Christian Bello started covering University of Miami football back in 1996, by default. As a student at the University of Florida, a flood of emails and debates with biased writers at the Independent Florida Alligator turned into Bello’s first—and last—writing assignment for the paper. After covering one lone orange and blue event, Bello retreated to a UF computer lab where he wrote Bryan Knoll, founder of Grassy.com (now CanesTime.com) and offered to provide insight on his beloved hometown team.
With Florida en route to winning it’s first title and the Butch Davis-led Canes slipping due to probation, writing about ‘The U’ became therapy in the mid-nineties, where Bello attempted to make sense of the downward spiral with fellow fans at Grassy, aiming to be a ‘voice of the fan’.
Writing for CanesTime continued through the 2004 season, with articles picked up by both Yahoo! Sports, as well as feature articles in CanesTime Magazine. At that point, it was time to branch out, writing exclusively for allCanes.com, in an effort to increase the legendary store’s overall brand. allCanesBlog.com was officially launched in March 2006 and over the past several years has built a loyal and dedicated following, which prompted a complete blog overhaul in summer 2011.
Bello earned a B.A. in English from the University of Florida, yet has his diploma mounted in a UM frame. Born and raised in Miami and a graduate of Westminster Christian in South Dade, there was a burning desire to leave the 305 for college—despite growing up on UM’s campus as an attendee of Ron Fraser’s Baseball Camp, games at Mark Light and spending Saturdays at the Orange Bowl with friends and family.
Bello’s first collegiate stint was at the University of Alabama, where he lasted a semester as a long-haired, aspiring guitar god and city-boy-fish-out-of-water. Hurricane Andrew ravaged Miami the day fall classes began in Tuscaloosa and what the hurricane didn’t do to the city, the Crimson Tide did to the Canes in the Sugar Bowl months later; two weeks after Bello’s final farewell to ‘Bama.
When rattling off some grateful life moments, never returning to Alabama for that second semester, sits near the top of that list. Thankfully Bello never had to face the toilet paper and Tide-box wearing lunatics he antagonized during the fall of ’92, wearing UM gear to home games at Bryant Denny Stadium and telling Alabama faithful they ‘wanted no part of his speedy Canes’. Not so much.
A dose of humility came in the form of two years at Miami-Dade CC, where an Associate in Arts two-year degree opened the door for a transfer to UF. Gainesville seemed like a better play than trekking to Tallahassee (re: South Alabama). Plus, it was a shorter drive back to Miami for home games those two years in enemy territory.
Upon graduating in 1998, Bello followed his transplanted family west to San Diego, five years after the storm caused them to relocate. His first move was to get a job as a sports editor with FANSonly.com (then CSTV.com and now CBSSportsline.com) and eventually moved to the role of marketing manager. HurricaneSports.com was part of the FANSonly Network, which allowed Bello a tie to Miami athletics that was lost in the cross country move—as well as sideline passes to the 27-24 victory over Florida State in 2000, which he still lists as one of his top five moments in life—right down to rushing the field after Wide Right III and grabbing a clump of orange turf from the midfield “U”, half of which he put in his pocket as a keepsake—the other he promptly ate for good luck. (“It made sense at the time.”)
After FANSonly, a short stint with an up and coming ad agency (which was soon down and fleeting) which led to the opportunity to intern, learning about Internet business models through a long-time friend building up his web business. That experience led to the revamping of allCanes.com and the eventual launch of allCanesBlog.com.
The Bello family sold allCanes in early 2016—leading to the shutting down of allCanesBlog and launching of ItsAUThing.com.
“It was time for change. allCanes had been in my blood since birth, but with family ties gone, time seemed ripe for change,” Bello explained.
“I toyed with the notion of hanging it up—burned out from a few seasons with Bleacher Report and tired of the negativity surrounding the program—but then Mark Richt happened. The Canes have their best head coach since Butch left 15 years ago and the program is primed for another comeback. I couldn’t walk away from that. Not after all the time I’ve invested in this program over the years.”
Where allCanesBlog was more of a day-to-day opportunity, ItsAUThing is relegated to hobby status, at this point. Bello currently handles social media, business development and PR for long-time PGA Tour player Pat Perez—revamping Perez’s online brand and aligning the veteran with humor website theCHIVE.com and their soon-to-launch golf apparel line with actor and icon Bill Murray.
Bello is an avid reader, a lifelong music enthusiast, an accomplished guitar player and lives an active, healthy lifestyle in Southern California with his wife Lorin and daughter Tru.
Have a question for Chris? Email him at email@example.com or track him down on Twitter @ChristianRBello.