“A Pony In Here Somewhere”

January16/ 2000

….. On a woeful Saturday among Kenan’s fabled pines, an incredible Good Samaritan tale unfolded.  Using allegories out his wazoo, BobLee tells a remarkable tale of finding a thoroughbred pony among the pile of equine dung. ….. For certain sure the solitary highlight of a disastrous day many are comparing to “that embarrassing loss to Navy in 1989 in the rain; but without the rain ….”.

For BobLee on Butch (uh oh!) skip directly to the second half of this column, but you’ll miss a really cool story if you do. 

Surely you’ve heard the story of the young lad who, on Christmas morning, finds a steaming pile of horse excrement under the tree.  The young paragon of optimism immediately grabs a shovel certain that “there must be a pony in here somewhere.”   The moral being that even among a pile of crap there might be a prize awaiting ….. in this case a Good Samaritan From Badin named Burnie. 

Diogenes searching for his honest man mighta bypassed Kenan Stadium on Saturday.  If so he missed Burnie From Badin and yours truly woulda missed the only scintilla of non-woe to emerge from Carolina’s Annual Saving of Algroh’s Job.

This one includes a passel of BobLee Buddies:  Little Ricky, Prince Albert, Son of Albert, Lovely Libby, Rick&Donna the afore-mentioned Burnie From Badin, Kelly Pickler (?) and “a wad of cash destined for a mission trip to Uganda”.  

 If you got a better story, lets hear it.  I didn’t think so.

Saturday morning began with Mike Long speaking to a breakfast fellowship at Raleigh’s Christ Baptist Church.    Mike is one of America’s foremost advocates for abstinence education.  Following his presentation he sold copies of his latest book and had the “wad o’ cash” in his pants pocket.  Mike and the “wad o’ cash destined for Uganda” drove to Chapel Hill and boarded a shuttle bus to Kenan.  Of all the fans on all the shuttle buses God put Burnie From Badin on this one next to an empty seat for Mike.

Mike and Burnie strike up a casual chat.  Mike mentions his father, UNC’s leather-helmet legend Albert Long …. and his destined-to-be-legendary son Garrett, a fine QB at North Raleigh Christian Academy.  That bit of Long family boasting plays a key element in the story.   Mike pulls out his cell phone to call Prince & Garrett to arrange their Kenan rendezvous.  Out comes his cell phone ….. and “the wad o’ cash destined for Uganda”.  

The bus arrives at Kenan.  Mike says good-by to Burnie and, unknowingly to “his wad o’ cash”.  Burnie sees the cash but Mike is long gone.  ….. at this point imagine “you are Burnie”.  $180 on a bus seat and it’s rightful owner has melted among 60,000 soon-to-be-bitterly disappointed Tar Heels.  WWBD?   Here’s what Burnie did …..

Mike had mentioned that his legendary father was at the UNC lettermen’s BBQ at The Bell Tower.  Burnie, with Mike’s cash in hand, heads to The Bell Tower.  He asks for Carolina’s “last 4-sport letterman” but is told “Albert, The Henderson Hottie, AND a certain roguish Internet Legend left a few minutes ago.”  Now WWBD?  

Burnie heads for The Choo Choo Lounge on Kenan’s South Side where he encounters former under-sized but scrappy UNC Linebacker “Little” Ricky Packard.  LRP was performing his pre-game Letterman Lounge host duties.   LRP knows Albert because “EVERYBODY knows Albert Long”.   Alas, Albert has just left the Lounge.   NOW ….. WWBD?

Burnie was distraught….. how to get the Ugandan-destined cash to his shuttle bus-buddy Mike. “Never fear” says LRP.  “There is ONE & ONLY ONE GUY who can solve this.  If anyone can take the “im” out of impossible, it’s BobLee!” 

   LRP takes down Burnie’s contact info including the fact that “Burnie knows Kelly Pickler (??).   LRP assures Good Samaritan Extrordinaire Burnie that the Ugandan cash is as good as back in Mike Long’s pocket.

Missus and I were dining with prominent regional media celebs “Rick&Donna” at The Angus Barn when I get LRP’s e-mail on the IPhone.   I call Burnie.  I call Albert then Mike.  I make Mike’s wife “Lovely Libby” apologize for berating Mike for being so careless with the lost (now found) Ugandan cash.   Mike calls Burnie.  Burnie in Badin is sending Mike a check for the $180.

Mike and his family are grateful that “God’s Will” this time involved him getting that money back.  Burnie did a whopper of a good deed.  Prince Albert has absolutely no clue who Kelly Pickler is (but we bet Garrett does).  Me and LRP, we just smiled ….. “aw shucks, tweren’t nuthin’.

‘Cause on a beautiful Fall Saturday when Kenan’s fabled greensward was piled high with horse crap ya just had to figure….

There had to be “a pony in here somewhere.”   So much for the good news.


Friday morning I got a heads-up e-mail ALERT from “South Building” that UNC would be announcing the Official Sales Kick-off to sell fancy suites in NewKenan’s East End.  A $70,000,000 “like Carter-Finley” construction project to be financed 100% by the sale of suites and club seats to Tar Heel fans inclined to buy’em.   Not a penny of taxpayer dollars to be used; however, the timing relative to public perception could be “just a tad suspect” (DUH!) as yours truly and Kindly Ol’ Bill Friday quickly noted.  The embattled ship UNC has just hit a giant budgetary iceberg ….. and we’re selling caviar on the Lido deck.  Because Butch Davis says WE HAVE TO !! ….. Excuse me?

I proffered “ya might wanta wait til AFTER we play “the sixth best team in Virginia’ just in case.  Trumpeting the Glorious Resurrection of Carolina Football is fine and dandy assuming that Lazarus/Choo Choo is indeed fogging a mirror.”  Alas and alack, the “I told ya so’s” I earned for that Cassandran prophecy are bitter indeed.

I’ve already done the one/only “excuse column” I intend to do for The Pale Rider.  Yeah, UNC has an offensive line depleted by attrition and injuries ….. blah blah blah.  Cry me a river.  For $2,200,000/year Butch can make up his own excuses.  Is it too much to expect our Multi-Millions Messianic Mercenary to come up with better than 3 Points against “the 6th best team in Virginia”?

Butch Davis demands (1) pay me “Roy Money” …… (2) allow me to recruit any knuckle-draggin’ cretin I want to ….. (3) build me a state-of-the-art recruiting center ….. (4) add millions of dollars of other shiney  crap to the stadium to impress the knuckle-draggin’ cretins ….. (5) give me an unlimited staff payroll budget ….. (6) ….. (7)  …… (8) ……  and I’ll mastermind a 16-3 humiliating loss to that idiot Algroh who can’t beat anybody in America BUT ME!

Hapless Al can’t beat William or Mary or Frank Beamer ….. but he sure can beat Butch like a little toy drum. ….. ba rumpa bumm bumm. 

As for “Roy Money”.  Roy has hung TWO National Champion banners (and counting) in our rafters.   “$2,200,000/year worth of Butch” is now 0-2 vs State and 0-3 vs UVA!  Carl Torbush and John Bunting were a combined 2-7 versus UVA and 5-4 versus State.  Carl & John’s salaries COMBINED never exceeded $1,000,000/year.

UVa is THE “most-like-us” school in America.  Their traditions, standards, alumni, campus et al is a Shenandoah Valley version of UNC & Chapel Hill ….. EXCEPT they manage to beat us like a rented mule every Fall.  How many years in a row have we saved Algroh’s job for him?

Butch Davis and Algroh both flopped as NFL head coaches yet each flimflammed his way into a sweetheart college deal.   Find a beleaguered AD under extreme pressure from a desperate fan base and rework a resume of “I almost kinda sorta did some things I claim totally exaggerated credit for” and keep telling those desperate fans “we’re getting there …..”

After a 4 WIN initial season, the messianic mercenary demanded a $50,000 per win ransom.  Then, riding John Bunting’s maturing recruits, he soared to a fine 8-4 bowl season (albeit marred by a 2nd straight butt-whuppin’ by our bitterest rival on our home turf).   Desperatly delushional fans got BCS fever.

Now with a roster of 85% “his recruits” UNC manages 3 POINTS against the 6th best team in Virginia.   When “The Great Recruiter” gets a roster of all “his players” MAYBE we’ll actually score a TD against the hapless “Hoos”. (NOTE:  William & Freakin’ Mary scored TWO TDs against UVA and Southern Mississippi scored FIVE) …… Provided, of course, UNC can sell all those fancy suites and give in to Gawd only know what other demands The Pale Rider will INSIST HE HAS TO HAVE before he can beat UVA or NCSU or WFU.

Grab your ankles Tar Heels and hang on til Late Night With Roy.  It’s going to be a very expensive and frustrating ride for the forseeable future.  It is what it is …..

Being such a persuasive talker, maybe Butch shoulda gone to Copenhagen with Oprah?  Madame O was so distraught over the IOC’s humiliating rejection of Lord & Lady Obama that “she promptly ate Norway”.



Who was POTUS the last time UNC defeated 
both UVA and NCSU in consecutive years ??


(Hint:  NOT Franklin Pierce or Millard Fillmore)


   The Gabor Sisters were Zsa Zsa, Eva and Magda.  The Kardashians are Kim, Khloe and Kourtney.  Magda Gabor is “like Zeppo Marx” i.e.  The one you never can remember.

Both UNC Women’s Soccer and Field Hockey are undefeated and ranked #1 and #2 nationally.  So there Wuffies and Dookies and Deacons and Pirates and Hoos …… TAKE THAT! …… by golly!

 We aren’t sure EVERY single UNCer will see this column, but pretty sure every Wuffie and Hoo likely will.

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