Mail Call

January17/ 2000

… Normally we simply use reader questions for overall column ideas and incorporate them that way.  Lately however we have received an inordinate number of varied queries.  Enough to fill a potpourri column which many, including Mizzus Swagger, enjoy the most anyway.  BobLee flips his bazooka on to rapid fire mode and fires across the spectrum of sports.

2005 All American BB Team ?? … Quick, name one player on the undefeated Illinois team.  99% of you can’t.  One result of NBA high school raiding is a dearth of SUPER superstars in college.  You know your team’s players and your key rivals but very few others.  As soon as a player develops a national reputation, he’s gone (Carmello Anthony!). Not necessarily a bad thing.  Dickie V rattles off names but his rattlings are more “white noise” than anything.  Three ACCers on first two AA teams is likely.

David Toms wins BIG! … David Toms won the World Match Play and over a $1,000,000.  A super nice very good guy who could be your neighborhood drug store pharmacist.  Not David’s first 7 figure check.  He won the first Wachovia Championship in Charlotte two years ago.  Match Play will never go beyond 1-2 events per year.  Toms vs DiMarco just doesn’t draw TV viewers.

Why UNCers “Hate” Chuck Amato ??… a Wuff pal asked us this one yesterday at church.  A three-parter … (1) Chuck encourages it by pimping UNC in various ways … (2) Chuck arrived at NCSU when UNC FB was in Torbushian chaos.  Framing him as eeeevil, sinister, and horrid justified the “fear” that he might actually build a juggernaut program.  He hasn’t done so, but once the image was set, reality takes a holiday … (3) “Hating” high profile rival coaches is a Tar Heel tradition.  It is definitely a sign of begrudged “respect”.  Sendek, O’Cain, Roof, Grobe etc are not considered “threats” to the “We ARE Carolina” image.  The dichotomy is Skip Prosser.  His success has earned him the “hated” label but no one can find any physical or psychological quirk to latch on to.

Rashad McCants Status … the N&O ran a story last week on McCants’ progress from his “intestinal problem”.  The ONLY source quoted was HIS MOTHER … not Ol’ Roy, not the UNC SID, not UNC medical staff … HIS MOTHER.  I’m sorry, but that is just ODD!  Mother McCants talked as if she was at the top of the loop in the whole matter.  Why did the N&O go to her and not UNC sources?  Nothing about McCants is ever “normal”. Anyone unsure how I feel about this enigma can go back in these archives.

Bob Lutz at UNC-Charlotte ??… just produces over-achieving teams year after year in the shadow of the ACC.  Looks like Homer Simpson’s next door neighbor.  Got to figure some suitors flashing big bucks will be comin’ acourtin’.  NOT a possibility for NCSU if Herb goes … Lutz is too low-key … Wuffs have to have a quippy sound bite generator.  For Wuffs the personality is as critical as the production which is “not a bad thing at all”.  We are a style over substance society.

Herb’s Future ?? … “on the bubble” AGAIN.  Even if Herb beats Wake and wins a couple in the tournament and even dances … Herb Will Still Be “Herb”.  “Herb” will always be “Herb” and “Herb” will never cause lupine hearts to flutter.  This “relationship” was NEVER a torrid love affair … now even the “lets be friends” is at the “why bother” stage. High profile athletic figures with names like “Herb” and “Dickie” simply are not marketable in today’s superficial image culture.

Lady Tar Heels at Cameron ??… prior to the game Sunday, the Lady Tar Heels “stomped the logo” on K-Court.  Kind of a non-Carolina-like gesture.  Shame to mar a Big W like that.  Not a big deal really but neither is it when opposing teams do it to UNC. File this away for next time UNCers get indignant which is 8-12 times in a normal month.

Latest Dickie column … our recent column on Dick Baddour and the fee increase drew lackluster interest.  Have UNC fans finally lost interest in the little fellow?  Not focusing so much attention on “the athletics director” is a very good thing.

John Cheney ?? … waaaay pass time to drop the hammer on this guy.  Yes, he’s done some good things with getting some kids off “the mean streets” but he’s beyond the “loose cannon” category now.  Parallels to Woody Hayes are valid.  If they put him back on the bench be ready to accept the inevitable dire consequences.  Parallels to Krzyzewski are invalid and simply the latest K-bashing.

Barry Bonds and Aaron & Ruth records ?? … Bonds WILL break the HR records and no asterisks can legally be applied.  Nothing he will do will improve his public image nor does that seem to matter with him.  He relishes his unpopularity.  Is there a “racial component” in his “unpopularity”?  Yes but it’s very minor … there IS a “jackass” component and he has worked diligently to develop that.  A “jackass” with incredible baseball skills holding the all time home run record is not really an issue of national concern.

Bad Boy Athletes ??…some UNC howler monkeys DEMANDING to know “the whole story” about the Three Amigos, claiming the privacy policies should not apply to morons on message boards.  Howler monkeys are sub-human.  “Bad Boyz” are here to stay in every high profile program especially football more so than basketball.  Riding herd on 80 testosterone charged egos is much more difficult than 15.  There will be behavioral issues of varying degrees EVERY YEAR in both the NCSU and UNC programs despite the best efforts of the respective coaching staffs.  It is more of a societal issue than a campus issue.

Hillsborough St & Franklin Street ?? … both campus “main drags” are living on their reputations these days.  So much of any college’s “reputation” is aided by the mind-numbing fog of years gone by.  “Run down t-shirt shops, sticky-floored beer bars and bohemian coffee shops filled with Birkenstock-shod angry radicals” are best preserved in bygone memory closets.  Brothers Pizza is the latest RIP for Hillsborough Street.

Randy Moss to Raiders … that one was hard to guess … NOT!  BobLee has a personal story about him and Big John Matuszak for the next “slow news day”.  Barry Bonds and Moss are both “jackasses” but Bonds is smart whereas Moss is simply a very athletically-gifted jackass … always has been, always will be.

Liquor Ads on NASCAR cars … whats the difference between a Crown Royal ad and a Budweiser ad?  If a drunk jumps the median and wipes out you or your neighbor does it matter what bottle or can he got drunk from?  Newspaper reports about repeat offenders on DUI charges being turned loose again and again make me sick.  First Offense – dress’em in drag and send’em to county jail for a month in general population.  If a 2nd offense then his lawyer goes in with him.  3rd offense – the judge goes in with the drunk and his lawyer.

Roy versus K … for those fans adult enough to see it as two very very accomplished basketball coaches matching skills at the very top of their profession it doesn’t get any better.  For those who insist on making it a morality play, may God have mercy on your wretched souls.

ACC POY … my vote would go to Sean May with JJ 2nd.  May’s low key lunchpail consistency game after game is as key to Tar Heel success as is Raymond Felton’s court generalship.  If May or Raymond get it it will OF COURSE be due to “all that pro-UNC bias” in media.  If May or Raymond do NOT get it it will OF COURSE be due to “all that anti-UNC bias” in media.  Bwahahahahaha!

ACC COY … wait til after ACC Tourney.  Ol’ Roy or Skip.  Because VaTech was simply mediocre instead of awful is not that momentous. 

ALL ACC … Felton, Paul, May, Ridick, S Williams … no brainer

New Football Assistants … both NCSU and UNC fan bases are convinced their new football staff hires are the final pieces in their BCS puzzles.  That’s the way it should be.  No high profile “big names” but that’s just fine.  Too many “high profile” personalities among coaches as it is.


Swagger’s Stumper

What was “the link” between

Lonesome Dove & The Bob Newhart Show


   George Jefferson ran a never seen on screen Dry Cleaning business to earn his “piece of the piiiie”

   BobLee had an 18-hour Larry McMurtry marathon this weekend … the entire Lonesome Dove Trilogy was on Hallmark Channel … Dead Man’s Walk – Lonesome Dove – Streets of Laredo.  I am worn out.  Gus McRae and Woodrow Call have to be among the most memorable characters ever created in literature and passed on to the screen.  I’m not sure I could ever really “trust” a man that was not moved by that saga.  THE best casting top to bottom EVER.

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