Barzini, Fulton, Tattaglia, Rizzo, Koury …

January17/ 2000

… It’s that wonderful time of the year when the black helicopters (swallows) come back to Kenan (Capistrano).  The “crickets in the microwave” are all abuzz that THE GIMGHOUL STARCHAMBER is in session and deciding John Bunting’s future AGAIN.  …. we’ll debunk that one …. The REAL beginning of “OL’ ROY BASKETBALL” debuts under the rafters – and it’s a VERY good thing. …. And a couple of other pithy comments from high atop Mount Swagger …

    Those of you who have been on-board BobLee’s Bus going back to the halcyon days of remember our blockbuster expose of THE GIMGHOUL STARCHAMBER.  That annual clandestine get-together of “influential fat rams” to decide UNC’s coaches’ future relative to Kenan Stadium and immediate environs.  It’s a “Carolina Myth” going back to Torbush Year Two.

I’m not sure how the exact date and time are decided and communicated to the attendees.  There are elements to this annual gathering of “poobahs”, “PTBs”, and “high rollers” that even yours truly isn’t privy too.  I think John Montgomery is responsible for bringing the doughnuts.  The Little Prince has Kirschy get those special water pitchers from The Hire’em & Fire’em Room @ Dean’s Dome.

It must be pretty similar to Don Vito Corleone assembling the Five Families to discuss divying up who gets control of what neighborhoods and what “rackets”.

    Way back in the 80s and 90s it was Don Moe Koury who sat at the head of the table.  These days its Don Paul Fulton who gets to choose the (Cheer)wine.  Don Eddie SmithDon Johnny HarrisDon Paul Rizzo, and assorted up and comers fill out the “boys in the backroom”.  (Whatever happened to Joe “Don” Looney?) It’s pretty much an Ol’ Boys Club except for The Widow Kenan who doesn’t actually attend these palavers … prefering her Mrs Haversham-esque pickled reclusivity over in Derum.

As the legend goes … these “ol’ boys” gather each November to determine the fate of UNC’s Football Coach du jour.  In TRUTH of course, they don’t; but “Truth” is as unwelcome in such discussion as “saying a blessing” at a gathering of UNC Faculty Squirrels.

Don Paul did not “call a meeting” but IF HE HAD … “the Dons” would have been very pleased that Burly John whupped the Wuffies AND the Hoos AND the Dookies (yep, I checked again and Carolina DID win that game!).  There would certainly be some “hindsight” retrospection about a few dropped passes, missed field goals, questionable play calls, assorted untimely penalties; and some frowns that the illusive 6th W did indeed evaded our grasp.  

Oddly enough “the Dons” became “rich and powerful” by understanding that successes both on-the-field and in-the-marketplace can often hinge on the narrowest of variables.  Some of “the Dons” understand that “picking one’s parents” and/or “marrying someone who picked her parents very well” is a big help too, but that’s another story.   

“The Dons” also know that, indeed, Larry Gallo had as much to do with UNC staying at home this bowl season as did outgoing “Coach Tranq”.  The most pummelled dead horse in UNC sports history – “the OOC schedule” – was a factor.  It should never be again.  In an upcoming SSays column we will provide the consumate explanation of the effect of the creation of “Super Conferences” on “good football programs” all across America.  Carolina is NOT unique at all (YIKES … that’s heresy Mr Swagger … look out for lightning bolts!)

So … despite what was reported on the “fat cats” did NOT and will NOT play rock, paper, scissors with John & Dawn Bunting’s immediate future.  There will definitely be a Year Six to keep the board loonies warm, wild, and wooly tween now and next September. 


    Am I the only one finding irony in the firing of Carl Torbush AND Noel Mazzone within the same 24 hours this week? … speaking of “sacrificial coordinators” …

Hiring family members into a business where you do not OWN the business is a questionable tactic … eh Bobby Bowden?  “Blame The Coordinator” is a divine right of junior woodchucks, Cliff Clavins, and Al Bundy all across NCAA Land.  The Cliffs and Als in NoleNation have rights too.  If Daddy can’t handle Jeffie being “picked on” maybe he shouldn’t have given Jeffie his very own headset? 


    Last Tuesday night the two institutions represented in the 2005 NCAA Final Four Championship Game reconvened their 2005-2006 team versions.  The uniforms weren’t even the same thanks to Nike having bought the “uniform rights” to both schools.  The players definitely weren’t the same except for a handful of Illini.

The game itself may have been THE most applauded defeat in Tar Heel History.  I “felt it” at the time, then I started hearing “my opinion” echoing from assorted high-ranking members of The SwaggerSays Legion of LevelHeads.  

What was unveiled for a national audience on Tuesday night was the official arrival of “Ol’ Roy Basketball”  and apparently the mainstream UNC fanbase liked what they saw A LOT.  Or should that be “liked what they did NOT see” …

… chest bumping … tattoos … “diamond signs” … scowling … et al.  

    The “departed seven” did indeed bring glory and more rafter decorations to The Lair Of The Legend.  Among the “departed seven” were some fine young men who shall forever be granted a seat in the pantheon of Tar Heel heroes … Huzza Huzza.  “They” ripped that monkey off of Ol’ Roy’s back and stomped it into monkey dust.  “They” were Ol’ Roy’s “first” but like most guy’s “first”, they won’t be the team he marries.   

What came out of the tunnel Tuesday night was “Ol’ Roy’s Kinda Boys – First Edition”.  If Tyler stays healthy they will enthusiastically fumble, stumble, and loose ball dive their way to 20+ Ws and a March dance card including a few big upsets and a few blow-out losses.  If Tyler blows a tire … they won’t.  But nobody really cares because Ol’ Roy Basketball is now OFFICIALLY unpacked and doing business on Skippa Bowles Drive in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.   

The biggest question is when you combine these kids with next year’s “GREATEST RECRUITING CLASS EVER That Does Not Contain Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor” … will there still be room at the end of Roy’s bench for “the two dorky white kids with high GPAs”.  Petition the NCAA to expand the roster.  We GOTTA have our  “two dorky white kids with high GPAs”.

However that particular dilemma is resolved … save that memorable picture of “the pissed off posse” from Mad Matt’s execution ceremony because you will NEVER see that again …  

… Praise The Lord and Pass The Pimento Cheese …


 Oh … just so you know … BobLee Swagger is not the only one who never cottoned to “diamond signs and scowls” … the members of The Gimghoul Starchamber didn’t care for such stuff AT ALL.


 Swagger’s Stumper

“Kay Corleone” set a fashion trend in what other cinema role?  


   Lamar Hunt moved his Dallas Texans to Kansas City when he decided Dallas wasn’t big enough for him and The Cowboys.

    We’ll be shifting our SSays column publishing schedule now that FB season is done.  Likely going to a Monday & Thursday schedule or maybe not.  We write’em … you get’em.  BTW, we had a net gain of over 400 new subscribers since September which is quite cool.  We purposely do a “piss off some folks” column now and then just to “cull the herd”.

    Speaking of “pissing off folks” we haven’t mentioned Fruitcake Freddie From Franklin Street in a while.  There, now we have … that’ll enrage him and his goggle-eyed disciples for a few weeks … grrrrrrrrr. 

    That line above about “Ol’ Roy not marrying ‘his first’ “ … DAMN! That was a good one!

    Good Luck To Hokie Jim, Tom, Larry, Kevin, Clota, and all The Clubhousers down at Altell this Saturday night.  It would be a shame if the Noles upset’em.  Little Johnny needs to be sure “those no-good refs” realize who is suppose to win. I’m sure he has it handled.

Wanna e-talk to Swagger ??? … hit this:

[email protected]

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