I’m happy for Gio. I really am. I was excited to see a potential Heisman Trophy candidate play at UNC. Its been a while. Arguably Pep? People forget how filthy athletic Julius was at UNC. He was unreal. He was probably the closest in recent history.
Nov 15, 2012; Charlottesville, VA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Giovani Bernard (26) jogs into the end zone for a touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers during the second half at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
Gio made the smart choice. He had an amazing year, made a punt return that got a coach fired, returned, caught, ran at an amazing clip. Did I mention he got a coach fired with a game winning punt return? (I’ll be bringing that up at least twice more). Here’s why I think it was a smart choice. Its football. One tackle and it could all be over. It happened to Lattimore. It probably also makes me feel a bit more positive about the decision that we have Blue, Morris and TJ Thorpe to fall back on. As we saw this season, Gio is very very good. He may improve his draft status some with another year, but the downside is pretty steep. Congrats young man. Cash out.
What does he owe us as fans? He gave us one of the best moments in recent memory with a punt return that got a coach fired (1). He kept us in games where we probably shouldn’t have been in games. He was one of the shining lights in what could have been a very dark year. I know I’m very thankful for that.
I’m also particularly thankful that he gave me ammo against a particular fan base that likes to talk a lot about football. Thanks to Gio, I have a shutdown line that will work for the next 7 months. ”Hey. Remember that time Gio returned a punt for a touchdown and got your coach fired?” (2)
Gio is going to fulfill his dream of playing his sport at its highest level. I couldn’t be more proud of him or excited about his future. I’ll admit to a piece of me still wishing it was in light blue, but that’s a very selfish piece of me. Though when no one’s paying attention I do allow myself to daydream a bit about what it would have been like. Please don’t judge me.