My fandom of the Miami Hurricanes has been...interesting, to say the least. I'm still young, as I'm entering my senior year at the University of Maryland, College Park, that our contributor NOVAcane is very fond of, /sarcasm. My first memory of the Canes was a relatively sad one now that I recall...because I realized when I got older that it was the 2002 National Championship game. Sorry to bring that back up. My only real memories of that game was my father yelling at the television at the gruesome sight of McGahee's knee injury and the completely botched call which should have ended the game and given Miami a sixth national title. After that...it was destiny.
Now, I could've easily forgot about the Canes and moved on...which I somewhat did until middle school when I began playing football myself. Playing the game, especially the way I wanted to play it, made me want to emulate some of my favorite superstars from college and the pros. Growing up just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, I got to watch two of Miami's/NFL's greatest players my entire childhood. I'm sure you can guess who they are.
I didn't realize at the time, but I was watching the greatest linebacker in NFL history play for my hometown team for basically my entire life.
Oh, and one of the greatest safeties to ever play the game. This will forever be my favorite clip of him...and you knew it was coming.
It was so fun watching football on Sundays knowing the defensive excellence the Ravens showed every week. Now, let's not even go there. And every time I turned my TV on for the opening defensive drive (and really for every team), all I heard was 'The U.' I looked them up, liked what I saw, and that's where my interest began.
Now my road down Miami Hurricanes fandom wasn't that clear cut. There was a time where (please don't get mad) that I actually enjoyed watching the Gators and Noles played...but I was young, and I could tell what type of energy, passion and skill they brought to the game. But I realized that Miami was the school for me, but it did help that I had one friend who annoyed the living &%$@ out of me because he was a Gator/Tebow fan. I probably dislike them more for that reason than their rivalry with Miami.
One last piece of history of my childhood was when tragedy struck. When Sean Taylor passed, it was a national headline, but with him being in Washington and that proximity to home, it hurt. I knew who he was, my friends, teachers, coaches, everyone did. I knew he was a Cane, and once I laid eyes on those highlights, I was hooked. I vividly remember him absolutely blasting Brian Moorman in the Pro Bowl, it was beautiful.
So, me being a die hard Canes fan has been relatively short given my youth, but believe me when I tell you that I am here to stay, and the Miami Hurricanes are my team, and forever will be. I always wanted to officially become a Hurricane and attend school in Coral Gables, but you see the way my back account is set up...
This time also hasn't been easy, I wanted to root for the Canes because they were the bad guy, and I loved that about them. But of course, if you're the bad guy and don't win, you look like the evil guy. Being the butt of jokes about how my team sucks and this, that and the third got so annoying, and still is. It was hard defending the Canes this past decade, but night is darkest just before the dawn. With Mark Richt at the helm, I've never been this excited for Miami in my time. Miami is due for a 'decade of dominance' again...at least we can only hope.