Finally, A Win Over The Wildcats
What used to be commonplace had become a scarce commodity in recent years, but the frustration of four straight losses to the Kentucky Wildcats made Saturday's victory all the sweeter. It was a win that will stay with the Tar Heel faithful for a while.
The game started with a bang when the Heels jumped all over Tubby's boys to the extent that he called a time out after two minutes. I believe the score was 8-0 at the time and I guess Coach Smith figured he had better call time out to prevent what looked like potentially a blow out. The Heels stretched the lead to 18 and a blow out certainly seemed possible at that point. But the Wildcats, to their credit, make three comebacks and they made it interesting almost to the last second. Well, not really, because we got two buckets at the very end that made the score a little misleading, but make no mistake about it. We lead the entire way, did not let them get closer than 6 points after the initial burst, led by 15 at halftime and allowed Kentucky to chip into our lead only 2 points in the second half. Everybody played well for the Heels, but some people, namely Billy Packer, always wants to find something to pick at, so he decided to make the point numerous times that UNC would be in trouble if they (we) didn't do something about our backup point guard. I , of course, didn't see the televised version of the game and I didn't have someone to tape it for me, but many of my friends tell me that ole Billy kept on and on about our so called "problem."
One message board viewer checked his tape of the game to see how UNC did when Thomas was in the game and the facts just don't support Packer's argument. I believe the viewer found that UNC outscored Ky. while Thomas was in the game. I don't know what Packer was basing his criticism on, but he succeeded to antagonizing UNC fans as only he and Dick Vitale can do. I have defended Packer on many occasions, but I'm about to join the majority of Carolina fans who feel he is anti-UNC. Funny thing is that Wake Forest fans think the same thing about his attitude towards them. Packer has become so displeased with things in general that his negativism spills over into most everything he says. While I still agree with him on some things he, He gives the impression that he is not a very happy man. Even though Dick Vitale does get on my nerves, it has never crossed my mind that he is not basically a happy person. I guess it takes all kinds.
It was a beautiful day in Chapel Hill. In fact, it would have been a good day for a football game. It was so nice that I didn't wear my favorite Carolina jacket to the game. I didn't need it. I didn't see any ticket brokers in front of the Dean Dome, but I bet they were to be found further up the hill and away from law enforcement personnel. I was told that single tickets were going for $600 on the internet. If that was true, it would equal the highest price for a single ticket I can remember. It has reached this level several times in games with Duke.
I talked with several Kentucky fans on the bus that took us from University Mall to the Smith Center and they were very nice. I asked if anyone had been rude to them because they were identified with their Kentucky shirts , but they said there had been no incidents. A Kentucky poster on one of the message boards said the Tar Heel fans were great after the game at The Top Of The Hill. I guess it's a lot easier being nice when you win. Whether we like it or not, we have some Carolina fans who are not what I would call nice fans and, in my opinion, they bring discredit to the University at times. Maybe I'll write later about a number of instances where I was embarrassed over the behavior of fellow Tar Heels. If you have never had this experience, you don't want to have it. It is a terrible feeling to see one of your "brothers" act like an ass while clearly identifiable as a UNC supporter.
I had a strange experience for the Kentucky game. I get so worked up prior to leaving for the game that Mrs. Ramfanatic and I have developed a check list for items that I take to the game. She doesn't usually go to the games, but she plays a vital role in getting me ready. We went through the check list last Saturday morning around 5:00 a.m. and I thought I was all set. It wasn't until I was near South Hill that I realized that I had not brought my radio. Too late to turn back so I tried to mentally prepare myself for what was to come. I didn't realize how much I depended on Woody to tell me what was going on during the game. It doesn't help that I sit up with the birds, but there are times when I can't tell what is going on. A good example was when the Ky. guard hit Felton's wrist. I won't go into all the details but I bet Woody would have told me quickly what was taking place. Another thing I missed were the football recruits who were at the game. I never did find them, but I bet Woody would have explained why I couldn't find them, Enough. Suffice it to say, I will never be without my headset at a game again even if I have to buy another pair and keep that set in the Heel Mobile. I use my headset when I walk which is most every day. Maybe that's why we had the mix up.
So we will have a little break now for final exams and we won't return to action until Sunday night against Loyola. I hope we can make it without a great deal of help from Raymond Felton. His wrist injury is starting to cause me concern and I feel like a sustained resting period may be what he needs. The following Sunday night, we play Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and in spite of what you may have heard, I don't expect this to be a easy one. After Santa Clara, I don't expect any games to be gimmees.
" February 1, 1871. This old university has busted and gone to hell today."
Anonymous. Found written in chalk on a wall in South Building upon reopening of the University in 1875.