If you were to steal the CD player in my car right now, you would find Fun’s album “Some Nights”. One of my favorite lyrics off of the album is, “I got nothing left inside of my chest, but I’m all alright.” That pretty much sums up my mentality since Kansas not only ruined my birthday, but also ended my four month courtship with the 2012-2013 Tar Heel Men’s basketball team. I know. I know. They’ll be back, and it is more of a hiatus than a full-fledged break-up, but it just won’t be the same. I’ll never see Dexter Strickland dunk over Duke ever again. And things are still up in the air on whether or not James Michael McAdoo, Reggie Bullock or PJ Hairston want to continue their relationship with UNC Basketball fans. Everyone has their own, personal coping mechanisms when it comes to dealing with break-ups and heartbreak. Some guys and girls curl up into a bottle of whiskey or wine, respectively, and drink their baby goodbye. Others retire to the deep, dark solitude of self-pity and drown in their own tears. And a few will curse the opposite sex until the day they die, and vow never ever to fall under the spell again. However, it has been my experience that the best thing to do is to keep yourself and your mind busy with other interests until your wounded heart inevitably heals. So, here are a few of my suggestions for Tar Heel fans who are currently mending a broken heart like I am.
1. Embrace Tar Heels in the NBA: There’s still plenty of basketball left when it comes to professional basketball and no shortage of former Tar Heels to watch on a nightly basis. Former Point Guard, Ty Lawson is having a phenomenal season with the Denver Nuggets where he is averaging 16.7 ppg and nearly 7 assists. Raymond Felton has also been on a scoring tear with the New York Knicks. I hope PJ Hairston and James Michael McAdoo are also following the recent success of Lawson and Felton who probably benefitted from staying one extra year at UNC, and they both have a NCAA championship ring to prove it. This year there is an all-time total of 17 former Tar Heels in the NBA. So, while you’re mending that heart why not strike it up with a couple of old flames like Hansbrough, Barnes and Zeller.
2. Join the Andrew Wiggins Watch Party: The rumor mills are abuzz regarding which elite program is going to snag the number one high school prospect in the country. Wiggins met with Kentucky coach, John Calipari last Thursday, and many believe that Wiggins has narrowed it down to UK and UNC. No matter what Reggie, PJ and JMM decide, landing Wiggins would make the Heels an automatic Top 5 team for the 2013-2014. Though, I must warn the tender hearted that there is a very good chance this Watch Party could end in heartache as well. Kentucky and Calipari’s program often tend to appeal more to players of Wiggins’ caliber who are likely to be “one year and done” college athletes.
3. Check Out the Diamond Heels: UNC Baseball is up to bat and the Tar Heels are currently ranked #1 in the nation despite suffering just their second loss of the season on Monday. One of the top hitters in the country and Preseason All-American, Junior Colin Moran currently leads the team with 35 RBIs and 6 HRs. Adding to the Tar Heel’s power at the plate are returning Junior First Baseman, Cody Stubbs and Freshman Skye Bolt. The ACC is one of the most competitive college baseball conferences in the country, but this Tar Heel club is off to a great start that should put them in Omaha, NE again this summer.
4. Gear Up For the Gridiron: It was hard for me to watch Tar Heel football last year because I knew that we could go undefeated, and there still wouldn’t be a postseason for us. I’m not saying that the near come from behind victory against Louisville and pulling the rug out from underneath NC State wasn’t exhilarating. But, it’s just not as fun when you know that your season has an expiration date prior to Bowl season. And even without the return of running back sensation, Giovani Bernard, there is still a lot to be excited about for 2013 Tar Heel football including the return of senior quarterback Bryn Renner. It’s only a few, short months until the Tar Heels open up on ESPN primetime at Williams-Brice stadium in Columbia, SC. Nothing would please this little gal more than for the Tar Heels to spoil Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks’ home opener in front of a nationwide audience. If you cannot wait until August, there is plenty of UNC spring action as the Tar Heels have an open scrimmage this week at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte. The scrimmage is on Friday, April 5 at 6:30pm, and admission is free. If you’d rather see the Heels play at home at Kenan Stadium, that spring game is scheduled for April 14 at 3pm in Chapel Hill. So there’s no excuse not to take in a little pre-season pigskin action.
It always sucks when the college basketball season ends, and you’re not really sure what to do with yourself. But, no matter how you want to fill the void in your heart, Keeping it Heel will be here to help with your pain by providing the coverage you need for everything that is Tar Heel sports related.