This was the word he chose to uncork the night, to celebrate its coming and offer what Miami playing Florida Atlantic University meant to the man who made it happen.
"Finally,'' Howard Schnellenberger said.
Miami might choose another word after their win at Sun Life Stadium. Take your pick: Uneven. Unspectacular. Or maybe just a there's-work-to-be-done-before-next-week. Florida isn't Florida Atlantic, after all.
But if nothing quite says college football like Friday night under the lights, it's still good to see common sense break out and Miami and FAU to meet. Schellenberger's "finally" works in that regard.
This was an opening-day marriage of musts for both programs a long time in coming. Miami got a small football school, a team that won three games last year and offered the kind of tune up most teams want.
Florida Atlantic got what it needed, too.
It got a $500,000 check.
This is how it's played out in college football, typically in the opening weeks before conference play starts. One team needs a win. The other needs a check. And so why shouldn't Florida Atlantic and Miami make it a regular dance?
Why not have two South Florida teams cross-fertilize each other? Why not allow 50,150 local fans to come together for a game?
They even threw a little history in to this first meeting, as Miami's 1983 national champions returned, a few decades older, grayer, heavier but with just as much passion for their school.
"We're coming back, and it's time for us to come back,'' said Jay Brophy, the former Hurricane and Dolphin linebacker. "And it's time for us to come back. We've been away while."
Of course, Schnellenberger, the patron saint of both programs, beamed like a proud papa before the game. The coach of the '83 champions worked for years to get this game scheduled after founding the FAU program.
"There's no downside to this at all,'' Schnellenberger said. "This is exactly how I envisioned it."
You envisioned Miami wearing down FAU. That's what played out even if Miami was up 3-0 after one quarter and 20-6 late in the third quarter. Miami has the better players, the faster talent.
Duke Johnson ended with career-highs 19 carries for 186 yards, showing his sophomore season began where his freshman year ended. Stephen Morris threw the kind of 16-yard touchdown pass to Clive Walford that said why pro scouts watch him.
For much of the night, Miami and FAU did what many college teams do on the first night out. They sputtered, clanked, took a step forward and labored to keep going in that direction.
For years at FAU, Schnellenberger called Miami to schedule this game. He was forever put off. You can draw up the reasons why. Miami didn't want to validate a program recruiting the same turf. It didn't want to possibly be embarrassed by a neighbor.
Miami also had the debacle with Florida International nearly a decade ago, a neighborhood game that backfired when a brawl broke out on the field and across the national television screens.
Still, this should be a rule for Florida's Big Three programs. Miami, Florida and Florida State should have to play one of the smaller in-state programs schools. It even would help defray some travel costs for the state schools that roam the country for a paycheck.
Schnellenberger, asked for the perfect outcome to this game, said, "I'm hoping for a seven-point victory for Florida Atlantic over University of Miami."
He can dream that way. Sometimes a night is just successful when common sense plays out.
These two schools return to their respective weight classes. Miami plays Florida in Al Golden's biggest game. FAU plays East Carolina. For one night they made a game of it. Finally, common sense was the winner.