Who knew at the beginning of the 2017 college football season that a 36-inch long, 5.5-pound, sapphire-studded chain would take on a life of its own?
The Miami Hurricanes apparently did, which is why they went all-in on a blinged-out Cuban link that brought swag back to the football program.
Dubbed the “Turnover Chain”, this gaudy, 10-karat Cuban link chain made an appearance every time the Hurricanes forced a turnover. When cornerback Malek Young donned it in the Hurricanes first game of the season, it instantly became an internet sensation. And four months later, this flashy, loud, in-your-face piece of jewelry was named one of the “winners” from the 2017 college football season by CBS Sports.
“It was so quintessentially "The U" -- a perfect throwback to the program's culture -- that it was endearing, and it's hard for Miami to be described as endearing,” CBS Sports Ben Kercheval wrote. “It was the most fun a shtick could be and the players loved it. It got so big that it spawned second-rate knockoffs and even sushi rolls. We're to the point now where the chain is so famous that people will find any reason to mock it. So congrats, Miami. You may not be back, but you've definitely made it.”
The brainchild of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and Miami’s “King of Bling” A.J. Machado, the “Turnover Chain” became an instant classic among Hurricanes fans -- a throwback to the good ole’ days of Miami football dominance.
It was a merchandising dream. Everyone wanted to get their hands on a knockoff chain or a t-shirt with a “Turnover Chain” printed on it.
The “Turnover Chain” became so popular that for every Miami game broadcast on ESPN, the network flashed a “Turnover Chain recipient” graphic every time a Hurricanes player forced a turnover.
Coach Mark Richt said it best when he commented that the celebration tactic was awesome because Miami is playing well. The 10-2, 10th-ranked, Orange Bowl-bound Hurricanes forced 29 turnovers this season, which was the fourth-most in the country.
Miami probably would have been tormented by Internet trolls had its season played out like Tennessee. The Volunteers had a “Turnover Trashcan”, which played perfectly into their poor season.