The University of Miami hiring Mario Cristobal and bringing him home reads like a Disney feel-good story. But when we pull the curtain back, we find a toxic and bitterly divided fanbase behind the hire. Mr. FishDuck was looking at the superb line of promotional items for the OBD forum at GS-JJ, as the custom buttons and custom lapel pins are intriguing, but this battle among Miami fans was too good to pass up.
In the forum on canesinsight.com, a vicious debate raged before Mario’s hiring. That was just the end of a battle waged over the last couple years of the failing Manny Diaz regime.
In their noxious rivalry, two groups — the pro-Mario Slurpers and the anti-Mario Mopes — each “coined” a derogatory name for the other.
The Mopes earned their name, for “moping” posts on the forum; the Slurpers for posting on the bandwagon “slurping” up all the coach-speak they were fed, no questions asked.
For now, a ceasefire holds, but the Slurpers never had answers to the valid questions that gave the Mopes reservations about hiring Mario.
The Mario Culture
The Slurpers are full buy-in for the culture Mario brings, and that culture just naturally oozes out of Cristobal. The traits that make Mario successful are part of his being; he works relentlessly, setting high exceptions. He cares for his staff and players and invites competitions as part of getting better every day.
“Iron sharpens Iron,” Mario has said many times before. A lunch pail in hand, let’s all get to work with our best effort every day and become a better team approach. It’s an inviting environment to his staff, players, recruits and their families.
Off-Season National Champions
Mario arrived at Miami killing it from Day 1, saving the recruiting class that fell apart with the Diaz firing and cleaning up in the Portal. Mario assembled one of the Top 5 staffs in college football, making a series of home-run hires. To top that off, Mario has the Miami 2023 recruiting class currently sitting at No. 8 in the nation with even better things to come.
The Slurpers have slurped all that up with glee, feeling they won the mythical off-season national championship. Mario’s results have shut the Mopes up, driving them under rocks into hiding where they lurk.
“Corch” Mario Cristobal?
Canesinsight.com forum members appeared to invent the term “corch.” Its definition is a coach who screws stuff up in big ways. Canes fans say they have seen enough corches to know one when they see one.
The Mopes have Mario squarely pegged as a corch, and for good reason.
A corch calls a timeout before the first snap of the game!
A corch doesn’t know how to manage the clock at the end of the half or game.
A corch, instead of taking knee in victory formation runs the ball, and fumbles — losing a game he had iced.
A corch loses a game each year to a team with way less talent, such as ASU, Oregon State and Cal.
A corch takes a team with a Heisman-type QB and playoff talent on the roster, and doesn’t make the playoff.
Mario Cristobal checks all those boxes fully!
Mario the Quarterback Destroyer
The Mopes have rightly pointed out that Mario inherited and wasted Oregon QB Justin Herbert’s talent, and the evidence backed that up after Herbert moved onto the NFL and won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Mario inherits Tyler Van Dyke (TVD), the returning 6’4, 224-lb right hander who ended the year as the starting quarterback. TVD burst on the scene last year, winning the 2021 ACC Rookie of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year awards. Most 2023 NFL mock drafts have him firmly projected as a first-round pick.
The Mopes and The Slurpers’ Battle Line
The crux of the battle is that Mario isn’t going to ever maximize TVD’s potential or get the Canes to the Playoff, according to the Mopes. On the way to underachieving… Mario is going to corch it up along the way. The Mopes’ aspirations for the Miami program are more than being good under Mario; they want another Natty!
Mario couldn’t get a loaded Oregon team to the playoff, and the Mopes say he isn’t the guy to get Miami there! I can’t argue with their logic, Duck fans.
The Slurpers, who slurp up all things Mario, and say Mario coaching them to an ACC Title and a New Year’s Six bowl game, is better than Miami has been in ages. The Slurpers aspire to settle for Mario, warts and all, and pay him $80 million for that!
Ducks fan would bet their money with the Mopes, as we have seen this story play out with Mario.
In 2019 Mario corched the Ducks to the Pac-12 Championship and a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin. Along the way Mario corched Herbert in his senior year to worse numbers than his sophomore year. Unfazed, Mario corched the Ducks to a late-season loss at ASU, who finished with a 4-5 record in the Pac-12, costing the Ducks a sure playoff spot!
This year Mario Cristobal will regress TVD, lose a game to a team he should beat, and will under-achieve — because Mario is a corch. Duck fans will take joy in being rid of Cristobal while they watch Dan Lanning achieve what Mario couldn’t — with Mario’s players!
The icing on the cake for Duck fans will be when Mario has his first big corching moment, and the Mopes come out from under the rocks for Mario with their knives out!
I know I’ll have my popcorn right beside me while I watch the Miami fans go to war over Mario, and I’ll enjoy the bloodbath. What do you think, Duck fans; is Mario going corch it up? Share your thoughts in the OBD FORUM!
Top Photo by University of Miami Football Twitter
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in SLC, Utah.
I was born a Cali kid and my uncle is a USC Alum. Remember going to an SC game when I was like 5 with him. I moved to Oregon in 77 when I was 6 and became a Duck fan long ago. I remember Reggie Ogburn OB days, so it was before the Ducks got good. I’ve been a sports nut since I was a kid.
I went to Tigard High about the same time as linebacker Jeremy Asher did, and I watched him team with Rich Ruhl on the inside of the Gang Green defense.
Lots of Ducks memories, Danny O’Neil’s passing in 1st Rose Bowl, Kenny Wheaton, Joey’s comebacks early in his career and how jacked up he got!
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