About a month ago, I was watching the Indiana game in a bar in South Carolina. As we all know things did not go well. Sometimes I get rather animated (especially when shots are involved, both alcoholic and basketball). A lady there thought that maybe I was a little to involved saying it was just a game even though apparently she was a Tar Heel too. So, I posed the question that I normally do in said situations; I asked her if she was a fan or alumni. A couple of my friends chastised me for this asking saying what does it matter? It matters because it has been my experience that alumni are less fair-weathered and fickle. But right now, after the loss to Texas and where the Tar Heel club is right now, I don’t care if you are a fan or an alumna/ae as long as you are loyal.
Maybe it’s because I was a student during the 8-20 season or maybe it’s because I don’t remember when I became a Tar Heel because I just always was, but I NEVER EVER give up on them. So, when I see Tar Heels giving up on their team in the first half, it makes me angry. When I hear people calling for Roy Williams’head, I shake mine. When I read what people are saying about Marcus Paige, I say give him a chance. He’s a freshman, and not every freshman point guard can be Kendall Marshall.
Tar Heel fans are spoiled, spoiled almost more than any other collegiate sports team. Some of our fans think we are entitled to be in the Top 25 every year regardless of the fact that we lose 4 of our 5 starters to the NBA. I don’t follow UK basketball or their fans, but are they reacting in the same way to the Wildcats’ less than stellar first part of the season? Of course they have the Naismith trophy to ease the pain, but are they putting for sale signs up in front of John Calipari’s house?
I watched every minute of the Texas game, and it was more frustrating than an Amish electrician. But you know what? It wasn’t as frustrating as the FSU game in Tallahassee last year. You know the one I am talking about. I would much rather watch a team of young players who are still getting used to playing with each other dribbling off their feet, making sloppy passes and missing lay-ups than a group of four potential All-ACC team members.
The lack of a true center is going to plague the Tar Heels all season. And I hate to say it, but probably against Duke more than any other team (or at least it will hurt more). Last time I checked it was December, and I’m not giving up on the Tar Heels. UNC was down by as much as 19 against Texas and cut it to 4. Granted Texas was not a good team and a team we should have beaten. But even the announcers said that it was the best they had seen the Longhorns play all season. Why? Because the Heels are vulnerable this year, and all the Davids want to get a piece of Goliath when they can.
As many of you know I work in politics, and it’s a nasty business. Having been in the business for a mere, three years, I can tell you that it is even dirtier and uglier than you think it is. So, Tar Heel nation I leave you with a poignant quote from Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character from The Ides of March, “There’s only one thing I value and that’s loyalty. And without it, you’re nothing.”