|10-19-2006, 11:48 PM||#221|
Yo Fowler tells it how it is man. mad respect for dis n*gga
Updated: Oct. 19, 2006, 6:01 PM ET
FIU-UM brawl sparks 'feeding frenzy'
By Chris Fowler
Special to ESPN.com
You want to get the Miami stuff out of the way first?
I know the topic has been slaughtered in the 24/7 sports media "feeding frenzy." That's the phrase Miami president Donna Shalala used, and it is one of the things she's said this week that I happen to agree with. I've got just a few thoughts, then I'll move on.
Miami and Florida International
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
The FIU-Miami brawl resulted in suspensions for 31 players.
I guess that I shouldn't be stunned by the legs this story has grown, given the ingredients: violent video replayed over and over (although apparently not often enough for Shalala to screen it as of Wednesday -- Donna, it's been on YouTube.com a dozen times … not hard to find); a program that polarizes fans with it's checkered past (emphasis on past); and the slow and somewhat feeble response by the "U" to the uglier incidents in the brawl. Throw in some immature, poorly thought-out comments by my pal Lamar Thomas on the small-time cable telecast of the game, and you've got the makings of national moral outrage that just won't quit. At least until the next hot-button, time-filling issue comes along. (T.O., what have you got for us, my friend?)
By the way, it's a shame that more in the national media hasn't shown this level of instant outrage about slightly bigger issues -- like Katrina victims being left to suffer or war casualties, for example.
A guy swinging a football helmet at another guy wearing one is crazy behavior. One game is not a long enough suspension for Anthony Redd*ck. Miami finally realized that. But banished from football for life? No way. I like and respect many of the people who have expressed outrage, like our columnist, Gene Wojciechowski. But Wojo, kick Redd*ck and Brandon Meriweather off the team forever and forfeit the win over Florida International? A little strong for me.
And Florida International is being given a relatively free pass by most of the national media because, well, it's Florida International. Most out there didn't know there was a school named FIU. It is one of six winless teams in Division I-A. Miami makes a juicier target, even though an FIU guy ignited the whole thing.
This is a f!ght on a football field. Sure, it was ugly and embarrassing, but it wasn't the first and hardly will be the last. And for fans of any other team out there, don't think this is a "Miami problem." It could happen to any team. Really. Mix in a frustrating season, a trash-talking opponent and a blatant body slam of a puny holder to start things rolling, and the potential for this kind of ugliness exists at just about every game involving every program.
Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Florida, any of them. It's a fine line between the barely controlled violence in a game and the sudden outbreak of mob violence on the field. It just takes a spark.
Throw in the fact that the climate in Miami has included much speculation that Larry Coker is a lame duck -- and that all on the team are aware of that and have their own opinions -- and you have the extra ingredient that just might contribute to the loss of rational thought when the brawl ignites.
This is longer than I meant to go on. So I'll wrap it up with a couple of humble suggestions.
• Leaving the bench to get involved in a f!ght should carry an automatic suspension with it. Every guy who leaves the bench gets suspended, even if that's 50 players. Suspensions could be served in a rolling fashion, to preserve the schedule. But every guy would have to pay, minimum one game, with punishments escalating for criminal stuff like stomping and helmet swinging. No one has explained to me why this wouldn't work. Examine the tape of the brawl, book any number who comes off the sideline to f!ght. Officials have a chance to manage a brawl involving 22 men. Not 122. Hockey outlawed bench-clearing brawls successfully. If hot-tempered guys from the backwoods of Ontario can learn to fear and respect the rules, it can work in college football.
• Miami and FIU should cancel next season's scheduled meeting. Bag it. They don't need to play anyway. The rematch would just recycle the footage and lead to the one-year anniversary media frenzy. South Florida does not need this matchup.
There, that's more than enough. Back to football.
|10 years ago||'05 #222|
$4,190 | 8
Butch Davis was interested in the job at UNC. if we got rid of Coker do anybody think we got a better chance of him coming to Miami than going to UNC?
i just been wondering this...
|10-26-2006, 03:41 PM||#225|
October 25, 2006
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
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Brandon Meriweather Q&A
Q: How does it feel to be back off suspension?
Meriweather: It feels great to be back. Watching my team play without me was the worst I felt in a long time.
Q: You couldn't even watch, could you? It was only on ESPN 360.
Meriweather: No, I had to listen on the radio.
Q: What were you thinking at the end as Duke was marching down the field?
Meriweather: Actually, I was texting everyone I heard wasn't in the game. I was like, `Stop playing with me.' I'm talking to myself `Let's go.'
Q: How tired do you think the secondary got with all the missing guys?
Meriweather: They were very tired, actually. I talked to Kenny (Phillips) and little Chavez (Grant) after the game. (Willie Cooper) called me after the game. I'm just happy they stepped up and got us a win.
Q: How did Kenny Phillips do at cornerback?
Meriweather: He did well. He showed his versatility. It's nice to have a player like that who can play both at the same time. He did pretty well for his first time.
Q: Talk about going up against Calvin Johnson.
Meriweather: It's going to be a fun adventure going up against the best receiver in the nation. It's going to be fun.
Q: What do you remember about Johnson from last year?
Meriweather: He's a big dude with great hands that goes and gets the ball. You can't have mistakes, no false steps with him. He's an all-around player.
Q: How often do you think you'll be lined up against Calvin Johnson?
Meriweather: A lot. I expect me and him to have a pretty good game. He's going to bring his best and I'm going to bring mine. It's going to be fun. I expect to line up against him a lot.
Q: Johnson is a lot taller than you. Might Phillips also be used against him?
Meriweather: I don't know. I'm sure that my coaches know I'm pretty much a guy who could and doesn't mind covering him. If my coaches want Kenny on him, they'll put Kenny on him.
Q: Is he too good to cover just one-on-one?
Meriweather: I don't believe there's anything too good. There's always someone good enough to cover someone one-on-one. But he could take over a game if you let him. Therefore me, if I was the defensive coordinator, I would not leave him one-on-one.
Q: Clemson didn't let him catch a pass. What did they do?
Meriweather: They got pressure on the quarterback. Reggie Ball didn't have a chance to set his feet. Hopefully that's the same thing we do – get pressure on him and make him throw the ball everywhere except in the right spot.
Q: How much did you go against Johnson last year?
Meriweather: Last year I only covered him three times and helped over the top on the deep ball on just about every play.
Q: Do you think Georgia Tech will try to bait you with the no-tolerance policy after the brawl?
Meriweather: Yeah. After a while you get used to it and push on. Every game people try to get under your skin. That's their job.
Q: Do you think moreso this game after what happened against FIU?
Meriweather: Yes. I think this game right here will be more like a test game to see if we would do anything to get kicked out of the game. I think they would.
Q: What was the toughest thing for you post-FIU?
Meriweather: Probably watching the team leave without me. That's when it really kicked in that I wasn't going to play this weekend. When they left without me I was heartbroken a little bit.
Q: What about the things that were said about you on TV?
Meriweather: You know, it is what it is. I wrote a letter of apology. People take it how they want to take it. I expressed my feelings. Right now I'm just focusing on the Tech game. It's not my job to focus on what people think about me.
Q: A lot's on the line in this game.
Meriweather: This game is more of a winner-go-home situation. It's more like a playoff now. If you lose, you're out of it. If you win, you control your own destiny. Everyone understands that.
Q: Kyle Wright said it's an us-against-the-world mentality. Is that accurate?
Meriweather: I think us-against-the-world -- it's always been like that. No matter how long we do things the correct way, we mess up one time and we're back to being a bunch of thugs and everything bad about the NCAA. So it's always been like that in a way.
Q: Do you feed off that us-against-the-world mentality?
Meriweather: I don't, but everybody else probably does. Whatever helps them play better they feed off.
Q: Talk about the play of Sam Shields.
Meriweather: When he came in this summer he had more confidence than he does now. He's trying to build his confidence back up, let everything come to him instead of trying to force things.
|11-07-2006, 10:56 PM||#228|
November 7, 2006
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
Tragedy struck the Hurricanes tonight as defensive lineman Bryan Pata was shot and k!lled in a parking lot in Kendall at 9315 SW 77 Avenue.
Bryan Pata was known for his sense of humor according to those who knew him
The shooting was reported to police at approximately 7:30 p.m., according to Miami-Dade public information officer Roy Rutland.
"When those officers arrived they found the victim, Bryan Pata, deceased," Rutland said. "We cannot release any more information -- this is a sensitive, real-time active investigation."
Pata suffered multiple gunshots, according to Rutland. At least one shot was to the head.
Asked if there is a suspect, Rutland said, "I can't comment on who we believe is involved."
The investigation into Pata's murder is ongoing, and Rutland said the investigation will continue all evening.
The University of Miami athletic department released the following statement at approximately 11 p.m. (EST).
"Tonight the University of Miami tragically lost a member of our football family, Bryan Pata," the statement read. "Bryan was a fine person and a great competitor. He will be forever missed by his coaches and teammates. We offer our thoughts and prayers to his family."
"Our players are deeply saddened and are grieving. We ask that their privacy be respected in the coming days. The University of Miami urges anybody with any information on this tragedy to contact the Miami-Dade Police Department, Homicide Bureau or Crimestoppers."
A University of Miami spokesman said a decision has not been made at this point if the team will practice Wednesday or play in the scheduled game Saturday at Maryland.
The 6-foot-4, 280-pound senior was known for his sincerity and sense of humor.
A prime example: As a Central High School senior, while keeping his plans to attend UM secret, he joked with reporters that he would be attending Alaska State.
Two hours before he was k!lled Pata helped his defensive teammates douse a.ssistant defensive line coach Clint Hurtt with Gatorade after practice -- today is Hurtt's birthday.
The heartwrenching scene that played out tonight in front of numerous TV cameras: Pata's screaming mother ran toward the crime scene screaming "Give me my baby" before collapsing on the ground.
She was wearing Pata's No. 95 jersey.
Police officers helped her up and took her to identify the body.
Pata was the only victim.
Pata's cousin, who drove over an hour to the scene, said the family had no indication of why he was shot.
Hurricane players held a lengthy full team meeting this evening.
They went into the meeting at 8 p.m. and didn't leave until 11:45. Players silently streamed out, with a few hugging each other.
Former Miami defensive line coach Greg Mark commented on Tuesday's tragedy.
"It is a very sad situation. I obviously feel for his parents, his mother, who I had gotten to known well and his sister," Mark said. "He was a young man who came in rough and tough and wanted to f!ght the system. He grew up to become a great individual."
|10 years ago||'04 #231|
$16,704 | 1179
and you know whats sad, this sh*t happens all the time, its shameful.
my cousin got k!lled like this, 2 n*ggas was arguing they got heated and started shooting and he ended up getting caught in the cross fire.
stupid people with guns= death
|10 years ago||'04 #233|
$12,680 | 465
yeah this reminds me of the marlin barnes shooting, this one hits closer to home cuz i follow this team alot closer....when it rains it pours, right now its a downpour
|11-13-2006, 01:42 AM||#235|
Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central High School WR Taurus McKinley called coach Mario Cristobal this past Monday and had a simple message.
"I told him I was ready to become a Cane," McKinley said. "He said, `Good,' asked do I really feel it in my heart. I told him `Yes.'"
McKinley says the Pata tragedy "was shocking. It happens everywhere, there's violence."
He says it won't affect his decision.
And he says it won't change if there's a coaching shakeup.
He says he's committing to the program.
"I'm sticking by it," he said. "That's where I felt good about. I was considering a lot of other schools, but I knew I wanted to go to Miami from the beginning.
"The Canes have a good tradition, stay together like family."
Teammate and fellow commitment Damien Berry was with McKinley when he committed.
Now both are working on a third teammate, receiver Deonte Thompson, to become a Cane.
The three pledged to each other as sophomores that they would all attend the same college.
"Deonte, he hasn't decided," McKinley said.
Asked should Thompson go elsewhere if that would affect him, McKinley said, "We'll have to look into it."
He does plan a few visits: South Carolina, West Virginia, LSU, Louisville and Miami.
The UM trip is set for January.
With visits on tap, why commit now?
"Because I knew all along that I wanted to go to Miami," McKinley said.
Asked how he views Miami's offensive struggles this season, McKinley said, "I feel I can come in there and change the whole thing, change it up a little bit.
McKinley's team won its opening playoff game, 56-0. He had two catches for over 30 yards in the game.
* McKinley's brother is Cane cornerback Randy Phillips.
"He knows I committed," McKinley said. "He said `That's great, just keep doing well.'"
CaneSport Magazine publishes 25 times a year, 10 glossy monthly printed issues and 15 online or Gameday Issues for a subscription price of $54.95. An online only subscription or a printed magazine only subscription is $39.95. Call 1-800-635-2263 or visit CaneSportmagazine.com
|11-13-2006, 01:44 AM||#236|
Coker: There is no QB controversy
November 12, 2006
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
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A day after Miami's 14-13 loss at Maryland, coach Larry Coker was asked what he has left emotionally with the tragic death of Bryan Pata combined with his team's current 5-5 record.
"I have a lot left," Coker said. "To say it hasn't been draining, that's totally not true. All the negatives and those things, not winning, the tragedy we've been through, certainly it's draining. But I'm inwardly put together pretty well. I've got a lot left in my tank and our players will, too. We'll bounce back. We'll recover.
"This will be a difficult week for us. We have services for Bryan [with the funeral Tuesday and an on-campus memorial Wednesday] and then get ready to travel to Virginia."
Coker summed up the Maryland game by saying, "You look at the game, the dropped passes and big plays early in the game basically doomed us. We had our chances to win, just didn't. A 96-yard touchdown pass, a 65-yard touchdown pass, other than that they had nothing. The bottom line is they didn't need any more."
A major focus entering this week will be whether quarterback Kirby Freeman will remain the team's starter.
He kept the offense moving and played well, with Coker summing up his performance by saying, "I'm very pleased with Kirby Freeman. He gave our offense a spark, did a nice job running the offense. He was very poised. Third down, our goal is 50 percent. We haven't been close to that. Last night we were. He gave us a chance to win. He did nice things running the ball off dive read things we've added. We're pleased with his play."
Will Freeman remain the starter even if Kyle Wright is ready to play coming off a small fracture in his throwing hand?
"I don't have any [quarterback] controversy," Coker said. "I don't have that. We're going to play the best players. We only have one healthy quarterback anyway, so there's nothing to have a controversy about."
Asked if Wright might be healthy enough to play next weekend, Coker said, "I'll make that decision, but there's no controversy. We'll see. We'll see as we go through the week how he performs. I don't think he could have played Saturday.
"There really isn't a controversy. Kirby is our starter because he's healthy."
Coker was asked if he needs to dangle the carrot of a bowl berth in front of his team -- the Canes needs one more win to be bowl eligible.
"I don't know that's a carrot right now," Coker said. "Our self-respect, dignity, our winning -- that's the carrot. Maybe I'm oversimplifying, maybe for them it's `We've got to do this to go to a bowl.' I don't foresee that. If we take are of what we can do, the bowl will take care of itself."
In injury news, offensive lineman A.J. Trump suffered a knee injury.
"We'll see the extent of his injury," Coker said. "A.J. was playing well. With A.J. out and Reggie Youngblood at home [with injury], we were a little thin in that area."
Coker said he's "optimistic" Youngblood will play this week.
Here's what else Coker was talking about:
Q: Ryan Hill dropped that touchdown pass.
Coker: I'm very, very disappointed for Ryan. Ryan Hill is probably one of the most exciting players we have in practice. He works as hard or harder than anybody we have in practice. I'm disappointed for him because takes his play very seriously and wants to contribute in every way possible. To have that happen is really a shame for him. He's a freshman. He's going to make a lot of plays here before he's finished because of his talent and the way he works. He was just very, very disappointed because he knew he had an opportunity to win the game for us. I don't know if he just lost a little concentration or what it was.
Q: Florida State commemorated Pata by wearing No. 95 on their helmets.
Coker: They called last week and wanted to do that out of respect for this program. The respect that Florida State and Miami have for one another is very, very sincere. Also, Bryan's brother plays for Florida State. That was a nice tie-in, something they wanted to do for the Pata family. I was fine with that.
Q: Might you make a change at punt returner? Bruce Johnson fumbled a punt at the end for the second straight game.
Coker: No, not right now. We have our best punt returner back there. Bruce made a mistake, but you look throughout the day and he did a fabulous job returning punts. He's gotten better and better. Even with Devin Hester last year and how we struggled with Devin, you have to coach them. Marques Mosely coaches our return men and does a great job with them. We made a mistake. Right now I really feel strongly that Ryan Hill and Bruce are the two best. And you're still talking about two young players.
Q: Why didn't Johnson call a fair catch on that final punt return?
Coker: Well, the one thing that happened as you look at it on tape is the flier came out, was somewhat obscured. The mistake we made is our wing man has to block the flier. We hold those guys, and now we have a chance to field the ball and you have linemen and linebackers trying to tackle you in the open field. The entire day we did a good job [of that]. We didn't on that play. They beat us. That's going to happen some, but when it does you have to make the fair catch. We'd have loved to have one more opportunity. We had a long way to go and not much time, but we had an opportunity.
Q: With the services and funeral this week, how do you go about installing everything you need to do football-wise this week?
Coker: We just have to find the time. We've played Virginia before, played them twice. We have to find a time to get it in because the game's going to be played. Our players want to prepare. We'll just work our scheduling, somehow get it done.
Q: What was the approach to the offense with Freeman in there? It seemed conservative for a lot of the game.
Coker: We were a little more conservative, because you don't know what you're going to get. You see what you see here in practice, but a hostile stadium on the road in a big game, you don't know what you're going to get sometimes. Not that I didn't think he played well. He did. We'll tweak or get things that we feel Kirby does best. The game plan I really like –- if he doesn't have the dropped passes his percentages are good, he's going to throw three touchdown passes in the course of the game. I like that. He'll continue to expand as we go into Virginia.
Q: Did he call many audibles?
Coker: Yeah. Audibles in terms of this play or that play, not just go out and `This looks good.' Yes, there were a lot of those. He didn't miss much. He's a football player. He's kind of a football junkie, so to speak.
|11-13-2006, 01:44 AM||#237|
Q: When you had that dropped pass and it became fourth and short, did you think about going for it instead of having the field goal?
Coker: There was thought on it, but not much. I felt like we were in control of the game, honestly. I felt with a field goal we have a lot of options. If we go for it, don't make it, now you have to have a touchdown, you're down four. To me we're still in great position. We were a first down away from a makeable field goal attempt [the next drive]. The thought was there [to go for it], but not real serious. Still, looking back, I think it was the right approach.
Q: There were two turnovers in the last
five minutes for the second time in a row.
Coker: This was a little bit different [than last game]. The kid makes a great interception. You're going to have those things happen to you at times. The muffed punt ... it happened to be an inopportune time late in the game.
Q: What is the focus now for the team?
Coker: It's [on] the next game. I don't think this is a feel-sorry-for-yourself team. I don't want to use the tragedy as an excuse for not winning the game. The attitude of the team from a standpoint of the effort they gave was tremendous. What we got hurt on wasn't effort. We got hurt on technique by two corners and a couple of dropped passes. The effort was there. I got a call today from a noted sports psychologist that has dealt with situations like this. He said 90 percent of those teams [when they played the next game], the game was blowouts in the other team's favor. Basically he was saying to commend our team on the resilience to come back the way they did. Getting down 14 points, it would have been very, very easy -- I have a good excuse here, we have tragedy, let's punch the clock and we'll be okay. Our team didn't do that. Our coaches didn't do that and the team didn't do it. I'm very proud of that fact. It's a situation that we didn't want to use this tragedy as a reason to win the game or a reason we didn't win the game.
Q: So you easily could have folded after going down 14-0 with all the adversity.
Coker: You never would have dreamed our defense would give up 14 points in the first 17 minutes of the game on two bombs. We haven't given up much all year long, and now we're down 14 points. I really felt that, if we were playing, that we were going to be in the game and win the game. We fought our way back. The offense kept chipping away and gave us a chance to win the football game. [The bad start to the game] was an uh-oh. For us it was the worst thing that could have happened because you have a built-in excuse. Some people you quit, don't show. Other times you go through the motions. Certainly we didn't do that.
Q: Your offense was consistently moving the ball.
Coker: Making first downs, the ability for Kirby to be able to use some of the dive reads, the spread stuff to run the ball, give us misdirection [was good]. Also the nekkid passing game off of it, it gave us a really nice spark, it really did. The third down conversions -- with the way the clock starts now, you don't make a first down it's almost like a turnover because you don't get those possessions back. When you get a possession, it needs to be precious. Being able to grind out and have the success we had on offense was huge for us. And we were able to get the field position. That's what's so frustrating about a 96-yard touchdown pass. I like the call [by Maryland]. I used to make the call myself when I was calling plays at this school and other schools. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. It's a hard way to go 96 yards grinding it out.
Q: Were you surprised with the way Freeman handled things?
Coker: I was happy to see it. Kirby and I talked about that. The natural thing for any of us -- `Well, I'm going to show everybody now what I'm all about and how good I am, do this and this.' The way he handled himself I think was very special. He was poised, was in control. Our offensive players realized that, rallied around him. Surprised? Maybe a little bit that he had the poise he had. You don't have to be Superman. Kirby is an exciting player. He can make some things happen. He did things to give us a chance to win the game.
Q: Did you simplify the offense for Freeman?
Coker: He didn't do anything less. He's gone through the same offense that Kyle has. You add the dive read package out of it. That is the old double option that people run -- either you hand the ball and let people run or you keep it. He did a good job with it.
Q: To see a game end that way and the fans all run on the field ... there were a lot of things said by fans to your players. But your players didn't say anything back. Are you still addressing things in the wake of FIU?
Coker: I didn't hear what was being said. We really don't address it anymore. I just know these players. What happened with the FIU thing was a total aberration, wasn't us. We did some things wrong. That's all been talked about and seen. No, I'm concerned about the other emotions, the death of a teammate. Now you have outside emotions coming in, how devastating it can be. This team has handled it pretty well.