Credit: Mark Dolejs-US PRESSWIRE

Rivalry - Pass It On

Since the birth of my daughter two short years ago, I’ve been thinking about the proper way to explain UNC fandom to her.  Its tougher than you’d think.  I want to instill in her  a sense of pride about the university her father and mother attended.  I want her to feel the crisp autumn air on her cheeks as we walk from Bub O’Malley’s past the Old Well and Bell Tower.  The excitement of settling into a bleacher seat in Kenan Stadium.  I want her to feel the nostalgia I feel when I walk by Carmichael Gym and know some of the best that ever played the game stained the floor with their sweat and blood.

I want her to understand why blue isn’t always blue.  Why the sky is light blue.  Why Duke is spelled with two o’s.  Why there’s reason to be hopeful in a February match-up against our most heated rivalry no matter how bad a season we’ve had.  Why no matter how good the Heels are, that game is never assured.  How a fun rivalry should be conducted.  The meaning of respectful dislike.I want her to know why she’ll never see her father wearing red.  And that the only reason she does is because she looks so cute in some of her red coats.  The difference in “hate” and hate.  I hope I teach her that we cheer hard, and remember that at the end of the day, these are kids playing a game.  These kids represent our university and all the history and ideals and morals, but they are just kids.  Like her.  Kids that deserve to be cheered in victory and embraced in defeat.

I hope I can give her the perspective to truly enjoy sports.  And truly enjoy watching sports.  They are an escape.  A link to our past.  And something that will link us to the future.  Another bond between me and my daughter.  Something we can share.

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