Larry Doucet can hardly contain his enthusiasm.
On Saturday afternoon, when the Miami Hurricanes take on North Carolina at Sun Life Stadium, Doucet will attend his first Canes home game since he was a senior at Hialeah High in the fall of 1964.
Doucet, 65, who lives in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., is bringing his 41-year-old son Philip, from Brooklyn, to watch the team Doucet has cherished since his late father – UM alum Philip Sr. – took him to his first and only Hurricanes game as a young child.
“It’s even hard for me to believe,” Doucet wrote in a letter to The Miami Herald. “I knew my dad was a big Hurricane football fan from my earliest childhood memories, and I experienced what I consider one of those life-altering moments when my dad took me to see my first game in the Orange Bowl when I was 10.”
Doucet, an environmental engineer, has lived in New York since leaving South Florida to attend the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He attended a family wedding in New York on Friday night, was to leave by midnight and get to the airport by about 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
He’s also a Dolphins fan, and chose this weekend so he could watch both teams play at home.
This past summer, while he was “rummaging through a box” of family memorabilia, Doucet said he “came across something that literally made my hairs stand on end.”
It was the official program for the game he saw with his dad in the Orange Bowl that day in 1957. The date: Oct. 11. The opponent: North Carolina.
“What are the odds?” he said. “The exact same weekend 55 years later.”
The UNC game (UNC won 20-13) was the only one Doucet went to until he got a job as an usher his last two years of high school so he could watch in person.
“I guess we couldn’t afford to go,” he said, so I’d sit at my grandma’s and listen to every game on the radio, emotionally living and dying with each play.”
Today, if a game is not televised, Doucet sits in his car and listens on satellite radio.
When UM coach Al Golden read Doucet’s letter, he wrote him a letter and enclosed a signed autograph.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” Doucet said. “I had to share it with somebody.”