Happy Thanksgiving to Hurricane Nation and to those loyal friends and customers who have stuck with us here at allCanes for over half a century now. Hard to believe that 2015 is already drawing to a close and that another football season is two games away from being in the books.
Diving in and not going to overthink this piece—and doing so with a message of gratefulness. Much of today’s sport culture has become culture of entitlement and non-stop critiquing. Social media gives everyone a voice and that coupled with our on-demand society—seems many have forgotten about the process and what it takes to get from where one is to where they and trying to go.
Let today be a rare occasion where we focus on the good and see the bigger picture. In no particular order, some things that supporters of “The U” should be thankful for as another year draws to a close:
The fact that the University of Miami has dispelled any notion that it doesn’t care about football; which was an ongoing narrative over the past few years. Where a former president’s actions might’ve helped push that storyline along, the events that have, and continue, taking place half a year after her departure—an absolute game-changer.
Few saw head coach Al Golden ever getting canned in-season. Maybe in December, which in itself was a crapshoot, but certainly not late-October. Same to be said about the types of names and dollar amounts being thrown around regarding the Canes’ next coach and what UM is willing to spend on him.
The journey back to the top will entail a ton of hard work, but before rolling up the sleeves and starting that process, fans should take a deep breath and appreciate this enormous victory—Miami’s admin absolutely a damn about football and will work to get this thing back on track.
As bad as all the losing has been over the past decade, the notion that Miami administrators we’re content with that level of mediocrity; it was harder to swallow than the ass kickings the Canes were taking on the field.
How the hiring process wraps up in the coming weeks, time will tell—but the bottoming-out that took place this year is finally going to be followed up with proper steps towards rebuilding and eventual success again. Cheers to all that.
While on the subject and as his tenure is going go get further and further in the rear view over the years, a thank you to Golden for his efforts over the past half decade. While the former Temple leader fell short in the wins and losses column, there was a two-year span from 2011 through 2013 where things were looking extremely dire for Miami.
Few coaches would’ve touched this job with a ten-foot pole back then and Golden—with countless valid reasons to bail out—dug in his heels, stayed true to his commitment and worked tirelessly to right the ship.
We live in a world where effort runs a distant second to results, but with the Thanksgiving season upon us, it an optimum time to honor the effort and commitment put in by Golden and his staff one final time
While most folks will choose to remember a 32-25 record or inability to beat Florida State, here’s hoping some will also recall the man who sprinted out to the middle of the Bobby Dodd Stadium in fall 2012, cradling an injured Malcolm Lewis as he would’ve his own son.
Golden’s lack of overall success had fans frustrated with Golden-The-Coach, but Golden-The-Man was well-intended and had an impact on his players. Dig back in some social media feeds of these kids late October and see how guys like Mark Walton and Trayone Gray were reacting to their coach’s firing.
The Canes will be onto bigger and better without Golden, but here’s hoping Al and family find their path and get a deserved fresh start somewhere else.
While on the topic of coaching, thanks should be given to basketball coaches who have brought their programs to an upper echelon, as well as an interim football head coach who has kept a tumultuous season from complete unraveling.
Jim Larrañaga has Miami basketball on the brink of what could be the greatest season in program’s history. The Canes knocked off a few ranked opponents recently and as of Wednesday afternoon, season tickets at The BUC are completely sold out. “The U” has become a basketball school and Coach L is the reason won.
Regarding the Lady Canes, Katie Meier continues her success and the women’s program looks to be on the brink of another special season.
Football-wise, Miami took a beating from North Carolina two weeks back—but Larry Scott has kept these kids focused at a time when the rug got pulled out from them and the walls were caving in.
The way the Canes showed up prepared at Duke, held court at home against Virginia and then dominated Georgia Tech—none of that seemed in the cards seven games in after Clemson delivered the biggest beat down this program had ever seen.
Pittsburgh and the bowl game remain, with the Canes looking at a high of 9-4 and a low of 7-6. However it plays out, Miami didn’t go completely in the tank—as it did last year post-Florida State—and Scott is the reason why.
The coaching business is a quirky, cliquey situation—meaning that Scott’s fate remains up in the air. While the tight ends coach certainly isn’t a permanent head coaching option for Miami—way too inexperiences to take on a job like this right now—he would be a welcomed addition to the Canes’ next staff.
Of course that all depends on who takes over, who he’ll bring with him and what his core values are regarding old staff holdovers.
Wherever Scott’s path leads him, fans shouldn’t soon forget how he responded when thrown into the fire and a brutal situation mid-season. Thank you, Larry.
Staying with that theme, thankful for these kids who have chosen “The U” as their destination. While it’s been smooth-sailing for the hardwood Canes, the past four years have been less than stellar for the Class of 2015.
Watching those players run out of the smoke one final time, in front of a 14-percent full Sun Life Stadium—couldn’t help think back to National Signing Day in 2012, the optimism that surrounded those fresh faces and where they hoped their careers and chosen program would go.
What they didn’t experience football-wise, they made up for in life lessons. Adversity is real. Things don’t always go your way. Sticking to one’s word is noble (opposed to those who transferred elsewhere.)
It’s one thing for kids to sign on with Miami when it’s “The U” level. It’s another to buy-in when the program is in repair. Guys like Deon Bush, Tracy Howard, Tyriq McCord and Jermaine Grace come to mind as highly-touted players that had other options when choosing the Canes in the midst of this current storm.
However their careers played out at Miami, here’s hoping others in that mold believe in this program and want to play a part in its resurgence. Thank you guys. All of you.
There are countless other Canes-related things to mention here, but for the sake of wordiness, wanted to wrap with this; give thanks for this U Family. We’ve been a backed-up, pain-in-the-ass, frustrated crew over the past decade as winning ways have fallen to the wayside; but the love is there.
Pro-Golden or anti-Golden, banner-flying or banner-hating, wanting to bring Butch Davis back or still butt-hurt over the way he left back in the day—it’s all good.
Fact remains, this is your tribe. Like family, you’re stuck with this dysfunctional bunch—but a shared love of this program is the common denominator that makes it all right. We’re in this thing together; with shared memories of better days, as well as taking in those previous rebuilds and climbs back to the top.
Take it all in with your fellow Canes as it’ll only make a return to greatness that much sweeter.
Happy Thanksgiving, Canes Fam and thank you for your support, patronage and passion. It wasn’t the year we expected or hoped for, but it was the one we wound up with. Take some good from it, give thanks, hit reset and let’s gear up for a culture-changing 2016. It’s (still) a Canes thing…