Texas Game Hodge Podge

Saturday in Chapel Hill was wonderful in spite of the weather and the outcome of the game. I arrived around noon which gave me time to do some things I don't ordinarily have time to do but based on the rain coming down at that time, I thought I was in for an ordeal.

However the rain subsided and I had a chance to move around a bit. I enjoy browsing in the shops on East Franklin St. to see what is new because every time I do, I see something I have never seen before. I guess that's the name of the game in the college merchandise business. The producers in the industry know they have a substantial level of "nuts" who are suckers for almost anything they put out. I include myself in the group of "nuts" referred to above.

Good example though of how memorabilia can serve a constructive purpose, is as follows: The front bumper on my "Heel Mobile" van has developed two small spots where the water from rain draining off the windshield and hood have, over time, broken through the chrome. While the HM is not brand new, the chrome should last longer than it has, but every time I thought of having the bumper removed, rechromed, and reinstalled, I shuddered to think of the cost that would be involved.

Yesterday I saw small Rameses magnets in Carolina Pride about the size of the spots and for less than $5. I now have caused the worn spots to disappear. Had I not been browsing in Carolina Pride I would never have thought to conceal the spots with the magnets. Thank you John Hudson, VP of CP with whom I had a very nice chat about what color is really Carolina Blue, licensing, copyrights, trade marks and other non football topics. I inquired of him what the costs would be if the CAA decided to sell Carolina blue t-shirts for their upcoming "blue out" campaign for the State game. They haven't asked me to assist them but I want to be supportive in offering ideas and possible financial support for their effort because this has been one of my pet peeves for some time. Every time I see a football game on TV where national powers are involved, I get irritated when I see the fans all decked out in their school colors. Related example is the large number of Texas fans at the game Saturday who wore burnt orange shirts of various designs. For some reason this has never caught on at Carolina beyond a certain level and I would like to see it changed. CAA is to be commended for what they are doing and and I intend to provide them with any assistance that I can.

Another thing I got to do Saturday that I rarely ever get to do is sit down at the counter in Suttons and have a lemonade. I didn't get any food because my traveling companion and I had consumed a country breakfast at the "Home Place" in Dinwiddie, Va. and, quite frankly, neither one of us was very hungry. Besides, I knew that I was going to want some Parker's BBQ later at Tar Heel Town. Everyone was so pleasant and as I paid at the register, I asked the the supervisor of the college girls behind the counter, when Suttons first opened. She told me 1923 and I remarked that the Carolina Coffee Shop had opened the same year, a fact of which she was unaware. She laughingly told me that Suttons would always be there and I told her that if it ever appeared that it might close to let me know and we would try to help, She liked that and assured me she would let me know even though she hadn't the slightest idea who I was. I shudder every time I hear anything that causes me to believe that the Rathskellar might close and anyone who attended Carolina or has visited CH very often feels the same way. It recently changed ownership again but I'm told I will be business as usual so I can relax for a while.

I then went down to the Old Well Walk location long before the team arrived and met some Tar Heels that I have heretofore only known on the internet. It is really difficult for me to quickly process all the information that presents itself as I meet a person for the first time whom I have only known by their cyber name and personality previously. As you meet the person it is inevitable that you try to immediately recall everything you have experienced or observed about the individual on message boards and I'm afraid my mental computer sometimes melts down in the process. Over time, you learn who the caustic posters are, the whiners, the frustrated professional writer wannabees and you try to retrieve all the information immediately to help you interact with the real person you are meeting. Fortunately, most people I have encountered on message boards have been pleasant so it's not a real problem.

I moved on down to the tents in Tar Heel Town and saw Linda Rainey in the GAA tent with whom I worked closely during the Va. UNC License plate campaign and even met Doug Dibbert, the head man who dropped by while I was there. Linda told me about a person in Tennessee who is interested in trying to get UNC plates in that state and the difficulties she is having. I can relate. Linda says that while her contact was collecting information before starting her campaign, Tennessee changed the requirement for inclusion and the requirement is now 1000. Linda said she tried to explain to her that she is faced with almost an impossible task because we only have approximately 3000 UNC alums in Tennessee and using the Virginia model where we had in excess of 10,000 and it took 18 months to get 350, prospects didn't look real good. I don't think the Tennessee lady has accepted the impossibility of the challenge she is faced with but she needs to talk to me. Everybody says they think it would be easy to get people to purchase school plates but the reality of the situation is that it is very difficult. I am currently talking with the people at the Va. Dept, of Motor Vehicles to see how our program is progressing after meeting the initial requirement. The young lady I have made contact with is a UNC admirer because her favorite uncle is a UNC alum so it is much easier dealing with her that it had been previously. The first thing she said to me when I called and identified the purpose of my call was "I wish I had gone to UNC." I knew right then we were going to get along fine.

What I have learned to date is that the number of UNC plates in Virginia is now 2002. I am to receive comparative figures this week, more specifically numbers as to how we compare with the 5 schools who were ahead of us on day one. They were Penn. State, Army, Navy, Florida, and Fla. State. These schools all got their plates earlier than Carolina under lower standards and if they haven't increased their numbers at a rate comparable to our increase, we will move up in the rankings. I'll let you know how we have done when I hear from DMV.

Well I've done it again. When I start writing I wonder if I will have enough material to complete an article. Once I get into it, I discover I usually reach my word limit but still have things I want to say. I can almost hear some of you thinking right now about why I don't become less long winded. All I have to say in response is I'm working on it.

I will write later on:

1. gentleman I met in person (NASAHEEL) who is going to begin a campaign soon in Md. for UNC plates.

2. My sighting and greeting of Brian Butch in Tar Heel Town. He is the blue chip basketball prospect who was in Chapel Hill for an official visit on Saturday. Yes, he is 7 ' tall.

3. One of the strangest episodes I have ever been involved in at the Student Union. I expect weird (maybe I should say unusual) things when I visit UNC but I'm still processing this one.

4. The first Ram fanatic Outstanding Fan Award made at The Old Well  Walk. It was not planned but seemed appropriate for the situation.

So, until the next time (Uh Oh. Never thought about whether Maury Povich might have that tag copyrighted or would it be licensed or even a trade mark.) Life has really gotten complicated for someone who graduated in a simpler time. Bear with me.