Dads and Sons and Dreams

BobLee
January18/ 2000

… This Saturday in Carter-Finley will be a “retro-game”.  The Wolfpack will be led at Quarterback by “a kid named Evans” just like they were in the late 70s … Johnny’s son Daniel will be living out a dream that every father and son in America can envy… This isn’t the first time a son has followed in his dad’s cleats steps but it does represent something often overlooked in today’s society.…. Yes, this is a two-Kleenex column … but with a special Swagger twist that will have many of you yelling HOORAY!

Some might say that the embattled, beleaguered and maligned Chuck Amato is simply using Daniel Evans as a “human shield” this Saturday.  Is Chuck figuring the “fuzzy feel good” aspect of Daniel starting at QB will lessen the “vocal dissatisfaction” that might await him (Chuck) if BC lays a whuppin’ on the Pack.  If that is Chuck’s thinking, I say “good thinking Chuck”.  Whatever ….

The N&O did a sports page cover story on the Evans’ on Tuesday. It is a very cool story and deserves celebrating because the trend in our society is to totally ignore the achievements of Families “like the Evans’” and kids “like Daniel”.

Dad Johnny was a “triple-threat” phenom from High Point in the mid 70s.  One in a long line of North Carolina “Chip Hiltons” of that era … Danny Talbot, Wes Chesson, Leo Hart, Brad Evans, Jeff Beaver, Paul Miller, Neb Hayden, Rick Arrington, Johnny Swofford, Jim Donnan, and a bit earlier Sonny Jurgenson and Roman Gabriel and Ray Farris … It was a time of socio-cultural evolution in “Big Four” football.

Johnny was a very good Pack QB earning MVP in the ’78 Peach Bowl.  Johnny Evans was a VERY VERY good punter.  Among “great North Carolina born and breed punters” historians would put Johnny Evans alongside ACC punting legends Bud “Footsie” Wallace and Mike Thomas.  Johnny’s booming rainmakers would soar above the Carter Stadium upper deck more often than not.  He went on to punt for the Browns in the NFL but a greater destiny awaited “the triple threat phenom” from High Point.

Returning to Raleigh, Johnny and his wife Beth settled into a business career and family rearing.  A nice executive career with a local real estate/construction firm was “OK” but not where Johnny’s destiny lay.  And … where Johnny had been a “triple threat” player … Beth became a “quadruple” mom – Daniel, Andrew, Katherine and Quinn.

Johnny Evans became Eastern District Director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and returned to NC State Football as color analyst for Wolfpack Football radio broadcasts.  And “the Evans’ quads” grew up in the Raleigh school system ultimately at historic Needham Broughton High School.  Daniel was the QB and Andrew his #1 receiver and the two led the Caps to the play-offs their senior years.  Meanwhile Katherine and Quinn were excelling in academics and their extra-curricular interests.

Daniel’s sister Katherine had her choice of a Park Scholarship to NC State or a Morehead to UNC … nice “choices” huh?  She picked the Morehead.   Johnny and Beth Evans did “REALLY GOOD” in raising “the Evans’ Quads”.

Imagine Dad Johnny’s thoughts as he watched Daniel and Andrew play in Pee Wee, Pop Warner and into Middle School and at Broughton.  Dare he imagine that one day BOTH sons would have football scholarships at his alma mater … and he would be “in the booth” when Daniel barked signals as “the starting quarterback for the Wolfpack”.   If that doesn’t give a guy goosebumps he has no soul …

It’s happened before at State … a pair of pitch and catch twins … the Buckey brothers.

Where will the dream go from here?  Smart money probably says Daniel runs for his life as State’s O-line gets whiplash watching Eagles’ D-line rush by them to sack Johnny’s kid.  For me … I hope the dream has a few more chapters including one where Daniel connects with Andrew on a fly pattern for a Wolfpack TD.  I hope it’s a 50-yard plus pass and catch where everything is in slow motion as Johnny sees it develop in the booth and Beth and the girls see it from the stands.  Daniel hits Andrew in full stride and the brothers embrace in the end zone as “The Caisson Song” blares out across the Fairgrounds.  …. yep, thats the way BobLee, Clair Bee and Grantland Rice would write this story.

If it should happen “just that way” I can guarantee you that BobLee, and Jim Branch, and Prince Albert, and Pastor Leon, and the Tucker boys … and everyone in Raleigh who knows “The Evans” will be smiling and saying YES! … score one for Dads and Sons and Moms and Daughters and families everywhere who “do it right”.

NOTE:  BobLee will be on WPTF-680AM on Friday morning (8:30) discussing this situation.  Tune in.

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    For all that’s quite wrong with “big time” college sports (and there IS a LOT wrong with it, and getting wronger by the minute) there are still moments to savor.

The spotlight is on the Evans this week but there have been others.  Remember BobLee mentioning a UNC QB named “Darley Gayle”.  That be Gayle Bomar who QBed the Tar Heels in the late 60s (and held the single game total yardage record for several decades).  Like the Evans, the Bomars have two boys and two girls (though they did it one at a time!) … and like the Evans, they did it right.

The Bomars settled in Durham after UNC and sons David and J.P. played for Ken Browning at Northern Durham.  Considered “scrappy and hard-nosed” but not “big-time college material” both boys “walked-on” at Carolina in the late 90s.  Both “lettered” with David earning a scholarship and a starting DB berth.

Sister Jennie was a Carolina cheerleader.  Sister Darley was on the Carolina dance team.  Did we mention that Mom and Dad Bomar have been married 36 years!

Tar Heel football real “real fans” know it was David’s goal line tackle (w/ Errol Hood) in Ericcson Stadium that earned Mike O’Cain his pink slip and got Carl a year three.  If David Bomar had been a half-step slower, Carl would have been axed and MO’C saved and if so, neither Chuck Amato nor John Bunting would be where they are today … whether one considers that good, bad, or not sure … it’s the truth.

That scenario of “the Bomar boys” is neat enough if it ended there but there’s one more visual … Imagine a postcard perfect Autumn Saturday in Kenan Stadium … 45,000 fans on hand (and another 5,000 still tailgating outside of course).  Tar Heels win the toss and defer to the second half.  Carolina’s “suicide squad” takes the field for the opening kick-off.  Gayle and Margie Bomar in the stands, the girls on the sidelines cheering … and (in David’s own words …)

“J.P. and I were on the kick-off coverage team together.   We lined up at the same position on opposite sides of the field, so when we were getting ready to kickoff, we were facing each other.  We buckled our chinstraps, then always pointed to each other right before the kick…”

The Evans’ and the Bomars’ … examples of an oft-ignored faction in today’s “diverse(!?)” society  – middle class God-loving Christian nuclear families … both biological parents, no alcoholism, no crack whore mamma, no convict dad, not raised by an aunt who held down six jobs, no tattoos, no piercings, no funky hairstyles, no illegitimate babies, no “partial qualifiers”, no end zone dances, no eligibility majors, no goggle-eyed message board loonies, no DWIs, no 9mms, no steroids … just Daddies and Mammas and brothers and sisters and “the color and pageantry of college football”.

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    Nothing is static in our ever-evolving society.  The only certainty is change and some change is necessary and some change just happens … all is not bad and not everything about “the good ol’ days” was really all that good.  One man’s “good guy” is another man’s “hated rival” … but lets give a huzzah and a thumbs-up “well done” to a couple of families who “did it right” and reaped the joy.  “Reaping the joy” of a job well done is a good thing!     

The Evans’ and the Bomars know how “lucky” they were that all their children turned out “right”.  They also know how hard their families worked to be so “lucky”.  Kids don’t “turn out right” because of race or money or church or community or circumstance ( or even “a village”!).  Kids “turn out right” when families work at it every day and love each other and face up to the tough times (EVERY family has tough times!) and stand by each other … consoling in times of defeat and celebrating their triumphs.

OK, the part about both the Evans and Bomars being God-loving Christian families helps a WHOLE lot …. I didn’t want to run off our three godless atheist readers from Chapel Hill/Carrboro until here at the end!  You three can leave now.

Amen.

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 Who was Johnny Evans’ head coach at NCSU in 1977?   

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I’m sure there are legacies in every college program … a Swagger Huzzah also for the The Chapmans” … Daddy Bill and sons Will and Bowen … all three have “bled blue” and left that blood on Kenan’s holy turf.  Andy and Brian Chacos … Doug and Mark Paschal …  and how about NCSU’s Ritchers … Jim and sons John & Harrison

   Our Shadow Of The Bell Tower tailgating buddy Deems May has been “in the cyber news” recently.  Deems got a bit “carried away” in his VaTech post-game comments … for which he apologized the following week.  The goggle-eyed loonies would like Deems to be in the booth w/ Woody … like 99.999% of “what loonies want”, that would be a bad idea.  Deems is perfect just where he is.

   This is the FIRST/ONLY time the name Bud “Footsie” Wallace has ever appeared on the Internet.

   Dan Marino’s only Super Bowl was in Palo Alto at Stanford Stadium.  Everyone figured Dan would have many more but “the other QB” might be a one-and-done … his name was Joe Montana.

   Remember I said I’d see 10 of Carolina’s 12 games?  Make that 11 … just scored four for South Bend in November from an ND pal … BobLee will be “waking up the echoes”.

   Kid Swagger was never destined to be a gridder … but remember how proud I was when her column in the Broughton school paper drew an angry hate-letter! 

   That Evans brothers picture above is via Gene Galin and the accfootballphotos.com web site.  The same guy that does all the sideline hotties pictures!

   Want to e-mail BobLee?

[email protected]

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