I know, I know, college football season has been over a long time, but bear with me.
Obviously, for a long time, the Miami Hurricanes football team had a well-deserved reputation for thuggery and trash talk. Conservative, middle-aged white guys like myself still remember Jerome Brown & Co. in fatigues, and how much fun it was to see the Penn State Nittany Lions beat them in the Fiesta Bowl.
During the Jimmy Johnson and (especially) Dennis Erickson days, the Hurricanes DESERVED their bad reputation. But while I was a long-time Miami-basher, I have to say… they Canes haven’t really been that kind of squad in quite a long time. Under Butch Davis and Larry Coker, I think they’ve been a credit to their school, in addition to being a very good football team.
Over the last few years, I’ve seen them play regularly, and I’ve seen/heard plenty of interviews with players… and for the most part, the latter day Canes seem like good guys, for the most part. I haven’t seen them trash-talking or mocking opponents during games. On the contrary, they’ve shown much better sportsmanship than most teams I watch. They’re good and they’re confident, but rarely get obnoxious about that any more.
If Jerome Brown exemplified the old “bad” Miami, I think intelligent, classy guys like Kellen Winslow Jr. exemplify the current version.
And yet, after they lost to Ohio State, I don’t know how many times I heard people saying how great it was to see those trash talking, dope-sniffing goons from Miami lose.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I’ve turned into a Miami fan. Still, it’s pretty clear to me they no longer deserve their bad image. Indeed, considering the WAY they lost the national championship (they really thought they’d won it, before that pass interference call), it’s hard for me to imagine many other teams showing as much grace, poise and dignity.
Question: do you think their old image will ever go away? How long do you think it will take?