We would ride on the sidewalk and drag our sneakers along the chain link fence. The little mutt would yap and bark and try to jump the fence to get at us. We continued this inhumane taunting through the entire school year.
Summer vacation came and went and soon we were back on our bikes riding and terrorizing the neighborhood again. As had become tradition we pedaled up the sidewalk to hassle the little dog. The sound of our screeching tires and straining coaster brakes brought the enraged canine to the top of the fence! What we remembered as a puppy that was a cross between Snoopy and Woody Allen, had morphed into a year old Doberman!
The dog’s intent was crystal clear. He was going to eat both of us… and maybe our bikes too. While we had been busy pestering and making fun of the pooch, he was slowly but surely waiting for his day, the one every dog gets.
This leads us to the current state of affairs in Coral Gables. The sports media have been raking sticks back and forth along the fences at the Green Tree Practice Fields for a couple seasons now. They have been real busy explaining why the Canes can’t win. Poor coaching, lack of discipline, no playmakers, unimaginative recruiting.
Nationally Shannon gets ink for the color of the man rather than the character of the man. Sure they acknowledged Randy Shannon being hired. He was hired to shut up the angry fans. He was a local guy. Shoot even if they never won again, they had an authentic black, African American minority head coach! Who cares if he knows what he’s doing he’s big news. All the talking heads and former players turned desk jockeys point out every reason and obvious fact that the Miami Hurricanes are doomed.
Watching John Wayne rather than Mark May, Randy Shannon is patiently, quietly, going about the business of building a champion. Adversity rolls off his back. Rebuilding the Miami Hurricanes is just another challenge he meets head on. No excuses, no wait untils, no if onlys.
In 2008, Shannon hopes to bring in a lot of eager young pups who are of the right pedigree that fit the Miami mold and grow them and his team into big, mean doberman's once again that will tear up the competition. Players who are fierce, loyal, tough and above all else fighters and winners.
Randy Shannon is the epitome of the confident loner. He is a man of character, resiliency and tenacity. He played as winner, won as an assistant coach and now is in charge of rebuilding the confidence and attitude of the team wearing orange and green on their backs and the U on their helmets.
Through his struggles to get the team turned around this year, many have taken their shots at him and his coaching abilities. So you have to believe that when Randy is stretched out on the couch watching The Longest Day and the commercial comes on, you think he smiles and winks at Sasquatch and says “ I know, my man, trust me I know!"
Solarcane for Canespace