Whether you are a fan of the Miami Hurricanes or not, you have to admit that the sport of college football is just all-around a more enjoyable experience when they are playing at a high level. When there is national buzz surrounding the ‘Canes, everyone is paying attention and the emotions that come pouring out from both sides of the fence are a priceless sight to take in. I should know, being the life-long Florida State Seminoles fanatic that I am. Believe me, in the last 25 years, I have used words towards the Miami program that would lead my grandmother to rush to the bathroom and grab the soap for my mouth–a-la ‘A Christmas Story’.
So, why would I say that college football is ‘fun’ when Miami is relevant? Here’s why.
If you are NOT a fan of the Hurricanes, then literally everything about them irks you to no end. Whether it’s those orange jerseys that can be used as proper attire for anyone directing midnight highway traffic or the overall “we should be an expansion NFL team” attitude that ‘Cane fans exhibit, you experience a new level of disdain in your being when your team is matched up against them.
Oh, and should your team emerge victorious in the end, the joy is such that you would think that your school just ended communism.
Remember, this is the same program that showed up for the 1987 Fiesta Bowl against Penn State–a game being contested for the National Championship–in army fatigues coming off the plane. They did what they wanted, when they wanted, and they nor their fanbase really cared what anyone thought. It was admirable in a way, yet bothersome at the same time. It’s tough to accomplish a feat like that. But, for a long period of time, Miami was able to be consistently either the most loved or most hated program in the nation, depending on whom you conversed with.
Nowadays, Miami still takes the field through the smoke-filled tunnel in their unusually bright uniforms, yet the culture is vastly different than it once was. Without turning this column into a mathematical equation with a breakdown of their statistics over recent years, simply put, Miami just isn’t the Miami they used to be, and this isn’t doing college football any favors.
Some Miami fans embrace this theory and some will yell at you, but the program was the ultimate villain in one of the biggest sports in America. Even people who rarely paid attention to college football knew Miami at the very least as “that team that is really good in college football.” Now, I’m not even sure their own fans know they exist anymore given the sad attendance figures recently. Although don’t ask the school about these or they will insist that every game breaks an American sports attendance record, despite picture evidence that clearly shows otherwise.
To put into quick perspective where the program sits right now, take two events from last season. Miami was run off the field by a Notre Dame team who would later on go on to receive their own trouncing by the current king of the mountain in college football, the title that the university used to hold dear.
While those of us outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama hold certain hatred in our hearts in regards to the current run of the Alabama Crimson Tide, it’s just not the same as the passionate angst we show against the ‘Canes when they are dominant. It’s just–different.
As an exuberant college football fan, I am rooting for head coach Al Golden to return the Hurricanes to some sort of high-level relevancy. If for any other reason, in the action movie that is college football, we need our villain back.