"You know the nearer your destination the more you're slip sliding away."
When Mark Richt was hired most Miami Hurricanes fans thought that the team would be headed in the right direction. A winning direction, upward trajectory and proud tradition would soon be re-established and Miami would return to its righteous place among the college football elite.
That theory and belief held true four four weeks of the 2016 season. Your Miami Hurricanes, and their suddenly new-found swarming, aggressive defense, were smashing and slashing lesser opponents just like the good old days.
Then came a game that mattered. That was the game against Miami's arch rival FSU at Hard Rock Stadium. If the Seminoles were going to be beat, and beat badly, this was going to be the year.
While admittedly the Seminoles have enjoyed much more recent success on the field and as a result in the recruiting wars, the Hurricanes had played the boys from Tallahassee very tough the last two years and in fact probably SHOULD have won those games.
Surely, this would be the year. With FSU having an average team and a mediocre season to date and UM having a much better coaching staff and a better game plan, that Miami would surely get over the hump.
As it turns out, Miami missed several opportunities on offense, then missed an extra point when it mattered most and this clearly wasn't going to be the year. Richt and his offense looked clueless for most of the game.
And please, don't call me Shirley.
Yet, even after the shocking loss, the Hurricanes still had time to redeem themselves, blow off the loss to FSU, and come out and just curb stomp the North Carolina Tar Heels. The game would again be at home at "The Rock", and the fans would still attend, endure a two hour rain storm during the tailgate, then yell and cheer and even forgive and the world would be made right again.
Surely, this would be Mark Richt's redemption game to make up for the FSU loss and associated shame. Instead it was another wasted effort, wasted tailgate and six hour trip to the 305 as the Hurricanes would lose after another weak and miserable offensive performance against another ACC rival. In the last three weeks Miami's offense scored a tepid 21 points against Georgia Tech, a lukewarm 19 against FSU and then a frigid 13 against the Tar Heels.
And, I have already warned you, please do NOT call me Shirley.
The Hurricanes and coach Richt have one last chance to salvage the season when they play Virginia Tech on Thursday night in Blacksburg. Unfortunately at this point, after two crushing losses and as the ever elusive ACC title game slowly slips away once again, and the pain too much to bare, many hard core Miami fans have now been reduced to casual observers of college football and simply hope that Miami can win this game and once again salvage their season.
If they can, that will surely be great and we will rejoice and celebrate.
If they don't, that will surely ruin another season of high expectations.
Either way, like it or not, Shirley is going to be busy come Thursday night.
Paul Simon would probably summarize it this way:
"I know a woman, became a wife,
These are the very words she uses to describe her life,
A good day, ain't got no rain,
A bad day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been."