Miami of Ohio Can't Get No Respect

Tom ShelleyCorrespondent IMay 5, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 6:  Quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh  #12 of the Miami of Ohio Red Hawks looks to make a pass play during the game against the Michigan Wolverines on September 6, 2008 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The Wolverines defeated the Red Hawks 16-6. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

As a member of the Miami Redhawks community, I think I speak for a lot of students when I say in the great words of Rodney Dangerfield, "I can't get no respect."

To give you some background, Miami was founded in Oxford, OH (a small town Northwest of Cincinnati) in 1809. The university was named after the Myaami tribe who once resided here and still has an established relationship with the tribe to this day.

The team was formally called the Redskins to honor our relationship with the tribe, but was eventually re-named to be the Redhawks because someone somewhere who had no clue about our relationship with the tribe thought it was offensive.

But I digress...

The student body here has one big problem. No one knows who we are. I tell people I go to Miami University and nine times out of 10 I get the same response, "How's the weather down in Florida?" My typical response is, "I don't know, probably a lot better than here in Ohio where I go to school."

This has been such a huge issue here that all the book stores in town sell a t-shirt that reads "Miami was a university before Florida was a state."

To be clear, the school most people think about when they hear Miami is called the University of Miami. That school is named after the city it resides in.

It's somewhat of a misnomer to call us "Miami of Ohio" as most sports analysts do. That makes people think we're a branch of the University of Miami, which is far from the case. If anything, we were here first, so U of Miami should really be called "Miami of Florida."

Even the writers of CSI Miami can't keep the schools straight. Everyone's favorite red-headed detective says on the show, "A student was found dead at a local college, Miami University." Sorry Horatio, that's not as local as you might think.

In most peoples' defense, we're not in the headlines a whole heck of a lot. In the 200 years of our existence, we've never won a single national championship in any major sport.

When Miami's hockey team won their first round in the playoffs this year, not a single member of the press showed up to interview the coaches or players. They probably went down to Florida and were disappointed to find out that University of Miami doesn't have an ice-hockey team.

So what does it take to get recognized? Was "Big" Ben Roethlisberger (Miami alum and Pittsburgh Steelers star QB) not "big" enough to put us on the map?

All I know is that with an even better hockey team next year and a (hopefully) better football team thanks to new head coach Michael Haywood (OC from Notre Dame), maybe some day people will think of Ohio first when they hear the name Miami and will stop bugging me about the weather in Florida.