Don’t Talk to Al Golden About ‘Swagger’

Despite the fact that they have done virtually nothing since joining the ACC in 2004, the Miami Hurricanes still carry a celebrity presence.  Playing football at The U is something to be proud of.  If you can say you go to The U, people immediately think you’re the man (or a criminal).  The recent struggles of the Hurricanes have done little to quiet the mouths of current players and alumni.  If you wanted to describe players at The U in one word, you might say they have “swagger.”  Just don’t say it in front of new head coach Al Golden.

Golden, who you may remember from his days of destroying the Penn State weight room, wants nothing to do with that word.  He realizes the Hurricanes have done nothing noteworthy in recent years and sounds like he wants to change the Hollywood environment that surrounds the team.

“I’m so tired of talking about ‘swagger,'” Golden said according to CBSSports.com. “Swagger, as it was said to me by Alonzo Highsmith and so many of the other former players, was the by-product. It wasn’t the product, it was the by-product.

“Just like throwing up ‘the U’ is the by-product, someone’s making money off that. They sell t-shirts on that. For us, the swagger was developed from demonstrated performance, having a chip on your shoulder, and from work ethic. From being the hardest working team and being a tough team, playing with passion. All of the sudden you have people saying Miami plays with swagger.

“It only takes a couple years where you have kids that think you put on the uniform and automatically get swagger because you wear ‘the U.’ But they don’t want to do the other things that made the U special. We have to get back to that, we have to get back to doing all those little things.”

If you believe in saying the right thing in your first year on the job, you have to love this rant from Golden.  Whether he will follow through with what he said or not, Golden is spot-on with his thoughts on the concept of “The U” and Miami kids feeling entitled before they even do anything.  Playing for Miami doesn’t make you a great football player — being a great football player makes you a great football player.  When someone can restore that belief back into the players at The U, they can start getting back to the dominance they became known for many years ago.

Around The Web

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Forget swagger, get us a quarterback

  • http://twitter.com/allCanesBlog allCanesBlog.com

    Steve, here’s hoping you join the rest of us in 2011 sometime soon. Miami Hurricanes and ‘criminals’ hasn’t been synonymous in decades, but cliche articles like this keep the stigma alive. Almost three dozen arrests on Urban Meyer’s watch during his time at Florida (and already some under new coach Will Muschamp), yet the Gators continuously got a pass while UM is still paying for its brash ways in the 80s and early 90s. 

    Butch Davis, dirty as he proved to be in Chapel Hill, cleaned up Miami in the mid-90s after Dennis Erickson landed the Canes on probation. Larry Coker was squeaky clean (albeit an awful coach) and Randy Shannon, a disciplinarian. You literally have to go back almost two decades to see a program that was running amok – yet the cheap shots continue. 

    How about we turn our barbs towards Columbus, Los Angeles, Gainesville, Chapel Hill, Baton Rouge and other places where the NCAA is truly cracking down on programs out of control. 

    Al Golden is just what UM needed – and is the last thing Hurricane-haters nationwide wanted to see. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad you saw the words “Miami Hurricanes” and “criminal” in a blog post and decided to react, but you’re acting like I wrote an entire post on Miami being filled with criminals. The criminal comment was just shedding light on their reputation, that doesn’t mean I believe that.  People assume players at Miami are thugs. I didn’t say whether that’s right or wrong, but that’s one of the many reputations that follows them, regardless of how sensitive you may be about it.

    As for the actual point of my article, I was basically complimenting Golden for his comments, which should have pissed you off if the post pisses you off.  The whole “The U” thing is nothing but a big show and a representation of big egos.  That’s exactly what Golden is trying to change and basically came out and said is a problem with the team now.  Take it up with the coach that is “just what UM needed.”

  • Anonymous

    Which programs were it that the NCAA is “truly cracking down on” that are “out of control?”  Wait, did you say we “literally have to go back two decades” to find dirtiness within the Canes program? Here’s hoping you join the rest of us in 2011 sometime soon.