How do you bleed orange and green?

By Brittney Bomnin

How do you bleed orange and green?

By Brittney Bomnin

For Kristen Richards, Hurricanes football isn’t just a seasonal sport played by college student-athletes cheered on by a community of fans and prefaced with tailgates—it’s a way of life. In her role as office manager at the University of Miami, Richards, who graduated from the Miami Herbert Business School in 2016, spends her workdays supporting the students and administration in the Academic Service Department at the School of Communication. Her passion and pride for the University began more than two decades ago. As a child, Richards spent time visiting the Coral Gables Campus with her parents—also UM graduates—watching Hurricanes football games with her dad, and cheering for the ’Canes, a practice she continues today. 

“You can ask anyone and everyone, and if they know me even the slightest, the first thing they will probably tell you is that I bleed orange and green,” said Richards. “I wear my ’Canes gear everywhere I go and always represent the Miami Hurricanes.” 

This summer, when UM athletics launched a call asking Hurricanes fans across the country to share their story, Richards submitted her entry and was selected as the inaugural Ultimate ’Canes Fan. As part of the honor, a video featuring Richards and her husband, Brian—a ’Canes aficionado whom she married on April 4—aired during the Sept. 19 game at Hard Rock Stadium. Richards, who designed her engagement ring with a green stone and her wedding band with orange stones and owns enough Hurricanes gear to fill an entire closet, considers this recognition a huge positive moment, noting that this “is literally my highlight of 2020.”

As a couple, Richards and her husband love to host tailgate parties, complete with a TV, generator, and grills in orange or green. While this season looks a lot different because of the pandemic, she has found ways to keep the spirit alive. “I still dress up from head to toe on game day,” she said, adding that she uses social media to “get everyone pumped” by sharing content and expressing her excitement. On game day, the front yard of their home is decorated with orange and green in a display of Canes pride. But she acknowledges greatly missing the large group gatherings with family and friends at the stadium.

“This is the time of the season that we all look forward to,” shared Richards. “No matter how busy we are, we can gather together at a set day and time and enjoy everyone’s company.” Spending so much time at home and away from her extended circle in an effort to stay safe, Richards admits that she misses the celebration and camaraderie even more. 

While watching the game at home without the crowds is quite different from physically being at the stadium with all the festivities, Richards is thankful she can still see her team play and have a little excitement in her life. For her, sporting events like football are positive for mental health for the athletes, coaches, fans, and sponsors. “This year has been a hard one for a lot of different reasons and to have one thing bring a community together and cancel some of the background noise is what we all needed,” she said. “Having football, period, has made the time during this pandemic livable, and I can actually look forward to something.”

Favorite matchup: University of Miami vs Notre Dame

“We barely get to see these two battle it out so when you do, it is like nothing else matters. Also, it is such an old school rivalry,” Richards pointed out.

Favorite ’Canes paraphernalia: sneaker collection

“Since the University partnered up with Adidas, they have released sneakers for the Miami Hurricanes every season and I have bought every year's shoe,” she said. “I look forward to the release day, and I make sure I am there at the allCanes store bright and early to pick them up. They are the only sneakers I own and, after so many years, I have plenty of sneakers to choose from to wear. They are beautiful in my eyes.”


Are you a huge Hurricanes fan? We’d love to hear how our ’Canes community has continued being spirited this fall. Tell us how you show your pride for the U, including gameday traditions. Send your story and photos to lifeattheu@miami.edu and you may be featured in a future publication.