It’s Monday, and I’m back from a much-needed extended vacation. As such, it’s time to delve again into the deep recesses of my brain and see what Canes-related tomfoolery is going on in there....
1) The Edge takes his rightful place in the Hall of Fame...and reminds everyone of who he truly is.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know that seven new members were inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, including two key Colts during their success during the 2000s: Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James. The former Miami great delivered a great speech, I thought. One thing he said really stuck out to me:
“For some reason I always had to deal with perception,” James said. “Perception, though, isn’t always reality. It definitely wasn’t my reality. People looked at my gold teeth and dreads and were shocked and surprised I had never been under arrest or spent time in jail.
“So many people told me you can’t have dreads and gold teeth and be accepted in the NFL but I never listened. I always knew who I was – a great football player, a great father, a proud Black man, a lion and this was my mane which many of those doubters would discover when they got to know the real me.”
THAT is class. And that is true. Edge did nothing but carry himself with class while at Miami, where he established himself as one of the best to ever do it there, and later as one of the best ever to do it on Sundays.
What James said resonated with me in a way that I think represents the entire University of Miami program. He said that people were shocked and surprised that he had never been under arrest or spent time in jail. Miami also gets hate/venom/a bad rap from fans and (some) media alike for perceived problem players, thugs, etc etc. You name it, and someone’s written it. But that just hasn’t been the case. Other programs in their own state have dominated that trend, especially in the past 10-12 years (see Florida from 2009-2014 here). According to Clay Travis (take from that name what you will), Florida was second in arrests from 2010-2015, FSU was 10th, and Miami was 49th. Since then, there have been issues come up on occasion in Coral Gables, but really not that often.
So, what you’re looking at is a team that people perceive as thuggish that is the exact opposite of it. And one of our best ambassadors ever - and a victim of that perception for far too long - highlighted that problematic way of thinking in front of the entire country. He made us proud for him, as well as for the University of Miami, whom he represented like the tremendous man he is. Congrats, Edge.
2) And boy, did he ever give the tag line to end all tag lines from a Hall of Fame Speech: “my career started with gold teeth, and ended with this gold jacket.” Boom
3) Jimmy Johnson also was inducted, but perhaps the most interesting aspect was the fact that he and Jerry Jones were together on the same set. Jones noted among the FOX crew and Troy Aikman that Johnson would be inducted into the Dallas Cowboys ring of honor:
Not to be outdone by Edge’s mic drop, Johnson responded with: “while I’m still alive?” A classic, great moment. Jones should have done this a long time ago (as should the Hall), and it will be truly amazing to see JJ inducted into that ring of honor. Congrats, coach.
4) Fall camp is underway, so here are a few way-too-soon thoughts... Will Mallory is going to be a problem for defenses this year, as will Jaylan Knighton, if they can find enough ways to get him on the field and involved. I love the little bit I’ve seen from the Smiths, Keyshawn and Brashard, as well as Jacolby George. There are undoubtedly some new faces and guys from the depth chart that SHOULD really push Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins down the depth chart. Those two really need to take a big step forward catching the ball and being consistent threats down the field, or they can - or at least should - be on the bench this year.
5) Oh, and D’Eriq King just became the first college athlete to sign an NIL agreement with a professional sports team, inking deal with the Florida Panthers:
Making moves ✍️— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) August 9, 2021
D'Eriq King (@DeriqKing_) has signed as our first-ever FLA Athlete, becoming the first collegiate athlete to sign an NIL agreement with a pro sports team!
» https://t.co/3dZAMi8rlX pic.twitter.com/sr85OmTfPq
So, if there wasn’t enough reason to see that Miami is a terrific place for athletes to promote themselves, the proof is now in the pudding. Congrats, D’Eriq (again; the man just knows how to make moves). Go Canes!