Opinion, Staff Editorial

FSU victory represents best of Canes sports

The streak is broken. It’s written on our cover, it’s shared all over Canes fans’ social media and it’s etched in our minds. The 2017 rivalry game was more than just another victory for Canes football.

That last minute of gameplay will be replayed for years to come every time the rivalry matchup rolls around. And we were here. We were undergraduate students at the University of Miami, celebrating at Doak Stadium, at the Rathskeller, in the dorms when we broke the streak with style.

This game exemplified what sports are supposed to do: cultivate a sense of community and provide a release and relief from everyday chaos.

We have a history of success in the most popular sports – football, basketball and baseball. To be here and be a part of a Canes win makes us feel what our community felt in the championship years of 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991 and 2001.

No matter how much – or how little – you care about sports, you know when a big game is going down. You can sense it. Other students are talking about it – discussing who is going to win, planning what they are going to wear, scheduling what they are going to do before and after. It’s a community event.

This community is strengthened by an unyielding sense of place. We’re not just the Hurricanes, we’re the Miami Hurricanes. Our teams couldn’t exist in all their glory anywhere else.

The teams and players are unafraid to show who they are, the city they play for and what they represent.

UM basketball players often wear sleeveless hoodies in warmups before the game. Athletes love hoodies, but in South Florida, it’s just too hot to wear them. So what did the Hurricanes do? They simply chopped off the sleeves.

Whenever a UM baseball pitcher strikes out an opposing batter, the media and local fans often call it a “croqueta.” If that’s not the essence of Miami, I don’t know what is.

The Turnover Chain represents two things for which Miami is known – swagger and tongue-in-cheek wit.

We remind the country each and every game that we don’t mess around here in the 305. We play to win. We’re elite.

Students feel connected to the teams here because they represent our city: bright, dynamic and ever-changing.

There has been, on occasion, a darker side to Miami sports. The 2011 scandal in which Nev Shapiro, a booster, spent millions of dollars on Miami athletes against NCAA regulations and the current FBI investigation into possible bribery and corruption can cast a shadow over us when we win.

The gravity of these scandals should not be downplayed or ignored, yet they shouldn’t altogether prevent us from appreciating our teams. UM cooperated in these investigations, even self-imposing additional sanctions in the Shapiro case.

As long as we’re acting with integrity – institutionally and as fans or boosters – a win like this deserves to be celebrated, even with a little bit of obnoxious U swagger.

Hurricane sports provide an escape from our everyday lives, and this game perfectly represented that; it was a great remedy for a chaotic semester laden with hurricane-related disruptions, university scandals and grim national news. Sports are about morale and resilience, and the Oct. 7 win gave that to a community and a region in need of both after recent catastrophes.

During those four quarters, the only thing that mattered was moving that ball toward the end zone, and blocking the Seminoles from doing the same. For a little while, while crushing a beer and crunching nachos, we forgot everything that was stressing us out in the first place. The stadium – and the mini stadiums in homes and bars and restaurants – became an ocean of cheers, with all energy focused on rooting for the Canes.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

October 9, 2017

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