Not So Fast, My Friend

With apologies to Lee Corso, maybe the title of this article best sums up the feelings of many Heel fans who thought the team would pull out of its funk and play well against Ga. Tech. Play well? I guess they did. I wasn't believing my eyes and ears in tracking the game. I declined an invitation to attend the game, and had to try and follow developments between the radio and the internet.

I got absolutely nothing on the radio until the second half. I usually get WBT Charlotte pretty well here in Richmond but last night, not a sound. Then all of a sudden, Woody comes through as clear as the Richmond stations. I never did hear a station identification and I guess there is always the chance that Chester, Va. is carrying the Carolina games. They have done it before, but I have such little familiarity with radio broadcasts of games that I'm not sure. Television rules and I mean rules sports in this day and age.

I wish I had been in Kenan Stadium last night. It sounded like the old days, maybe even better. The people on the internet who were posting on the game were commenting on the noise the crowd was generating and when I finally got tuned in, I had to agree. Of course, after the debacle with canned crowd noise in the Smith Center, I am suspicious since I now know the noise can be artificially generated and, more importantly, know that there are people who see nothing wrong with doing this. I have a feeling the noise last night was the real thing.

The main question now is whether the performance against Ga. Tech. is sufficient to get the wolves off Coach Bunting's back. From what I hear this morning, the pressure will be relieved for at least a week, but there are many who still question whether John Bunting is the man to lead UNC's football program out of the doldrums. The worst part of the Bunting situation is that he seems to be universally liked by Carolina people, and no one wants bad things to happen to people they like. But there comes a time when personal feelings cannot be allowed to prevail over performance, and the pressure being felt by Coach Bunting and his staff is not very much different from the pressure millions of Americans feel in their jobs every day. The fact that Bunting is an alum complicates matters even further. Nobody speaks ill of Bunting's love for UNC and each time I hear him speak, I want to suit up and take the field. He has the ability to have that effect on people. If he does not survive as head football coach, maybe someone should give some strong consideration to having him represent the university in some other capacity such as fund raising. Don McCauley seems to be doing all right with the business school. I plan to write about a conversation I had with Don in a later article.

I made a few observations of games I watched on TV yesterday that I would like to pass along but I'm running out of space. I get the feeling this is going to be a two post week for me. For the first time, I actually took notes during the games so I wouldn't forget what I saw and heard. One of the funniest things I observed was how the people who post on the Inside Carolina game thread "mellow out" as the game progresses. They openly discuss the role alcohol plays in influencing their posting behavior but it is hilarious for someone who is not drinking to read their comments. The best one from last night after it was apparent that Carolina was going to play an inspired game was, "Send me in at quarterback coach. I'm liquored up and ready to play." Funny thing is I bet the writer would have been willing to go into the game if he had been given a helmet and he might not have even insisted on having one. I have enjoyed having a beer or two from time to time in my life, but based on experiences when I was younger, I can attest to the fact that alcohol can cause one to do some very strange things.

In closing, let me say that it's amazing what a good football victory can do for one's disposition. This morning I find that Mrs. Ramfanatic is much nicer, Leroy the Tar Heel terror is more playful, my neighbors are friendlier, and even the stop lights are more cooperative. Who says it's only a game.

I'll try to have my second post up by Thursday.