During Sunday Night Football, something weird happened. It wasn't that the quarterback with the misbehaving cervical vertebrae threw for 253 yards with two touchdowns and only seven incompletions, and it wasn't that the Steelers still hadn't learned how to cover Demaryius Thomas. Both of those events were unlikely, but they didn't unmoor the viewer like the event I have in mind did. When, during the Broncos offense player intros, Willis McGahee said he attended "Miami," and not "The U," I shook. I even tweeted about it. You'll soon see that I wasn't the only one.
We've been conditioned, throughout the near-decade we've had these talking-heads, to expect every Miami player to say he went to "The U." It's one of the few reasons we bother paying attention to those intros. Some players will give their school slogans or name their high schools, and that's fun, sort of, and sometimes Terrell Suggs or Jared Allen will throw out a "Sizzle, Ball So Hard University" or "Culinary Academy," and we'll laugh. (Oddly enough, that "Sizzle" video reveals that Ray Lewis doesn't say "The U" either. He, though, is an old man.) Braylon Edwards once said he attended "Lloyd Carr's University of Michigan," and that was kind of funny. But mostly we're in it for "The U." And when Willis McGahee doesn't say "The U," the hive mind gets confused and vaguely outraged. America's game!