A Strained Brotherhood

As a Miami Hurricane, there are few things that one must hold sacred. We are, all in all, a pretty apathetic student body. However, nothing unites us like our hatred of all things garnet and gold.

I refer, of course, to the colors of Florida State University, the villains from Tallahassee. They are the one team that is truly an archrival for our team, the foil every elaborately laid scheme we can draw up. It seems as though the success of our program has always been measured by how well we play against the Seminoles.

But why is it that we hate them so much more than everyone else?

There are, after all, plenty of programs who on the surface are just as detestable. Florida, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Nebraska have all given Canes fans ample reason to hate their programs.

However, even with all of these options, recent and current UM students hate the Noles the most. And when it gets down to it, it is because we have so much in common.

While Miami dominated the college football landscape for the 1980s and 1990s, the only team that was ever able to consistently harass them was FSU. While UM can claim five national titles in 20 years, FSU can claim top five finishes in the AP Poll in every season from 1987 to 2000; this might be just as impressive.

The fact that they were the only other team to really give us a run for our money for all those years is why this has become the most intense rivalry in the state, more so then even FSU-UF.

For so many reasons, the two programs seem so different. Our head coaching job has been a revolving door of young, aggressive up and comers (Larry Coker aside). Bobby Bowden, on the other hand, has been a mainstay at the helm for FSU for 32 years.

Miami has been labeled the Bad Boys of college football, while Florida State is the Good Ol’ Boys.

The Hurricanes are relatively new to success, while Florida State has been around for decades. However, in the differences lie many similarities. Both programs are ultra-successful, and both have been known the stretch the rule book a bit at times. While Miami has been labeled as renegades and sanctioned by the NCAA accordingly, FSU has been just as guilty of taking chances on kids of questionable character.

Miami has been called an NFL factory, but only FSU comes close to producing as many top-notch pro players.

We are very different programs, but in the end, we are essentially brothers.

And that is the reason for the hatred. As Miami fans, we are programmed to expect dominance. Naturally, those that threaten our dominance become public enemy number one. No team has threatened us like those dastardly Noles.

This is the reason why we hate FSU. They are the biggest threat, and deep down we know it. We are both rebuilding right now, but that doesn’t matter in this rivalry. When these two teams take the field, it is still great football.

And this is the reason why, no matter how much we quarrel, we cannot wait to be reunited with our brothers once each year.

Dan Stein may be contacted at d.stein4@umiami.edu.