The year was 1986
. All American
defensive lineman Jerome Brown
Hurricanes were in Tempe
to play Penn State
for the national championship
in that year's Fiesta Bowl
The Miami team arrived in town and, being undefeated that year and apparently feeling a bit cocky, disembarked their team airplane wearing combat fatigues. They showed up a few nights later to a Steak Fry dinner with the Penn State Team (organized by the Fiesta Bowl as a media event to promote the game) wearing their combat fatigues again.
Events at the dinner got a bit out of hand. The Fiesta Bowl committee had asked each team to write and perform a short skit at the dinner.
Penn State went first. Perhaps if their coach Joe Paterno had attended the dinner, his players might have ignored Miami's taunts and exercised better judgment when selecting a topic for their skit. Instead, Penn State's skit alluded to the fact that Penn State's team was comprised primarily of white players, while Miami's team was comprised primarily of black players.
Not surprisingly, this did not sit well with Miami. Team leader Brown stood up and offered this bit of wisdom to his teammates:
Brown: Did the Japanese go and sit down and have dinner with Pearl Harbor before they bombed 'em?
The other Hurricanes: (in chorus) No!!!
Brown: Fellas, lets go!
With that Brown and the rest of the Miami players got up and walked out of the restaurant, creating a rather embarrassing incident for the Fiesta Bowl.
Before they left, however, according to lore, one of the Penn State players retorted to Brown, "Didn't the Japanese lose that war?". Indeed, the Penn State player proved to be a bit prophetic, as the Hurricanes lost that game to Penn State by the score of 14-10.
Brown, meanwhile, went on to a rather successful, though short lived, career in the NFL with the Philidelphia Eagles. He was killed, along with his 12 year old son, on September 25, 1992 when he wrapped his 1991 Corvette ZR-1 around a tree.