RamFanatic Made A Difference

January17/ 2000

… A segment of SSays readers tune out a column if it does not contain the 3 magic words … Baddour, Amato or Krzyzewski.  There, I’ve included them.  My  friend Frank Gay (aka RamFanatic) has decided to discontinue his website www.Ramfanatic.com  Frank lives up in Richmond.  Click “read more” and spend a few minutes in a kinder, gentler world where a gentlemen like Frank Gay can still make a difference just by being … 

   The sports Internet is regretably a bikers bar for slanderous incivility … But then there are REAL FANS like my friend Frank Gay up in Richmond.

   I think every fan base has Frank Gays.  This particular Frank Gay belongs to the UNC Tar Heels and we are better for it. 

   Frank and I met 6-7 years ago at a Carolina fan event.  We share an affliction for recalling trivial facts about UNC and ACC sports from the past 60 years.  Where my affliction began in the mid 60s … Frank is a walking encyclopedia going back to the Choo Choo Era.  He might have known Hinton James hisownself.

   We forged the ultimate bond … sharing breakfast at a WAFFLE HOUSE in Richmond one spring morning.  Frank arrived in his Official Tar Heel blue van.  Surrounded by Hokies and Hoos, Frank proudly touts his allegiance for all to see.

   Frank and I were plotting The Zigga Zoomba Campaign back then.  I wanted to see how much trouble I could cause the dweebs–that-be at UNC.  “Bring back the old fight song Aye Zigga Zoomba” became a battle cry for a year or so.  It never got further than Band Director Jeffy Fuchs’ wife sending me an obscene name-calling e-mail; but, hey, that counts.  But it did bring two feisty Tar Heel warriors together – BL Swagger & Frank Gay.

   I don’t have all the facts but not having “facts” never stops BobLee Swagger and never will … right?  Frank attended UNC in the mid 50s.  He absolutely loves the place in all the right ways, as passionately as anyone I’ve ever met.  

   He had a solid career post-UNC in Personnel Management including a lengthy stint at (say it ain’t so!) The Gothic Rockpile in West Derm.  Yes, Frank Gay, Mr. Tar Heel, lived and worked among those most hated heathen for a spell. 

   What is/was so wonderfully unique about www.Ramfanatic.com was that it was all “positive” stuff about UNC.  Frank Gay never cluttered his mind or heart or website with the puss and venom towards rival schools that dominates most Internet sites.  Frank loves the factoids and fascinating tidbits that abound in UNC lore.  

   He loves to research all the traditions that make-up UNC’s history.  Who was “Silent Sam”? … How did Ramses get his name? … Was Billy Arthur a midget or a dwarf? … UNC’s connection to Moonlight Graham … What was the “mystery meat” at Lenoir Hall? Once he latches on to a subject he is tenacious in tracking down “the rest of the story”.  He often used yours truly as a fact verifer which, admittedly, is a scary thought.

   Frank Gay’s passion for all things Carolina is complemented by his passion for Life in general and its ever-eroding civility.  Since retiring he has toured the byways and backroads of Virginia and The Carolinas visting country stores and out-of-the-way points of interest.  He is also a barbecue aficionado.  Frank Gay is “a real life Charles Kuralt” (without the secret mistress in Utah).  If you want to know who has the best collection of antique barbed wire in the Shenandoah Valley … Frank Gay either knows or will find out.

   Frank Gay is a gentleman and a “gentle man”.  He loves to see his Tar Heels win and a long drive home up I-85 when time runs out before his Tar Heels can pull out a win is agonizing. But Ws and Ls don’t measure Frank’s love for his alma mater.  He knows all the Moo U and Dook jokes plus all the UVa stories but he rarely if ever dwells on them.  But there is one thing in this world that Frank Gay simply cannot abide. …  He absolutely hates “Getting Old”.  

   Can any of us identify here?  No longer able to generate a urine stream powerful enough to paint his name in the snow or remember the last time he did it … the spirit is as strong as ever but the warranty on Frank’s parts and drive train is expiring.  His Fall trips to Beautiful Kenan Stadium are less frequent with each passing year.  In my own game day ritual I love it when I can pencil in … “meet Frank Gay in Polk Place next to Bingham Hall at 10:30”.  

   It remains to be seen how many “Ca-ro-lina Vic-tories” I’ll see in Chapel Hill this Fall, but I sure hope I see lots of Frank Gay in Chapel Hill this Fall … and many Falls to come.  He damn well better outlast Prince Tassel Loafer.

    Frank has passed the Big “7-0” and still awaiting that one Fall Saturday when UNC’s Head Football Coach will look up into the stands at Beautiful Kenan Stadium and holler out … “Frank, your Tar Heels need you.  Suit up and get out there.  It’s looking dark for the Boys In Blue.  Their dawbers are down and their heads are hanging.  They need reminding that its ‘not the Well and The Bell …’.  It’s the enduring spirit of Choo Choo, Weiner, Barclay, Willard, McCauley, Voight, Stanicek, Bryant, Hardison, Horton, and Thornton and all the rest … and it’s the true blue fans … it’s You, Frank Gay” 

Roll’em down you Tar Heel warrior!


    Please check out Frank’s website. ( www.RamFanatic.com ) He says he won’t be adding to it but his archives are to die for.  E-mail the old codger at [email protected] and tell him you are a fellow BobLee Buddy.  He will write you back, because that’s what gentlemen do. 


Swagger’s Stumper

Who was “Molly McGee’s” husband?


   I was not surprised that only a few readers knew “the other Wolfpack BBer” that George Karl drafted in the 1st round.  Most sane members of the WuffNation try to forget him … The Pride of Hickory – Chris Washburn.  Drafted #3 in ’86 by George Karl at Golden State. 

   Media Blitz Week for BLS … on WPTF 680 on Monday … on News14 TV on Tuesday (10 PM) … if he can get a walk on role in War Of The Worlds he wins MediaTriFecta … Yee Ha!

[email protected]

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