I regularly count January 3, 2003 as one of the absolute worst days of my life. For those of you who weren't wearing orange and green in Tempe, Az that day, let me remind you of the worst call in football history. For those of us who were in the Sun Devil Stadium as Hurricane fans, we experienced one of the greatest highs followed by one of the deepest lows that any sports fan could ever endure. What isn't as clear from the TV highlights is that after Miami won the National Championship in OT they actually shot off fireworks and the Canes fans who were seated clear on other side of the stadium had a full minute long celebration before realizing that we'd been robbed. About 10 minutes later we had to watch Maurice Clarett and the rest of Buckeye nation celebrate our win.
With that all in mind, you can imagine my mixed emotions this evening as we watch the end of a Big-10 dynasty as Ohio St coach Jim Tressel steps down amidst a swirl of controversy.
One part of me is thrilled to see the once revered coach and program brought down and exposed as the cheaters we all knew they were. The other part of me, as a Miami Hurricane fan who knows all too well what its like to go from dynasty to NCAA sanctions, actually feels bad for some of those Ohio State fans who are staring down quite a few seasons in the dumps. And, then there is another part of me that is disappointed that "The Senator" will be leaving before Miami got the chance to enact revenge for that devastating loss eight years ago.
Ohio State and Miami have played only once since then, when the teams met in an early season clash in Columbus last year. I was in the stadium again for that game, where Canes QB Jacory Harris literally threw the game away with 4 INT's. However the two teams are scheduled to wrap up their home-and-home series this September with a game in Miami that fans of The U have been waiting for since that fateful night in the desert. Alas, the game will still be played and Miami victory will still be sweet - but not quite as tasty as it would have been if Tressel was pacing the losing sidelines.