RamFanatic Mascot.....

Several days ago, I visited the local Army and Navy store to buy a new pair of athletic shoes to replace the ones I had worn completely out. Even though they don't carry the official UNC team shoes, I thought the A and N store would be a good place to get shoes without having to hand over the title to my van or the deed to my house.

As I was checking out at the register, I noticed a small beanie baby key ring in the display case with a UNC button on it. I asked the cashier about it and since it wasn't very expensive, I told her that I would take the key ring along with the shoes. Sensing that she had a sucker for UNC items, she said, "Have you seen this?" She reached into the display case and pulled two suction cups from the glass and took out the most horrible looking thing I have ever seen. He was dressed in Carolina blue and had the word "Fanatic" emblazoned across his chest. Naturally, I had some interest in another Carolina creature with the moniker "Fanatic". It was only after I examined Fanatic more closely that I realized that the UNC logo with Ramses was also on his chest directly above the word "Fanatic". 1 plus 1 = 2, RamFanatic, get it? It was as though someone in China, the land of its origin knew that a real RamFanatic would be waiting for the motley doll and I can assure you and the Chinese, it has found a good home.

Attached to the doll (I really don't like referring to my new friend as a doll but I don't know what else to call him) was a tag that describes him as a Face Paintin' Fanatic and gives 5 steps to becoming a fanatic. You might want to test yourself.

1. Pledge allegiance to your team.

2. Cheer the loudest when your team wins.

3. Cry the hardest when your team loses.

4. Win or lose, stay loyal to your team.

5. Put a Face Paintin' Fanatic in your window to tell the world this is your team.

I have fallen in love with RamFanatic to the extent that I have called all 10 A and N stores in Richmond and bought everyone I could locate. That is a total of 6. I asked the Manager at one store if I could order a dozen but he checked and found that it was a special purchase or something. Anyway, I can't buy a dozen and I don't know what I need with so many in the first place.

Another interesting thing is that the tag with the explanation of how to be a Face Paintin' Fanatic was not on any of the UNC dolls but was on the one Virginia Tech doll I bought for a friend. Are they saying UNC people don't have to be told how to be a Fanatic. If so, I take it as a compliment but I doubt if that is the message they were trying to send.

While I was at it, I bought a tiger cub wearing a nice knitted UNC sweater (Chinese also) Leroy, the Tar Heel Terror, is dying to "play" with him but I've seen Leroy play before. He has gotten the words "play" and "eat" mixed up.

So let's hear it for Rammy. He arrives at a good time. Football and basketball prospects look good and he may give us the good luck we need to be consistent winners. If we do well in his first year, I may go to China and search out the manufacturer so everybody can have one.

Incidentally, I called the Shrunken Head and asked if they had the Rammys. They said they didn't but someone has asked about one 20 minutes before my call, I gave them the name of the distributor in Corona, Cal. I hope they get them because I think he will be popular and he looks neat suctioned to an automobile window as though he is climbing the glass from the inside. The only two schools received in Richmond were Virginia Tech and UNC. Sorry, UVA.