Commentary: Stop the chomp

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When the University of Miami plays the University of Florida, it’s a big deal.

Some say the rivalry between Florida State and Miami is bigger because these two are ACC foes, but most Canes fans can agree that silencing the Gator chomp takes the cake.

The match-up was intense on the soccer field last fall as it attracted a record numbers of fans to Cobb’s Stadium, 2,777, to come watch the two colleges take each other on in women’s soccer. UM lost this match 1-0.

Recently, Miami has not done much better against UF in other sports. In the fall of 2008, a young Hurricane football team lost to UF at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium 26-3 after putting up a very respectable fight. The score was not indicative of how close the game was.

Last year, Miami’s men’s basketball team lost to UF 74-60 in the second round of the NIT tournament. The Florida lead from the beginning.

UF’s mystique even affected the volleyball team. Although UM played hometown rival FIU, they lost a thrilling five-set match in Gainesville, home of the Gators.

Baseball did have some success in last year’s regular season. They swept UF in a three-game series at Alfred A. McKethan Stadium by a combined score of 26-8. But UF had the last laugh, embarrassing UM in the 2009 Gainseville Regional as the No. 1 seed UF defeated No. 2 UM twice to eliminate the orange and green.

This weekend offers a chance for the Canes to redeem their reputation as a team superior to the Gators. UM baseball will face UF in a three-game series starting Friday night at 7 p.m. at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

Both teams are ranked in the top 25 so the atmosphere should have an extra jolt of intensity.

Other chances to rebuild our record against UF are up in the air. It is unclear whether UM will have a post-season in basketball that might allow a possible match up against UF. The time is now for the Hurricanes, since Miami will not play Florida in football again until 2013.

So, UM fans, go to the game and see this rivalry in action. Watch a talented Miami team try to rebuild their reputation by beating UF. It’s time to put a stop to the Gator chomp.

Ed S. Fishman may be contacted at edfishman@themiamihurricane.com.

Justin Antweil contributed to this report.

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