For all its hypocrisy, sham, and bread & circus gluttony, there is still the possibility for “magic” in college football. It was an incredible game with an ending that will fester in the bowels of the Lupine Lunatic Fringe for AT LEAST 30 years. Like everyone else, I predicted a State victory but I did say “if we get Jim Knight’s officiating crew, ya just never know!” …. So much to talk about but first I gotta tell you folks about Madison Hedgecock’s Daddy.
For four years Madison Hedgecock has done whatever his coaches asked of him. He blocked, and blocked, and blocked some more … he moved to defensive end and gave his best efforts for last year’s hapless UNC defense. This year he was moved back to fullback and prepared to block for Carolina’s stable of running backs … whatever his coaches asked, Madison Hedgecock dutifully did. Being a blocking fullback is NOT football’s most glamorous position.
Madison Hedgecock grew up on a farm in Wallburg, a small rural community outside Thomasville NC. He is what is called “a big ol’ boy who ain’t afraid of hard work”. At 6’3” and 260 lbs he will have an opportunity to play “at the next level”.
I’ve known Madison’s Daddy for the past four years. Mr Hedgecock started reading my silliness on GoHeels.com and followed over to SSays.com. Somehow I always run into him about every home game. We would talk a bit about his boy. The team has floundered of course and Mr Hedgecock would shake his head and say “BobLee how come they don’t at least see what my boy could do with the ball?” I would reconcile him that “his boy” would get a chance in the NFL because the scouts look for the size, strength work ethic and character that he and Mrs Hedgecock had built into their boy.
Cut to tonight … I watched the 2nd half on closed circuit TV in the Lettermen’s Lounge with Little Ricky Packard and Mrs Little Ricky (a wuffie LADY!), Joe Twombly, and Prince Albert and Mrs Prince Albert. Each of us know John Bunting and what the past few years have really been like for him. As Madison finally “got the ball” in the first half I immediately thought of his dad knowing he was in the stands. As the game evolved and it was obvious that this would be “one for the ages” and Madison was the secret star of the game, I kept telling my friends “Mr Hedgecock has got to be so thrilled”.
As I was leaving Kenan I was trying to call my buddy Darcy as he introduced me to Mr Hedgecock. Out of 55,000 stunned fans, I hear a rough old voice calling out “BobLee” … sure enough it was Mr Hedgecock standing amid the milling throng with two of his buddies. In the long history of Kenan Stadium I doubt that two rough old cobs like Mr Hedgecock and Mr Swagger have ever shared a more sincere hug. If St Peter called Mr Hedgecock today it would take the undertaker at least two weeks to wipe that proud smile off of his face. A Daddy so darn proud of his boy he was near bout ready to bust.
Mr Hedgecock asked me “What you gonna say about all this in your column BobLee?” I said “I’m gonna talk about a proud Daddy and his son“. He smiled even wider. So did I .
Who knows what the rest of this season will hold for Madison and his teammates. It really doesn’t matter right now. As is so often the case in “rivalry games” … “Destiny called” and Madison Hedgecock answered that call; and his Daddy was there to see it … on a very special night in Kenan Stadium.
Lets be honest … that ending was just too bizarre to believe. If TA McLendon goes for two yards 100 times, he makes it 97 times for sure. Well he didn’t make it last year at The Horseshoe against tOSU … and he didn’t make it twice tonight.
As I was watching on TV, it did appear that his knee hit the ground short of the goal … just as it did in Columbus. The referee was indeed JIM KNIGHT. The same Jim “Lazarus” Knight who dropped dead in Kenan Stadium 7-8 years ago and was revived and undeaded by the emergency staff of UNC Hospitals. Does UNC own the soul of Jim Knight? Did the UNC docs install a special pacemaker that they can activate at will to do our biding? I’m not sure … but I’m pretty sure how most Wuffies will answer that question for the next 30+ years.
Memo from UNC Hospital Accounting to Jim Knight:
Account Paid In Full.
Have a nice day!
I like to think I have an active imagination. I could not have scripted anything like this. UNC wins on an incredible goal line stand keyed by two Tar Heel players that Chuck Amato recruited VERY hard. Points were literally taken off the board when the TD was overruled. That it was indeed “Jim Knight” that overruled the likely winning score is simply too incredible to conceive.
All of you know the friendships and respect I have for my many Wolfpack friends … Leon, Larry, Dick, Bo, Kyle, Charles, Lee, Steve, Tom, Perry K, Jon, Doctor Dave, Spence, Johnny, et al … but these are all “adults” with “real lives” and families and careers and positive self images. We will all carry on about this for a while, remain close friends, and know that it all evens out over time … PLUS … Sports Really Doesn’t Matter. But in the backyard of WuffNation there is an old rusty septic tank that leaks “lunatics”. These “lunatics” percolate to the surface on message boards and talk radio … unlike my Wolfpack friends and the many other solid citizens who are alums and fans of North Carolina State University … these “Lunatics” have no “real lives” nor positive self images.
They stand along Trinity Road yelling F-bombs at opposing fans … and rail on about how “everybody” is against them and the team they have glommed on to for meaning to their lives. They have developed “paranoia” and “hate” to art forms and a life style. The way this game ended will indeed fester in their gut for AT LEAST 30 years. “Jim Knight” might catch Peter Golenbach and Claude Sitton in their “most hated people of all time”.
Ironically, earlier this week I, kindly lovable BobLee Swagger, was the target of a full blown cyber attack by these loons over my “rivalry column”. I was called every obscene name they could sneak past their moderators. It was no worse than various other attacks I have “enjoyed” from them … except I finally got bored with their psychotic crap and I asked their board moderator to “disconnect me” from access to their septic tank. Ergo, I am missing all the exploding heads and venomous vomit that those sad lost souls are spewing tonight.
Had the circumstances been reversed I’m sure Tar Heel fans would be “upset” and a tad emotional for a few days. It WAS simply an unbelievable game. Eventually all but a few UNCers uber-loonies would return to whatever they call reality. For the Lupine Extreme Lunatic Fringe THIS is “their reality”.
Is John Bunting “safe” now? I have already predicted his demise fully expecting a wuffie whupping. The W tonight was certainly not what I expected. I would say “the Governor has indeed stayed John’s execution for the time being”. The Spurrier sightings will drop off to weekly rather than hourly. The Bunting/Baddour Bashers will turn down the volume slightly for a week or so. If they play with the intensity of tonight UNC could actually win 3-4 more games this year … more likely 2. Is 5 Ws “enough” … yes, probably since ONE WAS OVER STATE 30-24 on a magical October night in Kenan Stadium. If you weren’t there … you should have been. I was and so was Mr Hedgecock … and, of course, Jim Knight.
What was “Ed Norton’s” occupation?
Festus Haggen was played by Ken Curtis, Chester Goode by Dennis Weaver and Kitty Russell by Amanda Blake. Gunsmoke was a childhood memory for many many BobLee Buddies. Remembering Gunsmoke is a good thing.
Kudos to so many Tar Heel fans for wearing C-Blue at the game. Yes, there were many Wuffies on hand but not nearly as many as they will claim … and one zebra named “Jim” … bwahahahaha!
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