On Saturday night, ESPN will broadcast the sequel to one its best 30 for 30 documentaries. The U was a hit when it debuted in December 2009 as it told the story of the rise of the Miami Hurricanes to prominence in the early 1980s through the next decade. The U, Part 2 will debut after the Heisman Trophy presentation and tell the rest of the story, if you will.
Corben's opus begins with the hiring of Butch Davis as head coach and runs through the present day, but a main focus of Billy Corben's piece will be on the late 1990s/early 2000s run through college football. From 2000 through 2002, the Hurricanes lost one regular season game (Washington) and eventually won 34 in a row over that period but, perhaps, more importantly spit out NFL talent regularly.
Take the 2001 Miami team as an example. I did the math on this team years ago. Texans great Andre Johnson was just one of the 18 eventual first round draft picks on that roster. At last count, the 2001 Hurricanes had 46 players drafted. That's no misprint. 46 players drafted, including Johnson and Texans center Chris Myers.
The Texans were the recipients of the U's greatness throughout the past 13 years. Johnson, Myers, Philip Buchanon, Rashad Butler and Eric Winston are just a few of the Hurricane almuni that have worn the deep steel blue, battle red and liberty white. The first run in the early 1980s was thought to be unprecedented but that same university repeated that run nearly a decade later.
Oh and the man that told that story each and every Saturday for the three year championship run is the same man that brings you the Texans action every Sunday: Marc Vandermeer. He was the play by play voice of the Hurricanes from 1999-2001 before becoming the Voice of the Texans.
All of us will be in Indianapolis on Saturday readying for the Colts and might have to wait to see Corben's masterpiece on DVR. But, no worries, these guys lived it and it made for good theater.