The Marine- 2 ; The Mercenary- 0

January16/ 2000

Like an obscure island in the South Pacific, Tom O’Brien led the red-clad lupine into battle on a chilly November Saturday.  When the clock read 00:00 it was a red Block “S” flag proudly flying high “amid the pines”.  The Iwo Jima analogy breaks down as the losing side this day did not put up nearly as fierce a fight as did the Japs in 1945.   Two experienced coaches with different styles took over floundering programs in 2006.  On the 45th anniversary of “Camelot comes to Dallas” the scoreboard reads The Marine – 2 …. The Mercenary – 0.  Let the excuseifying begin..

Take your pick ….. “We were looking ahead to Duke” ….. “It was their bowl game” …. “We missed Ron Cherry” …. “At least it wasn’t quite as bad as Texas Tech got whomped” (ouch!) …. “Blame Mr Paulus'” ….. “_________ “.   Of course Mack Brown’s mythical “state championship” only counts when UNC wins it, but IF it did still count, it goes solidly to West Raleigh’s Wolfpack in 2008.  They defeated ECU, Wake, Duke and, most definitely “us” in our own backyard) in 2008.  It is noted that NCSU did not play App State.

But but but …. we beat McNeese State, Connecticutt, Rutgers and Notre Dame among others …. but lost to UVa for the umpteenth time in Hoo-ville and were KABOOMED by the Pack.  A free copy of my newest book to anyone still celebrating that W over McNeese State.  As for Charlie Weiss’ Irish …. he has a trainwreck program only Rich Rodriquez would envy.

Saturday morning I saw three deer in our backyard …. enjoyed Brad and Shelley’s fine pre-game Cincinnati chili and renewed friendships w/ Lake Murray Ted and Terry The Wuff.  Then the clock struck Noon and the Kenan Nightmare began!  YIKES !!!

How bad was it on Nov 22, 2008 in Kenan Stadium?  Even The Pureheart Family beat the crap out of this year’s roving band of Tar Heel hooligans on their way to the massacre.  Pete Jr is really really proud of his Russell Wilson jersey and deservedly so.  The good news is that Russell only has three more years at State after this one.  Mike Glennon may join a certain other “Mike” in changing schools next semester.  Speaking of which ….

I don’t follow “recruiting” as a life passion but several who do passed on this little tidbit.  Two years ago Russell Wilson was a highly touted QB in Richmond.  Russell Wilson is THE Total Package of athletic ability, leadership, character, academics and every other admirable character known to mankind.  He is “a Manning“.  That Total Package was very interested in attending UNC in 2006.  Guess why John Bunting backed off?

Because Mike Paulus’ daddy said his son would not come to UNC if he had to compete against another QB in his class.   Fear of competition is usually a warning signal but recognizing recruiting warning signals was never John’s strength as a Head Coach.  Racking up impressive starts in a private school league is another warning sign but who’s counting.  As Tar Heel board monkeys immediately fitted Phenom Paulus for his sure Heisman and numerous BCS rings, Russell Wilson quietly signed with NC State.

Its doubtful Mr Paulus bothers to attend UNC games this year or ever will again.  One has to wonder what son Mike was thinking as he held his clipboard and scratched himself on the sidelines Saturday.  Russell was having the game of every young boy’s dreams.  He was jukin’, jivin’ and throwin’ laser-guided missles to teammates …. at least two of which were sure 6s dropped.  Yes, UNC DBs dropped two sure interception TDs too.  Two versus two the result is the same.  Scoreboard.  The Marine – 2 , The Mercenary – 0. ….. The Tar Heels had more turnovers than Sara Lee, Paula Deen and Rachel Ray COMBINED!

As to the other excuseifying …. “State cares more about this game than we do”.  Who is “we”?  Every Carolina fan I count as my friend (except Deems May) “cares” as much/more  about this game as he/she cares about any silly football game.  Will the sting of Saturday’s massacre be softened by the outcome of a meaningless game with Kentucky or Ol’ Miss before 30,000 freezing fans in Nashville in late December?  ….. yeah, right.  Rivalry games are never forgotten by the teams that win them.  Or by the teams that lose them.  “Winners tell jokes and losers say deal.”  So ‘Deal darn you wuffies.”

 I’m betting Mark Paschal “cared” a lot about “the State game”.  So did Cooter Arnold.  So did every locally born/bred boy in Blue.  And every Carolina fan that has actually bought a house in the area. The question might be how much did Butch, Blake & The Hired Gun Gang care?  When State was scoring all those TDs in Kenan’s West end zone did Butch know the history of that particular real estate.  Did Butch care?  Does Butch know about TA and Jim Knight?  Does Butch care?  You have to ask Butch.

   There are unconfirmed rumors that Jimma Sexton was in Chapel Hill last week for his annual ransom heist.  Hold Dickie’s tassel loafers to the fire and demand “MORE“.  If so, the embarrassment of having our butts kicked in our own house by our biggest football rival will be compounded by rewarding Butch with more Big Bucks just for being Butch.  As a rather bright friend of mine remarked at halftime …. “what Butch Davis IS has never been in question …. just the price of his services.”  I assume most of you understand that reference.

These archives contain my glowing tribute to Butch Davis as a big time college football CEO and recognizer and recruiter of talent.  He is also an engaging fellow of accomplished social skills.  Other than that “blue bleedin’ thingy” Butch beats Burly John in every category.  OK, Dawn Bunting can probably whip Tammy Davis in a knife fight.

What I did not realize is that two years ago Carolina had ONLY two choices …. (1) continue with John Bunting or (2) go Rent A Rock Star.  I know those were the only two options because its all over the Internet.  Silly me …. I figured Option #3 mighta been to consider the TO’Bs, Paul Johnsons and Jim Grobes of the football world.  Humble men of impressive resumes who think $1,500,000 is pretty darn good money for “coaching football”.  Who are grateful for the opportunity and set about doing the job rather than demanding $150,000,000 of stadium bling bling before they can be held accountable.

Was I the only one thinking during yesterday’s 3rd quarter disemboweling “if we only had all those suites and that east end zone closed in I bet we could actually stop State on a 3rd and long.”   Darn those Rams Club fat cats.

FWIW …. I’m OK with a top floor of suites on the KFC and even a fancy new South side press box / VIP seat section.  Closing in the east end is unnecessary.  Put those $$$ into upfitting The Legend’s Lair.  ORW deserves some love too, I think.  He’s actually earned it. Our rivals are Roy’s rivals and he beats our rivals pretty regularly.  ORW is a Tar Heel.  He “understands”.

I am a realist.  Butch Davis is our coach and will be until he isn’t any longer.  His $$$ demands do not comne out of my pocket and hopefully his players will behave and/or their misbehavior will be well covered up.  Congrats to FSU’s Myron Rolle for his Rhodes Scholarship.  I can’t wait until UNC’s Dwight Jones gets his!
Dickie, on behalf of the University, will be rewarding Butch for beating McNeese State et al with the usual “positive direction of the program ….” yadda yadda bend-over grab his ankles ceremony.  Jimma Sexton will take his cut.  Dickie doesn’t have any choice at this point.  Butch will continue “renting” and having his name linked with XYZ job next season.

Am I the only one who’s noticed that Carolina Football has been “all about Butch Davis” since he arrived two years ago.  OK, “all about Butch Davis” AND the use of Navy as a uniform color.  Have we got our priorites in line or what!

As the rest of the University tightens its belt under economic restrictions, Butch will cash-in again.  A distinguished UNC professor (and ardent sports fan) told me last week that the faculty rank & file will not like it AT ALL but “it doesn’t much matter what they think“.  Kinda like Republicans in Congress.  Speaking of which, on behalf of every Conservative Tar Heel fan on Earth, November has been a rather unpleasant month so far.  Hopefully this Thursday’s turkey, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce can salvage something from it.  We’ll be in Kansas City with Kid and Missus’ clan.

In closing this dreary narrative …. as Dickie forks over the $$$$ to Butch and Jimma again, can he at least require Butch to watch a video of those final seconds in October 2004 …. in Kenan’s west end zone.  TA, Jim Knight, Kaliff Mitchell and 50,000 rather excited Tar Heel fans who actually “do care” about “the Rivalry game”.

I can’t wait to meet a McNeese State alum someday and REALLY rub it in how we whipped their butts back in ’08.

 The Marine – 2 …. The Mercenary – 0.  But we’ll still whup your red wuffie butts in basketball by golly!


Butch’s quote “It’s just another game” ….
was an oft-used  favorite of what former Triangle-area coach?


   As the only college football fan on Earth who does not pine 24/7 for “a playoff before I die”; I thought as the permutations for The Big 12 South were being discussed ad infinitum last night …. it’s too bad there is nothing compelling about college football as it is.  Yeah, right!  I’m figurin’ Chase and his Mizzou Tigers are gonna REALLY screw things up in two weeks in Arrowhead.  Florida vs Oklahoma just might draw a decent audience in mid January …. YA THINK?  ….. Mack’s “other coordinator is Greg Davis who was with him in his final UNC days.

I don’t “want to be” anyone else.  But if I HAD to be …. Kirk Herbstreit or Howie Long would be my first two choices.  Herbie and Howie always seem very happy to be Herbie & Howie.

Were you watching the OU stomp of TexasTech?  The OU Off Coord is Kevin Wilson …. UNC FBer from the 80s and a Phenom Coordinator on the rise.   I checked Sunday and Kevin knows “beating NC State does too matter!”

That recent column on Me & My HD drew a ton of “me too BobLees” from like-minded readers.  Watching big time college FB in the comforts of my home theater sure beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Note that this new site design offer RSS option to those of you educated to such matters.  Up in the right-hand corner of the masthead.

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