Odds and Ends Wrap-up

Seems like most of what I have been writing lately has been of the Odds and Ends variety. Hopefully this installment will clear out some of the small items I have been holding, but I can't be sure. This is the time of the year that resolutions are made and I make the following one. I will find a better title for these short items than Odds and Ends during the next year. The title came about in a similar way as my moniker Ramfanatic. In each instance, I couldn't think of anything clever so I went with what would suffice, at least for the moment.

In the next few weeks, I will decide whether to continue with the Ramfanatic web site or not. The past four years ( Oct.2000) have been enjoyable but I've about written out. Traffic looks pretty good but there are problems there that defy solution. I don't need my ego stroked frequently, but when so few viewers respond, it naturally causes me to wonder if there is sufficient interest in what I write to justify continuation. We'll see.

Signs in the Dean Dome

Much has been said about the University policy which prohibits signs to be shown in the Dean Dome. I have always considered this to be rather excessive regulation but then again, I probably would understand better if I had the experience of sitting behind someone who was blocking my view with a sign regardless of how supportive it was of the Heels. I wrote several years ago about a friend of mine who made a small sign on a cardboard insert he had pulled from his shirt wrapping after it returned from the laundry. He wrote "We love you Shammond" and went to hold it up while the team was going through pre-game drills.

An usher spotted him and told him he would have to surrender the sign or leave the DD. My friend refused and took off running. He never surrendered the sign. This is another example of a rule unwisely enforced. I realize that exceptions erode the original rule, but it seems to me that someone could have used a little common sense here and not created the ill will that it did. The rule does not say that no signs are allowed. It says that no signs are allowed that have not been approved by the Athletic Department.

There was a bad scene several years ago during the last days of Coach Crum's regime when someone had a sign at a football game in Kenan Stadium which read "Fire Coach Crum.." Several of the football players took exception to the sign, jumped into the stands and took the sign from its owners, and destroyed it. It was not a nice scene but it could have been worse.

I wonder how other schools deal with this situation. I haven't paid too much attention to this when I watch the Heels on TV, but it seems like I have seen signs at games played at other locations. Maybe they were neutral sites or maybe they were just at football games.

What's the bottom line? We should have reasonable rules but maybe the enforcers of some of these rules need training in how to enforce them .

Going Home Again

Regardless of what Thomas Wolfe said about not being able to go home again, Roy Williams has done it and done it successfully. Coach Williams' first year as Head Basketball Coach at UNC has been chronicled in a book written by Adam Lucas that has been out for several months entitled "Going Home Again." It's hard to put my finger on what I liked the book so much. Maybe it was because the author has credibility in my eyes, maybe it was because of his writing style which I like or maybe it was because the contents of the book agreed with what I had concluded was going on during both the Doherty and Williams regimes. It is well worth your time to read the book. Maybe you could drop a hint to a loved one that you would like a copy for Christmas. I'm almost ashamed to say that's the way I got mine. I should have purchased the book earlier.

I'm not going to divulge much of what is in the book because that would detract from reading the book. There are several incidents in the book that I had never heard of and I believe author Lucas was in a position to know these things when they might have escaped the attention of other journalists.

I will relate part of one situation which apparently has more intensity than I realized. For whatever reason or reasons, I now believe there is deep seated animosity between Julius Hodge and Rashad McCants. I didn't realize that Hodge called McCants a name when they played in Raleigh last year that could have resulted in blows. The name Hodge called McCants is one that you don't hear very much, or at least from people of my generation, but you might hear on the Sopranos. I won't mention the name here but you can figure it out if you watch the Sopranos. It was the name of the individual in the Soprano family who was killed by the other members of the gang because he had ratted on them to the FBI. They shot him on a boat and dumped his body overboard. That's all I am going to say about the subject.

Maybe after the holidays, if I am still writing, I will summarize the book. I don't think it is the thing to do at this time.

Holiday Wishes

I want to wish everyone the best holiday season you have ever had. I looked for something special to post that would express my feelings, but I never located what I had in mind. Sometimes the simplest thing is the best thing. Maybe this is one of those times.

We have had much to cheer about this past year. We went to the NCAA playoffs in basketball which in previous times was taken for granted but not after the 8-20 year. The football team gave us more excitement than we have been given in several years and the excitement ma not be over. In addition to the men's basketball team being ranked in the top five in the country, the women's team is marching right along beside them, being ranked at the same #5 in the country. Field Hockey and both men's and women's soccer had very good years even though they didn't capture a national championship as some of us thought they would. It's been a good year and many schools would give their right arm to have the athletics program that we have. The thing about it is that the best may be yet to come.

'Democracy, liberalism, culture and religion are the cornerstones of this ancient institution."

Joseph Melville Broughton
Governor of North Carolina, 1941

Speech delivered before joint session of the General Assembly of North Carolina, Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill, 30 January, 1941

Ram note: Governor Broughton taught a Sunday school class at the old Tabernacle Baptist Church in Raleigh where I attended in the 40's. It was located across from the new post office, also across from the park in front of the old city market. This is where Big Ed's is now located. People familiar with Raleigh who like big country breakfasts will know where I mean.