RamFanatic Finally Meets Rameses
From a football standpoint, my last two trips to Chapel Hill have not given me much pleasure. Something happened prior to the Syracuse, however, that will make that day a special one and one that I will not forget for a long time to come.
I finally met Rameses in person and for those of you who are long time readers of my ramblings, you know this is something I have wanted to do for a quite some time.
It all started when I dreamed up this idea of interviewing Rameses and pretending that he could talk. I formulated maybe 10 questions I was going to ask and then answer on behalf of Rameses. Apparently I didn't make myself clear because I was contacted by an individual who wanted to know if they could "sit in" on the interview. I had no objections but later learned that this individual was under the impression that I was actually going to try and communicate with Rameses and when they learned that the interview was not direct communications with Rameses, they lost interest. I wouldn't have minded observing interaction between Rameses and this person, but apparently they thought my interview was a joke, which it was, and not the kind of thing they wanted to be associated with. I would contact them now, but the contact with me was by a third party and I can't remember their name.
Back to the meeting. Rameses, I learned, puts in a guest appearances in a space roped off near the GAA tent in Tar Heel Town. Rob Hogan, the current caretaker, says he is there before every home game. I didn't know that and there is a possibility I missed several opportunities to meet him earlier than I did.
Rameses and his predecessors have been cared for by the Hogan family since the first Ram was adopted as the UNC mascot in 1924. The current Rameses is the offspring of the ram given by a family in Wytheville,Va after the unfortunate demise of his predecessor. I was unaware that the ram who replaced the one that was killed had died of a urinary ailment.
Rameses is a fine looking creature and doesn't seem to mind the attention he gets from all the fans. I had my photograph taken with him and will either post it at the conclusion of this article or with the account of the interview which I still plan to conduct. Rob Hogan told me I could come out and conduct the interview and its possible I will get better photographs then.
Rob told me some humorous stories about previous Rameses and I will share a couple with you. He said that on one occasion while returning from a game in Atlanta, Rameses started ramming the side of the truck enclosure while they were traveling and the driver ( his father, I believe ) had concerns as to whether the truck siding could withstand the ramming. Rameses finally calmed down, but I sure would liked to have seen the face of his father as Rameses crashed into the sides of the truck.
Another story he told was that a Duke fan called and asked if he could have a photograph made with Rameses. Rob. who seems like a rather easy going fellow, said that he could and the gentleman came out to where Rameses is housed. After an introduction, Rob says the gentleman said he had to get something from his car before the photograph was taken. He went to the car and removed a cape (blue devil) and a pitchfork. Rob let him take the photograph, but I told him I would have had trouble with subjecting Rameses to that kind of indignity. I might have agreed to a photograph with those props provided the gentleman agreed to let Rameses ram him from behind or be on top of him lying flat on the ground.
Surprisingly, Rob is a N.C. State graduate, but after thinking about it, I decided this was a good thing. What better training to take first class care of a ram. Better than anything we could have offered. Rob said nothing in our conversation that led me to believe that he is anything but a loyal Tar Heel.
One more thing Rob told me that gave me ideas for a future article. He said the gentleman who gave Rameses to UNC has one of the largest herds of rams in the U.S. The herd in Wytheville, Va. numbers around 350. He also said that if Rameses were in the herd and around other rams that his face would be marked up. Seems that rams really do enjoy head butting each other like they did on the television commercial n some time back. I can't remember who the commercial was for, but it seems like it was for Dodge trucks.
Now that you know where Rameses will be before each home football game, maybe you will want to consider dropping by and exchanging pleasantries. One of the questions I plan to ask in my interview is whether Rameses would like to go down and inspect the statue of Rameses outside the Football Center which is billed as the largest ram in the world. Then again, maybe I won't ask him. I imagine rams have such a thing as self esteem even if they don't know how to express it in human terms.