You’d be a fool to miss 30 for 30: Catholics vs. Convicts on ESPN today

‘I even heard people refer to Jimmy Johnson as the antichrist’

The story of the 1998 UMiami football team has served as a legend of sorts here in Coral Gables, and now ESPN is revisiting an old classic – Catholics v. Convicts. Over the years, The U has served as the home of the bad boys in the ACC. Scandals, fights, and bad sportsmanship clouded the school’s reputation, but it didn’t stop them from winning five national titles in under 20 years (83, 87, 89, 91, 01).

If you haven’t seen ESPN’s first two 30 for 30 specials – The U and The U Part 2 – we highly recommend that you catch up on the drama before the premiere of 30 for 30: Catholics vs. Convicts on ESPN Saturday night at 9 PM.

The newest edition to The University of Miami 30 for 30 trilogy speaks to the high-intensity relationship between Notre Dame and The U. The differences between these two athletic powerhouses have always been numerous and divisive – especially in the 80s, when Miami was anything but religious.

ESPN’s two-hour special focuses on the 1988 game that ended a 36-game winning streak for Miami.

The slogan “Catholics vs. Convicts” originated on a t-shirt. The shirt, shown in the trailer below, was so controversial that it was sold illegally in the weeks before that 1988 game. The director of ESPN’s special is Patrick Creadon – a Notre Dame alum – so do not expect him to show The U in a particularly flattering light.

The 30 for 30 trailer depicts Notre Dame as the good guys and Miami as the “convicts”, the bad guys – the ones with a strippers in the locker room. Miami has always been a crazy place, and the 1988 team really emphasized that.

Although the general view over in South Bend is that they won the 1988 game fair and square, common knowledge dictates that the refs handed that win to Notre Dame. To this day, those bums are calling the 1988 Catholics v. Convicts game their “biggest victory ever.” They say there are three sides to every story – yours, theirs and the truth, so we can only hope that this edition of the 30 for 30 franchise does justice to our beloved “convicts.”

This year’s Notre Dame vs. Miami game was nothing like the game from 30 years ago, and the teams are much milder versions of what they were. Miami still maintains its reputation as “Sun Tan U,” and Although we lost that game in 1988, the University of Notre Dame is still in Indiana. The very long overdue threequel to the UMiami 30 for 30 franchise promises to rehash the huge history behind one of the greatest college football games – ever. The special on Saturday isn’t one to miss.

All photos from ESPN

University of Miami