is set to air later this week, the Miami artist elaborated on how pivotal of an opportunity this is for him. “The thing about this is that there are a lot of guys that will never be able to player professional football,” said the artist. “That’s just reality when it comes to college sports. It’s the guys like the third-string kicker or the fourth-string offensive tackle, that kept me inspired. Some guys have never seen a custom shoe, and this may ultimately become a trophy for them. Five years down the line when they are a lawyer or a doctor, they’ll be able to look back and remember that moment and that specific game.”
For the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the previously mentioned Mache275 will deck the entire team in a themed iteration of the adidas CrazyQuick 2.0, Mache has incorporated 17 decals of the letter “N” within the side panel of the silhouette, along with fusing palm tree detailing throughout a mostly white and Nebraska red model.
Mache would describe his excitement by reminiscing on the stellar players to play within this Nebraska and Miami series. “Watching back in day and seeing Lawrence Phillips, Tommy Frazier and Eric Crouch – the whole history between Miami and Nebraska over the decades has really become a big deal — no matter who you happen to root for,” recalls Mache.
As the hours until Saturday’s matchup continues to dwindle down, the weight of this moment continues to grow because much like the catalytic influence that shifted my fandom 14 years ago, as this 2015 matchup could be the catalyst for custom artists to create 1-of-1 models for a variety of institutions across all sports.
In 2015, adidas Football has continued to push the culture forward in many ways and with this latest venture it seems as though their stellar 2015 campaign just gets even sweeter. Ultimately, only time will tell what this event transpires but it seems as though collegiate sports may never be the same again.