January17/ 2000

WHOA Nellie … a set of fancy new collapsible goalposts were recently installed in a Triangle area stadium anticipating a big post-game victory celebration … oops, wrong stadium!  From the ash heap of despair, a Carolina Blue “Phoenix” has not quite fully arose, but he sure hasn’t flatlined.  When the Heels desperately needed “Mo Mentum” guess where Ol’ Mo was hiding? … and “The Malignant Obsession might have foretold the day’s two outcomes.  BobLee describes it like only he can …


   Right up front, BL Swagger had The Doomsday Scenario column already written anticipating an unglorious night in Kenan Stadium.  I’ve been wrong enough in my life that one more time is easy to admit … Hell, I’m damn glad to admit it under the circumstances.


   I’ve been telling you folks for two months that September 18 versus Georgia Tech was THE DAY that John Bunting HAD to walk off the Kenan turf a winner.  Coach Bunting did just that and did it  convincingly … in front of 45,000 VERY supportive enthusiastic fans.  Doggone right Swagger was one of’em.


   How pessimistic was I going in?  I went ahead and sat with Ms Boots and Dr Jimmy in the heart of “Napa Valley” smack dab on the 50.  I sat there with my dear friends for last year’s Duke game and the first half of William & Mary … the jinx she be officially broken.  Ms Boots says I’m welcome to join’em next week too! 


   The day began under pleasant but pessimistic circumstances.  This was Lettermen’s Weekend so I joined old teammates for a pre-game BBQ in Tar Heel Town.  This is the core group of solid Tar Heels who, unlike the Lunatic Fringe Whackies on the Internet, ACTUALLY KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT FOOTBALL! … DUH!  This would be the last bunch to jump off the Bunting Bandwagon and  many among’em had their jumping shoes on.  I chatted with Battle and Bradley, Renedo The Bear, Louie, Ron Wooten, Big Terry Rowe, Taylor, Big Huk, Prince Albert, and waved to Paul The Bootlegger Miller across the tent.  All told we had about a pint and a half of optimism between us.  It must have been enough.


   My Tar Heel friends … don’t be making bowl plans just yet.  Carolina beat a “good” not “great” GaTech team.  GaTech’s not Virginia, but they are a solid Division 1-A team and they beat Clemson and now we best them convincingly.  While you shouldn’t make bowl plans … you might SHOULD book a babysitter for October 9.  That annual blood battle with the Wuffies just got real interesting.  The confidence gained from a backs-to-the-wall victory like this one can carry a long way.  Louisville is probably better than GaTech and Florida State, even with Chris Rix, is still Florida State.  But we HAD to have this one or that fork would indeed have been stuck into John Bunting.


   At 10:00 Saturday morning one of the howler monkeys on Carolina Blue sounded the alarm that he heard from a friend who heard from a “high up” that Bunting would be fired right after this game if UNC lost as expected.  He was not specific as to whether it would be by rock, paper or scissors or from a sniper on the roof of the pressbox … but his 3rd hand “hot tip” said an L meant “curtains” for the head coach.  Counting this one that brings the totals of “bullsh*t message board rumors” to 1,865 WRONG and 0 RIGHT … but count on another 143 popping up this week.


   There were no Little Prince sightings.  Dr Jimmy reckoned The Dickster was up at Oakland Hills directing the USA Ryder Cup team to their dismal showings.  Despite this big win, do NOT assume The Dickster is typing up John Bunting’s contract extension.  We are a heckuva long way from that point … but Visor Boy can go ahead and schedule his October tee times.


   Oh, for those who keep count … Gutekunst/Sanders now lead Huxtable/Fleming 3 to 2 in annual interceptions. Yee Haa!  No threats to Dre Bly yet but hey we’re just looking for signs of progress … we saw such tonight.


   The fans in Kenan were great.  If there was anyone REALLY expecting a win, other than Dawn Bunting or “Rita From Chester” I didn’t see them in pre-game.  By the end of the 1st quarter you knew this was not Virginia Redux.  Heels were playing the Jackets head up … but Ol’ Mo Mentum … he was still ahiding.  For the record, and I’ll be sure to tell Norwood … a 6:00 PM Kick-off is nearbout perfect.  I know it means midnight drives for Charlotte, Asheville, and Wilmington fans but Mr Kenan’s ballyard just looks mighty fine under a Carolina moon.  Even Jumbo The Tron was clear as a bell in living color.  And the new PA guy was super … yo, Norwood tell’em I said so, please!


   The big question of the night was the 5,000+ fans that suddenly appeared after halftime.  Even hardcore wine&cheesers get in before halftime.  Ms Boots and I and others were stunned by the number of late but enthusiastic arrivals.  Kenan was rocking in that second half, indeed it was.


   So where was “Mo Mentum” hiding on this fateful night.  You won’t believe this but “Mo” was exactly where he was against ECU three years ago … on the two yard line by the east end zone … exactly where Derrick Johnson tackled that ECU kick returner.  This time it was a Yellow Jacket fumbled punt that led to a quick Tar Heel go ahead TD.  Jon The BBQ Bear says it was also where Amos Lawrence started a memorable run 20+ years ago.  


   I bet you’re dying to hear about that Malignant Obsession I mentioned up at the top.  This one takes the cake my friends.  As you surely know … our Lupine neighbors in West Raleigh had a huge potentially pivotal game in their history Saturday afternoon.  On Friday, just 24 hours before the kick-off for Ohio State guess what was the busiest thread on Statefans.com.  What were our Wuffies neighbors consumed by?


“What former Tar Heel player do you hate the most?”


   Yep, their Malignant Obsession with the Tar Heels surpasses all other lupine emotions.  Even the power washing of the Amato Era cannot erase a 100 years old inferiority complex.  I keep trying to bring the Triangle’s Hatfields and McCoys closer together but they will have none of it. They start so many threads about Carolina on Statefans.com EVERY day that my buddy IBackThePack spends all his time trying to consolidate them to maintain some control.  It’s a lost cause IBTP.


   When the score of the State – Ohio State game was announced in Kenan, yes, there was the expected cheering but it was short-lived and Tar Heel fans quickly refocused on their own business.  Tar Heel fans have a sackfull of neuroses and psychoses but DAMN those Wuffies are just eat up with’em.  


   I spoke w/ Lee Fowler Sunday morning.  They are committed to cleaning out the Trinity Road hooligan element.  I bet they make a big difference now that NCSU controls those lots.  The real test comes when ACC rival fans must run that old F-bomb gauntlet.


   The Wuffies played very well (especially their D) against the Buckeyes but mistakes and a rookie QB did them in.  NC State is still a very fine team and can get a big win in Blacksburg next week.  If they don’t, the delusional wing of WuffNation will begin their annual cannibalization of their own coaching staff as is their custom.  October 9 oughta be a barn burner … as it should be every year. I already cancelled a Las Vegas bizness trip to be on hand.  


   After three games, both John Bunting and Ty Willingham are 2-1.  Who had that bet covered in Vegas?  John Bunting’s seat ain’t quite as hot … and Tommy Bowden’s is getting warmer by the week.  Do ya think that Tennessee place kicker will be on the front row in church on Sunday … lucky little sumbitch damn sure oughta be.  


   I ran into Marty Schottenheimer’s Publicist, the ever feisty “Dr Tommy from Lake Norman” as I was leaving a happy Kenan.  “Dr. Tommy” has never been much of a Bunting fan … but even “Dr.Tommy” had a grin from ear to ear.  This was not a victory worth torching a Honda on Franklin Street for … but it was real nice … it truly was.




Swagger’s Stumper


Who did Major Reno and Major Benteen report to?




OK, EVERYBODY in the SwaggerNation has seen Trading Places 500 times.  “Lookin’ good Billy Ray … Feelin’ good Louis” had more right answers than any trivia question we’ve ever posted.


BobLee is filling in for Bobby Cremins as keynote speaker at a Statesville Charity Banquet this Thursday.  I’m not planning to wear a white wig and talk like a Yankee.  Swagger will be at Southern Pines Rotary on Friday.  Fall calendar is filling up fast.  If you want Mr Swagger for your civic/community organization gives us a call at the e-address below.


Oh, For Sale cheap … one incredibly funny “Doomsday Scenario” commentary … never seen by human eyes (we are very happy to add).


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