Hold off on that Toe Tag

January17/ 2000

 By 3:00 PM the “Visor Boy Vultures” had John Bunting’s toe tag all written out and were ready to pronounce him DOA.  By 4:30 Bunting had his 2nd Kenan Stadium victory in 2 years and was tied at the top of Division 1-A at 1-0.  There is no such a thing as an “ugly win” at this point in the Bunting Era.  BobLee reveals how John Bunting actually won this one back in June.  ….. Lydia’s Tigers dodge a Beaver Bullet, Wuffies romp, Deacs pull an “almost”, … Swagger looks back at Week One.

   Steve Kirschner’s Kenan attendance visualizer says 43,500 fans paid to see the William & Mary game.  That figure doesn’t include as many aluminum alumni as Kirschy usually counts … but he probably did not include UNC most ardent fan on hand Saturday – “Jumbo”.  

   While many Tar Heel “faithful” have apparently already given up on the current Football administration, “Jumbo-tron the Monster Scoreboard” is determined to give that last ounce of true devotion.  When W&M scored the first TD … “Jumbo” adamantly refused to give it to them.  Like a spoiled child at Christmas, Jumbo wanted Carolina to have it so that’s what it did.  Carolina – 7 … William & Mary – 0.  Despite a severe “tongue lashing” by Jumbo wizard, Ken Cleary, the multi-million dollar recruiting toy refused to cooperate.  Ken pulled Jumbo’s plug and sent it to its room without a BeefMaster for the rest of the game.  An auspicious beginning for “A Season On The Brink” … “bad Jumbo, bad bad scoreboard.

   The emergency solution of pulling out “that old scoreboard that Spurrier took THAT picture under” was mercifully not implemented. That symbolism would have been a bit much don’t you think?   

   The first quarter of Carolina’s season opener was about as butt ugly as Kris Lang with or without make-up.  Freddie Krueger must have scripted that “nightmare”.  QB sacks and pass interceptions continue to be as rare on the UNC campus as Bush-Cheney bumper stickers and AM radios tuned to Rush. It was as if the Tar Heels wanted to really test it’s notorious bandwagon fan base with a series of Keystone Kop miscues, dropsies, and general Division 1-AA behavior … actually that’s not fair to William & Mary … it was more Pop Warner try-out day.

   At halftime I was in the Choo Choo Lounge with my Former Tar Heel Football Lettermen buddies.  When its halftime of the season football opener and THESE guys are asking how many days before Ol’ Roy kicks off Midnight Madness … there is a problem in “The Southern Part of Heaven” … but John Bunting had a plan.  It was a masterful plan that he set in motion back in June.

   The UNC Lunatic Fringe blasted Bunting back in June when he chose a 1:30 kick-off time for this game.  “It’ll be too hot” they whined.  Actually they did not blast Bunting so much as they blasted Numero Uno Whipping Boy Richard “Dickie” Baddour.  Actually they also blasted “Dickie” when Carolina’s tight end fumbed the ball on that offensive series … and when a Tar Heel defender failed to sack the QB and “The Tribe” scored first on a busted play.  Blasting Dickie is what Tar Heel Loonies excel at.  Regardless, John’s decision, agreed to by Baddour, to have a mid day game that would favor the better conditioned team with more “depth” definitely contributed to this Carolina victory. That last W&M TD notwithstanding … Carolina owned the final 20 minutes of this one.  

   The 49 points were encouraging with two 100 yard rushers and several long passes.  Giving up 38 points to “small college” W&M was too reminiscent of recent porous defenses to have anyone figuring UNC’s “bowl eligible” status.  The Huxtable/Fleming’s defense’s two interceptions last season is still two more than Gutekunst/Sanders have recorded in 2004 … for those who count such things.

   Speaking of infamous ex-UNC defensive coaches … Carl Torbush got torched by “Utes” and the much maligned Dave Huxtable did a Pete Gaudet for UCF’s George O’Leary with the same results that Pete achieved.

   Even the most venomous Bunting/Baddour bashers had always counted the W&M game as a W … the official NCAA record book now concurs.  “Ya can’t win’em all unless you win the first one.” Now it’s on to Hoo-ville where only Dawn Bunting and “Rita From Chester” will expect a W.  BobLee & The Mizzus will be there.

   I have said from the get-go … Sept 18 versus GaTech in Kenan will be THE most important game in John Bunting’s head coaching career.  He will need more than a mischievous Jumbotron to record a critical victory that day.  


   Wuffies followed their expected opening game script as Jay Davis now has more combat experience than John Kerry (or George Bush for that matter).  No surprises at The Carter except a horrible pre-game incident involving a fatal drive-by shooting.  

   ANY Tar Heel or Wuffie that exploits that horrible incident for any partisan fan crap should have his keyboard crammed down his throat.  The getaway car was registered in TARboro … NOT Carrboro.  Find’em … hook’em up by the genitals to Ol’ Sparky and be done with’em.

   Chuck Amato’s is undefeated “without Philip Rivers”.  Buckeyes come to town on the 18th.


   I told you to watch the Deacs early.  They were a very controversial late game call away from putting Tommy Bowden back on the hot seat in Death Valley.  The Deacs will be dangerous for another 4-5 weeks then Barclay will be banged-up and their O-line will have too many dings.  Wouldn’t you love to see Jim Grobe with a deep bench?


   Boots and I spoke to Lydia from Baton Rogue prior to the LSU delayed kick-off.  The Cajun Cutie must have conjured up some special Marie Leveau voodoo to pull that one out for her beloved St Nick and his Bengals.  Mike Riley’s Beavers from OSU will be a force in the Pac-10.


   The Blue Devils only have a few “chances” on their schedule.  Navy was always a longshot at best … now the Blue Devils have one fewer chance on their schedule.


   ECU got plastered at Morganton.  If Wake’s Barclay ran for 170 yards against Clemson they’ll need a calculator to keep track when he goes against the forlorn Purple Pirates.  ECU Football has less chance for success than a South Florida trailer park owner … every week you get hammered again.  And poor ECU doesn’t even have Women Soccer OR Ol’ Roy to look forward to.


   Around the country … Could Ty Willingham have been successful at UNC? … How did Texas A&M fall so far so fast? … Watch out; a 30 year “sleeping giant” is awakening in Columbia, Missouri (BLS’ still has his Orange Bowl ring from Mizzou’s last glory days) …    

On to Week Two …


Swagger’s Stumper

Jeannie C. Riley was associated with what educational auxiliary?


Matlock was filmed in Wilmington but set in Atlanta,

Andy Griffith played Ben Matlock longer than he played Andy Taylor.


   Swagger sat with “Boots and Dr Jimmy” during last Fall’s Duke game AND during the 1st half of the W&M game … I love you two like the brother and sister I never had; but, Coach Bunting has requested that I sit elsewhere for the oh-so-critical GaTech game.

   BobLee is coming to Southern Pines on Sept 24 … and back to Charlotte in November. 

   We saw both Dougie Dibbert and The Dickster in Tar Heel Town pre-game.  This was “pre-game” and both still looked sadder than the N&O editorial staff on election night.

Questions or Comments

[email protected]

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x