Great (over)Expectations

January16/ 2000

…. One of the unique joys of sports is that unfetted exuberance of unfounded and unrealistic Great Expectation.   Each early season every partisan dreams the dreams of innocent naïveté   Alas, for every Tampa Bay Rays fan (of which there are still only a pitiful few!) there were 10,000s of ECU and UNC fans today. …. Chuck Dickens’ Pip never dreamed it was Magwitch.  UNCers, of course, BLAMED THE  %$&^#  REFEREES as is their custom.

    From my perch on the periphery of Kenan’s fabled Napa Valley, I noticed a lady Kenanite several rows down reading the game program section on The Great Kenan Bling Bling For Butch Project.  It was about eight minutes into yesterday’s 3rd quarter.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing and all seemed so right with the universe.  I thought to myself “Self, it looks like Project Kenan Bling Bling will get a heckuva Bon Voyage in another 45 minutes or so.”

   What do a dollar and a football game have in common?  Both equal FOUR Quarters.  Ouch!

   Alas the gridiron gods were agrinnin’ cause unlike 98% of the giddy Kenanites, they knew it was Butch vs Beamer and they know how that has ended 6 out of 7 times thru history.   Make that 7 out of 8 now.  Beamer – 7, Butch -1 (and that one was when Mike Vick was injured).  The folks at “The U” woulda known as “Butch can’t beat Beamer” was a topic of much discussion “back in the day”.

   You all know by now that the last 20 minutes of yesterday’s encounter was comparable to the first half of a certain NCAA Final Four semifinal a few months ago.  Unheeded cries of “CALL A TIME OUT ROY” were replaced by unheeded cries of “STOP’EM DEFENSE …. PLEASE!”.  ….. and, of course, the usual Kenan Chorus of “those no-good ACC refs are jealous that Charles Kuralt went to our school and they always cheat for our opponents.”  

   Whining about the officiating after every loss is as much a Tar Heel tradition as lasagna at The Rat.  The Rat is gone …. The whining lives on.

   Someone wrote me that on their way out of Kenan they heard an inebriated Tar Heel partisan suggest a fatal fate to ACC Commish Little Johnny Swofford.  Little Johnny is also jealous that Chas Kuralt went to school in Chapel Hill ????

   Since UNC is now a Smoke Free Zone, how about  a Nitwit Free Zone too?

   Oh, oh …. When The Fuddy Duddy Rule was called on Brandon’s End Zone leap how many of you turned to your buddy and said “Daggone it, Ol’ BobLee nailed it again.”?  I did of course.

   Woody and Steiny had not read my earlier column and reacted incredulously, stopping just short of invoking “Chas Kuralt envy” on the dastardly ref.   That is NOT a judgment call at all.  Ethnic Exuberance is clearly spelled out and Brandon clearly broke the rule.  Is it a dumb rule?  Yes, as I noted in the earlier commentary.

   Now that pass interference call on our 3 yard line late in the 3rd quarter was “iffy” with a capital “IF”.  It happened right in front of me and I had time to consciously think “no flag, that’s good” before a very very late flag was thrown.  From that moment on, the wild celebration of the Official Unveiling of The Butch Era was shelved until “later”.  The Tar Heels looked like the Mets a year ago …. Someone hit snooze and they simply shut down.  There were ample opportunities to recover from the iffy interference call that were not capitalized on.

   The ankle injury to Yates certainly was a factor.  Injuries to key players happens ONLY to Tar Heels (of course!!) and is, also, somehow tied, no doubt, to a UNC envy factor.   Don’t try and play that card to any Wuffs.  Trust me, just don’t.

   After that “iffy interference call” every thing “the %$^&$ refs” did from there on out was about as popular in Orange County as Sarah Palin carpet bombing Carrboro.  I am thinking of starting a rumor that all the ACC refs are from Wasilla Alaska.  Whatta ya think?

   Frank only beat Butch by 3 POINTS yesterday.  Last year’s L was also close.  Butch has better his’n this year and Frank’s his’n are not as talented …. But Ws are Ws and Ls are not.  Point differentials are for losers.

   The State University of New Jersey lost to the US Naval Academy yesterday, making Greg Schiano (at 0-3) about as popular around New Jersey as J. Edgar Hoover.  The “BIG WIN on National TV” last Thursday is not quite as epic as first celebrated.

   I don’t pretend to know how to manage a football game but “no running game whatsoever” seems to be a limiting way to go about it.  Especially if a “2 yard dive between the tackles” is always the 1st down call.  Steve Marshall LIVES!

   Miami / Ft Lauderdale looms next as Butch Year Two marches onward.  Lots of “glum” on the faces of exiting Kenanites yesterday ….. LOTS.    Plenty of opportunities to recover and finish just fine …. but The Swofford Bowl in Tampa isn’t likely now.


   Downeast there is lots of “AAAARRGGHHH” over the goings on in The Carter on Saturday.  Most Heel fans awaiting Kenan’s 3:30 kick-off were perplexed which team they wanted to lose.  They wanted neither to “win” of course.  A giant sinkhole swallowing both teams and their fans seemed the favored solution.

   ECU won’t be BCSing and Skip won’t be replacing Bill Belichek or Pete Carrol anytime soon.  

   Like UNC’s “big win” over Rutgers, ECU’s “big win” over The Cuzzins From Morgantown ain’t so big any more.  Bill “Torbush” Stewart was more lost in Colorado than the Donner Party.  Head Coach (??) Stewart was as clueless in his defeat in Boulder as a West Virgina alum would be on Jeopardy.  McQueen Campbell would be a sideline improvement for The “Neers”. 

   ECU will go on to win 7-8 or even 9 and go to some diddlebop bowl in Yazoo City but for the past several weeks the Pitt County crowd was dreaming of “winning the football lottery”.  That dream died in the shadow of Wuff Mountain.

   It was a very fine day for TO’B and the reasonably sane faction of WuffNation.  Speaking of coaches looking lost …. Did ya catch Chuckie on the sidelines in the final seconds of the 3rd Grobification of Bobby B last night?  The former Messiah of The Fairgrounds was in full “look busy and confused scramble mode” as the Noles set a modern day record for turnovers by a team with arrows on the helmets.

    Am I the only one who thinks Jim Grobe and John Fox were separated at birth?  


 How did Ms Havisham die? 


   Pete’s dragon lived in Passamaquoddy, Maine.  A very low % of readers got that one as anticipated.

   If you consider yourself “a sports fan” I hope you watched at least a portion of “the final game in Yankee Stadium”.  It was all about “the good stuff in sports”.

   My annual Gimme Eats w/ The Funny Hokie Men In Their Funny Hokie Hats was, as always, “Fun”.  Senior Hokie Clota is now doing obscene acts with pineapples and vinegar.  You had to be there.  Hokie Jim says Frank is as afraid of Butch as he is of Algroh.  He says it while guffawing. 

   Kudos to Chancellor Doogie for his continuing Old Well Walking.  He is now 1-1 but who’s counting?

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