This past weekend's disappointing loss to Pittsburgh notwithstanding, 2017 has been one helluva storybook joyride for Miami Hurricanes fans. They've experienced a worst-to-first swing of emotions this year. Thanks to the new world order installed by head football coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz's ingenious turnover chain, the Canes are back on top of the college football world and the talk of sports fans everywhere.
Everyone wants to be a UM fan right now, but the truth is it's always been great. Through the good, the bad, the ups, and the downs, being a Canes fan has always had its perks.
Here are the greatest things about rooting for a little private school in Coral Gables.
1. The Miami Hurricanes are more than a football team; they're a brand. There are only a few college football programs that can carry an entire apparel company like the Hurricanes carry Adidas. There's a reason Adidas broke the bank to lure UM away from Nike for the next 12 seasons: The Canes are a brand unto themselves. Their colors sell. Their name sells. They damn near
You can walk into a Ross store in Nebraska and probably find Miami Hurricanes shirts on the rack. You can't say the same thing about Florida State or, for that matter, Nike's own flagship team, the Oregon Ducks. Miami is a brand not only because of its history but also because of its recent history.
2. Being a Miami Hurricanes fan always feels like "us versus the world." Fans love to complain about how the media is unfair to their team, but in reality, isn't it so much more fun to succeed when everyone wants to see you fail? Since the mid-'80s, the narrative around the Canes football program has been that Miami is an outsider in the college football world that doesn't deserve everything it gets. Why? Because the Canes dared to have fun long before having fun was cool.
Now the NFL is encouraging touchdown celebrations, but back in the day, when Hurricanes players did a hip thrust, it was like Elvis in the '50s all over again. People got righteously offended and called Canes players "convicts," even when their own schools' players had more issues with, you know, the law.
3. At Miami, tradition isn't just a black-and-white video tribute. People will tell you the University of Michigan Wolverines have a storied tradition, and they do. The only problem is that outside of their title in 1997, all of their championships came around the time America was fighting in world wars. There are many other examples of schools with recognizable uniforms, so-called storied traditions, and fans who brag about their teams' glory days when they won a title with Babe Ruth in the stands.
Not the Hurricanes. Their history is set on
4. Being a Hurricanes fan is actually just as much fun on Sundays as on Saturdays. For Canes fans, there is so much to be thankful for this time of year: Their team is one win away from the college football playoffs, FSU and UF are in shambles, and the future is even brighter than the present. But the Canes' past is also worth tuning in for.
Former UM stars are still lighting up TV sets and football stadiums every weekend, because 44 former Canes are on NFL rosters. #ProCanes scoring each week is coach Mark Rich's greatest recruiting tool, and the tradition is likely to continue into the next decade. For Miami fans, watching ex-Canes succeed is a point of pride.
It's easy to take it for granted, but only a handful of schools have produced anywhere close to the number of NFL stars Miami has created.
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5. Diehard #CanesFam members are unlike any other fan base in the nation. If you're a true Hurricanes fan, you know what being a part of #CanesFam means. This isn't Notre Dame, and there aren't a ton of grandmas throwing up the "U" because they went there in 1924. This is a program you've grown up with.
Whether you're 40 years old and witnessed the birth of a dynasty in the '80s or you're a 20-year-old who has turned on the TV each and every Sunday to see Miami grads dominating the NFL, being a part of the Canes family is like being in an elite club. We're all the way down here in South Florida where all the talent is born. Everyone tries to duplicate it, but few are able to replicate it.
It's a Canes thing, and the rest of America just won't understand. UM fans actually prefer it that way.