The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Getting TECHnical

There's a big football game scheduled this weekend for Georgia Tech and Miami. This game was originally scheduled to take place a month ago, but was delayed because of the looming threat of Hurricane Wilma (which eventually hit South Florida and did plenty of damage, but not until well after the game was originally scheduled to be played).

Aside from avoiding the potential safety issues, the delay was originally viewed by both teams as a largely positive thing. Both teams were dealing with some significant injuries at the time, most notably to their starting quarterbacks. Coaches at both schools felt that the change in schedule would allow both quarterbacks time to recover, which would allow both teams to be closer to full strength when they met.

That may end up happening, but plenty of intrigue, despite Georgia Tech's tumble out of the rankings and Miami's steady ascent, has been added to the game.

Earlier this week a profanity laced and sexually explicit song, featuring at least one current Miami football player, found its way to the Internet. The song was originally posted by a blogger/UM undergrad, but he has since heavily edited all of his posts related to the matter, so I'm not even going to bother linking to him (while I'm not disappointed in the young man for having posted the content, I am disappointed in him for having run from the issue now that it has received significant attention. Anyone who posted that information in the first place should have known that it could have turned into a significant story, particularly when a major media outlet contacted you about the story you wrote).

That's where the "story" part of the song "scandal" comes in. ESPN ran with it late on Wednesday and throughout the day on Thursday. The story is here. The editorial is here. The furor seems to have died down already, although Dan LeBatard is doing his best to make sure that you remember his name and don't just associate him with being just a little too close to Ricky Williams.

You can get all worked up about it if you want. The lyrics in the song are pretty shocking, even to someone who listens to a variety of mainstream rap and hip-hop. But don't kid yourself or make this into something that it isn't. And don't try to pretend that this stuff isn't going on elsewhere, whether their is music behind it or not. Most of the time, fortunately for most of us who like to believe in the myths and fairy tales that make sports an entertaining refuge from "real" life, this type of behavior doesn't make it to the surface. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. And it doesn't mean it only happens at Miami. It doesn't mean that what's expressed in the song happens everywhere, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think this happens and if you don't think this happens pretty regularly at a lot of places. I'm done trying to say what I think about it. It's much ado about nothing. And besides that, the Mighty MJD sums it up better than I do.

The real issues are at Georgia Tech, although you'd hardly know it from reading or watching the news. Not only was Georgia Tech put on probation this week (for violations in football and other sports), but one of their players (defensive back Reuben Houston) was reinstated by a judge, making him eligible to play this weekend, despite a recent drug trafficking conviction.

Despite that Houston was convicted for possessing $60,000 worth of marijuana, which he apparently intended to distrbute, he'll play some college football this weekend. Some football players, from the other sideline, who may have rapped about various sex acts (it's not clear exactly who was on the recording, although a number of the participants are likely current Canes). If any/all of that bothers you, feel free to use it when you choose a rooting interest in this game.

For me, I think the more noteworthy news is that Miami playmaker Devin Hester will not play (due to a hamstring issue), nor will special teams standout and backup linebacker Willie Williams (also struggling with a hamstring issue).

The Canes will also be wearing Nike "revolution" jerseys (green jerseys with one orange sleeve - like Virginia Tech and Florida have worn in recent weeks) this weekend with green pants. For the fashion set, that might be the most noteworthy thing of all about this game.


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