Friday Stock Report: Sept. 29

Like many of you, I have an opinion on the banner situation in which a group of Miami "fans" are organizing to have three banners fly over the Orange Bowl in tomorrow night's game costing $1,400 with their displeasure of UM head coach Larry Coker. One of the banners will read: "UM PLAYERS & FANS DESERVE BETTER. FIRE COKER NOW."

So, listen closely because I want to make sure my point gets across...

I do NOT under any circumstance believe it is an even a remotely good idea and I can not relate to the people organizing such a childish, irresponsible, over-the-top act.

What has this society became? Are sports really THAT important?

And mind you, this is coming from someone who makes a living off of sports. But, I just can't relate to putting forth that much effort, energy, "passion", and money towards a negative for the team that you cheer for.

There are plenty of negatives with the football program right now, why would you want to add to it?

Do you really think athletic director Paul Dee doesn't understand what the fans think of the coach? Do you think he's going to read a banner and think to himself, "Oh, I guess some fans don't like him. Maybe we should do something about it."

Please.

Dee knows what is going on. How could he not? It's all over the local papers, the national media has ripped the head coach, and the constant emails he gets from fans begin to add up.

But flying some silly banner over a stadium during a game is completely over the top.

This stunt is led by a guy named Randy, who didn't want his last name released in the ESPN article because he didn't want to be shut out of future UM events.

I mean seriously, if you are going to come strong with it, why be scared?

If you really want to make a difference in the team's success, be a coach. Quit your job, start low and work yourself up and make a difference on the team's success.

If that's not your cup of tea, then just sit in the stands, cheer for your team, buy some gear, call in to the local sports talk shows, get a unique username on the message boards to voice your opinion, play fantasy games, create a dynasty on playstation, and if you feel obligated send in a check to the athletic department.

But flying a banner over a game? What has our society become?

My goodness, Larry Coker has lost a few games and nobody at UM is happy with that. Do people think he should be fired? Do people have a right to an opinion? Without a doubt.

Coker might not be winning as games as you would like, but he IS developing high-character individuals who will be positive influences in society for years to come. That should count for something, shouldn't it? That should at least waive him from having banners fly over the stadium not to mention, he did win a national title five years ago.

Canes' fans and the CanesTime.com faithful, let's try to keep things in perspective here. Raising money to fly a banner across the stadium is not the way to do it. Not for the team you cheer for.

What's next? Picketing the coach's house, booing him at the supermarket, or rallying a group of people to start an anti-Hurricane Club donation campaign. Oh wait, at least one of these ideas has been in place.

So what if Coker gets fired? Would you feel the same joy you felt when you experienced the birth of your first child? Would you feel the same you felt when one of your loved ones left the hospital and would be okay? Would you even feel the same joy you felt when UM won the national championship in 2001 led by Coker himself?

It's like this, we all want UM to succeed, myself included and trust me, I want nothing more for these group of young men led by their coaches to win every single game they play and having fun in the process.

But, it is just a game. Remember, "Sports is a priviledge, not a necessity."

If you want to waste money and effort, why not use it in a positive way into being a better spouse, a better father or mother, a better friend, or support local boys and girls clubs, make donations (the International Kids Fund would be a good start to help support Marlie Casseus), give a homeless person some money, get involved, be somebody, and make a REAL difference.

This is just an example of what's wrong with our society today just like putting forth millions of dollars into a football stadium following a national disaster when people are still without homes and the basic essential needs in life. Were the people affected by Hurricane Katrina thrilled the Saints had a home game? I'm going to go out on a limb and say they would have rather had their homes and lives rebuilt than having a professional football game being played.

The importance of sports in the American society is mind-boggling, yet disappointing.

Is the success of a sports team that you cheer for THE most important thing in your life?

If so, I suggest you check your priorities.

RANDOM NOTES IN THE PAST WEEK

• On Monday, I asked James Bryant about his facebook incident and he said he had not been on facebook in months. However, later in the week I heard confirmation that it was indeed him and it was taken care of.

• Last week during the bye week was the hardest practices several players have ever had in their football careers--not just at UM.

• LB Jon Beason got his physical taken care of this week for his insurance policy that many draft eligible players will take. Beason was rewarded a $1 million insurance policy, which is very good for him considering he does not have any honors or accolades to his name, yet.

• Larry Coker fielded a punt before Thursday's practice. The punt bounced before Coker grabbed it and darted upfield even making a strong cut to his left before spiking the ball over the back of his head. The players loved seeing their coach get involved and Coker kept things light after the play telling some people that he thought he pulled something.

ACC GAMES TO WATCH

The best ACC game of the game is Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with #24 Georgia Tech (3-1, 1-0) going to #11 Virginia Tech (4-0, 2-0). Last year Virginia Tech won 51-7.

Other ACC games tomorrow (all times eastern):
Virginia (1-3, 0-1) @ Duke (0-3, 0-2, 12 p.m.
Maine (2-1) @ Boston College (3-1), 1 p.m.
Liberty (3-1) @ Wake Forest (4-0), 3:30 p.m.
Louisiana Tech (1-2) @ #18 Clemson (3-1)

WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM UPDATE

The women's soccer team has lost three straight ACC games including a 2-1 loss to Virginia Tech last night. The Hurricanes (6-4) will look to rebound on Sunday at home against Virginia at 1 p.m. Sophomore midfielder Paulelett Ricks-Chambers leads the team with three goals. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids.

VOLLEYBALL TEAM UPDATE

The volleyball team is on the road this weekend at Clemson and Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes (4-8) will square off against the Tigers on Friday before facing the Yellow Jackets Saturday. Last weekend the Hurricanes defeated Maryland in three games. Their win over the Terrapins marked their first ACC match win so far for the season.

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

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