With Saturday’s big win against Notre Lame, Miami fans gladly sported gold chains and Catholics vs. Convicts t-shirts.
Gold chains and a convict mentality are all the rage but what are the implications of making the difference between saints and thugs. The chains have made quite a statement on social media and Miami football is again being compared with thug culture. A simple twitter search and one can find many comments about the Miami “thug.”
Miami players have always been described as rowdy and out of control and this has been a theme since the 1980s. I watched the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, Catholics vs. Convicts, to get more insight on the topic. The entire t-shirt controversy started with two Notre Dame basketball athletes, Joe Fredrick and Pat Walsh who wanted to make a quick buck.
They decided on the term “convicts” in response to Miami football players being indicted for crimes, and general reckless behavior. Fredrick and Walsh said in the 2016 doc that they were not aware of any racial or derogatory angles, and just wanted to sell a tee that everyone wanted, something sexy that could create controversy.
And controversy is exactly what they got. I believe that the two college students knew exactly what they were doing, and how it would transform into a derogatory phrase. Not only were many of the 1980’s Miami players from low income families, but most of them were African American as opposed to white Catholic from South Bend.
Presently, the phrase has transformed into a rebellious image for Miami and whether that is good or bad is hard to tell. Malik Rosier, UM quarterback, acknowledged Miami’s performance on Saturday and media predictions, “There was so much disrespect in the media and for the guys, I said, ‘Focus, focus on this game’…”
Rosier addressed the media’s extensive praise for Notre Dame as well as the thug persona that Miami has become synonymous with.
Canes fans all over the city have been on the front lines defending Miami’s image. Two graffiti artists in Wynwood have painted “Catholics vs. Confidence” on the side of a local building. Not only did this wall receive national attention but it showed the country that Miami will no longer tolerate disrespectful words like “thug” and “convict” to be said about our undefeated team.
The “U” is back in a big way this season and winning against Notre Lame showed the country that we can wear our gold chains with confidence.
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