Friday, November 3, 2017

"Miami's turnover chain: 36 inches and 5.5 pounds of sapphire-studded swag"

Back in late August when he finished the jewelry, Machado had no idea how popular it would become. Nobody inside the Miami football offices did, either.

"I knew it was going to be big because no one has done the chain, but this has been crazy," Machado said.

The driving force behind its popularity is what it represents. The chain is quintessential Miami: flashy, swaggy, in your face, loud and flamboyant. Of course, it helps that Miami is 7-0 and ranked No. 10 headed into a crucial ACC Coastal Division showdown against No. 13 Virginia Tech on Saturday night in prime time.

Diaz initially came up with the idea to give his players extra incentive to create turnovers. It was not a novel approach: Alabama gives out a championship belt, and other teams have their own little gimmicks. Cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph had used Machado for jewelry in the past, so he called him up and told him what Diaz wanted.

Former Miami defensive tackle Vince Wilfork happened to be in the jewelry shop at the time Rumph called. They all agreed they needed a thick, 10-karat-gold Cuban link chain because its screams "Miami." Then they decided on a massive "U" charm filled with orange and green sapphire stones, to elevate the swag to the highest possible level.