Play on, player?

I would like to start by saying I am more than just a junior at the University of Miami. I am a Miami native who has been going to Hurricanes games since I was 5 and have traveled to watch the Canes play in Tallahassee, Gainesville, Syracuse, Atlanta, New Orleans, Pasadena and Tempe. I have stood and screamed my voice hoarse to the point I couldn’t speak for days.

Based on this, I think it is obvious that I will dearly miss the OB. That horseshoe is home to many of my fondest memories and greatest sorrows. So when I, joined by 62,000 others, went to watch the Canes’ last game in the Orange Bowl, I was hoping to see a celebratory victory, or a hard fought loss to Virginia. Instead, I witnessed the worst shutout loss in University of Miami history and the first shutout at the Orange Bowl since more than 10 years before I was born.

I had hoped that my depression due to last Saturday’s events would be shared by players. I mean, they were the ones embarrassed, the ones humiliated. Instead, as I walked to and from class and the UC, I found smiling, laughing, cheerful faces; faces devoid of any sorrow for the events of Saturday past. While my family – who has had season tickets for 60 years – was crushed by the team’s lackluster effort, players smiled. While 62,000 screaming fans (including hundreds of former players) became silent, current players laughed.

While I cannot speak for all players, for I have not seen all hundred or so of them, I feel I can ask this question: Do the players care?

For the past two years I have convinced my friends and roommates that the players cared. I defended them for smiling after a hard-fought struggle that the team just came up short in; but being happy after the most humiliating loss in school history, on national television, in front of 62,000 fans in the Orange Bowl’s last game, is another.

I have witnessed six home losses in my three years as a student, compared to the six home losses I witnessed from sixth grade to the end of high school. After nearly every loss, home or away, since I have arrived at this school, the players have smiled. It makes me wonder if playing for the Hurricanes is just a chance at a free education or a springboard to the NFL? Do our players fight with the understanding of the phrase, “It’s a Canes thing.” So I ask again: Do the players care?

– Andrew Camner
Junior and lifetime Hurricanes fan