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Friday, November 28, 2014

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.



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