You know what the infamous N’Kosi Perry wads-o’-cash video brings to mind for me? The good old days. Those halcyon seasons when the Miami Hurricanes (as the T-shirt slogan claims) “invented swagger.” Those days when the Canes showed up at a bowl game in battle camouflage, exuded attitude, relished being cast as the outlaws of college football, and didn’t give a (bleep) what you thought.
The days most UM fans want back. Not just the winning. The notoriety, too. All of it.
So Perry, the redshirt-freshman quarterback, posts a video on social media like something straight outta a hip-hop music shoot, starring Perry as the gangsta with piles of cash money on his lap.
The same video might have been made 30 years earlier. The only difference is that Uncle Luke would have made a cameo appearance.
The video, of course, was taken down faster than a quarterback under a full-out blitz. An official “reprimand” quickly ensued, coach Mark Richt toeing a line between necessary outrage and a defusing well-didn’t-we-all-do-dumb-stuff-at-that-age.
Richt emphasized Perry broke no law or NCAA rule with the (apparently) borrowed money, but noted “the image is not good.” The coach said it was “not very wise” of Perry, and showed immaturity.
Richt also said: “Guys are human. Guys make mistakes. I think if everybody kind of looked back at [what you did] when you were that age, there’d probably be some embarrassing moments.”
Perry previously had been suspended from the season opener vs. LSU for violating team rules. That makes this video the second red flag on the young man’s resume, magnified when you are a quarterback and, (based on this season) likely the heir apparent to replace Malik Rosier as the starter next season, if not sooner.
Those UM fans scolding Perry for the video might be guilty of wanting it both ways in terms of their program’s swagger and edge.
This is the program that has made a national sensation over the Turnover Chain the past two seasons. It’s the gaudy, intentionally audacious necklace jewelry a Canes player gets to wear after making an interception or fumble recovery.
So, if I have this right, Perry posting a video pictured with a pile of cash that isn’t his gets “the image is not good,,” but teammates flaunting comically oversized jewelry designed to look costly is celebrated, not scorned. Hmm.
Don’t get me wrong. What Perry did was just a freshman’s lapse in judgment that should not have him on public trial or suggest anything about his future or ability to rise above and be the great college QB many see in him. Likewise I love the Turnover Chain, which has spawned imitators across the country.
The weird dichotomy, for me, is that one gets sanitized from social media and brings a reprimand while the other gets famous as a rallying cry — when both are the same thing, really.
If you love the Turnover Chain — the look of it, the audacity of it — don’t go all self-righteous and pretend the Perry video is an outrage. Because they are more similar than they are opposite.
They both are Canes swagger, personified. They are vintage attitude, in your face. Each is a time-honored little echo of what makes The U The U.