New Day Dawns For UNC Football
It would be wise for me to maintain a touch with reality, but I can hardly contain myself about developments associated with the UNC football program.
From previous comments I have made, you know by now that I am a long time Tar Heel fan. Just for the record, I would like to say that I have supported the Heels since 1938 even though my poor mother had to read to me the accounts from the newspaper since I was only 6 at the time. It's hilarious how I became a follower of all things Carolina now, but at the time it was serious business. I was visiting my cousin in Winston-Salem who was a teenager and I noticed most all of her friends seemed to be for Duke. Remember, this was when Duke was a national power in football, having played in two Rose Bowls over a period of 3 years. My cousin was for Carolina and had a strong dislike for the Blue Devils. I asked her why she did not like Duke and why she liked Carolina. She then informed me that "Duke paid their players". Don't worry about the accuracy of the statement, but since I was only a child, a combination of that statement and the fact that my favorite cousin liked the Heels was good enough for me. There were a lot of stories floating around about Duke at that time as they always are when a team wins big. I remember hearing one adult say that the Duke players had all been playing together since they were in grammar school. Preposterous but comfort to those who didn't understand how Duke kept on winning so big.
Back to the UNC football program. During the 60 plus years I have been for the Heels, the last 3 have been the most difficult. Tougher than during the War years when we couldn't beat hardly anybody except the Cherry Point Marines. It was not as tough as the Torbush years. Now please, let's don't get into a debate about Coach Torbush. I hope all that is behind us but team play under his Head Coachship did not live up to my expectations. For the first time, I am admitting that I did not purchase season tickets last year after having them for the previous year and using them only once. Before you decide that I am a bandwagon fan, give some consideration to the fact that I concluded Carolina was not properly prepared for games and I could not bear to watch it. The Florida State game 2 years ago was a good example. We called time out during the first four plays of both the first and second halves. I'll let you decide whether that indicates a lack of preparation or not. I could live with the losses but I couldn't live with the inept play. If the coach is not responsible for things like this, then who is?
Our new coach seems to be an intense person and that's exactly what we need. The players have warmed to his style and a couple have even said that he brought something the team has needed for a long time. Even though they haven't been identified yet, I am convinced that several of our players have decided to transfer and we will hear more about that soon. This is why some of us are experiencing difficulty in determining how many scholarships we have to give. I have sympathy for those who don't want to be a part of what is going to happen on the Hill, but if they are not sufficiently committed to the new approach, then they will be better off elsewhere.
It would appear from reports on other boards that attention is being given to making a Saturday afternoon a better experience in BKS. For those who do not know what these initials stand for, I will explain that BKS stands for Beautiful Kenan Stadium. Not my invention but clever and saves words. Several people have posted that this was one of the topics discussed at the Educational Foundation meeting held yesterday. It must have been the Board of Directors because I know of no scheduled meeting of the membership at large.
There are more things that I would like to write about Saturdays in Kenan but this article is running too long. I will write a second article later in the week.
In the meantime, there is one happy Heel up here in Richmond. As someone said, maybe the curse of the past several years covering many facets of UNC athletics is over at last. I believe it is.