Who Says There's No Such Thing As A Moral Victory?
It's not very popular today to claim moral victories. A lot of us have become so enamored with immediate results that anything less than a win on the scoreboard leaves many people clamoring for change or at least complaining about the lack of a "real" win.
I happen to fall into the group that does believe in "moral" victories even though I don't exactly understand why they
are called moral. Seems to me it is a stretch to call these victories moral but maybe the education of my early years is showing and I haven't consulted Webster on the true meaning of this word recently.
I can't remember a more painful period in my UNC sports history than the first half of the Oklahoma game. I thought it would never end, particularly the first quarter. The score was so bad at halftime that I brought out my media guide to determine the worst defeat we have ever suffered . I was that concerned that the record might be broken by Oklahoma. The record book shows that UVA defeated us in 1912 66-0.
Mrs. RamFanatic, who ordinarily stays upstairs during UNC athletic contests where we don't have cable, came downstairs to check on the score and I said to her, "We're getting the crap beat out of us". When she inquired a second time because she didn't hear me the first time, I shouted the same thing again. All she said was "All right, All right" and she went back upstairs not to be heard from again until I retired and told her about the comeback.
Why do I say it was a moral victory? Well, maybe we should drop the term "moral" and simply say that there were several things that should please Tar Heel fans.
1. Conditioning-there can be no doubt that Carolina was in better physical condition than they have been in for years. I had to chuckle after the game at the comment the sideline man (Karsten) made about Carolina's defense being "worn out" at the beginning of the second half. They sure didn't look worn out to me and I'll bet the Oklahoma players didn't think they were worn out. I think more questions were raised about Oklahoma's conditioning than about UNC's.
2. Not folding- I'm convinced that the Carolina teams of the past few years would have folded after the first quarter. There was every reason to fold and I think the fact that they didn't is what prompted Coach Bunting to say it was the most courageous defensive effort he had ever been associated with.
3.Abilty to move the ball- without getting into the Curry-Durant controversy, I was impressed with the way Carolina moved the ball in the second half. I'm going to leave it up to the coaching staff as to who should be our quarterback but I will say that the "sands in the hour glass of time" are slowly running out with RC. I don't know exactly what the problem is but I think one of the problems is that his personality is not suited for leadership, just like Ed Cota and there is not much that can be done about it. I remember watching Curry on TV at a basketball game when he made his visit to Carolina and noting the fact that he did not show much emotion. Posters on the UVA board even commented sarcastically that he must have really been enjoying himself based on the photo that was posted at the time. You don't expect a person who does not show emotion to all of a sudden start showing it and if there has ever been a position where emotion is needed for leadership, it is at the quarterback position. I feel bad about RC's experience as a whole since he has been at Carolina but I think it has reached the point where he must be questioning himself whether quarterback is the place for him. He has tremendous athletic ability but his decision making is lacking.
I was a little disappointed that we didn't use more deception in the game but the Ferguson defection could have influenced our game plan. I'm still fuming about the way Ferguson left but not that he has left. I'm glad Coach Bunting apologized for the public comments he made about Ferguson but he was speaking the truth. As the old line goes, many of us can't handle the truth. There are so many constituencies to satisfy when you are the coach at a university. There is no need to alienate a segment of the fan base , faculty and administration for no good reason. Whether Coach Bunting realizes it or not, we all need friends and being outspoken sometimes interferes with maintaining good relationships with certain people whose support we might need later.
One minor question. Did Merceda Perry play? I don't remember hearing his name called one time during the game. Maybe Thornton was beating him to the tackles or maybe I missed reading that he was injured and therefore did not play. Wonder how Coach Torbush felt watching Thornton's play but I won't go there. I'm trying my best to focus on the future and I think the future is bright for Carolina football.