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History of the Hurricanes: The Swagger.
Swagger!

I 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 it "Swagger."

It's 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).

The "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.

Jones

Swagger 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.

But swagger wasn't always seen during the games.

The 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."

QB Sack

The "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.

I 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.

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