World Is Not Ending
Despite what some of you may be thinking after the Wake Forest loss, the world is not coming to an end. It's easy to lose perspective on a big game like this one coming so early in the season. Some Heel fans on the message boards are bemoaning the fact that as a result of the loss we now will not win the ACC regular season championship. How thoughtful.
First of all, I think it is a little premature to assume that we will not win the ACC regular season championship after playing just one game of the season. I fully understand and acknowledge that it creates an additional hurdle for us to achieve this goal, but to state the obvious, it still very early in the season. Quite frankly, I wish there would be no ACC games of any kind prior to Christmas like it used to be, but I guess with expansion and admission of Georgia Tech and Florida State, this became a scheduling impossibility. The second reason I react negatively to the doomsdayers is that I don't think the ACC regular championship should be the ultimate goal of the team anyhow. Even though I want to win every game we play, I think where we wind up nationally is more important than what we do either in the regular season or the ACC tournament. How many of you would exchange the national championship in '93 for the ACC Tournament championship that we did not win. I thought so. Of course, if you don't do well nationally, it gives bragging rights to the regular season and tournament champs. We may be a year or two away from being legitimate contenders for the national championship, but I'm of the definite opinion that we are on the right track and I have a good feeling about the direction of the basketball program. I hate to say it, but the feeling I have about the football program is not as good and it has very little to do with the W/L record of the team. I won't say any more at this point about football because I make a conscious effort to find the positive about UNC athletics and I'm determined to enjoy what we are experiencing with the basketball program.
There are a couple of things about UNC basketball, however, that are requiring an adjustment on my part. Let me state as clearly as I can.
My comments should not be construed as negative criticisms. No matter how I phrase my thoughts, however, there will be some who will construe my comments to mean that I am complaining or criticizing Coach Williams and/or the program. Repeat. These things are requiring an adjustment on my part. Each of you can decide for yourselves how you feel and whether you need to make an adjustment or not.
Coach Williams has been critical of Reyshawn Terry in the press to the extent that I don't recall with any other coach or player, UNC or otherwise. There are those who say he is doing this for motivational reasons, but my career in management does not include any education or experiences that lead me to believe that public ridicule leads to improved performance. I can understand challenging a subordinate to improve and can even go along with doing certain things to accomplish this objective in front of teammates. But to do it in the press causes me to wonder what the objective is and whether there is a solid track record of this method of motivation being successful. Everyone knows Coach Williams is known for his candor and "straight shooting." Reporters love him because he gives them good material for their stories, thus he makes their jobs easier. It will be interesting to see if Terry becomes successful at Carolina because one thing we need to keep in mind. Coach Williams did not recruit Terry but agreed to honor Coach Doherty's commitment to him. Technicalities aside, one has to wonder if Terry is considered a fully accepted member of the family or if something else is involved which, obviously, no one will discuss publicly. At any rate, I have a great deal of sympathy for Terry and hope he makes it with the Heels.
Yesterday was enjoyable. I picked up four more UNC sweatshirts, as if I need any more, but they keep turning out new ones that I can't pass up. I bought one on E. Franklin St. for $34, saw another one I liked but rejected that was manufactured in Turkey and was $58 before going down to Rose's in the University Mall and buying three beautiful ones made in Mexico for $13 a piece. Actually, the ones I bought at Rose's ( a NC business ) look better than the $34 one, but I will admit the higher priced one is a little thicker. I don't buy these shirts for warmth, I buy them to keep up my reputation with Dave who once described me as "a walking UNC billboard." I didn't argue with him because I think there is a pretty strong case to support his contention.
Enough for now. I'm almost over my disappointment of yesterday, but I can honestly say that I'm glad I was in attendance at the game. I don't know if it was the best played game in ACC history, but for excitement and drama, one would be hard pressed to recall a game any better. This game will be talked about for years and other than losing, all the comments will be positive. Hard to beat that.