The U we loved and hated ... well, hated

ESPN hit a home run with its "30 for 30" series — 30 sports documentaries to commemorate 30 years as a network.

And the very best, in my opinion, was "The U," the story of the rise and dominance of the University of Miami football program during the late 1980s and early 1990s, directed by Billy Corben.

My earliest memories of college football are of watching football games in my father's office, sitting on the floor in front of his desk. I was never more anxious than when Notre Dame played Miami — the Irish were our team, and as my father pointed out over and over again,"... damn Jimmy Johnson ran up the score on Notre Dame, son. That's just not the way it's done."

We loved football and that's what we bonded over. I owe my obsession with the sport to him.

As I got older and stopped caring who won or lost games (occupational hazard), I was able to appreciate the Hurricanes for what they were — a great story with all kinds of engaging characters, some good and some bad.

Corben's documentary was one of the best I've ever seen, and I hope it gets its due come awards season.

And yes, I know Notre Dame plays Miami on New Year's Eve in the Sun Bowl. I just don't care. And neither should you.

* So... Michael Vick has come out and said he wants to own a dog again. I know he did the time, people, but I'm of the opinion that no canine should ever be allowed in his possession for the rest of his life. What he did justifies that.

You shouldn't get to own dogs, No. 7, and that you're openly talking about wanting another one makes me sick to my stomach.

* Eagle sports columnist Bob Lutz is blogging. And there's some pretty good stuff on there — my favorite being "A sports writer's memories" which runs each Thursday, although he's posting every day during the work week.

It's available at

* Christmas movie season is in full swing. This year, there are three movies on my radar that I'll see no matter what —"True Grit," "Black Swan" and "The Fighter." "Tron: Legacy" and "How Do You Know" are definite maybes.

* Speaking of Mark Wahlberg, everything the little guy touches seems to be turning to gold these days, including my favorite new drama, "Boardwalk Empire," a show he produces. Between Boardwalk, the "Lost" finale, "Modern Family" and the third season of "Sons of Anarchy," this has been an incredibly fulfilling year for television aficionados. If you're not watching, you're missing out. Unless, of course, you're reading a book. Or a newspaper.