In today’s episode of This Day in Miami History, we talk to Tommy Phillips, the author of “The Orange Bowl: A Complete History.” New Year’s Day is historically connected to the game, and Tommy and Matthew talk about the game’s evolution over nearly 90 years.

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The Orange Bowl: A Complete History | McFarland

The Orange Bowl: A Complete History | Books & Books

Tommy Phillips (@TommyAPhillips) on X (formerly Twitter)

[00;00;00;27 – 00;00;27;28] Matthew Bunch: Happy New Year, everyone. Saying that around the world is nothing unexpected today. But in Miami, for decades, that greeting at a secondary meaning. Not only was it January 1st and the beginning of a new year, but it also meant the kick off of the Orange Bowl Classic was soon at hand. The world of modern college football and the College Football Playoff in particular has changed that meaning somewhat.

[00;00;28;00 – 00;00;53;29] Matthew Bunch: And the Orange Bowl is no longer the prime-time feature of New Year’s Day. In fact, this year it was moved to an afternoon kickoff on December 30th. In that game, the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Florida State Seminoles 63-3. That doesn’t change the history of the game, a game that has been played so long that when it first kicked off, this town was better known as “Miamiuh.”

[00;00;54;01 – 00;01;08;00] Ted Husing: Two good teams turned in a thrilling performance and old Sol smiled brilliantly down during every minute of the afternoon. No, sir, I wouldn’t take a million dollars for my seat at the Orange Bowl, and I’ll be seeing you there next January 1st.

[00;01;08;05 – 00;01;29;29] Matthew Bunch: The Orange Bowl meant January 1st, unless January 1st fell on a Sunday, as it first did in 1939 and did for a few Orange Bowls after that. January 1st was the day where the Orange Bowl kicked off, going all the way back to the first Orange Bowl. And so it seemed a little inappropriate to just pick one. But we’ll do that today.

[00;01;30;02 – 00;01;37;22] Matthew Bunch: This Day in Miami History: January 1, 1935, when the very first Orange Bowl was played.

[00;01;37;28 – 00;01;57;01] King Elizabeth: ♪ “Miami Sunrise” by King Elizabeth ♪

[00;01;57;03 – 00;02;20;26] Matthew Bunch: Before we get started, I didn’t address the fact It’s been a little bit quiet on the old This Day feed the last couple of months. I will tell you, it’s no bad news. I was actually finishing up my master’s degree in American history, and so I hope that that work will bear a lot of fruit for this podcast and for the website and social media feeds in the near future.

[00;02;20;28 – 00;02;44;04] Matthew Bunch: But I do expect to be back on the normal monthly routine for those who are missing the show. Thanks for missing us, but we are back now, and if it could be a great way to kick off 2024 with an episode right out of the gate and an episode that will bring hopefully something good to your attention. And that is a book, a recently published book entitled “The Orange Bowl: A Complete History” by Tommy Phillips.

[00;02;44;07 – 00;03;04;18] Matthew Bunch: I was able to sit down virtually and talk with Tommy about his book, about his passion for college football, and a little bit about this game that is such a touchstone for our community. Conversation’s about 30 minutes. Before we get into it, I do encourage you check out the notes in this episode to find the link to buy Tommy’s book.

[00;03;04;19 – 00;03;23;22] Matthew Bunch: It’s really great and incredibly useful. I’ll talk more about it once we get into the conversation and stick around at the end of the episode where I’ll remind you where you can find more about Tommy and this little show of ours as we get started here in 2024. So without further ado, here’s me and Tommy Phillips.

[00;03;23;25 – 00;03;50;27] Matthew Bunch: All right. We are here today with Tommy Phillips, the author of the new book. Well, now, forgive me, it’s January 1st when this is dropping. So last year published “The Orange Bowl: A Complete History,” which we’ll be talking about his book a little bit today and about the Orange Bowl. It’s on the McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers line. And thank you to McFarland for working with me a little bit to be able to check out this book.

[00;03;50;29 – 00;03;52;11] Matthew Bunch: Tommy, how are you doing today?

[00;03;52;14 – 00;03;54;00] Tommy A. Phillips: Good. Good.

[00;03;54;02 – 00;04;14;14] Matthew Bunch: Wonderful. Good to hear. So you’ve actually, before we get into this book, you wrote a book before that. And it seems that you like college football. As do I. And your connection . . . You’re actually not a Miami author and you’re not really connected to Miami per se, but college football really hooked you in just even before the whole writing part of it.

[00;04;14;16 – 00;04;19;22] Matthew Bunch: How did you get into college football in such a passionate way?

[00;04;19;25 – 00;04;50;21] Tommy A. Phillips: In high school, a lot of my friends were into it. I was more into just pro football at the time and eventually we kind of got into rivalries. Penn State versus Pitt, those type of things. And I chose Penn State and my other friend was a Pitt fan. So we had going back and forth for years and years and years, and that’s kind of what got me interested in college football.

[00;04;50;23 – 00;05;11;10] Matthew Bunch: And so picking up as a Penn State fan, Penn State, like — full disclosure, I’m a Miami Hurricanes fan, so we have a little bit of history, but kind of a shared bond in being an independent for a long time, particularly in this period of the growth of the Orange Bowl into kind of this this mega event that we saw in the eighties.

[00;05;11;12 – 00;05;22;17] Matthew Bunch: And so was your Penn State fandom kind of your entrée into the Orange Bowl or did it just kind of call out to you, like, how did you wind up planning on writing about the Orange Bowl?

[00;05;22;19 – 00;05;53;15] Tommy A. Phillips: Well, I first wrote the book on the Penn State bowl games and whenever I did that, I noticed that there was tons of information on the Rose Bowl, but you couldn’t find very much on the Orange Bowl or other bowls. So, I wanted to try to correct that. And I chose the Orange Bowl as the book, my first one, to try to tell the story and make it known.

[00;05;53;15 – 00;06;23;00] Tommy A. Phillips: Because only thing you really have is a couple books produced by the Orange Bowl themselves, but they’re very old, so they aren’t up to date. So I get the 50th anniversary and I think this is the 90th year. So I thought it would be good if I took this on as a project. And there it is.

[00;06;23;02 – 00;06;48;13] Matthew Bunch: Yeah. So it’s really a, blow-by-blow, really, year-by-year, going all the way back to 1935, which, as you included in the book, is the first official Orange Bowl game. There were two Palm Festivals before that were the clear predecessors, but the University of Miami received an automatic bid. And the NCAA doesn’t count any bowl that has an automatic bid for a team in their official record.

[00;06;48;13 – 00;07;08;08] Matthew Bunch: So ‘35 is the first game and really, it’s a tradition that starts with the knowledge you mentioned the Rose Bowl, that the Rose Bowl is a good idea. And by God, we ought to have one, too, down in Miami. And so they’re really kind of building the plane as they’re flying it. You know, really the Orange Bowl as we know it, is not fully done.

[00;07;08;11 – 00;07;26;29] Matthew Bunch: And it’s really, again, we kind of assume it’s one of the big four. Those early years, there was a lot of fighting, not not physical fighting, but just a lot of work trying to get in with the big boys. Maybe you can tell my listeners a little bit about that work that Earnie Seiler in particular put in.

[00;07;27;02 – 00;08;00;10] Tommy A. Phillips: Yeah, yeah. He, Earnie Seiler, really built this Bowl out of the Great Depression, got you know what’s it called Works Progress Act and he . . . The New Deal from the Great Depression helped fund the Orange Bowl and the projects and everything and that’s how they got the money to renovate the Miami Field which was a complete mess at the time.

[00;08;00;13 – 00;08;28;15] Tommy A. Phillips: And they were able to build that up into a stadium and then get enough fans that they could eventually move into their own stadium. And but yeah, it, it, it really came right out of the Great Depression and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal help fund the Orange Bowl.

[00;08;28;17 – 00;08;54;26] Matthew Bunch: Yeah. So you have . . . I think my favorite of those early games and I’ll move [1946] off to the side because again, as a Hurricane fan, that one has a special place. I have a 1946 Orange Bowl ticket in our living room. But the [1939] game, the “ON TO MIAMI!” game. I love that story because so much of Miami’s history is about faking it until you make it.

[00;08;54;28 – 00;09;02;27] Matthew Bunch: And to me, that ‘39 game and what the committee did was so great. If you could kind of go a little bit in that story.

[00;09;02;29 – 00;09;37;20] Tommy A. Phillips: Yeah. So Earnie Seiler wanted to get the two best teams, two undefeated teams in Tennessee and Oklahoma and wanted to get them to come to Miami instead of going to a different bowl or doing something different. So he went to their campuses and drew chalk things on their sidewalks and showed them pictures of pretty girls in Miami and did all this kind of stuff that would be like basically begging them to come to Miami.

[00;09;37;20 – 00;09;46;04] Tommy A. Phillips: So they did. And they chose to go to the Orange Bowl. And that’s the game that really made the Orange Bowl blow up.

[00;09;46;07 – 00;10;13;00] Matthew Bunch: Yeah, they really in . . . Again, if you’re kind of like steeped in college football history and I imagine some of my listeners out there just more inro, like, the general history stuff, but I think a lot about that game and, again, to connect it to our — not to make it too Penn State/Miami-centric. Yeah, I think about the [1986] Fiesta Bowl in trying to . . . realizing that they’re hey these two teams are not Big Ten or Pac-10 teams or against Pac-8 at that point.

[00;10;13;02 – 00;10;50;22] Matthew Bunch: They aren’t necessarily tied to going to the Rose Bowl. We could poach them and make it a de facto national championship game. And just again, kind of the Fugazi of like making it appear like, “Well, you guys, congratulations, you’ve made it to Miami!” And then in kind of making it out of nothing, it’s a very Miami story. So let’s kind of set a dividing point here as kind of pre-1966 and post-1966, because 1966 is the first real kind of national championship game, kind of kind of billed in that way.

[00;10;50;24 – 00;11;00;17] Matthew Bunch: From that pre-1966 period, do you have a favorite game that kind of jumps out to you as like, man, that was really cool, it has great story?

[00;11;00;20 – 00;11;22;03] Tommy A. Phillips: I would have to say I don’t remember the exact year, but there was one called “The Big Bertha,” where Duquesne scored a touchdown on a last-second touchdown pass, which was a Hail Mary. But they called it the Big Bertha. Let me let me just. . . .

[00;11;22;03 – 00;11;24;05] Matthew Bunch: I think I was [1937].

[00;11;24;07 – 00;11;26;26] Tommy A. Phillips: Yeah. It was [1936] or 37. Yep.

[00;11;26;26 – 00;11;28;10] Matthew Bunch: 37.

[00;11;28;12 – 00;12;06;08] Tommy A. Phillips: Yeah. Duquesne against Mississippi State. That’s right. Yeah. And they threw that pass at the very end of the game, 69 yards. And it was like the Hail Mary long before the Hail Mary became popular. And they won the game on the last play. And of course, Duquesne doesn’t play in, you know, the top level football anymore. So that that is . . . and I’m from Pittsburgh. So, we have, Duquesne has more Orange Bowl wins than Pitt does.

[00;12;06;08 – 00;12;07;26] Matthew Bunch: Than Pitt! Yeah.

[00;12;07;28 – 00;12;18;10] Tommy A. Phillips: Yes. That’s probably my favorite memory of the pre-television era games.

[00;12;18;12 – 00;12;38;07] Matthew Bunch: Yeah, when you look at the the, the early years, there are these kind of odd matchups and odd teams that kind of sneak in, you know? You know, the first game was Bucknell and Miami. Catholic University is in the second game and the Duquesne. And then Georgetown, I think sneaks in there, too. They had a heck of a season.

[00;12;38;10 – 00;13;06;27] Matthew Bunch: It was like right at the beginning of World War [II]. But yeah. And then by the time you get into the fifties, you start getting more regular names. But yeah, those first couple of years you have that game and the Miami/Holy Cross game of 46 where Al Hudson basically . . . a complete era on Holy Cross’ part, is throwing the ball when they didn’t really have to, and it winds up getting intercepted by Al Hudson and returned all the way.

[00;13;06;27 – 00;14;01;04] Matthew Bunch: I regret I don’t have my Al Hudson jersey on tonight, I didn’t put that on unfortunately. Yeah, so you wind up getting to 1966 and this is the, you really have a high-profile matchup taking place. Alabama/Nebraska. No. 4 Alabama, No. 3 Nebraska. And then from that point, the game really does start to pick up some momentum. You have a much clearer conference alignment where you begin to see a pattern, where it’s usually Oklahoma or Nebraska who tends to show their face a lot. You start to have kind of some standardization. From ‘66 on, what do you think kind of defines it and allows the Orange Bowl to really take that second step into . . . the Orange Bowl basically becomes kind of the second. The Rose Bowl is the granddaddy, everybody knows that. But the Orange Bowl really does become a clear number two, what do you think propels that?

[00;14;01;04 – 00;14;04;03] Matthew Bunch: What do you think leads that to happen?

[00;14;04;05 – 00;14;39;24] Tommy A. Phillips: You know, I think television has a lot to do with it because the game is usually it began to become broadcast in primetime and that really boosted the game. You had some exciting games where Penn State went to back-to-back games and won over Missouri and Kansas, both in pretty close games. You know, during the seventies, the game began to rise and proceed.

[00;14;39;29 – 00;15;12;24] Tommy A. Phillips: But it was really the eighties. Whenever the Orange Bowl took over and the Orange Bowl had, what was it, like five out of the ten years they had the national championship game? It was something like that. And by the time the BCS came around, the Orange Bowl had hosted more national champions than any other bowl. Even the Rose Bowl.

[00;15;12;26 – 00;15;39;29] Matthew Bunch: So, yeah, it’s really a kind of a matter of luck when you kind of think about it, because the Big Eight really dominated college football in the seventies. And by that, I mean Oklahoma/Nebraska, right? And so, they’re constantly coming to Miami. And when that starts to weaken a bit . . . and not weaken . . . but the team that kind of gets in as the third there is Miami in the eighties.

[00;15;40;02 – 00;16;09;14] Matthew Bunch: And so I’m not going to make you talk about Miami, I promise. I swear when I whenever I do a Fiesta Bowl podcast, I will invite you to talk about Pete Giftopolis. But I do want to talk about the [1984] game because that, you know, removing my Miami fandom for a second, that does really kind of change the dynamic in college football because at that point, when you look at the national champions, you did not have a lot of newcomers, you did not have a lot of new faces.

[00;16;09;17 – 00;16;33;16] Matthew Bunch: And really, once you get into the eighties, you see, you know, you’re Miami’s, Washington finally breaks through in the nineties, BYU, and the Orange Bowl does kind of act as this conduit where these teams, if they’re not actually breaking through like Miami did — Miami caught a whole heck of a lot of luck in 84 to jump No. 5 to No. 1 — Washington got a lot of not luck by BYU jumping them.

[00;16;33;16 – 00;16;46;29] Matthew Bunch: But the Orange Bowl really does become a platform for not only this old guard of the Big Eight, but also these newcomers. What do you think makes it possible for the Orange Bowl to kind of thread the needle?

[00;16;47;01 – 00;17;12;07] Tommy A. Phillips: I, I think one of the biggest things was that unlike the Rose Bowl, it had it didn’t have two tie-ins. It only had the Big Eight tie-in. So that allowed them to pick whoever they wanted. And that was long before the Fiesta Bowl. You know, the Fiesta Bowl started to go big in the eighties and they could choose whoever they wanted.

[00;17;12;10 – 00;17;51;22] Tommy A. Phillips: But the Orange Bowl was able to choose a very good Nebraska or Oklahoma team and put them up against one of the best independent or otherwise squads. And you are right, it really changed with that 1984 game because of before that, you know, it was . . . Miami was just not really in the national conversation all that much and whenever they won that game, they went all the way from No. 5 to No. 1.

[00;17;51;22 – 00;18;23;24] Tommy A. Phillips: They got a whole bunch of things that happened for them, which is something I miss about college football, because you used to be able to start watching at noon and follow the whole storyline of the whole season in one day, and the champion could come from any one of those bowl games, and that’s exactly what happened in 1984 when Miami pulled off that upset of Nebraska.

[00;18;23;26 – 00;18;48;28] Matthew Bunch: Yeah, So you go through the eighties and it’s a lot of Oklahoma, a lot of Miami, and again, occasionally Colorado is kind of jumping up and grabbing it in 91. But I think when I think about the Orange Bowl, again, from my perspective, you know, we’re both kind of younger. We’re not remembering the forties and fifties games. Yeah, I think about the Orange Bowl as being the cool one.

[00;18;49;00 – 00;19;06;07] Matthew Bunch: Like it like, you know, like it was old, but it was cool. And part of that is the you’re in Miami, as you said, it was always a primetime game, which you know, the sun setting in Pasadena is beautiful, but there’s nothing like Miami at night. And the Orange Bowl stadium was a big part of that.

[00;19;06;07 – 00;19;40;15] Matthew Bunch: You know, the kind of the open end zone to the east, the palm trees there, seeing the skyline of Miami there. And then in [1996], the game moves from the Orange Bowl to Pro Player Stadium with a slight move back in [1999] thanks to the Dolphins playoffs. But . . . in making that move to Pro Player and now it’s Hard Rock Stadium, and it is a beautiful venue now, it wasn’t like that when the Hurricanes first moved in [2008] but it’s really lovely now. But what do you think the game gained from moving to that new facility and what do you think it lost?

[00;19;40;17 – 00;20;45;23] Tommy A. Phillips: Well, for what it gained, it had a — well, was at the time, whenever they entered it, a pretty top-notch facility. Now it went down pretty quickly after that. But at the time, Joe Robbie Stadium was considered one of the best football-watching stadiums because of the way it was, you know, symmetrical on all sides. And, you know, there really wasn’t any bad seats, but it did lose a lot of the magic of that old Orange Bowl stadium where, you know, the stories of the fans jumping up and down and shaking the stands, you know, and that whole open-air feeling of that stadium just brought a real special, unique touch to the Orange Bowl that once they left there, they never really got that back.

[00;20;45;25 – 00;21;11;10] Matthew Bunch: So, we talked a little bit about the pre ‘66 period. And I’m going to ask you to in talking about post-’66 to withhold 2006 because I can imagine 2006 beating Florida State. I’m happy about that one. Very glad you did it. But besides the Penn State victory, what would you say is your favorite game of the post ‘66 period, kind of the modern color TV period?

[00;21;11;12 – 00;21;44;18] Tommy A. Phillips: I would have to say the 2000 game between Michigan and Alabama and this one, Tom Brady was starting at quarterback for Michigan, but no one really knew who he was yet. He led them back from down 14 points, which remains to this day the Orange Bowl record for the biggest comeback. It got them into overtime. And then Alabama missed an extra point in overtime and Michigan walked off as winners.

[00;21;44;20 – 00;22;20;25] Tommy A. Phillips: And that was one of only two overtime games in Orange Bowl history. And Michigan, you know, got that big bowl win. But Tom Brady really never got all the fame that, you know, some other big quarterbacks do. And he never was able to use that to jump his way into the first round. But of course, getting drafted in the sixth round, he ends up outlasting everyone else.

[00;22;20;28 – 00;22;33;01] Tommy A. Phillips: And it’s just really cool to see that 2000 Orange Bowl as a steppingstone to his NFL career.

[00;22;33;03 – 00;23;03;18] Matthew Bunch: Yeah, it all worked out for him I guess in in the end. He did all right, you know, being drafted 199th, it probably hurt in the moment, but he wound up coming out on top. So I do want to talk about kind of another historical organizer here before and after the bowl organizations, let’s call them. The Coalition, The Alliance, the Bowl Championship Series, and then finally the College Football Playoff.

[00;23;03;21 – 00;23;24;23] Matthew Bunch: The Orange Bowl has been folded into those at every point, whether it was kind of the looser Bowl Coalition, the more organized Alliance, and then the BCS and College Football Playoff, which have been pretty highly organized. The advantage to this is unlike a lot of other bowls, every once in a while, the game really matters a lot.

[00;23;24;25 – 00;23;46;19] Matthew Bunch: But the downside of it is, is that you do have this kind of on and off where it matters as an exhibition versus it matters as a semifinal versus it kind of . . . the stadium hosts the championship game. Do you feel that it’s kind of taken some of the luster off the game or because they’ve made it into this kind of top echelon, it just changes it?

[00;23;46;21 – 00;24;30;12] Tommy A. Phillips: I feel it’s definitely hurt the game. It’s nice in the current format, you know, it’s a meaningful game every three years. But you know, most people are not even caring about this year’s Orange Bowl, even though it has the No. 5 and No. 6 teams in it. And I think it was really hurt, though, during that second iteration of the Bowl Championship Series, whenever the national championship game was just a standalone game and whenever they did that, that meant that the Orange Bowl never decided the national champion.

[00;24;30;15 – 00;24;57;03] Tommy A. Phillips: So that that that was probably the worst it had been. It’s yet to be seen how this new format is going to work. I mean, my hope is that it means that these six bowls every year are going to be, you know, very good, you know, all sold out, you know, everyone caring about them, no opt outs or anything.

[00;24;57;05 – 00;25;16;24] Tommy A. Phillips: Hopefully that’s what it becomes. But I’m very worried that there are going to eventually cut the bowls out of the playoff altogether because they feel they’re no longer necessary for the sport.

[00;25;16;27 – 00;25;47;07] Matthew Bunch: That would be a shame. Something else, I think this is again, the kind of a local Miami perspective, too, in seeing how these games have changed is the loss of the pageantry around the game. And it’s still there to a degree. And the Orange Bowl Committee does a good job of a lot of youth-oriented events. But, you know, basically the only bowl with a parade left is the Rose Bowl. The Orange Bowl used to have a lovely parade. Hasn’t really happened anymore, there is a Junior Orange Bowl parade through Coral Gables, but it’s not nearly the same.

[00;25;47;09 – 00;25;59;08] Matthew Bunch: And a lot of the other, you know, you used to have, you know, the Orange Bowl Regatta and an Orange Bowl, all kinds of different sporting contests. And now you just really have the game and a couple of other things around it.

[00;25;59;11 – 00;26;19;06] Matthew Bunch: And yeah, you know, when you kind of lose the mystique and the prestige around the game, it’s unfortunate. And I hope you’re right, Tommie, that, you know, we will begin to see kind of a reversion, at least to a degree, back to kind of protecting the bowls as an important part of the history of the game.

[00;26;19;09 – 00;26;37;06] Matthew Bunch: So the book is — I have one more question for you, but I do want to make sure that folks who are listening know — the book by Tommy Phillips, “The Orange Bowl: A Complete History.” I have two questions. Never mind. I have one question I forgot to ask you about the beginning of your book. How did you get Jamelle Holieway to write your foreword?

[00;26;37;08 – 00;26;43;07] Tommy A. Phillips: Boy, that was . . . I was looking through players and I’m trying to think.

[00;26;43;09 – 00;26;54;00] Matthew Bunch: Really quick, just before you tell the story, let folks know who Jamelle Holieway is. Because as the sports nut, I realize that I don’t need that, but I’m sure there are some people, so go ahead and tell them a little bit about Jamelle.

[00;26;54;03 – 00;27;19;14] Tommy A. Phillips: Yeah, Jamelle Holieway was the first true freshman quarterback to lead his team to a national championship for Oklahoma. He won the 1986 Orange Bowl over Penn State, 25 to 10. And it was really from that game where I was like . . . and then he played in the Orange Bowl the year afterward too, or at least his team did, I’m not sure if he was injured or not.

[00;27;19;14 – 00;27;55;05] Tommy A. Phillips: I’d have to . . . I know he went to back to back games. He was one of my first picks for who I thought, well, this sounds like a player who would be interesting to . . . because he’s played you know, he’s in multiple Orange Bowls and he certainly, you know, made history, becoming the first true freshman to win . . . Not the Heisman, the national championship.

[00;27;55;07 – 00;28;36;03] Tommy A. Phillips: And I found a fan page of his on Facebook. And we connected and then we I was able to get in touch with his cousin and we were able to get that forward to the book. So, yeah, it was really cool getting to meet him. And they, they wanted me to write even more for, for them, I’m like, “I wish I could. I just, I, I don’t know enough about Oklahoma football, not an Oklahoma guy.”

[00;28;36;05 – 00;28;55;08] Tommy A. Phillips: So if you, you know, I can’t write Oklahoma books because that’s just not my thing. But they’re very nice people. They’re very easy to work with. Very good people. So I appreciate them and Jamelle especially.

[00;28;55;11 – 00;29;19;03] Matthew Bunch: Yeah, Jamelle Holieway is one of those names, one of those college football names that just it’s like a special, special player and 30 years ahead of his time and, you know, and now going into the NFL, he’d be a dream. But it was a little bit ahead of his time for the pro game. But just that wishbone offense at Oklahoma, he was . . . it was like he was molded to play that position in that style.

[00;29;19;06 – 00;29;37;03] Matthew Bunch: And so, you know, I think of like him. I think of like Tommie Frazier at Nebraska just these guys are just special college football players and don’t necessarily break through the pro game, but you just you never forget them. So, I saw the interview, he wrote the foreword. I’m like, wow, that’s incredible. Especially because you’re not, like you said, you’re not an Oklahoma guy.

[00;29;37;23 – 00;29;55;25] Matthew Bunch: You know, so that’s really cool. So, you kind of alluded to you’re not an Oklahoma guy. You don’t really plan on necessarily writing about that, although it sounds like there’s an audience for it. So, do you have another book in mind? You’ve got two down. Do you have another project in mind that might be working on or something that you’re brainstorming?

[00;29;55;27 – 00;30;28;07] Tommy A. Phillips: Yeah, definitely. I am just a few days away from completing my sequel to this book, “The Super Bowl: A Complete History,” and it’s going to be the same, same thing. It’s just about the Super Bowl, and I delayed the date for submitting it until after this year’s Super Bowl because I wanted to get in this College Football Playoff game as part of it.

[00;30;28;09 – 00;30;52;14] Tommy A. Phillips: So I’ll be finishing up that book. Everything else is finished. It’s all ready except for the one, the one game. And as soon as I finish that, then I’m going to have it sent off to my publisher to start working on. And yeah, “The Super Bowl: A Complete History” by McFarland. Same idea as the Orange Bowl. But that’s my next book.

[00;30;52;17 – 00;31;14;14] Matthew Bunch: Wonderful. Well, it’s a great resource for folks down here if you want a really handy resource to kind of have everything, not only about the game itself, but kind of about the teams that played in it and their seasons. History at your fingertips. It’s really exceptional. So again, the book, “The Orange Bowl: A Complete History.” Forward by Jamelle Holieway, the author, Tommy Phillips.

[00;31;14;18 – 00;31;29;28] Matthew Bunch: We’ll be sure to share the links to pick up that book on our social media channels. And in the notes of this episode, I do encourage you to check it out because it’s really exceptional. Tommy, thank you so much for your time and for your work in helping to tell our community’s sports history.

[00;31;30;01 – 00;31;32;26] Tommy A. Phillips: Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

[00;31;32;29 – 00;31;55;19] Matthew Bunch: Again, I really do want to thank Tommy Phillips for his time, his expertise and his care in writing about our community’s signature college football bowl game. As I said when I spoke to Tommy, I’ll tell you too: If you’re at all interested in South Florida sports history, it really is a book you should have on the shelf or available in your e-reader.

[00;31;55;21 – 00;32;21;08] Matthew Bunch: It’s incredibly useful in putting back in the time when these games are taking place, understanding the teams and understanding what really makes each of the games are important. I also want to thank his publisher. McFarland was very helpful in getting me a copy of this book when I first discovered it last year — I almost said this year, remember it is 2024 — and getting a chance to peruse it.

[00;32;21;08 – 00;32;47;15] Matthew Bunch: So particularly Stephanie Nichols over at McFarland. And lastly, as I mentioned, 2024, I hope to be a big year for our little show. So many people have offered so many kind words about what we do, which I greatly appreciate. And there are so many people that make it work, including the great historians of this community and you, the audience.

[00;32;47;18 – 00;33;12;10] Matthew Bunch: And so I expect, knock on wood, another episode to come out this month in January. And stay tuned. Make sure you’re following us on social media pretty much @ThisDayMiamiPod on Twitter, on Instagram, Facebook, where there is social media, you can find us there, you can find links there, you can find interesting posts there, particularly on Facebook.

[00;33;12;10 – 00;33;31;12] Matthew Bunch: Being able to engage with the South Florida history community has been incredibly useful. And So with that said again, Happy New Year, everyone. I hope you have a very good one. I hope our community has a prosperous one. And until next time, I’ve been Matthew Bunch.

[00;33;31;12 – 00;33;47;06] King Elizabeth: ♪ “Miami Sunrise” by King Elizabeth ♪

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