It’s only a few hours until kickoff and I’m already giddy. First off before I get started let me just say this, when it comes to me speaking about the Miami Hurricanes all journalistic integrity goes out the window. I’m telling everyone now, that if you expect this particular piece to be balanced, you might just X out of this article, like now…Okay I’m back, what was I talking about again? Oh that’s right, I’m giddy for the game tonight against Florida State. Like, I can’t wait, is it 8pm yet? No…Okay let me go watch games I don’t care about…Seriously I love college football, it’s a huge passion of mine. I can talk college football all day, every day. However when it comes to my, (Ahem) the Miami Hurricanes I borderline on the side of temporary insanity. And during the game, let’s just say if you are behind me in a bar, you may catch an untended elbow from my reaction to an incompletion on second down with 12:37 to go in the second quarter. And i’m not even the worst. I know some Cane fans who just scream at the TV screen. I wont name names, you know who you are, but let’s just say during Al Golden’s coaching regime you heard “F” bombs probably every two minutes. It was just an awful time.
I actually went to the University of Miami and got my degree (yes I’ve got my papers!) in 2001. I do have much love to the sidewalk alum though. Jah Bless you folks, seriously. Anyways being an alum of the school is kind of crazy. If you see the year I graduated you know I was there when the U came back. I remember being in the Orange Bowl when that dude flew the banner that said “National Champs to National Chumps…Thanks Butch!” Like I saw that with my eyes when it happened. I saw the Edgerrin James game against UCLA, which was a make up game with the Bruins coming in undefeated and Miami coming off Donnovan McNabb slicing them up in Syracuse the previous week. That win by the way against UCLA, was the official turn around for the Canes. I was on the field when they finally beat FSU in 2000, only to be stiffed of playing in the national title game that year. I knew that the 2001-02 season was going to be the year they finally won it, and they did. Of course I wont even talk about the fiasco in the Fiesta Bowl the following year, okay let’s move on, nothing to see here.
After that loss, though the decline became steady for a few years. After the terrible tragedy of Brian Pata’s murder (a case still unresolved) they fired Larry Coke, brought in Randy Shannon. I was excited because Shannon was a man with high moral character who actually cared about the young men on the team. But the decline became more drastic under Shannon. They never won big games and the program started slipping into mediocrity. In comes Al Golden from Temple, and I’m a fan so of course I supported the hire, what the heck did I know? Golden in all fairness walked into a land mine, because as soon as he got here the Nevin Shapiro scandal hit. And let me tell you about this guy Nevin Shapiro, he’s like as slimy and despicable as that Pharma Bro guy Martin Shkreli. Anyways Golden said all the right things under enormous pressure. Yes the NCAA dragged their feet and botched the investigations, what’s new with that? And Golden still had top 20 draft classes despite the issues. The problem is that Golden wasn’t a great head football coach at a program that can’t be mediocre, it just can’t. Going 6-6 or 7-5 each year is okay for Boston College or Wake Forest, but not Miami. So Miami bought out the rest of Golden’s contract and here we are with Mark Richt.
Oh wow, I just realized how therapeutic that was. I just gave a brief history of the Miami program over the last almost 20 years and I didn’t keel over from it. But in all seriousness this mediocrity non sense doesn’t cut it for Canes fans. Yes we get we are a small private school. Yes we get our facilities aren’t great. Yes we get our #1 booster snitched on us and the boosters at all the other schools keep their mouths shut despite doing the exact same thing. Yes we get we no longer play at the Orange Bowl, that despite it’s structural fortitude being suspect at best, was still an awesome place to watch college football. Yes we Canes fans get all of this. But still, we were able to win 5 national titles in the past. People still want to play for Miami. We aren’t being unreasonable to expect to compete for not only an ACC title, but at some point a national title. We have had enough downs over the past decade. It’s time to get back on top. And tonight at 8pm ET may just be the time Miami tells the rest of the college football world that we’re back. And yes I may use a few expletives in a bar, but hopefully they are joyful ones.