Patel: Let the healing begin

Pravin Patel

Pravin Patel

It’s been painful to be a Hurricanes football fan over the past three years. As seniors will be able to tell you, it all seems like a bad dream – going 12-13 over the last two seasons, watching the Gators win a national championship and dropping two of three to the Seminoles.

But that was yesterday. Today is a new day. This is a new season.

Watching this season’s team christen their new home with a 52-7 drubbing of Charleston Southern brings back memories of what things used to look like and what things could begin to look like.

Understood, it was a Division I-AA team. But not in three years has a Hurricane offense looked so potent, and not since the days of Devin Hester has the special teams unit left fans salivating for more.

What does all this mean?

Well, it’s a little difficult to tell. This team is young, and no one knows what they are really, truly made of. On top of everything, no one has any idea as to what quarterback Robert Marve will bring to the table for this team.

Unfortunately, Miami and the rest of the college football world will have to find out at The Swamp against the University of Florida, where Marve will make his first collegiate start.

This is a tough gig for anyone, let alone someone making his first career start. As a whole, this will be a tough go for the entire team.

But don’t tell anyone on the Gables campus that. After the Charleston Southern game, Miami students have one thought on their mind: redemption.

Granted, the Gators have not beaten the Hurricanes since 1986 – they’ve lost in the last six meetings – so the use of the word redemption may seem misused. But is it really?

For seniors who have been at The U for the past three years, you have seen the Gators win a national championship, the Canes go 1-2 against the Seminoles and Miami being overtaken in the polls by the University of South Florida and Florida Atlantic University.

Taking all of this into account, a Hurricane-sized win – actually just any kind of win – against the Gators would do wonders in wiping away three years of pain and tears. A win against the Gators would make these recent woes a distant memory. It would make things all right in Hurricane Country.

By no means is this writer saying that the Hurricanes are going to beat the Gators, but I am not saying that the Canes have no shot, either. This is football, and on any given Saturday, anything can happen.

This Hurricanes team definitely has the talent, but there is a major question mark hanging over their experience and development.

This aside, the point is: A Hurricane win would put an emphatic close on three tough seasons of Hurricanes football. It would give the Canes and Canes fans bragging rights, of which they have been devoid for three years. It would allow this year’s senior class an opportunity to rejoice and hold their heads high.

A loss, though, and everyone can throw the victory over Charleston Southern out the window, in the way Uncle Phil used to toss Jazz out of his Bel Air mansion. This, though, isn’t fair, as this team is young and they will need some time to get Miami’s football program back on top. But unfortunately this is the reality of it.

If the Canes do fall, the UF faithful will not let the Canes and Canes fans live down the loss. It would serve as another painful Hurricanes football memory for this year’s senior class.

All this may seem crazy. This is a lot to put on just one game. But before passing judgment, do one thing.

Make a trip down Stanford Drive onto the Gables campus, find a senior and ask them one question: Does this game really mean that much?

September 4, 2008


Pravin Patel

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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.