UM defensive end Russell Maryland sacks the Texas Longhorns QB in the 1991 Cotton Bowl
UM defensive end Russell Maryland sacks the Texas Longhorns QB in the 1991 Cotton Bowl
John F. Rhodes, Dallas Morning News

It's A Canes Thing, U Wouldn't Understand

It's just before the start of the Cotton Bowl Classic at the Fair Park Stadium in Dallas on the morning of January 1, 1991. There is not an empty seat in the place.

And just about everybody is there to root against the University of Miami Hurricanes, who are taking on the hometown favorite University of Texas Longhorns.

And just before kick-off, the Miami players fall into intimidating line at midfield. Their intention is clearly - and weirdly - to block their opponents from crossing the field for pregame warmups.

They even mock the Longhorns, who seem perplexed and intimidated by the orange-and-green aggressors. A chorus of boos cascades on the Canes, who exult in the hate raining down on them.

Four quarters later, the Canes stroll out of Fair Park with a 46-3 victory and 202 penalty yards - a college record. That's Miami football. It is also a pivotal event in The U, filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman's documentary about the Hurricanes football team and their place in Miami's culture and history.

"The Hurricanes are not just a great sports story of the last 30 years," Corben says. "They are a great, sensational story of the last 30 years."

Made without the cooperation of the Coral Gables-based university where the two childhood chums earned their filmmaking degrees, Corben and Spellman do a masterful job capturing the Canes legacy as college football's most reviled football program.

In next week's edition of Miami New Times, read about how the documentary came together and how former players involved in the film feel about their place in the city's tumultuous history.

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