By Justin Maskulinski, For The Miami Student
The words of the Miami University Fight Song were sung loudly and proudly in the football locker room at Yager Stadium Saturday for the first time in 23 months.
And damn, did it feel good.
The fans that stayed at Yager Stadium through the cold wind and 27-point deficit were able to experience the joyous atmosphere that followed the victory.
The Red and White emerged victorious against the University of Massachusetts. The RedHawks scored 28 unanswered points after being down 41-14 late in the second quarter to win 42-41.
Miami never gave up. That’s because the team is much different this year.
Saturday was Miami’s first win since defeating a ranked Ohio University team Oct. 27, 2012. About two weeks after defeating the Bobcats during my freshman year (I’m now a junior), President Barack Obama was re-elected for his second term. That gives some perspective of just how long it has been.
Perspective is just what the ’Hawks received when head coach Chuck Martin became the captain of a then-sinking ship last December. Martin came in and things have changed since.
Martin is a coach who is not afraid to tell a player if they are doing something wrong, and is a coach who will not leave the player alone until the problem is fixed.
The ’Hawks had lost 16 consecutive games when he became coach and it was clear that a lot needed to be fixed. The players worked hard to snap the losing streak, and it started with a new mentality that Martin has established within the players.
Players knew they would have to work hard and become blue-collar players in order to succeed.
They also knew a win wouldn’t come easy, and it didn’t.
Five games came and went in 2014 and the ’Hawks were in every single one of them, but they fell short. Miami lost the first five games by a combined 61 points.
In 2013, the ’Hawks lost their first two games by a combined 72 points and finished 0-12.
They say close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but close means having a chance to win in football, and that’s something Miami struggled with a year ago. This year, there’s a new Miami team.
This team is full of hard working people, and that doesn’t only include the players. The coaches and support staff work for a win every week too. That’s not to say that nobody wanted to work hard or win last year — things are simply different in 2014.
Take my word for it: I’ve worked with the team since 2012 as a student equipment manager.
Until Saturday, the last time we sung the fight song was back in 2012. Now I’m proud to say I have a more recent memory of singing Love and Honor.
More and more memories will be forming in the near future. Losing is contagious, but winning is contagious too. The win was celebrated, not as the highest achievement we can accomplish, but as a sign of things to come.
Miami football is headed in the right direction.