Odds and Ends, Part 12
Seems like I collect items for this type of posting as fast, if not faster, than I post them. Maybe my list will be depleted in the near future. The reason there are so many odds and ends is that, quite frankly, a lot of the items don't invite commentary or at least I don't know enough about the subject to write an entire article about them.
Top 10 Wins, Fewest Seasons
I was reviewing the top 10 basketball teams in the country as far as total wins the other day, and noticed an unusual fact that I had not noticed before. UNC has played basketball for less years than the other 9. Kentucky, of course, leads the list, UNC is second and the spread between UNC and Kentucky has widened in recent years after we overtook them for a short while. Winning only 8 games in an entire season allows that kind of thing to happen. While we were focusing on Kentucky, Kansas has crept up on our backs and is only a few games behind us. We need to keep our eyes on Duke also. I feel like things have stabilized in our basketball program now that Coach Williams is in charge. The problem is that things look pretty stable for our principal competitors also.
Dean Dome Crowd Noise
UNC fans receive frequent criticism for not providing vocal support for the team when games are played in the Dean Dome. I feel like the use of the term Dean Dome is acceptable now, but in the early years after the facility opened in the mid eighties, some Carolina fans felt Carolina people should call the building The Smith Center and believed that only fans of our opponents called it the Dean Dome. Things change. National commentators, announcers and analysts all now routinely refer to the building as the Dean Dome and I don't believe they are doing it derisively
My friend left his seat briefly during the Kentucky game and went to the lower level. When he returned, he said the noise level was much louder there than in the rafters where the birds and I sit. For the first time, I gave some thought to the possible difference between the noise level at the playing floor level versus the rafters. There must be something to this because Coach Calhoun of Connecticut commented after last year's game that the crowd noise was impressive and made a statement to the effect that the noise level surprised him since he too had heard about the "Wine and Cheese" nature of our fans. Noise in the Dean Dome is muffled by the design of the building. I'll bet if a ceiling could be installed , you would hear something. Coach Odom when he was coaching at Wake Forest, said the noise was so loud that he could not make himself heard when he tried talking to his team. I think the noise is not so great when we play teams without a national name or teams that we are supposed to beat handily, but I think it's that way everywhere.
I was hoping the day had come when risers would be placed under the goal where the press used to sit, but the move of the press to a location further up in the stands seems to have been for financial reasons and not to have more students near the court. 48 premium seats have been established where the press used to sit and when all are sold will produce approximately $1,000,000 in additional revenue. I believe
16 of the seats have been sold to date but it is early. I don't doubt for a minute that the seats will eventually be sold.
Strength and Conditioning
Several of my friends and I think we have detected a difference in the appearance of the UNC linemen and linemen on opposing teams. The players of teams like Virginia, Virginia Tech, Texas, and even N.C.
State look bigger than ours and we are convinced it is not our imagination. Published weights show our players to be comparable to our opposition. A poster on one of the message boards made a comment recently that caused me to rethink the matter. He said that UNC (Conners) is a cardio man and not a muscle man. I know nothing about S and C, but what I think the poster was saying is that there is more than one approach to S and C. If I understand what he said correctly, it is that you can emphasize sculpturing a player's physique or you can emphasize conditioning which would not necessarily show. The poster pointed to the 4th quarter of the Miami game as evidence that UNC has been successful in its conditioning program. Regardless of the scoring in that period, he said Miami's players were playing with their tongues hanging out while UNC's players were not suffering from fatigue. It makes sense if it is true. Of course, another possible less complicated explanation might be the color and fit of the jerseys when a comparison is made. Maybe darker colored and lighter colored jerseys give a different impression and me and my friends and I may have made comparisons when color was involved. I have never given much thought to whether darker or lighter colors make a difference in visual perception. Maybe I should. Colors don't matter much, however, when a belly "lops" over the belt. A joke making the rounds several years ago was that certain players had bad cases of "dunlops disease." The disease is explained in the sentence above.
"Chapel Hill makes no pretense of being cosmopolitan, It strives rather for
an enlightened provincialism. It is primarily concerned with Southerners and the
South, and it seeks to equip men to lead useful lives in a backward empire now
slowly moving into what may become the most astonishing renaissance ever seen on
David Cohn, The Atlantic Monthly, 1941