The Age of Innocence

January17/ 2000

I went over to Kenan Stadium on Friday night for Meet The Heels night.  Hurricane Charlie forced a move onto the concourse but everyone seemed to have a good time.  As always, I knew a great column idea was playing hide and go seek with me.  Sure enough, among the wide-eyed tow-headed young’ans in baggy t-shirts … I found it.

   First Off … this annual meet the team fest was held on a Friday evening rather than on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon due to conflicts with student move-in weekend next weekend.  I realize this mundane bureaucratic explanation is not as exciting as “ … that damn Dickie Baddour is conspiring with the Basketball-obsessed Fat Cats to destroy UNC Football …” but since it’s the truth, it’ll have to do. The “Damn That Dickie Baddour” Club on the message boards will have to look harder to crucify the little fella.  Personally, I think Dickie is directly involved with this hurricane silliness myself.

   So I positioned myself to observe this fan and team interaction.  I looked for UNC Athletic Dept officials and found several of my “deep inside sources” plus C-Blue’s Eric Ross and TTP’s JB Cissell.  The aforementioned Little Prince was not among the assembled.  I figured he would come dressed in one of those Women’s Self-Defense Class Attack Guy suits (think Michelin Man!) just in case any of the Internut crowd was there. Not that those Keyboard Kowards would dare say anything to his face.

   Dickie should be front and center at these things.  If he only appears at invitation-only Rams Club affairs then “the lunatic fringe wins”. Maybe “they” already have won.

   The stars of this party were 100s of tow-headed kids dressed in all manner of Tar Heel wearables … with the ubiquitous blue jersey/ t-shirt hanging to below their knees.  These kids were there to see their Tar Heel heroes and did not know or care about 2-9 or 3-8 or the absence of The Victory Bell.  

   Most of these kids had a Carolina indoctrination much like I did.  Among my baby gifts was a hand knitted Choo Choo Justice #22 sweater.  I’m sure I still have it somewhere.  I was a Tar Heel born.

   I watched as the kids stood patiently in line to get to the players for autographs.  The line for Coach Bunting was the longest. The team is 70% African American and the fans were 85% Caucasian and absolutely no one seemed to care either way.  I think that’s a good thing.  The kids stared up at the “big boys” in wide-eyed awe.

   I saw my good friend John Montgomery, fresh from a visit with Montezuma  in Cancun. “Monty” is the head guy for The Rams Club. When he is not screwing up parking passes, mismailing media guides, not sending personal thank yous for every $25 donations, and going out of his way to offend the “little donors” … he is one of THE nicest guys you’ll ever meet.  Like every UNC official above the level of “intern” John and his EF staff get blamed routinely for anything left over when Dickie’s blame plate just won’t hold another angry accusation.

   So, anyhow … I pointed out to Monty all the happy, cool little kids scurrying about.  “Ain’t it great” I said.  “At exactly what age do they turn into vile obscene hate-filled cauldrons of percolating venom”.  Among the four of us standing together we figured 18-21 was about the age that all innocence is lost.

   A 7-8-9 year old boy is thrilled to just be in Kenan Stadium getting to meet all these Tar Heel Football players.  If any of these kids knew that UNC had the 118 rated defense last year, they didn’t say anything.  Their daddies probably knew about that #118; but they seemed pretty happy too.  Reminding his son to “say thank you” for each autograph, each Dad was making sure his son got around to each group of players.

   As I watched, I wondered if the Dads had told their sons yet that “Chuck Amato cheats and has mafia connections and can have people killed”?  Do these boys know that “Coach K drops F-bombs and faked his back surgery”?  Do these little boys know that their young friends who are Wolfpack fans will all grow up to be “stoopid rednecks that have sex with farm animals”?  Do these boys know that they themselves will all grow up to be “silverspoon liberal homosexuals” because that what some folks say we ALL are?  … Golly gee willikers … I sure hope it’s quite a few years before these happy little Tar Heels fans become “regular fans”.

   I bet these little boys are just like Little Wolfpack Fans and Little Deacons and Little Pirates and Little Blue Devils … their young wide-eyes just see the good in each moment.  What’s that saying “Too bad youth is wasted on the young” … too bad indeed.    


“Hang In There Dr. Ed”

   Some anxious hand wringing going on at SwaggerSays Headquarters.  One of our most loyal BobLee Buddies is having a tough time.  Dr Ed Mitchell, a Goldsboro native now up in Kentucky is battling for his life.  The Grim Reaper is at the door; but we aren’t ready for Dr Ed to go just yet.  BobLee has long valued Dr Ed’s sage comments and compliments.  The SwaggerNation sends a big ZiggaZoomba Dr Ed’s way.  We’re pulling for you, dear ol’ friend


   Not too much flak from the Partisanship column.  Of course General Bill had no clue who Bruce Springsteen was but since he was obviously a liberal, GB was ready to launch a “search and destroy” just for the heck of it.  One poster boy for Carolina Fans wrote how much he “Hates Bush”, “Hates Coach K”, and “Hates Amato”.  Don’t you know that fellow is fun to be around.


Six months ago 99.99% of Americans had never heard the term “Swift Boat”.

Four years ago, “Halliburton” was synonymous with aluminum brief cases

Kerry promises that under his administration

Hurricanes will destroy a higher % of mansions than trailer parks.

The “rich people” must suffer “their fair share” 

 By a 5-4 Vote

The Supreme Court has authorized disaster relief funds for Florida

can only go to predominately Republican precincts.

… Say Good Night, Gracie


Swagger’s Stumper

Which 60s TV show rewarded housewives 

who had the most wretched, depressing tale of woe?

Who was the Master of Ceremonies?


 NCSU AD Lee Fowler reassigns CJ Hunter over bad pub about steroids.

Wuff Internet Vigilantes scream “Keep CJ – Fire Fowler”

Why would anyone want to be an Athletics Director ????


   OK … EVERYBODY knew The Mendoza Line was a .200 Batting Average.  Named for weak-hitting shortstop Mario Mendoza.  We have a call into George Brett to certify whether George or Tom Paciorek first coined the term.  We bet George claims credit.

   WONDERFUL time in Greensboro last Thursday with the Nat Green Kiwanis … Few got my Todd Turner joke but I’m keeping it in the show anyway because I like it.

Charlotte Next Wednesday at noon

Charlotte West Rotary at Carolina Golf & Country Club

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