think it's fitting that my first article be about
something that lives only in the heart of the 'Canes.
Some call it cockiness, some call it attitude (including
the Decade of Dominance magazine), I chose to call
in the walk from the huddle to the line, it's in
the walk out of the tunnel, it's in their interviews,
and in their fans. 'Canes players and their fans
live and breath the "Swagger." No other team has
it; no matter how hard they try and copy it. Not
the Gator's, not the 'Noles, not the Huskers, nobody.
Some big name teams have even felt the wrath of
the swagger. Those included are the Sooner's (33-3
from 85-87, all 3 losses to Miami), the Huskers
(NC losses in 91, and 83), and even Notre Dame was
dominated by the 'Canes in its day (58-0 loss).
"Swagger" is something you can find in the 'Canes
of today and yesteryear. A perfect example of a
'Canes team with it, was the team that showed up
to the 1991 Cotton Bowl Classic in Texas versus
Texas. The 'Canes had lost early to BYU by showing
"class" and playing "nice." I guess Miami decided
against that when they showed up to the Cotton Bowl.
Miami watched Texas leave the tunnel and stared
them down like they were Gladiators preparing for
battle. I guess if the Hurricanes were gladiators,
then Robert Smith was Russell Crowe because he walked
into that stadium and laid a hit on Chris Samuel's
so hard that Samuel's couldn't get up. He was out
for the count, and so was Texas in a stunning moment
of foreshadowing. Miami routed Texas 46-3 that afternoon.
Randal "The Thrill" Hill caught a pass, and took
it all the way into the end zone. He then ran into
the tunnel, and came out blazing imaginary six guns.
Defensive tackle Russell Maryland sacked and tortured
the Texas QB all game, and the 'Canes rolled along
to a number three ranking.
isn't only seen in the old days of the titles and
rings. Nate Webster, a linebacker that played for
Miami in some of its most trying of seasons, had
the swagger. Nate would thrash and trash players.
I remember the '97 West Virginia game; Nate was
on the sideline with a cast on his arm. Nonetheless,
as the WV tailback ran at him on the sidelines,
at full speed mind you, Nate stuck up his arm and
laid him out.
swagger wasn't always seen during the games.
Penn State Steak Fry was a perfect example of this.
Jerome Brown, Vinny Testaverde, and Alonzo Highsmith
lead the team off the plane in camouflage army fatigues.
Ray-Ban's and camo shirts weren't the end of it.
During the cook out, Penn State's Punter began ridiculing
then coach Jimmy Johnson's hair. Jerome took the
microphone and said, "Did the Japanese sit down
and eat with Pearl Harbor before they bombed them?
let's go." I guess someone should've told Jerome
who won the war. This time, much to my, and every
other 'Cane fans disgust, we lost. Maybe too much
swagger! I think so, but the 'Canes did come back
and win the title the next year, and in '89 and
in '91. This event may have marked an overflow of
confidence, but still, the 'Canes are the 'Canes.
Like Maurice Crum once said, "It's Hurricane football,
you either love us, or hate us."
"Swagger" isn't just something that comes and goes,
it is passed down from one generation (senior class)
of 'Canes to the next. Old 'Canes call new 'Canes
and keep them in line. This has been seen with the
relationship growing between Bernie Kosar and Ken
Dorsey. It was evident in the relationship between
Cortez Kennedy (who still calls Miami "WE") and
Jessie Armstead. Armstead had a bad game against
Arizona and was told not to call again until he
had a good game. Jessie did that against 'Cuse in
1992. He was a main reason that Quarterback Marvin
Graves lost his lunch (Gatorade) on the field.
chose to write about something like the Hurricane
"Swagger" for my first article because I thought
there was no better way to sum up what the 'Canes
really are than to investigate this issue. I guess
it's a 'Cane thing, you wouldn't understand.