As if it wasn't painful enough that the Miami Hurricanes lost to the Florida State Seminoles by one point earlier this month, Broward County Mayor Marty Kiar, a lifelong UM fan, spent Tuesday's eight-hour commission meeting uncomfortably dressed in a white-and-garnet FSU jersey.
"I just tried not to look down so that I would forget I was wearing it," Kiar tells New Times. "As soon as the gavel went down, I took it right off and the pain ended."
It was all part of a silly bet between Kiar and his friend, Tallahassee commissioner Scott Maddox. Since Maddox roots for FSU, Kiar's outspoken loyalty to the Miami Hurricanes has been a point of contention. Earlier this year, Maddox flew down to speak at a Broward County commission meeting about the need for direct JetBlue flights between Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee. Some friendly trash talk ensued. At that meeting and on the record, Maddox and Kiar made a bet: If the Seminoles lost, Maddox would wear a UM jersey at the Tallahassee commission meeting, and if the Canes lost, Kiar would wear a Noles jersey at the Broward County commission meeting.
"Unfortunately, the game was a heartbreaker," Kiar says. "But I had to make due on my bet."
A second generation die-hard Canes fan, Marty Kiar never imagined he would ever wear an FSU jersey. Kiar's father moved to South Florida from New York in the '70s and attended every game he could. His passion for the team ignited in the 1980s when UM won its first national championship. Kiar and his father bonded over the Miami Hurricanes. "It has always been something that my father and I enjoyed together," Kiar says. "I love the Miami Hurricanes."
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With a rivalry between the teams spanning decades, phrases like "wide right" make any UM fan cringe. After losing to the Noles for the past six years, Kiar hoped the October 9 game would be different. It wasn't. After UM lost 19-20, Kiar reports that Scott Maddox immediately messaged him: "Gotta wear that Noles jersey."
As painful as it was, Kiar did. The FSU jersey split the entire county commission. At Tuesday's meeting, vice mayor Barbara Sharief drew a poster in support of the Miami Hurricanes. She waved it in solidarity with Kiar. Kiar says that commissioner Chip LaMarca was especially excited that Kiar was wearing the jersey. He brought an FSU helmet to his seat. Other officials at the meeting posted emblems and tokens of either university at their posts to represent their support too.
"It was a lot of fun," Kiar says. "But wearing the FSU jersey will be once in a lifetime for me."