For those missing the point of ‘Deserve Victory’

Received the following note earlier from a fan who obviously doesn’t get where the “Deserve Victory” mantra was coined.

“Deserve Victory? This has been the problem with Canes teams for the past ten years. This false sense of entitlement these players get when they enroll at The U. Lethargic practice and play stemming from players riding the success of those who came before them, and thinking that because they go to NFL U they will win games and get drafted.

I understand what you guys think this t-shirt means, but my initial thought when I saw it was one of disgust. It’s ironic that you choose to embrace a phrase that has single-handedly brought down this dynasty. I was expecting something a little better when I saw you hyping this new design for a week.”

For those out of the know, some excerpts from articles written in the Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel soon after Golden was hired, explaining the phrase “Deserve Victory”.

From Jorge Milian at the Palm Beach Post: Sitting on Kirby Hocutt’s desk in his University of Miami office is a 300-page, four-pound binder with the title Deserve Victory.

The tome’s author? Al Golden, who was introduced Monday evening as the Hurricanes’ new football coach.

Golden gave Hocutt, UM’s athletic director, the book during a two-hour meeting last Monday at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. Hocutt interviewed several other candidates over the course of two days in the Big Apple, but none had the impact of Golden, who in the past five seasons transformed Temple’s downtrodden program into a winner.

“I walked out of there thinking, ‘This is the guy. He’s got it,’ ” Hocutt said.

Hocutt admitted on Monday that he had only read parts of the book, which details Golden’s vision for turning Miami from an Atlantic Coast Conference also-ran into a national championship contender. Skimming through the pages, Hocutt said he was won over by Golden’s attention to detail.

“Al had gone the extra mile,” Hocutt said. “He came in with a game plan. He had a drive and desire and hunger for this job.”

From a piece written by Dave Hyde at the Sun-Sentinel: Golden, you see, believes in the power of the written word.

“Once you write something down you’re more committed to it,” he said. “You can refine it from there. I write everything down I believe in and want to do.”

Oh, he speaks directly and strongly. Like when he says something like, “We’re going to get back to developing young quarterbacks here that want to go to the NFL.”

Or when answering what will be different about these same Miami players next year: “Finishing. The way we will run to the football on defense and finish plays. The way we’ll finish plays on special teams, finish runs on offense, finish blocks, finish games. Finishing. That a glaring issue to me.”

What Golden is saying there, essentially, is Miami players were lazy last year. Or sloppy. That isn’t him. Here’s a story: While a Boston College assistant, Golden got word a recruit was deciding the next day.

When the dinner ended at 9 p.m., he drove four hours to the recruit’s New Jersey home, left a note on his porch and immediately drove back to Boston. Did the kid sign?

“Of course he did,” he said. “I didn’t do all that to lose him.”

There that idea in that story again: The written word. And Golden’s believe in it in something like a porch note. He reaches into a draw of his desk now and there it is in a bigger way. There’s his vision of Miami.

It’s the 300-page, spiral-bound book he took to his interview with Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt. The book is printed in Miami’s colors, says, “Deserve Victory” on the cover and, under that, “The Pillars of Performance” with a picture of the Greek Parthenon. On the pillar are words like “discipline” and “work”.

So again, the purpose behind this shirt was to back Coach Golden and his mantra of deserving victory – which has nothing to do with a sense of entitlement and everything to do with putting a game plan in place that WHEN IMPLEMENTED, leaves players no choice but to deserve victory.

Victory is deserved when it is earned. Golden wants these kids to both uphold the legacy and to put in all the work on the practice field that has them deserving wins on Saturday afternoons.

Ever since Golden took over, practices have been far from lethargic. Guys have been worked into the dirt as the lack of conditioning was the first issue dealt with and when interviewed this spring, every player to a man talked about the new tempo at practice and the ‘U Tough’ workout kicking their asses.

This shirt was made to help get that message across with a ‘Goldenism’ — not to promote the things that rotted ‘The U’ from within.



13 thoughts on “For those missing the point of ‘Deserve Victory’

  1. Where does this person get the idea that "Deserve Victory" means the same as entitled to victory? Unless, he has some unknown definition of "deserve" or he's adding some words that aren't there, like "you already deserve victory" then I have no idea where he thinks this phrase expresses entitlement. You work hard in practice so you deserve victory on saturdays. End of story. Our fans need to chill.

  2. Again, I understand the significance behind the phrase. But surely the irony of the whole situation has not been lost on you, allCanes.

    I never like to see the word "deserve" in relation to sports, as everything should be earned on the field. Especially given the recent history of this program. I don't want this to become the slogan for a program with a coach who has yet to accomplish anything on the big stage.

    But I digress.

    I know fans will eat this stuff up and buy many t-shirts. I'm sure I'm in the minority with my opinion, but it really bugged me. Disgust may have been the wrong emotion to convey, it's not like I vomited on my computer at the sight of the shirt.

    I do like the "uphold the legacy" mantra on the back, though.

  3. Danton – You're entitled to your opinion and if you don't like the word "deserve" related to sports, again, that's your right.

    That said, look at it in this case.

    The word 'deserve' is defined as "to be worthy of; merit" — so regarding "Deserve Victory" as the title of Al Golden's 300+ page blueprint regarding how to rebuild University of Miami football, it means "To Be Worthy Of Victory" — and then goes on explaining over the next several hundred pages how he believes he'll get the program to that place.

    If the players and coaches follow the directions laid out for them in the manual, they will be WORTHY OF VICTORY, which again doesn't ring of entitlement. Put in the hard work and you'll be worthy.

    Sorry you still don't like it. Hopefully others do.

  4. NO, I don't like it at all. As much as I hope the U to be successful, U will win more if players/fans think like Daton …

    Nobody deserves nothing in sports, or life. Every single victory has to be EARNED, through HARD WORKS. Just because you are the U does NOT deserve, or to be worthy of, or merit anything on winning. The only thing you get from representing the U is the legacy that motivates you to work hard to uphold and to continue.

    And as much as I hope coach Golden to be the golden coach, let's not forget that he has not yet coached/won/lose a single game. We should/can not deny that he and his team have put tremendous work. But until he translates works into wins, nothing is solid. No one, allcanes included, should predict a victory …

    To be honest, the only way I could seen this t-shirt to be useful, is that when the U lose a game (very likely in the coming season), the opponent fans can wear it to mock the U by adding "does not" …


  5. I think the issue of misunderstanding regarding this T-Shirt is not in it's message but in its design. With the U logo being on top of the words "Deserve Victory," it could easily be misconstrued to read as "U Deserve Victory." People naturally read from top to bottom. This could be easily mitigated by placing the U logo under the words "Deserve Victory." Just my two cents…

  6. – can you drop me an email at My friends just got off a short deployment on the USS MIAMI (SSN 755 – nuclear attack submarine) and I wanted to see if I could get your help on something.



  7. I'm starting to think we might have the dumbest fans on the planet.

    As AllCanes explained, the word "deserve" means "to be worth of".

    The phrase "Deserve Victory" was on the cover of a large book that Al Golden created in regards to how he will rebuild Miami and will make this program worthy of victory. It is the name of his manual.

    No one is saying that Miami deserves victory now. It is saying that if they play by his rules and do what he says, that they will eventually be worthy of victory.

    Some of you clowns need to retake English 1101. Your comprehension skills are a joke.

    Great shirt. Ordered two last night.

  8. Morgan, appreciate the comment but I don't think the placement of the U is the issue. Seems several folks aren't grasping the meaning of the word "deserve" and how it's being used here and by Coach Golden.

    He wants players working their asses off, getting to a point where they've done everything right and in turn deserve victory.

    For those who get the message and dig the shirt, order away. For those who don't, so be it. We took these two phrases from the new head coach and we created the the shirt to honor two of his mantras.


  9. Seriously, when did our fans become such pansies?

    Boo hoo, I don't like this shirt design. Boo hoo, I don't think we're sending the right message.

    Give me a f@*king break.

    Work your asses off and deserve f'n victory. It's a pretty simple message and I'm flat out embarrassed some many of you tools didn't get it.

  10. Nice looking T-shirt and great message (which I grasped immediately). "Deserve Victory" is simply Golden's way of expressing the message, "Be Worthy of Victory," i.e "Earn Victory."

    – CAT5 Cane

  11. Perfectly stated CAT5. Exactly.

    Be Worthy Of Victory, having done all the right stuff on the practice field and in the weight room in preparation.

  12. Earn victory would have been a better choice.

    … had Al Golden named his blueprint "Earn Victory", that'd have been what we put on the shirt. He called it "Deserve Victory" so that's what we went with.

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