Chris Bello - CanesTime
September 2003 - Issue Two
Want to see someone stick out like a sore thumb? Watch a Hurricanes
fan’s inaugural visit to allCanes – the unofficial
Graceland of University Miami Athletics.
notice the newbies the minute they arrive. Jaws hit the ground
as they take in the scene for that very first time. Hurricane
merchandise and memorabilia as far as the eye can see. Telesvisions
replaying anything from vintage championship bowl games to
classic victories over Florida State, Notre Dame or Florida.
base? Anyone from your next door neighbor and local celebrities
to current or former players and coaches. If you bleed orange
and green, you do your shopping at allCanes. Period.
customers this month? Former Hurricane greats Gino Torretta,
Lamar Thomas, Philip Buchanon and Ed Reed. Some current players
have also been in store shopping with family or friends while
local sports personalities are also dropping by. Be it WPLG’s
Frank Forte, or sideline reporter and former Hurricane Don
Bailey Jr. Bailey can be seen game days on the sideline in
a customized Hawaiian style UM shirt, courtesy of allCanes.
diehard Hurricane fans are painfully going through the withdrawal
of this off season, allCanes remains consistent - Hurricane
time shoppers think they have died and gone to Hurricane heaven,”
general manager Harry Rothwell said. “They are completely
awed by all of the UM stuff. Aside from the selection of merchandise
and apparel, we’re always showing old games on the televisions
with requests for some well known Hurricane classics. The
“Wide Right” games against Florida State, the
’83 championship game over Nebraska or classic match
ups against Notre Dame top that list.
the only shop in the world that is completely dedicated to
the Hurricanes. Fans are always calling or dropping in weekly
to see the latest designs as the season progresses. It’s
- located a block south of Mark Light Stadium - opened in
1959 as a standard sporting goods retail outfit. Current owner,
Bob Bello, purchased the store in 1974 and a decade later
allCanes made the transformation from sporting goods, sneakers
and workout gear to 100% Miami Hurricanes merchandise and
days the store stocks over 60 different types of UM hats,
70 t-shirts, 20 polos and an assortment of UM jewelry, auto
accessories, game jerseys, golf gear, kids’ wear and
household knickknacks. allCanes is also an official vendor
of everything Nike that relates to the University of Miami.
pride ourselves on having the largest selection anywhere,”
said Harry. “We search for merchandise not easily available.
From the ordinary to the obscure – if it is Hurricanes
related, you’ll find it here. We also have our own lines
of t-shirts, polo shirts and other assorted items.”
the most popular UM shirts in history is an allCanes Original.
Produced a few years back, it remains in high demand all year
around. Across the front, the unofficial UM mantra: “It’s
a Canes Thing – You Wouldn’t Understand.”
The back sports the years of UM’s nine national championships
– five in football and four in baseball.
‘Canes Thing’ tee flies off the shelves every
season, said Harry. “Fans can’t get enough of
that shirt. We had to update it in June 2001 when the baseball
team won the title in Omaha and again in January 2002 when
football won their fifth championship.
new version seems to outsell the last and people wear those
shirts for years. On game days at the Orange Bowl you’ll
still see our classic designs from 10 or 15 years ago, be
it an old anti-Notre Dame tee or one of the ‘Wide Right’
shirts that pokes fun at Florida State’s kicking woes.”
from the normal day to day traffic, the store is a landmark
for fans on game day. While lines have been known to wrap
around the building, the atmosphere remains electric. Fans
break out the fight song or game day cheers, Sebastian the
Ibis might make an appearance – as do the local TV crews
- and time is easily passed while watching classic Hurricane
games on the “allCanes Network.” Come game day,
allCanes might be the ultimate tailgate party.
days are intense and exciting,” said Harry. “We
have people coming in from all over the country – some
straight from the airport en route to the Orange Bowl. It
happens for every game. Part of the game day festivities is
a trip to allCanes.”
the past, fans from as far away from Japan would call to place
an order. In 2003 with the Internet and e-commerce in full
force, UM fans worldwide now have access to the best selection
of Hurricane apparel at their fingertips. (http://www.allCanes.com)
who can’t make it to Coral Gables – the allCanes
Road Show could be coming to a town near you. Harry and crew
have loaded up the U-Haul and done their best rendition of
allCanes on Wheels the past few seasons, selling at Hurricane
Club functions all over the state – as well as road
games in Gainesville (FL) and Knoxville (TN) last season.
As Harry loves to say, 'Have Cane will travel.' ”
2002, allCanes hosted a party at the Sunset Room in Hollywood,
CA. The Rose Bowl bash was chock full of former players, coaches,
alumni and fans. Even President Donna Shalala dropped by and
took control of the microphone to lead a cheer and thank allCanes
for all they’ve done for the University of Miami.
gathering was held at Sugar Daddy’s in Tempe, AZ where
allCanes outdid itself by hosting yet another memorable evening.
While UM fans partied the evening away, Harry and staff spent
their time running the merchandise tent for west coast fans
starved for Hurricanes’ apparel.
true allCanes enthusiast knows that the real action takes
place in store.
80s, one wouldn’t flinch if they saw Michael Irvin,
Russell Maryland or Jessie Armstead in store shopping or hanging
out. In the 90s, Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp and Edgerrin James
dropped in from time to time. These days it could be Willis
McGahee, Jerome McDougle or Ken Dorsey and family. On any
given day, a Hurricane legend past, present or future is probably
before he ever stepped foot on the Orange Bowl turf as a head
coach, former Cane leader Butch Davis paid a visit to allCanes
to meet and greet Hurricane faithful. Hundreds lined up for
the experience of meeting the former head coach, acquiring
an autograph and posing for a photo.
forward to January 2002, allCanes held its first official
large scale signing session. Seniors Najeh Davenport, Markese
Fitzgerald, Martin Bibla, Joaquin Gonzalez, James Lewis and
Mike Rumph were in store weeks after capturing the National
Championship with a Rose Bowl victory in Pasadena. It was
an opportunity to give something back to the fans and what
better place to host this celebration than this Hurricanes
later it was Ed Reed who scheduled an allCanes signing session
of his own since he couldn’t attend the previous event
with his six senior teammates. Reed kept his promise to Harry
and the bunch and like many past Hurricanes legends, spent
hours talking shop with fans, friends and store employees.
The only time there might be a break in the action would be
when a memorable play from a classic UM game would grace those
well loved TV screens. The scene might resemble Cheers without
the beers - a sports bar without the bar.
later a Larry Coker meet and greet would follow as the Hurricanes
leader took time out of his busy schedule to sign autographs
for Miami faithful. A tradition that started in 2001 when
baseball head coach Jim Morris had an autograph session to
celebrate his baseball squad’s 2001 National Championship.
recent signing sessions included the 2002 senior class as
Ken Dorsey, Brett Romberg, Sherko Haji-Rasouli, Todd Sievers
and Freddy Capshaw signed hundreds of autographs for local
fans. Two weeks later it was Willis McGahee, Andrew Williams
and Jerome McDougle that paid allCanes a visit and went through
a handful of Sharpies as they signed everything placed in
front of them until every fan left satisfied.
autographs are only one perk allCanes offers its loyal customer
fan base. For the true consumer, the #1 Canes Shop offers
their Spirit Club membership program. A $10.00 annual fee
earns fans a free Spirit Club t-shirt, the right to 10% off
all purchases as well as special invite to a member’s
only June blowout sale where most items in store are 20% to
line up outside the door for the June sale,” said Harry.
“Last month there were a few dozen folks on line before
we even opened. They come in and grab everything. It’s
like Christmas in summertime.”
is also committed to giving back to the University and is
involved in many school activities. One of the store’s
most successful fund raisers was a benefit for the Walk Kichefski
Endowment Fund for player scholarships. allCanes raised
over $10,000 for the fund through the creation of the 1991
National Championship football signed by former head coach
it was the allCanes Holiday Shopping Spree for the Boys &
Girls Club. Thanks to contributions from loyal customers and
private donors, each child was given $100 to shop in the store.
The little Canes were also treated to food provided by Dan
Marino’s Town Tavern, The Big Cheese and Miami Wings.
Entertainment came in the form of an extremely animated Sebastian
the Ibis while head coaches Larry Coker (football), Jim Morris
(baseball), Perry Clark (men’s basketball), Ferne Labati
(woman’s basketball) and former Hurricanes wide receiver
Lamar Thomas posed for photos and mingled with kids, parents
repeated it for years now, but it is the truth - we live and
die with these Hurricanes,” said Harry. “When
they win – we win. When they lose - we lose. Actually,
when they lose its like we’re their bartenders –
providing free therapy. People call from all over the country
asking what went wrong. We console them, talk them off the
ledge and tell them that everything is going to be OK. We’re
like a big, happy Hurricanes family. We’re a Miami landmark.”
is located at 5831 Ponce De Leon Blvd. - Coral Gables, Florida.
To place an order or order a catalog call (800) 226-4247 or
email Harry Rothwell at email@example.com
Born and raised in Miami, FL and a CanesTime.com
columnist since 1996, Chris Bello now resides in San Diego,
CA and handling online sales and providing content for allCanes.com.
Feel free to send your comments or to contact him at chris@allCanes.com