Jerome Brown was one of the originators of Miami football swag. From 1984 through 1987 Brown finished with 183 tackles, 21 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries per his University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame profile. Brown is 10th in Miami history for sacks.
The berth of Hurricanes’ swagger on a national level occurred when Miami football players led by Brown and quarterback Vinny Testaverde arrived in Phoenix for the 1987 Fiesta Bowl wearing fatigues. That began a week that Brown led the Miami football team to depart its dinner with their Fiesta Bowl opponents Penn State.
The Nittany Lions reportedly had made disparaging comments about Miami head coach Jimmy Johnson. Brown was quoted after being asked why Miami left the dinner as saying:
"“Did the Japanese go and sit down and have dinner with Pearl Harbor before they bombed them??”"
Earlier in the 1986 season, Brown, linebacker Winston Moss and running back Alonzo Highsmith refused to shake hands with Oklahoma players during the coin toss. It was the beginning of Miami intimidating its opponent. Miami was ahead of its time with its brash attitude. Brown was one of the leaders of those Miami teams.
The remarks about Johnson upset Brown. Arriving in Phoenix in fatigues and leaving the dinner upset Penn State and old-school college football followers. The coin toss confrontation was another incident that was indicative of Miami’s swagger and went against old-guard college football.