Sports

Buckeyes helped by Columbus-like atmosphere in Tempe

Not even Moses could have parted the sea of red at this year’s Fiesta Bowl.
While Ohio State fans came in droves, UM fans simply drove to their nearest sports bar.
Outnumbered and out heard, Miami fans were no match as Buckeye fans quickly made themselves at home.
O-H-I-O, O-H-I-O radiated throughout all four corners of Sun Devil Stadium even before the game began and with only half the stadium full.
It only got worse.
Buckeye fans waited years for this moment and they were not about to leave unnoticed. Clad in scarlet and gray 60,000 OSU faithful traveled from their gloomy and gray Columbus campus and shined a ray of hope on their underdog team. Only 15,000 or so UM fans made the trip.
These Ohio State fans shaped and helped turn the tide to their team’s favor, in essence making the national championship game feel like a home game for their beloved Buckeyes.
Texas A&M is known for adding the 12th Man element at their home games, but these Ohio States fans one upped them – doing so in the biggest game of the year thousands of miles from home.
And there is no question that their presence was felt.
But there is no finding fault with Ohio State’s fans or their actions. They rooted for their team, as they should have. And there is no finding fault with the UM faithful that showed up for the game. They tried as hard as possible to give some support to their ‘Canes. But like on the football field, they too were overmatched.
But one of the most troubling aspects is that some Ohio State fans say they bought their tickets from Hurricane fans and some claim they even signed up for the Hurricane Club to gain access to tickets.
Student Government President Mike Johnston was one of the UM fans to travel to the Fiesta Bowl and heard first hand at what some of those Ohio State fans were saying.
“Ohio State fans were like ‘I guess it doesn’t take very much to become alumni of Miami,” said Johnson.
They were bragging about. They were just sitting around us in the UM section behind the band and cheerleaders.
“They were so proud of it. They were taunting us about it. ‘I’m a Hurricane Club member too’. They were trying to taunt. It was horrible.”
Horrible? Probably.
Genius? Most definitely.
If this is indeed true, kudos to those Buckeye fans who were smart enough to cheat the system. But shame on the Hurricane Club for allowing this to happen.
Winslow MVP
Tight end Kellen Winslow proved his worth once again. Time after time, Winslow came up big in the regular season. But his performance in the Fiesta Bowl was one to remember. Almost single handedly, Winslow brought the ‘Canes back from a 10-point deficit. His 11 receptions for 122 yards was a Fiesta Bowl record. Maybe it’s time for UM to change its name to Tight End U instead of Quarterback U. Winslow’s return next year should be key to the Hurricanes success.

McGahee Makes Correct Decision
Willis McGahee’s choice to leave early for the NFL draft was the correct one. By staying at UM, the Heisman finalist and UM’s single season record holder for touchdowns and yards gained, had much more to lose than he had to gain. The injury sustained to his knee was a devastating blow — one that may never enable him to be the same player he was before the injury. But whatever team lands him in middle rounds of the draft may very well get a great back in two years.

Other Observations
Is there anything to eat and drink in Tempe other than Tostitos and Pepsi?
Fireworks are dangerous — especially when the cherry lands on your laptop.
Standing on the Buckeyes sideline when they “lost” was a frightening experience.
Standing on the Buckeyes sideline when they “won” was a frightening experience.
Dorsey is a true champion.
Confetti is hard to clean up.
Coker is still one of the finest coaches in the country.
ESPN and ABC studios at the game were really neat.
The Buckeyes have one hell of a defense.
O-H-I-O is really easy to spell.
UM is still the best team in the country.

Jordan Rodack can be reached at j.rodack@umiami.edu.

January 17, 2003

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.