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Thursday, February 25, 2010

30/30 Review

On a slow day when sports radio is concerned about Milbury's EuroTrash comment and JD Drew talk we will turn it over to Bolando who brings us a review of the 30-30 episode of the U.

The U - ESPN (30 for 30) Review

The whole 30 fo 30 series on ESPN was something to watch. It was excellent television, and while I didn't see all of them, I saw enough of them to appreciate the way they were laid out. So while not all the topics interested me, I took the time to watch the one on "The U" -- the story about the rise to prominence of the University of Miami football program. Anyone who follows the BBB likely knows enough about the U that I don't need to retell it. Growing up, I hated the U. The brash, cocky style -- I sided with the Catholics, (even though I grew to despise those pompous jerks in time).

Love em or hate em, it didn't matter. You had to respect em. But respecting the U really isn't enough. Miami was never a powerhouse. This wasn't USC, Oklahoma, Ohio State, or Michigan where the history runs deep and is rooted through generations of America. Yet over this last generation, the University of Miami has reached the pinnacle of college football. And while they've labored some recently, they belong in the same discussions as any great tradition. It just doesn't have the longevity these other schools do. Although in time, it will. And then again, when's the last time some of these big-time programs did anything worthwhile?

Here's what stood out in the 30 for 30 piece on the U.

A) You forget just how dominating they've been since the early 80's. According to my calculations, they are the only school with a National Championship crown in each of the past 3 decades. Not to mention the presence of U alums (graduates is too broad a net to cast on this list) in the NFL. It's been a tough stretch lately for the U. But with Bobby Bowden stepping down and Urban Meyer's health a question in Florida, it begs to wonder where the next crop of Florida recruits will sign.

B) Places like Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State etc have a tradition so rooted, that no matter how bad the programs are, they are still elite coaching jobs on the National scene. Alabama hadn't done jack and hadn't been in the National Championship game since 1992, and yet, Nick Saban leaves the Miami Dolphins for a chance to coach there. By comparison, The U was built from nothing. It didn't have stories of Bear Bryant or Knute Rockne. It didn't have the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry or the Texas/Oklahoma following. It had nothing to become THE place to be in college football. Quite frankly, that's awesome.

C) As an adolescent in the 80's, and young adult in the 90's, I've been able to watch The U develop and I've seen it emerge from the start. So even though I mainly rooted against them, there's this personal appreciation of having seen something from the start.

One last little tidbit... separate of the 30 for 30 -- but upon doing my research on the University of Miami, it was very interesting to notice that their website announced Mike Cassano (Jr.) as the team's Running Backs coach this past Friday, February 12, 2010.

Anyone who went to Central Catholic from 1985-1995 knows the name Cassano. It sparks individual stories from gym class, to weight rooms, to football camps, to a combover of the ages, to stories too absurd to even believe.

Bolando is a contributor to the Bingo Bar Blog and long time journalist. He's made his bones covering the MVFFL as a beat writer and now enjoys a freelance career.

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