There you are, minding your own business, when suddenly you’re convicted of tax evasion, lying to Congress, and violating campaign finance laws. A key question pops into your mind: Which college football program should I rep when the press photographs me after this?*
Don’t panic. Just remember to do like Michael Cohen does and pop on your University of Miami hat.
That’s Cohen back in May 2020, after he was released from federal prison to continue serving his sentence under house arrest. He hadn’t made a public appearance in weeks, so he knew the press would be out in force. What did he wear for the occasion?
His Miami hat.
Cohen didn’t attend the U. He has a son who goes to Miami, but he’s also got a daughter who goes to Penn. And he is not, best I can tell, really much of a hat guy.
But the Canes hat is the perfect accessory for any financial felon, for a few reasons.
There is no such thing as a Cane Purity Test. Many fanbases want to see your resume before accepting you into the fold. When did you attend this school, and what did you major in? Did your grandfather matriculate here as well? Are there any incriminating photos of you as a toddler wearing the athletic gear of another institution?
To be accepted as a supporter of the Miami Hurricanes, you must answer these two questions in the affirmative.
- Can you embrace unrealistically high expectations for Miami football year after year?
- Will you threaten to key a stranger’s car if they say something less than flattering about Brad Kaaya online?
That’s it. You don’t have to be an alum, or even live in South Florida. Given the events around the program for the past decade or so, nobody will accuse you of being a bandwagon fan.
You will have a hard time embarrassing the school or the fanbase by yourself. If you get arrested for insider trading and put on the hat of basically any non-Miami college, the school and its fans will feel some desire to distance themselves from you. They have reputations they want to uphold, and the tawdry details of your crime don’t fit that. Administrators will release cold statements emphasizing that you were a guest lecturer for one semester only and have not been part of the faculty for years. Bloggers will theorize that a rival school paid you to wear the hat just to discredit this fine hall of higher learning.
The University of Miami and its fans will never turn on you like this, because they know institutional reputations are largely made up in the first place. You say Ray Liotta and Steve-O and Marco Rubio all went to school in Coral Gables? The Unabomber got two degrees at Michigan and taught at Cal!** The value of your degree doesn’t go up or down based on who else claims your school, so why get all worked up about someone tarnishing an image that’s mostly imagined?
This can open professional doors down the road. Michael Cohen’s no longer able to practice law in New York because of his crimes. He could, however, have a promising career in club promotion. DJ BOOK COOK PRESENTS THE EVADER’S BALL AT CLUB HUSH, LADIES DRINK FREE FROM EIGHT TO ELEVEN. That leads to Rick Ross giving Cohen a feature on his next album. Next thing you know, Cohen’s got a Quibi show chronicling the attempt to launch his own athleisure line.
Would you get all that if you put on a South Carolina or Nebraska cap? Of course not. Getting yourself photographed leaving prison or a courthouse with a Miami hat on is basically a premium membership on Canes LinkedIn.
The NCAA will start investigating you. That sounds stressful, but after you’ve been through the ringer of the Department of Justice and the Senate Intelligence Committee, wouldn’t it be relaxing to deal with an investigative body that can’t make you talk to them or hand over any incriminating documents? If a federal prosecution is a boot camp workout, this is the cooldown session. Accept the interview request, eat the complimentary continental breakfast spread, say nothing for three hours, and walk away without consequence.
Of course, you don’t have to wear a hat at all in the event of your demise for financial crimes. You could just go quietly and without raising the attention of the media. But that wouldn’t be very Miami of you, would it?
*Assuming the reader does not fall under the aegis of Bama Shirt.
**Please note: I don’t think Miami fans would embrace the Unabomber, but I am hesitating on committing fully to this promise since, after all, he does have the U at the front of his title.