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Miami TKO's FIU To Earn Well-Deserved Cover

by Robert Ferringo of Doc's Sports Picks

Man, I love a good foot-brawl.

Smug sportswriters across the country were able to crawl away from the buffet and onto their ample soapbox to exclaim shock and horror over the digital images that reached them on Sunday. Those images were of an ambush, a mugging, a thrashing and a good ol' fashioned ass kicking rolled into one. And whom do we have to thank for all the jolly good fun? Two fine academic institutions: The University of Miami, Florida and Florida International University.

Again, most people were alarmed and appalled by the behavior that they saw on the screen - four-on-one beatings, kicking and stomping opponents while they're defenseless and on the ground, and (my personal favorite) wielding helmets as weapons while wandering from scuffle to scuffle. Not me. I thought it was a beautiful site. It was textbook how future NFL starter and bail jumper Brandon Meriweather went after the ankles of a Panthers defender. I was cheering as Anthony Reddick swung his helmet like that large Germanic nomad from the first battle scene in "Gladiator".

These football players are trained killers. They are sociopathic animals studying the art of public masochism. And I see nothing wrong with watching finely tuned future professionals honing their craft in front of terrified onlookers. Isn't that why we pay for them to go to school? But that's just me. I say anyone who didn't find that fracas to be uplifting and hopeful is probably some Iraqi-loving, troop-hating, ANWAR-saving, podcast-listening, Jetta-driving Democrat.

"You come into our house you should get your behind kicked," said color commentator Lamar Thomas immediately after the melee settled down. Thomas once beat up his pregnant fiancÚ, but the guy still has a point. I mean, the Hurricanes were only up 14-0 late in the third quarter of that game. How in the world were they supposed to cover a 26-point line playing like that? Nothing fires a team up more than going on a bloodthirsty rampage after an otherwise meaningless extra point. And riding that momentum of taking out pent up rage and aggression without the threat of jail time (for once) was the perfect elixir for this team.

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The bottom line is that a refocused Miami squad took care of business, covering their first spread of the season and keeping alive that three-team Miami-New Mexico State-Eastern Michigan parlay! Not only that, but even after the suspensions of 13 players from their roster the Hurricanes are solid 18.5-point favorites against ACC bottom feeder Duke this weekend.

"I think that it will affect the image of our program greatly, but in a positive way. I think that when they see the video they will be impressed with our players," coach Larry Coker said afterwards. I couldn't agree more, and apparently neither could the other NCAA coaches and sportswriters who were impressed by the carnage. Heading into last weekend the Hurricanes were 32nd in the Coaches Poll with eight votes. Now they're 31st with 15 votes. Also, before the brawl they had received just 13 points in the Associated Press poll and now they have 17 points. Good show.

In fact, I don't think we see enough of this stuff out of Miami - that paradigm of pestilence. I believe that instead of suspending those players we need to have Miami offer more scholarships so they can play even more games. Forget once a week. These boys need to have at it every other day, traveling state-to-state, city-to-city and waging war on football teams all over the country. Forget classes. Forget sunlight or proper nutrition. They should just load them up into a semi and wander across the nation playing major college teams, junior college teams, high school teams, and semi-professional teams. It would be incredible, and they would employ slash-and-burn tactics while pillaging every corner of this Great land.

Finally, I think the Miami administration is doing the right thing by absolving Coker. I can think of no one else that I'd rather have leading the charge of this angry mob than him. I also thought he was right to point out that it wasn't the Miami players who started it and the numbers back him up. Eight Florida International players were kicked out of the game and 18 suspended for next weekend, compared to only five and 13 for The U.

Coker was also right to say that the brawl was started by a bunch of guys who wanted to go to Miami. But after watching the way in which they were bludgeoned and battered on Saturday we understand why those Golden Panthers could never play for a Coker coached team. It's too bad, really. They seemed like they were on the right path.

Questions or comments for Robert? E-mail him at robert@docsports.com

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